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OHL This Week: Jan. 4 to 7, 2018

 

A new year is upon us as OHL clubs go full speed into the second half of the 2017-18 season. Here’s a look at what’s happening around the OHL.

OHL STARS TURNING HEADS FOR CANADA ON WORLD STAGE:

The world got to see Taylor Raddysh (Erie Otters) score four goals in a single game last year while Michael McLeod (Mississauga Steelheads) provided his usual steady presence up front, and now six other OHL competitors are making their World Junior debuts in Buffalo, showing the world what they’re made of. Read more

Canada faces the Czech Republic in a Semi-Final matchup on Thursday. Here’s a look at action from the tournament thus far. Day 1Day 2, Day 3, Day 4, Day 5, Day 6, Quarter-Finals.

KEY DATES TO REMEMBER ON OHL CALENDAR:

Rosters are taking shape for the second half approaching finalization for next week with the league’s overage trade deadline set for Tuesday January 9, 2018, at noon, and the final trade deadline set for Wednesday January 10, 2018, at noon.

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

Winners of 23 consecutive games, the Soo Greyhounds remain the top-ranked team in the Canadian Hockey League this week while Hamilton Bulldogs come in at number six, the Kitchener Rangers return to the list at number seven and the Sarnia Sting fall to number nine. Full Rankings

The red hot Kitchener Rangers are also featured in this week’s CHL Top 10 Spotlight. Read more

OHL ACADEMIC PLAYERS OF THE MONTH FOR DECEMBER:

The OHL continued to recognize the success of student athletes and their achievements in the classroom with December’s honourees including Jake Murray of the Hamilton Bulldogs, Kai Edmonds of the Barrie Colts, Alex Gritz of the Erie Otters and Ty Dellandrea of the Flint Firebirds. More

OHL TOP PERFORMERS OF THE MONTH FOR DECEMBER:

Top OHL Performers of the Month for regular season games played in December 2017, include the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds trio of Morgan Frost, Rasmus Sandin and Matthew Villalta along with London Knights defenceman Evan Bouchard. More

ICEDOGS’ BEN JONES NAMED OHL ‘ON THE RUN’ PLAYER OF THE WEEK:

Vegas Golden Knights prospect Ben Jones of the Niagara IceDogs is the OHL ‘On the Run’ Player of the Week for the week ending December 31 scoring twice with five assists for seven points in three games with a plus-minus rating of plus-3. Jones helped the IceDogs close 2017 with three-straight victories following the holiday break improving their Central Division record to 19-11-3-2 which ranks third overall in the Eastern Conference. Read more

WAWANESA OHL PLAYS OF THE WEEK:

The 14th 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 31. This week’s highlights start with some pretty three-way passing by the London Knights led by Shane Collins to Tyler Rollo and ending with Dalton Duhart’s first career goal.  Nikita Korostelev of the Peterborough Petes scores a backhand beauty, Niagara IceDogs rookie Philip Tomasino takes a super stretch pass from Kyle Langdon for a breakaway goal, and Cole Coskey of the Saginaw Spirit dangles at the blue line before walking in alone.  Arthur Kaliyev of the Hamilton Bulldogs headlines 2017’s final segment with a play that shows why he leads all rookies with 15 goals. Watch

VOTE ARTHUR KALIYEV IN #CIBCSHOWDOWN:

Hamilton Bulldogs forward Arthur Kaliyev 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 ENDS IN DENIAL FOR OHL SHOOTERS ON JANES SAVES OF THE WEEK:

December ended in denial as OHL goaltenders returned from the holiday break to shut the door to end 2017. This week features Daniel Murphy of the Erie Otters, Matthew Villalta of the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds, Jeremy Helvig of the Kingston Frontenacs, Leo Lazarev of the Barrie Colts, Michael DiPietro of the Windsor Spitfires, Kyle Keyser of the Oshawa Generals, Cedrick Andree of the Ottawa 67’s, Mario Culina of the Sudbury Wolves, Stephen Dhillon of the Niagara IceDogs, Christian Propp of the North Bay Battalion, and Jordan Kooy of the London Knights. Watch

