OHL This Week: March 31 to April 5, 2016

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Toronto, ON – The first round of the 2016 Ontario Hockey League Playoffs continue tonight with five games including the Western Conference leading Erie Otters who have a chance to eliminate the Saginaw Spirit, and the Eastern Conference leading Kingston Frontenacs who can eliminate the defending champion Oshawa Generals with a victory.

Stay up to date with all post-season action: 2016 OHL Playoff Brackets

Here’s a look at what else is going on around the league:

COMMUNITY CORNER:

Colts step up to support March Mullet Foundation: The Barrie Colts have stepped up in a big way, partnering with CMHA Simcoe County to raise over $26,000 in the fight to end the stigma surrounding mental health through their March Mullet campaign. The Colts are actively raising funds to support mental health programming and education through their unique hairstyles. Colts captain Michael Webster has led the way, raising over $21,000 towards the cause while teammates Aidan Brown and Matt Brassard have also contributed with over $1,000 raised each. For more information, visit the Colts March Mullet donation page at marchmullet.org.

Syrian refugees experience first hockey game with Steelheads: Through a partnership with Lifeline Syria, the Mississauga Steelheads recently offered more than 500 tickets to the organization that were distributed to Syrian families and members of various sponsorship and support groups. The Mississauga News’ Iain Colpitts has the full story at mississaugasteelheads.com.

Firebirds present check to the American Cancer Society: The Flint Firebirds presented a check for over $2000 to the American Cancer Society to support Relay for Life events in Genesee County. The donation is one of many by the organization this season, contributing to the more than $100,000 donated to various charities around Flint and Genesee County.

STORM SET SIGHTS ON 2016 OHL PRIORITY SELECTION:

Only a couple years removed from an OHL Championship, the Guelph Storm will pick first overall in the OHL Priority Selection for the first time since 1992 on Saturday, April 9th. Here’s a look ahead at how things are shaping up for the 2016 OHL Priority Selection. Full story

NEW RECORDS & MILESTONES ESTABLISHED DURING 2015-16 SEASON:

The 2016 OHL Playoffs are well underway, but it’s always fun to take a look back at the season that was and review the new records and milestones written into the OHL history books. A number of team and individual benchmarks were set during the 2015-16 season, here’s a closer look at the facts and figures. Full story

PETES’ CORNEL, BATTALION’S WOOD SIGN NHL CONTRACTS:

A pair of OHL veterans have signed NHL contracts this past week. Peterborough Petes captain Eric Cornel signed with the Buffalo Sabres on Friday while North Bay Battalion blueliner Kyle Wood inked with the Arizona Coyotes on Tuesday.

FRONTENACS’ WARREN FOEGELE TAKES WEEKLY HONOURS:

Carolina Hurricanes prospect Warren Foegele of the Kingston Frontenacs is the Pioneer Energy OHL Player of the Week for the opening week of the 2016 OHL Playoffs ending March 27 scoring six points in two games including five goals and one assist with a plus-minus rating of plus-4. Foegele produced back-to-back multi-point performances last week for the first place Frontenacs who opened the post-season with a pair of victories over the defending champion Oshawa Generals. Full Story

2016 OHL DEVELOPMENT COMBINE POWERED BY UNDER ARMOUR DETAILS ANNOUNCED:

The 2016 OHL Development Combine powered by Under Armour offers 96 players (48 forwards, 32 defencemen, and 16 goaltenders) born in 2000 the opportunity to showcase themselves both on and off the ice to OHL member team personnel. Combine results will be distributed to every OHL member team General Manager to assist in their evaluation for the OHL Priority Selection to be held onSaturday, April 9, 2016Full Details

 ALUMNI NOTES:

5 OHL grads nominated as Masterson Trophy candidates: OHL graduates Max Domi (Arizona Coyotes/London Knights), Ryan O’Reilly (Buffalo Sabres/Erie Otters), Mark Giordano (Calgary Flames/Owen Sound Attack), Fedor Tyutin (Columbus Blue Jackets/Guelph Storm) and Joe Thornton (San Jose Sharks/Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds) have been nominated for the Bill Masterson Trophy, awarded annually to the player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication to ice hockey. The candidates are nominated by the Professional Hockey Wristers’ Association.


McKegg scores first NHL goal: 
London Knights graduate Greg McKegg scored his first NHL goal on Tuesday as the Florida Panthers fell to Toronto 5-2. McKegg played in his 17th career NHL game and 13th with Florida this season after spending the past three in the Toronto Maple Leafs’ system. He’s recorded 23 points (10-13–23) in 47 games with the AHL’s Portland Pirates this season. The St. Thomas, ON, native played four OHL seasons from 2008-12, recording 270 career points (125-145–270) in 262 regular season games between Erie and London. He was Toronto’s third round (62nd overall) pick in 2010.

Harpur recalled by Senators: Barrie Colts graduate Ben Harpur has been called up by the Ottawa Senators. The 6’6″, 218Ib. rearguard has played 43 games with the AHL’s Binghamton Senators this season, recording a goal, four assists and five points. Harpur played four OHL seasons between Guelph and Barrie from 2011-15, winning an OHL title with the Storm in 2014. He appeared in 225 career regular season games, recording 12 goals, 54 assists and 66 points with a plus/minus rating of plus-59. Harpur also played in 34 career playoff contests, recording 11 points (3-8–11) with a plus/minus rating of plus-29. The native of Niagara-on-The-Lake, ON, was Ottawa’s fourth round (108th overall) pick in the 2013 NHL Draft.

