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OHL This Week: Mar. 29 to Apr. 1, 2018

 

The 2018 OHL Playoffs continue as action continues to heat up across the league. Here’s a look at what’s happening in the rinks and out in the community.

 

WATCH #OHLPLAYOFFS ON OHL LIVE:

The Ontario Hockey League, in association with its digital media partner NeuLion, are proud to offer special packages and rates for OHL Live coverage of the 2018 OHL Playoffs.  All Access subscriptions can be purchased for $129.99, and first round team packages are available for $25.99. Details.

GREYHOUNDS FIRST TEAM TO ADVANCE:

The Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds became the CHL’s first team to advance to the second round of the playoffs on Wednesday, defeating the Saginaw Spirit 5-3 to take a four-game series sweep. OHL Playoff Brackets

RANGERS AND STORM SQUARE OFF IN GAME 6 ON SPORTSNET:

The Kitchener Rangers and Guelph Storm will clash in Game 6 of their first round series Sunday afternoon on Sportsnet. The Rangers took out a 2-0 series lead before the Storm battled back for consecutive home ice victories in Games 3 & 4. RJ Broadhead and Sam Cosentino will have the call as two Midwest Division rivals go head-to-head on Sunday at 2:00pm.

TOP PROSPECTS HIGHLIGHTED AHEAD OF 2018 OHL PRIORITY SELECTION:

The 2018 OHL Priority Selection is fast approaching as 2002-born players from across the province and the United States hope to hear their name called on Saturday April 7th. In preparation for the big day, ontariohockeyleague.com has featured some of the top eligible prospects in a series of short videos.

The 2018 OHL Priority Selection Order of Selection has been unveiled, with the Sudbury Wolves, Flint Firebirds and Erie Otters leading off the proceedings. Follow along pick-by-pick with our live results page on Saturday April 7th beginning at 9:00am.

TEAM STAMKOS WINS 2018 OHL COMBINE CHAMPIONSHIP:

The 2018 OHL Development Combine wrapped up on Sunday at the Tribute Communities Centre in Oshawa, Ont. Draft eligible prospects had the opportunity to showcase their on-ice skills in a series of games played before scouts and general managers to assist in their evaluation prior to the OHL Priority Selection to be held on Saturday April 7, 2018. 19 prospects hoisted the OHL Combine Trophy as members of Team Stamkos. Read more / Watch Video Recap

Players also completed on and off-ice skills testing, with Team Stamkos leading the four teams with 633 points. Full Results

SARNIA AND OSHAWA ANNOUNCED AS 2018 CIBC CANADA RUSSIA SERIES HOSTS:

The Canadian Hockey League in association with title partner CIBC, the Western Hockey League, the Ontario Hockey League, and the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, has announced the six Canadian host cities for the 2018 CIBC Canada Russia Series to be played November 5-15. Included in the announcement are games in Sarnia, Ont. on Thursday November 8th as well as in Oshawa, Ont. on Monday November 12th. Read more

3RD ANNUAL OHL ALUMNI ASSOCIATION GOLF TOURNAMENT SET FOR JUNE 4TH:

The OHL Alumni Association is pleased to announce the 3rd annual OHL Alumni Golf Classic will take place on Monday June 4, 2018, returning to Devil’s Pulpit. The OHL Alumni Golf Classic, hosted by the OHL Alumni Association, is the one of several networking events focused on bringing together former players from all generations.  Proceeds from this year’s tournament will be donated to the Bryan Bickell Foundation, which helps patients living with Multiple Sclerosis. Read more

67’s NOEL HOEFENMAYER NAMED OHL ‘ON THE RUN’ PLAYER OF THE WEEK:

Arizona Coyotes prospect Noel Hoefenmayer of the Ottawa 67’s is the OHL ‘On the Run’ Player of the Week for the first week of playoff action ending March 25 scoring twice with four assists for six points in two games. Hoefenmayer recorded back-to-back three-point performances for the Eastern Conference’s eighth place 67’s who opened the 2018 OHL Playoffs with a split on the road against the first place Hamilton Bulldogs.  The defenceman played a role in 75% of the 67’s scoring last week tying for the league lead in points through two post-season games. Read more

VOTE KEEGHAN HOWDESHELL IN #CIBCSHOWDOWN:

Soo Greyhounds forward Keeghan Howdeshell 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.