EIGHT PLAYERS FEATURED IN OHL MILESTONE MOMENTS THIS WEEK:

Goaltenders Luke Richardson (Kitchener Rangers) and Kyle Keyser (Oshawa Generals) locked down their first OHL shutout while Emmett Sproule (Erie Otters), Dalton Duhart (London Knights), Jordan Frasca (Windsor Spitfires), Billy Constantinou (Niagara IceDogs), Ryan O’Bonsawin (Sudbury Wolves) and Blake McConville (Sudbury Wolves) all scored their first career OHL goal in the latest edition of OHL Milestone Moments. Watch

OHL CUP POWERED BY UNDER ARMOUR TOP 10 RANKINGS RELEASED:

While the Toronto Marlboros remain in top spot for a seventh straight week, two other GTHL clubs in the Vaughan Kings and Don Mills Flyers have risen in the ranks as Vaughan climbs to second while Don Mills jumps from sixth to third. The Oakville Rangers drop two spots on the rankings to fourth overall while the Mississauga Reps fall one spot to fifth. The Toronto Jr. Canadiens make their Top-10 debut at sixth after being crowned champions of the 25th annual Toronto Marlboros Holiday Classic. The York-Simcoe Express climb one spot to ninth overall while the Barrie Colts fall from fifth to tenth. Full Rankings

GREYHOUNDS’ COACH DREW BANNISTER FEATURED ON LATEST EDITION OF SPORTSNET’S ‘THE NEXT ONES’:

Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds head coach Drew Bannister stops by Sportsnet’s ‘The Next Ones’ Podcast to discuss his club’s 23-game winning streak with Jeff Marek and Sam Cosentino. Check out the latest edition at sportsnet.ca.

OHL COMMISSIONER DAVID BRANCH FEATURED ON MASTERCARD JUNIOR HOCKEY MAGAZINE YEAR IN REVIEW SHOW:

OHL Commissioner David Branch joined Gino Reda on a ‘Year in Review’ edition of Mastercard Junior Hockey Magazine this past week. Hear what he and Hockey Canada CEO Tom Renney had to say on the latest instalment of the show. Listen

CHL SATURDAY SHOWCASE FEATURES RANGERS AND ATTACK ON SPORTSNET:

The CHL Saturday Showcase comes to the Ontario Hockey League this weekend as the Midwest Division-leading Kitchener Rangers pay a visit to the Owen Sound Attack at 3:30pm ET. Catch all the action from coast-to-coast on Sportsnet with RJ Broadhead and Sam Cosentino.

OHL LIVE MID-SEASON PRICING NOW AVAILABLE:

See fast-paced OHL action for a new lower price! Mid-season pricing is now available with all-access packages available for $149.99. With the intensity picking up in the second half of the season, fans can also purchase Team Home & Away Passes for $99.99 as well as a Team Away Pass for $49.99. For full details on mid-season pricing, visit OHLLIVE.com.

 

COMMUNITY CORNER:

Spitfires to retire Taylor Hall’s #4 on February 25th: The Windsor Spitfires will be retiring the #4 of two-time Mastercard Memorial Cup champion and MVP Taylor Hall on Sunday February 25th when they play host to the Erie Otters. Now playing for the New Jersey Devils, Hall will be the 13th Spitfire to have his jersey retired following recent names in Adam Henrique, Steve Ott and Ed Jovanovski. A former OHL Top Scorer and Playoff MVP, Hall recorded 280 (123-157–280) career regular season points in Windsor over 183 contests before being the first overall pick of the 2010 NHL Draft.

