Toronto, ON – The second half of the Ontario Hockey League schedule continues with 27 games beginning tonight through Sunday.
Here’s a look at what’s going on around the league:
AT THE RINKS:
Pink in the Rink in Niagara: The Niagara IceDogs host their annual Pink in the Rink game on Thursday at home to the Owen Sound Attack. The club is working alongside the Canadian Cancer Society to raise funds in support of women’s cancer research. The IceDogs will be wearing specially themed pink jerseys and all fans in attendance are encouraged to bring their pink to the rink!
Mikhail Sergachev poster giveaway in Windsor on Thursday: Fans attending Thursday’s Spitfires home game against Flint can get a free Mikhail Sergachev collector’s poster following the game and get it signed by Mikhail behind section 111!
Steelheads support Special Olympics on Friday: The Mississauga Steelheads are teaming up with Peel Police for the annual Special Olympics Big Ticket Event, a provincial awareness and fundraising event supporting Special Olympics Ontario. Chief Jennifer Evans will join Special Olympics Athlete Ryan MacBean at center ice where they will drop the puck to start the game. For more information on Ryan and his story, please visit mississaugasteelheads.com.
Firebirds fight hunger on Saturday: The Flint Firebirds are teaming up with the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan to fight hunger and are providing fans with great incentive to bring in their non-perishable goods. Fans may bring in five or more canned or boxed food items to receive $5 off a Silver Level ticket. Visit flintfirebirds.com for more details.
Dylan Strome poster giveaway in Erie: All fans attending Saturday’s Erie Otters game will have a chance to receive a free Dylan Strome poster! The first 1000 fans in the door will receive a poster of the Otters captain that they can get signed by Dylan following the game.
Steelheads go pink on Sunday: The Mississauga Steelheads will don pink on Sunday afternoon at home to the Barrie Colts, teaming up with the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation for their annual Pink at the Rink event. Fans are invited to wear pink to the game for an afternoon of great fun for a good cause.
Colts visit Season’s Centre for Grieving Children: In another outstanding community gesture, the Barrie Colts paid a visit the Seasons Centre for Grieving Children last week, bringing lunch courtesy of Panera Bread for unexpecting children and parents at the centre. The Colts teamed up with corporate partner Dulux to help paint and give the Seasons Centre a whole new look! Visit barriecolts.comto watch the special visit.
Firebirds raise over $50,000 for non-profit organizations: The Flint Firebirds have been hard at work in the community this year, raising over $50,000 for non-profit organizations in the Flint and Genesee County region. On Friday the Firebirds will continue to show their support for the surrounding community by donating $16,500 to the Old Newsboys of Flint, a non-profit organization that serves underprivileged children. In addition to this partnership, the Firebirds have teamed up with many other non-profit organizations this season to help give back. Visit flintfirebirds.com for the full story.
STORM’S MICHAEL GIUGOVAZ TAKES WEEKLY HONOURS:
Michael Giugovaz of the Guelph Storm is the Pioneer Energy OHL Player of the Week for the week ending January 17 after posting a 2-0-0-1 record with a shutout victory along with a goals-against-average of 1.89 and save percentage of .945. Giugovaz becomes the fifth goaltender to earn the weekly honour after making an impressive 104 saves in three games helping the Storm collect five of a possible six points last week. A 20-year-old from Brampton, ON, Giugovaz is playing in his fourth career OHL season and first with the Storm after being acquired in November from the Windsor Spitfires. In 13 appearances with the Storm, the overage netminder carries a 6-3-1-1 record with a goals-against-average of 2.59 and save percentage of .925.
67 OHL PLAYERS IN NHL CENTRAL SCOUTING MIDTERM RANKINGS:
A total of 67 OHL players were included on NHL Central Scouting’s Midterm Draft Rankings released on Tuesday. OHL players made up six of the top-10 skaters listed with Matthew Tkachuk of the London Knights being ranked as the top draft eligible skater in North America. FULL STORY
TIP TOP TAILORS OHL PLAYS OF THE WEEK – WEEK 16:
London Knights forward Christian Dvorak headlines the 16th edition of the Tip Top Tailors OHL Plays of the Week on a nice give-and-go with teammate Aaron Berisha. Be sure to vote for Dvorak, who is the OHL’s representative in this week’s CHL Fan Choice Vote atfanchoice.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! 134 different players have accomplished the milestone this season! Click on a player’s name below to watch his first OHL goal!
William Brown, Matyas Kantner, Nate Schnarr
Rychel scores first NHL goal: Guelph Storm graduate Kerby Rychel scored his first NHL goal on Tuesday against the Washington Capitals. Rychel beat Braden Holtby on a first period pass from William Karlsson to score his first goal in 21 career NHL contests. Rychel has a goal and six assists in 16 games with Columbus this season while registering five goals, 15 assists and 20 points in 21 games with the AHL’s Lake Erie Monsters. A first round pick by the Jackets in 2013, Rychel won an OHL title with the Storm in 2014 to cap off a four-year OHL career where he collected 122 goals, 150 assists and 272 points in 256 regular season games.
