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OHL This Week: Oct. 26 to 29, 2017

 

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

 

23 OHL PLAYERS SET FOR 2017 WORLD UNDER-17 HOCKEY CHALLENGE:

Hockey Canada has announced the three Canadian rosters – Team Canada Black, Team Canada Red and Team Canada White – competing at the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge, Nov. 5-11 in Dawson Creek and Fort St. John, B.C. With the puck set to drop on the tournament in two weeks, the 23 OHL players on the three teams will face competition from the Czech Republic, Finland, Russia, Sweden and the United States in their quest for a gold medal. Read more

STING AND GREYHOUNDS IN CHL TOP 10 RANKINGS:  

The Sarnia Sting take over top spot in the Canadian Hockey League this week thanks to a franchise record 11-game winning streak. The Soo Greyhounds hold steady in the sixth spot while the Barrie Colts and Niagara IceDogs both received honourable mentions. Full Rankings

STING’S JORDAN KYROU NAMED OHL ‘ON THE RUN’ PLAYER OF THE WEEK:

St. Louis Blues prospect Jordan Kyrou of the Sarnia Sting is the OHL ‘On the Run’ Player of the Week for the week ending October 22 with eight points including four goals and four assists in three games with a plus-minus rating of plus-6. Kyrou led the league in scoring as the Sting extended their franchise record winning-streak to 11 games following a trio of road victories last week to improve their first overall standing to 12-1-0-0. Read more

STING’S JUSTIN FAZIO BECOMES NEW FRANCHISE WINS LEADER:

Overage veteran Justin Fazio is the new career goaltending wins leader in the Sarnia Sting’s 24-year history. The 20-year-old hometown product of Sarnia, Ont. turned aside 37 shots in a Sting franchise record 11th consecutive win in Barrie on Friday, coming out on top by a score of 7-2. With his 64th career victory, Fazio surpasses former record holder Patrick DesRochers (1995-99), who now serves as the Sting’s colour commentator on radio broadcasts alongside play-by-play voice Leigh Cunningham. Read more

GENERALS RETIRE TONY TANTI’S NUMBER 22:

The Oshawa Generals honoured one of the franchise’s all-time scoring greats on Saturday night, raising Tony Tanti’s number 22 to the heights of the Tribute Communities Centre. Tanti’s number 22 joins the likes of Bobby Orr (#2), Red Tilson (#9), Marc Savard (#27), Eric Lindros (#88) and John Tavares (#91) overlooking the playing surface. The Toronto native finished his OHL career with 338 points (177-161–338) over 154 career regular season games. He went on to enjoy a 12-year, 697-game NHL career that included a total of 560 points (287-273–560) between Chicago, Vancouver, Pittsburgh and Buffalo from 1982-92. Watch

67’s LEGEND BOBBY SMITH RETURNED TO WHERE IT ALL BEGAN:

The Ottawa 67’s welcomed junior hockey royalty back to the capital on October 20, with franchise great Bobby Smith among those in attendance. The game focused on the 1977-87 era, which included Ottawa’s first Memorial Cup Championship in 1984. The game also featured the unveiling of the next section of the Brian Kilrea Legacy Wall. Smith was all of nine years old when the 67’s came to Ottawa, his first experience of what would become a lifelong relationship with the club, for which he still holds the league record for most points in a season, with 192. Read more

Smith’s warm welcome upon his return to Ottawa is also featured in the latest edition of Dailies Total 1 – Feel Good Moment of the Week. Watch.

STING TO RETIRE STEVEN STAMKOS’ NUMBER 91:

The Sarnia Sting are set to retire the number 91 jersey of Tampa Bay Lightning captain and Sting alumni Steven Stamkos during an on-ice ceremony Friday, January 12th before the Sting host the Windsor Spitfires at Progressive Auto Sales Arena. Stamkos, the 27-year-old captain of the National Hockey League’s Tampa Bay Lightning spent two seasons in Sarnia from 2006-2008 after the Sting took him first overall in the 2006 Ontario Hockey League Priority Selection. In 124 games with the Sting, the Markham, ON native tallied 197 points (100 goals and 97 assists), becoming a household name in Sarnia before ultimately earning national recognition by being the undisputed first overall pick in the 2008 National Hockey League Entry Draft. Read more

WAWANESA OHL PLAYS OF THE WEEK:

The 5th 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 October 22. This week’s highlights include a good show of hustle by North Bay Battalion first round pick Brandon Coe, followed by a beautiful tic-tac-toe goal by Hamilton Bulldogs MacKenzie Entwistle, Will Bitten, and Matthew Strome.  The plays continue with a nice little dance move by Robert Thomas of the London Knights, Morgan Frost and Keeghan Howdeshell of the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds connect with a shorthanded give-and-go, and the Knights’ Max Jones scores from his knees to headline this week’s list. Watch

VOTE MAX JONES IN #CIBCSHOWDOWN:

London Knights forward Max Jones 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.

