OHL This Week for October 29 to November 1, 2015

Toronto, ON – Ontario Hockey League action heads into the sixth week of the regular season schedule with 24 games beginning tonight through Sunday.

 Here’s a look at what’s going on around the league:

AT THE RINKS:

Spitfires go pink on Thursday night: Thursday is Pink in the Rink Night in Windsor when the Spitfires host the Flint Firebirds. Wear pink in support of International Dragon Boat For the Cure! All those who purchase tickets in advance will get a free rally towel. The Spitfires’ pink game worn jerseys will be auctioned off online from November 15-22.

Halloween costume contest in Barrie: Get your costumes out Colts fans! Dress up and attend the Colts’ Thursday night home game against the Erie Otters for a chance to win great prizes!

Battalion distribute rally towels on CAA Night: The first 500 fans into the North Bay Memorial Gardens on Thursday will receive a free rally towel courtesy of CAA. Cheer on the Troops as they take on the Ottawa 67’s. One lucky fan will come away with a $500 CAA gift card!

Friday night costume contest in Sault Ste. Marie: Show your Halloween spirit on Friday night at the Essar Centre as the Hounds battle the Ottawa 67’s! The first 50 kids to sign up for the costume contest will receive a free loot bag and the top three costumes will receive a prize! Sign up at the Greyhounds Marketing table beside the Hound Pound!

IceDogs host annual Halloween game: The IceDogs will host their annual Halloween game on Friday night at home to the Sarnia Sting. Fans are encouraged to dress up in costume for the game and all kids in attendance that wear a costume will receive a treat bag from the IceDogs. Kids in costume will also be invited to take part in a second intermission parade on the ice!

Halloween Spooktacular in Sudbury: All youngsters aged 12 and under wearing a costume will be admitted to Friday night’s Wolves game for the low price of $5 and receive a free popcorn! Prizes will be awarded for the best costumes in attendance and you won’t want to miss pumpkin curling during the second intermission!

Pink in the Rink in Kingston: The Kingston Frontenacs hold their annual Pink in the Rink game against the Peterborough Petes on Friday night, raising funds for the Canadian Cancer Society. Fans can purchase a ‘Pink Pack’ for $25. It includes a game ticket, a special Pink in the Rink T-Shirt, as well as a $5 donation back to the Canadian Cancer Society (included in the $25). Pink Pack quantities are limited, so buy yours today at Frontenacs Originals located at Rogers K-Rock Centre, Cataraqui Centre, or at the Canadian Cancer Society – Kingston location!

COLTS’ KEVIN LABANC RECEIVES WEEKLY HONOURS:

The Ontario Hockey League today announced that San Jose Sharks prospect Kevin Labanc of the Barrie Colts is the Pioneer Energy OHL Player of the Week for the week ending October 25 after leading the league with nine points in three games scoring twice with seven assists along with a plus-minus rating of plus-3. Labanc had three multi-point games last week helping the Colts earn three straight victories to move into first place in the Central Division standings with 16 points.

TIP TOP TAILORS OHL PLAYS OF THE WEEK – WEEK 5:

A wicked backhander from Alexander Nylander headlines the fifth edition of the Tip Top Tailors OHL Plays of the Week. Some nifty passing on goals by Drake Rymsha, Kyle Maksimovich and Max Jones also makes the highlight reel. Watch the Tip Top Tailors OHL Plays of the Week

GETTING ON THE BOARD: FIRST OHL GOALS IN 2015-16:

70 different players have scored their first OHL goal this season! Revisit their exciting milestones right here! Click on a player’s name below to watch his first OHL goal! 

