OHL This Week for March 2-5, 2017

Toronto, ON – March is underway which means just three weekends of regular season action remain before the Ontario Hockey League Playoffs.  The stretch drive continues with 26 games tonight through Sunday.

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

SPITFIRES HOST GREYHOUNDS THURSDAY ON SPORTSNET 360:

The Mastercard Memorial Cup host Windsor Spitfires host the West Division leading Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds Thursday on Sportsnet 360. The Spits currently trail the Hounds by five points in the standings and sit five points out of home ice advantage in the Western Conference. The Greyhounds enter play on a three game winning streak and feature the OHL’s best road record at 23-6-0-0. Puck drop for the first of two Spitfires home games on Sportsnet 360 this weekend is set for 7:05 pm.

OHL ANNOUNCES TOP PERFORMERS OF THE MONTH FOR FEBRUARY:

The Ontario Hockey League Wednesday announced the Top OHL Performers of the Month for regular season games played in February 2017, including Erie Otters teammates Alex DeBrincat and Darren Raddysh, Sarnia Sting forward Adam Ruzicka and Owen Sound Attack goaltender Michael McNiven. Read more

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

The Erie Otters continue to hold down top spot in the 23rd edition of the CHL Top-10 Rankings while the London Knights (4) and Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds (5) remain in the top five. After a successful weekend, the Owen Sound Attack climb two spots to sixth in the rankings. The weekly rankings of the CHL’s Top-10 teams are selected by a panel of National Hockey League scouts. Read more

STEELHEADS’ MICHAEL McLEOD NAMED PIONEER ENERGY OHL PLAYER OF THE WEEK AND CHL PLAYER OF THE WEEK:

New Jersey Devils prospect Michael McLeod of the Mississauga Steelheads is both the Pioneer Energy OHL Player of the Week as well as the CHL Player of the Week for the week ending February 26 with 11 points in three games scoring five goals and six assists with a plus-minus rating of plus-8. McLeod’s trio of multi-point performances last week helped clinch a berth in the 2017 OHL Playoffs for the Steelheads who currently lead the league’s Central Division with a 27-19-6-7 record. Read more

ICEDOGS’ MANTHA SIGNS WITH OILERS:

The Edmonton Oilers have signed Niagara IceDogs overage veteran Ryan Mantha to a three-year entry level NHL contract. Originally selected by the New York Rangers in the fourth round of the 2014 NHL Draft, Mantha went unsigned and returned to Niagara where he has recorded 51 points (14-37–51) over 58 games with the IceDogs this season. A 20-year-old native of Clarkston, Mich., Mantha’s 281 shots on goal currently lead the OHL. Read more

OTTERS’ DeBRINCAT BECOMES LEADING AMERICAN GOAL-SCORER IN OHL HISTORY:

The record-shattering antics of Erie Otters winger Alex DeBrincat continued on Saturday night in Barrie as the Chicago Blackhawks prospect had two goals and two assists in a 7-3 Otters win over the Colts. The 155th and 156th goals of DeBrincat’s OHL career placed him ahead of former Mississauga IceDogs and London Knights winger Rob Schremp (2002-06) as the leading American goal-scorer in OHL history. DeBrincat has now scored in 14 consecutive games as of Sunday, five games shy of Mike Ricci’s OHL record of 19 set during the 1988-89 season. Read more

OTTERS’ RADDYSH SETS FRANCHISE SINGLE-SEASON MARK FOR POINTS BY A DEFENCEMAN:

Overage veteran Darren Raddysh entered new territory for an Erie Otters defenceman on Sunday. Though Erie lost 4-2 in Owen Sound, the older of two Raddysh brothers on the squad came away with a pair of assists to give him 68 points on the season, a new single-season franchise mark for Otters defencemen. Raddysh’s 68 points including 16 goals and 52 assists in 53 games surpasses Chris Campoli’s existing mark of 66 points (20-46–66) accomplished during the 2003-04 season. Read more

ATTACK’S McNIVEN SETS NEW SINGLE-SEASON FRANCHISE WINS RECORD:

Montreal Canadiens prospect Michael McNiven continues to excel in what’s been a record-breaking season for the Owen Sound Attack netminder. McNiven made 31 saves on Saturday as the Attack defeated the division rival London Knights 7-3 on home ice. His 33rd win of the season sets a new Attack single-season record, surpassing the mark of 32 set by Jordan Binnington during the 2012-13 season. Read more

67’s’ KODY CLARK HEADLINES OHL PLAYS OF THE WEEK:

The 22nd 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 February 26. This week’s highlights feature Matt Brassard of the Oshawa Generals showing great patience before burying post-in, Jonah Gadjovich of the Owen Sound Attack with a sharp angle snipe, Mississauga Steelheads Michael McLeod and Nathan Bastian connecting with an unselfish shorty, Drake Rymsha of the Sarnia Sting driving hard to the net, and Kody Clark of the Ottawa 67’s scoring like his father Wendel with a magnificent play. Watch

Clark is also the OHL representative featured in this week’s #CIBCShowdown 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.

