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OHL This Week: January 10 to 13, 2019

 

There are plenty of fresh faces in new places as the 2018-19 OHL season is past the half. Here’s a look at what’s happening across the league.

TEAM CHERRY AND TEAM ORR ROSTERS ANNOUNCED FOR 2019 SHERWIN-WILLIAMS CHL/NHL TOP PROSPECTS GAME:
40 CHL players, including 15 from the Ontario Hockey League, have been divided into two teams for the 2019 Sherwin-Williams CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game set for January 23 in Red Deer. Team Cherry will be coached by Ron MacLean alongside Dave Hunter and Brent Sutter, with Team Orr to be coached by Kelly Hrudey with Robyn Regehr and Marc Habscheid. Rosters

FIREBIRDS’ DELLANDREA REFLECTS ON RECORD SETTING SHOWCASE:
Twenty seconds was all Ty Dellandrea needed to claim the record for the two fastest goals scored at the 2018 Sherwin-Williams CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game as the Flint Firebirds forward pocketed a pair of tallies at the 16:22 and 16:42 marks of the opening frame en route to a 7-4 victory for Team Cherry. Read more

KNIGHTS AND 67’s BATTLE ON SPORTSNET CHL SATURDAY SHOWCASE:
A clash of conference leaders will be featured on Sportsnet as the London Knights host the Ottawa 67’s at 3:30pm ET on Saturday. The upcoming instalment of the CHL Saturday Showcase pits the Midwest Division leading Knights against the East Division leading 67’s in a battle of highly skilled teams.

67’s, KNIGHTS AND ICEDOGS INCLUDED IN KIA CHL TOP 10 RANKINGS:
The Ottawa 67’s, London Knights and Niagara IceDogs are included in the Week 16 edition of the Kia CHL Top 10 Rankings. The Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds and the Saginaw Spirit each received an honourable mention. Full Rankings

With seven-straight wins the Spirit are the focus of this week’s #KiaCHLTop10 Spotlight. Read and watch.

BULLDOGS’ KALIYEV NAMED OHL ‘ON THE RUN’ AND CHL PLAYER OF THE WEEK:
NHL Draft prospect Arthur Kaliyev of the Hamilton Bulldogs is both the OHL ‘On the Run’ Player of the Week as well as the CHL Player of the Week after recording 11 points in four games. Kaliyev produced four straight multi-point performances including three multi-goal efforts to help the Bulldogs earn seven of a possible eight points in a busy second week following the league’s holiday break. Read more

SPIRIT’S PROSVETOV NAMED VAUGHN CHL GOALTENDER OF THE WEEK:
Arizona Coyotes prospect Ivan Prosvetov of the Saginaw Spirit is the Vaughan CHL Goaltender of the Week for the regular season week ending January 6 posting a 3-0-0-0 record including one shutout for a goals-against-average of 1.00 and save percentage of .969. Prosvetov turned aside 93 shots last week helping the OHL’s Spirit stay hot with wins in 10 of their last 11 games including six straight victories to improve their West Division record to 24-11-2-2 just one point behind first place Sault Ste. Marie. Read more

RANGERS’ LIPANOV REPRESENTS OHL IN CIBC SHOWDOWN:
Kitchener Rangers forward Alexey Lipanov 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 15th 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 January 6. This week’s highlights include a super stretch pass from Hamilton Bulldogs goaltender Zachary Roy to Player of the Week Arthur Kaliyev, Maxim Golod stays hot for the Erie Otters, Nick Robertson of the Peterborough Petes goes forehand to backhand in a flash, Matvey Guskov of the London Knights dekes outside then inside before his backhand roof, and Alexey Lipanov of the Kitchener Rangers shows off some fancy footwork with a clever redirect to Joseph Garreffa. Watch

LATEST INSTALMENT OF JANES SAVES FEATURES THE BEST OF 2019:
It’s safe to say that the latest OHL edition of #JanesSaves features the absolute best of 2019. Featured this week is Mack Guzda of the Owen Sound Attack, Zachary Roy of the Hamilton Bulldogs, Ivan Prosvetov of the Saginaw Spirit, Hunter Jones of the Peterborough Petes along with his defenceman Declan Chisholm, Jacob Ingham of the Mississauga Steelheads, Mitchell Weeks of the Sudbury Wolves, Christian Sbaraglia of the Niagara IceDogs, Luke Cavallin of the Flint Firebirds, and Anthony Popovich of the Guelph Storm. Watch

FOUR FIRST GOALS AMONG LATEST OHL MILESTONE MOMENTS:
First OHL goals from Manuel Alberg (Owen Sound Attack), Reid Valade (Kitchener Rangers) and teammates Michael Bianconi and Vladislav Kolyachonok (Flint Firebirds) are included in the latest instalment of OHL Milestone Moments. Watch

OHL CUP POWERED BY UNDER ARMOUR TOP 10 RANKINGS – WEEK 8:
The Toronto Marlboros, Sudbury Minor Midget Wolves and York-Simcoe Express all rise one spot on the eighth edition of the OHL Cup Powered by Under Armour Top 10 Rankings while the Mississauga Rebels make their return following a two week absence. Full Rankings

OHL TRADE DEADLINE COMES AND GOES:
The OHL Trade Deadline has officially passed as teams completed their transactions on Thursday. For a full look at some of the different faces in new places, visit the OHL’s Media Notes page.

