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OHL This Week: March 9 to 12, 2017

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.

 

OWEN SOUND AND SUDBURY NAMED AS HOSTS FOR 2017 CIBC CANADA RUSSIA SERIES:

Owen Sound and Sudbury have been named as hosts of the 2017 CIBC Canada Russia Series. Game 3 of the six game series goes November 9th in Owen Sound before shifting to Sudbury on November 13th for Game 4. The event returns to Owen Sound after Team OHL claimed 3-0 win there in 2015. Sudbury will be hosting the event for a CHL record fourth time following games in 2007, 2010 and 2013. Read more

OTTERS, KNIGHTS, GREYHOUNDS, ATTACK IN CHL TOP-10:

The Erie Otters (2), London Knights (4), Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds (5) and Owen Sound Attack (8) are all included in the 24th edition of the weekly CHL Top-10 Rankings. The Mastercard Memorial Cup host Windsor Spitfires received an honourable mention. The weekly rankings of the CHL’s Top-10 teams are selected by a panel of National Hockey League scouts. Read more

SPITFIRES’ GABRIEL VILARDI NAMED PIONEER ENERGY OHL PLAYER OF THE WEEK AND CHL PLAYER OF THE WEEK:

2017 NHL Draft prospect Gabriel Vilardi of the Windsor Spitfires is both the Pioneer Energy OHL Player of the Week as well as the CHL Player of the Week for the week ending March 5 after leading the league with nine points in three games scoring four goals and five assists with a plus-minus rating of plus-4. Vilardi recorded a trio of multi-point performances last week for the Spitfires who won all three of their games to keep pace in the competitive Western Conference standings where they remain in fifth place with a 39-15-5-3 record just two points behind the Owen Sound Attack. Read more

GREYHOUNDS’ MATTHEW VILLALTA NAMED VAUGHN CHL GOALTENDER OF THE WEEK:

For the second time this season, rookie netminder Matthew Villalta of the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds is the Vaughn CHL Goaltender of the Week for the week ending March 5 after posting a 2-0-0-0 record including a shutout victory with a goals-against-average of 0.50 and save percentage of .985. Villalta turned aside 64 shots in a pair of road victories for the CHL’s fifth ranked Greyhounds who continue to hold first place in the OHL’s West Division with a 43-15-3-1 record. Read more

SPITFIRES’ DAY SIGNS WITH RANGERS:

The New York Rangers have signed Windsor Spitfires defenceman Sean Day to a three-year entry-level NHL contract. The 19-year-old has skated in 57 games with Mississauga and Windsor this season, registering 14 goals and 17 assists for 31 points, along with a plus-19 rating. He has established OHL career-highs in goals and shots on goal (176) this season, and his plus-19 rating is currently an OHL career-high. Read more

OTTERS’ KNOBLAUCH TO RETURN AS ASSISTANT WITH CANADIAN NATIONAL JUNIOR TEAM:

Erie Otters head coach Kris Knoblauch will return to Canada’s bench as an assistant coach at the 2018 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship in Buffalo, NY next season. Knoblauch, who has coached the Otters since 2012-13, received the Matt Leyden Trophy as the 2016 OHL Coach of the Year following Erie’s Midwest Division title last season. He is joined behind Canada’s bench by head coach Dominique Ducharme (Drummondville Voltigeurs) and Tim Hunter (Moose Jaw Warriors). Read more

OTTERS’ RADDYSH REACHES 100-POINT PLEATEAU:

Tampa Bay Lightning prospect Taylor Raddysh of the Erie Otters has joined teammate Alex DeBrincat in the century club. One of three Lightning prospects on the Otters roster, Raddysh scored his 38th goal of the season and pitched in with two assists to bring him to 100 points on the season as Erie lost a wild one in Niagara by a score of 9-7 on Sunday. Raddysh’s 100 points (38-62–100) place him second in OHL scoring. He leads the league in both assists (62) and plus/minus (plus-64). Read more

GREYHOUNDS’ MacINTYRE PLAYS 300TH OHL GAME:
Soo Greyhounds overage veteran Bobby MacIntyre played his 300th career OHL contest on Sunday in Kitchener. Other fifth-year OHL veterans in Michael Cramarossa (Hamilton Bulldogs), Kyle Pettit (Erie Otters) and Darby Llewellyn (Kitchener Rangers) are also on pace to reach the 300-game mark in their careers. Brandon Prophet (Peterborough Petes), Jeremiah Addison (Windsor Spitfires) and Matt Schmalz (Owen Sound Attack) already accomplished the feat this season.

