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OHL This Week: Dec. 7 to 10, 2017

 

Teddy Bear Toss season in the OHL has the fur flying in rinks across the league this weekend. Here’s a look at what’s happening in the OHL.

 

GENERALS VISIT COLTS ON SPORTSNET CHL SATURDAY SHOWCASE:

Sportsnet’s CHL Saturday Showcase continues in Ontario this weekend in a return to Barrie where the Colts host the Oshawa Generals at 3:30 pm ET.

12 OHL PLAYERS INVITED TO CANADA’S WORLD JUNIOR SELECTION CAMP:

Defending World Junior silver medalists Michael McLeod (Mississauga Steelheads) and Taylor Raddysh (Erie Otters) headline the list of 12 OHL players invited to Canada’s National Junior Team Selection Camp that gets underway next week in St. Catharines. Goaltender Michael DiPietro (Windsor Spitfires), defencemen Logan Stanley (Kitchener Rangers) and Conor Timmins (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds) as well as forwards Jonathan Ang (Peterborough Petes), Alex Formenton (London Knights), Jonah Gadjovich (Owen Sound Attack), Boris Katchouk (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds), Jordan Kyrou (Sarnia Sting), Nick Suzuki (Owen Sound Attack) and Robert Thomas (London Knights) round out the invitees. Read more

BROWN AND JONES NAMED TO U.S. NATIONAL JUNIOR TEAM PRELIMINARY ROSTER:

A pair of former Mastercard Memorial Cup champions in Windsor Spitfires forward Logan Brown and London Knights winger Max Jones have been named to the U.S. National Junior Team’s Preliminary Roster for the 2018 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championships. Read more

GREYHOUNDS, STING AND BULLDOGS IN CHL TOP 10 RANKINGS:  

The Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds are the new number one ranked team in the Canadian Hockey League this week, entering play on a franchise record 14-game winning streak. They trade places with the Sarnia Sting who remain on the rankings at number three. The Hamilton Bulldogs drop one spot to number nine on the list. Full Rankings

OHL CUP POWERED BY UNDER ARMOUR TOP 10 RANKINGS RELEASED:

The Ontario Hockey League has announced the third edition of the weekly minor midget rankings for the 2018 OHL Cup Showcase Tournament powered by Under Armour and hosted by the Greater Toronto Hockey League. The Toronto Marlboros and Oakville Rangers continue to hold down the top two spots on the list while the OMHA’s Barrie Colts climb one spot into number three. Full Rankings

RANGERS’ JOSEPH GARREFFA NAMED OHL ‘ON THE RUN’ PLAYER OF THE WEEK:

Joseph Garreffa of the Kitchener Rangers is the OHL ‘On the Run’ Player of the Week for the week ending December 3 after leading the league with eight points, all assists, in three games while recording a plus-minus rating of plus-3. Garreffa helped the Rangers collect three comeback wins last week delivering back-to-back four-assist performances against the Owen Sound Attack. Read more

WAWANESA OHL PLAYS OF THE WEEK:

The 11th edition of the Wawanesa OHL Plays of the Week for the 2017-18 season feature another collection of the league’s Top-5 goals scored in the week ending December 3. This week’s highlights open with a trio of teammates including Matthew Strome of the Hamilton Bulldogs capitalizing on a turnover and feeding Marian Studenic, Sergey Popov of the Kingston Frontenacs with a pretty pass to Matthew Hotchkiss, and Robert Thomas of the London Knights who gets some help from Sam Miletic with his give-and-go OT winner.  Michael McLeod inspires with a sensational shorthanded sequence for the Mississauga Steelheads, and Conor Timmins dances his way through the offensive zone for the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds to top the list. Watch

VOTE CONOR TIMMINS IN #CIBCSHOWDOWN:

Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds defenceman Conor Timmins not only headlines the Wawanesa OHL Plays of the Week, but is also the OHL representative featured in this week’s #CIBCShowdown which showcases one great play from all three leagues allowing fans the opportunity to choose their favourite play. See all the plays and vote at chlshowdown.ca.

