Toronto, ON – The 2016 Ontario Hockey League Playoffs begin tonight with three series opening matchups including the Ottawa 67’s at Niagara IceDogs, the Mississauga Steelheads at the Barrie Colts, and the Windsor Spitfires at the Kitchener Rangers live on Sportsnet ONE.
All five other playoff matchups open on Friday with games continuing throughout the holiday weekend. The OHL will also be featured on a special Tuesday night edition of the CHL on Sportsnet with Game 3 of the Kingston Frontenacs and Oshawa Generals series airing coast-to-coast on Sportsnet 360.
Here’s a look at what else is going on around the league:
Storm to host OHL Priority Selection party and breakfast: The Guelph Storm will be hosting an OHL Priority Selection party and breakfast on Saturday April 9th at Draught Picks in the Sleeman Centre. For full details visit guelphstorm.com.
Petes and fans donate $2,800 to Courtney Druce’s GoFundMe Page: Peterborough Petes fans once again showed their generosity this past weekend, jumping at an opportunity to purchase 2016 Pink in the Rink sweaters for $200 in support of Courtney Druce. Fourteen commemorative jerseys were sold and $2800 (CDN) was raised, translating to a $2,145 (USD) donation on Courtney’s GoFundMe page. Courtney, the 2014 Pink in the Rink honourary co-chair and daughter of Petes and NHL alumnus John Druce, is in her fifth battle with cancer and is currently living under hospice care at her mother’s home in New Jersey. For the full story, visit gopetesgo.com.
Frontenacs Fort Henry jersey auction underway: The Kingston Frontenacs are holding an online jersey auction with proceeds going to the United Way. For full details on the special jerseys worn on Saturday, visit kingstonfrontenacs.com or check out the online auction that runs through Saturday at 8pm here.
Firebirds conclude inaugural season with awards banquet: The Flint Firebirds handed out the hardware at the conclusion of their inaugural OHL season, with Will Bitten earning both the leading scorer and most valuable player awards. For a full list of award winners, visit flintfirebirds.com.
Greyhounds announce year-end award winners: The Soo Greyhounds held their annual year-end awards banquet this past week, with Blake Speers and Zach Senyshyn sharing season MVP honours. Visit soogreyhounds.com for a full run-down of other winners.
MALETTA, MANGIAPANE SIGN NHL CONTRACTS:
A pair of OHL veterans signed NHL contracts this past week, with Niagara IceDogs forward Jordan Maletta inking as a free agent with the Columbus Blue Jackets while 50-goal scorer Andrew Mangiapane signed with the Calgary Flames.
YORK SIMCOE EXPRESS WIN 2016 OHL CUP:
The York Simcoe Express are 2016 OHL Cup Champions after a thrilling double overtime victory seen across the province on Sportsnet Ontario Monday evening. Rhys Forhan provided both York Simcoe goals in a 2-1 Express victory, netting the winner 7:17 into the second overtime to give them their first OHL Cup title since 2004. Full Story
GREYHOUNDS’ BLAKE SPEERS TAKES WEEKLY HONOURS:
New Jersey Devils prospect Blake Speers of the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds is the Pioneer Energy OHL Player of the Week for the regular season week ending March 20 scoring three goals and five assists for eight points in three games with a plus-minus rating of plus-2. Speers recorded a trio of multi-point performances helping the Greyhounds earn four of a possible six points at home. Full Story
TIP TOP TAILORS OHL PLAYS OF THE WEEK – WEEK 24:
Kitchener Rangers rookie Joseph Garreffa headlines the 25th edition of the Tip Top Tailors OHL Plays of the Week! Be sure to vote for Joseph 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! 150 different players have accomplished the milestone this season! Click on a player’s name below to watch his first OHL goal!
Mads Eller, Zachary Roberts, Hudson Wilson
Brown records first NHL point: Erie Otters graduate and 2014 Red Tilson Trophy recipient Connor Brown registered his first NHL point with an assist for the Toronto Maple Leafs in their 5-2 win over the Calgary Flames on Monday. Brown has appeared in three games with the Leafs this season after being called up from the AHL’s Toronto Marlies where he recorded 24 points (9-15–24) in 28 games this season. Brown played three seasons with the Erie Otters from 2011-14, recording 250 points (98-152–250) over 199 career OHL regular season games. He led the OHL in scoring with 128 points (45-83–128) in 2013-14. He was Toronto’s sixth round (156th overall) pick in the 2012 NHL Draft.
Jensen named AHL Player of the Week: Oshawa Generals graduate Nicklas Jensen is the AHL Player of the Week after recording four goals, three assists and seven points over three games to help the Hartford Wolf Pack close in on a playoff position in the Atlantic Division. Jensen recorded the third hat trick of his AHL career on Friday night – including the tying goal in the third period and the game-winner in overtime – as the Wolf Pack rallied for a 4-3 victory over Portland. The native of Herning, Denmark has 16 goals, 15 assists and 31 points in 56 games between Utica and Hartford this season. Jensen played two OHL seasons with the Oshawa Generals from 2010-12, recording 54 goals, 62 assists and 116 points in 118 career regular season games. He was Vancouver’s first round (29th overall) pick in the 2011 NHL Draft.
