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OHL This Week: February 14 to 17, 2019

 

Love is in the air for a Valentine’s Day edition of the OHL This Week.

67’s AND KNIGHTS INCLUDED IN KIA CHL TOP 10 RANKINGS:
Winners in 10 of their last 11, the Ottawa 67’s are on the rise to third in the 21st edition of the Kia CHL Top 10 Rankings while the London Knights slip to fifth. The Soo Greyhounds and Sudbury Wolves both received honourable mentions. Full Rankings

67’s FEATURED IN LATEST KIA CHL TOP 10 SPOTLIGHT:
Well on their way to their first East Division title since 2012, the Ottawa 67’s are the OHL’s first 40-game winners having vanquished 11 of their last 12 opponents. With two solid goaltenders, great offensive chemistry and a blue line developed from within, Ottawa has swiftly ascended the Eastern Conference standings. Read more

67’s, KNIGHTS AND GREYHOUNDS LEAD THE CHARGE INTO OHL PLAYOFFS:
We haven’t yet hit the midway point of February but the OHL’s cream of the crop has begun to secure spots in the 2019 OHL Playoffs. The Ottawa 67’s, London Knights and Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds all etched an ‘X’ next to their names in the league standings as the first three teams to emerge as OHL Championship contenders when the league’s annual Playoff showdown begins in mid-March. Read more

DIPIETRO’S NHL DEBUT A ‘DREAM COME TRUE’:
Ottawa 67’s netminder Michael DiPietro made his NHL debut with the Vancouver Canucks on Monday, becoming the first OHL goaltender in over 20 years to do so mid-season. The 19-year-old was thrust into action after scheduled starter Jacob Markstrom was held back for precautionary reasons due to a lower body injury. DiPietro’s first test came against the Pacific Division leading San Jose Sharks who proceeded to make quick work of the Canucks in a 7-2 outcome. Read more

STEELHEADS’ INGHAM NAMED OHL ‘ON THE RUN’ PLAYER OF THE WEEK:
Los Angeles Kings prospect Jacob Ingham of the Mississauga Steelheads is the OHL ‘On the Run’ Player of the Week for the regular season week ending February 10 posting a 3-0-0-0 record with a goals-against-average of 1.26 and save percentage of .956. Ingham turned aside 86 shots in 190 minutes of action and was a perfect 6-for-6 in shootout attempts last week between-the-pipes for the Steelheads who improve their Eastern Conference record to 26-21-5-1 and stand alone in fifth place. Read more

COLTS’ EDMONDS REPRESENTS OHL IN CIBC SHOWDOWN:
Barrie Colts goaltender Kai Edmonds is this week’s OHL representative in CIBC Showdown, a weekly feature that allows fans across the CHL to vote for their favourite play across all three leagues. Watch & Vote

WAWANESA OHL PLAYS OF THE WEEK:
The 20th edition of the Wawanesa OHL Plays of the Week for the 2018-19 season feature a collection of the league’s Top-5 goals during the week ending February 10. This week’s highlights include shorthanded success for the Erie Otters as Chad Yetman sets up Gera Poddubnyi, a breakaway finish by Morgan Frost of the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds, a stretch pass by Kade Landry of the Hamilton Bulldogs to a streaking Jan Jenik, some dancing around the defence by Owen Robinson of the Sudbury Wolves, plus an end-to-end individual effort by Damien Giroux of the Saginaw Spirit. Watch

BUZZ BETWEEN THE PIPES ON LATEST EDITION OF JANES SAVES OF THE WEEK:
There’s a buzz between-the-pipes in the latest OHL edition of #JanesSaves. Featured this week is Ethan Langevin of the Sarnia Sting, Zachary Roy of the Hamilton Bulldogs, Kyle Keyser and Aidan Hughes of the Oshawa Generals, Lucas Pfeil of the Kitchener Rangers, Jacob Ingham of the Mississauga Steelheads, Matthew Villalta of the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds, Emanuel Vella of the Flint Firebirds, Cedrick Andree of the Ottawa 67’s, and Kai Edmonds of the Barrie Colts. Watch

DAWS’ FIRST SHUTOUT HEADLINES OHL MILESTONE MOMENTS: 
Guelph Storm netminder Nico Daws earned his first OHL shutout last weekend, the latest of a season full of Milestone Moments from across the league. Watch

