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OHL This Week: September 27 to 30, 2018

The 2018-19 OHL season roars into its second weekend. Here’s a look at what’s going on across the league.

 

#OHLOPENINGWEEK IN REVIEW:
A 17-game #OHLOpeningWeek is in the books and hockey is here to stay! Here’s a look at some of the top storylines and peak performers from a busy week around the Ontario Hockey League. Read more

KNIGHTS, ICEDOGS AND SPIRIT INCLUDED IN CHL TOP 10:
The London Knights (2), Niagara IceDogs (5) and Saginaw Spirit (9) all remained in the second edition of the weekly CHL Top 10 Rankings released on Wednesday. The 2-0-0-0 Peterborough Petes also received an honourable mention for their efforts. Full Rankings

UPDATE ON HAMILTON BULLDOGS HEAD COACH DAVE MATSOS:
The Hamilton Bulldogs have issued an update on the status of head coach Dave Matsos who collapsed on the bench in the third period of a game against the Barrie Colts last weekend. Matsos spent time with the players, coaches and trainers on Tuesday and will help the team prepare for its games this coming weekend while not going behind the bench. Read more

BIG NAMES RETURNING FROM NHL PRE-SEASON EXPOSURE:
OHL stars in Owen Tippett (Mississauga/Florida), Nick Suzuki (Owen Sound/Montreal), Jack Studnicka (Oshawa/Boston), Liam Foudy (London/Columbus), Adam Boqvist (London/Chicago), Semyon Der-Arguchintsev (Peterborough/Toronto), Sasha Chmelevski (Ottawa/San Jose), Ryan McLeod (Mississauga/Edmonton), and Ryan Merkley (Guelph/San Jose) made their return to the league this week after completing pre-season auditions at the next level. A total of 161 OHL players attended NHL Training Camps this past month. Here’s a closer look at those names. Full List

OHL ANNOUNCES 2018-19 OFFICIATING TEAM:
The Ontario Hockey League has announced its Officiating Team for the 2018-19 season, one that includes 40 referees, 52 linesmen and a total of 19 new personnel. Full list

ICEDOGS’ AKIL THOMAS NAMED OHL ‘ON THE RUN’ PLAYER OF THE WEEK:
Los Angeles Kings prospect Akil Thomas of the Niagara IceDogs is the OHL ‘On the Run’ Player of the Week following a five-point performance. Thomas and the IceDogs waited until Sunday afternoon for their highly anticipated #OHLOpeningWeek debut after being appointed the Canadian Hockey League’s fifth ranked team in pre-season. Read more

PETES’ HUNTER JONES NAMED VAUGHN CHL GOALTENDER OF THE WEEK:
2019 NHL Draft prospect Hunter Jones of the Peterborough Petes is the Vaughn CHL Goaltender of the Week for the opening week of regular season action ending September 23 after posting a 2-0-0-0 record including a shutout victory for a goals-against-average of 1.50 and save percentage of .962. Jones turned aside 75 shots last week for the Petes who finished OHL opening week with a pair of victories against fellow East Division competition. Read more

GLORIOUS GOALS ON FIRST EDITION OF WAWANESA OHL PLAYS OF THE WEEK:
The first edition of the Wawanesa OHL Plays of the week has some nice goals from #OHLOpeningWeek. See great plays from Brady Hinz, Pavel Gogolev, Cameron Peters, Ryan O’Rourke, Quinton Byfield and many more. Watch

BYFIELD REPRESENTS OHL IN CIBC SHOWDOWN:
Sudbury Wolves rookie Quinton Byfield 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. Cast your vote on Quinton’s first career OHL goal today! Vote Now

21 ROOKIES ENJOY MILESTONE MOMENTS ON #OHLOPENINGWEEK:
Twenty OHL newcomers scored the first goal of their young career while Peterborough Petes goaltender Hunter Jones notched his first OHL shutout, contributing to a jam-packed week of OHL Milestone Moments. Relive the lifelong memories. Watch

