OHL This Week: February 23 to 26, 2017
Get caught up on the latest news and notes from around the Ontario Hockey League and a preview of what’s in store for the weekend.
PROPHET, ADDISON AND SCHMALZ LEAD THE WAY TO 300:
It takes playing in parts of five seasons of OHL hockey to reach the 300-game mark; five years that are some of the most formative in the lives of the young men throughout the league who continually strive for excellence on the ice and in the classroom. Three fifth-year veterans in Windsor Spitfires winger Jeremiah Addison, Owen Sound Attack forward Matt Schmalz and Peterborough Petes defenceman Brandon Prophet are coming up on the 300-mark and each took some time to reflect on the path that has led them to this point in their careers. Read more
LOTS OF ACTION ON BUSY FAMILY DAY IN THE OHL:
Sixteen OHL teams were in action on a busy Family Day around the league. Erie Otters forward Alex DeBrincat made OHL history and the Hamilton Bulldogs won their fifth straight game. Get the scoop on those stories and more with a full run down of Family Day action. Read more
OTTERS, KNIGHTS, GREYHOUNDS, ATTACK IN CHL TOP 10 RANKINGS:
Entering the weekend on a franchise record 14-game winning streak, the Erie Otters take over top spot in the 22nd edition of the CHL Top 10 Rankings. The London Knights (4), Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds (5) and Owen Sound Attack (8) are also in the rankings while the Windsor Spitfires earn honourable mention as we take another step toward the 2017 OHL Playoffs. Read more
OTTERS’ JOSEPH MURDACA NAMED PIONEER ENERGY OHL PLAYER OF THE WEEK:
Joseph Murdaca of the Erie Otters is the Pioneer Energy OHL Player of the Week for the week ending February 19 after posting a 3-0-0-0 record including a shutout victory with a goals-against-average of 0.67 and save percentage of .964. Murdaca was near perfect last week turning aside 54 of 56 shots faced backstopping Erie to a trio of victories as the Otters established a new franchise record for consecutive wins. Read more
OTTERS’ ALEX DeBRINCAT RECORDS THIRD STRAIGHT 50-GOAL SEASON:
Chicago Blackhawks prospect Alex DeBrincat of the Erie Otters has cemented his status as an elite goal scorer in the annals of OHL history. The 19-year-old winger scored twice and added an assist on Monday, joining Dale McCourt (HAM/STC, 1974-77) as the second player in OHL history and first in 40 years to put up three straight 50-goal seasons as the Otters edged the Oshawa Generals 4-3 on the road for their 14th straight win. Read more
ATTACK’S KEVIN HANCOCK HEADLINES OHL PLAYS OF THE WEEK:
The 21st edition of the OHL Plays of the Week for the 2016-17 season feature another exciting countdown of the league’s Top-5 goals scored during the week ending February 19. This week’s highlights include a collaborative effort between Kyle MacLean and Jeremy Brodeur as the Oshawa Generals prevail in a 14-round shootout, Nicholas Caamano of the Flint Firebirds with a tremendous individual effort, DJ Busdeker of the Saginaw Spirit goes behind-the-back to set up Brady Gilmour, Riley Damiani flashes some skill for the Kitchener Rangers, and Kevin Hancock sauces a pass to Owen Sound Attack teammate Nick Suzuki for the finish. Watch
Hancock 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.