OHL CUP POWERED BY UNDER ARMOUR TOP 10 RANKINGS – WEEK 13:
The Toronto Red Wings defeated the Mississauga Rebels 4-3 in Game 7 of their GTHL Quarter-Final Series to claim the fourth spot in the 2019 OHL Cup Powered by Under Armour. The Don Mills Flyers lead the rankings for a 13th straight week while the OMHA’s York-Simcoe Express and North Central Predators both rise one spot on this week’s list after winning their first round playoff series. The Quinte Red Devils also pushed through to the second round of the ETA Playoffs and have turned heads, earning an honourable mention after taking a 4-2 second round series lead in points over North Central. Full Rankings

GENERALS’ SALINITRI PLAYS 300TH OHL GAME:
Oshawa Generals forward Anthony Salinitri scored his 40th goal of the season in his 300th career regular season game on Wednesday, guiding his club was the Peterborough Petes 6-3 on the road. Salinitri has 46 points (26-20–46) over 30 games since joining the Generals and a total of 74 points (40-34–74) through 55 games in this, his fifth OHL season. The 20-year-old from Windsor, Ont. has a total of 239 points (120-119–239) including 20 power play goals and 14 shorthanded markers over his OHL regular season tenure. A sixth round pick of the Philadelphia Flyers in 2016, Salinitri attended rookie camp with the Vancouver Canucks last September.

ICEDOGS NAME BOB JANOSZ GOALTENDING COACH:
The Niagara IceDogs have named Bob Janosz as the team’s goaltending coach. A goaltending coach for over 20 years, Janosz has worked with the Buffalo Sabres, Florida Panthers and their AHL affiliates, as well as several current NHL goaltenders including Linus Ullmark, Craig Anderson and Jacob Markstrom. He also spent nearly 10 years scouting for USA Hockey. Most recently, he was the goaltending coach at Buffalo State University. He currently owns and operates the Janosz School of Goaltending. Read more

FIVE OHL PLAYERS INCLUDED IN SPORTSNET’S NHL DRAFT RANKINGS FOR FEBRUARY:
Sportsnet’s Sam Cosentino has assembled his monthly top-31 for the 2019 NHL Draft, a list that includes five OHL players led by Hamilton Bulldogs winger Arthur Kaliyev. Mississauga Steelheads defenceman Thomas Harley, Barrie Colts forward Ryan Suzuki, London Knights forward Connor McMichael and Niagara IceDogs forward Philip Tomasino are also included. For the full list visit sportsnet.ca.

 

COMMUNITY CORNER:

CMHA visits four OHL cities this week: February is Mental Health Awareness Month in the OHL and our friends at the Canadian Mental Health Association will be paying a visit to all 20 cities. The awareness campaign is part of the ongoing commitment by OHL clubs, local CMHA Ontario Branches, and presenting sponsor Teachers Life, to implement Talk Today.  Launched in October 2014, Talk Today provides mental health support to players and raises awareness about mental health and suicide throughout OHL communities. This week’s tour stops include London, Flint, Niagara and Ottawa. Full Schedule

Ratcliffe, Schnarr, Hawel and Merkley donate to McFadden’s Movement: A group of Guelph Storm teammates and a former Storm defenceman recently contributed to the cause of 2018 OHL Humanitarian of the Year Garrett McFadden as he continues to raise mental health awareness through “McFadden’s Movement.” Isaac Ratcliffe, Nate Schnarr and Liam Hawel banded together through a #BellLetsTalk fundraiser to donate a total of $1922 to McFadden’s cause. Peterborough Petes blueliner Ryan Merkley pitched in with an additional $650. For more information on McFadden’s Movement, visit mcfaddensmovement.com.

Storm supports local Legion branches through Remembrance Day jersey auction: The Guelph Storm has donated over $7,500 to local Royal Canadian Legion branches through their Remembrance Day jersey auction. The one-of-a-kind jerseys commemorated Canadian veterans, with specific reference to Guelph’s own proud history honouring Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae.  Always remembered in his hometown of Guelph with the conversion of his family home into the McCrae House Museum, the Guelph Storm are honoured to recognize the local, national and worldwide legacy of Lieutenant John McCrae exactly one hundred years after his passing. Read more

Wolves suit up in Spiderman threads for Superhero Night on Friday: The Sudbury Wolves will don special Spiderman themed jerseys for Superhero Night when the Soo Greyhounds come to town on Friday. The club’s 4th annual Superhero Game is held in support of local children’s charities. Proceeds from an online jersey auction will be donated to the Northern Ontario Families of Children with Cancer (NOFCC). For more details visit sudburywolves.com.

