It seems like just yesterday the Hamilton Bulldogs hoisted the Robertson Cup as OHL Champions, but the 2018-19 OHL season is already on the horizon, less than 100 days away.
The 2018-19 regular season schedule was unveiled on Tuesday with 681 games leading up to the 2019 OHL Playoffs. While the weather is warm and sunny and hockey might not be the first thing on your mind, there’s a number of dates to circle and look forward to for next season.
1. #OHLOpeningWeek kicks off September 19th in Saginaw
The puck drops on the 2018-19 OHL season on Wednesday September 19th in Saginaw as the defending Western Conference champion Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds visit the Spirit at the Dow Event Center. The game kicks off an 18-game weekend schedule that includes 14 home openers.
2. Bulldogs raise OHL Championship banner September 30th
After three games on the road to open the season, the Hamilton Bulldogs will raise their OHL Championship banner prior to their home opener against the Ottawa 67’s on Sunday September 30th. Also the league’s Eastern Conference Champions, the Bulldogs set out to defend their title in 2018-19 with nine of their first 13 games on the road.
3. Petes and Battalion clash in Thanksgiving Monday matinee
It’ll be a quiet Thanksgiving holiday Monday in the OHL on October 8, but the Peterborough Petes and North Bay Battalion will be busy as they hit the ice for a 2:00pm matinee in North Bay.
4. Bulldogs, Greyhounds square off in Championship rematch on October 20th
After a highly entertaining six-game clash in the Rogers OHL Championship Series last spring, the Hamilton Bulldogs and Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds will meet again on Saturday October 20th in Sault Ste. Marie, with a second meeting in Hamilton on Saturday December 15th. With graduation and offseason roster movement, both teams will look a little bit different on the ice, but the memories of this past spring will still remain.
5. Eight School Day games on the schedule
Beginning Wednesday November 7th, a series of eight School Day games are scattered throughout the OHL schedule featuring morning start times. The Flint Firebirds host the Sarnia Sting and the Ottawa 67’s play host to the Kingston Frontenacs, both at 11:00am starts. The Hamilton Bulldogs play host to the Barrie Colts on Wednesday November 14th at 10:30am while the Erie Otters host the Kitchener Rangers and the Mississauga Steelheads take on the Guelph Storm both at 11:00am. Wednesday November 28th sees the Kingston Frontenacs host the Ottawa 67’s at 10:30am, followed by Thursday February 7th when the Bulldogs host the Oshawa Generals at 10:30am. The final School Day game is set for Wednesday February 27th when the Steelheads take on the Rangers at 11:00am.
6. CIBC Canada Russia Series comes to Sarnia and Oshawa
The 2018 CIBC Canada Russia Series makes OHL stops in Sarnia and Oshawa next fall. Game 3 of the series will be held at Sarnia’s Progressive Auto Sales Arena on Thursday November 8th before heading to Oshawa for Game 4 on Monday November 12th. Sarnia hosts the event for a fourth time following three Team OHL victories in 2003, 2006 and 2012. Oshawa plays host to the event for a third time after games in 2006 and 2013.
7. 67’s, Olympiques meet again
Last year’s home-and-home between cross-river foes the Ottawa 67’s and QMJHL’s Gatineau Olympiques was a real hit and the two teams will be meeting again. Split decisions last season saw the Olympiques claim victory outdoors at TD Place Stadium on December 17th before the 67’s returned the favour at the Robert Guertin Centre on January 12th. This time, the two teams will meet on back-to-back days, clashing in Gatineau on Friday December 7th and again in Ottawa on Saturday December 8th. Both games will count toward the regular season standings.
8. Second half starts with jam-packed Friday
Teams return from the Christmas break and hit the ground running with all 20 teams in action on Friday December 28th. It’s the only night of the 2018-19 schedule that features 10 games on the docket. The schedule also includes eight days where nine games will be played.
9. Sixth annual YourTV Hockey Day in the OHL set for January 27th
Circle your calendar for a broadcast triple header of OHL hockey on Sunday January 27th as YourTV hosts the sixth annual Hockey Day in the OHL. The action begins at 1:00pm when the Niagara IceDogs visit the Windsor Spitfires followed by another game at 4:00pm pitting the North Bay Battalion and visiting Kingston Frontenacs. The nightcap sees the Sarnia Sting host the Hamilton Bulldogs at 7:00pm.
10. Season wraps up March 17th
The 2018-19 OHL season concludes on Sunday March 17th with five of the six games scheduled between divisional opponents. Interestingly, the two teams that opened the season will wrap it up as well as the Saginaw Spirit visit the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds in one of the six games.
SEE THE FULL SCHEDULE ONLINE
DOWNLOAD A PRINTABLE (PDF) VERSION OF THE SCHEDULE
Help promote the launch of the 2018-19 OHL Regular Season on social media by using #OHLOpeningWeek.