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OHL This Week: May 3 to 6, 2018

 

The Rogers OHL Championship Series is set as the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds and Hamilton Bulldogs go head-to-head. Here’s a look at what’s going on in the OHL This Week.

 

ROGERS OHL CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES PREVIEW:

The 2018 Rogers OHL Championship Series is set as the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds and Hamilton Bulldogs will battle for the J. Ross Robertson Cup and a berth in the 2018 Mastercard Memorial Cup in Regina, SK. The battle for the J. Ross Robertson Cup is going to be a dog fight. Read more

2018 OHL CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES OFFICIATING TEAM ANNOUNCED:

The Ontario Hockey League today announced the Officiating Team for the 2018 Rogers OHL Championship Series for the J. Ross Robertson Cup between the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds and Hamilton Bulldogs. Conrad Haché, OHL Director of Officiating, has assigned 10 officials for the Championship Series including five Referees and five Linesmen. Read more

WATCH #OHLCHAMPIONSHIP 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 Rogers OHL Championship Series.  All Access subscriptions can be purchased for $29.99 with single games available for purchase for $8.99. Details.

SOO GREYHOUNDS ARE WESTERN CONFERENCE CHAMPIONS:

The Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds are Western Conference Champions following a 4-3 double-overtime win over the Kitchener Rangers in Game 7 on Monday. The victory sees the Greyhounds win their first Western Conference title since 1993, a year they would go on to hoist the Memorial Cup on home ice. Sault Ste. Marie becomes the first West Division team to advance to the Rogers OHL Championship Series since 2010 and is the first team since 2004 (Mississauga IceDogs, Guelph Storm) to reach the league final after winning two different seven game series. Read more

HAMILTON BULLDOGS CROWNED EASTERN CONFERENCE CHAMPIONS:

The Hamilton Bulldogs are 2018 Eastern Conference Champions, claiming the Bobby Orr Trophy with a 2-1 victory over the Kingston Frontenacs in Game 5 at FirstOntario Centre Thursday night. Overage defenceman Connor Walters (1) scored the game winner on a point shot through traffic with 7:04 remaining in the third period, helping the Bulldogs advance to their first ever Rogers OHL Championship Series appearance. Read more

WAWANESA OHL PLAYS OF THE WEEK: CONFERENCE FINALS:

It’s another special playoff edition of the Wawanesa OHL Plays of the Week featuring a collection of the league’s best goals and saves from the Eastern and Western Conference Championship Series. Watch

STEELHEADS’ NICOLAS HAGUE VOTED OHL DEFENCEMAN OF THE YEAR:

Vegas Golden Knights prospect Nicolas Hague of the Mississauga Steelheads is the 2017-18 recipient of the Max Kaminsky Trophy awarded annually to the OHL’s Most Outstanding Defenceman of the Year. Hague becomes the first Steelhead in all-time franchise history to win the award after leading his team in scoring and finishing second among blueliners with 78 points in 67 games including 35 goals and 43 assists.  His 78 points set a Steelheads single season record while his 35 goals represent an all-time franchise mark and the most by an OHL defenceman since Chris Allen of the Kingston Frontenacs lit the lamp 38 times in 1997-98. Read more

SPITFIRES’ MICHAEL DiPIETRO VOTED OHL GOALTENDER OF THE YEAR:

Vancouver Canucks prospect Michael DiPietro of the Windsor Spitfires has been voted the 2017-18 OHL Goaltender of the Year. DiPietro becomes the first Spitfire to earn the award after playing in 56 games this season carrying a 29-21-3-1 record.  He produced a league-high seven shutouts while posting the league’s third lowest goals-against-average with a mark of 2.79 and a save percentage of .910 that tied for fourth overall. Read more

DiPietro has also been named to Canada’s roster for the 2018 IIHF World Hockey Championship getting underway this week in Copenhagen and Herning, Denmark. Read more

GREYHOUNDS’ DREW BANNISTER VOTED OHL COACH OF THE YEAR:

Drew Bannister of the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds is the 2017-18 recipient of the Matt Leyden Trophy awarded annually to the OHL’s Coach of the Year. Bannister led the Greyhounds to an all-time franchise best record of 55-7-3-3 for 116 points earning the club’s fifth Hamilton Spectator Trophy as OHL regular season champions while collecting their seventh Bumbacco Trophy as West Division winners. Read more

RANGERS’ JOSEPH GARREFFA NAMED OHL ‘ON THE RUN’ AND CHL PLAYER OF THE WEEK:

Joseph Garreffa of the Kitchener Rangers is the OHL ‘On the Run’ Player of the Week for the playoff week ending April 29 after scoring one goal with seven assists for eight points in four games. Garreffa helped the Rangers win three of four games played last week in the Western Conference Championship Series against the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds forcing a Game 7 to decide the Wayne Gretzky Trophy winner on Monday night. Read more

VOTE JACK KOPACKA IN #CIBCSHOWDOWN:

Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds forward Jack Kopacka is this week’s OHL representative featured in #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 GOLD CUP GETS UNDERWAY IN KITCHENER:

A total of 130 players chosen in the 2018 OHL Priority Selection are competing at the 2018 OHL Gold Cup in Kitchener, Ont. this week. The OHL Gold Cup is an annual showcase event featuring top under-16 talent in Ontario. As part of the Hockey Canada Program of Excellence, select players from the OHL Gold Cup will be invited to attend the National Under-17 Selection Camp, where they will have a chance to compete with other top talent from across Canada, to earn a spot at the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge. Read more

STEELHEADS ANNOUNCE NEW LEASE AGREEMENT:

The Mississauga Steelheads and the City of Mississauga are pleased to announce a new 5-year agreement for the Mississauga Steelheads Hockey Club. The agreement, coupled with the City of Mississauga announcement that the Hershey Centre will be renamed the Paramount Fine Foods Centre beginning on July 1, ushers in a new era of Steelheads hockey. Read more

PETES NAME ALUMNUS ROB WILSON HEAD COACH:

Peterborough Petes alumnus and accomplished professional hockey player and coach Rob Wilson has been named the 23rd Head Coach in Petes history. Wilson served as Head Coach of the Deutsche Eishockey Liga’s (DEL) Nuremberg Ice Tigers for the past three seasons, compiling a record of 97-43-0-8 in the German premiere league over that span. Wilson played for the Petes during the 1988-89 season after being acquired from the Sudbury Wolves. He helped the team win the J. Ross Robertson Cup as OHL champions that season before embarking on a pro playing career that included stops in various North American and European leagues. Read more

COLTS’ SOKOLOV SIGNS WITH WILD:

The Minnesota Wild has signed Barrie Colts winger Dmitry Sokolov to a three-year entry level NHL contract. The 20-year-old recorded a career-high 96 points and 18 penalty minutes in 64 games during his third season in the Ontario Hockey League, splitting the 2017-18 campaign with Barrie and Sudbury. The 6-foot, 210-pound native of Omsk, Russia, collected 58 points and 140 shots in 29 games with the Colts, including a career-high 17-game point streak to finish the regular season. Read more

GREYHOUNDS’ VILLALTA SIGNS WITH KINGS:

The Los Angeles Kings announced Friday that they’ve signed Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds goaltender Matthew Villalta to a three-year entry level NHL contract. The 18-year-old Villalta is a 6-foot-2, 181Ib. native of Kingston, Ont., who appeared in 49 regular-season games this year with Sault Ste. Marie, posting a 40-5-2-2 record, .908 save percentage, 2.58 goal-against average and three shutouts. Read more

JACOB PERREAULT COMMITS TO STING:

The Sarnia Sting have received a commitment from 2018 first round (19th overall) selection Jacob Perreault. The son of former NHL forward Yanic Perreault, Jacob led the Chicago Mission U16 team to a USA Hockey National Championship this past April. He led the HPHL in both goals (14) and points (25) this past season. Read more

JAKE CELLA COMMITS TO STEELHEADS:

The Mississauga Steelheads have received a commitment from 17-year-old free agent defenceman Jake Cella. The 5-foot-7, 165-pound defenceman recorded 15 points (5 goals, 10 assists) in 51 games with the Newmarket Hurricanes of the OJHL this past season. Read more

