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OHL This Week: February 21 to 24, 2019

 

With just a few weeks remaining in the 2018-19 season, we take another look at what’s happening across the OHL This Week.

FOUR WEEKS TO PLAY, FOUR RACES TO WATCH:
The 2018-19 Ontario Hockey League season wraps up on Sunday March 17 which means there are only four weekends of action remaining before playoffs. Here’s a quick look at four different races to watch down the stretch. Read more

FAMILIES SUPPORT OHL ACTION ON FAMILY DAY:
In one of the busiest days on the OHL calendar, Monday’s Family Day had nine matinee matchups that produced outstanding attendance figures.  Over 43,000 fans packed the stands on the holiday with capacities across the nine different venues averaging at nearly 90%.  Thank you to fans across the Ontario Hockey League for including us on your Family Day!  Monday Highlights

67’s, KNIGHTS AND GREYHOUNDS INCLUDED IN KIA CHL TOP 10 RANKINGS:
The Ottawa 67’s stay slotted at third in the Week 22 edition of the Kia CHL Top 10 Rankings while the London Knights hold steady at fifth on the list. The Soo Greyhounds are back inside the Top 10 at number nine while the Oshawa Generals receive an honourable mention. Full Rankings

GENERALS’ EGGENBERGER NAMED OHL ‘ON THE RUN’ PLAYER OF THE WEEK:
Oshawa Generals forward Nando Eggenberger is the OHL ‘On the Run’ Player of the Week for the regular season week ending February 17 with six points in three games including four goals and two assists and a plus-minus rating of plus-4. Eggenberger scored in three straight games last week helping the Generals extend their winning-streak to six. Read more

67’s CHMELEVSKI REPRESENTS OHL IN CIBC SHOWDOWN:
Ottawa 67’s forward Sasha Chmelevski 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

WAWANESA OHL PLAYS OF THE WEEK:
The 21st 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 February 17 plus Family Day. This week’s highlights include something special shorthanded from the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds tandem of Barrett Hayton and Cole MacKay, a little extra effort from Riley Damiani of the Kitchener Rangers, a juicy rush by Jan Jenik of the Hamilton Bulldogs, a Cole to Cole pass and goal from Mississauga Steelheads Carter and Schwindt, and Sasha Chmelevski of the Ottawa 67’s puts on a show with the best from his five-goal performance. Watch

FAMILY DAY FOLLOWUP EDITION OF JANES SAVES OF THE WEEK:
A brotherhood of OHL backstoppers is fittingly featured in a Family Day followup edition of #JanesSaves. Featured this week is Hunter Jones of the Peterborough Petes, Aidan Hughes and Kyle Keyser of the Oshawa Generals, Zachary Roy and Nick Donofrio of the Hamilton Bulldogs, Ethan Langevin of the Sarnia Sting, Christian Propp of the North Bay Battalion, Anthony Popovich of the Guelph Storm, Brendan Bonello of the Kingston Frontenacs, and Colton Incze of the Windsor Spitfires. Watch

ONTARIO FACES ALBERTA IN CANADA WINTER GAMES SEMI-FINAL:
After defeating Manitoba 6-3 in Quarter-Final play at the Canada Winter Games on Wednesday, Team Ontario will face Alberta tonight at 7:30pm ET at the Centrium in Red Deer, Alta. Team Ontario features 18 players eligible for the 2019 OHL Priority Selection in addition to underage standout Shane Wright of the Don Mills Flyers. The team is coached by Jeff Jordan of the Kemptville 73’s U18 team and has played to a 3-1 record in the tournament thus far. For full coverage of the event visit canadagames.ca.

OHL CUP POWERED BY UNDER ARMOUR TOP 10 RANKINGS – WEEK 14:
The OHL Cup Powered by Under Armour Top 10 Rankings remain the same in Week 14 as GTHL and ETA Playoffs are on hiatus as a result of the ongoing Canada Winter Games. The ALLIANCE and SCTA Playoffs continued this past weekend, with the Kitchener Jr. Rangers, Halton Hurricanes and Guelph Gryphons staking out series leads while the Windsor Jr. Spitfires drew even with the Brantford 99ers. Full Rankings

ROAD TO THE OHL CUP: ALLIANCE DOWN TO FINAL FOUR:
The ALLIANCE Hockey Minor Midget Semi-Finals are underway as the final four teams remaining in the circuit battle it out for three available spots at the 2019 OHL Cup Powered by Under Armour. The Waterloo Wolves, Kitchener Jr. Rangers, Brantford 99ers and Windsor Jr. Spitfires are still alive. Here’s a look at their playoff progress. Read more