13 DIFFERENT GOALTENDERS FEATURED IN JANES SAVES OF THE WEEK:
The 21st edition of #JanesSaves features a Family Day celebration with 13 different goaltenders protecting the house. Appearing in the highlights this week are Aidan Hughes and Justin Fazio of the Sarnia Sting, Dawson Carty of the Hamilton Bulldogs, Scott Smith of the Peterborough Petes, Joseph Raaymakers of the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds, Liam Herbst and Anthony Popovich of the Guelph Storm, Michael DiPietro of the Windsor Spitfires, Matthew Mancina of the Mississauga Steelheads, Michael McNiven of the Owen Sound Attack, Jordan Kooy of the London Knights, Jeremy Brodeur of the Oshawa Generals, and Jeremy Helvig of the Kingston Frontenacs. Watch
67’s’ HOELSCHER SCORES FIRST GOAL ON OHL MILESTONE MOMENTS:
The 21st week of the 2016-17 Ontario Hockey League season ending February 19 featured just one milestone moment but it was a nice one. 17-year-old rookie Mitchell Hoelscher of the Ottawa 67’s finished a three-way passing play on the rush from Ben Evans and Noel Hoefenmayer for his first career OHL goal. Watch
OHL CUP POWERED BY UNDER ARMOUR MINOR MIDGET TOP-10 RANKINGS – WEEK 10:
The London Jr. Knights have secured a spot at the 2017 OHL Cup powered by Under Armour and continue to hold down top spot in the rankings. The GTHL’s Toronto Jr. Canadiens make their season debut inside the top-10 while the Vaughan Kings shoot up from 10th to seventh on the list. Read more
With the 2017 OHL Cup Powered by Under Armour fast approaching, learn more about the OMHA’s ETA Division that sees the Whitby Wildcats and Quinte Red Devils earning spots in the 2017 OMHA Championship coming up on the weekend of March 4th and 5th. Read more
CMHA TALK TODAY AWARENESS CAMPAIGN COMES TO FOUR RINKS THIS WEEK:
Four different OHL member teams host CMHA Talk Today Nights in their respective facilities this week as the OHL continues his league-wide mental health awareness campaign throughout the month of February. Presented by Teachers Life, Talk Today awareness games feature a CMHA kiosk where fans can get more information about Talk Today and the programs and services offered by the Branches. There will also be public address and video announcements in venue addressing the importance of positive mental health, along with mental health awareness messaging delivered through social media. CMHA Talk Today Nights will take place in Peterborough on Thursday, Flint on Friday along with Mississauga and Ottawa on Sunday. Read more
SPITFIRES’ MICHAEL DiPIETRO FEATURED ON JUNIOR HOCKEY MAGAZINE:
2017 NHL Draft prospect Michael DiPietro of the Mastercard Memorial Cup host Windsor Spitfires joins Gino Reda on this week’s edition of Mastercard Junior Hockey Magazine. DiPietro, who competed in the 2017 Sherwin-Williams CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game, recently became the Spitfires’ franchise leader in shutouts. Listen
Country Night in Windsor on Thursday: Fans can win two free tickets to see Eric Church in concert when they attend Country Night with the Windsor Spitfires on Thursday. To win, fans must wear their finest country outfit to the game, visit Section 109 on the concourse and fill out a ballot and compete in the country karaoke contest! For full details, visit windsorspitfires.com.
Storm host Pevs Protects Night on Friday: The Guelph Storm will be holding their 2nd annual Pevs Protects Night on Friday at home to the Erie Otters. Pevs Protects was developed by former National Hockey League forward and Guelph, Ontario 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. The first 1000 fans into the Sleeman Centre on Friday will receive a free Pevs Protects t-shirt. Visit guelphstorm.com for more details.
Holy Cross Children’s Services Night, Faith Night in Saginaw: The Saginaw Spirit host the North Bay Battalion on Saturday for Holy Cross Children’s Services Night and the rival Flint Firebirds for Faith Night on Sunday for Faith Night. Visit saginawspirit.com for more information on an eventful weekend ahead.
Attack raise over $21,000 on Heart Bears & Hockey Sticks Night: The Owen Sound Attack has raised over $21,000 to be donated to the Owen Sound Cardiac Rehabilitation Program in their 2nd annual Heart Beats & Hockey Sticks Night. This brings their two-year donation total up to $62,000. For more information, please visit attackhockey.com.
IceDogs raise $12,350 from Pink in the Rink Jersey Auction: The Niagara IceDogs raised a total of $12,350 to be donated to the Canadian Cancer Society in their Pink in the Rink Jersey Auction on January 13th. The 8th annual event added to the total of over $100,000 raised by the team since 2010. Rookie Akil Thomas’ jersey raised the most money, being auctioned off for a total of $2,000. Read more
Renaud remembered as beloved friend and teammate: With the nine-year anniversary of the passing of Windsor Spitfires captain Mickey Renaud this past week, memories and messages of support flooded the web and social media. Aaron Vickers of CalgaryFlames.com penned a touching tribute to the former Calgary prospect, one that includes comments from former coaches and teammates reflecting on the life and career of a player gone too soon. Read the full story at nhl.com.
Visentin voted best goaltender in IceDogs history: Mark Visentin, who played four seasons with the IceDogs from 2008-2012, has been voted the best goaltender in Niagara IceDogs history. The 2012 OHL Goaltender of the Year recorded a single season league record 10 shutouts as a 19-year-old after being chosen in the first round (27th overall) by the Arizona Coyotes in 2010. Over 166 career regular season games, Visentin went 89-55-4-12 with a 2.75 goals-against average and a .911 save percentage with 14 shutouts. The Waterdown, Ont. native has gone on to play much of his pro hockey in the American Hockey League and is currently with the ECHL’s Cincinnati Cyclones. For the full story, visit niagaraicedogs.net.
