OHL This Week for February 2-5, 2017

Toronto, ON – February is underway and so is this week’s action around the rink which includes 24 games tonight through Sunday.

Here’s a look at what’s been happening around the league:

TEAM CHERRY TAKES 7-5 WIN IN 2017 SHERWIN-WILLIAMS CHL/NHL TOP PROSPECTS GAME:

19 OHL players competed in the 2017 Sherwin-Williams CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game in Quebec City on Monday, with Team Cherry taking a 7-5 victory before a crowd of 9,707 at Centre Videotron. Owen Tippett (Mississauga Steelheads) and MacKenzie Entwistle (Hamilton Bulldogs) both had a goal and an assist for Team Cherry in the win. Hear OHL players share their experiences at the annual showcase. Watch Team Cherry, Watch Team Orr, OHL Photo Gallery

MASCHERIN, CENTORAME, INGHAM, McSHANE NAMED OHL PERFORMERS OF THE MONTH:

The OHL announced its Top Performers for the month of January on Wednesday, including OHL Player of the Month Adam Mascherin (Kitchener Rangers), Defenceman of the Month Santino Centorame (Owen Sound Attack), Goaltender of the Month Jacob Ingham (Mississauga Steelheads) and Rookie of the Month Allan McShane (Oshawa Generals). Read more

ENNIS, JONES, RICHARDSON, McGREGOR NAMED OHL ACADEMIC PLAYERS OF THE MONTH:

The OHL announced its Academic Players of the Month for January on Thursday, including the East Division’s William Ennis (Oshawa Generals), the Central Division’s Ben Jones (Niagara IceDogs), the Midwest Division’s Luke Richardson (Kitchener Rangers) and the West Division’s Ryan McGregor (Sarnia Sting). Read more

KNIGHTS, GREYHOUNDS, OTTERS, SPITFIRES, ATTACK IN CHL TOP 10 RANKINGS:

The Erie Otters (2), London Knights (3), Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds (5) and Owen Sound Attack (9) are all included in the 19th edition of the weekly CHL Top 10 Rankings released on Wednesday. The weekly rankings of the CHL’s Top-10 teams are selected by a panel of National Hockey League scouts. Read more

OHL ALUMNI LISTED AMONG TOP-100 NHL PLAYERS OF ALL-TIME:

As part of 2017 NHL All-Star Classic festivities celebrating 100 years of NHL hockey, the NHL has unveiled its list of legends, detailing the top-100 players of all-time. Some of the OHL’s all-time greats including Wayne Gretzky, Steve Yzerman, Eric Lindros and Chris Pronger headline the list that includes a total of 11 OHL players that suited up after 1974 as well as an additional 28 players who competed in the OHA prior to that date. Read more

FRONTENACS’ JEREMY HELVIG NAMED PIONEER ENERGY OHL PLAYER OF THE WEEK AND VAUGHN CHL GOALTENDER OF THE WEEK:

Carolina Hurricanes prospect Jeremy Helvig of the Kingston Frontenacs earned both OHL and CHL honours for the week ending January 29 after posting a 2-0-0-1 record including two shutout victories with a goals-against-average of 1.28 and save percentage of .956. Helvig becomes the sixth OHL netminder to claim the award this season after stopping 87 shots and helping the Frontenacs earn five of a possible six points last week. Read more

SPIRIT HONOUR FRANCHISE GREAT VINCENT TROCHECK:

The Saginaw Spirit saluted a franchise cornerstone on Wednesday, raising Vincent Trocheck‘s #89 to the roof of the Dow Event Center. Enjoying an All-Star season with the Florida Panthers in 2016-17, Trocheck skated with the Spirit from 2009-13 before ending his OHL career with the Plymouth Whalers. He is the Spirit franchise’s leader in assists (146) and  sits second in points with 240 (94-146–240) over 236 career regular season games. Watch

OTTERS’ DYLAN STROME BECOMES NEW FRANCHISE SCORING LEADER:

Arizona Coyotes prospect Dylan Strome became the Erie Otters’ new franchise scoring leader on Saturday, netting a goal and three assists in a commanding 9-1 victory over the visiting Guelph Storm. Strome’s 10th goal of the season 8:43 into the second period put him ahead of Brad Boyes (309 pts., 1998-2002) for first on the Otters franchise list. Strome finished Saturday’s contest with 311 points, including 102 goals and 209 assists over 198 regular season contests. Read more

FRONTENACS’ PAUL McFARLAND EARNS 100TH OHL WIN:

Kingston Frontenacs head coach Paul McFarland earned his 100th career OHL regular season coaching victory on Saturday in a 1-0 victory over the visiting Mississauga Steelheads. McFarland is in his third season as head coach of the Frontenacs following two years as an assistant with the Oshawa Generals. In his time behind the Kingston bench, the Fronts have played to an overall record of 100-62-21, winning the franchise’s first East Division title since 1995 in 2015-16. Read more

67’s’ ARTUR TYANULIN HEADLINES OHL PLAYS OF THE WEEK:

The 18th edition of the OHL Plays of the Week for the 2016-17 season feature another exciting countdown of the league’s Top-5 goals scored during the week ending January 29. This week’s highlights include a great individual effort by Dylan Strome of the Erie Otters tucking home a backhand wraparound, some brotherly love by Mississauga Steelheads Ryan McLeod who sets up Mikey with a great pass and finish, Zach Poirier of the North Bay Battalion turns on the wheels with a shorthanded power move to the net, Nikita Korostelev of the Peterborough Petes dipsy-doodles his way to a tally, and Artur Tyanulin of the Ottawa 67’s takes over 3-on-3 overtime to score an absolute beauty. Watch

Tyanulin is also the OHL representative featured in this week’s #CHLShowdown which showcases one great play from all three leagues allowing fans the opportunity to choose their favourite play. See all the plays and vote at chlshowdown.ca.

NINE GOALTENDERS FEATURED ON JANES SAVES OF THE WEEK:

January comes to an end with the 18th edition of #JanesSaves featuring nine OHL goaltenders shutting down the opposition.  Highlighted this week are Garrett Forrest of the Flint Firebirds, Mario Culina of the Windsor Spitfires, Jordan Kooy of the London Knights, Luke Opilka of the Kitchener Rangers, Michael McNiven of the Owen Sound Attack, Evan Cormier of the Saginaw Spirit, Julian Sime of the North Bay Battalion, MacKenzie Savard of the Sudbury Wolves, and David Ovsjannikov of the Barrie Colts. Watch

FIREBIRDS’ PHIBBS SCORES FIRST GOAL ON OHL MILESTONE MOMENTS:

The 18th week of the 2016-17 Ontario Hockey League season ending January 29 featured just one milestone moment but it was a pretty one. 17-year-old rookie Jack Phibbs of the Flint Firebirds was sprung alone on a breakaway and made no mistake with a nice deke to record his first career OHL goal. Watch

OHL CUP POWERED BY UNDER ARMOUR MINOR MIDGET TOP-10 RANKINGS – WEEK 7:

The London Jr. Knights continue to hold down top spot in the weekly OHL Cup powered by Under Armour Minor Midget Rankings in the seventh and most recent edition. The weekly rankings are determined by a panel of OHL Central Scouting Staff and represent the top teams that are competing to play in the annual year-end championship tournament which takes place March 14-20, 2017. Read more

GOOD IN EVERY GRAIN FARMER CARD GIVEAWAY COMING TO NIAGARA AND OTTAWA:

Good in Every Grain and the Ontario Hockey League are working together this year to share stories about Ontario’s farms and farmers during OHL games across the province. Good in Every Grain is hosting special giveaway nights at every OHL arena in the province, including this Friday night in Niagara as the IceDogs battle the Peterborough Petes. The Good in Every Grain giveaway will be in Ottawa on Saturday when the 67’s face the Erie Otters at 2:00pm.  For more information, please visit goodineverygrain.ca.

