Toronto, ON – The 2015-16 Ontario Hockey League season is at the midway mark with 334 games of the 680-regular season schedule complete heading into the Holiday Break.
The action resumes on Monday December 28, but first a look at some of the latest news and notes from around the league:
2016 IIHF WORLD JUNIOR HOCKEY CHAMPIONSHIP:
35 OHL players were named to selection camp rosters for the 10 team tournament, with final roster decisions still pending for many European entries. 15 OHL players are confirmed to suit up for Canada (9) and the United States (6) when the tournament gets underway on Boxing Day in Helsinki, Finland.
OHL fans give generously this Christmas: 64,791 teddy bears were collected and over $20,000 was raised for 69 different local charities in games prior to the Holiday Break benefitting families and children in need throughout OHL communities this Christmas.FULL STORY
IceDogs unveil new arena for Niagara Region Children’s Safety Village: The Niagara IceDogs are proud to be the newest partner of the Niagara Region Children’s Safety Village. IceDogs owners Bill and Denise Burke visited the safety village where they were proud to show off their new arena which was just completed as the latest addition to the safety village. For more information please visitniagaraicedogs.net.
Generals embark on 2nd Annual Coach4Food Program: After raising over 5,800Ibs of food for Feed the Need Durham last year, the Oshawa Generals are teaming up with Panera Bread to try and surpass that total this season. For more information please visitoshawagenerals.com.
NEW 3-ON-3 OVERTIME DELIVERING RESULTS IN FIRST HALF:
With more time and space in the new 3-on-3 overtime format, games stretching beyond regulation time are ending sooner in 2015-16. While the concept has its proponents and critics alike, it has certainly brought about the desired results in the first half of the season. FULL STORY
OHL GEARING UP FOR SECOND HALF: A LOOK AT THE FIRST HALF LEADERBOARDS:
An exciting first half of the 2015-16 OHL season is in the books, one that featured several outstanding performances throughout the league. Get the full rundown on how the first half of the season unfolded, including leaders and top performances. FULL STORY
BATTALION’S JAKE SMITH NAMED PIONEER ENERGY OHL PLAYER OF THE WEEK:
Goaltender Jake Smith of the North Bay Battalion is the Pioneer Energy OHL Player of the Week for the week ending December 20 after posting a 3-0-0-0 record with a goals-against-average of 1.28 and save percentage of .944. Smith becomes the fourth goaltender to earn the award this season stopping 68 shots in three games while backstopping the Battalion to three wins against Central Division opponents. His play between the pipes has helped the Troops enter the Holiday Break as one of the league’s hottest teams with five-straight wins and a hold on third place in the Division with 37 points.
SPITFIRES’ BRENDAN LEMIEUX NAMED CHL PLAYER OF THE WEEK:
Winnipeg Jets prospect Brendan Lemieux of the Windsor Spitfires is the CHL Player of the Week for the week ending December 20 after scoring five goals and one assist for six points in two games with a plus-minus rating of plus-3. Lemieux led the Spitfires to a pair of victories including their OHL West Division best 20th win of the season in a home-and-home series against the Saginaw Spirit. He scored the game-winning goal and earned first star honours in both contests including Thursday night with two markers in a 7-6 overtime triumph, and Saturday night where he netted his second hat-trick in four games while adding one assist in the 6-3 win.
TIP TOP TAILORS OHL PLAYS OF THE WEEK – WEEK 13:
Owen Sound Attack goaltender Michael McNiven headlines the 13th edition of the Tip Top Tailors OHL Plays of the Week! Vote for him in this week’s CHL Fan Choice contest at fanchoice.ca!
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! 116 different players have accomplished the milestone this season! Click on a player’s name below to watch his first OHL goal!
WATCH OHL ACTION FOR FREE ON OHL LIVE:
It’s the holiday season and the Ontario Hockey League has a Christmas gift in store! On Monday December 28 and Tuesday December 29, tune in and catch OHL action on OHL Live absolutely free! Enter the promo code “OHLHOLIDAYS” at ohllive.com!
SPORTSNET CHL PODCAST ‘JUNIOR’ OFFERS MASSIVE WORLD JUNIOR HOCKEY CHAMPIONSHIP PREVIEW:
Sportsnet’s Jeff Marek and Sam Cosentino offer a massive preview of the upcoming 2016 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship in Helsinki, Finland in the latest instalment of the ‘Junior’ podcast. Get up to speed on junior hockey talent from across the globe atsportsnet.ca!
ROGERS HOMETOWN HOCKEY TOUR STOPS IN OSHAWA THIS WEEKEND:
The Rogers Hometown Hockey Tour stops in Oshawa this weekend for a special Christmas edition! Revisit Oshawa’s hockey roots, featuring such names as John Tavares and Eric Lindros. For more information on the upcoming weekend, please visithometownhockey.com.