DUSTIN McCRANK REPRESENTS HOCKEY CANADA AT IIHF WORLDS:

The International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) has announced the officials assigned to the 2018 IIHF World Championship, a list that includes OHL linesman Dustin McCrank who is one of four Canadians scheduled to work. Read more

NOTRE DAME HOUNDS WIN TELUS CUP:

The Notre Dame Hounds are 2018 Telus Cup Champions, defeating the Magog Cantonniers by a score of 5-1 to be crowned the nation’s top Midget AAA team. London Knights fifth round selection Avery Winslow hoisted the Telus Cup while Sudbury Wolves prospect Alex Vendette of the Sudbury Nickel Capital Wolves earned Goaltender of the Tournament honours with a 3.17 goals-against average and a .904 save percentage over five contests. For full coverage of the tournament visit hockeycanada.ca.

2005 LONDON KNIGHTS VOTED INTO CHL TEAM OF THE CENTURY FINAL FOUR:

The 2005 London Knights are one of four teams along with the 1995 Kamloops Blazers, 2000 Rimouski Oceanic and 2013 Halifax Mooseheads voted as finalists to be crowned the CHL’s Team of the Century. Fans around the globe selected the four clubs from a field of 99 past Mastercard Memorial Cup champions as they’ll now enter a final round of voting to determine the CHL Team of the Century. In celebration of the 100th edition of the Mastercard Memorial Cup, the Canadian Hockey League has highlighted the 99 past Memorial Cup Champions at http://chlteamofthecentury.ca with features, photos, rosters and tournament recaps. Voters are eligible for great prizes including a trip for two to the 2019 Mastercard Memorial Cup.

SINGLE-GAME TICKETS ON SALE FOR 2018 MASTERCARD MEMORIAL CUP:

A limited number of single-game tickets for the 2018 Mastercard Memorial Cup championship will be released for sale to the general public at 10:00am, May 4th. The committee is offering a range of different round-robin single-game ticket options, all of which give purchasers the opportunity to choose their seat from the limited selection of remaining available seats at the Brandt Centre. For more details visit mastercardmemorialcup.ca.

 

ALUMNI NOTES:

McDavid, O’Reilly to lead Canada at IIHF World Championship: Erie Otters graduates Connor McDavid (Edmonton Oilers) and Ryan O’Reilly (Buffalo Sabres) will lead Canada at the 2018 IIHF World Hockey Championship in Copenhagen and Herning, Denmark this week. McDavid will wear the ‘C’ while O’Reilly will serve as an alternate as Canada opens the tournament against the United States on Friday. Canada claimed back-to-back gold in 2015 and 2016 before settling for silver last year. For more coverage of the upcoming tournament, visit iihf.com.

Hall named Hart Trophy finalist: In addition to being named a finalist for the Ted Lindsay Award, Windsor Spitfires graduate Taylor Hall of the New Jersey Devils has been named a finalist for the Hart Trophy awarded to the NHL’s Most Valuable Player. Hall registered 93 points (39-54–93) in 76 games with New Jersey and was named to the NHL All-Star Game for a third time. The former back-to-back Mastercard Memorial Cup champion played three seasons with the Windsor Spitfires from 2007-10.

Subban named King Clancy finalist: OHL graduate P.K. Subban is one of four finalists for the King Clancy Memorial Trophy awarded to the NHL player who best exemplifies leadership qualities on and off the ice and has made a noteworthy humanitarian contribution in his community. Subban’s community contributions throughout his NHL career in both Montreal and Nashville, where he currently patrols the blue line as a member of the Predators, have been many. Subban had 59 points (16-43–59) in 82 games with the Predators this season. The 2013 Norris Trophy winner played four OHL seasons with the Belleville Bulls from 2005-09.