OHL’s BEST SAVES HIGHLIGHTED IN 22ND EDITION OF JANES SAVES OF THE WEEK:

The 22nd edition of #JanesSaves brings a close to a February filled with frustration for OHL shooters. This week’s goaltenders foiling the opposition include Jordan Kooy of the London Knights, Luke Richardson of the Kitchener Rangers, Stephen Dhillon of the Niagara IceDogs, Anthony Popovich of the Guelph Storm, Kyle Keyser of the Oshawa Generals, Brent Moran and Julian Sime of the North Bay Battalion, Jeremy Helvig and Mario Peccia of the Kingston Frontenacs, Joseph Murdaca of the Erie Otters, and Connor Hicks of the Flint Firebirds. Watch

LALONDE, STEINOCHER, MacPHERSON FEATURED IN OHL MILESTONE MOMENTS:

The 22nd edition of OHL Milestone Moments features first goals from a trio of defencemen including Owen Lalonde (Sudbury Wolves), Michal Steinocher (Flint Firebirds) and Justin MacPherson (Niagara IceDogs). Watch

OHL CUP POWERED BY UNDER ARMOUR MINOR MIDGET TOP-10 RANKINGS – WEEK 11:

One week closer to the 2017 OHL Cup powered by Under Armour, the 11th edition of the weekly rankings features the Vaughan Kings, Ajax-Pickering Raiders and Brampton 45’s on the rise as the London Jr. Knights continue to hold down top spot. Read more

With the 2017 OMHA Championships taking place in Whitby this weekend, we take a look at the best of the SCTA this season, with a focus on the Brampton 45’s and the Grey-Bruce Highlanders. Read more

CMHA TALK TODAY AWARENESS CAMPAIGN VISITS OSHAWA:

The Oshawa Generals hosted CMHA Talk Today Night on Wednesday when they took on the visiting Kingston Frontenacs. Presented by Teachers Life, Talk Today awareness games feature a CMHA kiosk where fans can get more information about Talk Today and the programs and services offered by the Branches. There will also be public address and video announcements in venue addressing the importance of positive mental health, along with mental health awareness messaging delivered through social media. Read more

GOOD IN EVERY GRAIN FARMER CARD GIVEAWAY COMING TO MISSISSAUGA AND NORTH BAY:

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 in Mississauga and Sunday in North Bay. For more information, please visit goodineverygrain.ca.

OHL GRADUATE JEFF McKERCHER FEATURED ON JUNIOR HOCKEY MAGAZINE:

Peterborough Petes graduate Jeff McKercher enjoyed a three-year OHL career between Barrie, Sault Ste. Marie and Peterborough from 1996-99, appearing in 176 career regular season games and being chosen by the Dallas Stars in the 1997 NHL Draft. Today, McKercher is a police officer and recounts his journey through the OHL on the path that has taken him to where he is today. Listen

COMMUNITY CORNER:

Pevs Protects in Kitchener on TuesdayThe Kitchener Rangers hosted Pevs Protects Night on Tuesday, defeating the visiting Guelph Storm 4-3 to clinch a spot in the 2017 OHL Playoffs. Pevs Protects was developed by former National Hockey League forward Rich Peverley and his family, in partnership with the Heart and Stroke Foundation. Pevs Protects aims to raise awareness and funds for AED (Automated External Defibrilator) purchases and training, as well as CPR training in collaboration with organizations such as the HSF.

Salute the Troops in Kingston Friday: The Kingston Frontenacs will bring out their camouflage threads on Friday when they play host to the Ottawa 67’s. Military Appreciation Night in Kingston is an annual celebration of the troops who tirelessly serve our country.

Special Olympics Night in Guelph on FridayThe Guelph Storm host their annual Special Olympics Night on Friday when they take on the visiting Soo Greyhounds. In partnership with the Ontario Law Enforcement Torch Run and the Guelph Police Service, the event seeks to raise funds for Special Olympics in Ontario. Visit guelphstorm.com for more information.

First Responders Night, 70’s Night in Flint: There’s a unique blend on display in Flint on Saturday as the Firebirds celebrate First Responders Night and 70’s Night at the Dort Federal Event Center. Visit flintfirebirds.com for full details!

Hockey For the Homeless Night in Saginaw on SaturdayThe Saginaw Spirit will be holding a Fill the Limo Food Drive during their Hockey for the Homeless Game against Sudbury on Sunday. Fans who donate five canned goods or $5 will receive a ticket to enter the draw to win a Detroit Red Wings prize package including tickets to see them take on the Tampa Bay Lightning on March 24th. For more details, visit saginawspirit.com.