DECEMBER DEBUTS WITH A DOZEN OHL NETMINDERS IN JANES SAVES OF THE WEEK:

This week features Cole Ceci of the Oshawa Generals, Olivier Tremblay of the Ottawa 67’s, Anand Oberoi of the Erie Otters, Mack Guzda of the Owen Sound Attack, Julian Sime of the North Bay Battalion, Michael DiPietro of the Windsor Spitfires, Jeremy Helvig of the Kingston Frontenacs, Joseph Raaymakers of the London Knights, Cameron Lamour of the Saginaw Spirit, Leo Lazarev of the Barrie Colts, Aidan Hughes of the Sarnia Sting, Jacob Ingham of the Mississauga Steelheads. Watch

FIVE PLAYERS FEATURED IN OHL MILESTONE MOMENTS THIS WEEK:

Five players scored their first OHL goal this past week including forwards Tag Bertuzzi (Guelph Storm), Mitchell Russell (Owen Sound Attack), Kirill Kozhevnikov (Windsor Spitfires) and Jack Wismer (Flint Firebirds) as well as defenceman Merrick Rippon (Mississauga Steelheads. Watch

OHL ANNOUNCES ACADEMIC PLAYERS OF THE MONTH FOR NOVEMBER:

The Ontario Hockey League has announced OHL Academic Players of the Month for November 2017, including Chad Denault of the Peterborough Petes, Isaac Walker of the Mississauga Steelheads, Aidan Dudas of the Owen Sound Attack and Chris Playfair of the Windsor Spitfires. Read more

HUNTER WINS 700th GAME:

London Knights head coach Dale Hunter joined Brian Kilrea and Bert Templeton as just the third head coach in OHL history to reach the 700 career win mark on Saturday. The winningest active coach in the league, Hunter reaches the 700 regular season wins plateau in his 1,055th game behind the bench during a career spent entirely with London. He holds an all-time OHL coaching record of 700-281-17-57 with a winning percentage of .699, the highest of any coach in league history with over 200 wins. Read more

GREYHOUNDS RECORD FRANCHISE RECORD 14th STRAIGHT WIN:

The hottest team in the Canadian Hockey League, the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds set a new franchise record on Sunday afternoon, collecting their 14th straight win with a 4-0 road victory over the Ottawa 67’s. The 14-game winning streak surpasses a past franchise mark of 13 set on two separate occasions by the club in 1980-81 and 1984-85. Read more

STING’S FAZIO BECOMES NEW FRANCHISE GAMES PLAYED LEADER AMONG GOALIES:

After becoming the Sarnia Sting franchise wins leader earlier this season, overage veteran Justin Fazio has another entry in the club record books. Fazio made 27 saves on Wednesday night in Sault Ste. Marie as the Sting fell by a score of 6-3 to the CHL’s top-ranked Greyhounds. Suiting up in his 148th career regular season contest, the 20-year-old Sarnia product passed Robert Gherson (2000-04) for the most games played by a goaltender in Sting franchise history. Read more

JAKE GOLDOWSKI COMMITS TO SPIRIT:

The Saginaw Spirit have received a commitment from 2016 fourth round pick Jake Goldowski. The 17-year-old from Thornhurst, Pennsylvania was with the United States National Development Program after recording 101 points over 76 career games at the Under-16 level with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights. Read more

DANIEL MURPHY COMMITS TO OTTERS:

The Erie Otters have received a commitment from 2016 15th round selection Daniel Murphy, a 17-year-old goaltender from Guelph, Ont. Murphy has posted a 6-7-2 record with a 2.91 goals-against average and a .917 save percentage over 16 games with the Mississauga Chargers Jr. A club this season. Read more

OKHOTYUK, KRASTENBERGS, LYSZCZARCZYK SET FOR INTERNATIONAL DUTY:

A trio of OHL players will depart to represent their respective countries next week as Ottawa 67’s defenceman Nikita Okhotyuk, Oshawa Generals forward Renars Krastenbergs and Owen Sound Attack forward Alan Lyszczarczyk got the call. Okhotyuk joins Team Russia for the World Junior A Challenge in Truro, Nova Scotia starting December 10th. Krastenbergs will represent his native Latvia at the U20 Div 1 A World Championship in France. Lyszczarczyk suits up for Poland at the U20 Div 1 B World Championship in Slovenia.

