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OHL This Week: Nov. 23 to 26, 2017

 

It’s another busy weekend in the OHL. Here’s a look at what’s happening across the league.

OHL LAUNCHES NEW PROSPEX 360 MOBILE APP:

The Ontario Hockey League is excited to announce the launch of OHL ProspEx 360, a new recruitment based mobile application. OHL ProspEx 360 provides users with a full scope of the league’s unparalleled student-athlete experience.  Designed as a resource to help educate OHL prospects and their families about the OHL experience, the app outlines educational opportunities available to OHL players, details about player development, support programs, benefits, and the OHL environment. Full Details

STING, GREYHOUNDS AND RANGERS IN CHL TOP 10 RANKINGS:  

The Sarnia Sting hold steady at number one in the Week 10 edition of the CHL Top 10 Rankings. The Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds rise one spot to number three on the list while the Kitchener Rangers ride wins in eight of their last nine contests to make their season debut at seventh overall. Full Rankings

FIRST EDITION OF OHL CUP POWERED BY UNDER ARMOUR TOP 10 RANKINGS RELEASED:

The Ontario Hockey League has announced the debut edition of the weekly minor midget rankings for the 2018 OHL Cup Showcase Tournament powered by Under Armour and hosted by the Greater Toronto Hockey League. The 2018 OHL Cup powered by Under Armour and hosted by the GTHL is scheduled for March 13-19 and will feature 20 teams from across Ontario and the United States showcasing many of the top players eligible for the 2018 OHL Priority Selection. The Toronto Marlboros lead off the rankings while the Oakville Rangers and Vaughan Kings trail in second and third. Full Rankings

The top draft eligible prospects from across Canada and the United States converge on Whitby, ON this weekend for the annual Glorida Rints Memorial Silver Stick Tournament from November 23-26 at the Iroquois Park Sports Centre.

KNIGHTS’ CLIFF PU NAMED OHL ‘ON THE RUN’ PLAYER OF THE WEEK AND CHL PLAYER OF THE WEEK:

Buffalo Sabres prospect Cliff Pu of the London Knights is the OHL ‘On the Run’ Player of the Week for the week ending November 19 after leading the league with 12 points in four games scoring four goals and eight assists with a plus-minus rating of plus-6. Pu recorded four multi-point performances last week helping the Knights win three straight games to improve their record to 10-10-2-0 where they rank seventh in the Western Conference standings. Pu’s performance also earned him CHL Player of the Week honours. Read more

WAWANESA OHL PLAYS OF THE WEEK:

The 9th edition of the Wawanesa OHL Plays of the Week for the 2017-18 season feature another collection of the league’s Top-5 goals scored in the week ending November 19. This week’s highlights warm up with a quartet of passing plays but are headlined by one great individual effort.  We start with Akil Thomas and Kirill Maksimov of the Niagara IceDogs capitalizing on a shorthanded turnover, then a pair of Mississauga Steelheads reunite as Owen Tippett sets up Michael McLeod, followed by a London Knights overtime winner by Sam Miletic who benefits from some sweet moves by Robert Thomas.  Kole Sherwood of the Kitchener Rangers completes the hat-trick on a nice back-and-forth with Adam Mascherin, and Isaac Ratcliffe of the Guelph Storm scores a beauty shorthanded goal to round out the top plays of the week. Watch

VOTE ISAAC RATCLIFFE IN #CIBCSHOWDOWN:

Guelph Storm forward Isaac Ratcliffe 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.

NOVEMBER CONTINUES TO NAG OHL SHOOTERS IN JANES SAVES OF THE WEEK:

November continues to nag OHL shooters as nine netminders get the nod in the ninth edition of #JanesSaves. This week features Evan Cormier of the Saginaw Spirit, Kaden Fulcher of the Hamilton Bulldogs, Troy Timpano of the Erie Otters, Chris McGonigle of the Kitchener Rangers, Joseph Raaymakers of the London Knights, Jeremy Helvig of the Kingston Frontenacs, the Spirit’s Cameron Lamour, Dylan Wells of the Peterborough Petes, and Luke Cavallin of the Flint Firebirds. Watch

THREE FIRST GOALS IN OHL MILESTONE MOMENTS THIS WEEK:

Rookie forwards Anthony Tabak (Sudbury Wolves), Mason Primeau (Guelph Storm) and Kyle Harris (Flint Firebirds) all scored their first career OHL goal this past week. See those milestone markers right here! Watch

RANGERS NAME DENNIS WIDEMAN ASSISTANT COACH:

The Kitchener Rangers have named OHL graduate and 12-year NHL veteran Dennis Wideman as a club’s newest assistant coach. The Kitchener native spent five seasons in the OHL as a defenceman with the Sudbury Wolves and London Knights from 1999-2004. He would skate with the St. Louis Blues, Boston Bruins, Florida Panthers, Washington Capitals and Calgary Flames through to the end of the 2016-17 season. He registered 100 goals and 419 points in 870 regular season and playoff games combined over the course of his 12 NHL seasons. Read more

GABRIEL VILARDI RETURNING TO SPITFIRES:

Los Angeles Kings prospect Gabriel Vilardi has returned to Windsor, hitting the ice with the Spitfires for practice on Wednesday. The 18-year-old recently resumed skating after receiving treatment for a lingering back injury under the supervision of Kings medical and training staff. He missed the entirety of Kings training camp as a result of the setback. Spitfires general manager Warren Rychel says Vilardi will practice with the team this week but will be limited to no contact and isn’t ready to return to game action just yet. Read more

JALEN SMERECK BACK ON FIREBIRDS BLUE LINE:

Overage defenceman Jalen Smereck will rejoin the Flint Firebirds on Wednesday night when they play host to the rival Saginaw Spirit on home ice. The Arizona Coyotes reassigned the 20-year-old to Flint this week after he started the season with their AHL affiliate, the Tucson Roadrunners. Smereck played two games in Tucson while also suiting up for two contests with their ECHL affiliate, the Fort Wayne Komets. Read more

WOLVES ADD VETERAN GOALTENDER MARIO CULINA:

The Sudbury Wolves have added overage goaltender and 2017 Mastercard Memorial Cup champion Mario Culina to their roster. The Sault Ste. Marie, Ont. native started the season with the Ryerson Rams Men’s Hockey Program after spending the past two seasons with the Windsor Spitfires. Read more

JEFF MAREK, SAM COSENTINO LOOK ACROSS CHL ON THE NEXT ONES PODCAST:

The latest edition of Sportsnet’s ‘The Next Ones’ podcast hosted by Jeff Marek and Sam Cosentino includes a chat with Moose Jaw Warriors head coach Tim Hunter and a full look across the Canadian Hockey League this week. Listen

STEELHEADS’ TIPPETT AND McLEOD FEATURED ON MASTERCARD JUNIOR HOCKEY MAGAZINE:

Florida Panthers prospect Owen Tippett and New Jersey Devils draftee Michael McLeod of the Mississauga Steelheads are both featured on the latest edition of the Mastercard Junior Hockey Magazine Radio Show with Geno Reda. Hear from both of the stars who began their respective seasons in the NHL. Listen

ROGERS HOMETOWN HOCKEY TOUR STOPS IN ST. THOMAS, VISITS OAKVILLE:

The Rogers Hometown Hockey Tour stopped in St. Thomas, Ont. last weekend where former OHL stars Joe Thornton (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds), Scott Thornton (Belleville Bulls) and Bo Horvat (London Knights) have connections. The tour moves to Oakville this coming weekend where Ron MacLean and Tara Slone host the festivities that culminate in a Sunday afternoon broadcast pitting the Vancouver Canucks against the New York Rangers at 1:30pm ET. For full details visit hometownhockey.com.

OHLSHOP.COM BLACK FRIDAY SPECIAL:

Receive free shipping on all purchases at OHLSHOP.com by entering the promo code FREESHIP at checkout.  Browse our online collection of team apparel in men’s, women’s, and youth sizes with a wide variety of novelty items at http://ohlshop.com.

 

COMMUNITY CORNER:

Rangers visit Food Bank of Waterloo: Kitchener Rangers Kyle Gentles, Cole Carter, Jonathan Yantsis and Joseph Garreffa paid a visit to the Food Bank of Waterloo Region this past week, helping Lexington Public and Margaret Avenue Public Schools sort food for those in need. See video from the visit at kitchenerrangers.com.