Retro Night in Windsor on SaturdayThe Windsor Spitfires are bringing out the throwbacks for Retro Night on Saturday when their old school 401 rival the London Knights come to town. The game will be broadcast on Sportsnet 360 as the two clubs revisit their Western Conference rivalry at 4:00 pm.

Frontenacs raise over $73,000 for Gord Downie Fund for Brain Cancer Research: The Kingston Frontenacs have raised over $73,000 toward the Gord Downie Fund for Brain Cancer Research through their The Tragically Hip game worn jersey auction. The money donated will give Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto the tools to help beat brain cancers that are currently unbeatable. Winning bidders came from across Canada, including British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario and Nova Scotia as well as one from Hong Kong. Read more

Petes hiring full-time business operations staff: The Peterborough Petes are seeking creative, energetic, forward-thinking staff to join their business operations team. The maroon and white are currently in search of a Manager of Sales and Marketing, a Coordinator of Season Ticket Sales & Service, a Coordinator of Game Operations and Community Events, a Sales & Marketing Intern and a Community Events Volunteer. Visit gopetesgo.com for more details.

ALUMNI NOTES:

OHL talent on the move at NHL Trade Deadline: Erie Otters defenceman Erik Cernak is one of a few current and recent OHL players to be moved at the NHL’s trade deadline. Cernak was involved in a deal that sent goaltender Ben Bishop to the Los Angeles Kings as the Slovakian defenceman had his rights dealt to Tampa Bay where he joins Otters teammates Taylor Raddysh and Anthony Cirelli in the Lightning organization. Other recent OHL players moved include Guelph Storm graduate Taylor Beck headed to the New York Rangers from the Edmonton Oilers, former first overall OHL Priority Selection pick Daniel Catenacci also headed to the Rangers from the Buffalo Sabres as well as former Kitchener Rangers standout Jeremy Morin on the move to the Arizona Coyotes.

Subban awarded Meritorious Service Decoration from Governor General: OHL graduate P.K. Subban of the Nashville Predators makes his return to Montreal this week to face his former club. Subban received the Meritorious Service Award from Governor General David Johnson, rewarding his charitable efforts in raising more than $1.4 million for the Montreal Children’s Hospital since 2015. Subban was one of 13 volunteers recognized with an award on Wednesday. The native of Rexdale, Ont. has 30 points (8-22–30) in 47 games with Nashville in this, his seventh NHL season. The 2013 Norris Trophy winner as NHL Defenceman of the Year played for the Belleville Bulls from 2005-09, recording 190 points (42-148–190) over 234 career regular season games.

Ho-Sang named AHL Rookie of the Month, recalled by Islanders: Niagara IceDogs graduate Josh Ho-Sang has been named the AHL’s Rookie of the Month for February. Ho-Sang had five goals, 10 assists and 15 points in 12 games with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers and is tied for sixth among AHL rookies in scoring with 36 points (10-26–36) in 48 contests. Ho-Sang has been called up by the Islanders and could potentially see his first NHL action this week. The 21-year-old played four seasons between Windsor and Niagara from 2012-16, recording 82 goals, 210 assists and 292 points over 256 regular season games. He was the Islanders’ first round (28th overall) pick in 2014.

Terry named AHL Player of the Month: OHL graduate Chris Terry has been named the AHL Player of the Month for February after recording nine goals, nine assists and 18 points with the St. John’s IceCaps. The 2017 AHL All-Star currently ranks second in AHL scoring with 50 points (21-29–50) in 38 games for St. John’s, the AHL affiliate of the Montreal Canadiens. Terry played four seasons with the Plymouth Whalers from 2005-09, winning an OHL title in 2007. A native of Brampton, Ont., he recorded 114 goals, 175 assists and 289 points over 253 regular season games. Terry was Carolina’s fifth round pick in 2007.

DeBoer earns 300th NHL coaching win: OHL graduate and former long-time OHL head coach and GM Peter DeBoer earned his 300th career NHL coaching victory on Tuesday. DeBoer’s San Jose Sharks defeated the visiting Toronto Maple Leafs 3-1 as he won his 300th career regular season game, improving to an overall regular season record of 300-248-90. The native of Dunnville, Ont. played with the Windsor Compuware Spitfires from 1985-89, helping the Spits reach the Mastercard Memorial Cup Final in 1988 before losing to the Medicine Hat Tigers. Behind the bench, DeBoer has coached to an OHL record of 539-279-60 over 13 seasons between Plymouth and Kitchener, winning back-to-back OHL Coach of the Year honours in 1999 and 2000. DeBoer coached the Kitchener Rangers to a Mastercard Memorial Cup title in 2003.

