OHL This Week: October 11 to 14, 2018
An action-packed weekend of OHL action is fast approaching. Here’s a look at what’s happening across the league.
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 2018-19 season. Of the 163 OHL graduates, 32 competed in the league during the 2017-18 season. Read more
KNIGHTS, WOLVES AND STORM INCLUDED IN KIA CHL TOP 10:
The London Knights, Sudbury Wolves and Guelph Storm are included in the Week 4 edition of the Kia CHL Top 10 Rankings. The Kitchener Rangers also received an honourable mention. Full Rankings
STRENGTH OF THE PACK SETS UP WOLVES EARLY SEASON SUCCESS:
Last October the Sudbury Wolves started 2-6-0-0 before finishing at the bottom of the OHL standings. This time around that record is reversed and their 6-2-0-0 mark leads all 20 teams heading into the season’s fourth week. A five-game win-streak powered by their first three-game road trip sweep since 2012 helped vault the Wolves into the CHL’s Top-10 for the first time in over a decade giving fans in the Nickel City lots to be excited about. Read more
WOLVES’ UKKO-PEKKA LUUKKONEN NAMED OHL ‘ON THE RUN’ PLAYER OF THE WEEK:
Buffalo Sabres prospect Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen of the Sudbury Wolves is the OHL ‘On the Run’ Player of the Week for the regular season week ending October 7 posting a 3-0-0-0 record with a goals-against-average of 1.66 and save percentage of .952. Luukkonen turned aside 99 shots in a trio of road games last week for the Wolves who are now winners of five straight with him in the crease and sit atop the league’s overall standings with 12 points. Read more
WAWANESA OHL PLAYS OF THE WEEK:
The third edition of the Wawanesa OHL Plays of the Week for the 2018-19 season feature a collection of the league’s Top-5 goals during the week ending October 7. This week’s highlights include flashes of Forsberg with moves by Nicholas Porco of the Saginaw Spirit and Matej Pekar of the Barrie Colts, a buzzer-beater by the Guelph Storm scored by Nate Schnarr and set up by Ryan Merkley, some fancy footwork by Connor McMichael of the London Knights, and Roman Pucek of the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds who dances through the defence. Watch
PUCEK REPRESENTS OHL IN CIBC SHOWDOWN:
Soo Greyhounds forward Roman Pucek is this week’s OHL representative in CIBC Showdown, a weekly feature that allows fans across the CHL to vote for their favourite play across all three leagues. Watch & Vote
10 MORE OHL NEWCOMERS ENJOY MILESTONE MOMENTS:
A total of 10 more new OHL faces have enjoyed career milestones in the past week. Watch
OUTSTRETCHED ARMS AND LEGS IN OCTOBER’S FIRST EDITION OF JANES SAVES OF THE WEEK:
The outstretched arms and legs of OHL goaltenders star in October’s first edition of #JanesSaves. Featured in this edition is Zachary Roy of the Hamilton Bulldogs, Christian Propp of the North Bay Battalion, Cameron Lamour of the Saginaw Spirit, Mack Guzda and Andrew MacLean of the Owen Sound Attack, Jordan Kooy of the London Knights, Michael DiPietro of the Windsor Spitfires, Cedrick Andree of the Ottawa 67’s, and Ethan Langevin of the Sarnia Sting. Watch
OHL NEWS – RADIO EDITION WITH WOLVES ROOKIE QUINTON BYFIELD:
Sudbury Wolves rookie and 2018 first overall OHL Priority Selection choice Quinton Byfield joins host Terry Doyle on the latest edition of OHL News – Radio Edition. Byfield shares his experience, recounting the first couple weeks of his OHL career. Listen
FIVE OHL PLAYERS INCLUDED IN SPORTSNET’S 2019 NHL DRAFT RANKINGS FOR OCTOBER:
Ryan Suzuki (Barrie Colts), Matvey Guskov (London Knights), Arthur Kaliyev (Hamilton Bulldogs), Michael Vukojevic (Kitchener Rangers) and Nick Robertson (Peterborough Petes) are included on Sportsnet’s October Rankings for the 2019 NHL Draft. The list compiled by Sam Cosentino features Suzuki leading the way at 14th overall. Read more at sportsnet.ca.
