Toronto, ON – It’s February in the Ontario Hockey League which means just seven weekends remain in the regular season.
There’s 23 games tonight through Sunday, here’s a look at what’s going on around the league:
AT THE RINKS:
Eventful Weekend in Flint: The Flint Firebirds host Mardi Gras Night at home to the Sudbury Wolves on Friday before Saturdayfeatures Military Appreciation Night at the Dort Federal Event Center when the Kitchener Rangers make their first visit. Don’t miss out on the action this weekend!
Frontenacs host Shutout Bullying Night: The Kingston Frontenacs host the Pink Shirt Day game on Friday in an effort to shut out bullying. The special night supports Boys and Girls Clubs of Kingston and encourages fans to ‘be a buddy, not a bully.’ Fans are asked to wear pink on Friday night!
Heartbeats and Hockey Sticks Game in Owen Sound: The Owen Sound Attack, in partnership with the Owen Sound Cardiac Rehabilitation program, the Owen Sound Hospital Foundation and Leeder and Associates Wealth Management Group of RBC Dominion Securities is pleased to announce the first ever Heartbeats and Hockey Sticks event in support of the Cardiac Rehabilitation Program on Saturday. The goal of Heartbeats and Hockey Sticks is to raise money for a very valuable program for people in Grey and Bruce counties living with heart disease. The money raised will fund a new home based exercise program that will let 50 more people enter the program each year. For the full details on Saturday’s special event and to see the Attack’s specially themed jerseys, please visit attackhockey.com.
Petes, Spirit, Knights host #TalkToday Mental Health Awareness Nights: The Ontario Hockey League (OHL) and Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), Ontario are teaming up to raise awareness about the importance of mental health during OHL games throughout the month of February. The awareness campaign is part of the ongoing commitment by OHL clubs and local CMHA Ontario Branches to implement Talk Today. The Sarnia Sting hosted the first CMHA Game Night on Wednesday, while the Peterborough Petes host their game on Thursday, the Saginaw Spirit keep the conversation going on Saturday, with the London Knights hosting CMHA on Sunday. FULL STORY
Petes and community partners collect 3,800Ibs. in Coach4Food campaign: For the second straight year, the Petes and local community partners collected food and donations for Kawartha Food Share through the Project Shutout Hunger initiative. Through the 2015/16 Coach4Food campaign, the Petes set a team record with 3,873.25 lbs of food donated. For the full story, please visitgopetesgo.com.
IceDogs raise over $5,000 in Pink in the Rink jersey auction: The Niagara IceDogs have raised over $5,000 in support of the Canadian Cancer Society and women’s cancer research as a result of their post-game Pink in the Rink jersey auction on Sunday. Josh Ho-Sang’s #26 jersey led the way with an $800 bid. For more on the story please visit niagaraicedogs.net.
ATTACK’S JONAH GADJOVICH TAKES WEEKLY HONOURS:
Jonah Gadjovich of the Owen Sound Attack is the Pioneer Energy OHL Player of the Week for the week ending January 31 after scoring three goals and three assists for six points in two games with a plus-minus rating of plus-9. Gadjovich’s breakout weekend featured the best two games of his OHL career with back-to-back three-point performances helping the Attack win both games of their East Division road trip. A 17-year-old from Whitby, ON, Gadjovich is playing in his second career season with the Attack after being chosen in the second round of the 2014 OHL Priority Selection. The former Whitby Wildcat is eligible for the 2017 NHL Draft and has 16 points in 46 games so far this season for the Attack who stand sixth place in the OHL’s Western Conference standings.
TIP TOP TAILORS OHL PLAYS OF THE WEEK – WEEK 18:
A lethal Erie Otters powerplay tops the 18th edition of the Tip Top Tailors OHL Plays of the Week, with Jake Marchment finishing on a slick sequence of passes. Be sure to vote for Jake in this week’s CHL Fan Choice vote 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! 139 different players have accomplished the milestone this season! Click on a player’s name below to watch his first OHL goal!
