MENU
Road to the 2017 OHL Cup: Exploring the ALLIANCE
OHL Cup

In the 14 year history of the OHL Cup powered by Under Armour, we’ve yet to see an ALLIANCE champion, but that could soon change.

Having held down top spot in seven of the nine editions of the weekly Minor Midget Top 10 Rankings this season, the London Jr. Knights have as good a chance as any team to lay hold of this year’s ultimate prize.

Finishing first place in the ALLIANCE with a 27-2-4 record this season, Steve Benedetti’s Jr. Knights also won the Toronto Marlboros Holiday Classic in late December and are now just a win away from punching their ticket to the 2017 OHL Cup powered by Under Armour.

Dynamic centreman Ryan Suzuki leads the charge up front for London, mirroring the speed and smarts possessed by older brother Nick Suzuki of the Owen Sound Attack, also a former Jr. Knight before being a first round pick in the 2015 OHL Priority Selection.

The younger Suzuki led the ALLIANCE in scoring with 59 points (19-40–59) in 32 games, but is just one of the cogs in the wheel that makes the Jr. Knights go. Undersized but with a late birthday and abilities that he utilizes to make his linemates better, Aidan Prueter also possesses an intriguing skill set. Big winger Jeff Burridge is also on the radar of scouts across the province after he put up 35 points (18-17–35) in 31 games this season.

“This is probably the best Jr. Knights group we’ve seen since Jared McCann (1st round, Sault Ste. Marie) and Spencer Watson (2nd round, Kingston) played there in 2012,” said Director of OHL Central Scouting Darrell Woodley. “They have a lot of skill up front spread out over three balanced lines that can come at you a variety of different ways. They’re going to score a lot of goals, but their success in the long run may be determined by how they handle opposing offences that have big shooters of their own.”

The Jr. Knights currently lead the Cambridge Hawks 6-0 (points) in their semi-final series. With a win, the Jr. Knights would advance to the ALLIANCE Championship and secure a spot at the OHL Cup.

Cambridge has received solid goaltending from Jet Greaves throughout the playoffs and is led offensively by leading scorer David Anderson and hard-working centreman Ryan Campbell. Should the Hawks be eliminated by London, they would play in a best of four series against the loser of Waterloo and Kitchener to determine the third ALLIANCE team going to the 2017 OHL Cup.

In the other semi-final, the reigning Minor Midget ALLIANCE Champion Waterloo Wolves hold a 3-1 (points) series lead over the rival Kitchener Jr. Rangers.

Shawn Dietrich’s Wolves fit the mould of their usual well-balanced approach, getting leadership from captain Keean Washkurak up front and steady rearguard Nate Allensen on the back end. Tyson Hillier led the Wolves in scoring with 39 points (21-18–39) in 33 games. A defensively sound team that plays a structured game, Waterloo is backed by goaltenders Cyrus Martin and Riley McCabe who combined to surrender a league-low 46 goals this season.

Across the ice, the Dean DeSilva’s Jr. Rangers are a hard working group that benefits from the contributions of 30-goal man Cole MacKay, big two-way centreman Cole Schwindt and gritty undersized forward Justin McCombs. They managed to tie Waterloo 4-4 in the opening game of the series.

The 2009 Elgin-Middlesex Chiefs featuring present day Columbus Blue Jackets forward Boone Jenner were the last ALLIANCE team to reach the OHL Cup Final. The London Jr. Knights and Waterloo Wolves, both mainstays in the Minor Midget Top 10 Rankings throughout the season, could be in a position to change that come March.

 

GTHL:

***The Mississauga Rebels, Toronto Marlboros, Vaughan Kings and Toronto Jr. Canadiens have all clinched a berth in the 2017 OHL Cup powered by Under Armour.  The winners of both Wild Card Play-In Series matchups will officially qualify for one of the tournament’s four Wild Card entry games.