ROAD TO THE OHL CUP: A LOOK AT THE OMHA’S ETA CIRCUIT:
Producing the first two picks of the 2018 OHL Priority Selection in Quinton Byfield and Evan Vierling, the OMHA’s ETA circuit remains one of the province’s hockey hotbeds. The Whitby Wildcats, York-Simcoe Express, Quinte Red Devils and North Central Predators are still battling it out for OMHA supremacy. Read more

OHL NEWS RADIO WITH SPITFIRES’ CURTIS DOUGLAS:
This week’s OHL News Radio segment with host Terry Doyle features Dallas Stars prospect Curtis Douglas of the Windsor Spitfires who are in a battle for playoff positioning in the OHL’s Western Conference standings. The Spits have earned points in seven of their last 10 games as they hold onto the eighth seed. Douglas chats with Doyle about the playoff race and how the team’s been playing the right way as of late, the messaging from the coaching staff, and the emotional game on Monday as the club remembered former captain Mickey Renaud. Listen

67’s’ MAKSIMOVICH JOINS OHL’s 300-POINT CLUB:
Kyle Maksimovich has enjoyed a lot of success over his five-year OHL career. Now the overage winger is a member of the league’s 300-point club. Maksimovich netted his fourth hat-trick of the season on Friday, helping the Ottawa 67’s trounce the visiting Hamilton Bulldogs 8-1 as he brought his career point total to 302 (114-188–302) over 308 regular season games. Read more

STORM’S SUZUKI RECORDS 300TH CAREER POINT:
Nick Suzuki set up Dmitri Samorukov for a Family Day overtime winner, helping the Guelph Storm overcome the visiting Flint Firebirds 5-4 while recording his 300th career point in the process. The 19-year-old London, Ont. native has put together a successful OHL career, earning back-to-back OHL Most Sportsmanlike Player of the Year honours while reaching the 100-point plateau as a member of the Owen Sound Attack in 2017-18. Read more

OTTERS’ DRYSDALE SETS NEW FRANCHISE MARK FOR ROOKIE DEFENCEMEN:
Erie Otters rookie defenceman Jamie Drysdale scored the overtime winner in London on Friday and in the process, set a new franchise mark for points by a rookie blueliner. Drysdale’s fifth goal of the season came on a breakaway just 19 seconds into overtime as the Otters knocked off the conference leading Knights 4-3 to earn a big two points in their pursuit of a playoff spot. Drysdale picked up his 29th point of the season on the winner, surpassing Travis Dermott‘s 2013-14 mark of 28 for the most by a rookie defenceman in Otters franchise history. Read more

STEELHEADS’ INGHAM SETS NEW TEAM WINS RECORD:
Third-year goaltender Jacob Ingham turned aside 32 shots as the Mississauga Steelheads took a 4-3 road win in North Bay on Sunday. Ingham earned his 56th career win in the process, the most by a Steelheads goaltender since the team transitioned from the Majors brand at the outset of the 2012-13 season. Read more

67’s’ FELHABER PLAYS 300TH OHL GAME:
OHL scoring leader Tye Felhaber played his 300th career OHL regular season game on Sunday. The 20-year-old from Pembroke, Ont. is in his fifth season after originally being a first round pick of the Saginaw Spirit in 2014. Felhaber currently leads the OHL with 98 points (55-43–98) over 58 games and has put up a total of 274 points (141-133–274) over his OHL career.

SPIRIT EXTEND LAZARY, DRINKILL THROUGH 2020-21:
The Saginaw Spirit has extended the contracts of both Head Coach Chris Lazary and General Manager Dave Drinkill through the 2020-21 season. Saginaw currently sits second in the West Division with a record of 36-15-2-3, on pace for their first 40-win season since 2011. Read more

2019 MEMORIAL CUP PRESENTED BY KIA 2-GAME PACKS GO ON SALE FRIDAY:
There is an exciting new way for fans to get in on the action at the 2019 Memorial Cup Presented by Kia. Special two-game ticket packages will go on sale starting Friday, Feb 22nd at 10:00am ET. These two-game packs start at just $90, plus HST and service charge, and include one game featuring host team the Halifax Mooseheads, along with one other match-up between two of the top major junior hockey teams in the country. For full details visit chlmemorialcup.ca.