SPIRIT ROOKIE COLE PERFETTI FEATURED ON OHL NEWS RADIO:
Host Terry Doyle chats with Saginaw Spirit rookie Cole Perfetti following an exciting #OHLOpeningWeek. Perfetti earned first star honours in his OHL debut after being the fifth overall pick of the OHL Priority Selection. Listen

FIREBIRDS NAME TY DELLANDREA CAPTAIN:
The Flint Firebirds have named Dallas Stars prospect Ty Dellandrea the third captain in club history. Dellandrea will be joined by alternate captains in Dennis Busby, Jake Durham and Fedor Gordeev with the Firebirds this season. A first round (13th overall) pick of the Stars this past summer, Dellandrea put up 59 points (27-32–59) over 67 games last season. Read more

DAMIEN GIROUX NAMED 20TH CAPTAIN IN SPIRIT HISTORY:
The Saginaw Spirit have named 18-year-old Minnesota Wild prospect Damien Giroux the 20th captain in franchise history. Giroux enters his third OHL season after becoming the Minnesota Wild’s fifth round selection in the 2018 NHL Draft. The Sudbury, Ontario native was a part of last season’s leadership group, serving as an alternate captain. Giroux takes over the captaincy from the departed Keaton Middleton, who signed a professional contract with the San Jose Barracuda of the American Hockey League this week. Read more

STING NAME LEAFS PROSPECT RYAN McGREGOR CAPTAIN:
The Sarnia Sting have named Toronto Maple Leafs prospect Ryan McGregor captain for the 2018-19 season. A fourth-year centreman from Burlington, Ont., McGregor was originally a second round (24th overall) pick by the Sting in the 2015 OHL Priority Selection. In 50 games last season, he registered 13 goals, 19 assists and 32 points before continuing his production into the playoffs when he put up 10 points (3-7–10) in 12 postseason contests. Read more

FRONTENACS NAME RYAN CRANFORD CAPTAIN:
The Kingston Frontenacs have named fourth-year winger Ryan Cranford the 43rd captain in franchise history. A native of Embrun, Ont., Cranford enters his fourth season with the Fronts after recording 16 goals, 17 assists and 33 points last season. He’s well aware of the roles and responsibilities of a captain after learning under experienced veterans in past seasons. Read more

BRATHWAITE JOINS 67’s, EGERT TAKES ON EXPANDED ROLE:
The Ottawa 67’s have hired former NHL netminder and OHL graduate Fred Brathwaite as a Goaltending Advisor while also expanding the role of Asst. GM Jan Egert. Prior to a 254-game NHL career, Brathwaite played four OHL seasons between Oshawa, London and Detroit from 1989-93, backstopping the Generals to a Memorial Cup title as a rookie. Egert adds the role of Director of Scouting to his duties with the Barber Poles. Read more

MISSISSAUGA REBELS WIN TITANS MIDGET AAA TOURNAMENT:
The Mississauga Rebels played to a perfect 8-0 record to be crowned champion of the Toronto Titans Midget AAA Tourney, signalling the first step on the road to the 2019 OHL Under-18 Priority Selection. The Rebels defeated the Vaughan Kings 3-0 in the Championship Final as forward Ryan O’Toole led the tournament in scoring with 14 points (3-11–14). For full statistics and standings, visit torontotitans.ca.

ENTERING ELITE COMPANY – HOCKEY HALL OF FAME INDUCTION WEEKEND:
The 2018 Hockey Hall of Fame Induction Weekend will run from November 9 – 12 honouring the Class of 2018 – Martin Brodeur, Jayna Hefford, Martin St. Louis and Alexander Yakushev who will enter the Hall in the Player Category and Gary Bettman and Willie O’Ree in the Builder Category. Proudly supported by the Ontario Hockey League, visit HHOF.com for Legends Classic ticket information and full Induction Weekend Celebration itinerary.