STEELHEADS’ OWEN TIPPETT FEATURED ON JUNIOR HOCKEY MAGAZINE:

2017 NHL Draft prospect Owen Tippett of the Mississauga Steelheads is featured on this week’s edition of Junior Hockey Magazine with Gino Reda. Tippett, who had a goal and an assist with Team Cherry at the 2017 Sherwin-Williams CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game, is the fourth-ranked North American skater on NHL Central Scouting’s Midterm Draft Rankings. Listen

COGECOTV COMPLETES FOURTH ANNUAL HOCKEY DAY IN THE OHL:

Highlighted by a triple-header of OHL action, CogecoTV stations across Ontario provided a full day of continuous OHL coverage on Sunday in the fourth annual edition of #OHLDay.  Broadcast coverage included special features highlighting OHL teams and their communities along with various studio guest interviews.  Click here for a full recap of the #OHLDay and watch some of the many fascinating stories from around the OHL.

COMMUNITY CORNER:

Bidding open for Kingston Frontenacs game-won ‘The Tragically Hip’ jersey auction: Bidding is under way for game worn ‘The Tragically Hip’ jerseys worn by the Kingston Frontenacs this past Saturday. 100 percent of proceeds will benefit the Gord Downie Fund for Brain Cancer Research. Fans can bid on these unique jerseys at auction.chl.ca.

Storm raise awareness about mental health FridayThe Guelph Storm are teaming up with the CMHA Waterloo-Wellington Branch to host CMHA Talk Today Night at the Sleeman Centre on Friday. The awareness campaign is part of the ongoing commitment by the Guelph Storm and CMHA Waterloo Wellington to implement Talk Today, presented by Teachers Life. Talk Today provides mental health support to players and raises awareness about mental health and suicide prevention throughout communities across the OHL. Read more

Attack hold Heart Beats and Hockey Sticks fundraiser SaturdayThe Owen Sound Attack are holding their annual Heart Beats and Hockey Sticks Night in support of the Owen Sound Cardiac Rehabilitation Program and the Owen Sound Hospital Foundation. The Attack host the Windsor Spitfires on Saturday and will be wearing specially themed jerseys to be auctioned off by Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound MPP Bill Walker in a live auction following the game. The Attack are looking to build off the $35,000 they raised during last year’s event. For more information, visit attackhockey.com.

Spirit host Shocks & Saves event on Saturday: The Saginaw Spirit host their annual Shocks & Saves Night at the Dow Event Center on Saturday at home to the London Knights. The charity hockey game begins at 4:30pm as $5 from each ticket sold (that includes admission to the Spirit game) will go toward supporting the fight against heart disease and fans will be entered for their chance to win a signed Brandon Saad Columbus Blue Jackets jersey.

Joey Kocur in Flint on SaturdayFormer Detroit Red Wings forward Joey Kocur will be signing autographs in Flint on Saturday night prior to the Firebirds matchup against the Kitchener Rangers. The four-time Stanley Cup champion will be signing autographs on the main concourse. The autograph session is available to all fans with a suggested $5 donation to the Firebirds Charitable Foundation. 1,500 special Joe Kocur autograph cards will be handed out at the door starting at 6:00 PM

Storm’s inaugural diaper drive a huge success: The Guelph Storm are thanking their fans for the generosity they showed during the team’s Diaper Drive on Friday in support of Guelph-Wellington Women in Crisis. The Storm received 52 packs of diapers, 31 packs of wipes and other supplies. Read more at guelphstorm.com.

Battalion busy in the community: The North Bay Battalion have been out and about serving the North Bay community throughout the month of January. From school visits to community practices, check out the photo gallery at battalionhockey.com.

