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OHL This Week: March 21 to 24, 2019

 

The 2019 OHL Playoffs are upon us! Here’s a look at what’s happening across the league.

 

2019 OHL PLAYOFFS GET UNDERWAY:
Sixteen teams continue the quest for the Robertson Cup as the 2019 OHL Playoffs get underway Thursday night. Get a fuller view of the eight first round matchups with some insightful preview pieces. Eastern Conference Preview / Western Conference Preview

WATCH THE 2019 OHL PLAYOFFS ON OHL LIVE:
Enjoy unparalleled coverage of the 2019 Ontario Hockey League Playoffs with OHL Live. New playoff packages are now available. Visit OHLLive.com for full details.

OHL PLAYOFFS FEATURED ON SPORTSNET:
Four first round playoff matchups will be played under Sportsnet’s national spotlight over the next week showcasing six of the league’s 16 remaining teams.

  • Friday, March 22, Windsor @ London, 7:30 p.m. ET (Sportsnet 360)
  • Wednesday, March 27, Ottawa @ Hamilton, 7:00 p.m. ET (Sportsnet 360)
  • Thursday, March 28, Guelph @ Kitchener, 7:00 p.m. ET (Sportsnet 360)
  • Friday, March 29, Kitchener @ Guelph, 7:30 p.m. ET (Sportsnet 360)

OHL ANNOUNCES TOP PERFORMERS FOR MARCH:
The Ontario Hockey League announced Wednesday the Top OHL Performers of the Month for regular season games played in March, 2019, including Kitchener Rangers forward Greg Meireles, London Knights defenceman Evan Bouchard and Saginaw Spirit teammates Cole Perfetti and Ivan Prosvetov. Read more

OHL COACHES POLL SHEDS LIGHT ON BEST IN BOTH CONFERENCES:
The Ontario Hockey League announced Wednesday the results of the Eastern and Western Conference Coaches Polls for the 2018-19 OHL regular season. The OHL Coaches Poll provides member club coaches with the opportunity to recognize the top three players in 20 different skill categories within their own conference. Read more

67’s, KNIGHTS AND SPIRIT INCLUDED IN 26TH AND FINAL EDITION OF KIA CHL TOP 10 RANKINGS:
The Ottawa 67’s (4), London Knights (5) and Saginaw Spirit (10) are included on the final edition of the Kia CHL Top 10 Rankings for the 2018-19 season. Both the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds and Niagara IceDogs received honourable mentions. Full Rankings

DON MILLS FLYERS ARE 2019 OHL UP POWERED BY UNDER ARMOUR CHAMPIONS:
Shane Wright set up Brennan Othmann with 1:30 left in overtime as the Don Mills Flyers overcame a 4-1 deficit to defeat the Toronto Red Wings 6-5 and capture their first OHL Cup Powered by Under Armour Championship. The Flyers played to a perfect 7-0-0 record, becoming the first champion to do so since the 2012 Mississauga Rebels. They tied the 2008 Toronto Jr. Canadiens’ event record 41 goals for while surrendering just 10. Read more

FLYERS’ SHANE WRIGHT NAMED OHL CUP POWERED BY UNDER ARMOUR MVP:
Shane Wright of the OHL Cup Champion Don Mills Flyers is the 2019 OHL Cup Powered by Under Armour MVP after leading all players with 18 points, one shy of Connor McDavid’s 2012 event record. Wright has been awarded the Tim Adams Memorial Trophy, given annually to the Most Valuable Player of the Minor Midget showcase. Read more

2019 GATORADE OHL CUP ALL-STAR TEAM ANNOUNCED:
Six players have been named to the 2019 Gatorade OHL Cup All-Star Team, a selection of the annual showcase’s top performers as chosen by OHL Central Scouting. Shane Wright, Brennan Othmann and Brandt Clarke of the champion Don Mills Flyers join Francesco Pinelli of the Toronto Red Wings, Logan Mailloux of the Toronto Marlboros and goaltender Justin Wu of the Mississauga Rebels in the selection. Read more

SPIRIT’S PERFETTI REPRESENTS OHL IN CIBC SHOWDOWN:
Saginaw Spirit forward Cole Perfetti is the OHL’s representative in this week’s CIBC Showdown featuring one great play from all three leagues. Watch & Vote

