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.
CHL ON SPORTSNET FEATURES TWO OHL GAMES THIS WEEK:
The CHL on Sportsnet features a pair of OHL games this week as the drive toward the OHL playoffs begins to heat up. First, Toronto Maple Leafs prospect Jeremy Bracco faces his former club as the Windsor Spitfires host the Kitchener Rangers on Thursday at 7:05pm. The game can be seen on Sportsnet 360 as the Mastercard Memorial Cup host Spitfires face a Rangers team jostling for space in the Midwest Division.
The CHL on Sportsnet heads to Hamilton on Saturday afternoon as the Bulldogs host the Ottawa 67’s at 3:30pm. Matthew Strome and the Bulldogs take on a 67’s club looking to ascend the East Division standings. The game can be seen live across the country on Sportsnet.
SHERWIN-WILLIAMS CHL/NHL TOP PROSPECTS GAME RETURNS TO QUEBEC CITY:
For the first time since 2007, the Sherwin-Williams CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game returns to Quebec City. The 2007 game featured a number of today’s NHL stars including OHL talent in Patrick Kane (Chicago Blackhawks/London Knights), Sam Gagner (Columbus Blue Jackets/London Knights) and Logan Couture (San Jose Sharks/Ottawa 67’s) among others. All 16 CHL players selected in the first round of the 2007 NHL Draft took part in the game. The 2017 Sherwin-Williams CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game is fast approaching as the puck drops on Monday January 30th. Read more
KNIGHTS, GREYHOUNDS, OTTERS, SPITFIRES IN CHL TOP 10 RANKINGS:
The London Knights (2), Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds (4), Erie Otters (6) and Windsor Spitfires (7) are all included in the 16th edition of the weekly CHL Top 10 Rankings. The weekly rankings of the CHL’s Top-10 teams are selected by a panel of National Hockey League scouts. Read more
ATTACK’S SANTINO CENTORAME NAMED PIONEER ENERGY OHL PLAYER OF THE WEEK:
Defenceman Santino Centorame of the Owen Sound Attack is the Pioneer Energy OHL Player of the Week for the week ending January 8 after scoring once with six assists for seven points in three games recording a plus-minus rating of plus-8. Centorame helped the Attack win a trio of home games last week against tough Western Conference competition extending their winning-streak to 10 which equals franchise records set in 1996-97 and 2004-05. Read more
SPIRIT’S FILIP HRONEK HEADLINES OHL PLAYS OF THE WEEK:
The first full week of January, 2017, featured another collection of great highlights captured in the 15th edition of the OHL Plays of the Week. This week’s highlights featured five goals beginning with a breakaway move by rookie Ty Dellandrea of the Flint Firebirds, a beauty give-and-go from Ottawa 67’s captain Travis Barron, a backhand beauty by Will Bitten of the Hamilton Bulldogs, a toe-drag dangle by Boris Katchouk of the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds, and back-to-back sensational shootout goals by Filip Hronek and Kirill Maksimov of the Saginaw Spirit. Watch
The Spirit’s Filip Hronek is also the OHL representative featured in this week’s #CHLShowdown 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.