OHL LIVE EARLY BIRD PRICING NOW AVAILABLE:
The Ontario Hockey League, in association with its digital media partner NeuLion, is proud to offer Early Bird pricing for OHL Live up until October 31, 2018. Powered by NeuLion, OHL Live provides unparalleled online broadcast coverage of all 20 teams in the OHL delivering regular season action which opens Wednesday, September 19, as well as the 2019 OHL Playoffs. Full Details

 

COMMUNITY CORNER:

Rangers to honour Don Cameron pre-game: The Kitchener Rangers will honour long-time play-by-play voice Don Cameron prior to puckdrop on Friday night at home to the Ottawa 67’s. Cameron, who passed away at the age of 82 this past summer, called Rangers games over a span of 55 years beginning back in 1963, bringing Kitchener over 4,000 broadcasts. For full details on a very special night, visit kitchenerrangers.com.

67’s and Petes support victims of Ottawa storm: This past weekend the Ottawa 67’s opened their doors to fans affected by a storm that devastated the Ottawa-Gatineau region. The club provided fans affected by the storm a complimentary ticket to their game against the Peterborough Petes and also collected cash and clothing donations to be donated to storm victims. This coming Saturday when the Petes host the Hamilton Bulldogs, they’ll conduct a chuck-a-puck with proceeds being donated to storm victims located in Dunrobin, hometown of rookie goaltender Tye Austin. For more on this kindness from the 67’s and Petes, visit ottawa67s.com and gopetesgo.com.

IceDogs support Goodwill on Saturday: The Niagara IceDogs will be collecting donations for Goodwill prior to their Saturday night home game against the North Bay Battalion. Fans can drop off a bag of donations at any Meridian Centre entrance and receive a $2 ticket voucher for the IceDogs game on Wednesday October 24th against Peterborough. For more information visit niagaraicedogs.net.

Bulldogs roll out the red carpet: The Hamilton Bulldogs open the home portion of their schedule on Sunday afternoon against the Ottawa 67’s, raising their 2018 OHL Championship banner prior to puckdrop. The club will be holding a Red Carpet event starting at 12:00pm where fans will be able to meet select players for autographs before the game.

Generals launch Reading Club for 2018-19 season: The Oshawa Generals have partnered with Swiss Chalet Restaurants to present the Generals Reading Club. The Generals will be visiting various schools across Durham Region, providing each student an Oshawa Generals bookmark with a Swiss Chalet coupon attached. When children read five books verified by the student’s teacher, they will receive a free kids meal at participating Swiss Chalet Restaurants. The Gens will visit schools in the Durham Region every week on Tuesday’s and Wednesday’s to promote the program. Read more at oshawagenerals.com.

 

ALUMNI NOTES:

Strome, Crouse, look to establish themselves with Coyotes: OHL graduates Dylan Strome and Lawson Crouse are leaving it all out on the ice in their bid to crack the Arizona Coyotes’ Opening Night roster. Both players spent time in the American Hockey League last season and are eager to take the next step in their development. Franchise scoring leader of the Erie Otters, Strome won an OHL title with the club in 2017 and proceeded to earn a spot at the AHL All-Star Game last season with 53 points (22-31–53) over 50 games. He also recorded nine points (4-5–9) over 21 NHL contests. Kingston Frontenacs grad Crouse was acquired by Arizona in August 2016 after being Florida’s first round (11th overall) pick in 2015. He put up 32 points (15-17–32) in 56 AHL games last season. Read more on the story at arizonasports.com.

Andersson eyes permanent spot with Flames: Barrie Colts graduate Rasmus Andersson is hungry for full-time NHL work. The Swedish rearguard put up 39 points (9-30–39) in 56 games with the AHL’s Stockton Heat last season, also appearing in 10 games with Calgary. The second round (53rd overall) pick in the 2015 NHL Draft was noticed after two solid seasons in Barrie where he recorded over 60 points in each campaign, helping the Colts reach the Eastern Conference Final in 2016. Read more on Andersson’s progress at nationalpost.com.

Stewart takes his game to Europe: After 10 seasons in the NHL, Chris Stewart is taking his game to Europe. The big winger signed with the KHL’s HC Slovan Bratislava this past week. The 30-year-old Stewart played in 54 NHL games last season between Minnesota and Calgary, recording 16 points (10-6–16) in the process. The Kingston Frontenacs grad was originally the 18th overall pick of the 2006 NHL Draft by the Colorado Avalanche.