PETES’ MILLER WORKS 1200TH OHL GAME:

Peterborough Petes head trainer and equipment manager Brian Miller worked the 1200th game of his OHL career last week. Miller, who began his career working 200 games with the Guelph Storm, stepped behind the bench for his 1000th career game with the Peterborough Petes and was honoured prior to puck drop on March 2nd before the Petes defeated the Owen Sound Attack 5-4 in overtime.

COLTS’ ROY RADKE HEADLINES OHL PLAYS OF THE WEEK:

The 23rd edition of the OHL Plays of the Week for the 2016-17 season feature another exciting countdown of the league’s Top-5 goals scored during the week ending March 5. This week’s highlights feature Givani Smith of the Guelph Storm with some slick hands, a shorthanded give-and-go between Soo Greyhounds Blake Speers and Boris Katchouk, an incredible end-to-end rush by Jordan Kyrou of the Sarnia Sting, and a pair of sensational overtime winners by Graham Knott of the Windsor Spitfires and Roy Radke of the Barrie Colts. Watch

Radke 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.

OHL’s BEST SAVES HIGHLIGHTED IN 23RD EDITION OF JANES SAVES OF THE WEEK:

The 23rd edition of #JanesSaves features 13 OHL goaltenders putting on masterful displays to open action in March.  This week’s highlights include Anthony Popovich of the Guelph Storm, Luke Richardson of the Kitchener Rangers, Brent Moran of the North Bay Battalion, Mario Peccia of the Kingston Frontenacs, Leo Lazarev of the Ottawa 67’s, Scott Smith of the Peterborough Petes, Mario Culina of the Windsor Spitfires, Jacob Ingham of the Mississauga Steelheads, Jake McGrath of the Sudbury Wolves, Matthew Villalta of the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds, Jeremy Brodeur of the Oshawa Generals, Tyler Parsons of the London Knights, and Justin Fazio of the Sarnia Sting. Watch

THREE FIRST GOALS AND A SHUTOUT FEATURED IN OHL MILESTONE MOMENTS:

The 23rd week of the 2016-17 Ontario Hockey League season ending March 5 featured a trio of players celebrating milestone moments with first career OHL goals, plus one first career shutout. First goals included Ryan Littlejohn (Flint Firebirds), Peter Stratis (Ottawa 67’s) and Brett Hahkala (North Bay Battalion) while Vaughn CHL Goaltender of the Week Matthew Villalta of the Soo Greyhounds earned his first OHL shutout. Watch

OHL CUP POWERED BY UNDER ARMOUR FULL SCHEDULE ANNOUNCED, WILD CARD PLAY-IN MATCHUPS DETERMINED: 

The puck drops at the 2017 OHL Cup Showcase Tournament powered by Under Armour on Tuesday March 14 with four Wild Card Play-In Games followed by Round-Robin action in Toronto. Games will be played March 14-18 in Toronto at Scotiabank Pond, until the Championship Final moves to the Mattamy Athletic Centre on Monday, March 20. Full schedule

OHL CUP POWERED BY UNDER ARMOUR MINOR MIDGET TOP-10 RANKINGS – WEEK 12:

With just one week remaining until the 2017 OHL Cup Powered by Under Armour, the OMHA Champion Whitby Wildcats are on the rise to number two in this week’s rankings. The Toronto Marlboros rise one spot to number three while the Vaughan Kings are up to number five on the list. Whitby joins the Brampton 45’s, Quinte Red Devils and Ajax-Pickering Raiders in securing an OHL Cup berth. Read more

CMHA TALK TODAY AWARENESS CAMPAIGN VISITS NIAGARA:

The Niagara IceDogs host CMHA Talk Today Night on Thursday when they took on the visiting Owen Sound Attack. Presented by Teachers Life, Talk Today awareness games feature a CMHA kiosk where fans can get more information about Talk Today and the programs and services offered by the Branches. There will also be public address and video announcements in venue addressing the importance of positive mental health, along with mental health awareness messaging delivered through social media. Read more

BULLDOGS’ MATTHEW STROME FEATURED ON JUNIOR HOCKEY MAGAZINE:

2017 NHL Draft prospect Matthew Strome of the Hamilton Bulldogs is the latest guest on Junior Hockey Magazine with Gino Reda. Strome currently leads the Bulldogs with 33 goals and 57 points on the season and recently competed in the 2017 Sherwin-Williams CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game in Quebec City. Listen

 

COMMUNITY CORNER:

Frontenacs honour Doug Gilmour Friday in Kingston: The Kingston Frontenacs will honour Kingston native, long-time Toronto Maple Leafs captain and Hockey Hall of Fame inductee Doug Gilmour on Friday night when they host the Mississauga Steelheads. Gilmour, who is in his sixth season as Frontenacs GM, is a former Stanley Cup Champion and Mastercard Memorial Cup Champion, winning over the hearts of many during his 20-year NHL career that came to an end in 2003. The Frontenacs will raise Gilmour’s banner to the rafters of the Rogers K-Rock Centre prior to puck drop.

Sting host ZOOperstars Night: The Sarnia Sting welcome the ZOOperstars on Friday when they host the Windsor Spitfires. ZOOperstars! is one of the ‘top hockey entertainment acts’, providing hilarious intermission entertainment for more than 20 years. This unique show features hilarious inflatable characters with clever names such as Whale Gretzky, Bobby Orrangutang, Mario Lemule, Squidney Crosby, and many more! For full details, visit sarniasting.com.

Taylor Raddysh Bobbleheads in Erie on Sunday: The first 500 kids 12 & Under who head out to see the Erie Otters host the Peterborough Petes on Sunday will receive a free Taylor Raddysh bobblehead. Raddysh is the OHL’s newest 100-point scorer as he looks to lead the first place Otters to their second straight Midwest Division title.

Storm warm-up jersey auction in support of Guelph Giants Special Needs Hockey: The Guelph Storm are auctioning off their 2016-17 warmup jerseys with proceeds benefitting Guelph Giants Special Needs Hockey. The online auction begins Wednesday at 6:00pm and runs through March 15th. Winning bidders for jerseys of players currently on the Storm roster will have the opportunity to participate in an on-ice ceremony immediately after the Guelph Storm’s final home game on March 19th, 2017. For more details, visit guelphstorm.com.

 

ALUMNI NOTES:

Childerley recovering after suffering heart attack: Brampton Battalion graduate and former OHL Champion Brendan Childerley has been released from hospital after suffering a heart attack after the first overtime of Acadia University’s men’s hockey semi-final game against StFX last month. The 24-year-old from Stratford went into cardiac arrest and was resuscitated using a defibrillator and CPR. Childerley’s hockey season is over as he recovers from surgery that was performed to clear a blocked artery. A Business student at Acadia, Childerley played five OHL seasons between Sault Ste. Marie, Owen Sound and Brampton, recording 23 goals, 31 assists and 54 points in 271 career regular season games. He won an OHL title with the Owen Sound Attack in 2011.

Chiarlitti, Hunt, Jenkins, Quinn featured in OHL Alumni of the Month Spotlight: The OHL Alumni Association is pleased to continue the OHL Alumni of the Month program recognizing former players achieving success in the corporate, business, or professional world.  February’s OHL Alumni of the Month include Jim Quinn (Kitchener Rangers), Brian Hunt (Oshawa Generals), Nathan Chiarlitti (Sarnia Sting), and Billy Jenkins (Niagara IceDogs). Read more

Thornton records 1,000th career assist: Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds graduate Joe Thornton is the 13th member of the NHL’s 1,000 assists club, setting up Joe Pavelski’s winning goal in a 3-2 triumph over the Winnipeg Jets. A 19-year NHL veteran, Thornton has recorded 1,382 career points in 1,432 regular season games between San Jose and Boston dating back to 1997 after he was the first overall pick of the ’97 NHL Draft. His decorated NHL career was proceeded by a two-year OHL tenure in Sault Ste. Marie where he was the OHL Rookie of the Year in 1996 and won gold with Canada at the World Juniors in 1997. Thornton recorded 198 points (71-127–198) over 125 regular season games with the Greyhounds after being their first round, second overall pick in the 1995 OHL Priority Selection.