DAWSON McKINNEY COMMITS TO GENERALS:
The Oshawa Generals have received a commitment from 2018 fourth round selection Dawson McKinney. Last season with the Hamilton Jr. Bulldogs Minor Midgets, the Binbrook, Ont. native had 24 points in 27 games. He’s currently with the St. Catharines Falcons of the GOJHL. Read more
DON MILLS FLYERS VICTORIOUS AT WENDY DUFTON MEMORIAL TOURNAMENT:
The Don Mills Flyers Minor Midgets are champions once again. After winning the Toronto Titans Minor Midget Tournament last month, the Flyers marched to the Championship of the Wendy Dufton Memorial Tournament in London, Ont. to defeat the Toronto Marlboros 6-1. Brennan Othmann led the event in scoring with 25 points (16-9–25) in eight games while underage standout Shane Wright trailed with 17 (7-10–17).
ROGERS HOMETOWN HOCKEY TOUR LAUNCHED IN KITCHENER:
The fifth annual edition of the Rogers Hometown Hockey Tour got underway in Kitchener last weekend. The Rangers helped launch the 50th Oktoberfest celebration with specially-themed Oktoberfest jerseys on Friday as they played host to the Saginaw Spirit. The first of 25 stops across the country featured stories and appearances from former OHL talent in Scott Stevens (New Jersey Devils/Kitchener Rangers), Mark Scheifele (Winnipeg Jets/Barrie Colts) and Ben Fanelli (Kitchener Rangers). For more on those stories visit hometownhockey.com.
Colts take on troops from CFB Borden in support of Soldier On: The Barrie Colts laced them up against soldiers from CFB Borden on Tuesday, supporting Solider On, a Canadian Armed Forces program committed to supporting veterans and serving members to adapt and overcome permanent physical injuries or mental healthy issues. The Colts will be holding an upcoming home game on November 15th in support of the cause. For more details visit barriecolts.com.
67’s receive visit from Team Canada Blind hockey captain: The Ottawa 67’s got a visit from the captain of Canada’s Blind Hockey team Kelly Serbu last week. Kelly and Team Canada will be traveling down to Pittsburgh this weekend for the first ever international Blind Hockey series against the US. Prior to his departure Serbu stopped by 67’s practice on Friday to talk to the team about his journey and what #NoQuit means to him. He then went out on the ice with the team, bringing his own puck and played some Blind Hockey with the Barber Poles. He was also at TD Place on Saturday for the ceremonial puck drop where he dropped the Blind Hockey puck the team had used the day before. For more on the story visit ottawa67s.com.
67’s suit up in REDBLACKS jerseys on Sunday: It’s no secret that the 67’s play their games underneath a football stadium. On Sunday afternoon they’re bringing the football underground into The Arena at TD Place for an RNATION game against the Erie Otters. REDBLACKS players Greg Ellingson, Diontae Spencer, William Powell will be in attendance for the game, helping out with the ceremonial faceoff. Full details at ottawa67s.com.
IceDogs to honour Stan Mikita, don Tee-Pees jerseys on Thursday: The Niagara IceDogs will suit up in Tee-Pees jerseys for warmups and a special pre-game ceremony on Thursday at home to the Barrie Colts, saluting legendary star Stan Mikita who passed away this past summer. For more details visit niagaraicedogs.net.
Petes prepare for Alumni Homecoming Weekend: On Saturday, October 13 at 7:05pm more than 65 Petes alumni will be in attendance for a game against the Windsor Spitfires as part of Alumni Homecoming Weekend. A special pre-game ceremony will celebrate the 40th anniversary of the 1979 Memorial Cup Champion Petes, in which nearly the whole team will take part. For full details on an exciting weekend, visit gopetesgo.com.
Eventful weekend in Flint: The Flint Firebirds have a pair of home games this coming weekend and there’s lots to do at the Dort Federal Credit Union Event Center. The Birds will host ‘810 Night’ on Friday against North Bay, celebrating the Greater Flint Area as they offer the lowest individual ticket prices in franchise history. The first 810 fans in attendance will receive a free Firebirds ‘810’ shirt. The Kitchener Rangers are in town on Saturday as the club salutes First Responders, giving them $5 off a silver level ticket. Admission to the Firebirds’ game earns fans a ticket to the ‘Battle of the Badges’ game between the Police & Firefighters that takes place beginning at 4 p.m. with doors set to open at 3:30 p.m. Full details at flintfirebirds.com.