 

COMMUNITY CORNER:

CMHA visits four more OHL cities: February is Mental Health Awareness Month in the OHL and our friends at the Canadian Mental Health Association will be paying a visit to all 20 cities. The awareness campaign is part of the ongoing commitment by OHL clubs, local CMHA Ontario Branches, and presenting sponsor Teachers Life, to implement Talk Today.  Launched in October 2014, Talk Today provides mental health support to players and raises awareness about mental health and suicide throughout OHL communities. Upcoming tour stops include Sarnia, Owen Sound, Oshawa and Sault Ste. Marie. Full Schedule

Bowl Up A Storm a big success: This past Saturday February 16th the Guelph Storm participated in the first annual ‘Bowl Up A Storm’ event with Woodlawn Bowl in support of Ronald McDonald House. Fans of all ages came out to bowl with members of the Storm in an event that featured everything from a busy silent auction, a team dance break for the crowd, and more. Watch at guelphstorm.com.

67’s welcomed special fan on Friday: The Ottawa 67’s welcomed a special guest on Friday as Bryce Desrochers took in an 8-1 win over the Hamilton Bulldogs. Bryce has cerebral palsy, but that does not affect his #NoQuit attitude. He plays sledge hockey and embodies the 67’s’ team mantra on and off the ice. For a full recap of Bryce’s visit to see the 67’s, visit ottawa67s.com.

Spits host Season Ticket Members Carnival: The Windsor Spitfires are thrilled with the turnout they had at their recent Season Ticket Members Carnival held this past Saturday at the WFCU Centre. More than 1,500 fans were in attendance, taking part in inflatable games, floor hockey and a meet and greet autograph session with the players. For a full recap of the event visit windsorspitfires.com.

Country Night in Sarnia on Friday: The Sarnia Sting are celebrating country music and the success of local artist Eric Ethridge on Friday when they play host to the North Bay Battalion. A post-game Record Deal Party will be hosted with Ethridge as fans will have opportunity to meet the talented musician. The event also coincides with CMHA Talk Today Night at Progressive Auto Sales Arena. For more details visit sarniasting.com.

Firebirds host UAW/United Way Night on Saturday: The Flint Firebirds will host United Auto Workers/United Way Night on Saturday when they play host to the Guelph Storm. All $5 UAW members will receive a $5 discounted ticket while the Firebirds will be raising money for the United Way throughout the night. For full details on what’s happening in Flint on Saturday, visit flintfirebirds.com.

Frontenacs auctioning off camo jerseys: The Kingston Frontenacs are auctioning off the CADPAT camo jerseys they wore in Family Day as they saluted military personnel and their families. Net proceeds from the online auction benefit the Kingston Military Family Resource Centre. Cast your bid at CHL Auctions.

 

ALUMNI NOTES:

DeBrincat records fourth NHL hat-trick: Erie Otters graduate and former OHL Player of the Year Alex DeBrincat is blossoming into an NHL star. The 21-year-old recorded his fourth hat-trick of the season on Monday, putting up five points in an 8-7 Chicago Blackhawks win over the Ottawa Senators. Since his debut at the start of last season, only Washington’s Alexander Ovechkin (6) has more hat-tricks than DeBrincat. The Farmington Hills, Mich. native has 60 points (32-28–60) in as many games this season after putting up 52 (28-24–52) over 82 contests last season. DeBrincat put up 332 points (167-165–332) over 191 games in Erie from 2014-17, winning an OHL title with the Otters in 2017. He was Chicago’s second round pick in the 2016 NHL Draft.

Binnington ties Blues record: The wins keep coming for Owen Sound Attack graduate Jordan Binnington, who earned his ninth straight in Tuesday’s 3-2 overtime win over the Toronto Maple Leafs. The St. Louis Blues netminder recently tied a Blues franchise record with his fourth shutout as a rookie and holds an overall record of 13-1-1 with a 1.60 goals-against average and .937 save percentage over 17 games. The 25-year-old Richmond Hill, Ont. native was originally St. Louis’ third round pick back in 2011, the same year he helped backstop the Owen Sound Attack to an OHL title. Binnington played four seasons in Owen Sound, graduating as the OHL Goaltender of the Year in 2013.

Agozzino scores first NHL goal: Niagara IceDogs graduate Andrew Agozzino scored his first career NHL goal at the age of 28 on Monday, also picking up an assist as the Colorado Avalanche defeated the Vegas Golden Knights 3-0. The Kleinburg, Ont. native was playing in his 11th career NHL contest and had 50 points (22-28–50) over 48 games this season with the AHL’s Colorado Eagles. Agozzino played five seasons in Niagara from 2007-12, finishing as the leading scorer in Niagara IceDogs history with 306 points (159-147–306) over 318 regular season games. He was the OHL’s Overage Player of the Year in 2012 and also received the Mickey Renaud Captain’s Trophy.