TVCOGECO HOCKEY DAY IN THE OHL FEATURES GREAT STORIES:
TVCogeco Hockey Day in the OHL featured three great games and brought several great stories to light as well. Revisit last weekend’s action and check out some of the great storylines that have emerged from team’s across the league! FULL STORY
OHL GRADUATES PARTICIPATE IN ALL-STAR FESTIVITIES:
A combined total of 36 OHL graduates participated in NHL and AHL All-Star Festivities this past weekend. Highlights included London Knights graduate John Tavares winning the accuracy shooting event in the NHL All-Star Skills Competition while fellow Knights grad Corey Perry scored the lone goal in a 1-0 win to give the Pacific Division the NHL All-Star Game 3-on-3 tournament title. 16 OHL grads attended NHL All-Star Weekend in Nashville, Tennessee while 20 participated in the AHL All-Star Classic in Syracuse, New York.
SPITFIRES RETIRE RYAN ELLIS NUMBER 6:
Undoubtedly one of the all-time franchise greats in Windsor Spitfires history, Ryan Ellis arrived on the scene in 2007 and took the OHL by storm throughout the next four seasons. On Saturday night, the Spitfires honoured the all-time leading scorer among defencemen in franchise history by raising his number 6 to the highest reaches of the WFCU Centre alongside Spitfire greats in Ernie Godden (15), Mickey Renaud (18) and several others. FULL STORY
ROAD TO THE 2016 OHL CUP CONTINUES:
With February upon us, Minor Midget playoffs are underway across the province. Stay tuned to ontariohockeyleague.com in the days ahead as we follow the road to the 2016 OHL Cup set for March 15-21 in Toronto. 10th edition of OHL Cup Minor Midget Top-10 Rankings
2016 OHF/OHL UNDER-15 PROGRAM OF EXCELLENCE DATES ANNOUNCED:
The Ontario Hockey Federation (OHF), in conjunction with the Ontario Hockey League (OHL), are pleased to announce the dates for the 2016 Under-15 Program of Excellence Development Camps. In total, seven camps will take place around Ontario including five hosted by the OHF, introducing young players – and their families – to the high performance stream. FULL STORY
McDavid dazzles in return: After a three month absence, Connor McDavid exploded back onto the NHL scene on Tuesday night, recording a goal and two assists in Edmonton’s 5-1 win over Columbus. McDavid’s goal was of the highlight reel variety as he busted through a pair of Columbus defenders before finishing a deke for his sixth goal of the season. The former Erie Otters star has six goals, nine assists and 15 points in 14 games this season. McDavid recorded 285 career regular season points (97-188-285) in 166 games with Erie from 2012-15.
Leighton named AHL Goaltender of the Month: Windsor Spitfires graduate Michael Leighton has been named the AHL’s Goaltender of the Month for January. The Petrolia, ON, native was 8-0-2 with a 1.22 goals-against average, a .954 save percentage and three shutouts as Rockford moved into first place in the Central Division. The longtime AHL veteran is currently tied with Hockey Hall of Famer Johnny Bower for the most shutouts (45) in the 80-year history of the American Hockey League. Leighton competed in his fourth career AHL All-Star Classic this past weekend in Syracuse, NY. He’s currently 23-4-5-3 on the season with a 2.04 goals-against average and a .931 save percentage with four shutouts. Leighton played three OHL seasons with Windsor from 1998-2001, going 53-43-9-4 with a 3.30 goals-against average, a .903 save percentage and three shutouts. He was Chicago’s sixth round pick in the 1999 NHL Draft.
Campbell named ECHL Goaltender of the Month: Soo Greyhounds graduate Jack Campbell has been named the ECHL’s Goaltender of the Month for January. The 24-year-old went 8-3-0 with three shutouts, a 1.27 goals-against average and a save percentage of .956 in 11 appearances during the month with the Idaho Steelheads. The native of Port Huron, MI, has split time this season between Idaho and the AHL’s Texas Stars where he has played to a 3-6-3-1 record with a 4.27 goals-against average and an .868 save percentage in 12 games. Campbell played two OHL seasons between Windsor and Sault Ste. Marie from 2010-12, going 45-29-5-6 with a 3.62 goals-against average and an .890 save percentage. He was Dallas’ first round (11th overall) pick in the 2010 NHL Draft.