FIREBIRDS’ SHERWOOD TIES ALL-TIME FRANCHISE RECORD WITH 5 GOALS:
Columbus Blue Jackets prospect Kole Sherwood tied a Flint Firebirds all-time franchise record on Tuesday, scoring five goals in an 11-2 road win over the Saginaw Spirit. Sherwood’s big night ties Kevin Brown’s record with the Detroit Jr. Red Wings on December 1st, 1993 in a 10-5 win over the Niagara Falls Thunder at Joe Louis Arena. Sherwood becomes the first OHL player to score five goals in a game this season. Read more
NINE DIFFERENT GOALTENDERS FEATURED IN JANES SAVES OF THE WEEK:
The second half of the Ontario Hockey League season continues with more robbery in the crease by OHL goaltenders in the 15th edition of #JanesSaves. Nine different goaltenders share the spotlight this week including Tyler Johnson of the London Knights, Dylan Wells of the Peterborough Petes, Jacob Ingham of the Mississauga Steelheads, Stephen Dhillon of the Niagara IceDogs, Michael DiPietro of the Windsor Spitfires, Michael McNiven of the Owen Sound Attack, Justin Fazio of the Sarnia Sting, Olivier Lafreniere of the Ottawa 67’s, and Evan Cormier of the Saginaw Spirit. Watch
VILARDI, TIPPETT HEADLINE JANUARY EDITION OF SPORTSNET’S NHL DRAFT RANKINGS:
Windsor Spitfires forward Gabriel Vilardi (5) and Mississauga Steelheads winger Owen Tippett (6) are both included in the top-10 of Sportsnet’s NHL Draft Prospect Rankings for January. Other prominent OHL names on the list include Mississauga defenceman Nicolas Hague (9), Owen Sound Attack forward Nick Suzuki (25), London Knights teammates Robert Thomas (26) and Alex Formenton (28) as well as Hamilton Bulldogs winger Matthew Strome (27). Full rankings
OHL CUP POWERED BY UNDER ARMOUR MINOR MIDGET TOP-10 RANKINGS – WEEK 4:
The London Jr. Knights retain top spot in the fourth edition of the OHL Cup powered by Under Armour Minor Midget Top-10 Rankings. The Mississauga Reps also gain some traction while the Waterloo Wolves make their first appearance of the season. The weekly rankings are determined by a panel of OHL Central Scouting Staff and represent the top teams that are competing to play in the annual year-end championship tournament which takes place March 14-20, 2017. Read more
OHL CLUBS SOLIDIFY ROSTERS AS TRADE DEADLINE PASSES:
The OHL trade deadline has now passed as teams stabilized their rosters with a number of moves across the league over the past week. See revamped rosters at ontariohockeyleague.com.
ONTARIO HOCKEY LEAGUE TEAMS UP WITH TEACHERS LIFE:
The Ontario Hockey League in association with Teachers Life proudly announce the launch of a two-year partnership as Teachers Life becomes the Presenting Sponsor of the Canadian Mental Health Association’s Talk Today Program in 16 OHL communities. Talk Today is one of the most comprehensive mental health programs for amateur sports in Canada. It aims to promote the mental health of young athletes and to spread awareness about the benefits of positive mental health throughout communities across the country. Visit Teachers Life on Facebook to participate in their ongoing trivia contest to win a pair of tickets to see the London Knights host the Saginaw Spirit on Friday January 13th. Answer the question correctly for your chance to win!
GOOD IN EVERY GRAIN FARMER CARD GIVEAWAY COMING TO AN OHL RINK NEAR YOU:
Good in Every Grain and the Ontario Hockey League are working together this year to share stories about Ontario’s farms and farmers during OHL games across the province. Good in Every Grain is hosting special giveaway nights at every OHL arena in the province, including this Friday night in Guelph and Sault Ste. Marie, Saturday in Owen Sound and Sunday in Oshawa and Sudbury. For more information, please visit goodineverygrain.ca.
Battalion ‘Push for Change’ on Thursday: The North Bay Battalion are teaming up with UA Local 800 to welcome Joe Roberts in his ‘Push for Change’ campaign that features a cross-country trek that began May 1 in St. John’s, NL and will end September 30 in Vancouver, BC. Roberts, a former homeless youth, is pushing a shopping cart from coast-to-coast in an effort to raise funds and raise awareness to end youth homelessness. Learn more about Thursday’s event at battalionhockey.com.
Petes Faceoff Against Dementia on Thursday: The Peterborough Petes and the Alzheimer Society of Peterborough, Kawartha Lakes, Northumberland & Haliburton are excited to host the third annual Faceoff Against Dementia event this Thursday night at the Peterborough Memorial Centre. The game will support over 7,600 people who are living with Alzheimer’s disease or other dementias in the Peterborough area. The Petes square off against the rival Oshawa Generals. For full game details, visit gopetesgo.com.
