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OHL This Week: Oct. 12 to 15, 2017

Another weekend of OHL action is upon us. Here’s a look at what’s going on around the league.

 

209 OHL ALUMNI SET FOR 2017-18 U SPORTS MEN’S HOCKEY SEASON:

A total of 209 OHL Alumni are beginning the 2017-18 season on U SPORTS Men’s Hockey rosters, pursuing their goals on the ice and in the classroom. Of the 209 former OHL players, 157 are competing among 18 different Ontario University Sport schools representing over 25% of the 20-team conference.  The Queen’s Gaels lead the way with 18 former OHL players, followed by 16 OHL alumni on the Western Mustangs.  Elsewhere across the country, 48 OHL grads are competing in the Atlantic University Sport conference on six different teams including 12 members of the StFX X-Men while four former players have ventured to the Canada West conference to play for Alberta schools. Full list

SPITFIRES’ LETOWSKI TO LEAD OHL IN CIBC CANADA RUSSIA SERIES:

Windsor Spitfires head coach Trevor Letowski has been named the head coach of Team OHL for the upcoming 2017 CIBC Canada Russia Series. Letowski is in his first full season as head coach of the Windsor Spitfires and joined Canada’s National Junior Team staff following the departure of Kris Knoblauch to the NHL’s Philadelphia Flyers.  Team OHL takes on Russia on November 9th in Owen Sound and again on November 13th in Sudbury. Read more

FIREBIRDS’ SHERWOOD THE LATEST KEY RETURNEE FROM PRO RANKS:

The Columbus Blue Jackets announced Thursday that they’ve assigned forward Kole Sherwood from the AHL’s Cleveland Monsters to the Flint Firebirds. Sherwood recorded 85 points (33-52–85) in 60 games last season and returns to the OHL for an overage season. He joins other recent returnees in James McEwan (Guelph Storm/Montreal Canadiens), Sean Day (Windsor Spitfires/New York Rangers), Sam Miletic (London Knights/Pittsburgh Penguins), Brett McKenzie (North Bay Battalion/Vancouver Canucks) and Nikita Korostelev (Peterborough Petes/Toronto Maple Leafs). Read more

GREYHOUNDS AND STING IN CHL TOP 10 RANKINGS:

The Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds rise four spots to #6 while the Sarnia Sting debut at #8 in the fourth edition of the weekly CHL Top 10 Rankings released on Wednesday. Both undefeated entering play on Wednesday, the Western Hockey League’s Victoria Royals and Swift Current Broncos hold down the top two spots respectively. Read more

ATTACK’S NICK SUZUKI NAMED OHL ‘ON THE RUN’ PLAYER OF THE WEEK:

Vegas Golden Knights prospect Nick Suzuki of the Owen Sound Attack is the OHL ‘On the Run’ Player of the Week for the week ending October 8 with seven points in two games including three goals and four assists with a plus-minus rating of plus-3. Suzuki recorded a pair of multi-point performances last week helping the Attack earn three of a possible four points. Read more

WAWANESA OHL PLAYS OF THE WEEK:

The 3rd 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 leading up to and including Thanksgiving weekend. Ottawa 67’s veteran Tye Felhaber had a few nice plays to choose from this past week, but his breakaway goal on a stretch pass from Noel Hoefenmayer leads this week’s edition. Watch

VOTE TYE FELHABER IN #CIBCSHOWDOWN:

Ottawa 67’s forward Tye Felhaber not only helps headline 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.

GOALTENDERS GOBBLE UP PUCKS ON JANES SAVES OF THE WEEK:

Thanksgiving weekend provided plenty to be thankful for between-the-pipes with OHL goaltenders gobbling up pucks in the third edition of #JanesSaves. This week features 13 goaltenders (and one forward) from across the league. Watch

10 PLAYERS SCORE FIRST GOALS ACROSS THE OHL LAST WEEK:

A total of 10 players were featured on OHL Milestone Moments this past week, scoring the first goal of their OHL careers. The crop included a quartet of 16-year-old rookies in Sudbury Wolves defenceman Liam Ross, Niagara IceDogs forward Ian Martin, Windsor Spitfires forward Daniel D’Amico and Saginaw Spirit winger Ryan Stepien. Catch those milestones and more! Watch

BULLDOGS’ FULCHER FEATURED ON OHL NEWS RADIO:

This past week’s segment of OHL News – Radio Edition with host Terry Doyle and presented by Warrior Hockey features goaltender Kaden Fulcher of the Hamilton Bulldogs who officially became a member of the Detroit Red Wings organization on Tuesday. The recently turned 19-year-old from Brigden, Ont., is playing in his third OHL season after being a 13th round pick by Sarnia in the 2014 OHL Priority Selection.  He played in just three games for the Sting before joining the Bulldogs for 14 games in 2015-16 followed by a 2016-17 campaign that included 43 appearances. Listen

