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OHL This Week: May 24 to 27, 2018

 

The 2018 Mastercard Memorial Cup continues in Regina as the Hamilton Bulldogs are one of three teams left standing alongside the WHL’s Regina Pats and the QMJHL’s Acadie-Bathurst Titan. Here’s a look at what’s happening in the OHL This Week.

 

BULLDOGS ADVANCE TO MASTERCARD MEMORIAL CUP SEMI-FINAL:

The Hamilton Bulldogs recovered from a 3-2 opening night loss to the host Regina Pats, defeating the Swift Current Broncos 2-1 on Monday before defeating the Acadie-Bathurst Titan a night later by a score of 3-2. The Bulldogs advance to face Regina in Friday’s Semi-Final on Sportsnet at 8pm MT/10pm ET. For full coverage of the 2018 Mastercard Memorial Cup visit mastercardmemorialcup.ca.

PAST CHAMPIONS THOMAS, MATSOS BRING WEALTH OF EXPERIENCE TO BULLDOGS:

The Hamilton Bulldogs hoisted the Robertson Cup as OHL Champions and reached the Mastercard Memorial Cup in just their third season, but this week’s experience in Regina isn’t everyone in the organization’s first rodeo. Star centreman Robert Thomas and associate coach Dave Matsos have been in the Mastercard Memorial Cup before and have past experience to share with the Hamilton Bulldogs. Read more

KALIYEV A STAR IN THE MAKING FOR BULLDOGS:

It’s a sure sign that a team has considerable depth when a 31-goal scorer is slotted in on the fourth line, and embracing that assignment with a team-first attitude. Arthur Kaliyev did big things in his 16-year-old season and continues to develop into an intriguing prospect for the 2019 NHL Draft. Read more

SPITFIRES WENT SEPARATE WAYS BUT MASTERCARD MEMORIAL CUP MEMORIES REMAIN:

Many of them went separate ways this past season, but members of the 2017 Mastercard Memorial Cup champion Windsor Spitfires will always share the magical memory of what took place on home ice last spring. Read more

CHL FANS AND COMMUNITY RAISE OVER $7 MILLION FOR CHARITIES AND LOCAL ORGANIZATIONS:

Across the Canadian Hockey League there are thousands of games played annually. While each of these games are different, there is one thing that is consistent: every game has a charitable or community component, be it a local team-specific fundraiser or a league wide awareness event. During the 2017-18 season, through the generosity of CHL fans and with the support and cooperation of our teams, charitable groups and community organizations have raised over $7M to help support thousands of different programs and bring awareness to critical issues. Read more

CHL SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM INVESTMENT TOPS $9.6 MILLION IN 2017-18:

During the 2017-18 academic year 910 CHL graduates utilized their scholarship at post-secondary institutions across North America, for a total cost to teams of over $8 million. Of these, 546 players are on U SPORTS hockey teams, including 25 players on the 2018 U SPORTS University Cup Champions, the University of Alberta Golden Bears. In addition, the teams contributed over $1.6 million for current CHL players attending high school and post-secondary institutions. The overall investment for 2017-18 in the CHL Scholarship Program is over $9.6 million. Read more

CHL AND HEALTH CANADA ANNOUNCE PUBLIC EDUCATION PARTNERSHIP:

The Canadian Hockey League is proud to announce a new partnership with Health Canada introducing the launch of a campaign called #FocusedOn. The CHL’s #FocusedOn initiative will engage young Canadians, parents, adults, and athletes in the discussion to help youth understand facts about cannabis and encourage them to make positive and healthy lifestyle choices to stay focused on their goals. Read more

SPITFIRES’ SMITH PROMOTED TO ASSOCIATE COACH, SIGNS TWO-YEAR EXTENSION:

The Windsor Spitfires announced Tuesday that Jerrod Smith has been promoted to the position of associate coach and has signed a two-year extension with the club. The 34-year-old joined the Spitfires as the club’s video coach prior to the 2011-12 season before becoming an assistant coach two years later under then-head coach Bob Boughner. The 2018-19 season will be his eighth in all and his sixth behind the bench. Read more

ATTACK’S HOPF JOINS ST. LOUIS BLUES:

Owen Sound Attack strength and conditioning coach Andrew Hopf recently accepted a position with the St. Louis Blues. Hopf had been with the Attack since the beginning of the 2010-11 season while also serving in the position with the University of Waterloo’s Varsity Athletics. Read more on the story at attackhockey.com.