Spitfires 2017 calendar giveaway on Thursday: Fans who show their ticket at one of three concourse table locations at the WFCU Centre on Thursday will receive the brand new 2017 Windsor Spitfires calendar that features several fan favourites including goaltender Michael DiPietro and many others. Don’t miss out!
IceDogs host Pink in the Rink on Friday: The Niagara IceDogs will host their annual Pink in the Rink Night on Friday at home to the Flint Firebirds. This year, the IceDogs are partnering with the Canadian Cancer Society to raise funds to continue to further the research of women’s cancers in Canada. All proceeds from the post-game commemorative jersey auction will be donated to the Canadian Cancer Society. Over the last seven years, the IceDogs have raised over $50,000 for the Canadian Cancer Society. For full details, visit niagaraicedogs.net.
Mascot Day in Hamilton on Saturday: The Hamilton Bulldogs host the Ottawa 67’s on Saturday afternoon, a game that will be broadcast live across the country on Sportsnet. On top of that though, it’s Mascot Day at FirstOntario Centre as creatures large and small can be found throughout the building. Don’t miss out on the fun!
Spirit host Superhero Hockey Night on Saturday: For the first time, the Saginaw Spirit will host Superhero Hockey Night at the Dow Event Center when they play host to the London Knights. Each child will receive a superhero cape and fans are encouraged to dress up as their favourite superhero. The Spirit will be wearing specially themed jerseys to be auctioned off post-game in support of the CAN Council, an organization that works toward stopping child abuse and neglect in the Great Lakes Bay Region.
14 OHL grads named to NHL All-Star Game rosters: 14 OHL graduates have been named to 2017 NHL All-Star Game rosters. The annual clash of the NHL’s best is set to take place in Los Angeles January 28th and 29th with the usual All-Star Skills Competition and ensuing game. OHL graduates include the Atlantic Division’s Vincent Trocheck (Florida Panthers/Plymouth Whalers), the Metropolitan Division’s Taylor Hall (New Jersey Devils/Windsor Spitfires), Wayne Simmonds (Philadelphia Flyers/Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds) and John Tavares (New York Islanders/London Knights), the Central Division’s Patrick Kane (Chicago Blackhawks/London Knights), Tyler Seguin (Dallas Stars/Plymouth Whalers and P.K. Subban (Nashville Predators/Belleville Bulls) and the Pacific Division’s Connor McDavid (Edmonton Oilers/Erie Otters), Jeff Carter (Los Angeles Kings/Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds), Bo Horvat (Vancouver Canucks/London Knights), Brent Burns (San Jose Sharks/Brampton Battalion), Drew Doughty (Los Angeles Kings/Guelph Storm), Cam Fowler (Anaheim Ducks/Windsor Spitfires) and Mike Smith (Arizona Coyotes/Sudbury Wolves).
Hartman scores first NHL hat-trick: OHL graduate Ryan Hartman had a big day on Sunday, recording his first NHL hat-trick in Chicago’s 5-2 win over Nashville. The trio gives Hartman 10 goals, seven assists and 17 points in 38 games with the Blackhawks in this, his first full NHL season. The 22-year-old has spent most of the past two seasons with the AHL’s Rockford IceHogs, recording 15 goals, 20 assists and 35 points over 61 games last season. Hartman was Chicago’s first round (30th overall) pick in the 2013 NHL Draft. He played two seasons with the Plymouth Whalers from 2012-14, recording 113 points (48-65–113) over 108 games. He won gold with the United States at the 2013 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship.
Quenneville becomes third NHL coach to reach 1,500 games: In the same game that Hartman potted his first hat-trick, OHL graduate Joel Quenneville joined Scotty Bowman and Al Arbour as the third coach in NHL history to reach 1,500 games behind the bench. Quenneville has spent the past nine seasons of his career in Chicago, winning three Stanley Cup titles (2010, 2013, 2015) in the process. He also enjoyed tenures in Colorado (2005-08) and St. Louis (1996-2004) following his 13-year NHL playing career. A native of Windsor, Ont., Quenneville was a defenceman with the Spitfires from 1975-78.