GREYHOUNDS’ VERBEEK SIGNS WITH CANADIENS:

The Montreal Canadiens announced Saturday that they’ve signed overage free agent centreman Hayden Verbeek of the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds. The Kingston, Ont. native inks a three-year entry level NHL contract after recording 61 points (30-31–61) over 67 games with the Greyhounds this season. The nephew of former long-time NHL veteran Pat Verbeek played 250 regular season games with the Greyhounds over the past five seasons, recording 59 goals, 77 assists and 136 points in the process. Read more

FRONTENACS’ HELVIG SIGNS WITH HURRICANES:

The Carolina Hurricanes announced Tuesday that they’ve signed overage Kingston Frontenacs goaltender Jeremy Helvig to a three-year entry level NHL contract. The 20-year-old native of Markham, Ont. went 31-16-9 in his fourth OHL season, recording the league’s second-lowest goals-against average of 2.68 along with a .916 save percentage. The Frontenacs’ all-time leader in franchise wins played to an 81-41-19 record with a 2.75 goals-against average and a .910 save percentage over 156 regular season games. He was Carolina’s fifth round pick in the 2016 NHL Draft. Read more

DeNOBLE, RHODES JOIN ECHL CLUBS:

Recent OHL grads in team captains Logan DeNoble (Peterborough Petes) and Kyle Rhodes (Sudbury Wolves) have signed with ECHL clubs for the remainder of the season. DeNoble, who scored 31 goals with the Petes this season, has joined the Kansas City Mavericks while Rhodes, who recorded 24 points (10-14–24) in 57 games with Sudbury, has joined the Indy Fuel.

ICEDOGS’ THOMAS FEATURED ON MASTERCARD JUNIOR HOCKEY MAGAZINE:

He’s been in a movie, fast-tracked through high school and helps run a company! Niagara IceDogs forward Akil Thomas is this week’s guest on Mastercard Junior Hockey Magazine with Gino Reda. Hear more from the sophomore scorer who could potentially be a first round NHL Draft pick this summer. Listen

CELEBRATING A CENTURY OF CHAMPIONS – 2005 LONDON KNIGHTS:

The 2005 London Knights are the nineteenth spotlight in a season long series highlighting Mastercard Memorial Cup champions. Knights coaches Dale and Dylan Hunter share their memories of the 2005 Mastercard Memorial Cup that saw London defeat Sidney Crosby and the Rimouski Oceanic to win it all. Watch at mastercardmemorialcup.ca.

VOTE FOR THE CHL’S TEAM OF THE CENTURY:

In celebration of the 100th edition of the Mastercard Memorial Cup, the Canadian Hockey League is asking fans to cast their vote for the Team of the Century.  Check out the online voting platform at http://chlteamofthecentury.ca which features photos, rosters, and tournament recaps for the first 99 Memorial Cup champions who represent the candidates eligible for the distinction of CHL Team of the Century.  Voters are eligible for great prizes including a trip for two to the 2019 Mastercard Memorial Cup.

 

COMMUNITY CORNER:

IceDogs donate $22,000 to Crohn’s & Colitis Canada: The Niagara IceDogs are proud to announce that they will be donating a record-breaking $22,000 to Crohn’s & Colitis Canada after the most successful live jersey auction in team history. The game-worn St. Patrick’s Day auctioned off jerseys were highlighted by IceDogs leading scorer Sam Miletic whose jersey went for an astounding $2,000.  Not far behind was IceDogs forward Kirill Maksimov who was able to bring in $1,750. In addition, fan favorites Ben Jones and Akil Thomas’ jerseys sold for $1,300 each. Read more

Petes rename Sky Box in honour of Gary Dalliday: The Peterborough Petes have renamed their fourth-level Sky Box in honour of local legend Gary Dalliday. Now the Gary Dalliday Media/Scout Room, the room honours Dalliday who played for the Petes during the 1960-61 season and went on to become the Sports Director of CHEX TV and play-by-play voice of the Petes along with his son Pete. Dalliday now serves as host of the Petes Media & Scouts Room at home games.

Best friends celebrate 50 years as 67’s season ticket holders: Best friends Marilyn Campbell, 77, and Mavis Morgan (85) have been Ottawa 67’s season ticket holders for 50 years. Together they have seen more than 100,000 minutes of 67’s hockey. Hear more from them at ottawa67s.com.

 

ALUMNI NOTES:

Dupuis, Gilbert, Hasson, Hulit featured as OHL Alumni of the Month: March’s OHL Alumni of the Month include former Niagara IceDogs defenceman Jay Gilbert (2007-10), former Oshawa Generals forward Chris Hulit (2001-05), former Kitchener Rangers forward Michael Hasson (2010-11) and former Sarnia Sting goaltender Taylor Dupuis (2013-15). For more on their careers after the Ontario Hockey League, check out the Alumni of the Month Spotlight. Read more

Foegele scores in NHL debut: 2017 OHL Champion and Playoff MVP Warren Foegele scored in his NHL debut on Monday. The Carolina Hurricanes forward had one goal, one assist and earned first star honours in a 4-1 win over the Ottawa Senators. He added another goal in Tuesday’s 4-3 loss to the New Jersey Devils. The 21-year-old from Markham, Ont. has 26 goals, 16 assists and 42 points over 65 games with the AHL’s Charlotte Checkers this season. Foegele spent two seasons in the OHL between Kingston and Erie from 2015-17, recording 111 points (40-71–111) over 113 career regular season games. He was Carolina’s third round pick in 2014.