OUTSTANDING OCTOBER CONTINUES ON JANES SAVES OF THE WEEK:

October continues with OHL goaltenders orchestrating out of this world stops in the fifth edition of #JanesSaves. This week features 15 different goaltenders including Emanuel Vella of the Mississauga Steelheads, Michael DiPietro of the Windsor Spitfires, Aidan Hughes and Justin Fazio of the Sarnia Sting, Dylan Wells and Hunter Jones of the Peterborough Petes, Kyle Keyser of the Oshawa Generals, Luke Richardson of the Kitchener Rangers, Kaden Fulcher of the Hamilton Bulldogs, Stephen Dhillon of the Niagara IceDogs, Anthony Popovich of the Guelph Storm, Jake McGrath of the Sudbury Wolves, Christian Purboo of the North Bay Battalion, Garrett Forrest of the Flint Firebirds, and Troy Timpano of the Erie Otters, Watch

12 PLAYERS SCORE FIRST GOALS ACROSS THE OHL LAST WEEK:

A total of 12 players were featured on OHL Milestone Moments this past week, scoring the first goal of their OHL careers. The crop included seven different 16-year-old rookies including first round picks Jamieson Rees (Sarnia Sting), Nathan Staios (Windsor Spitfires) and Hayden Fowler (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds. Catch those milestones and more! Watch

SPITFIRES’ BROWN RETURNS FROM NHL:

The Ottawa Senators announced Wednesday that they’ve returned centreman Logan Brown to the Windsor Spitfires for the 2017-18 season. A 19-year-old who helped guide the Spitfires to a Mastercard Memorial Cup title last spring, Brown made his NHL debut on October 5th and played in a total of four NHL games, recording his first career NHL point with an assist on October 21st against Toronto. Read more

KNIGHTS’ CLIFF PU SIGNS WITH SABRES:

The Buffalo Sabres have signed London Knights forward Cliff Pu to a three-year entry level NHL contract. Pu finished the 2016-17 season ranked eighth among all OHL skaters with 86 points (35-51–86) in 63 games for the London Knights. He has totaled 132 points (52-80–132) in 178 career OHL regular season games for London and the Oshawa Generals, including six points (1-5–6) so far in the 2017-18 season. The North York, Ont. native has recorded 20 points (10-10–20) in 37 OHL playoff games. Read more

CHRISTIAN PURBOO COMMITS TO BATTALION:

The North Bay Battalion announced prior to Friday’s game in Mississauga that 17-year-old goaltender Christian Purboo has committed to the club. The Battalion’s 11th round (216th overall) pick in the 2016 OHL Priority Selection was selected from the Mississauga Rebels Minor Midget club. The Oakville, Ont. product returned to the Rebels program for his Midget AAA season, guiding them to a bronze medal finish at the 2017 Telus Cup, Hockey Canada’s national championship for Midget Hockey. Read more

OTTERS NAME ROY MLAKAR PRESIDENT & ALTERNATE GOVERNOR:

The Erie Otters Hockey Club, along with Owner and Governor Jim Waters, announced Wednesday the promotion of Roy Mlakar to President and Alternate Governor of the team. Mlakar, 67-year-old Erie resident, has managed the daily business operations of the Erie Otters as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer since JAW Hockey Enterprises LP purchased the team in July 2015. Under his guidance the team has seen record growth in sponsorship sales and attendance numbers, while capturing the franchise’s second Ontario Hockey League championship in May 2017. Read more

2017-18 OHL MEDIA INFORMATION GUIDE AVAILABLE FOR DOWNLOAD:

The 2017-18 online edition of the Ontario Hockey League Media and Information Guide is now available for download. The Guide includes OHL team directories, statistics and standings from last season as well as historical seasons, records and award winners, and a complete 2017 playoff recap. Featured on the cover of this year’s edition is Dylan Strome of the Erie Otters who captained his team to an OHL Championship as well as Mastercard Memorial Cup Champion Windsor Spitfires co-captains Jeremiah Addison and Jalen Chatfield.  Gracing the back cover is Otters grad Alex DeBrincat who recorded a third straight 50-goal season to earn 2017 OHL and CHL Player of the Year honours. Full details

