Toronto, ON – Ontario Hockey League action heads into the twelfth 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:
Teddy Bear Toss continues: Five more Teddy Bear Toss games are on the schedule this weekend with bears taking flight on Friday in Sudbury before a total of four games are slated for Sunday. Bears take flight in North Bay, Oshawa, Ottawa and Windsor to close out the weekend!
Storm support Emma’s Toy Drive on Friday: The Guelph Storm are asking fans to support Emma’s Toy Drive on Friday night when they hsot the Saginaw Spirit by donating a new toy for local families during the holiday season. Each fan will receive a Storm Scratch & Win ticket for each new toy donated to win instant prizes! Over 20 different prizes may be awarded with the new Scratch & Win with a combined prize value of approximately $700! This will be the second year the Storm has paired up with Emma’s Toy Drive. Last year over 450 toys were generously donated by Storm fans. All toys will be donated to the women in crisis shelters of Guelph and Wellington County. For more information please visit guelphstorm.com.
Firebirds don ugly Christmas sweaters on Friday: The Flint Firebirds host Ugly Christmas Sweater Night at home to Mississauga on Friday. Game worn jerseys will be auctioned off following the game with proceeds being donated to the Old Newsboys of Flint, a non-profit organization that serves underprivileged children in the community. Children in attendance will also have the chance to meet Santa Claus and have their photo taken with him!
Bulldogs host Toy Toss Game Friday: Friday night marks the annual Toy Toss Game for the Hamilton Bulldogs. The Bulldogs are set to face-off against the Peterborough Petes at 7:30pm. Fans who bring in a new stuffed toy will receive a complimentary ticket to an upcoming Bulldogs game. All toys will be donated back into the community through the CHML/Y108/953 Fresh Radio Christmas Tree of Hope.
Sting hold post-game autograph session: The Sarnia Sting will be hosting a post-game autograph session in Legends Restaurant following Sunday’s game against Flint. Fans will be able to get their 2015-16 player card sets signed by the team before the holiday season. The 2015-16 player card sets will be available for purchase beginning Friday night at the Sting Store. In addition to the post-game autograph session, the first 1,000 kids through the door on Sunday will be handed a specialty ‘Buzz’ giveaway card.
Firebirds hand out over 400 Teddy Bears: The Flint Firebirds teamed up with Michigan State Police this past week, handing out over 400 teddy bears at the Ennis Center for Children. Visit ABC 12 for the full story.
Spirit participate in 16th annual shop with a hero event: The Saginaw Spirit partnered with local Meijer stores and public safety officers for the 16th annual shop with a hero event. The outing provides children in the Great Lakes Bay Region an opportunity to shop for gifts for their families. Keaton Middleton, Tye Felhaber, Marcus Crawford, Chase Stewart, Sammy Spirit and Steagle joined children in the community for the event.
Battalion hold used equipment sale: Suit up like the Troops! The North Bay Battalion will be holding a used equipment sale on Saturday, December 12 from 12:30 to 2:30pm. It will take place at Gate 4 in the South East corner of Memorial Gardens (just outside the Battalion dressing room). Items for sale include practice jerseys, helmets, gloves, pants, track suits, sticks and goalie equipment. Some select new items will also be available. Prices range roughly from $20-$100. Quantities are limited and may be purchased with cash only.
Rangers collect a record 10,190 Teddy Bears: The Kitchener Rangers invited fans to showcase their generosity in the spirit of the holiday season at the 21st Annual Teddy Bear Toss Game on Tuesday night. An amazing 10,190 bears were re-homed and adopted by local charities just in time for Christmas. Over the last 21 years, Rangers fans have generously donated an incredible total of 121,744 bears for local charitable groups.
KNIGHTS’ MITCHELL MARNER RECEIVES WEEKLY HONOURS:
Toronto Maple Leafs prospect Mitchell Marner of the London Knights is the Pioneer Energy OHL Player of the Week for the week ending December 6 after leading the league with 11 points in three games scoring seven goals and four assists with a plus-minus rating of plus-6.
Marner recorded three multi-point performances last week extending his league-high point-streak to 19 games and earned first star honours in all three Knights’ victories. He scored back-to-back hat-tricks with game-winning goals in both contests Friday night in a 6-1 win over Western Conference rivals the Windsor Spitfires, and Saturday in a 7-2 win over the Ottawa 67’s.
KNIGHTS’ MARNER AND TKACHUK FEATURED ON SPORTSNET’S ‘THE NEXT ONES’:
Get the inside track on two of the OHL’s brightest young stars in London Knights forwards Mitch Marner and Matthew Tkachuk on the latest edition of Sportsnet’s ‘The Next Ones.’
TIP TOP TAILORS OHL PLAYS OF THE WEEK – WEEK 11:
Boston Bruins prospect Zach Senyshyn of the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds headlines the 11th edition of the Tip Top Tailors OHL Plays of the Week, going through his own legs for a pretty breakaway finish!
GETTING ON THE BOARD: FIRST OHL GOALS IN 2015-16:
Check out the players who have scored their first OHL goal in the past week! 105 different players have accomplished the milestone this season! Click on a player’s name below to watch his first OHL goal!