WAWANESA OHL PLAYS OF THE WEEK:
The 25th 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 final regular season week ending March 17. This week’s highlights include a pretty 2-on-1 between Flint Firebirds Ty Dellandrea and Ethan Keppen, a through-the-legs goal from Blade Jenkins of the Saginaw Spirit, a drive to the net by Daylon Groulx of the Owen Sound Attack, a bardown shot by Adam Ruzicka of the Sudbury Wolves after a skillful deke, and Spirit rookie Cole Perfetti keeps playing like a seasoned pro. Watch

OHL GOALTENDERS DELIVER ENTERTAINING END TO 2018-19 SEASON ON JANES SAVES OF THE WEEK:
OHL goaltenders helped deliver an entertaining end to the regular season as evidenced in the latest edition of #JanesSaves. Featured this week is Tye Austin of the Peterborough Petes, Brendan Bonello of the Kingston Frontenacs, Christian Propp of the North Bay Battalion, Kari Piiroinen of the Windsor Spitfires, Matthew Villalta of the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds, Cedrick Andree of the Ottawa 67’s, Jordan Kooy of the London Knights, and Ivan Prosvetov of the Saginaw Spirit. Watch

TRIO OF MILESTONE MOMENTS CLOSE OUT REGULAR SEASON:
First OHL goals from Hamilton’s Dylan D’Agostino, Sarnia’s Nolan DeGurse and Sault Ste. Marie’s Drew Wawrow closed out the 2018-19 regular season schedule. Watch

67’s POST FRANCHISE RECORD 106 POINTS:
Fans in the nation’s capital may have witnessed one of the best 67’s teams in the franchise’s 51-year history this past season. The Barber Poles collected a franchise record 106 points, claiming their first East Division title since 2012 while also capturing their fourth Hamilton Spectator Trophy as the league’s regular season champion. Read more

ICEDOGS CLAIM CENTRAL DIVISION SUPREMACY:
It came down to the final day of the season, but the Niagara IceDogs are 2019 Central Division champions. League scoring champion Jason Robertsonscored and added two assists as the Dogs skated to an 8-3 win in North Bay, securing their first Central Division crown since 2012. The IceDogs finish the season on a six-game winning streak with an overall record of 44-17-7-0 for 95 points, four up on the Sudbury Wolves who suffered an 8-2 season-ending loss in Oshawa on Sunday. Read more

ICEDOGS’ ROBERTSON CAPTURES OHL SCORING CROWN:
Dallas Stars prospect Jason Robertson of the Niagara IceDogs has won the Eddie Powers Memorial Trophy awarded to the OHL’s top scorer. Robertson finished atop the regular season scoring charts with 117 points powered by 48 goals and 69 assists in 62 games for a league-best points-per-game average of 1.89. Read more

BATTALION’S BRAZEAU FINISHES AS LEAGUE’S TOP SCORING RIGHT WINGER:
Justin Brazeau of the North Bay Battalion is the top scoring right winger and 2018-19 recipient of the Jim Mahon Memorial Trophy. Brazeau finished second in OHL scoring but led all right wingers with 113 points including a league-high 61 goals along with 52 assists in 68 games. Read more

OTTAWA TANDEM OF ANDREE AND DIPIETRO ALLOW FEWEST GOALS AGAINST:
The Ottawa 67’s allowed the fewest goals against during the 2018-19 OHL season with the tandem of Cedrick Andree and Michael DiPietro earning the Dave Pinkney Trophy. The pair finished first and second among league leaders in goals-against-average with DiPietro’s overall mark of 2.40 just ahead of Andree’s 2.48. Read more

GREYHOUNDS’ TAYLOR RECORDS LOWEST ROOKIE GOALS-AGAINST AVERAGE:
Ethan Taylor of the Soo Greyhounds is the 2018-19 recipient of the OHL’s F.W ‘Dinty’ Moore Trophy awarded to the rookie goaltender with the lowest goals-against-average. The 17-year-old from Trenton, Ont., appeared in 22 games for the Greyhounds this season playing to a 10-1-2-1 record with a .894 save percentage. Read more

ICEDOGS’ ROBERTSON NAMED OHL ‘ON THE RUN’ AND CHL PLAYER OF THE WEEK:
Dallas Stars prospect Jason Robertson of the Niagara IceDogs is both the OHL ‘On the Run’ Player of the Week as well as the CHL Player of the Week for the final week of regular season action ending March 17 with 11 points in three games including five goals and six assists with a plus-minus rating of plus-7. Robertson delivered a trio of multi-point performances that not only clinched the OHL scoring title but helped the IceDogs win all three games to secure the Central Division crown and second place in the Eastern Conference standings with a final regular season record of 44-17-7-0. Read more