Vladislav BarulinDaniel Beaudoin, Justin BrazeauRobbie BurtChase CampbellCole Candella, Cole CarterJacob Cascagnette, Lucas ChiodoSasha Chmelevski, C.J. ClarkeRyan CranfordCam DineenSean Durzi, MacKenzie EntwistleStepan FalkovskyChristian FischerMorgan FrostBen GaraganBrady GilmourChristian GirhinyBen GleasonBrendan HarrogateJake HendersonNoel HoefenmayerAiden Jamieson, Dane JohnstoneBen JonesMax JonesOlli JuoleviBoris KatchoukMax KislingerJack KopackaDavid LevinVanya LodniaLukas LofquistAlan LyszczarczykRiley MacRae, Zachary Magwood, Kirill MaksimovRyan McGregorGreg MeirelesMitchell MendoncaJarrett MeyerChristian MieritzDaniel Muzito-BagendaJulius NattinenAlex NylanderTyler ParsonsJ.J. PiccinichZack PittmanIsaac RatcliffeDaniel RobertsonJason RobertsonVili SaarijarviJordan SambrookEddie SchulzMikhail SergachevKole SherwoodNicolas Sicoly, Jalen SmereckDmitry SokolovMatthew Strome, Matthew StruthersNick SuzukiRobert ThomasOwen TippettMatthew Tkachuk, Makar TokarevGabe Vilardi

MILESTONE WATCH:

The 2015-16 season is still young, but a few notable milestones have already been reached. Here’s a look at what’s happening in the record books. 

Smith sets Battalion franchise wins mark: North Bay Battalion goaltender Jake Smith won his 65th career OHL game on October 18th, surpassing Bryan Pitton for first in Battalion franchise history. Full Story

Williams becomes Otters’ franchise wins leader: Erie Otters goaltender Devin Williams won his 73rd career OHL game on October 28th, surpassing Josh Disher for first in Otters franchise history. Full Story

Knights’ Dale Hunter two wins away from 600: London Knights head coach Dale Hunter enters the weekend with 598 career OHL victories. Hunter is set to become the sixth coach in league history to win 600 games, joining Brian Kilrea, Bert Templeton, Larry Mavety, Stan Butler and George Burnett. His .696 winning percentage is the highest of any coach in OHL history to have coached over 400 games. The Knights host Windsor on Friday before traveling to Saginaw and Sault Ste. Marie on Saturday and Sunday.

ALUMNI NOTES:

Darnell Nurse scores first goal in NHL debut: It didn’t take Darnell Nurse long to make a splash in the NHL. The Soo Greyhounds graduate scored in his first NHL game on Tuesday night, rushing through the middle and over the blueline to blow a slapshot over the shoulder of Minnesota’s Devan Dubnyk. Nurse, who was a seventh overall pick by the Oilers in the 2014 NHL Draft, started his 2015-16 season appearing in six games with the AHL’s Bakersfield Condors where he recorded one assist. Nurse registered 36 goals, 98 assists and 134 points over 221 career OHL regular season games.

Sam Bennett scores first NHL regular season goal: Though he scored in the playoffs last spring, Kingston Frontenacs graduate Sam Bennett buried his first NHL regular season goal on Wednesday. Quickly becoming a fan favourite in Calgary for his grit and competitiveness, Bennett has a goal and two assists in nine contests this season. He was Calgary’s first round, fourth overall pick in 2014.

Kane, Seguin among NHL’s early season scoring leaders: OHL graduates Patrick Kane and Tyler Seguin are among the NHL’s early season scoring leaders. A former Plymouth Whalers centreman, Seguin sits third in the league with four goals, nine assists and 13 points in nine contests. A two-time NHL All-Star and Stanley Cup Champion in 2011, Seguin has helped the Dallas Stars get out to a 7-2-0 start to their season for first place in the Central Division. Kane is currently fourth in NHL scoring with five goals, seven assists and 12 points in nine games. The 2007 CHL Rookie of the Year and three-time Stanley Cup Champion continues to produce.

Khokhlachev tied for AHL scoring lead: Entering his third full AHL season, Alexander Khokhlachev is among the league’s top producers. The former Windsor Spitfires forward has two goals, nine assists and 11 points through seven games. Khokhlachev, who led the P-Bruins in scoring with 43 points last season, has appeared in four career NHL games with Boston.