WOLVES’ LUUKKONEN WINS WORLD JUNIOR GOLD WITH FINLAND:
Sudbury Wolves netminder Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen backstopped Finland to gold at the 2019 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship, earning Top Goaltender honours in the annual tournament. Other OHL players in Kyle Keyser (Oshawa Generals), Jason Robertson (Niagara IceDogs) and Sasha Chmelevski (Ottawa 67’s) earned silver medals representing the United States while Dmitri Samorukov (Guelph Storm) captured bronze with Russia. Read more

SIX FRANCHISE GREATS ENTER DON BRANKLEY LONDON KNIGHTS HALL OF FAME:
The London Knights took a walk down memory lane prior to Tuesday’s clash with the Guelph Storm at Budweiser Gardens. Walt McKechnie (1965-67), Dennis Maruk (1972-75), Dave Lowry (1982-85), Tim Taylor (1986-89), Chris Taylor (1988-92) and Rob Schremp (2003-06) were recognized as the inaugural class entering the newly unveiled Don Brankley London Knights Hall of Fame prior to puck drop. Watch

FRONTENACS’ HOTCHKISS PLAYS 300TH CAREER OHL CONTEST:
Fifth-year OHL veteran Matt Hotchkiss became the first player this season to reach the 300-career game plateau. The Kingston Frontenacs forward suited up in career game #300 on Sunday as his club fell 3-2 to the Barrie Colts. A 20-year-old native of Whitby, Ont. Hotchkiss has split his career between Guelph and Kingston. The Whitby Wildcats Minor Midget grad was a first round pick of Guelph in the 2014 OHL Priority Selection. He’s amassed 110 career points (51-59–110) over his OHL career.

GENERALS NAME KYLE MACLEAN CAPTAIN:
The Oshawa Generals have named fourth-year veteran Kyle MacLean captain for the remainder of the 2018-19 season. He steps into the role in place of Jack Studnicka who joins the Niagara IceDogs. The son of former Generals forward, long-time NHL veteran turned coach John MacLean, the 19-year-old dons the ‘C’ having recording 33 points (10-23–33) over 40 games this season. Read more

COYOTES PROSPECT JAN JENIK COMMITS TO BULLDOGS:
The Hamilton Bulldogs have received a commitment from Arizona Coyotes third round pick Jan Jenik. Acquired from the Flint Firebirds on Monday, the Bulldogs have added the Brno, Czech Republic native to their depth chart headed into a road trip with stops in Saginaw and Flint. The 18-year-old forward has split the season between the Czech Extraliga’s top two divisions, recording two points (0-2–2) over 10 games with the first division’s Bili Tygri Liberec as well as six points (1-5–6) over 13 contests with the second division’s HC Benatky nad Jizerou. Read more

JAROMIR PYTLIK COMMITS TO GREYHOUNDS:
The Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds have received a commitment from 17-year-old Czech forward Jaromir Pytlik. Originally selected in the second round of the 2018 CHL Import Draft by the Greyhounds, Pytlik has spent most of this season with HC Vitkovice of the Czech Elite League. Pytlik represented the Czech Republic at the U18 Hlinka Gretzky Cup last summer, recording two goals and five assists in 11 games played while he also competed in pre-tournament games at the U20 level. Read more

JONATHAN LEMAIRE COMMITS TO WOLVES:
The Sudbury Wolves have received a commitment from 2018 fifth round selection, goaltender Jonathan Lemaire.  The Gloucester, Ont. native was selected by the Wolves in the fifth round of the 2018 OHL Priority Selection. In 24 games with the Kemptville 73’s Midget AAA team this season, the 6-foot-6, 180lb goaltender has a goals-against average of 2.27 and a save percentage of .907. Read more

TOP OHL PRIORITY SELECTION PROSPECTS TO REPRESENT ONTARIO AT CANADA WINTER GAMES:
Some of the top prospects eligible for the 2019 OHL Priority Selection will be representing Ontario at the upcoming 2019 Canada Winter Games from February 15 to March 3 in Red Deer, Alta. Held every four years, the Canada Winter Games showcases the top under-16 hockey talent in the country that sees one province or territory emerge as the best in the Nation. Team Ontario will be entering the competition as the defending men’s hockey gold medalists having defeated Team Alberta four years ago in Prince George, BC. The team selection was led by Director of Operations and Head of Ontario Hockey League Central Scouting, Darrell Woodley. For full details visit ohf.on.ca.