Firebirds fighting hunger this month: The Flint Firebirds kick-off their January ‘Firebirds Fight Hunger’ Food Drive on Saturday at home to the Erie Otters. Fans who bring in five or more non-perishable food items get a free ticket. More details at flintfirebirds.com.

Sherwin-Williams Train Like a Top Prospect Contest: Enter the Sherwin-Williams Train Like a Top Prospect Contest by January 7, 2018, for a chance to win a team VIP experience at the 2018 Sherwin-Williams CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game in Guelph!  Your child’s team could win a VIP experience to train like a Top Prospect on Wednesday, January 24, and tickets to the 2018 Sherwin-Williams CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game on Thursday, January 25. Details

 

ALUMNI NOTES:

Sanguinetti, Wisniewski named to U.S. Men’s Olympic Team: Two OHL blue line graduates will be suiting up in PyeongChang in February, representing the United States at the 2018 Winter Olympic Games. Former Owen Sound Attack and Brampton Battalion blueliner Bobby Sanguinetti, currently laying with HC Lugano of the Swiss Elite League, will suit up for the stars and stripes. The 29-year-old native of Trenton, NJ has played in 45 career NHL contests after being a first round pick of the New York Rangers in 2006. He recorded 212 points (70-142–212) over 263 career OHL regular season contests from 2004-08. James Wisniewski was a fixture on the Plymouth Whalers blue line from 2000-04 before being drafted by the Chicago Blackhawks in the fifth round of the 2002 NHL Draft. Wisniewski has played in 552 career NHL contests and currently plays with the Kassel Huskies in Germany’s second division. The 2004 OHL Defenceman of the Year won gold with the United States at the 2004 World Junior Hockey Championship and recorded 187 points (52-135–187) over 217 regular season matchups.

5 OHL grads win Spengler Cup with Canada: OHL graduates Matt D’Agostini (Guelph Storm), Chris Kelly (Sudbury Wolves), Jay McClement (Brampton Battalion), Will Petschenig (Saginaw Spirit) and Christian Thomas (Oshawa Generals) are Spengler Cup champions as members of Team Canada in Davos, Switzerland. Canada blanked the Swiss National Team 3-0 on New Year’s Eve to win a third straight Spengler Cup title. It’s the first time Canada has won three straight championships at the tournament since 1995-98. The title is also the 15th for Canada, tying host HC Davos for the most all-time.

Bailey named NHL’s Second Star of the Month: Windsor Spitfires graduate Josh Bailey has been named the NHL’s Second Star of the Month for December. Bailey led the league with 22 points (7-15–22) to help the Islanders (20-15-4, 44 points) collect points in seven of their 15 December contests (5-8-2). He registered at least one point in 13 of his 15 appearances, including a career-high 11 straight to close the month (7-12–19). The 28-year-old Bowmanville, Ont., native shares first place in the NHL with 38 assists and ranks second overall with 50 points through 39 outings in 2017-18 (12-38–50). Bailey played three OHL seasons between Owen Sound and Windsor from 2005-08, recording 183 points (58-125–183) over 191 regular season games.

McDavid, Stamkos, Subban named NHL All-Star Game Captains: The votes are in and three OHL grads have been selected as captains for the upcoming NHL All-Star Game set for January 28th in Tampa, Fla. Connor McDavid topped All-Star Fan Voting and has 45 points (14-31–45) in 40 games with the Edmonton Oilers this season. The Erie Otters grad will captain the Pacific Division while Sarnia Sting graduate Steven Stamkos of the host Tampa Bay Lightning will captain the Atlantic Division. Stamkos is currently tied for third in NHL scoring with 49 points (17-32–49) in 39 contests with the Bolts. Nashville Predators defenceman P.K. Subban will wear the ‘C’ for the Central Division.  The Belleville Bulls graduate is currently tied for third among NHL defencemen in scoring with 29 points (9-20–29) in 39 games.