Hunter puts players on NHL path in London: The Toronto Maple Leafs opened the NHL’s Pre-Season in the small town of Lucan, Ontario, bringing back fond memories for former London Knights like John Tavares, Nazem Kadri, and Mitch Marner all familiar with the area.  The OHL grads shared their experiences in green and playing for head coach Dale Hunter with NHL.com writer Mike Zeisberger.  Read more at nhl.com.

Skinner’s skill still does all the talking: Kitchener Rangers graduate Jeff Skinner is gearing up for his debut with the Buffalo Sabres after spending the first eight seasons of his NHL career with the Carolina Hurricanes.  Former Rangers General Manager and Head Scout Murray Hiebert spoke with NHLPA writer Chris Lomon about the blueshirt’s last 50-goal scorer and the quiet confidence he brought to The Aud from 2008-10.  Read more at nhlpa.com.

 

KEY MATCHUPS:

Flint Firebirds (0-2-0-0) vs. Sarnia Sting (1-0-0-0)
Friday September 28 at Sarnia

The Sarnia Sting host their home opener on Friday night, squaring off against a West Division opponent in the Flint Firebirds.

The Sting won their season opener over Saginaw on Saturday as rookie Jacob Perreault scored twice in his OHL debut. With the departure of OHL Player of the Year Jordan Kyrou, the Sting turn to other veterans in overager Anthony Salinitri, Calgary Flames prospect Adam Ruzicka and draft eligible forward Jamieson Rees to lead them offensively.

The Firebirds are looking to right the ship this weekend following a forgettable 12-1 loss in Erie last weekend. Newly named captain Ty Dellandrea leads the team up front while the blue line has been shorthanded out of the gate, missing the presence of injured rearguard Dennis Busby as well as Fedor Gordeev, who attended Toronto Maple Leafs training camp.

Ottawa 67’s (1-1-0-0) vs. Hamilton Bulldogs (1-1-0-0)
Sunday September 30 at Hamilton

The Hamilton Bulldogs celebrate their 2018 OHL Championship prior to their home opener on Sunday afternoon. The Ottawa 67’s, who they eliminated in the first round of last year’s playoffs, will be the opponent as the two East Division foes square off at FirstOntario Centre.

Colorado Avalanche Brandon Saigeon emerged as the OHL’s early season scoring leader as the Bulldogs started 1-1 out of the gate. Arthur Kaliyev had a productive start to his draft eligible season, recording five points (3-2–5) over two games last weekend.

The 67’s look to rebound from a 7-3 loss against the Peterborough Petes on Sunday, one that saw them surrender four shorthanded goals. Sasha Chmelevski returns to the lineup this weekend after leading the club in scoring last season. He had an extended stay with the San Jose Sharks out of training camp.

 

SCHEDULE:

Thursday September 27:
Oshawa at North Bay – 7:00pm
Niagara at Peterborough – 7:05pm
Saginaw at Windsor – 7:05pm
Sudbury at Barrie – 7:30pm

Friday September 28:
Erie at Mississauga – 7:00pm
Kingston at Niagara – 7:00pm
Flint at Sarnia – 7:05pm
Oshawa at Sudbury – 7:05pm
Owen Sound at Guelph – 7:30pm
Ottawa at Kitchener – 7:30pm
Sault Ste. Marie at London – 7:30pm

Saturday September 29:
Kingston at Erie – 7:00pm
London at Flint – 7:00pm
North Bay at Niagara – 7:00pm
Hamilton at Peterborough – 7:05pm
Guelph at Saginaw – 7:05pm
Sault Ste. Marie at Sarnia – 7:05pm
Kitchener at Windsor – 7:05pm
Ottawa at Owen Sound – 7:30pm

Sunday September 30:
Ottawa at Hamilton – 2:00pm
Kingston at Mississauga – 2:00pm
Barrie at Sudbury – 3:05pm
North Bay at Oshawa – 6:05pm

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

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