SEVEN OHL PLAYERS FEATURED ON SPORTSNET’S ‘TOP 31’ NHL DRAFT RANKINGS:

Sportsnet’s Sam Cosentino takes a look at 31 of the top draft eligible prospects for the 2018 NHL Draft headed into December. Included in the rankings are Andrei Svechnikov (Barrie Colts), Evan Bouchard (London Knights), Barrett Hayton (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds), Ryan McLeod (Mississauga Steelheads), Serron Noel (Oshawa Generals), Ryan Merkley (Guelph Storm) and Akil Thomas (Niagara IceDogs). For the full list, visit sportsnet.ca.

THE NEXT ONES PODCAST FEATURES SPIRIT COACH TROY SMITH, WORLD JUNIOR DISCUSSION:

On the latest edition of Sportsnet’s The Next Ones podcast, Jeff Marek and Sam Cosentino welcome guest Troy Smith, the head coach of the Saginaw Spirit. They also take a look at players returning to the Canadian National Junior Team before Selection Camp gets underway next week in St. Catharines. Listen

SUCCESS OF SMALL-TOWN ATTACK FEATURED ON SPORTSNET:

Sportsnet.ca’s Gare Joyce paid a visit to Owen Sound to document the big-time success that the small-town Attack have enjoyed both on and off the ice in recent years. Read the full story at sportsnet.ca.

STEELHEADS’ MICHAEL McLEOD FEATURED ON MASTERCARD JUNIOR HOCKEY MAGAZINE:

New Jersey Devils prospect Michael McLeod of the Mississauga Steelheads is featured on this week’s edition of Mastercard Junior Hockey Magazine with Gino Reda. McLeod recaps the start of his season as he rehabbed from a torn meniscus and looks ahead to the 2018 World Junior Hockey Championship as he returns to camp as a silver medalist with Team Canada. Listen

CITY OF OSHAWA TO HOST NY ISLANDERS AND BUFFALO SABRES IN NHL PRE-SEASON GAME:

On Ice Entertainment in association with the City of Oshawa and the Oshawa Generals are pleased to announce that on Friday September 28, 2018 at 7:00pm the New York Islanders will host the Buffalo Sabres at the Tribute Communities Centre in Oshawa for a preseason exhibition game. Tickets go on sale Monday December 11th. Read more

MASTERCARD PRE-SALE GRANTS EXCLUSIVE ACCESS TO 2018 MASTERCARD MEMORIAL CUP TICKET PACKAGES:

Be a part of CHL history at the 100th Mastercard Memorial Cup next May in Regina, Saskatchewan! For a limited time, Mastercard holders have exclusive access to 2018 Mastercard Memorial Cup ticket packages using the promo ‘mastercard’ at Ticketmaster.com.

 

COMMUNITY CORNER:

Teddy Bear Toss festivities in nine OHL rinks this week: Teddy Bear Toss festivities continue in OHL rinks this weekend, starting Thursday night in Peterborough and Windsor. The Kingston Frontenacs will hold their annual event on Friday before the Barrie Colts and Hamilton Bulldogs send the bears airborne on Saturday. Four different teams close out the weekend with Teddy Bear Toss games on Sunday including the Guelph Storm, North Bay Battalion, Oshawa Generals and Ottawa 67’s. Read more

Knights pay tribute to Dale Hunter on Friday: After winning his 700th career OHL game last week, the London Knights will bring back stars from the past to honour head coach Dale Hunter on Friday night when they play host to the Peterborough Petes.

Snapshots from the 100th Mastercard Memorial Cup Tour: The 100th Mastercard Memorial Cup Tour has made stops in both Barrie and Ottawa so far this season. Highlights have included CHL coaching great Brian Kilrea, a stop at Canadian Forces Base Borden and even a visit with Santa Claus! Photo gallery

Spirit busy in the community: Spirit players Aidan Prueter, Duncan Penman and Damien Giroux attended the annual Stuff-a-Blue Goose at Frankenmuth Credit Union in Caro. The Spirit players donated toys to the Toys for Tots Drive as well as mingled with Michigan State Police Troopers and Local Firefighters. Visit saginawspirit.com for more.

Rangers set new Teddy Bear Toss record: Adam Mascherin headlined Teddy Bear Toss Night in Kitchener, sending the bears airborne while collected his first career OHL hat-trick. The Rangers collected a record 10,908 teddy bears that will be distributed to organizations in the local community.