Vail, Szydlowski off to hot starts in ECHL: OHL graduates Brady Vail and Shawn Szydlowski are off to strong starts in the ECHL. A Windsor Spitfires graduate, Vail has three goals, five assists and eight points through his first three contests with the Orlando Solar Bears, the ECHL affiliate of the Toronto Maple Leafs. Erie Otters grad Shawn Szydlowski has two goals, six assists and eight points through his first four games with the Fort Wayne Komets, the ECHL affiliate of the Colorado Avalanche.

Three OHL grads sign with Brampton Beast: OHL graduates Michael Vernace (Brampton Battalion), Luke Pither (Barrie Colts) and Jamie Wise (Mississauga St. Michael’s Majors) have all signed with the Brampton Beast, the ECHL affiliate of the Montreal Canadiens. Vernace, whose 72 points in 2005-06 is the highest single-season total ever recorded by a Battalion defenceman, has 22 games of NHL experience with the Colorado Avalanche and Tampa Bay Lightning. Pither, who recorded 97 points during his overage season with Barrie in 2009-10, returns from playing in Europe where he spent last season with Klagenfurter of the Austrian Elite League. Wise, who scored 31 goals with Mississauga in 2011-12, split last season between the AHL and the ECHL after a two year stint playing at Ryerson University.

Welychka leads OUA in scoring: Belleville Bulls graduate Brett Welychka enters the weekend as the OUA’s leading scorer. The Carleton University forward has six goals, seven assists and 13 points in just five games including two four-point outings and his first career OUA hat-trick. Fellow OHL graduates Justice Dundas (12 pts.) and Liam Heelis (11 pts.) trail close behind.

Locke leads AUS in scoring: Saginaw Spirit graduate Eric Locke is currently leading the AUS in scoring with five goals, four assists and nine points in five games. The St. Francis Xavier X-Men forward has paced his club to a 3-1-1 start. Fellow OHL graduate Cameron Brace (7 pts.) is also among the league leaders.

KEY WEEKEND MATCHUPS:

Erie Otters (9-1-1-0) vs. Barrie Colts (8-4-0-0)
Thursday October 29 at Barrie

A pair of the best teams from each conference clash in Barrie on Thursday night. The Erie Otters try and get back on track after a hiccup last weekend that saw them drop decisions against Kingston and Saginaw. Slovakian blueliner Erik Cernak joins the club on the road this week as the Otters take on a Colts team that went 3-0 last weekend and leads the Central Division with 16 points.

Kingston Frontenacs (9-2-1-1) vs. Oshawa Generals (5-7-2-0)
Sunday November 1 at Oshawa

The Oshawa Generals meet the red hot Kingston Frontenacs for the third time this season and are still in the hunt for their first win against their rivals to the east. Oshawa’s struggles against Kingston over the past year have been well documented and the Fronts have continued that trend in 2015-16 with wins by scores of 3-2 in OT and more recently, a 1-0 game on October 18th. The Frontenacs enter the weekend as winners of four straight while the Generals try and get back on track.

WEEKEND SCHEDULE: 

Thursday, October 29
Mississauga at Niagara – 7:00pm
Ottawa at North Bay – 7:00pm
Flint at Windsor – 7:05pm
Kitchener at Peterborough – 7:05pm
Erie at Barrie – 7:30pm

Friday, October 30
Oshawa at Sudbury – 7:00pm
Peterborough at Kingston – 7:00pm
Sarnia at Niagara – 7:00pm
Owen Sound at Saginaw – 7:05pm
Ottawa at Sault Ste. Marie – 7:07pm
Hamilton at Mississauga – 7:30pm
North Bay at Kitchener – 7:30pm
Windsor at London – 7:30pm

Saturday, October 31
Guelph at Windsor – 1:05pm
Barrie at Hamilton – 2:00pm
Owen Sound at Flint – 2:00pm
Sarnia at Erie – 7:00pm
London at Saginaw – 7:05pm

Sunday, November 1
Barrie at Mississauga – 2:00pm
Guelph at Kitchener – 2:00pm
Niagara at North Bay – 2:00pm
Ottawa at Sudbury – 2:00pm
London at Sault Ste. Marie – 2:07pm
Kingston at Oshawa – 6:05pm

CATCH ALL OF THE ACTION ON OHL LIVE

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