SEMI-FINAL – SERIES A
(3) Toronto Marlboros vs. (7) Vaughan Kings
Marlboros lead series 4-2 in points

PLAYERS TO WATCH:
Marlboros – Kyle Harris (LW)
Vaughan – Nathan Staios (D)

SEMI-FINAL – SERIES B
(5) Mississauga Rebels vs. (8) Toronto Jr. Canadiens
Rebels lead series 4-2 in points

PLAYERS TO WATCH:
Rebels – Philip Tomasino (C)
Jr. Canadiens – Cody Morgan (C)

WILD CARD PLAY-IN SERIES A
(1) Toronto Young Nationals vs. (6) Toronto Titans
Series begins February 18

PLAYERS TO WATCH:
Nationals: Ethan Keppen (C)
Titans: Xavier Henry (D)

WILD CARD PLAY-IN SERIES B
(2) Mississauga Reps vs. (4) Mississauga Senators
Series begins February 18

PLAYERS TO WATCH:
Reps: Jamieson Rees (C)
Senators: Nick Wong (C)

 

ALLIANCE:

*** The champion, finalist and third place team qualify for the 2017 OHL Cup powered by Under Armour.

SEMI-FINAL – SERIES A
(1) London Jr. Knights vs. (4) Cambridge Hawks
London leads series 6-0 in points

PLAYERS TO WATCH:
London: Aidan Prueter (C) (33 GP, 18G, 33A, 51 PTS.)
Cambridge: Jet Greaves (G) (17 GP, 7-7-3, 2.41 GAA, .916 SV%, 2 SO)

SEMI-FINAL – SERIES B
(2) Waterloo Wolves vs. (3) Kitchener Jr. Rangers
Waterloo leads series 3-1 in points

PLAYERS TO WATCH:
Waterloo: Keean Washkurak (C) (32 GP, 17G, 21A, 38 PTS.)
Kitchener: Cole Schwindt (C) (31 GP, 12G, 15A, 27 PTS.)


OMHA – ETA:

***The champion and finalist in the ETA Championship, along with the host Whitby Wildcats and champion and finalist from the SCTA will compete in the 2017 OMHA Championship in Whitby from March 3-5. The 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th place teams at the OMHA Championship will qualify for the 2017 OHL Cup powered by Under Armour.

SEMI-FINAL – SERIES A
(1E) Whitby Wildcats vs. (2W) Ajax-Pickering Raiders
Series begins February 16

PLAYERS TO WATCH:
Whitby: Blake Murray (C) (37 GP, 31G, 28A, 59 PTS.)
Ajax-Pickering: Connor McMichael (C) (36 GP, 37G, 28A, 65 PTS.)

SEMI-FINAL – SERIES B
(1W) York-Simcoe Express vs. (2E) Quinte Red Devils
Series begins February 16

PLAYERS TO WATCH:
York-Simcoe: Jalen Balbosa (LW) (36 GP, 20G, 30A, 50 PTS.)
Quinte: Daniel Panetta (C) (38 GP, 27G, 34A, 61 PTS.)

OMHA – SCTA:

***The Brampton 45’s, Guelph Gryphons, Halton Hurricanes and Grey-Bruce Highlanders emerged from the SCTA qualifier weekend to advance to the SCTA Semi-Finals for a chance to compete in the OMHA Championships. The champion and finalist of the SCTA will compete in the 2017 OMHA Championship in Whitby from March 3-5 along with the host Whitby Wildcats and champion and finalist from the ETA. The 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th place teams at the OMHA Championship will qualify for the 2017 OHL Cup powered by Under Armour.

SEMI-FINAL SERIES A
(1) Brampton 45’s vs. (2) Halton Hurricanes
Series begins February 17

PLAYERS TO WATCH:
Brampton: Andrew Horsley (LW) (35 GP, 27G, 22A, 49 PTS.)
Halton: Lucas Peric (D) (34 GP, 6G, 19A, 25 PTS.)

SEMI-FINAL SERIES B
(1) Guelph Gryphons vs. (2) Grey-Bruce Highlanders

PLAYERS TO WATCH:
Guelph: Matthew Gordon (C) (34 GP, 18G, 11A, 29 PTS.)
Grey-Bruce: Emmett Sproule (LW) (33 GP, 14G, 11A, 25 PTS.)

For more information on the 2017 OHL Cup Showcase Tournament Powered by Under Armour, visit ohlcup.ca.

More News
OHL This Week: March 23 to 26, 2017
10 hours ago
OHL Eastern Conference Playoff Preview
12 hours ago
OHL Western Conference Playoff Preview
12 hours ago
OHL Top Performers for March
16 hours ago
Otters, Attack, Greyhounds, Knights in Final CHL Top 10
17 hours ago
2:44
OHL Plays of the Week – Mar 21/17
19 hours ago