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OHL This Week: Feb. 8 to 11, 2018

 

It’s time for another weekend of OHL action. Here’s a look at what’s in store across the league.

 

31 OHL GRADUATES PREPARE FOR 2018 WINTER OLYMPICS: 

31 OHL graduates from across the globe will represent their respective countries at the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang, South Korea when men’s hockey action gets underway on Wednesday February 14th. Team Canada leads the way with six OHL grads on the roster. Read more

GREYHOUNDS, STING, RANGERS AND BULLDOGS IN CHL TOP 10 RANKINGS:  

The Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds continue to hold down top spot in the 20th edition of the CHL Top 10 Rankings. The fourth-ranked Sarnia Sting, eight-ranked Kitchener Rangers and ninth-ranked Hamilton Bulldogs are also included. Full Rankings

GENERALS’ KENNY HUETHER NAMED OHL ‘ON THE RUN’ PLAYER OF THE WEEK:

Kenny Huether of the Oshawa Generals is the OHL ‘On the Run’ Player of the Week for the week ending February 4 after scoring three goals and four assists for seven points in three games with a plus-minus rating of plus-5. Huether produced a pair of multi-point performances that helped the Generals finish the weekend with two straight victories climbing into a tie for fifth in the Eastern Conference standings with a 25-23-3-0 record. Read more

WAWANESA OHL PLAYS OF THE WEEK:

The 19th 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 February 4. This week’s highlights include some slick passing by Oshawa Generals Domenico Commisso and Kenny Huether to Matt Brassard, the Mississauga Steelheads duo of Albert Michnac to Cole Carter, and a pair of Kingston Frontenacs connect with Gabriel Vilardi to Linus Nyman.  Aidan Dudas of the Owen Sound Attack makes the highlights a second straight week with another filthy toe-drag, and top NHL Draft prospect Andrei Svechnikov of the Barrie Colts drives the net and puts it under the bar to headline the list. Watch

VOTE ANDREI SVECHNIKOV IN #CIBCSHOWDOWN:

Barrie Colts forward Andrei Svechnikov 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.

GOALTENDERS IN FINE FORM IN FEBRUARY’S FIRST EDITION OF JANES SAVES:

OHL goaltenders in fine form featured inside February’s first edition of #JanesSaves. This week features Christian Propp of the North Bay Battalion, Leo Lazarev of the Barrie Colts, Aidan Hughes and Justin Fazio of the Sarnia Sting, Jacob Ingham of the Mississauga Steelheads, Michael DiPietro of the Windsor Spitfires, Joseph Raaymakers of the London Knights, Luke Cavallin of the Flint Firebirds, Mario Culina of the Kitchener Rangers, Colton Incze of the Niagara IceDogs, and Evan Cormier of the Saginaw Spirit. Watch

CHIBRIKOV AND GOLDEN ENJOY MILESTONE MOMENTS:

Defencemen Igor Chibrikov of the Owen Sound Attack and Jacob Golden of the London Knights both scored their first career OHL goals this past weekend. Revisit those milestone moments here! Watch

OHL CUP POWERED BY UNDER ARMOUR TOP 10 RANKINGS RELEASED:

Two more teams have clinched spots at the 2018 OHL Cup Powered by Under Armour as the Mississauga Reps and Vaughan Kings advanced to the final four of the GTHL’s playoffs. The Reps rise one spot this week, taking a 4-2 series lead in points over the fifth-ranked Toronto Jr. Canadiens in their second round series. The OMHA’s Barrie Colts return to the Top-10 in the ninth spot, holding a 4-0 series lead in points on the North Central Predators in their first round playoff series. Full Rankings

The 2018 OHL Cup Powered by Under Armour is a little over a month away. With playoffs underway across the province, we begin our weekly look at teams on their journey to secure their spot at the annual showcase. This week we take a look at the GTHL. Read more at ohlcup.ca.