Spirit host Star Wars Night, Post-Game Skate: The Saginaw Spirit host a pair of home games this weekend, battling the North Bay Battalion on Star Wars Night Saturday at the Dow Event Center. Fans are encouraged to wear their Star Wars apparel to the game. The Spirit will host a post-game skate after their game on Sunday. Full details on the upcoming weekend can be found at saginawspirit.com.
Superhero Night in Hamilton: The Hamilton Bulldogs host Superhero Night on Saturday at home to the Mississauga Steelheads. Wear your favourite costume and get in on the fun!
Svechnikov scores first NHL goal: Barrie Colts graduate and 2018 CHL Top Draft Prospect Andrei Svechnikov scored his first career NHL goal with the Carolina Hurricanes this past week. Svechnikov lit the lamp in Carolina’s 8-5 win over the New York Rangers on Sunday. The 18-year-old has four points (2-2–4) through his first four NHL games. Svechnikov was the second overall pick of the 2018 NHL Draft after registering 72 points (40-32–72) in 44 games with the Colts last season.
Handful of OHL graduates score first AHL goal: Recent OHL graduates Tim Gettinger (Hartford Wolf Pack/Soo Greyhounds), Jack Kopacka (San Diego Gulls/Soo Greyhounds), Taylor Raddysh (Syracuse Crunch/Soo Greyhounds), Kole Sherwood (Cleveland Monsters/Kitchener Rangers) and Marian Studenic (Binghamton Devils/Hamilton Bulldogs) scored their first career AHL goal this past week. They’re part of a larger group of 32 players from the 2017-18 season who have made the jump to the pro ranks this season. Full list
Anderson, Cherry, Smyth named to AHL Hall of Fame Class of 2019: Former OHL contributors both on and off the ice, John Anderson, Don Cherry and Brad Smyth have been named to the AHL Hall of Fame’s Class of 2019. Anderson was a centrepiece of the OHA’s Toronto Marlboros from 1973-77, winning a Memorial Cup in 1975 before a lengthy NHL career spent largely with the Toronto Maple Leafs. In addition to his time on the blue line with the Barrie Flyers from 1952-54, Don Cherry won four Calder Cup titles before stepping behind the bench of the Boston Bruins from 1974-79. Joining the Hockey Night in Canada icon is Brad Smyth, a London Knights graduate who played over 600 career AHL contests, recording 667 regular season points while winning a Calder Cup with the Hartford Wolf Pack in 2000. For more on the 2019 induction class, visit theahl.com.
Panthers recall Lammikko: Kingston Frontenacs graduate Juho Lammikko has gotten the call from the Florida Panthers. The 22-year-old spent the past two seasons with the AHL’s Springfield Thunderbirds after being a third round pick of the Panthers in 2014. He played two seasons in Kingston, recording 99 points (40-59–99) over 123 regular season games.
Pu settling in nicely with new team: Kingston Frontenacs graduate Cliff Pu is getting familiarized with his new surroundings. The Carolina Hurricanes prospect has made the jump to the pro ranks, starting the 2018-19 season with the AHL’s Charlotte Checkers. Originally a third round pick of the Buffalo Sabres in 2016, Pu was dealt to Carolina in August as fellow OHL grad Jeff Skinner went the other way to Buffalo. Pu played four OHL seasons between Oshawa, London and Kingston, winning a Memorial Cup with London in 2016. Read more on his early season story at buffalonews.com.
Bitten dealt to Minnesota: Hamilton Bulldogs graduate and 2018 OHL champion Will Bitten was traded to the Minnesota Wild last week. Previously with the Montreal Canadiens, Bitten was swapped for Swedish defenceman Gustav Olofsson. A 20-year-old from Gloucester, Ont., Bitten played four OHL seasons between Plymouth, Flint and Hamilton, recording 217 points (88-129–217) over 257 regular season games. He picked up 11 points (4-7–11) in 21 games during the playoffs last spring. He was a third round pick by Montreal in 2016.