43 OHL grads still chasing Stanley Cup: Second round action is underway in NHL post-season with eight teams battling across the conference semi-finals.  There’s former OHL talent to cheer for on all eight teams led by the San Jose Sharks and Tampa Bay Lightning each with nine OHL alumni.  The Lightning boast recent grads like 2017 Mastercard Memorial Cup champion Mikhail Sergachev and 2017 OHL champion Anthony Cirelli who scored his first playoff goal on Wednesday.  Full list

50 OHL grads remain in AHL playoffs: Eight teams took a step closer to the Calder Cup in AHL post-season action with second round matchups now determined.  All eight remaining teams feature former OHL stars led by the Tuscon Roadrunners with 13 including former Erie Otters star Dylan Strome who was named an AHL all-rookie this season, and the Charlotte Checkers with 12 former players including 2017 OHL Playoff MVP Warren Foegele.  Full list

Palmu named SM-Liiga Rookie of the Year: Owen Sound Attack graduate Petrus Palmu has been voted the SM-Liiga Rookie of the Year, earning the honour in Finland’s top professional hockey circuit. The TPS Turku forward had 36 points (17-19–36) in 59 games after a three-year tenure in Owen Sound from 2014-17. Palmu was a fan favourite in his time with the Attack, record in 189 points (85-104–189) over 176 career regular season contests. Palmu was a sixth round pick of the Vancouver Canucks last summer.

Frontenacs’ Helvig joins AHL’s Charlotte Checkers: A very recent OHL graduate in Kingston Frontenacs goaltender Jeremy Helvig has joined the AHL’s Charlotte Checkers on an ATO. Helvig helped guide the Frontenacs to an appearance in the Eastern Conference Championship Series, graduating as the winningest goaltender in franchise history. The Carolina Hurricanes prospect joins Charlotte in the Calder Cup Playoffs after they eliminated the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins in three straight first round contests. The Checkers now square off with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms in second round action. Helvig played four seasons in Kingston from 2014-18, going 81-49-19 with a 2.75 goals-against average and a .910 save percentage with 10 shutouts. He went 9-7 in the 2018 OHL Playoffs with a 3.06 goals-against average and .909 save percentage in 16 games.

2011 OHL Champion Attack inducted into Owen Sound Sports Hall of Fame: The 2011 OHL Champion Owen Sound Attack are set to be inducted into the Owen Sound Sports Hall of Fame on Friday. The franchise’s only championship squad will be honoured along with a number of other Owen Sound sports celebrities as a number of players are expected to be in attendance for the induction ceremony. More details are available at owensound.ca.

MacDonald featured on Mastercard Junior Hockey Magazine: Plymouth Whalers graduate and London Knights assistant general manager Colin MacDonald is featured on the latest edition of Mastercard Junior Hockey Magazine with Gino Reda. After four years in the OHL, MacDonald used his education package to attend Ivey Business School at Western University and shares his path to becoming part of London’s management group. Listen

Brooks guides Listowel to Sutherland Cup title: London Knights graduate and former Guelph Storm head coach Jason Brooks led the Listowel Cyclones Jr. B club to its first ever Sutherland Cup title on Tuesday. The Cyclones defeated the Caledonia Corvairs 4-1 on home ice, completing a four-game sweep of the provincial Junior B Final. Former OHLers in Cullen Mercer (Flint Firebirds), Owen Lane (Sudbury Wolves) and Brett Primeau (Windsor Spitfires) hoisted the Sutherland Cup as champions. Brooks was with the Storm organization from 2002-11, serving as head coach from 2008-11. He also served as an assistant coach with the Niagara IceDogs from 2011-13.

 

#OHLCHAMPIONSHIP SCHEDULE:

Thursday May 3rd:
Hamilton at Sault Ste. Marie (Game 1) – 7:07pm (Shaw TV/Cable 14)

Saturday May 5th:
Hamilton at Sault Ste. Marie (Game 2) – 7:07pm (Shaw TV/Cable 14)

Monday May 7th:
Sault Ste. Marie at Hamilton (Game 3) – 7:00pm (Cable 14/Shaw TV)

Wednesday May 9th:
Sault Ste. Marie at Hamilton (Game 4) – 7:00pm (Sportsnet)

Friday May 11th:
Hamilton at Sault Ste. Marie (Game 5) – 7:07pm* (Shaw TV/Cable 14)

Sunday May 13th:
Sault Ste. Marie at Hamilton (Game 6) – 2:00pm* (Sportsnet)

Monday May 14th:
Hamilton at Sault Ste. Marie (Game 7) – 7:07pm* (Shaw TV/Cable 14)

* if necessary

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

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