10TH ANNUAL PRIMETIME SPORTS & ENTERTAINMENT MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE: 

PrimeTime Sports & Entertainment is pleased to present the 10th Annual PrimeTime Sports Management Conference & Trade Show, at the Westin Harbour Castle Hotel in Toronto, from November 12-14, 2017. The event will kickoff on Sunday November 12, with the PrimeTime Sports Welcome Reception, Sponsored by the Business of Hockey Institute. On Monday November 13 and Tuesday November 14, PrimeTime, along with their Presenting Sponsor, MLSE, will offer a jam-packed schedule, featuring over 60 sports industry experts from across North America, speaking on over 14 sports business panels. With over 60 speakers, and 600 attendees, there really is something for everyone. For a full list of confirmed speakers and topics, along with information about how you can register for this event, visit www.PrimeTimeSport.ca. Connect with us on social media, and you’ll find up-to-the-minute information and exclusive offers. Join the conversation, and be sure to use the hashtag PTSE10.

 

COMMUNITY CORNER:

IceDogs raise over $10,000 for Autism Ontario: The Niagara IceDogs raised upwards of $10,000 toward a great cause last weekend. The Dogs donned specially themed Autism Awareness jerseys for their Saturday night game against the Ottawa 67’s. Highlights of the post-game jersey auction included defenceman Elijah Roberts’ jersey selling for $1200, a figure Roberts himself decided to make a contribution on as he donated $240 of his own money toward the cause. More game-worn jerseys as well as goaltender Stephen Dhillon’s mask will be auctioned off online. For more details stay tuned to niagaraicedogs.net.

Frontenacs host Pink in the Rink Night on Friday: The Kingston Frontenacs are once again partnering with the Canadian Cancer Society to raise awareness of breast cancer. The annual Pink in the Rink Game is Friday night when they host the Mississauga Steelheads. Fronts players will proudly tape their sticks with pink tape, lace their skates with pink laces, and together join a brave breast cancer fighter and season ticket holder in a pregame ceremony. Find full details on the event at kingstonfrontenacs.com.

Storm hold Winter Wear Drive on Friday: The Guelph Storm will be contributing to the second annual Winter Wear Drive in support of Hope House on Friday night at home to Erie. Last year Storm fans generously donated over 70 adult coats, 9 pairs of snow pants, 16 youth jackets, seven baby coats, 43 scarves, six pairs of boots, approximately 30 pairs of new socks and a lot of winter hats and gloves! Full details at guelphstorm.com.

Firebirds hold ‘Trick or Treat at the Rink’ on Saturday: Flint Firebirds fans are invited to spend this Saturday evening trick-or-treating in a fun, safe and dry environment. The Firebirds host the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds this Saturday, Oct 28 at and special Halloween festivities are slated for the contest. Adults and kids are encouraged to dress up for the costume contest and on-ice costume parade, there will be trick-or-treating throughout the arena, bounce houses, balloon twisters, face painters and more! Visit flintfirebirds.com for details.

Bulldogs host Halloween Game on Saturday: The Hamilton Bulldogs are inviting their fans to wear their scariest costume to FirstOntario Centre when they host the London Knights on Saturday afternoon. Halloween themed content, music and activities will be going on throughout the course of the game. Fans are encouraged to dress up to increase their chances of winning prizes. Full Halloween Game details at hamiltonbulldogs.com.

Rangers raise child abuse awareness: Veteran forwards Connor Bunnaman and Adam Mascherin represented the Kitchener Rangers, kicking off Child Abuse Prevention Month at Victoria Park in Kitchener on Tuesday. Communities and schools across Ontario wore purple to show their commitment to the rights of children and youth when it comes to their safety and well-being.

Generals put Tony Tanti Retirement Night signed jerseys up for auction: The Oshawa Generals are auctioning off Tony Tanti Retirement Night signed jerseys. Fans can make their bids on the limited edition jerseys at ebay.ca.

Spitfires Mastercard Memorial Cup game worn jersey auction ends Sunday: Fans can own a piece of Mastercard Memorial Cup history as the defending champion Windsor Spitfires auction off their game worn jerseys from an unforgettable title run. More than 20 jerseys worn in round robin games versus Seattle and Erie as well as Jalen Chatfield’s jersey from the championship game are up for grabs. Cast your bids at spitsgear.com.