GREYHOUNDS’ VILLALTA NAMED VAUGHN CHL GOALTENDER OF THE WEEK:
Los Angeles Kings prospect Matthew Villalta of the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds is the Vaughn CHL Goaltender of the Week for the regular season week ending March 17 with a 2-0-0-0 record, a goals-against average of 1.20, and save percentage of .964. Villalta claims the honour for the first time this season after going undefeated in two games last week in which he stopped a combined 53 shots to help the Greyhounds conclude the 2018-19 regular season with a 44-16-7-1 showing, good for third in the Western Conference. Read more

ICEDOGS’ THOMAS REACHES CENTURY MARK, SIGNS WITH KINGS:
Niagara IceDogs forward Akil Thomas has signed a three-year entry level NHL contract with the Los Angeles Kings. Thomas finished the 2018-19 season with 102 points including 38 goals and 64 assists in 63 games. The 19-year-old from Brandon, Fla. was Los Angeles’ second round (51st overall) pick last summer. Read more

GENERALS EXTEND CONTRACT OF HEAD COACH GREG WALTERS:
The Oshawa Generals have extended the contract of head coach Greg Walters through the 2020-21 season. In his first season as a head coach in the Ontario Hockey League, Walters led the Generals to an impressive 44-20-4-0 record and a third place finish in the Eastern Conference. Read more

GREYHOUNDS EXTEND CONTRACT OF GM KYLE RAFTIS:
The Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds have extended the contract of general manager Kyle Raftis through the 2021-22 season. Under Raftis’ guidance the Greyhounds have an overall regular season record of 234-78-20-8. They have been the recipient of the Angelo Bumbacco Trophy symbolic of West Division Champions on three occasions (2017-18, 2016-17, 2014-15), Hamilton Spectator Trophy symbolic of the team finishing first overall in the OHL regular season twice (2018, 2015) while advancing to the OHL Championship series last season. Read more

ICEDOGS DONATE $18,000, RAISE $22,000 TO CANADIAN CANCER SOCIETY IN NIAGARA:
The Niagara IceDogs have announced that the Niagara Branch of the Canadian Cancer Society will be receiving $18,000 from the live auction of the game-worn specialty pink jerseys, from the 7-2 win on January 19th against the Flint Firebirds. All funds raised from the jersey auction will be donated to the Canadian Cancer Society. Read more

 

ALUMNI NOTES:

Perlini, McDavid named NHL Stars of the Week: Niagara IceDogs graduate Brendan Perlini and Erie Otters graduate Connor McDavid have been named the NHL’s second and third stars of the week respectively. Perlini shared the league lead with five goals to help the Chicago Blackhawks extend their overall winning streak to five games and move within five points of the final playoff spot in the Western Conference. McDavid led the NHL with nine points in four games to power the Edmonton Oilers to a pair of wins. Get the full scoop on their performances at NHL.com.

Stamkos becomes leading goal-scorer in Lightning franchise history: Sarnia Sting graduate Steven Stamkos became the leading goal scorer in Tampa Bay Lightning franchise history on Monday. Stamkos lit the lamp for the 384th time in his NHL career as the Bolts defeated the Arizona Coyotes 4-1. Stamkos surpassed Vincent Lecavalier with the milestone marker, scoring his 36th goal of the season. The 29-year-old centreman has 82 points (36-46–82) over 73 games this season. Originally the first overall pick of the 2008 NHL Draft by the Lightning, Stamkos enjoyed a two-year career in Sarnia, recording 197 career regular season points (100-97–197) over 124 games.

Jordan Staal records 500th career point: Peterborough Petes graduate Jordan Staal recorded the 500th point of his NHL career on Saturday, scoring a goal in a 4-2 Carolina Hurricanes victory over the Buffalo Sabres. The 30-year-old centreman from Thunder Bay, Ont. has 18 points (7-11–18) over 40 games with the Canes this season, contributing to a career total of 213 goals, 287 assists and 500 points over 883 regular season games. Staal was the second overall pick of the 2006 NHL Draft by the Pittsburgh Penguins. He won an OHL Championship with Peterborough in 2006, recording 96 points (37-59–96) over 134 career regular season games.

Foegele playing role in Hurricanes resurgence: Erie Otters graduate and former OHL Playoff MVP Warren Foegele is turning heads with the Carolina Hurricanes. The 22-year-old has 12 points over 69 games for the Canes who are looking to secure their first postseason berth since 2008-09. The Markham, Ont. native played two OHL seasons between Kingston and Erie, winning an OHL title with the Otters in 2017. NHL.com‘s Mike Morreale has more on Foegele’s development.