 

COMMUNITY CORNER:

Firebirds Fight Hunger on Friday, host Backpack Night on Saturday: The Flint Firebirds host a pair of home game this week, welcoming the defending champion Hamilton Bulldogs on Friday as the Birds look to take a bite out of hunger. Fans who bring five non-perishable food items will receive a free Firebirds ticket for any home game in the month of January. Additionally, the Firebirds host the Sarnia Sting for ‘Backpack Night’ on Saturday. The 4th annual event features a silent auction for 12 authentic custom Firebirds’ player backpacks with a minimum retail value of $250 worth of products or services inside each bag. The event is in partnership with the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan. For full details on the weekend’s festivities, visit flintfirebirds.com.

Petes host 7th annual Saves 4 CF Game on Saturday: The 7th Annual Saves 4 CF game will take place on Saturday when the Peterborough Petes play host to the North Bay Battalion. Saves 4 CF is a program that was initiated in partnership with former Petes netminder Andrew D’Agostini in which GM Financial and John Newman Contracting donate $1 to Cystic Fibrosis Canada for every save made by a Petes goalie. There will be a silent auction and chuck-a-puck in support of Saves 4 CF featuring prizes including concert tickets, CHL memorabilia, gift cards, gift baskets, lunch with the Petes, and more. For full details on the coming weekend visit gopetesgo.com.

Spirit host Bowl-A-Thon Wednesday January 16th: The Saginaw Spirit are raising money for charity next Wednesday January 16th when they invite fans out to bowl with their favourite players. The 2019 Spirit Bowl-A-Thon will be held at Crooked Creek Sport Center with proceeds being raised to support the Children’s Dyslexia Foundation and the Saginaw Spirit Charitable Foundation. For full details visit saginawspirit.com.

Sting take up vote on all-time forwards: As part of the Sarnia Sting’s 25th anniversary celebration, the team continues its ‘Team of the Century’ vote this week with a focus on the top forwards in franchise history. Have your say at sarniasting.com.

 

ALUMNI NOTES:

Binnington named AHL Player of the Week, notches shutout in first NHL start: Owen Sound Attack graduate and former OHL Goaltender of the Year Jordan Binnington came off AHL Player of the Week honours to record a shutout in his first career NHL start. The St. Louis Blues goaltender stopped all 25 shots he faced in a 3-0 win over the Philadelphia Flyers on Monday. The 25-year-old from Richmond Hill, Ont. had gone 2-0 with a 0.50 goals-against average and a .984 save percentage with the AHL’s San Antonio Rampage prior to his big night. A third round selection by St. Louis in the 2011 NHL Draft, Binnington owns an 11-4-0 AHL record this season with three shutouts in 16 appearances with San Antonio. The former OHL champion with Owen Sound in 2011 was named the OHL’s Goaltender of the Year in 2013.

Middleton makes NHL debut: Ottawa 67’s graduate Jacob Middleton made his NHL debut with the San Jose Sharks on Saturday. The 23-year-old from Stratford, Ont. was recently named an AHL All-Star having recorded 12 points (2-10–12) over 26 games with the San Jose Barracuda. Currently in his third pro season, Middleton played five OHL seasons between Owen Sound and Ottawa from 2012-16, recording 86 points (14-72–86) over 226 career regular season contests. He was a seventh round pick of the Los Angeles Kings in 2014.

Martin plays 600th NHL game: Sarnia Sting graduate Matt Martin played his 600th career NHL contest on Tuesday. The New York Islanders forward is in the midst of his ninth full NHL season, a career split between the Island and time with the Toronto Maple Leafs. The 29-year-old from Windsor, Ont. played three OHL seasons for Sarnia from 2006-09, joining the team as an undrafted free agent. The 6-foot-3, 220Ib power winger has 117 points (55-62–117) over his NHL career.

Cormier earns first pro shutout: Saginaw Spirit graduate Evan Cormier posted his first professional shutout on Wednesday, turning aside 35 shots as the Binghamton Devils blanked the Syracuse Crunch 4-0. The 21-year-old from Bowmanville, Ont. is in his first pro season after starting out with the Guelph Gryphons Men’s Hockey Team. The former fourth round pick of New Jersey in 2016 went unsigned before inking a tryout contract with the Devils’ AHL affiliate earlier this month, promptly going 2-1 with 1.87 goals-against average and .938 save percentage over four games. Saginaw’s all-time goaltending games played leader, Cormier played parts of five OHL seasons from 2013-18, going 81-82-18-5 over 201 career regular season games between Saginaw and North Bay.