Murphy scores first NHL goal: Windsor Spitfires graduate Trevor Murphy scored his first career NHL goal on Monday, helping the Arizona Coyotes defeat the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-1. The 22-year-old from Windsor, Ont. has spent the season between the AHL’s Milwaukee Admirals and Tucson Roadrunners, recording nine goals, 21 assists and 30 points over 56 games. Murphy played four OHL seasons between Peterborough and Windsor, recording 140 points (42-98–140) over 235 regular season games.

McDavid records second straight 100-point season: Erie Otters graduate Connor McDavid reached 100 points for the second straight season on Tuesday, getting in on all three goals as the Edmonton Oilers fell to the Columbus Blue Jackets 7-3. McDavid’s fourth straight multi-point outing saw him join prolific names such as Wayne Gretzky, Jari Kurri, Mark Messier, Paul Coffey and Glenn Anderson with multiple 100-point seasons in an Oilers uniform. McDavid also became the first Oiler to score 40 goals in a season since Petr Klima in 1991. McDavid spent three seasons in an Otters uniform from 2012-15, earning both OHL Rookie of the Year as well as CHL  Player of the Year honours during his tenure.

Staal hits 40-goal mark: Peterborough Petes graduate Eric Staal scored his 40th goal of the season with the Minnesota Wild on Tuesday, equalling his career-high from the 2008-09 season with the Carolina Hurricanes. Staal becomes just the second player in NHL history to have at least eight seasons between 40-goal campaigns, joining all-time great Gordie Howe in that department. A 33-year-old veteran of over 1000 NHL games, Staal played three seasons with the Peterborough Petes from 2000-03, recording 209 points (81-128–209) over 185 OHL contests. He was the second overall pick of the 2003 NHL Draft.

Burns records 50th assist: Brampton Battalion graduate Brent Burns became the first defenceman in San Jose Sharks franchise history to record 50 assists in a season, doing so with a pair of helpers in a 3-2 overtime loss to the St. Louis Blues on Tuesday. Burns has 62 points (11-51–62) in 77 games this season. The 33-year-old from Barrie, Ont. won the Norris Trophy as the NHL Defenceman of the Year last season. He played one season with the Brampton Battalion in 2002-03, recording 40 points (15-25–40) over 68 games before being a first round pick of the Minnesota Wild in the 2003 NHL Draft.

Sparks named AHL Player of the Week: Guelph Storm graduate Garret Sparks is the AHL Player of the Week after the Toronto Marlies goaltender went 3-0-0 with a 1.73 goals-against average and a .941 save percentage. The 24-year-old has appeared in 39 games for the Marlies this season and has a record of 27-9-2, ranking first in the AHL in goals-against average (1.78), second in save percentage (.937) and tied for first in shutouts (six). The native of Elmhurst, Ill. played three seasons with the Guelph Storm from 2010-13, going 71-48-1-8 with a 2.97 goals-against average, a .909 save percentage and 12 shutouts.

 

SCHEDULE:

Thursday March 29:
Kingston at North Bay (Game 4) – 7:00pm
Barrie at Mississauga (Game 4) – 7:00pm
Owen Sound at London (Game 4) – 7:00pm
Niagara at Oshawa (Game 4) – 7:05pm
Sarnia at Windsor (Game 4) – 7:05pm

Friday March 30:
Ottawa at Hamilton (Game 5) – 7:00pm
Windsor at Sarnia (Game 5) – 7:05pm
Saginaw at Sault Ste. Marie (Game 5) – 7:07pm
Guelph at Kitchener (Game 5) – 7:30pm

Saturday March 31:
North Bay at Kingston (Game 5) – 7:00pm
Oshawa at Niagara (Game 5) – 7:00pm
Sault Ste. Marie at Saginaw (Game 6) – 7:05pm*
Mississauga at Barrie (Game 5) – 7:30pm
London at Owen Sound (Game 5) – 7:30pm

Sunday April 1:
Kitchener at Guelph (Game 6) – 2:00pm (CHL on Sportsnet)
Hamilton at Ottawa (Game 6) – 2:00pm*
Barrie at Mississauga (Game 6) – 2:00pm*
Sarnia at Windsor (Game 6) – 2:05pm*
Niagara at Oshawa (Game 6) – 6:05pm*
Kingston at North Bay (Game 6) – 7:00pm*

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

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