 

ALUMNI NOTES:

Seven OHL grads named to U Sports All-Star Team: Seven OHL grads have been named to the U Sports All-Star Team that will compete against Canadian National Junior Team hopefuls on December 13th and 14th in St. Catharines, Ont. Defencemen Spencer Abraham (Erie Otters) and Nathan Chiarlitti (Owen Sound Attack) going forwards Michael Clarke (Peterborough Petes), Holden Cook (Owen Sound Attack), Hunter Garlent (Peterborough Petes), Stephen Harper (Niagara IceDogs) and Brett Welychka (Belleville Bulls) in representing U Sports. Read more

Strome scores first NHL goal: Erie Otters graduate and 2017 OHL champion Dylan Strome scored his first career NHL goal on Saturday as the Arizona Coyotes defeated New Jersey 5-0. Strome, who was recently named the AHL’s Player of the Week, scored in his sixth NHL game of the season and 13th of his young career. A 20-year-old former 3rd overall pick by the Coyotes in 2015, Strome recorded 26 points (8-18–26) in his first 15 games of the season with the AHL’s Tucson Roadrunners. He recorded 354 career points over 219 regular season OHL games with the Erie Otters from 2013-17, graduating as the franchise’s leading scorer. He was the MVP of the 2017 Mastercard Memorial Cup in Windsor.

Chychrun scores in return: Sarnia Sting graduate Jakob Chychrun scored in his return to the Arizona Coyotes lineup on Sunday. Chychrun recovered from offseason knee surgery to make his season debut as the Coyotes lost 3-2 in overtime to the Vegas Golden Knights. The 19-year-old Chychrun recorded 20 points (7-13–20) in 68 games as a rookie last season after a two-year stint in Sarnia. The former first overall pick of the 2014 OHL Priority Selection recorded 82 points (27-55–82) over 104 career OHL contests.

Capobianco set for NHL debut: Former Sudbury Wolves captain Kyle Capobianco is set to make his NHL debut with the Arizona Coyotes in Boston on Thursday. The 20-year-old from Mississauga, Ont. has 14 points (2-12–14) in 17 games with the AHL’s Tucson Roadrunners this season after a four-year OHL tenure in Sudbury from 2013-17. Arizona’s third round pick in 2015, Capobianco recorded 141 points (27-114–141) over 254 career regular season games in Sudbury.

Williams records 700th NHL point: OHL graduate Justin Williams recorded his 700th career NHL point on Friday, scoring the lone goal in Carolina’s 5-1 loss to the New York Rangers. A 36-year-old from Cobourg, Ont., Williams is a veteran of 1,105 career regular season NHL contests, amassing 278 goals and 422 points over his lengthy tenure. A former first round pick of the Philadelphia Flyers in 2000, Williams used his success as a member of the Plymouth Whalers from 1998-2000 as a springboard to the NHL. The three-time Stanley Cup champion registered 95 points (41-54–95) over his 115 career OHL regular season games while also leading the 2000 OHL Playoffs in scoring with 14 goals and 30 points. Williams is currently in his second stint with the Carolina Hurricanes after winning a Stanley Cup with the franchise in 2006.

Giordano plays 700th NHL game: Owen Sound Attack graduate Mark Giordano suited up in his 700th career NHL contest on Monday as the Calgary Flames lost to the Philadelphia Flyers 5-2. A 34-year-old Toronto native, Giordano has nine points (3-6–9) in this, his 12th season with the Flames. He has 349 career points (102-247–349) over 700 regular season NHL contests and has played in a pair of NHL All-Star Games. An undrafted free agent signing in both the OHL and the NHL, Giordano played two seasons with Owen Sound from 2002-04, recording 97 points (32-65–97) in 133 regular season games.

Murphy looking to make most of opportunity: Kitchener Rangers graduate Ryan Murphy is making the most of his AHL opportunity with the Iowa Wild, the top affiliate of the NHL’s Minnesota Wild. A former first round (12th overall) pick of the Carolina Hurricanes in 2011, Murphy has bounced around in the years since, playing 154 career NHL contests between Carolina and Minnesota. He has 11 points (1-10–11) through his first 18 games of the season in Iowa. The former standout rearguard in Kitchener recorded 220 career points (53-167–220)  with the Rangers from 2009-13. Read more at twincities.com.