 

ALUMNI NOTES:

Nash approaching 1000 career NHL games: London Knights graduate Rick Nash will play his 1000th career NHL game on Thursday when the New York Rangers host the Arizona Coyotes at Madison Square Garden. The former 1st overall pick of the 2002 NHL Draft made his NHL debut on October 10, 2002 and is now set to become the 312th player in NHL history to reach the 1,000 game plateau. Nash’s career has included six appearances at the NHL All-Star Game and two Olympic Gold Medals in 2010 and 2014. He played two seasons with the Knights from 2000-02, being named the OHL’s Rookie of the Year in 2001. Over 999 career NHL regular season contests, Nash has recorded 417 goals, 355 assists and 772 points.

Nolan plays 300th career NHL game: Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds graduate Jordan Nolan played in his 300th career NHL regular season game on Tuesday, suiting up  in a 1-0 Buffalo Sabres win over the Detroit Red Wings. The 28-year-old Nolan won a pair of Stanley Cup titles with the Los Angeles Kings in 2012 and 2014 and is currently in his seventh NHL season. The Garden River, Ont. native and son of former OHL and NHL head coach Ted Nolan played five OHL seasons between Erie, Windsor and Sault Ste. Marie from 2005-10.

Smith earns 200th NHL win: Sudbury Wolves graduate Mike Smith earned his 200th career NHL win on Tuesday, backstopping the Calgary Flames to a 3-2 shootout win over the Nashville Predators. A 35-year-old native of Kingston, Ont., Smith is in his 13th NHL season and first with Calgary after spending the past six with the Arizona Coyotes. The former fifth round pick of the Dallas Stars in 2001 played three OHL seasons between Kingston and Sudbury from 1999-2002. Over his 483-game NHL career he is 200-202-60 with a 2.70 goals-against average and a .913 save percentage with 34 shutouts.

Dansk takes on starting role in Vegas: With injuries to Marc-Andre Fleury and Malcolm Subban, the expansion Vegas Golden Knights have summoned Erie Otters graduate Oscar Dansk from the AHL. The 23-year-old Dansk spent last season with Rogle of the Swedish Elite League and has appeared in one AHL contest with the Chicago Wolves this season. The Stockholm, Sweden native was a second round pick of the Columbus Blue Jackets in 2012 before spending two seasons with the Erie Otters from 2012-14. He is 2-0-0 in two appearances for Vegas this season, recording a 2.43 goals-against average and a .929 save percentage.

OHL grads Puempel and Sproul trade places: The New York Rangers and Detroit Red Wings pulled off a one-for-one trade of OHL graduates on Saturday. The Rangers sent Kitchener Rangers graduate Matt Puempel to the Red Wings in exchange for Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds grad and former OHL Defenceman of the Year Ryan Sproul. A former first round pick by the Ottawa Senators in 2011, Puempel recorded nine points (6-3–9) over 27 games with the Blueshirts last season and had three points (1-2–3) over his first five games with the AHL’s Hartford Wolf Pack this season. Sproul registered seven points (1-6–7) over 27 contests with the Red Wings last season and had collected four points (1-3–4) through his first five games with the AHL’s Grand Rapids Griffins this season.

Maurice earns 600th NHL win: Former OHL bench boss Paul Maurice won his 600th career NHL game on Friday. Now in his 19th season behind an NHL bench, Maurice led the Winnipeg Jets to a 4-3 win over the Minnesota Wild. A native of Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., Maurice played four OHL seasons with the Windsor Spitfires from 1984-88 before moving behind the bench as an assistant coach with the club. He’d eventually lead the Detroit Jr. Red Wings to an OHL title in 1995 before beginning his NHL coaching career with the Hartford Whalers a year later.

Handful of OHL grads score first AHL goal: A number of recent OHL graduates scored their first American Hockey League goal this past week. Arizona Coyotes prospects Dylan Strome (Erie Otters) and Kyle Capobianco (Sudbury Wolves) lit the lamp for the Tucson Roadrunners. New York Islanders farmhand Mitchell Vande Sompel (London Knights) scored for the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. Former London Knights teammate Brandon Crawley scored for the Hartford Wolf Pack. Former Soo Greyhounds captain Blake Speers scored for the Binghamton Devils and Mastercard Memorial Cup champion Graham Knott (Windsor Spitfires) found the back of the net for the Rockford IceHogs.

Platzer named ECHL Player of the Week: Owen Sound Attack graduate Kyle Platzer of the Wichita Thunder has been named the ECHL Player of the Week. The 22-year-old recorded a goal and an assist in a 3-1 win over Rapid City on Saturday and added three points (2-1–3) in a 5-2 victory against the Rush on Sunday. A native of Waterloo, Ont., Platzer leads the Thunder and is tied for second in the league, with eight points (4-4–8) in four games. The former fourth round pick of the Edmonton Oilers in 2013 played in 203 career OHL games between London and Owen Sound from 2011-15, recording 140 points (61-79–140) in the process.