Mangiapane makes NHL debut: Barrie Colts graduate Andrew Mangiapane made his NHL debut with the Calgary Flames on New Year’s Eve, playing 7:26 in a 4-3 overtime win in Chicago. The 21-year-old from Bolton, Ont. has had an impressive sophomore campaign with the AHL’s Stockton Heat, recording 14 goals, 19 assists and 33 points over 29 games. The left-winger put up two 100-point seasons with Barrie over his three-year OHL tenure after being signed as an undrafted free agent in 2013. Mangiapane was Calgary’s sixth round pick in the 2015 NHL Draft.

Athanasiou ties NHL record: Barrie Colts graduate Andreas Athansiou made NHL history on Wednesday, tying a league record for fastest overtime goal at just six seconds into the period. Athanasiou lifted theDetroit Red Wings to a 2-1 win over the Ottawa Senators, tying a record held by three others in Alex Ovechkin (2006), David Legwand (2006) and Mats Sundin (1995). A 23-year-old from Woodbridge, Ont., Athanasiou played four OHL seasons between London and Barrie from 2010-14, recording 221 points (111-110–221) over 252 regular season games. He was a 2012 OHL champion with London and suited up in the 2012 Mastercard Memorial Cup in Shawinigan. The speedy forward has 13 points (6-7–13) in 28 games with Detroit this season.

Amadio named AHL Player of the Month: North Bay Battalion graduate Mike Amadio has been named the AHL Player of the Month for December. The 21-year-old Sault Ste. Marie, Ont. native led all AHL skaters with 16 assists and 21 points in 14 games over the course of December and carries an 11-game assist streak into the new year. A third round pick by the Los Angeles Kings in 2014, Amadio has seven goals, 19 assists and 26 points in 24 games this season. He played four seasons with the Battalion organization from 2012-16, becoming the franchise’s first 50-goal scorer as captain in 2016 while also receiving OHL Most Sportsmanlike Player recognition. Amadio recorded 226 points (92-134–226) over 263 career OHL regular season games.

Hutchinson named AHL Goaltender of the Month: For the second straight month, London Knights graduate Michael Hutchinson has been named the AHL Goaltender of the Month for December. The 27-year-old product of Barrie, Ont. went 6-1-0-1 with a 1.62 goals-against average and a .946 save percentage in eight games with the Manitoba Moose. Overall, the Winnipeg Jets farmhand holds a 14-2-2 record with a 1.77 goals-against average and a .947 save percentage in 18 games. A former third round pick by the Boston Bruins in 2008, Hutchinson played parts of four OHL seasons between Barrie and London from 2006-10, going 67-50-3-4 with a 2.87 goals-against average, a .915 save percentage and nine shutouts.

Keefe and Van Ryn named coaches for AHL All-Star Classic: With their clubs holding the best record in their respective deadlines as of the pre-determined deadline of December 31st, former OHL head coaches Sheldon Keefe (Toronto Marlies/North Division) and Mike Van Ryn (Tucson Roadrunners/Pacific Division) have been named coaches for the 2018 AHL All-Star Classic set for January 28-29 in Utica, NY. The 2015 OHL Coach of the Year, Keefe spent two-and-a-half seasons at the helm with the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds from 2012-15, guiding the team to a Western Conference title. Van Ryn spent three seasons with the Kitchener Rangers, serving as an associate coach under Troy Smith from 2013-15 before taking the reins as head coach for the 2015-16 season. He’s now in his first full season as head coach with the AHL’s Tucson Roadrunners.

Pouliot plays in fifth NHL outdoor game: Sudbury Wolves graduate Benoit Pouliot joined Brad Richards as just the second player in NHL history to play in five different NHL regular season outdoor games. The Buffalo Sabres forward suited up in his club’s 3-2 overtime loss to the New York Rangers at Citi Field on New Year’s Day. A veteran of 590 career NHL games, Pouliot was originally the fourth overall pick of the 2005 NHL Draft by the Minnesota Wild. The 2005 CHL and OHL Rookie of the Year, Pouliot won a gold medal with Canada at the 2006 World Junior Hockey Championship and recorded 134 points (66-68–134) over his two seasons in Sudbury from 2004-06.