STING CLINCHES PLAYOFF SPOT:

The Sarnia Sting became the OHL’s second team to clinch a playoff spot, doing so before a national audience on Sportsnet Saturday afternoon. The Sting defeated the London Knights 5-1 in the CHL Saturday Showcase and joined the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds in punching their ticket to the 2018 OHL Playoffs. Full standings

8 OHL PLAYERS ON FEBRUARY SPORTSNET NHL DRAFT RANKINGS:

A total of eight OHL players are included in the latest NHL Draft Rankings from Sportsnet’s Sam Cosentino. Included in the top 31 are Andrei Svechnikov (3, Barrie Colts), Evan Bouchard (8, London Knights), Barrett Hayton (10, Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds), Serron Noel (20, Oshawa Generals), Ryan McLeod (23, Mississauga Steelheads), Rasmus Sandin (24, Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds), Akil Thomas (28, Niagara IceDogs) and Ryan Merkley (30, Guelph Storm). Additionally, Allan McShane (Oshawa Generals), Kevin Bahl (Ottawa 67’s) and Sean Durzi (Owen Sound Attack) were considered honourable mentions for the list. Get the full list at sportsnet.ca.

KNIGHTS’ BOUCHARD FEATURED ON LATEST EDITION OF JUNIOR HOCKEY MAGAZINE:

Draft eligible London Knights defenceman Evan Bouchard is the featured guest on the latest edition of Mastercard Junior Hockey Magazine with Gino Reda. The MVP of the 2018 Sherwin-Williams CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game sits down and shares about his season. Listen

SPORTSNET CHL SATURDAY SHOWCASE FEATURES WHL BATTLE IN ALBERTA:

The CHL Saturday Showcase heads west this weekend as the Red Deer Rebels visit the Edmonton Oil Kings on Sportsnet at 3:30pm ET/12:30 pm PT. RJ Broadhead and Sam Cosentino bring fans all of the action from coast-to-coast. Preview

2018 MASTERCARD MEMORIAL CUP TICKETS ON SALE TO PUBLIC:

The 2018 Mastercard Memorial Cup Host Organizing Committee, together with the Canadian Hockey League, is pleased to announce that ticket packages for the 100th anniversary Mastercard Memorial Cup championship are now available to the public. For more information visit mastercardmemorialcup.ca.

 

COMMUNITY CORNER:

CMHA Talk Today Night in five OHL cities: The OHL, in partnership with the Canadian Mental Health Association and Teachers Life are teaming up to raise awareness about the importance of mental health during games throughout the month of February. All 20 OHL teams are hosting a Talk Today awareness game with the support of their local CMHA Ontario Branch. This week, the CMHA visits  Oshawa on Wednesday, North Bay on Thursday, Barrie and Saginaw on Saturday and Sarnia on Sunday. Full details

Grain Farmers of Ontario visiting four OHL venues: Grain Farmers of Ontario are coming to four OHL rinks this week, making stops in Peterborough and Niagara on Thursday, Kitchener on Friday and Windsor on Sunday. The Good in Every Grain team has a surprise for kids in attendance. Keep an eye out for them this weekend! For more details visit goodineverygrain.ca.

Petes raise $83,578 at ninth annual Pink in the Rink Game: The Peterborough Petes, in association with the Canadian Cancer Society, are pleased to announce that the 2018 Pink in the Rink campaign raised $83,578.64, bringing the nine-year total to over $611,000. Read more

Wolves spend weekend in the community: The Sudbury Wolves enjoyed an eventful weekend in the community, lacing up the skates for some pond hockey, a Meet the Wolves autograph session, cooking demonstration and some practice time with a local minor hockey team. Get the full story at sudburywolves.com.

Battalion salute Centennials on Thursday: The North Bay Battalion will don Centennials black and gold this coming Thursday when they play host to the Flint Firebirds. The game is also CMHA Talk Today Night at the Memorial Gardens.

Fronts host Pink Shirt Day Game on Friday: The Kingston Frontenacs are teaming up with the Boys and Girls Club of Kingston. The Frontenacs are helping spread the word on bullying awareness and are encourating everyone to #BEKINDer.

London goes green on Friday: The Spectra Venue Management team at Budweiser Gardens will launch its first ‘Green’ event when the London Knights face off against the Sudbury Wolves on Friday. A number of green initiatives will be implemented on Friday including free transit on city buses with the presentation of a game ticket as well as Knights goaltenders contributing to a ‘Saves for Trees’ program. For full details visit londonknights.com.