Youngest Subban cites father as biggest inspiration: OHL graduate Jordan Subban is featured on this week’s edition of AHL Over The Boards, citing father Karl as his biggest inspiration. Don Laible and Mark Caswell Jr. take a closer look at Jordan’s relationship with his father, Karl Subban. Full Story at theahl.com.
Giugovaz signs with Brampton: Guelph Storm graduate Michael Giugovaz has signed a pro contract with the ECHL’s Brampton Beast following a four-year OHL career that came to an end last week. The veteran played to a 15-20-5-2 record with a 3.62 goals-against average, an .899 save percentage and one shutout over 44 games between Windsor and Guelph this season. The Brampton native played 153 career regular season contests between Peterborough, Belleville, London, Guelph and Windsor, going 57-61-8-6 with a 3.83 goals-against average and an .891 save percentage.
Shantz named ECHL Goaltender of the Week: Peterborough Petes graduate David Shantz has been named the ECHL Goaltender of the Week after the Wichita Tunder netminder went 2-0-0 with a 1.51 goals-against average and a save percentage of .962 in two appearances. The 29-year-old has played to an 11-20-3 mark with a 3.07 goals-against average and an .897 save percentage in 35 games this season. Shantz was an OHL champion with the Petes in 2006 and played to a 62-39-6-1 record with a 2.87 goals-against average and a .912 save percentage over 119 regular season appearances with Mississauga and Peterborough from 2003-06. Shantz also helped lead the IceDogs to the OHL Finals in 2004 before falling to the Guelph Storm. He was Florida’s second round (37th overall) pick in the 2004 NHL Draft.
6 OHL graduates win CIS University Cup with UNB: Six OHL graduates including Rob Mignardi (Owen Sound Attack), Tyler Carroll (Guelph Storm), Cameron Brace (Belleville Bulls), Matt Petgrave (Oshawa Generals), Colin Suellentrop (Oshawa Generals) and Marcus McIvor (North Bay Battalion) have won a CIS University Cup title with UNB in Halifax. Full Story
Thursday, March 24
Windsor at Kitchener – 7:00pm (Game 1) – LIVE on Sportsnet ONE
Ottawa at Niagara – 7:00pm (Game 1)
Mississauga at Barrie – 7:30pm (Game 1)
Friday, March 25
Oshawa at Kingston – 7:00pm (Game 1)
Saginaw at Erie – 7:00pm (Game 1)
Peterborough at North Bay – 7:00pm (Game 1)
Sault Ste. Marie at Sarnia – 7:05pm (Game 1)
Owen Sound at London – 7:30pm (Game 1)
Saturday, March 26
Oshawa at Kingston – 7:00pm (Game 2)
Windsor at Kitchener – 7:00pm (Game 2)
Owen Sound at London – 7:00pm (Game 2)
Ottawa at Niagara – 7:00pm (Game 2)
Mississauga at Barrie – 7:30pm (Game 2)
Sunday, March 27
Peterborough at North Bay – 2:00pm (Game 2)
Sault Ste. Marie at Sarnia – 4:05pm (Game 2)
Saginaw at Erie – 7:00pm (Game 2)
Monday, March 28th
Niagara at Ottawa – 3:00pm (Game 3)
London at Owen Sound – 7:00pm (Game 3)
Kitchener at Windsor – 7:05pm (Game 3)
Tuesday, March 29th
Barrie at Mississauga – 7:00pm (Game 3)
Kingston at Oshawa – 7:05pm (Game 3) – LIVE on Sportsnet 360
Erie at Saginaw – 7:05pm (Game 3)
North Bay at Peterborough – 7:05pm (Game 3)
Sarnia at Sault Ste. Marie – 7:07pm (Game 3)
Wednesday March 30th
London at Owen Sound – 7:00pm (Game 4)
Niagara at Ottawa – 7:00pm (Game 4)
Kitchener at Windsor – 7:05pm (Game 4)
Thursday March 31st
Barrie at Mississauga – 7:00pm (Game 4)
Kingston at Oshawa – 7:05pm (Game 4)
Erie at Saginaw – 7:05pm (Game 4)
North Bay at Peterborough – 7:05pm (Game 4)
Sarnia at Sault Ste. Marie – 7:07pm (Game 4)
CATCH ALL OF THE ACTION ON OHL LIVE WITH NEW PLAYOFF PACKAGES AVAILABLE INCLUDING ALL ACCESS PASSES FOR $129.99 AND 1ST ROUND TEAM PASSES FOR $25.99.