Paterson named ECHL Goaltender of the Week: Kitchener Rangers graduate Jake Paterson is the ECHL’s Goaltender of the Week. The 21-year-old was 2-0-0 with one shutout, a 0.99 goals-against average and a save percentage of .966 in two appearances last week. Paterson recorded his first career professional shutout on Friday, making 28 saves in a 4-0 win against Brampton and then turned aside 27 shots in a 3-2 victory over Quad City on Sunday. The Mississauga, ON, native is 7-7-2 with a 2.38 goals-against average and a .922 save percentage in 16 games with the Toledo Walleye this season. He appeared in 192 career regular season games with Saginaw and Kitchener posting an overall record of 96-75-15 with seven shutouts, a 3.29 goals-against average and a save percentage of .907.
KEY WEEKEND MATCHUPS:
Niagara IceDogs (24-17-3-3) vs. Kitchener Rangers (34-9-4-0)
Friday February 5 at Kitchener – Sportsnet Friday Night Hockey
This week’s installment of Sportsnet Friday Night Hockey features a great East-West battle as the Niagara IceDogs visit the Kitchener Rangers. The Dogs enter the weekend having lost their past two games and face back-to-back Midwest Division powerhouses on Thursday in London and on Friday in Kitchener. The IceDogs currently sit two points ahead of an Ottawa, Peterborough and Mississauga logjam in the Eastern Conference as they look to maintain home ice advantage with a strong showing in three games this weekend. The Rangers are currently the fourth-ranked team in the country. They won their only other meeting with Niagara this season by a score of 5-2 on New Year’s Eve.
Erie Otters (39-7-1-0) vs. Windsor Spitfires (30-14-5-0)
Saturday February 6 at Windsor
The two division leaders in the Western Conference clash on Saturday in Windsor as CHL’s top ranked Erie Otters pay a visit. The Otters come off wins over London and Mississauga last weekend and look to increase their Midwest Division lead on the road this weekend in Sarnia and Windsor. Erie is 2-1 against Windsor this season, with the Spits striking for a 6-4 win in their most recent meeting on November 7th behind Christian Fischer’s three goals and an assist. The Spitfires currently hold a five point lead on Sarnia in the West Division, but suffered a 5-0 loss at the hands of the Sting on Sunday. Draft eligible defenceman Mikhail Sergachev has factored in offensively of late, coming off a 12-point (3-9–12) month of January.
Thursday, February 4
London at Niagara – 7:00pm
Sault Ste. Marie at North Bay – 7:00pm
Hamilton at Peterborough – 7:05pm
Sudbury at Windsor – 7:05pm
Oshawa at Barrie – 7:30pm
Friday, February 5
Oshawa at Kingston – 7:00pm
Hamilton at Ottawa – 7:00pm
Erie at Sarnia – 7:05pm
Sudbury at Flint – 7:30pm
Saginaw at Guelph – 7:30pm
Niagara at Kitchener – 7:30pm – Sportsnet Friday Night Hockey
Owen Sound at London – 7:30pm
Sault Ste. Marie at Mississauga – 7:30pm
Saturday, February 6
Kingston at Hamilton – 7:00pm
North Bay at Niagara – 7:00pm
Ottawa at Peterborough – 7:05pm
Sudbury at Saginaw – 7:05pm
Erie at Windsor – 7:05pm
Mississauga at Barrie – 7:30pm
Kitchener at Flint – 7:30pm
Guelph at Owen Sound – 7:30pm
Sunday, February 7
Sarnia at London – 2:00pm
Sault Ste. Marie at Oshawa – 2:05pm
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