Petes, Battalion to support Special Olympics Ontario on Thursday: The Peterborough Petes and North Bay Battalion will both support Special Olympics Ontario at their Thursday night home games this week. The campaign throughout the month of November is part of the ongoing commitment by the OHL and LETR to raise awareness and funds for Special Olympics. Read more

Spitfires host Sparky’s Toy Drive on Friday: The Windsor Spitfires are collecting donations for Sparky’s Toy Drive on Thursday when they host the Kingston Frontenacs. Fans who bring a new, un-opened toy will receive a free red zone ticket to a future Spits game. There will also be an opportunity to make donations in a ‘fill the boot’ event during the game.

Storm host Pink in the Rink on Friday: The Guelph Storm are teaming up with the Canadian Cancer Society on Friday night, suiting up in pink when they play host to the Barrie Colts. Pink the Rink will feature a pre-game ceremony and in-arena fundraisers with all funds raised going to the Canadian Cancer Society. There will be opportunities to donate through a 50/50 draw, games such as Chuck-a-Puck, Joker Poker, and Pass the Bucket. Full details at guelphstorm.com.

Greyhounds host first Teddy Bear Toss of 2017-18: The Soo Greyhounds host their annual Teddy Bear Toss on Saturday at home to the Peterborough Petes. All fans attending the game are encouraged to bring a stuffed animal to the game and when the Hounds score their first goal of the game, the fans are to throw the stuffed animals onto the ice. All donations from this event will go towards Christmas Cheer to help brighten the holidays for thousands of families in our community. Full details at soogreyhounds.com.

Attack host Cubs for Cancer on Saturday: Saturday night is the Owen Sound Attack’s first ever Cubs For Cancer game, a fundraising initiative that sees the Attack and Canadian Cancer Society’s Bluewater Office partner in an effort to raise funds and awareness for paediatric cancer patients. Through a fundraising hair cut and a celebrity serve night at Boston Pizza Owen Sound, the Attack and CCS Bluewater have already raised over $28,000 for the event. Saturday night’s game will see the Bears wear specialty jerseys that will be auctioned off immediately following the game by auctioneer and Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound MPP Bill Walker. Full details at attackhockey.com.

Bulldogs to reveal third jerseys on Saturday: The Hamilton Bulldogs will suit up in their brand new third jerseys on Saturday when they play host to the Ottawa 67’s.

Frontenacs to host Pride Night on January 26th: The Kingston Frontenacs unveiled a special theme jersey, to be worn at their home game at Rogers K-Rock Centre on Friday, January 26, 2018 when they meet the Oshawa Generals, that will help raise funds and awareness for Pride Kingston. The team also announced the first Pride Night with the Kingston Frontenacs, a collaboration between the hockey team, Reelout Arts Project Inc., and Pride Kingston Inc., to support initiatives that foster openness and diversity. Read more

 

ALUMNI NOTES:

Strome tied for AHL rookie scoring lead: Former Erie Otters captain and 2017 OHL champion Dylan Strome is off to a strong start in his American Hockey League career. The former Arizona Coyotes third overall pick has 18 points (4-14–18) through his first 12 games of the season with the Tucson Roadrunners, placing him in a tie with Lehigh Valley’s Mike Vecchione for the league’s scoring lead among rookies. Strome has also recorded a plus-11 rating this season and has 38 shots on goal to this point. The MVP of the 2017 Mastercard Memorial Cup and Erie’s franchise scoring leader, Strome finished his time in the OHL with 114 goals, 240 assists and 354 career points over 219 regular season games.

Parsons named ECHL Goaltender of the Week: London Knights graduate Tyler Parsons has been named the ECHL Goaltender of the Week. The Kansas City Mavericks netminder went 4-0-0 with one shutout, a 1.49 goals-against average and a .957 save percentage last week, helping the Mavericks extend their winning streak to five games. The 20-year-old is 6-4-0-0 on the season with a 3.40 goals-against average and a .905 save percentage in 11 games. A native of Chesterfield, Mich., Parsons was a 2016 Mastercard Memorial Cup champion with the Knights. He appeared in 116 career contests with London, going 75-25-10 with a 2.65 goals-against average and a .918 save percentage. He was Calgary’s second round pick in 2016.