Gibson named NHL’s first star of the week: Kitchener Rangers graduate John Gibson has been named the NHL’s first star of the week, going 3-1-0 with a 0.76 goals-against average, .968 save percentage and two shutouts. The 22-year-old Pittsburgh, PA native owns a 20-10-1 record in 33 career NHL appearances (2.24 GAA, .923 SV%, 4 SO), including a 4-2-1 clip and League-leading 1.47 goals-against average in seven outings this season. Gibson appeared in 59 career OHL regular season contests with the Rangers from 2011-13, going 38-19-0-1 with a 2.60 goals-against average and a .928 save percentage with two shutouts.
Kane notches 600th career point, extends streak: London Knights graduate Patrick Kane recorded his 600th career NHL point on Tuesday in his 604th NHL game. Kane also extended his franchise-high point streak to 23 games with the win over Nashville. Kane has collected 52 more goals and 202 more points than the next-closest player selected in the 2007 NHL Draft. The first overall pick that year, Kane was named CHL Rookie of the Year with the London Knights after recording 62 goals, 83 assists and 145 points in his lone OHL season.
Goodrow named AHL Player of the Week: North Bay Battalion graduate Barclay Goodrow has been named the AHL Player of the Week. Goodrow racked up four goals and three assists for seven points along with a plus-7 rating in just two games last week, scoring the game-winning goal in both contests for San Jose. Goodrow has totaled eight goals and three assists for 11 points in 13 games with the Barracuda this season, along with three assists in 12 NHL contests with the parent San Jose Sharks. Goodrow appeared in 313 career OHL contests with the Battalion organization from 2009-14, scoring 127 goals with 102 assists for 229 career regular season points.
Moffat named OUA Male Athlete of the Week: Kingston Frontenacs graduate Michael Moffat has been named the OUA Male Athlete of the Week. The Waterloo, ON, native netted a natural hat-trick and added an assist to send the Waterloo Warriors into the holiday break on a four game winning streak with a 6-5 victory over Western. Moffat played 238 career regular season OHL games between London and Kingston from 2010-14, netting 17 goals along with 103 assists for 120 points.
KEY WEEKEND MATCHUPS:
Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds (12-13-3-0) vs. Peterborough Petes (15-11-2-2)
Thursday December 10 at Peterborough
Both the Soo Greyhounds and Peterborough Petes have shown positive signs of turning around slow starts to the season of late.
The Greyhounds have won their past three games with big contributions from Boston Bruins first round pick Zach Senyshyn who had seven goals and two assists last week. Senyshyn leads the Hounds with 18 goals this season while draft eligible winger Boris Katchouk has come on strong of late as well with three goals and three assists in his past three games. While special teams and inconsistent defensive play have been issues for the Greyhounds this season, 20 goals over their past three games have them trending in a new direction.
The Peterborough Petes had a solid month of November, going 8-3-1-0 to put themselves in the discussion atop the East Division. Solid goaltending from Matt Mancina and Dylan Wells sees the Petes currently holding a better record when they’ve been outshot this season (9-7) as compared to a 5-8 mark when they’ve outshot their opposition. The Petes look to bounce back from a Tuesdaynight loss to Niagara.
Erie Otters (25-3-1-0) vs. Kingston Frontenacs (18-8-2-1)
Saturday December 12 at Kingston
A clash of two clubs atop their respective conferences sees the Erie Otters pay a visit to the Kingston Frontenacs on Saturday.
The Fronts got the better of the Otters on October 23rd as Spencer Watson scored the overtime winner in a 3-2 victory, handing the Erie their first loss of the season. The Fronts split a home-and-home set with Peterborough last weekend before rookie Jason Robertson’s 10th goal of the season lifted them to victory over Hamilton in overtime on Sunday. Kingston currently holds a five point lead over second placed Peterborough in the East Division.
The Otters embark on stops in Ottawa and Kingston this weekend as winners of their past six games. Rookie forward Vanya Lodnia has stepped up his game of late with points in five straight contests while draft eligible sophomore Kyle Maksimovich has provided a secondary scoring punch with points in six straight. Veteran Otters goaltender Devin Williams has put together quite the season thus far, going 20-1-1-0 with a league-low 2.24 goals-against average and a .919 save percentage.
The Fronts and Otters will both be without star players as World Junior Selection Camps get underway this weekend. Saturday’s clash should offer a glimpse of the depth each team possesses.
Thursday, December 10
Saginaw at Niagara – 7:00pm
Oshawa at North Bay – 7:00pm
Sault Ste. Marie at Peterborough – 7:05pm
Mississauga at Windsor – 7:05pm
London at Barrie – 7:30pm
Friday, December 4
Sault Ste. Marie at Kingston – 7:00pm
Erie at Ottawa – 7:00pm
London at Sudbury – 7:00pm
Windsor at Sarnia – 7:05pm
Mississauga at Flint – 7:30pm
Saginaw at Guelph – 7:30pm
Peterbrorough at Hamilton – 7:30pm
Owen Sound at Kitchener – 7:30pm
Niagara at Oshawa – 7:35pm
Saturday, December 5
Erie at Kingston – 7:00pm
Hamilton at Barrie – 7:30pm
Sudbury at Owen Sound – 7:30pm
Sunday, December 6
Sudbury at Guelph – 2:00pm
London at North Bay – 2:00pm
Peterborough at Owen Sound – 2:00pm
Kitchener at Windsor – 2:05pm
Sault Ste. Marie at Ottawa – 3:00pm
Saginaw at Oshawa – 6:05pm
Flint at Sarnia – 7:05pm
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