67’s honour fifth decade on Saturday: The Ottawa 67’s celebrate the fifth and most recent decade of franchise history this coming Saturday when they play host to the Oshawa Generals. The 67’s will welcome various alumni from 2007-17 back to TD Place and unveil the final piece of the Brian Kilrea Legacy Wall. For more details visit ottawa67s.com.

Bulldogs host You Can Play Game on Saturday: The Hamilton Bulldogs host the Kitchener Rangers in a game supporting You Can Play on Saturday. $2 from every ticket purchased will be donated to the You Can Play Project, an initiative working to improve equality in sport.

100th Mastercard Memorial Cup Tour visits Sarnia: The CHL’s 100th Mastercard Memorial Cup celebrations continued this past week in Sarnia, the eleventh stop on a season long tour visiting 17 CHL communities in eight different provinces. The trophy visited some of the city’s finest at Sarnia Police and Fire Departments, and also spent time at Royal Canadian Legion Branch 62, Pathways Health Centre for Children, and Bluewater Health where the cup was reunited with 1990 champion Dr Jean-Paul Davis who won as a player with the Oshawa Generals. Read more at mastercardmemorialcup.ca.

 

ALUMNI NOTES:

McDavid enjoys four-goal night: Erie Otters graduate Connor McDavid of the Edmonton Oilers netted four goals and an assist on Monday, helping the Oilers defeat the Tampa Bay Lightning 6-2. McDavid becomes the third NHL player to score four goals in a game this season, becoming the second-youngest player in Oilers history to do it after all-time great Wayne Gretzky. His five points against the Lightning now give him at least one point against all 30 NHL clubs. He becomes the first Oiler to have multiple hat-tricks in one season Ryan Smyth back in 2000-01. McDavid spent three seasons in an Otters uniform from 2012-15, earning both OHL Rookie of the Year as well as CHL  Player of the Year honours during his tenure.

Abraham sets Queen’s scoring record for defencemen: Queen’s University defenceman Spencer Abraham made history on Saturday, recording his 98th career point, the most ever by a defenceman in the history of the program. Abraham had two assists, feeding fellow OHL graduate Slater Doggett on the game-tying goal with one second left in regulation before the Gaels went on to win 4-3 in overtime. A fourth-year veteran, Abraham has 21 goals and 77 assists over 98 career games. He has represented U SPORTS against Canadian National Junior Team hopefuls and attended Development Camp with the Florida Panthers last summer. He played four seasons between Brampton and Erie from 2010-14.

Doggett named OUA and U SPORTS Male Athlete of the Week: Queen’s University forward Slater Doggett has been named the OUA and U SPORTS Male Athlete of the Week after he recorded four goals over two games. Doggett helped Queen’s defeat RMC in the Carr-Harris Cup with a pair of goals before playing the hero on Saturday in a 4-3 victory over Carleton. Doggett tied the score at three with one second left in regulation before netting the overtime winner. The Windsor Spitfires graduate has 17 goals, 15 assists and 32 points in 26 games with the Gaels this season. He played three OHL seasons with the Kingston Frontenacs and Spitfires from 2012-15.

Parsons earns first AHL win: London Knights graduate Tyler Parsons earned his first career AHL win with the Stockton Heat on Saturday, making 32 saves against the San Jose Barracuda. A 20-year-old native of Chesterfield, Mich., Parsons was a 2016 Mastercard Memorial Cup champion with the London Knights, playing three seasons in green and gold from 2014-17 while being chosen by Calgary in the second round of the 2016 NHL Draft. He’s 11-9-0 with a 2.97 goals-against average and a .908 save percentage in 22 games with the ECHL’s Kansas City Mavericks this season.

Pasquale dealt to Lightning: Saginaw Spirit graduate Edward Pasquale was dealt by the Edmonton Oilers to the Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday and will join the AHL’s Syracuse Crunch. In 16 games with the Bakersfield Condors this season, Pasquale played to a 6-5-0 mark with a 2.60 goals-against average and a .910 save percentage. The 27-year-old from Toronto, Ont. is in his seventh professional season after a four-year OHL tenure between Belleville and Saginaw from 2006-10.