ALUMNI NOTES:

Simmonds named MVP as Metropolitan Division wins NHL All-Star Classic: Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds graduate Wayne Simmonds earned NHL All-Star MVP honours, scoring the winning goal in the Metropolitan Division’s championship win over the Pacific Division. Simmonds connected with linemate and fellow OHL grad Taylor Hall (New Jersey Devils/Windsor Spitfires) on a 2-on-0 to win the event for his team. Simmonds was one of 14 OHL graduates competing at the event. Edmonton Oilers star Connor McDavid (Erie Otters) nearly set a new record for fastest skater in the All-Star Skills Competition on Saturday while London Knights grads John Tavares (New York Islanders) and Patrick Kane (Chicago Blackhawks) both won in the Accuracy Shooting contest.

Nine OHL grads compete in AHL All-Star Classic: A total of nine OHL graduates competed in the 2017 AHL All-Star Classic in Lehigh Valley, PA. Windsor Spitfires graduate Michael Leighton (Charlotte Checkers) and Niagara IceDogs alumnus Vince Dunn (Chicago Wolves) were part of a championship effort by the Central Division as they defeated the Atlantic Division 1-0 in the championship game of the event. North Bay Battalion graduate Kyle Wood (Tucson Roadrunners) won the hardest shot competition in the All-Star Skills portion of the weekend, recording a blast a 99.3mph. Other OHL alumni competing at the event included Nicklas Jensen (Hartford Wolf Pack/Oshawa Generals), Justin Bailey (Soo Greyhounds/Rochester Americans), Kerby Rychel (Toronto Marlies/Guelph Storm), Jordan Subban (Utica Comets/Belleville Bulls), Chris Terry (St. John’s IceCaps/Plymouth Whalers), Jack Campbell (Ontario Reign/Soo Greyhounds) and Christian Fischer (Tucson Roadrunners/Windsor Spitfires).

Marner named NHL Rookie of the Month: London Knights graduate and 2016 CHL Player of the Year Mitch Marner is the NHL’s Rookie of the Month for January after recording 15 points (4-11–15) in 13 games. The Toronto Maple Leafs winger is tied for the NHL’s scoring lead among rookies with 12 goals, 29 assists and 41 points in 48 contests. The 19-year-old played three OHL seasons with London, finishing with 96 goals, 205 assists and 301 points over 184 regular season games from 2013-16. He added 28 goals, 41 assists and 69 points over 34 playoff matchups. Marner was Toronto’s first round (4th overall) pick in the 2015 NHL Draft.

Perry records 700th NHL point:  London Knights graduate Corey Perry recorded his 700th career NHL point on Tuesday, recording an assist in a 5-1 win over the Colorado Avalanche. The Anaheim Ducks winger has nine goals, 27 assists and 36 points in 52 games this season, bringing his career totals to 339 goals, 361 assists and 700 points over 856 games with Anaheim dating back to 2005-06. Perry won a Stanley Cup title with the Ducks in 2007 and has won other major championships including an Olympic gold medal, World Championship gold medal, World Junior gold medal, Mastercard Memorial Cup title, and an OHL Championship. During his prolific OHL career with London from 2001-05, Perry recorded 380 points (140-240–380) over 253 regular season games, being named the OHL Playoff MVP and Mastercard Memorial Cup MVP in 2005. He was Anaheim’s first round (28th overall) pick in 2003.

Murray, Helmer inducted into AHL Hall of Fame: Former Peterborough Petes forward Rob Murray and former assistant coach Bryan Helmer have been inducted into the AHL Hall of Fame. Murray, a Toronto native, played three seasons with the Petes between 1984 and 1987. The center played 213 regular season and playoff games in the OHL, scoring 47 goals, 77 assists, and 124 points along with 587 penalty minutes. Helmer played the majority of his junior hockey with the OJHL’s Wellington Dukes before going on to play more games and record more points than any defenceman in the history of the AHL, finishing his playing career with 1,117 games played, 129 goals, 435 assists, 564 points and 1,379 penalty minutes. Read more at gopetesgo.com.