Storm hosts Pevs Protects Game on Friday: The Guelph Storm will host their 4th annual Pevs Protects Game on Friday when they play host to the Kitchener Rangers. The first 1,000 fans in attendance will receive a special Pevs Protects T-shirt. PEVS PROTECTS was developed by former National Hockey League forward and Guelph native Rich Peverley, and his family, in partnership with the Heart and Stroke foundation. The partnership aims to raise awareness and funds for AED purchases and CPR training right here in the City of Guelph. For full details visit guelphstorm.com.

Firebirds host Flint Tropics Night on Saturday: It’s a night everyone looks forward to. The Flint Firebirds will be getting tropical on Saturday when the Owen Sound Attack visit for Flint Tropics Night. The 4th annual Tropics Night features specially themed jerseys that will be auctioned off and proceeds donated to the Flint Firebirds Charitable Foundation which benefits local youth organizations throughout Flint and Genesee County. For a full rundown of Saturday’s event visit flintfirebirds.com.

Bulldogs host Pride Night on Saturday: The Hamilton Bulldogs host their 2nd annual Pride Night on Saturday when they take on the Peterborough Petes. The event is held in support of the You Can Play initiative that supports equality for all in sports including LGBTQ athletes, coaches and fans.

Storm to raise funds and awareness for individuals with an intellectual disability: The Guelph Storm, Law Enforcement Torch Run, Special Olympics Ontario and the Guelph Police are teaming up to raise awareness about the importance of individuals with an intellectual disability at Monday’s Storm game against the Flint Firebirds. The awareness campaign is part of the ongoing commitment by the Ontario Hockey League, Guelph Storm and LETR/Special Olympics Ontario to raise awareness and funds for Special Olympics Ontario. For full details visit guelphstorm.com.

Sting charity Esports jerseys up for auction: The Sarnia Sting are currently auctioning their game worn ESports jerseys that they suited up in Sunday afternoon. Fans can get a hold of a unique piece of Sting history and support the Sarnia Sting Group of Charities in the process. To east your bid visit CHL Auctions.

 

ALUMNI NOTES:

Thornton climbing NHL all-time lists: Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds graduate Joe Thornton is on the rise in the NHL record books. Thornton reached a pair of milestones in Monday’s 7-2 win over the Vancouver Canucks, surpassing Gordie Howe for ninth on the NHL’s all-time assists list with 1,050 while also tying Teemu Selanne for 15th on the league’s all-time points list. He also passed Shane Doan and Johnny Bucyk for 15th on the league’s all-time games played list, suiting up in his 1,541st career game. The 39-year-old St. Thomas, Ont. native has 30 points (10-20–30) over 48 games this season. Thornton has been in the NHL since 1997 after he was the first overall pick of the 1997 NHL Draft by the Boston Bruins. Thornton is a former CHL Rookie of the Year and World Junior gold medalist who played two seasons with the Greyhounds from 1995-97.

Binnington, Strome named NHL Stars of the Week: A pair of OHL graduates in Jordan Binnington and Dylan Strome have been named to the NHL’s Three Stars of the Week. Owen Sound Attack grad Binnington was named first star and went 3-0-0 with a 1.31 goals-against average, .954 save percentage and one shutout to lift the Blues (27-22-5, 59 points) to their sixth straight win. Erie Otters alumni Strome was named third star collecting 2-5—7 in three contests to help the Blackhawks (23-24-9, 55 points) extend their overall winning streak to seven games and move within four points of the final playoff spot in the Western Conference. Binnington is a former OHL Goaltender of the Year who won an OHL Championship with Owen Sound in 2011. Strome is the leading scorer in Erie Otters club history, guiding them to an OHL Championship in 2017.

Ellis records 200th NHL point: Windsor Spitfires graduate Ryan Ellis recorded his 200th career NHL point in Sunday’s 5-4 loss to the St. Louis Blues. The Nashville Predators defender has 28 points (6-22–28) over 58 games this season. A 28-year-old from Freelton, Ont., Ellis enjoyed a prolific OHL career with the Windsor Spitfires from 2007-11, guiding the franchise to a pair of Memorial Cup titles while being named a two-time OHL Defenceman of the Year. Over his four OHL seasons, Ellis recorded 313 points (73-240–313) in 226 regular season games. He was a first round pick of the Predators back in 2009.