Kadri, McDavid named NHL Stars of the Week: London Knights graduate Nazem Kadri and Erie Otters graduate Connor McDavid have been named two of the NHL’s Three Stars of the Week. Second star Kadri had four goals and two assists over four games with the Toronto Maple Leafs while third star McDavid had two goals and four assists in three games with the Edmonton Oilers. Kadri has 24 goals, 22 assists and 46 points in 58 games with the Leafs this season. The 26-year-old London, Ont. native is in the midst of his seventh NHL campaign. McDavid leads the NHL in points with 67 including 20 goals and 47 assists in 59 games. The former CHL Player of the Year is in his second NHL season.
Cianfrone named AUS Male Athlete of the Week: Owen Sound Attack graduate Bryson Cianfrone of the St. Francis Xavier X-Men has been named the AUS Male Athlete of the Week after registering two goals and two assists including an overtime winner in a pair of playoff victories against Moncton. Cianfrone and the X-Men have advanced to take on Acadia in a best-of-five AUS Semi-Final Series. The 22-year-old Cianfrone recorded 146 points over 186 career OHL games between Owen Sound and Mississauga between 2013-16. The Stoney Creek, Ont. native finished his OHL career last season with 50 points (17-33–50) over 58 games in Owen Sound.
OUA Men’s Hockey Playoffs underway: The quest for the 106th Queen’s Cup is underway as OUA Men’s Hockey Playoffs are in full swing. Windsor, Ryerson, York, Queen’s, Guelph, McGill and UQTR have all advanced to the second round that begins Wednesday. Saginaw Spirit graduate Michael Fine of Ryerson led all players in first round scoring with two goals, three assists and five points in three contests. For full details visit oua.ca.
Peterborough Petes (34-17-2-3, T-1st East) at Mississauga Steelheads (25-19-6-7, 1st Central)
Friday February 24th at Mississauga
The Peterborough Petes and Mississauga Steelheads clash in a matchup of Eastern Conference contenders on Friday. The Petes are locked in a heated battle with the Oshawa Generals for first place in the East Division while the Steelheads come off a 5-3 win over the red hot Owen Sound Attack on Family Day. The Steelheads hold a comfortable 12 point lead atop the Central Division and have recorded at least a point in eight of their last 10 games. The Petes have won all three encounters between the two clubs this season.
Hamilton Bulldogs (28-23-3-2, T-3rd East) vs. Kingston Frontenacs (26-21-5-4, T-3rd East)
Sunday February 26th at Kingston
The Hamilton Bulldogs and Kingston Frontenacs have been waging a fierce battle for home ice advantage in the Eastern Conference Playoffs in recent weeks and Sunday’s clash presents an opportunity for one team to create some breathing room. Hamilton has won three of the four games between the two clubs this season with two more remaining on the schedule. The Bulldogs have been heating up of late, entering the weekend on a five game winning streak as centreman Brandon Saigeon has seven goals in his last four games. The Frontenacs and Bulldogs are currently tied for fourth place with 61 points each entering Sunday’s important matchup.
Thursday February 23:
Owen Sound at Kitchener – 7:00pm
Kingston at Peterborough – 7:05pm
Saginaw at Windsor – 7:05pm
Hamilton at Barrie – 7:30pm
Friday February 24:
North Bay at Flint – 7:00pm
Niagara at Kingston – 7:00pm
Peterborough at Mississauga – 7:00pm
Oshawa at Ottawa – 7:00pm
Barrie at Sudbury – 7:00pm
Sarnia at Sault Ste. Marie – 7:07pm
Erie at Guelph – 7:30pm
Windsor at London – 7:30pm
Saturday February 25:
Hamilton at Ottawa – 2:00pm
Sarnia at Flint – 7:00pm
Mississauga at Sudbury – 7:00pm
Kitchener at Oshawa – 7:05pm
North Bay at Saginaw – 7:05pm
Erie at Barrie – 7:30pm
London at Owen Sound – 7:30pm
Sunday February 26:
London at Guelph – 2:00pm
Hamilton at Kingston – 2:00pm
Sudbury at Mississauga – 2:00pm – CHL on Sportsnet (Sportsnet 360)
Niagara at Ottawa – 2:00pm
Erie at Owen Sound – 2:00pm
Sarnia at Windsor – 2:05pm
North Bay at Sault Ste. Marie – 2:07pm
Flint at Saginaw – 4:00pm
Peterborough at Oshawa – 6:05pm
Be sure to catch all of this weekend’s action at ohllive.com.