Leslie traded to Golden Knights: Guelph Storm graduate Zac Leslie has been traded by the Los Angeles Kings to the Vegas Golden Knights. The 24-year-old Leslie had five points (1-4–5) in 24 games with the AHL’s Ontario Reign this season. Now in his third pro season, Leslie hoisted the J. Ross Robertson Cup as an OHL Champion with the Guelph Storm in 2014. He played four seasons in Guelph from 2011-15.

Carkner moves into coaching role: Peterborough Petes graduate Matt Carkner has moved behind the bench with the AHL’s Bridgeport Sound Tigers after retiring from the game as a member of the club in 2016. An assistant coach, Carkner is handling analytics, video prep, doing individual work with players, and is providing support on the defensive side. A 237-game NHL veteran, Carkner was an imposing presence on the Peterborough Petes blue line from 1997-2001. His pro playing career spanned 15 years. Learn more about his transition to coaching at theahl.com.

 

KEY MATCHUPS:

Saginaw Spirit (25-19-6-0) at Guelph Storm (25-21-1-3)
Friday February 9th at Guelph

Two Western Conference teams separated by just two points meet in Guelph on Friday as the Storm and visiting Saginaw Spirit jockey for playoff positions.

The Spirit hold a two-point edge on the Storm entering weekend action. Guelph has won the prior two meetings between the two clubs, with a pair of encounters left on the schedule.

Saginaw has been without the services of injured Brady Gilmour the past few weeks, but continued production from overage blueliner Marcus Crawford, 24-goal scorer Cole Coskey and veteran forward Mason Kohn have helped keep the momentum going forward. The Spirit have won four of their last 10 but have managed at least a point in seven of those games.

The Storm will be without suspended blueliner Ryan Merkley this weekend and will look to other defencemen in Owen Lalonde and Dmitri Samorukov for increased minutes. Draft eligible forward Cam Hills has points in five of the last six games while Philadelphia Flyers prospect Isaac Ratcliffe leads the team with 28 goals.

Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds (43-5-2-1) at Hamilton Bulldogs (33-12-3-3)
Sunday February 11th at Hamilton

It’s a best-on-best showdown as the Western Conference leading Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds visit the Eastern Conference leading Hamilton Bulldogs on Sunday afternoon.

The Hounds have shown no sign of slowing down, entering a weekend road trip as winners of six straight. Top scorer Morgan Frost enters action with points in seven straight games as the Greyhounds and their contingent of eight different 40+ point scorers continue to come at opponents from all angles.

The Bulldogs are led in scoring by 30-goal man Brandon Saigeon followed closely by Montreal Canadiens prospect Will Bitten. They’ll be without the services of suspended forward Robert Thomas this weekend.

This marks the first meeting between the two clubs this season. Regardless of the outcome there’ll be a quick turnaround as the Bulldogs head north to Sault Ste. Marie next Friday.

 

SCHEDULE:

Thursday February 8:
Barrie at Hamilton – 10:30am
Sault Ste. Marie at Niagara – 7:00pm
Flint at North Bay – 7:00pm
Owen Sound at Peterborough – 7:05pm
Guelph at Windsor – 7:05pm

Friday February 9:
Owen Sound at Kingston – 7:00pm
Barrie at Mississauga – 7:00pm
Flint at Sudbury – 7:05pm
Saginaw at Guelph – 7:30pm
Sarnia at Kitchener – 7:30pm
Erie at London – 7:30pm

Saturday February 10:
Oshawa at Ottawa – 2:00pm
Kitchener at Hamilton – 4:00pm
Sault Ste. Marie at Erie – 7:00pm
Sudbury at London – 7:00pm
North Bay at Peterborough – 7:05pm
Windsor at Saginaw – 7:05pm
Niagara at Sarnia – 7:05pm
Flint at Barrie – 7:30pm
Red Deer at Edmonton – 3:30pm (Sportsnet CHL Saturday Showcase)

Sunday February 11:
Mississauga at Erie – 2:00pm
London at Guelph – 2:00pm
Sault Ste. Marie at Hamilton – 2:00pm
North Bay at Kingston – 2:00pm
Owen Sound at Ottawa – 2:00pm
Sudbury at Sarnia – 2:05pm
Niagara at Windsor – 2:05pm
Peterborough at Oshawa – 6:05pm

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

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