Simmonds named Guelph Gryphons Male Athlete of the Week: OHL graduate Scott Simmonds has been named the Guelph Gryphons Male Athlete of the Week for the second time in the past three weeks. The two-sport athlete competes for both the Men’s Hockey Team and the Men’s Rugby Team. Simmonds captained the Gryphons on the ice to a pair of road wins, picking up a goal and three assists in those games. He helped the Rugby squad defeat UPEI 66-0, tie the University of Victoria 9-9 and started in Sunday’s bronze medal match against McMaster. Simmonds currently ranked third on Gryphon’s Men’s Hockey team scoring with 11 points in 12 games, helping them win six straight. The 24-year-old Uxbridge, Ont. native played four seasons with the Belleville Bulls from 2010-14, recording 70 points (21-49–70) over 245 career regular season contests. Read more at gryphons.ca.

 

KEY MATCHUPS:

Sarnia Sting (18-4-1-0) at Mississauga Steelheads (11-10-0-1)
Friday November 24th at Mississauga

Two teams trending in the right direction meet in Mississauga on Friday as the West Division leading Sarnia Sting visit the Steelheads.

The highest scoring team in the league, the Sting strung together a franchise record 14 straight wins, a stretch that spanned from September 30th to November 2nd. They feature league leading scorer Jordan Kyrou who has 47 points (18-29–47) in 21 games and recently saw a 12-game point streak come to an end. Calgary Flames prospect Adam Ruzicka and Los Angeles Kings draftee Drake Rymsha join Kyrou as key performers up front, steering a deep Sarnia offence that has been a force so far this season.

The host Steelheads are riding high after the return of both Owen Tippett (Florida Panthers) and Michael McLeod (New Jersey Devils) from the NHL. The Trout have won eight of 10 and sit second in the Central Division with a 11-10-0-1 record. A recent recipient of CHL Player of the Week honours, Czech winger Albert Michnac leads the Fish in scoring with 27 points (14-13–27) over 22 games while big defenceman Nicolas Hague is second among OHL blueliners in goals with 10.

Kitchener Rangers (15-6-2-0) at Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds (17-3-2-0)
Friday November 24th at Sault Ste. Marie

The Kitchener Rangers have made their season debut in the CHL Top 10 Rankings and head out on the road for a Northern weekend that includes stops in North Bay, Sault Ste. Marie and Sudbury.

The Rangers visit the CHL’s third ranked Soo Greyhounds on Friday in their second of four meetings this season. The Hounds edged the Rangers 3-2 on October 13th.

Kitchener has spread the scoring around this season. Florida Panthers prospect Adam Mascherin leads the pack with 23 points (11-12–23) while Philadelphia Flyers draftee Connor Bunnaman has 14 goals. The Rangers enter play on a four game winning streak, having won eight of their last nine games.

The Greyhounds enter a Wednesday matchup against the Sudbury Wolves on an eight game winning streak, carrying a record of 17-3-2-0. Boris Katchouk, Morgan Frost, Tim Gettinger and defenceman Mac Hollowell all have over 20 points on the year while Conor Timmins and Jack Kopacka have also been instrumental in the club’s success.

 

SCHEDULE:

Thursday November 23:
Ottawa at Erie – 7:00pm
Kitchener at North Bay – 7:00pm
Hamilton at Peterborough – 7:05pm

Friday November 24:
Sarnia at Mississauga – 7:00pm
Ottawa at Niagara – 7:00pm
Flint at Saginaw – 7:05pm
Peterborough at Sudbury – 7:05pm
Kingston at Windsor – 7:05pm
Kitchener at Sault Ste. Marie – 7:07pm
Barrie at Guelph – 7:30pm
Owen Sound at London – 7:30pm
Hamilton at Oshawa – 7:35pm

Saturday November 25:
Red Deer at Calgary – 3:30 pm – Sportsnet Saturday Showcase
Sarnia at Erie – 7:00pm
Ottawa at Hamilton – 7:00pm
Mississauga at Niagara – 7:00pm
Kingston at Saginaw – 7:05pm
Peterborough at Sault Ste. Marie – 7:07pm
Oshawa at Barrie – 7:30pm
Guelph at Owen Sound – 7:30pm

Sunday November 26:
London at Guelph – 2:00pm
Barrie at North Bay – 2:00pm
Kitchener at Sudbury – 2:00pm
Mississauga at Oshawa – 2:05pm
Kingston at Flint – 4:00pm


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

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