ROGERS HOMETOWN HOCKEY TOUR KICKED OFF IN NIAGARA FALLS:

The 2017 Rogers Hometown Hockey Tour got underway in Niagara Falls last weekend as Ron MacLean and Tara Stone explored the region’s hockey culture. Featured was 1965 Memorial Cup champion Derek Sanderson who played four seasons with the Niagara Falls Flyers from 1962-66 before a lengthy NHL career spent largely with the Boston Bruins. Sanderson was the OHL’s Eddie Powers Trophy recipient as the league’s leading scorer in 1967. He won the Calder Trophy as the NHL’s Rookie of the Year in 1968. For this feature and more from Niagara Falls, visit hometownhockey.com. The tour continues this weekend in Haliburton, ON, the hometown of former OHL star Matt Duchene who now skates with the NHL’s Colorado Avalanche.

COMMUNITY CORNER:

Spitfires raise Memorial Cup banner: The Windsor Spitfires open a home-and-home set with the London Knights on Thursday and will do so in style. The Spits will raise their 2017 Mastercard Memorial Cup championship banner prior to puck drop on Thursday night with a pre-game ceremony hosted by Steve Bell of AM800 CKLW. For more information, visit windsorspitfires.com.

Battalion host Pink in the Rink on Thursday: The North Bay Battalion will be decked out in pink on Thursday night when they play host to the visiting Ottawa 67’s. The Troops will be taking the fight to breast cancer, raising funds for the Canadian Cancer Society with various initiatives including a t-shirt sale, chuck-a-puck contest and an autographed game-worn jersey silent auction. For more details visit battalionhockey.com.

Petes collect Bras Around the Building at Thursday’s Chamber Night Game: The Peterborough Petes will be supporting Energy 99.7, Country 105 and the Canadian Cancer Society on Thursday at home to the Kingston Frontenacs, collecting bras for their annual Bras Around the Building campaign. Fans are encouraged to bring bras in support of the campaign to Thursday night’s rivalry matchup, which starts at 7:05pm. For every new or gently used bra donated during the campaign, Merrett Home Hardware Building Centre will donate $1 to the Canadian Cancer Society. Full details at gopetesgo.com.

Fronts host Fort Fright Night on Friday the 13th: Fans attending the Friday the 13th Frontenacs game are invited to wear their halloween costumes for a chance to win great prizes. Fans could win a family 4-pack to Fort Fright at Fort Henry!

67’s launch 50 for 50 Community Campaign: Follow along with the Ottawa 67’s as they engage in 50 acts of kindness in the Ottawa community as part of their 50th anniversary celebrations. The team officially launched the 50 for 50 Campaign this past Wednesday, surprising a group of 6-10 year-olds at a game of road hockey. For full campaign details ottawa67s.com.

Storm fans provide over 1,700 meals for Guelph Food Bank: Guelph Storm fans showed their generosity last Friday night at home to the Windsor Spitfires, providing over 1,700 meals to the Guelph Food Bank through food collections and cash donations. For more details visit guelphstorm.com.

 

ALUMNI NOTES:

DeBrincat scores first NHL goal: Reigning OHL and CHL Player of the Year Alex DeBrincat scored his first career NHL goal on Tuesday. DeBrincat helped the Chicago Blackhawks defeat the Montreal Canadiens 3-1 with a goal and an assist in the win. His first goal came against Montreal’s Carey Price. The 19-year-old native of Farmington Hills, Mich. has a goal and two assists through his first four NHL contests after helping the Erie Otters hoist the J. Ross Robertson Cup as OHL champions last spring. DeBrincat’s decorated four-year OHL career saw him become the Erie Otters’ franchise goal-scoring leader as well as the leading American goal-scorer in OHL history. He wrapped up a 191-game OHL career with 167 goals, 165 assists and 332 career points.

Milano scores first NHL goal: OHL graduate Sonny Milano scored his first career NHL goal last Friday. The 21-year-old native of Massapequa, New York has four goals through his first three games of the 2017-18 season after making the Columbus Blue Jackets out of training camp. The former first round pick in the 2014 NHL Draft played one OHL season with the Plymouth Whalers in 2014-15, recording 68 points (22-46–68) over 50 regular season games. Milano was a Calder Cup champion with the AHL’s Lake Erie Monsters in 2016.

Neal off to hot start with Golden Knights: OHL graduate James Neal made history last Friday, scoring the first goal in Vegas Golden Knights franchise history. The 30-year-old Whitby, Ont. native has five goals through his first three games of the season, becoming the second player in the NHL’s expansion era to score five goals in an expansion club’s first three games. A 2007 OHL champion with the Plymouth Whalers, Neal played parts of four seasons in the league, recording 173 career points (68-105–173) over 187 career regular season games. He’s now in his 10th NHL season after reaching the Stanley Cup Final with the Nashville Predators last spring.