Strome excelling with Blackhawks: Another Erie Otters graduate and former OHL champion, Dylan Strome’s NHL career has taken off since he joined the Chicago Blackhawks earlier this season. The second of three Strome brothers to play in the OHL, Dylan has 44 points (14-30–44) over 48 games with the Hawks this season, improving upon six points over his first 20 games spent with Arizona in 2018-19. The 354-point OHL scorer played four seasons in Erie from 2013-17. Visit sportsnet.ca for the full story.

Bracco named AHL Player of the Week: Windsor Spitfires graduate and former Memorial Cup champion Jeremy Bracco has been named AHL Player of the Week. The Toronto Marlies winger had four multiple-point games last week, totaling two goals and seven assists for nine points. A second-round selection (61st overall) by Toronto in the 2015 NHL Draft, Bracco leads the AHL with 51 assists and is tied for second with 69 points in 64 games for the Marlies this season. The 22-year-old from Freeport, NY played two OHL seasons between Kitchener and Windsor, recording 147 points (46-101–147) over 106 career regular season games.

6 OHL grads win U SPORTS national championship with UNB: Six OHL graduates helped the University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds capture their third U SPORTS national championship in the past four years. OHL alumni Marcus McIvor (North Bay Battalion) and Kris Bennett (Saginaw Spirit) were named to the tournament all-star team while Noah Carroll (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds), Cameron Brace (Belleville Bulls), James McEwan (Guelph Storm) and Patrick Watling (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds) joined them in hoisting the University Cup. UNB defeated the Alberta Golden Bears by a score of 4-2 in Sunday’s final. Read more

Abraham retires a champion: Erie Otters graduate Spencer Abraham has announced his retirement after hoisting the Queen’s Cup as an OUA Champion with the Queen’s Gaels men’s hockey team. The 26-year-old Burlington, Ont. native played a full five seasons at Queen’s finishing as the program’s career leader in points by a defenceman while also earning the Clare Drake Award as U SPORTS Rookie of the Year in 2015. A former 15th round pick in the 2009 OHL Priority Selection, Abraham went on to enjoy a four year OHL career between Brampton and Erie from 2010-14. Abraham received his undergraduate degree in Classical Studies in 2017, and will advance to receive his law degree from  Queen’s in 2020. For more on his career at Queen’s, visit queensjournal.ca.

 

SCHEDULE:

Thursday March 21st:
North Bay at Niagara – 7:00pm (Game 1)
Sarnia at Saginaw – 7:05pm (Game 1)
Owen Sound at Sault Ste. Marie – 7:07pm (Game 1)

Friday March 22nd:
Hamilton at Ottawa – 7:00pm (Game 1)
Mississauga at Sudbury – 7:05pm (Game 1)
Windsor at London – 7:30pm (Game 1) – Sportsnet 360
Kitchener at Guelph – 7:30pm (Game 1)
Peterborough at Oshawa – 7:35pm (Game 1)

Saturday March 23rd:
North Bay at Niagara – 7:00pm (Game 2)
Mississauga at Sudbury – 7:05pm (Game 2)
Sarnia at Saginaw – 7:05pm (Game 2)
Owen Sound at Sault Ste. Marie – 7:07pm (Game 2)

Sunday March 24th:
Hamilton at Ottawa – 2:00pm (Game 2)
Windsor at London – 2:00pm (Game 2)
Kitchener at Guelph – 2:00pm (Game 2)
Peterborough at Oshawa – 6:05pm (Game 2)
Sudbury at Mississauga – 7:00pm (Game 3)

Monday March 25th:
Sault Ste. Marie at Owen Sound – 7:00pm (Game 3)

Tuesday March 26th:
Ottawa at Hamilton – 7:00pm (Game 3)
Niagara at North Bay – 7:00pm (Game 3)
Guelph at Kitchener – 7:00pm (Game 3)
Oshawa at Peterborough – 7:05pm (Game 3)
London at Windsor – 7:05pm (Game 3)
Saginaw at Sarnia – 7:05pm (Game 3)

Wednesday March 27th:
Ottawa at Hamilton – 7:00pm (Game 4) – Sportsnet 360
Sudbury at Mississauga – 7:00pm (Game 4)
Sault Ste. Marie at Owen Sound – 7:00pm (Game 4)

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