Childerley values life after cardiac arrest: OHL graduate Brendan Childerley is sharing his story. The former Soo Greyhounds, Owen Sound Attack and Brampton Battalion forward suffered a heart attack during last year’s AUS playoffs as a member of the Acadia University Axemen Men’s Hockey Team. The Stratford, Ont. native fell ill at the end of the first overtime period during a semifinal game against the St. Francis Xavier X-Men. Before long he was in cardiac arrest. Now Childerley is all about gratitude, extending thanks to those who helped him through the trial. Childerley played five OHL seasons from 2008-13 before spending his past four between St. Thomas University and Acadia University. Read more on his story at atlanticuniversitysport.com.

 

KEY MATCHUPS:

Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds (9-2-2-0) at Sarnia Sting (12-1-0-0)
Friday October 27th at Sarnia

A much anticipated West Division showdown goes down in Sarnia on Friday as the red hot Sting battle the defending division champion Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds.

The Sting have won a franchise record 11 straight contests and lead the OHL in goals for with contributions coming from up and down the lineup. Sarnia has produced back-to-back OHL ‘On The Run’ Player of the Week recipients in sophomore forward Brady Hinz and St. Louis Blues prospect Jordan Kyrou. Overage netminder Justin Fazio became the new leader in Sting career victories by a goaltender, notching his 64th on Saturday in Barrie.

Known as one of the league’s best road teams, the Soo Greyhounds will be in Sarnia and Flint this weekend entering play having won eight of their last 10 contests. The Hounds feature the OHL’s leading goal scorer in Tampa Bay Lightning prospect Boris Katchouk while other prominent names in Tim Gettinger, Morgan Frost, Barrett Hayton, Hayden Verbeek and defenceman Mac Hollowell have been vital to the club’s success.

Ottawa 67’s (8-5-1-0) at Oshawa Generals (5-5-2-0)
Sunday October 29th at Oshawa

Two clubs that have battled their share of inconsistencies through the opening weeks of the 2017-18 season, East Division foes the Ottawa 67’s and Oshawa Generals close out the weekend with a Sunday evening clash.

Ottawa’s season has been marked by ups and downs, beginning with an 11-2 loss to the Barrie Colts on opening night. André Tourigny’s club has tightened things up of late though, scoring 2-1 and 1-0 wins last weekend before a 3-0 blanking at the hands of the Hamilton Bulldogs on Sunday. Kody Clark enters the weekend with overtime winning goals in each of the club’s last three victories.

The Generals have won just three of their last 10 and look to set a different trend this coming weekend with matchups against Eastern Conference opponents Niagara, Peterborough and Ottawa. Boston Bruins prospect Jack Studnicka leads the team with 15 points (4-11–15) over 12 games while 2018 NHL Draft prospects Allan McShane (2-11–13) and Serron Noel (7-4–11) have also been impressive. Rookie forward Nick Wong has seven goals through his first 12 OHL contests.

 

SCHEDULE:

Thursday October 26:
Oshawa at Niagara – 7:00pm
Windsor at North Bay – 7:00pm
Saginaw at Peterborough – 7:05pm
Hamilton at Barrie – 7:30pm

Friday October 27:
Mississauga at Kingston – 7:00pm
Sault Ste. Marie at Sarnia – 7:05pm
Windsor at Sudbury – 7:05pm
Erie at Guelph – 7:30pm
Owen Sound at Kitchener – 7:30pm
Flint at London – 7:30pm
Peterborough at Oshawa – 7:35pm

Saturday October 28:
Saginaw at Ottawa – 2:00pm
London at Hamilton – 4:00pm
Guelph at Erie – 7:00pm
Sault Ste. Marie at Flint – 7:00pm
Sudbury at Niagara – 7:00pm
Mississauga at Barrie – 7:30pm
North Bay at Owen Sound – 7:30pm

Sunday October 29:
Saginaw at Kingston – 2:00pm
North Bay at Kitchener – 2:00pm
Niagara at Mississauga – 2:00pm
Windsor at Owen Sound – 2:00pm
Hamilton at Peterborough – 2:05pm
Flint at Sarnia – 2:05pm
London at Guelph – 4:00pm
Sudbury at Erie – 5:00pm
Ottawa at Oshawa – 6:05pm

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

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