Agozzino, Friesen reunited in Chicago: Former Niagara IceDogs teammates Andrew Agozzino and Alex Friesen are back together in Chicago, skating alongside each other in the American Hockey League. Both playing for the Chicago Wolves, the AHL affiliate of the St. Louis Blues, the two former IceDogs reflect on their OHL days and enjoy being teammates once again. For the full story, visit chicagowolves.com.
Visentin named ECHL Goaltender of the Week: Niagara IceDogs graduate Mark Visentin has been named the ECHL Goaltender of the Week after the Cincinnati Cyclones netminder went 3-0-0 with a 1.65 goals-against average and a .940 save percentage over three starts. The 24-year-old native of Waterdown, Ont., is 8-5-1 with a 2.71 goals-against average and a .902 save percentage in 15 games with the Cyclones this season. The former OHL Goaltender of the Year enjoyed a 166-game OHL career with the Niagara IceDogs from 2008-12, going 89-55-16 with 14 shutouts, a 2.75 goals-against average and a .911 save percentage. He is the OHL’s single-season shutout record holder, recording 10 during the 2011-12 campaign. He was Arizona’s first round (27th overall) pick in 2010.
Flint Firebirds (20-17-1-2, 3rd West) vs. Erie Otters (27-9-2-1, T-1st Midwest)
Saturday January 14th at Erie – 7:00pm
Erie’s success at home this season is well-documented as the Otters have yet to lose in regulation at Erie Insurance Arena through 21 games. An upstart Flint Firebirds club visits Erie on Saturday though, and if Tuesday’s dominant 11-2 showing in Saginaw is any indication, the Firebirds might be heating up. Flint has collected at least a point in four straight games as Columbus Blue Jackets prospect Kole Sherwood and veteran forward Ryan Moore continue to produce offensively. While the Anthony Cirelli, Taylor Raddysh, Dylan Strome and the Otters are an imposing foe, the game will prove to be a good test for the Firebirds on the road.
Mississauga Steelheads (15-16-5-3, T-1st Central) vs. Sudbury Wolves (17-19-4-0, T-1st Central)
Sunday January 15th at Sudbury – 2:00pm
The Central Division is there for the taking, but who will step up and take charge? The Mississauga Steelheads and Sudbury Wolves are both in the thick of things, and Sunday’s matchup between the two clubs presents a golden opportunity to gain an edge. The Steelheads have collected at least a point in five straight games while Sudbury’s Dmitry Sokolov enters the weekend on the heels of four consecutive two-goal performances. The Central Division is wide open and one of these two clubs could gain home ice advantage in the first round of the OHL playoffs by claiming it.
Thursday January 12:
Ottawa at Niagara – 7:00pm
Mississauga at North Bay – 7:00pm
Oshawa at Peterborough – 7:05pm
Kitchener at Windsor – 7:05pm – CHL on Sportsnet (Sportsnet 360)
Friday January 13:
Ottawa at Erie – 7:00pm
Peterborough at Kingston – 7:00pm
Flint at Niagara – 7:00pm
North Bay at Sudbury – 7:00pm
Windsor at Sarnia – 7:05pm
Mississauga at Sault Ste. Marie – 7:07pm
Owen Sound at Guelph – 7:30pm
Barrie at Kitchener – 7:30pm
Saginaw at London – 7:30pm
Hamilton at Oshawa – 7:35pm
Saturday January 14:
Ottawa at Hamilton – 3:30pm – CHL on Sportsnet
Flint at Erie – 7:00pm
Kingston at Peterborough – 7:05pm
London at Saginaw – 7:05pm
Niagara at Barrie – 7:30pm
Sarnia at Owen Sound – 7:30pm
Sunday January 15:
Erie at Kitchener – 2:00pm
Barrie at North Bay – 2:00pm
Mississauga at Sudbury – 2:00pm
Kingston at Oshawa – 2:05pm
Saginaw at Windsor – 2:05pm
London at Sault Ste. Marie – 2:07pm
Be sure to catch all of this weekend’s action at ohllive.com, featuring new mid-season pricing options.