Ho-Sang scores first NHL goal: Niagara IceDogs graduate Josh Ho-Sang scored his first career NHL goal on Tuesday, opening the scoring for the New York Islanders against the Edmonton Oilers 17:23 into the first period. The 21-year-old made his NHL debut last Thursday, skating 17:01 in a 5-4 win over the Dallas Stars. The 21-year-old Ho-Sang has spent much of this season with the AHL’s Bridgeport Sound Tigers, recording 10 goals, 26 assists and 36 points in 48 games. Prior to his first pro season this year, Ho-Sang spent four seasons in the OHL between Windsor and Niagara, helping the IceDogs win an Eastern Conference title last spring. In 256 career OHL regular season contests, Ho-Sang had 82 goals, 210 assists and 292 points. He was New York’s first round (28th overall) pick in the 2014 NHL Draft.

Elie debuts with Stars, earns first point: Erie Otters graduate Remi Elie made his NHL debut with the Dallas Stars on Saturday, skating 15:29 in a 2-1 win over the Florida Panthers. He proceeded to record his first NHL point on Wednesday with an assist in a 5-2 loss to the Ottawa Senators. The 21-year-old Elie has spent much of this season with the AHL’s Texas Stars, recording eight goals, 17 assists and 25 points in 50 games. The Green Valley, Ont. native was an OHL Champion with the London Knights in 2013 and played three OHL seasons between London, Belleville and Erie, recording 161 points (66-95–161) over 195 regular season contests. He was Dallas’ second round (40th overall) pick in the 2013 NHL Draft.

13 OHL grads named to OUA Men’s Hockey all-star, all-rookie teams: A total of 13 OHL graduates have been named to OUA Men’s Hockey all-star and all-rookie teams following the conclusion of the 2016-17 season. Soo Greyhounds graduate Andrew Fritsch (Laurier) was named the OUA West Division Most Sportsmanlike Player of the Year. Read more

Burke backstops Alberta to Canada West Men’s Hockey title: London Knights graduate Brendan Burke has helped steer the Alberta Golden Bears Men’s Hockey team to a Canada West Championship, defeating the Saskatchewan Huskies 6-3 in Game 3 of their series on Sunday. Burke made 32 saves in the win and posted an 8-3-0-0 record with a 1.70 goals-against average and a .934 save percentage in 14 games this season. Burke was a Mastercard Memorial Cup champion with the Knights last spring and was Arizona’s sixth round pick in the 2013 NHL Draft.

York takes on Queen’s in OUA Men’s Hockey Final: OHL graduates go head-to-head in the OUA Queen’s Cup Men’s Hockey Final on Saturday in Toronto as the Queen’s Gaels visit the York Lions. The Gaels are competing in their first OUA Final since 1981 and are led by goaltender Kevin Bailie (London Knights) playing behind talent in Slater Doggett (Windsor Spitfires), Darcy Greenaway (Kingston Frontenacs), Eric Ming (Niagara IceDogs) and Spencer Abraham (Erie Otters). The Lions feature recent grads in Daniel Nikandrov (Peterborough Petes) and Steven Janes (Windsor Spitfires). Both clubs have secured a trip to the U SPORTS University Cup in Fredericton, New Brunswick that begins on Thursday March 16th.

StFX, UNB go head-to-head in AUS Men’s Hockey Final: The reigning AUS Champion StFX X-Men are taking on the perennial contender UNB Varsity Reds in the AUS Men’s Hockey Final. The X-Men feature recent OHL grads in Michael Clarke (Peterborough Petes), Holden Cook (Owen Sound Attack), Bryson Cianfrone (Owen Sound Attack) and Sam Studnicka (Sarnia Sting). They battle the U SPORTS University Cup host Varsity Reds who are led by former OHL talent in Cameron Brace (Belleville Bulls), Marcus McIvor (North Bay Battalion), Colin Suellentrop (Oshawa Generals) and Robby Mignardi (Owen Sound Attack). StFX and UNB will both compete in the U SPORTS University Cup in Fredericton beginning next week. The winner of a consolation series between Acadia and Saint Mary’s will determine the third AUS team competing.

Paterson sets Toledo Walleye franchise shutout records: Kitchener Rangers graduate Jake Paterson is re-writing the record book of the ECHL’s Toledo Walleye. Paterson recorded his eighth career ECHL shutout on March 4th in a 3-0 win over Kalamazoo. Paterson’s sixth shutout of the season is also a Toledo single-season record. A native of Mississauga, Ont., Paterson played parts of five OHL seasons between Saginaw and Kitchener, going 96-75-8-7 with a 3.29 goals-against average and a .907 save percentage with seven shutouts. He was Detroit’s third round (80th overall) pick in the 2012 NHL Draft.