Houser named ECHL Goaltender of the Month: London Knights graduate Michael Houser has been named the ECHL Goaltender of the Month for December. The Fort Wayne Komets netminder went 9-1-0 with a 1.92 goals-against average and a .936 save percentage over 11 games last month. A native of Youngstown, Ohio, Houser is 14-6-2 in 24 games with Fort Wayne this season, posting a 2.72 goals-against average and a .908 save percentage. The 2012 Red Tilson Trophy recipient as OHL MVP, OHL Goaltender of the Year and OHL champion with the Knights, Houser played three seasons in London from 2009-12.

 

KEY MATCHUPS:

Windsor Spitfires (19-13-2-1) vs. Kingston Frontenacs (18-12-3-3)
Friday December 5th at Kingston

Gabriel Vilardi and Sean Day won’t have to wait long to face their former club.

The Kingston Frontenacs host the Windsor Spitfires on Friday night, excited to see their two new stars in action. The game also presents a possible opportunity to see two of the league’s top goaltenders go head-to-head as Kingston’s Jeremy Helvig could line up against Windsor’s Michael DiPietro.

The Fronts enter the weekend 10 points back of first place Hamilton in the East Division while holding a four point edge over third place Oshawa. Windsor hits the road with a new addition in rookie forward Cody Morgan trailing Saginaw for third place by two points in the West Division.

The Spitfires make weekend stops in Peterborough, Kingston and Ottawa.

Kitchener Rangers (25-11-2-0) vs. Owen Sound Attack (14-15-1-5)
Saturday December 6th at Owen Sound – Sportsnet CHL Saturday Showcase

Two Midwest Division foes headed in opposite directions square off on Sportsnet Saturday afternoon as the first place Kitchener Rangers pay a visit to the Owen Sound Attack.

The Rangers enter the weekend as winners of five straight as Florida Panthers prospect Adam Mascherin has points in 15 consecutive games. The Rangers have won four of the six meetings between the two clubs so far this season.

Owen Sound looks to shake a six-game losing skid this weekend as they remain without the services of Vancouver Canucks prospect Jonah Gadjovich who is representing Canada at the World Juniors. The Attack are led in scoring by Vegas Golden Knights prospect Nick Suzuki who has 47 points (18-29–47) in 31 games while blueliner Sean Durzi trails close behind with 44 points (15-29–44).

 

SCHEDULE:

Thursday January 4:
Sault Ste. Marie at Mississauga – 7:00pm
Guelph at Niagara – 7:00pm
Oshawa at North Bay – 7:00pm
Windsor at Peterborough – 7:05pm
London at Barrie – 7:30pm

Friday January 5:
Flint at Sarnia – 6:00pm*
Windsor at Kingston – 7:00pm
Erie at Saginaw – 7:05pm
London at Sudbury – 7:05pm
Owen Sound at Guelph – 7:30pm
North Bay at Hamilton – 7:30pm
Mississauga at Kitchener – 7:30pm
Sault Ste. Marie at Oshawa – 7:35pm

*– changed from original start time of 7:05pm

Saturday January 6:
Peterborough at Ottawa – 2:00pm
Kitchener at Owen Sound – 3:30pm (Sportsnet CHL Saturday Showcase)
Erie at Flint – 7:00pm
Sudbury at Niagara – 7:00pm
Sarnia at Saginaw – 7:05pm
Kingston at Barrie – 7:30pm

Sunday January 7:
Sault Ste. Marie at Guelph – 2:00pm
Sudbury at Hamilton – 2:00pm
Kingston at Niagara – 2:00pm
London at North Bay – 2:00pm
Windsor at Ottawa – 2:00pm
Owen Sound at Oshawa – 2:05pm

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

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