Labanc records first NHL hat-trick: Barrie Colts graduate Kevin Labanc netted his first career NHL hat-trick on Saturday, powering the San Jose Sharks past the Edmonton Oilers 5-2. The 23-year-old from Staten Island, NY has 37 points (10-27–37) over 57 games in this, his third NHL season. Labanc is a former back-to-back 100-point scorer and OHL Overage Player of the Year, racking up 269 points (81-188–269) over 198 career regular season games with the Colts from 2013-16. He was San Jose’s sixth round pick in 2014.

Mangiapane scores first NHL goal: Another Barrie Colts grad and back-to-back 100-point scorer, Andrew Mangiapane scored his first NHL goal on Saturday as the Calgary Flames 4-3 in a shootout to the Vancouver Canucks. Mangiapane has three points (1-2–3) over 17 NHL games this season while also registering 17 points (9-8–17) over 15 games with the AHL’s Stockton Heat. The Bolton, Ont. native played three seasons in Barrie after making the team as an undrafted free agent, recording 261 points (118-143–261) over 195 career regular season games from 2013-16. Mangiapane was Calgary’s sixth round pick in 2015.

Wilson scores first NHL goal: It was a long time coming, but Owen Sound Attack graduate Garrett Wilson scored his first NHL goal on Saturday as the Pittsburgh Penguins fell to the Tampa Bay Lightning 5-4. The 27-year-old from Elmvale, Ont. made his NHL debut in 2013-14 and managed to score in his 61st career regular season game. Wilson has six points (1-5–6) over 27 games with Pittsburgh this season while serving as captain of the AHL’s Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins where he has 18 points (8-10–18) in as many games. Wilson has played in 362 career AHL regular season games, putting up 185 points (84-101–185) in the process. Florida’s fourth round pick in 2009, Wilson led the Attack to an OHL Championship in 2011 as a First Team All-Star. He recorded 184 points (94-90–184) over 191 OHL regular season games between Windsor and Owen Sound from 2007-11.

Cernak sores first NHL goal: Erie Otters graduate Erik Cernak scored his first NHL goal on Feb. 2nd and followed it with another this past Saturday. The 21-year-old Slovakia blueliner is off to a great start in the NHL, recording nine points (2-7–9) and a plus-14 rating over 34 games with the Tampa Bay Lightning. An OHL champion with Erie in 2017, Cernak played two seasons in the Flagship City, recording 36 points (7-29–36) over 91 regular season games. He was originally Los Angeles’ second round pick in 2015 before being dealt to Tampa Bay in a trade that included goaltender Ben Bishop in 2017.

Siebenaler dealt to Penguins: Niagara IceDogs graduate Blake Siebenaler has been traded from the Columbus Blue Jackets to the Pittsburgh Penguins. The 22-year-old from Fort Wayne, Ind. appeared in 17 games with the AHL’s Cleveland Monsters this season, recording two points (1-1–2). Siebenaler is in his third season with Columbus’ AHL affiliate and was acquired for a conditional 2019 draft pick. The right-shot defenceman played three seasons in Niagara, recording 96 points (25-74–96) over 199 regular season games. He was Columbus’ third round pick in 2014.

Boudreau coaches 900th NHL game: OHL graduate Bruce Boudreau coached his 900th career NHL contest on Saturday. The Minnesota Wild bench boss, Boudreau leads active coaches in points and winning percentage. He is the ninth active NHL coach and the 35th all-time to reach the 900-game mark on his career. A former back-to-back 100-point scorer who won a pair of Memorial Cup titles with the Toronto Marlboros, Boudreau still holds the Memorial Cup single game record with five goals set in 1975. The 64-year-old has been a head coach in the NHL since 2008, serving stints in Washington, Anaheim and Minnesota.

Eakins earns 300th AHL victory: Peterborough Petes graduate Dallas Eakins earned his 300th career AHL coaching victory on Friday. Eakins is in his fourth season behind the bench with the AHL’s San Diego Gulls. He also served as head coach of the Toronto Marlies from 2009-13 before a year-and-a-half as head coach of the NHL’s Edmonton Oilers. Eakins played a lengthy minor pro career that included 120 NHL contests after four years in Peterborough from 1984-88. The former Petes captain recorded 82 points (20-62–82) over 226 career OHL games.