Sherwood makes NHL debut: Kitchener Rangers graduate Kole Sherwood made his NHL debut with his hometown Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday. The 22-year-old former free agent signing by the Jackets has registered 14 points (11-3–14) over 34 games with the AHL’s Cleveland Monsters this season after putting up 60 points (30-30–60) over 57 games with the Rangers last season. Sherwood played three OHL seasons between London, Flint and Kitchener from 2015-18, recording 179 points (75-104–179) over 180 regular season games.

Stolarz dealt to Edmonton: London Knights graduate and former OHL champion Anthony Stolarz has been traded to the Edmonton Oilers. The Philadelphia Flyers dealt the 6-foot-6 netminder to Edmonton in exchange for Cam Talbot this past week. The 25-year-old Stolarz had posted a 4-3-3 record with a 3.33 goals-against average and .902 save percentage in 12 games with the Flyers this season after being the club’s second round pick in 2012. The Jackson, NJ native played two seasons in London, going 38-8-2-2 with a 2.44 goals-against average and .924 save percentage from 2012-14.

Holland, Darren Raddysh involved in NHL exchange: A pair of OHL grads have traded places with Erie Otters graduate and former OHL Defenceman of the Year Darren Raddysh being dealt to the New York Rangers in exchange for former Guelph Storm forward and first round NHL pick Peter Holland. Raddysh was an OHL champion with Erie in 2017 and is the all-time leading scorer among Otters defencemen with 184 points (41-143–184) over 272 regular season games. The 22-year-old Caledon, Ont. native had put up 26 points (8-18–26) over 54 games with the AHL’s Rockford IceHogs this season. Going back to Chicago, Holland skated with the Guelph Storm from 2007-11, recording 258 points (103-155–258) over a 256 game OHL career while being selected 15th overall by the Anaheim Ducks in the 2009 NHL Draft. Also a Caledon, Ont. native, Holland had 49 points (20-29–49) over 52 games with the AHL’s Hartford Wolf Pack this season. He’s appeared in 266 career NHL games, most recently appearing in 23 with the New York Rangers last season.

Gagner, Spooner swap places: Another pair of OHL alumni have traded places as the Vancouver Canucks traded Sam Gagner to the Edmonton Oilers in exchange for Ryan Spooner. A London Knights graduate, Gagner started the season with the AHL’s Toronto Marlies before joining the Canucks for a seven game stint. Gagner spent the 2006-07 season with the Knights before being the sixth overall pick of the 2007 NHL Draft by the same Oilers. Spooner has split the season between the New York Rangers, Edmonton Oilers and their AHL affiliate in Bakersfield. The 27-year-old from Ottawa, Ont. skated four seasons in the OHL between Peterborough, Kingston and Sarnia from 2008-12, recording 259 career points (113-146–259) over 230 regular season games.

Hague’s unique journey through the game: Reigning OHL Defenceman of the Year Nicolas Hague is learning lots in his first full season of professional hockey. The 6-foot-6, 215Ib rearguard has 21 points (10-11–21) over 50 games with the AHL’s Chicago Wolves after putting up 35 goals and 78 points with the Mississauga Steelheads last season. The 20-year-old from Kitchener, Ont. has quite a background story as told by TheAHL.com’s Lindsey Willhite. Learn all about the lanky, fun-loving defenceman. Read more at TheAHL.com.

U SPORTS Men’s Hockey Playoffs underway across the country: OHL grads are in pursuit of the University Cup as the U SPORTS Men’s Hockey Playoffs are underway across the country. In the AUS, the StFX X-Men and UPEI Panthers have advanced to the semi-finals to face the Saint Mary’s Huskies and UNB Reds respectively. In the OUA, the Western Mustangs, Brock Badgers, Guelph Gryphons, Ryerson Rams, McGill Redmen, Carleton Ravens, Queen’s Gaels and Ottawa GeeGees are still alive in the postseason.

Abraham sets Queen’s University record: Erie Otters graduate Spencer Abraham has made Queen’s University Men’s Hockey history. The 25-year-old from Campbellville, Ont. recorded his 117th career point from the blue line this past week, setting a new record for Gaels defencemen. Now in his fifth season with the program, Abraham has turned into quite the player after originally being a 15th round pick by the Brampton Battalion in the 2009 OHL Priority Selection. Abraham enjoyed a four year OHL career between Brampton and Erie from 2010-14, putting up 95 points (23-72–95) over 247 career regular season games.