Boucher back with Devils: Sarnia Sting graduate Reid Boucher netted a goal and an assist in New Jersey’s 4-2 win over Calgary on Tuesday, scoring in his second consecutive game since being called up to the NHL. Boucher has two goals and an assist in five NHL games this season while his AHL game continues to flourish with 14 goals, 12 assists and 26 points in 30 games with the Albany Devils. Boucher currently sits second in AHL shots on goal with 116 on the season. The Grand Ledge, MI, native had 15 goals and 15 assists in 62 games as a sophomore with Albany last season. Boucher holds a Sting single-season franchise record set in 2012-13 when he led the OHL with 62 goals. He scored 90 goals and added 55 assists for 145 points in 135 career OHL games over two seasons in Sarnia from 2011-13.
Benoit summoned by Blues: Kitchener Rangers graduate and long-time journeyman Andre Benoit is back in the NHL, suiting up for an injury-riddled St. Louis Blues squad. The 32-year-old native of St. Albert, ON, suited up for the Blues in their 5-2 win over Pittsburgh on Monday. Benoit’s career has stretched through nine different cities since his Ranger days from 2000-05. The former OHL champion, Most Sportsmanlike Player of the Year and Overage Player of the Year has won two Calder Cup championships along the way. Benoit is the Rangers’ franchise leader in points by a defenceman, amassing 99 goals, 200 assists and 299 points in 324 career regular season games.
Altshuller recalled by Hurricanes: Oshawa Generals graduate Daniel Altshuller has been called up to the NHL. With a concussion to starting goaltender Cam Ward, the Carolina Hurricanes have summoned Altshuller who has had an outstanding season split between the AHL and ECHL. The Nepean, ON, native is 9-1-1-1 with a 1.71 goals-against average and a .941 save percentage with the AHL’s Charlotte Checkers. He went 10-3-0-0 with a 1.58 goals-against average, a .941 save percentage and three shutouts in 14 games with the ECHL’s Florida Everblades. Carolina’s third round pick in 2012, Altshuller played three seasons with the Generals from 2011-14, appearing in 140 regular season games while compiling a 78-47-3-5 record with a 2.80 goals-against average and a .910 save percentage.
KEY WEEKEND MATCHUPS:
North Bay Battalion (21-16-2-3) vs. Hamilton Bulldogs (16-23-3-0)
Friday January 22 at Hamilton
With their sights set on a playoff spot, the Hamilton Bulldogs have shown positive signs of late as they come off wins against Sarnia and Barrie last weekend. The Dogs embark on a three-in-three this weekend at home to North Bay and Mississauga before visiting Oshawa on Sunday. The Bulldogs square off with the Battalion in the second of four meetings this season and look to avenge a 7-1 loss back on November 26th. The Troops have been a tough two points at home this season, but have played to a 5-9-2-3 mark on the road, having won just one of their last eight away from home. They’re currently in the midst of an Eastern Conference logjam that sees six teams separated by just five points from second to seventh place. Veteran captain Mike Amadio continues to produce for North Bay with goals in three straight games and a league-leading seven shorthanded goals on the season.
Kingston Frontenacs (27-13-2-1) vs. Barrie Colts (25-16-0-1)
Saturday January 23 at Barrie
After dropping a pair of close contests against them early in the season, the Kingston Frontenacs will have another shot at the Barrie Colts on Saturday night as two of the Eastern Conference’s top clubs go toe-to-toe. The Fronts embark on their third straight three-in-three weekend after defeating Flint and Niagara before dropping Sunday’s decision to the Mississauga Steelheads. Kingston holds a comfortable 11 point lead in the East Division and currently sports a six point edge on second place Barrie in the Eastern Conference. The Colts will also be suiting up for three games in three days this weekend, with their lone home date at home to Kingston on Saturday. Defenceman Rasmus Andersson is currently tied for the OHL lead in scoring among defencemen with seven goals and 31 assists for 38 points in 40 games. The Calgary Flames prospect has 10 assists in eight January contests to go with a plus/minus rating of plus-8.
Thursday, January 21
Owen Sound at Niagara – 7:00pm
Guelph at North Bay – 7:00pm
Saginaw at Peterborough – 7:05pm
London at Sarnia – 7:05pm
Flint at Windsor – 7:05pm
Friday, January 22
Saginaw at Kingston – 7:00pm
Oshawa at Ottawa – 7:00pm
Barrie at Sudbury – 7:00pm
Guelph at Sault Ste. Marie – 7:07pm
North Bay at Hamilton – 7:30pm
Erie at Kitchener – 7:30pm
Peterborough at London – 7:30pm
Niagara at Mississauga – 7:30pm
Saturday, January 23
Niagara at Erie – 7:00pm
Mississauga at Hamilton – 7:00pm
Peterborough at Sarnia – 7:05pm
Kingston at Barrie – 7:30pm
Windsor at Flint – 7:30pm
Kitchener at Owen Sound – 7:30pm
Sunday, January 24
Flint at Kitchener – 2:00pm
Sarnia at London – 2:00pm
Kingston at North Bay – 2:00pm
Guelph at Sudbury – 2:00pm
Windsor at Sault Ste. Marie – 2:07pm
Barrie at Mississauga – 3:00pm – CHL on Sportsnet
Hamilton at Oshawa – 3:00pm
Saginaw at Ottawa – 3:00pm
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