Lindberg recalled by Maple Leafs: Oshawa Generals graduate Tobias Lindberg has been recalled by the Toronto Maple Leafs. After being acquired from Ottawa in the Dion Phaneuf trade, Lindberg has recorded 12 points (6-6–12) in 19 games with the AHL’s Toronto Marlies after starting the season with 22 points (5-17–22) in 34 games with the Binghamton Senators. The 2015 MasterCard Memorial Cup champion recorded 32 goals, 46 assists and 78 points in 67 games with the Generals last season, continuing his production into the playoffs with 19 points (7-12–19) in 21 contests. Lindberg was Ottawa’s fourth round (102nd overall) pick in 2013.

Milano recalled by Blue Jackets: The Columbus Blue Jackets have recalled OHL graduate Sonny Milano on an emergency basis. The 19-year-old has 12 goals, 15 assists and 27 points in 48 games with the AHL’s Lake Erie Monsters this season after graduating from the OHL in 2014-15. Milano played one OHL season with Plymouth, recording 22 goals, 46 assists and 68 points in 50 games. He was Columbus’ first round (16th overall) pick in 2014.

Tolchinsky recalled by Hurricanes: Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds graduate Sergey Tolchinsky has been recalled by the Carolina Hurricanes. The 21-year-old winger has 11 goals, 21 assists and 32 points in 65 games with the AHL’s Charlotte Checkers this season. Tolchinsky played three OHL seasons with the Greyhounds from 2012-15, recording 87 goals, 150 assists and 237 points in 189 career regular season games. He was a big part of Sault Ste. Marie’s run to the Western Conference finals last spring, recording 14 points (4-10–14) in 14 games. The native of Moscow, Russia was signed as a free agent by Carolina during the summer of 2013.

Martin named AHL Player of the Week: Mississauga Steelheads graduate Spencer Martin has been named the AHL’s Player of the Week. The San Antonio Rampage netminder stopped 91 of 94 shots while winning all three of his starts last week, good for a 0.99 goals-against average and a .968 save percentage. The Oakville, ON, native has split the season between San Antonio and the ECHL’s Fort Wayne Komets. His AHL numbers include a 7-7-1-0 record with a 2.65 goals-against average and a .921 save percentage with three shutouts. Martin spent four seasons with the Steelheads from 2011-15, tying for the franchise lead in career games played with 156 while recording a 3.31 goals-against average, a .904 save percentage, four shutouts and a record of 58-74-2-9. He was Colorado’s third round (63rd overall) pick in 2013.

9 OHL grads named AHL Man of the Year Award winners: Nine OHL graduates have been awarded AHL Man of the Year honours for their respective clubs. Clubs select players based off their outstanding contributions to the local community and charitable organizations throughout the season. The following OHL graduates will also be nominated for the Yanick Dupre Memorial Award, awarded to the AHL’s Humanitarian of the Year. Several winners have earned the honours multiple times: Dan Kelly (3rd, Albany Devils/Kitchener Rangers), Zack Stortini (2nd, Binghamton Senators/Sudbury Wolves), Matt Carkner (6th, Bridgeport Sound Tigers/Peterborough Petes), Tom McCollum (3rd, Grand Rapids Griffins/Brampton Battalion), Kurtis Gabriel (1st, Iowa Wild/Owen Sound Attack), Patrick Kaleta (2nd, Rochester Americans/Peterborough Petes), Michael Leighton (1st, Rockford IceHogs/Windsor Spitfires), Mike Angelidis (1st, Syracuse Crunch/Owen Sound Attack), Andrew Campbell (4th, Toronto Marlies/Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds).

 PLAYOFF SCHEDULE: 

Thursday, March 31
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)

Friday, April 1
Oshawa at Kingston – 7:00pm (Game 5)*
Peterborough at North Bay – 7:00pm (Game 5)
Ottawa at Niagara – 7:00pm (Game 5)
Windsor at Kitchener – 7:30pm (Game 5)
Owen Sound at London – 7:30pm (Game 5)

Saturday, April 2
Saginaw at Erie – 3:00pm (Game 5)*
Niagara at Ottawa – 7:00pm (Game 6)*
Sault Ste. Marie at Sarnia – 7:05pm (Game 5)
Mississauga at Barrie – 7:30pm (Game 5)

Sunday, April 3
London at Owen Sound – 2:00pm (Game 6)*
Barrie at Mississauga – 2:00pm (Game 6)*
Kitchener at Windsor – 2:05pm (Game 6)*
Erie at Saginaw – 4:00pm (Game 6)*
Kingston at Oshawa – 6:05pm (Game 6)*
North Bay at Peterborough – 7:05pm (Game 6)*
Sarnia at Sault Ste. Marie – 7:07pm (Game 6)*

Tuesday, April 5
Oshawa at Kingston – 7:00pm (Game 7)*
Saginaw at Erie – 7:00pm (Game 7)*
Windsor at Kitchener – 7:00pm (Game 7)*
Owen Sound at London – 7:00pm (Game 7)*
Peterborough at North Bay – 7:00pm (Game 7)*
Ottawa at Niagara – 7:00pm – 7:00pm (Game 7)*
Sault Ste. Marie at Sarnia – 7:05pm (Game 7)*
Mississauga at Barrie – 7:30pm (Game 7)*
*if necessary

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