OHL PRIORITY SELECTION PROSPECTS CLASH AT TORONTO MARLBOROS HOLIDAY CLASSIC TOURNAMENT:
Top draft eligible Minor Midget prospects from 50 teams across Ontario, Michigan, Pennsylvania, New York and Ohio are set to clash at the Toronto Marlboros Holiday Classic coming up from December 26-30 at Canlan Ice Sports Arena in Etobicoke, ON. For more information on the tournament including schedules and standings, please visit torontomarlboros.com.
Matt Murray records first NHL win: Soo Greyhounds graduate Matt Murray made 22 saves to record his first NHL win on Mondayagainst the Columbus Blue Jackets. Murray, who was playing in his second NHL game, is helping fill the void left by the injured Marc-Andre Fleury. The Thunder Bay, ON, native was the AHL’s Goaltender of the Year in 2015, going 25-10-3-1 with a 1.58 goals-against average and a .941 save percentage. The 6-foot-4 Murray set a new AHL benchmark last season with 304:11 of consecutive shutout minutes spanning six games. Murray has continued his stellar play this season, with a 12-4-0-0 record, a 1.84 goals-against average and a .938 save percentage in 17 games with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. A third round pick by Pittsburgh in 2012, Murray played four seasons with the Greyhounds from 2010-14, going 79-60-4-10 with a 3.42 goals-against average and an .898 save percentage.
Michael McCarron makes NHL debut: Oshawa Generals graduate Michael McCarron made his NHL debut on Saturday as the Montreal Canadiens fell to Dallas 6-2. McCarron has 13 goals, 11 assists and 24 points in 28 games this season with Montreal’s AHL affiliate, the St. John’s IceCaps. A native of Grosse Pointe, MI, McCarron played two OHL seasons between London and Oshawa, collecting 42 goals, 60 assists and 102 points in 122 career regular season games. He was a core contributor in Oshawa’s MasterCard Memorial Cup run last spring, scoring nine goals, nine assists and 18 points in 21 playoff contests before being named to the MasterCard Memorial Cup All-Star Team. He was Montreal’s first round (25th overall) pick in the 2013 NHL Draft.
8 OHL grads to represent Canada at Spengler Cup: OHL graduates Mark Cundari (Windsor Spitfires), Trevor Carrick (Sudbury Wolves), Derek Roy (Kitchener Rangers), Daniel Paille (Guelph Storm), Manny Malhotra (Guelph Storm), Cory Emmerton (Brampton Battalion), Tom Pyatt (Saginaw Spirit) and Matt D’Agostini (Guelph Storm) will represent Canada at the 2015 Spengler Cup fromDecember 26-31 in Davos, Switzerland. Canada will be in the hunt for a 13th Spengler Cup title and first since 2012.
Attack grad Mike Angelidis happy to be living his dream: 10 years removed from a four year OHL career with the Owen Sound Attack, Mike Angelidis is still living out his dream of being a pro hockey player. The Woodbridge, ON, native is back in the NHL with the Tampa Bay Lightning after spending much of his pro career in the American Hockey League. The Tampa Bay Times has an update on the former 53-goal OHL scorer whose NHL experience has been a “dream come true.”
Kevin Bailie leads CIS goaltenders: London Knights graduate Kevin Bailie leads all CIS goaltenders with a 1.74 goals-against average and a .949 save percentage in 11 contests. The Belleville, ON, native who played five OHL seasons from 2008-13 with Oshawa and London is 8-3 with the Queen’s Gaels this season. Bailie was a standout for the CIS All-Stars during Hockey Canada’s National Junior Team Selection Camp, making 40 saves to lead the CIS All-Stars to a 5-2 over Canadian National Junior Team hopefuls on December 12. Bailie appeared in 136 career OHL regular season games, recording a 3.44 goals-against average, an .896 save percentage and a 60-41-5-6 record with four shutouts.
POST HOLIDAY BREAK SCHEDULE:
Monday December 28
Sarnia at Windsor – 7:05pm
Saginaw at Sault Ste. Marie – 7:07pm
Niagara at Barrie – 7:30pm
Tuesday December 29
Hamilton at Flint – 7:00pm
Erie at Guelph – 7:00pm
Ottawa at Kingston – 7:00pm
London at Kitchener – 7:00pm
Peterborough at Mississauga – 7:00pm
North Bay at Owen Sound – 7:00pm
Niagara at Sudbury – 7:00pm
Wednesday December 30
Kingston at Oshawa – 7:05pm
Hamilton at Saginaw – 7:05pm
Catch all of the action on OHL Live! Visit ohllive.com.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from the entire OHL family to yours!