CHL Leaders – Mike Martone: Another former Peterborough Petes captain, Mike Martone shares his journey in the latest edition of CHL Leaders. Martone is now a Grade 8 teacher in his hometown of Sault Ste. Marie, Ont. The former Buffalo Sabres draft pick and OHL Humanitarian of the Year spent four seasons in Peterborough from 1994-98, recording 79 points (20-59–79) over 224 regular season matchups. Read more

CHL Leaders – Cassidy Preston: Former Toronto St. Michael’s Majors forward Cassidy Preston has stayed involved in hockey as a dedicated sports psychologist. Preston first earned an undergraduate degree in Kinesiology from York University, then added his master’s in Behavioural Exercise Sciences, Sports Psychology, and Coaching from the University of Toronto. When not hitting the books, the North Bay, Ont., native also continued his involvement in hockey as he suited up for five seasons of varsity with Ontario University Athletics. Preston played parts of three seasons in Toronto, recording 27 points (10-17–27) over 115 regular season games. Read more

 

KEY MATCHUPS:

Peterborough Petes (25-24-1-2) vs. Hamilton Bulldogs (24-25-3-2)
Saturday February 16th at Hamilton

The Peterborough Petes and Hamilton Bulldogs enter the weekend tied for sixth place in the Eastern Conference, each with 53 points on the season.

The Petes hit the ice with two games in hand on the Bulldogs, taking on the Barrie Colts on Thursday before the Bulldogs come to town on Saturday night. The Petes have had consistent recent contributions from midseason acquisition Ryan Merkley who has 20 points (5-15–20) in as many games in maroon.

Bulldogs captain Matthew Strome is riding a 10-game point streak while top 2019 NHL Draft prospect Arthur Kaliyev leads the team with 42 goals and 83 points.

The Petes and Bulldogs wrap up their season series on Saturday. Hamilton won the first three meetings of the season before the Petes responded with three straight victories of their own.

Sudbury Wolves (33-16-2-1) vs. Niagara IceDogs (32-14-7-0)
Sunday February 17th at Niagara

It’s a Central Division showdown on Sunday in Niagara as the IceDogs look to reverse a recent spell of losses at home to a hungry Sudbury Wolves club.

The Dogs had a tough weekend on the road in Sault Ste. Marie and Sudbury last weekend and look to avenge Sunday’s 3-2 loss to the Wolves. Dallas Stars prospect Jason Robertson enters the weekend 12 points shy of 300 on his OHL career, leading the IceDogs with 88 points (39-49–88) on the season. Ben Jones and Kirill Maksimov join Robertson as Niagara’s three 30-goal scorers on the campaign.

Things have come together nicely for Sudbury as the Wolves ride an eight-game winning streak into Friday. Buffalo Sabres prospect Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen has been among the OHL’s top goaltenders, leading the league with five shutouts. Deadline addition Adam Ruzicka is on a current eight game point streak and has 16 points (9-7–16) over 14 games in a Wolves uniform.

Sudbury has won three of four against Niagara this season with two meetings left on the regular season schedule.

 

SCHEDULE:

Thursday February 14th:
Sault Ste. Marie at North Bay – 7:00pm
Barrie at Peterborough – 7:05pm
Sarnia at Windsor – 7:05pm

Friday February 15th:
Oshawa at Flint – 7:00pm
Mississauga at Kingston – 7:00pm
Hamilton at Ottawa – 7:00pm
Owen Sound at Saginaw – 7:05pm
Windsor at Sarnia – 7:05pm
Sault Ste. Marie at Sudbury – 7:05pm
Kitchener at Guelph – 7:30pm
Erie at London – 7:30pm

Saturday February 16th:
Niagara at Erie – 7:00pm
Owen Sound at Flint – 7:00pm
Peterborough at Hamilton – 7:00pm
Oshawa at Saginaw – 7:05pm
Kingston at Barrie – 7:30pm

Sunday February 17th:
Sudbury at Niagara – 2:00pm
Mississauga at North Bay – 2:00pm
Kitchener at Ottawa – 2:00pm
London at Erie – 4:00pm

Monday February 18th:
Flint at Guelph – 2:00pm
Barrie at Hamilton – 2:00pm
Kitchener at Kingston – 2:00pm
London at Mississauga – 2:00pm
North Bay at Ottawa – 2:00pm
Sudbury at Oshawa – 2:05pm
Niagara at Peterborough – 2:05pm
Saginaw at Sarnia – 2:05pm
Owen Sound at Windsor – 2:05pm

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