Pacan named ECHL Player of the Month for February: Niagara IceDogs graduate David Pacan has been named the ECHL’s Player of the Month for February. The Brampton Beast winger scored 11 goals and 11 assists for 22 points in 14 games, helping the Beast to an 11-1-2 record. The 25-year-old has 59 points (32-27–59) in 50 games with Brampton this season. A former sixth round pick by the Chicago Blackhawks in 2009, Pacan played two seasons with the IceDogs from 2010-12, recording 126 points (49-77–126) in 133 regular season games.

Falkovsky named ECHL Rookie of the Month: Ottawa 67’s graduate Stepan Falkovsky has been named the ECHL’s Rookie of the Month for February. The Adirondack Thunder rearguard recorded 12 goals, three assists and 15 points in 13 February contests, helping the Thunder to an 8-2-3 record. The native of Minsk, Belarus leads ECHL blueliners with 20 goals this season, becoming the first defenceman since Aaron Schneekloth in 2011-12 to reach the 20-goal plateau. Falkovsky played 58 games with Ottawa last season, recording nine goals, 23 assists and 32 points. He was Calgary’s seventh round pick in 2016.

Bowen broadcasts 3000th NHL game: Former Sudbury Wolves play-by-play voice Joe Bowen reached a significant career milestone on Tuesday, calling his 3000th career NHL game from the broadcast booth as the Toronto Maple Leafs defeated the Detroit Red Wings 3-2. Bowen has been on the job for 35 years but got a start to his career in the OHL.

 

KEY MATCHUPS:

Erie Otters (45-14-2-1, 1st Midwest) vs. London Knights (41-13-3-4, 2nd Midwest)
Friday at London

It’s always a big ticket event when the Erie Otters and London Knights square off and they’ll do so two more times this season including Friday night in London. Both clubs have lost a bit of steam of late, each suffering four losses in their past 10 games. The Otters lead the Knights by four points in the Western Conference standings and are five wins away from a fourth consecutive 50-win campaign. The Knights are battling to stay ahead of the Owen Sound Attack and Windsor Spitfires with seven games left on their schedule. The Otters have won three of the four clashes between the two clubs this season but face a tall task when they battle the Knights on the road Friday night.

Ottawa 67’s (24-32-5-1, 5th East) vs. Hamilton Bulldogs (30-25-4-3, 3rd East)
Sunday at Hamilton

Two Eastern Conference teams trending in the right direction meet on Sunday as the Hamilton Bulldogs, who have collected at least a point in eight of their last 10 games, host the Ottawa 67’s who enter the weekend as winners of two straight. The Bulldogs are locked in a bitter battle with the Kingston Frontenacs to try and secure home ice advantage in what is looking to be a first round series between the two clubs. Hamilton enters the weekend tied with Kingston for fourth while Ottawa sits one point ahead of seventh place Sudbury after leapfrogging the Wolves last weekend. Ottawa is one of four teams separated by just four points  in the bottom half of the conference as only three of those clubs will make the playoffs. The 67’s have won three of the four meetings between the two clubs this season.

 

SCHEDULE:

Thursday March 9:
Guelph at London – 7:00pm – CHL on Sportsnet (Sportsnet 360)
Owen Sound at Niagara – 7:00pm
Ottawa at Peterborough – 7:05pm
Erie at Windsor – 7:05pm
Mississauga at Barrie – 7:30pm

Friday March 10:
Mississauga at Kingston – 7:00pm
Hamilton at Niagara – 7:00pm
Barrie at Sudbury – 7:00pm
Windsor at Sarnia – 7:05pm
Kitchener at Sault Ste. Marie – 7:07pm
Saginaw at Guelph – 7:30pm
Erie at London – 7:30pm
Ottawa at Oshawa – 7:35pm

Saturday March 11:
Kitchener at Flint – 7:00pm
Peterborough at Hamilton – 7:00pm
Oshawa at Kingston – 7:00pm
North Bay at Barrie – 7:30pm
Saginaw at Owen Sound – 7:30pm

Sunday March 12:
London at Guelph – 2:00pm
Ottawa at Hamilton – 2:00pm
North Bay at Niagara – 2:00pm
Sault Ste. Marie at Sudbury – 2:00pm
Owen Sound at Sarnia – 2:05pm
Flint at Windsor – 2:05pm
Peterborough at Erie – 5:00pm
Kingston at Oshawa – 6:05pm

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

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