Five OHL grads to represent Canada in Channel One Cup:  Only two tournaments remain on Canada’s National Men’s Team’s schedule before the 2018 Olympic Winter Games, and Hockey Canada has released the names of the 25 players selected to wear the red-and-white at the Channel One Cup, a three-game tournament in Moscow, Russia, Dec. 13-17. OHL graduates competing for Team Canada include Wojtek Wolski (Kunlun Red Star/Brampton Battalion), Derek Roy (Linkoping HC/Kitchener Rangers), Taylor Beck (Kunlun Red Star/Guelph Storm), Eric O’Dell (HC Sochi/Sudbury Wolves) and Shawn Lalonde (Kolner Haie/Belleville Bulls). For more information on the Channel One Cup, visit hockeycanada.ca.

 

KEY MATCHUPS:

Peterborough Petes (14-13-0-1) at London Knights (13-12-2-0)
Friday December 8th at London

Two teams headed in different directions of late meet in London on Friday as the Knights host the Peterborough Petes.

London enters a three-game weekend with wins in seven of the last 10 games looking to seize an opportunity to get past Owen Sound and Guelph in the Midwest Division. The Knights are trying to make the most of their final few games with stars Robert Thomas, Alex Formenton and Max Jones in the lineup before they head off to World Junior camps next week. Thomas enters the weekend on an eight game point streak while Buffalo Sabres prospect Cliff Pu comes off an outstanding month of November.

The visiting Petes have won just three of their last 10 and enter a three-in-three a game above .500. They’ll lose star forward Jonathan Ang to Canada’s National Junior Team Selection Camp next weekend but will keep the services of standout goaltender Dylan Wells who didn’t receive an invitation to the camp despite being in that discussion.

Don’t miss this intriguing matchup between a pair of experienced cross-conference opponents.

Oshawa Generals (12-15-2-0) at Barrie Colts (15-9-2-1)
Saturday December 9th at Barrie (Sportsnet CHL Saturday Showcase)

The Barrie Colts make their third appearance of the season on Sportsnet’s CHL Saturday Showcase, playing host to the Oshawa Generals at 3:30pm ET.

Top 2018 NHL Draft prospect Andrei Svechnikov is expected to return to the Colts lineup this weekend after missing nearly two months due to injury. The Colts have held their own despite the absence of the young Russian star, carrying the Central Division lead into the weekend as they hold a record of 15-9-2-1. Lucas Chiodo, Jason Willms, Alexey Lipanov and Zach Magwood have picked up the slack in Svechnikov’s absence while 2017 first overall OHL Priority Selection choice Ryan Suzuki has 19 points (5-14–19) in 23 games.

The visiting Generals are full of promise with a pair of NHL Draft prospects of their own in ‘A’ rated skater Serron Noel and talented playmaking centreman Allan McShane. Boston Bruins second round pick Jack Studnicka leads Oshawa in scoring with 29 points (10-19–29) in as many games this season.

Don’t miss the action on Saturday afternoon, a game that can be seen live across the country on Sportsnet.

 

SCHEDULE:

Thursday December 7:
London at Niagara – 7:00pm
Mississauga at North Bay – 7:00pm
Sudbury at Peterborough – 7:05pm
Erie at Windsor – 7:05pm

Friday December 8:
Niagara at Kingston – 7:00pm
Barrie at Mississauga – 7:00pm
Erie at Sarnia – 7:05pm
North Bay at Sault Ste. Marie – 7:07pm
Owen Sound at Guelph – 7:30pm
Flint at Kitchener – 7:30pm
Peterborough at London – 7:30pm
Ottawa at Oshawa – 7:35pm

Saturday December 9:
Oshawa at Barrie – 3:30pm (Sportsnet CHL Saturday Showcase)
Saginaw at Hamilton – 4:00pm
Sudbury at Kingston – 7:00pm
Niagara at Ottawa – 7:00pm
Peterborough at Sarnia – 7:05pm
Flint at Owen Sound – 7:30pm

Sunday December 10:
Kitchener at Guelph – 2:00pm
Erie at London – 2:00pm
Hamilton at Mississauga – 2:00pm
Barrie at North Bay – 2:00pm
Sudbury at Ottawa – 2:00pm
Windsor at Sault Ste. Marie – 2:07pm
Saginaw at Oshawa – 6:05pm

Be sure to catch all of this weekend’s action at ohllive.com.

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