Garlent, Peters and McFadden named to AUS Men’s Hockey All-Star Teams: OHL graduates Hunter Garlent, Alex Peters and Garrett McFadden have been named to AUS Men’s Hockey All-Star Teams for the 2018-19 season. Peterborough Petes alumni Garlent was named a First Team All-Star, former Flint Firebirds captain Peters was recognized as a Second Team All-Star and two-time OHL Humanitarian of the Year McFadden, formerly of the Guelph Storm, earned All-Rookie Team recognition. Read more

CHL Leaders – Luke Van Moerkerke: Former London Knights and Brampton Battalion forward Luke Van Moerkerke’s post-secondary school played a big role in carving out his future career path. After earning a business degree at UOIT in Oshawa, Ont., Van Moerkerke’s new-found passion in athletic training helped him open Athlete Farm Training, a Brantford, Ont.-based facility that works with different clients, including young hockey players. Read more

CHL Leaders – Ron Soucie: Three seasons in junior hockey instilled many life lessons in Ron Soucie, many of which he still uses today. The former Ontario Hockey League defenceman, who suited up for three years with the Windsor Spitfires and Sarnia Sting from 2008 to 2011, now works as a materials planner for Flex-N-Gate, a Windsor, Ont.-based automotive industry supplier. Read more

 

KEY MATCHUPS:

Mississauga Steelheads (29-21-5-2) vs. Oshawa Generals (37-18-3-0)
Friday February 22nd at Oshawa

The Mississauga Steelheads and Oshawa Generals meet in a clash of red hot Eastern Conference teams on Friday.

The Steelheads have won six of the past seven, climbing to fifth in the conference as overage veterans Alan Lyszczarczyk and Cole Carter have joined 2019 NHL Draft prospect Thomas Harley and recent addition Aidan Prueter in taking the Trout to another level.

The Generals have won seven in a row, rising to third in the Eastern Conference standings with a 37-18-3-0 record. Midseason additions Brandon Saigeon, Anthony Salinitri and Brett Neumann have all been keys to success while Florida Panthers prospect Serron Noel recently scored his 30th goal of the season.

The Generals have taken two of their three meetings against Mississauga on the season thus far.

 

Guelph Storm (30-16-6-4) vs. Flint Firebirds (11-43-5-0)
Saturday February 23rd at Flint

While the Flint Firebirds remain at the bottom of the Western Conference, they’ve had more success of late. Saturday presents a rematch with the Guelph Storm who they took to overtime on Family Day before Dmitri Samorukov scored the overtime winner in a 5-4 decision.

The Firebirds picked up three of a possible six points last weekend as Jake Durham netted his 34th goal of the season for the overtime winner in a 3-2 triumph over Owen Sound on Saturday. 2019 NHL Draft prospect Ethan Keppen is up to 25 goals while first-year winger Eric Uba is one away from 20 on the campaign. Also of note, sophomore winger Cody Morgan recorded his first OHL hat-trick in Monday’s loss.

The Storm earned their 30th win of the season on Monday as standout centreman Nick Suzuki earned his 300th career OHL point. Guelph is led in scoring by Arizona Coyotes prospect Nate Schnarr while Dallas Stars pick Liam Hawel and veteran captain Isaac Ratcliffe have been consistent goal scorers.

 

SCHEDULE:

Thursday February 21st:
Kitchener at Niagara – 7:00pm
London at Peterborough – 7:05pm
Sault Ste. Marie at Windsor – 7:05pm
Saginaw at Barrie – 7:30pm

Friday February 22nd:
Ottawa at Kingston – 7:00pm
North Bay at Sarnia – 7:05pm
Barrie at Sudbury – 7:05pm
Erie at Guelph – 7:30pm
Sault Ste. Marie at Kitchener – 7:30pm
Hamilton at London – 7:30pm
Mississauga at Oshawa – 7:35pm

Saturday February 23rd:
Guelph at Flint – 7:00pm
Saginaw at Hamilton – 7:00pm
Peterborough at Niagara – 7:00pm
North Bay at Windsor – 7:05pm
Sudbury at Barrie – 7:30pm
Erie at Owen Sound – 7:30pm

Sunday February 24th:
Sudbury at Hamilton – 2:00pm
Mississauga at Kitchener – 2:00pm
North Bay at London – 2:00pm
Niagara at Owen Sound – 2:00pm
Kingston at Peterborough – 2:05pm
Sault Ste. Marie at Sarnia – 2:05pm
Saginaw at Oshawa – 6:05pm

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