Hishon moving forward with hockey dream against all odds: Sportsnet’s Derek Wright sits down with former Owen Sound Attack star and 2011 OHL champion Joey Hishon to reflect on the hockey incident that changed his hockey dreams. Hishon, who is currently in scouting and skills development with the Attack, played four seasons with the Bears from 2007-11, helping the club win an OHL title in 2011. He was a first round pick of the Colorado Avalanche in 2010, suiting up in 13 NHL contests. Watch
Maletta announces retirement: Niagara IceDogs graduate Jordan Maletta has announced his retirement at the age of 23. Maletta, who was involved in an offseason trade to the Chicago Blackhawks that sent injured forward Marian Hossa to the Arizona Coyotes, was hampered by a hand injury throughout the 2017-18 season. He wasn’t medically cleared to play prior to the 2018-19 campaign and formally announced his retirement last week. The St. Catharines, Ont. native played five OHL seasons between Windsor and Niagara, appearing in 314 career regular season games. He helped the IceDogs win an Eastern Conference title in 2016 before being signed as a free agent by the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Baker officiates first NHL contest: OHL officiating graduate Tyson Baker worked his first career NHL contest on Tuesday in Ottawa. Baker, who officiated in the OHL last season worked as a linesman on Tuesday alongside a crew that included Scott Driscoll and referees Eric Furlatt and Pierre Lambert. Baker was one of three OHL officials hired by the NHL this past offseason, joining Mitch Dunning and Michael Markovic. Baker cites current OHL officials Kevin Hastings and Dustin McCrank as his primary mentors in development.
Sandlak joins officiating ranks: OHL graduate Carter Sandlak has transitioned into life in stripes. A former power forward who played five OHL seasons between Guelph, Belleville and Plymouth from 2009-14, Sandlak played four seasons in the professional ranks between the AHL and ECHL and has taken up a new career as an official. Following in the footsteps of former OHL teammate Cory Syvret, Sandlak will serve as a linesman in the ECHL and a referee in the OHL and AHL. For more on Sandlak’s story, visit echl.com.
Barrie Colts (3-3-1-0) vs. Sudbury Wolves (6-2-0-0)
Friday October 12th at Sudbury
A Central Division rivalry just got a whole lot more interesting. The defending Central Division champion Barrie Colts visit the surging Sudbury Wolves on Friday night in what looks to be a closely-matched contest.
OHL scoring leader Ryan Suzuki and the Colts got the better of Sudbury in their first meeting on September 27th, taking a lopsided 10-3 win before losing to the same Wolves club a few nights later by a score of 3-2 in overtime.
The Wolves made their Kia CHL Top 10 Rankings debut this past week, coming as the eighth-ranked team in the country. OHL ‘On the Run’ Player of the Week Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen sports a perfect 5-0 record between the pipes.
Guelph Storm (4-1-1-0) vs. Sarnia Sting (3-3-0-0)
Saturday October 13th at Sarnia
The Storm and the Sting treated fans to a dandy of a game last weekend in Guelph. The two clubs meet again on Saturday in Sarnia.
Ryan Merkley set up Nate Schnarr for the last second game winner as the Storm edged the Sting 6-5 on Friday night. The back-and-forth affair saw the Storm overcome a 4-2 deficit as Schnarr and teammate Isaac Ratcliffe both scored twice.
While the Storm enter the week as the ninth-ranked team in the CHL, the Sting have dropped three straight decisions after starting their 25th season 3-0. Veterans Anthony Salinitri and Adam Ruzicka have led Sarnia offensively, each producing six points on the campaign.
Thursday October 11:
Barrie at Niagara – 7:00pm
Erie at Peterborough – 7:05pm
Friday October 12:
North Bay at Flint – 7:00pm
Erie at Kingston – 7:00pm
Hamilton at Mississauga – 7:00pm
Windsor at Ottawa – 7:00pm
Barrie at Sudbury – 7:05pm
Kitchener at Sault Ste. Marie – 7:07pm
Owen Sound at Guelph – 7:30pm
Sarnia at London – 7:30pm
Peterborough at Oshawa – 7:35pm
Saturday October 13:
Mississauga at Hamilton – 4:00pm
Kitchener at Flint – 7:00pm
North Bay at Saginaw – 7:05pm
Guelph at Sarnia – 7:05pm
Windsor at Peterborough – 7:05pm
Niagara at Barrie – 7:30pm
London at Owen Sound – 7:30pm
Sunday October 14:
London at Guelph – 2:00pm
Windsor at Kingston – 2:00pm
Erie at Ottawa – 2:00pm
Mississauga at Sarnia – 2:05pm
North Bay at Sault Ste. Marie – 2:07pm
Niagara at Sudbury – 3:05pm
Kitchener at Saginaw – 5:30pm
Hamilton at Oshawa – 6:05pm
Be sure to catch all of this weekend’s action at ohllive.com.