Stillman nets first AHL goal: Hamilton Bulldogs graduate Riley Stillman struck for his first professional goal on Saturday, helping the Springfield Thunderbirds defeat the Providence Bruins 5-3. The 20-year-old from Peterborough, Ont. has nine points (1-8–9) through 27 games this season after winning an OHL Championship with Hamilton last spring. The Florida Panthers prospect played parts of four OHL seasons from 2014-18, recording 88 points (22-66–88) over 195 regular season games. He was Florida’s fourth round pick in 2016 and is the son of long-time NHL forward and current Sudbury Wolves coach Cory Stillman.

Nine OHL grads named to ECHL All-Star Game: A total of nine OHL graduates have been named to rosters for the 2019 ECHL All-Star Classic set for January 21st in Toledo, Ohio. The list of OHL grads competing in the 3-on-3 showcase include Sean Day (Maine Mariners/Kingston Frontenacs), Justin Hodgman (Fort Wayne Komets/Erie Otters), David Kolomatis (Manchester Monarchs/Owen Sound Attack), Brett McKenzie (Atlanta Gladiators/Owen Sound Attack), David Pacan (Brampton Beast/Niagara IceDogs), Brent Pedersen (Orlando Solar Bears/Oshawa Generals), Jalen Smereck (Norfolk Admirals/Flint Firebirds), Kevin Spinozzi (Wheeling Nailers/Sarnia Sting) and Justin Taylor (Kalamazoo Wings/London Knights). For full details visit echl.com.

 

KEY MATCHUPS:

Guelph Storm (20-12-3-4) vs. Niagara IceDogs (23-9-6-0)
Thursday January 10th at Niagara 

Newly added stars Nick Suzuki and Sean Durzi will make their Guelph Storm debuts while Jack Studnicka and Matt Brassard will see their first action as Niagara IceDogs in a highly anticipated Thursday night matchup.

Two contenders, the Storm and the IceDogs square off in St. Catharines with Guelph looking to narrow the gap between themselves and first place London in the Midwest Division while Niagara carries a seven-point lead atop the Central into action.

Guelph comes off a Tuesday night victory in London as leading scorer Nate Schnarr (22-34–56) scored twice along with veteran captain Isaac Ratcliffe (25-14–39).

The IceDogs have Jason Robertson back in action following his silver medal finish with the United States at the World Juniors. Robertson enters play on a 16-game point streak that dates back to November 2nd.

 

Ottawa 67’s (29-7-3-1) vs. London Knights (26-6-4-1)
Saturday January 11th at London – Sportsnet CHL Saturday Showcase

A clash of conference leaders hits the ice in London as the host Knights battle the East Division leading Ottawa 67’s before a national audience on Sportsnet.

The upcoming instalment of the CHL Saturday Showcase sees the Knights in their second game of a three-in-three weekend that also features matchups with Saginaw on Friday and Kitchener on Sunday. London enters the weekend off consecutive home ice losses, looking to recover from Tuesday’s 7-5 defeat at the hands of the Guelph Storm.

Newest Knight Kevin Hancock has four points (1-3–4) over two games in green and gold while 2019 NHL Draft prospect Connor McMichael has led the way throughout the season with 46 points (25-21–46) over 37 games.

Ottawa enters action with wins in seven of 10 to start the weekend. Overage veteran Tye Felhaber (44-25–69) has been flirting with the OHL scoring lead of late while new additions Kyle Maksimovich (23-33–56) and Lucas Chiodo (19-31–50) look to give the 67’s one of the league’s top offensive groups.

The 67’s defeated London in their only prior meeting of the season by a score of 2-1 in overtime back on October 26th.

 

SCHEDULE:

Thursday January 10th:
Guelph at Niagara – 7:00pm
Mississauga at North Bay – 7:00pm
Oshawa at Peterborough – 7:05pm
Flint at Windsor – 7:05pm
Sudbury at Barrie – 7:30pm

Friday January 11th:
Owen Sound at Guelph – 7:00pm
Hamilton at Flint – 7:00pm
Kingston at Niagara – 7:00pm
Ottawa at Sarnia – 7:05pm
Mississauga at Sudbury – 7:05pm
Windsor at Sault Ste. Marie – 7:07pm
Guelph at Kitchener – 7:30pm
Saginaw at London – 7:30pm

Saturday January 12th:
Ottawa at London – 3:30pm (on Sportsnet)
Owen Sound at Erie – 7:00pm
Sarnia at Flint – 7:00pm
Kingston at Hamilton – 7:00pm
North Bay at Peterborough – 7:05pm
Windsor at Saginaw – 7:05pm
Mississauga at Sault Ste. Marie – 7:07pm
Oshawa at Barrie – 7:30pm

Sunday January 13th:
Ottawa at Guelph – 2:00pm
London at Kitchener – 2:00pm
Niagara at Sudbury – 3:05pm
North Bay at Kingston – 6:00pm
Erie at Oshawa – 6:05pm

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