OHL COACHES CONFERENCE SET FOR SATURDAY JUNE 2ND:

The Ontario Hockey League is pleased to hold the 5th annual OHL Coaches Conference providing minor hockey coaches the opportunity to learn from OHL, AHL, and NHL personnel in an interactive professional development day. The event will be held on Saturday June 2, 2018 on the campus of UOIT in Oshawa, ON. Programs are open to any coach registered within the OHF, OHA, OWHA, HEO, or HNO, coaching Pee-Wee ‘AAA’, Minor Bantam and Major Bantam ‘AE to AAA’, Minor Midget and Midget ‘AE to AAA’ and all levels of junior hockey. Read more

3RD ANNUAL OHL ALUMNI ASSOCIATION GOLF TOURNAMENT FAST APPROACHING:

The 3rd Annual OHL Alumni Association Golf Tournament is fast approaching, set to take place on Monday June 4th at the Devil’s Pulpit Golf Club in Caledon, Ont. Proceeds from this year’s tournament will be donated to the Bryan Bickell Foundation, which helps patients living with Multiple Sclerosis. Read more

 

ALUMNI NOTES:

Five OHL grads earn medals at IIHF World Championships: A total of five OHL grads earned medals at the 2018 IIHF World Hockey Championship in Denmark. Former Plymouth Whalers forward Rickard Rakell (Anaheim Ducks) contributed to Sweden’s gold medal effort while American talents Alex DeBrincat (Chicago Blackhawks/Erie Otters), Patrick Kane (Chicago Blackhawks/London Knights), Sonny Milano (Columbus Blue Jackets/Plymouth Whalers) and Connor Murphy (Chicago Blackhawks/Sarnia Sting) earned silver with the United States. A total of 37 CHL graduates competed in the international showcase. For full coverage of the event visit iihf.com.

Raddysh, Kahun sign NHL contract with Blackhawks: Erie Otters graduate Darren Raddysh has signed a two-year NHL contract with the Chicago Blackhawks. The 2017 OHL Defenceman and Overage Player of the Year hoisted the Robertson Cup with the Otters last spring before signing an AHL contract with Chicago’s affiliate the Rockford IceHogs. The Caledon, Ont. native recorded 22 points (5-17–22) and was a plus-10 rating in 66 games with Rockford this season and signed a two-year deal with the Blackhawks on Monday. Raddysh played 272 OHL regular season games between 2012-17, registering 41 goals, 143 assists and 184 points. Former Sudbury Wolves forward Dominik Kahun also signed with Chicago. The German forward played with the Wolves from 2012-14 and has spent the past four seasons in Germany’s top professional circuit.

Neal had confidence in Golden Knights from the beginning: Plymouth Whalers graduate James Neal is off to the Stanley Cup Finals as a member of the Western Conference champion Vegas Golden Knights. The 30-year-old has been central to the expansion franchise’s success throughout the season and into the playoffs and shares his perspective of the club’s wild journey. Neal was an OHL Champion with the Plymouth Whalers in 2007. Read more at nhl.com.

Eakins signs AHL extension, Wilford joins Ducks bench: OHL graduates Dallas Eakins and Marty Wilford will be continuing with the Anaheim Ducks organization into next season. Eakins has signed a multi-year extension as head coach of the AHL’s San Diego Gulls after leading the club to a record of 118-81-5 over the past three seasons. The Gulls narrowly missed the playoffs this past season, playing to a 36-28-3-1 record. Additionally, assistant coach Marty Wilford has been promoted to assistant coach of the NHL’s Anaheim Ducks after spending the last seven seasons with Anaheim’s minor league affiliates. Eakins patrolled the blue line with the Peterborough Petes from 1984-88 before a lengthy pro career that included 120 NHL contests. Wilford played with the Oshawa Generals from 1994-97, winning an OHL title with the Generals in 1997. He went on to play 14 years of professional hockey between the AHL and Europe.

 

2018 MASTERCARD MEMORIAL CUP SCHEDULE:

 

Friday May 25th:
Hamilton vs. Regina – Semi-Final, 8:00pm MT/10:00pm ET

Sunday May 27th:
Winner vs. Acadie-Bathurst – Championship Final, 5:00pm MT/7:00pm ET

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