Seven OHL alumni make NHL debuts: A total of seven OHL alumni have made NHL debuts so far in the 2017-18 season. Those names include Logan Brown (Ottawa Senators/Windsor Spitfires), Alex DeBrincat (Chicago Blackhawks/Erie Otters), Vince Dunn (St. Louis Blues/Niagara IceDogs), Alex Formenton (Ottawa Senators/London Knights), Janne Kuokkanen (Carolina Hurricanes/London Knights), Kurtis MacDermid (Los Angeles Kings/Erie Otters) and Victor Mete (Montreal Canadiens/London Knights).

Foegele named AHL Player of the Week: The MVP of the 2017 OHL Playoffs, Erie Otters graduate Warren Foegele has made a great first impression at the next level. The Charlotte Checkers forward was named the AHL’s Player of the Week after recording four goals over two contests including a pair of shorthanded and game-winning markers. A third round pick by the Carolina Hurricanes in 2014, Foegele played parts of two OHL seasons between Kingston and Erie, recording 40 goals, 71 assists and 111 career points over 113 regular season games.

163 OHL Alumni listed on AHL Opening Night Rosters: The Ontario Hockey League is proud to announce that 163 OHL alumni are actively listed on American Hockey League Opening Night Rosters representing over 21% of all players in the league to start the 2017-18 season. Of the 163 OHL graduates, 33 competed in the league during the 2016-17 season. Full list

 

KEY MATCHUPS:

Kingston Frontenacs (5-1-0-0) at Peterborough Petes (4-2-0-1)
Thursday October 12th at Peterborough / Friday October 13th at Kingston

A home-and-home set between two divisional foes may tell us a thing or two about who the big dogs in the East are. Both off to respectable starts, the Kingston Frontenacs and Peterborough Petes will meet on Thursday and Friday to embark on an eight game season series.

Perhaps the Eastern Conference’s pleasant surprise of the opening weeks of the season, the Frontenacs enter Thursday’s action having outscored opponents 25-16. Toronto Maple Leafs prospect Eemeli Rasanen leads the team in scoring with eight points (3-5–8) while Dallas Stars second round pick Jason Robertson has lit the lamp five times in six games.

Having recently added another veteran defenceman in Austin Osmanski from the Mississauga Steelheads, the Petes are looking to make the most of what many have predicted will be a big year in the Electric City. Florida Panthers prospect Jonathan Ang is among the league’s scoring leaders with 12 points (4-8–12) in seven games. The return of Russian winger Nikita Korostelev from Toronto Marlies AHL camp has also given the club a shot in the arm as they boast strength up and down the depth chart.

Guelph Storm (3-2-0-1) at Sarnia Sting (6-1-0-0)
Saturday October 14th at Sarnia

The Sarnia Sting made their season debut in the CHL Top 10 Rankings this week, holding down the eighth spot as they look to prove themselves this weekend against Mississauga, Guelph and Windsor.

Sarnia centreman and Calgary Flames prospect Adam Ruzicka has been one of the Western Conference’s top performers early in the season, putting up 12 points (7-5–12) in seven games while St. Louis Blues prospect Jordan Kyrou has nine (3-6–9) over five. What’s more, overage utility man Jordan Ernst has six goals over seven contests and the Sting boast the league’s top penalty kill.

The Guelph Storm enter play having had mixed results to start the season with what is a promising young roster on paper. They’ll look to bounce back from a 7-1 loss in Flint on Wednesday with games against Niagara on Friday and Sarnia on Saturday. 2017 OHL Rookie of the Year Ryan Merkley leads the club in scoring from the back end with nine points (2-7–9) over seven games while Russian forward Alexey Toropchenko has made an immediate impact up front.

 

SCHEDULE:

Thursday October 12:
Ottawa at North Bay – 7:00pm
Kingston at Peterborough – 7:05pm
London at Windsor – 7:05pm
Erie at Barrie – 7:30pm

Friday October 13:
Peterborough at Kingston – 7:00pm
Mississauga at Sarnia – 7:05pm
Ottawa at Sudbury – 7:05pm
Kitchener at Sault Ste. Marie – 7:07pm
Niagara at Guelph – 7:30pm
Windsor at London – 7:30pm
Hamilton at Oshawa – 7:35pm

Saturday October 14:
Sudbury at Peterborough – 4:05pm
Niagara at Erie – 7:00pm
Mississauga at Flint – 7:00pm
Kingston at Hamilton – 7:00pm
Kitchener at Saginaw – 7:05pm
Guelph at Sarnia – 7:05pm
North Bay at Barrie – 7:30pm
Oshawa at Owen Sound – 7:30pm

Sunday October 15:
Owen Sound at London – 2:00pm
Hamilton at North Bay – 2:00pm
Sarnia at Windsor – 2:05pm
Ottawa at Sault Ste. Marie – 2:07pm
Kitchener at Flint – 4:00pm
Mississauga at Saginaw – 5:30pm
Sudbury at Oshawa – 6:05pm

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

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