Kostopoulos records 500th AHL point: London Knights graduate Tom Kostopoulos became the 91st player in American Hockey League history to join the 500-point club on Saturday night in Binghamton. The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins captain scored a third period goal to bring his career total to 500 points including 197 goals and 303 assists over 662 regular season contests dating back to 1999-00. The 38-year-old played three seasons for London from 1996-99, reaching Game 7 the OHL Finals in 1999 as the Knights fell to the Belleville Bulls. Kostopoulos finished his OHL tenure with 162 points (64-98–162) in 196 games and was Pittsburgh’s seventh round pick in 1999. He has played in 630 career NHL contests.

Verhaeghe named ECHL Player of the Week: Niagara IceDogs graduate Carter Verhaeghe of the Missouri Mavericks is the ECHL Player of the Week after recording three goals, five assists and eight points over three games. The 21-year-old has 24 points (9-15–24) in 12 games with Missouri this season, also spending time with the AHL’s Bridgeport Sound Tigers. A New York Islanders prospect, Verhaeghe played four OHL seasons with the IceDogs from 2011-15, recording 224 points (83-141–224) over 262 games. He was Toronto’s third round (82nd overall) pick in 2013. 

KEY MATCHUPS:

Erie Otters (34-10-2-1, T-1st Midwest) vs. Peterborough Petes (28-15-1-3, 1st East)
Thursday January 2nd at Peterborough

Conference leaders clash in Peterborough on Thursday as the Erie Otters come to town. The East Division-leading Petes are winners of five straight entering the weekend, receiving big contributions from Toronto Maple Leafs prospect Nikita Korostelev who enters play on an 11-game point streak. Hometown product Logan DeNoble leads the Petes with 29 goals on the year while power play quarterback Matthew Timms sits third among OHL defencemen with 45 points on the season. The Otters have also won their last five games and remain locked in a dog fight with the London Knights atop the Midwest Division. Newly crowned franchise scoring leader Dylan Strome enters a weekend road trip with stops in Peterborough, Ottawa and Kingston on a nine game point streak.

Owen Sound Attack (32-13-1-1, 2nd Midwest) vs. London Knights (32-8-3-4, T-1st Midwest)
Friday January 3rd at London

Last weekend’s Sportsnet thriller saw the Knights stop Owen Sound’s winning streak at 15 games on the back of a Mitchell Stephens five point effort and shootout winner. The grudge match is shaping up to be a good one on Friday in London as the Attack remain as arguably the hottest team in the league. Physically relentless and hard on the puck, Owen Sound features Finnish winger Petrus Palmu entering action on a 15-game point streak while veteran captain Santino Centorame was recently named the OHL’s Defenceman of the Month for January. The ever-competitive Knights come off a 6-1 defeat of the Kitchener Rangers on Wednesday and have received a big boost from additions in Stephens and defenceman Mitchell Vande Sompel as both players have recorded over a point-per-game since joining the green and gold.

SCHEDULE:

Thursday February 2:
Mississauga at Niagara – 7:00pm
Sarnia at North Bay – 7:00pm
Erie at Peterborough – 7:05pm
Saginaw at Windsor – 7:05pm
Kingston at Barrie – 7:30pm

Friday February 3:
Oshawa at Kingston – 7:00pm
North Bay at Mississauga – 7:00pm
Peterborough at Niagara – 7:00pm
Sarnia at Sudbury – 7:00pm
Flint at Guelph – 7:30pm
Barrie at Hamilton – 7:30pm
Windsor at Kitchener – 7:30pm
Owen Sound at London – 7:30pm

Saturday February 4:
Erie at Ottawa – 2:00pm
Kitchener at Flint – 7:00pm
Niagara at Hamilton – 7:00pm
Sault Ste. Marie at Sudbury – 7:00pm
Oshawa at Peterborough – 7:05pm
London at Saginaw – 7:05pm
Sarnia at Barrie – 7:30pm
Windsor at Owen Sound – 7:30pm

Sunday February 5:
Erie at Kingston – 2:00pm
Sault Ste. Marie at North Bay – 2:00pm
Hamilton at Oshawa – 2:05pm


Be sure to catch all of this weekend’s action at ohllive.com.

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