Martin plays in 500th NHL game: Sarnia Sting graduate Matt Martin played in his 500th career NHL game on Tuesday as the Toronto Maple Leafs lost in San Jose 3-1. A 27-year-old native of Windsor, Ont., Martin is in his seventh NHL season after spending the past six with the New York Islanders. He has four goals, three assists and seven points in 62 games with the Leafs this season. Martin played three seasons in Sarnia from 2006-09, recording 63 goals, 46 assists and 109 points in 166 regular season games. He was the Islanders’ fifth round pick in the 2008 NHL Draft.

McGinn scores 100th career goal: Ottawa 67’s graduate Jamie McGinn scored his 100th career NHL goal on Sunday as the Arizona Coyotes defeated the Buffalo Sabres 3-2. McGinn has nine goals, six assists and 15 points in 55 games this season and recently played in his 500th career game. The oldest of three brothers to have played in the NHL, McGinn has played with San Jose, Colorado, Buffalo, Anaheim and now Arizona in his ninth NHL season. The Fergus, Ont. native played four seasons with Ottawa from 2004-08, recording 111 goals, 115 assists and 226 points over 243 career OHL contests. He was San Jose’s second round pick in the 2006 NHL Draft.  

Garlent, Schemitsch and Locke receive AUS awards:  Three OHL graduates have been named AUS Men’s Hockey major award winners following the conclusion of the 2016-17 regular season. Hunter Garlent (Peterborough Petes), Geoff Schemitsch (Oshawa Generals) and Eric Locke (Saginaw Spirit) have been recognized by Atlantic University Sport for their outstanding efforts this past season. Read more

Greenfield, Campbell named Canada West all-stars: OHL graduates Tim Campbell (Guelph Storm) and Matthew Greenfield (Kitchener Rangers) have both been named to Canada West University Athletics Men’s Hockey all-star teams. A fifth-year defenceman with the University of Lethbridge, Campbell has been named a first team all-star while Greenfield has been named an all-rookie team member with the University of Calgary. Read more

Bailie named OUA Male Athlete of the Week: London Knights graduate Kevin Bailie has been named the OUA’s Male Athlete of the Week. The fourth year Queen’s University netminder has helped the Gaels advance to the third round of the OUA playoffs for the first time since 1999-00, making 121 saves in three games against the Concordia Stingers. Through two rounds of the OUA playoffs, Bailie has posted a 0.99 GAA and 0.971 SV% with an OUA leading 234 saves. The Belleville, Ont. native played five OHL seasons between Oshawa and London, going 60-41-5-6 with a 3.44 goals-against average and an .896 save percentage over 136 regular season games.  

KEY MATCHUPS:

Owen Sound Attack (41-15-1-2, 3rd Midwest) vs. Peterborough Petes (36-18-2-3, 1st East)
Thursday March 2nd at Peterborough

Fresh off a big win over division rival Oshawa, the surging Peterborough Petes host the red hot Owen Sound Attack in a showdown of contending teams. The matchup could feature quite a goaltending duel as OHL Goaltender of the Month for February Michael McNiven and the Attack will go up against Edmonton Oilers prospect Dylan Wells in the Peterborough crease. The Attack enter play as winners of three straight. The Petes won the only other matchup between the two clubs this season by a score of 5-2 back on October 16th.

London Knights (40-12-3-4, 2nd Midwest) vs. Windsor Spitfires (36-15-5-3, 2nd West)
Saturday March 4th at Windsor on Sportsnet 360

An age-old Western Conference rivalry is renewed on Sportsnet 360 as the London Knights visit the Windsor Spitfires on Retro Night at the WFCU Centre. The fourth-ranked team in this week’s CHL Top-10, the Knights currently trail first place Erie by four points to start the weekend. The Spitfires try and shake off a two-game slide and stay within striking distance of first place Sault Ste. Marie in the West Division. The Knights have won three of the five meetings between the two clubs this season as the season series comes to a close on Saturday.

SCHEDULE:

Thursday March 2:
Kitchener at Niagara – 7:00pm
Barrie at North Bay – 7:00pm
Owen Sound at Peterborough – 7:05pm
Sault Ste. Marie at Windsor – 7:05 pm (CHL on Sportsnet – Sportsnet 360)

Friday March 3:
Niagara at Erie – 7:00pm
Sudbury at Flint – 7:00pm
Ottawa at Kingston – 7:00pm
North Bay at Mississauga – 7:00pm
Oshawa at Saginaw – 7:05pm
Sault Ste. Marie at Guelph – 7:30pm
Peterborough at Hamilton – 7:30pm
London at Kitchener – 7:30pm

Saturday March 4:
Kingston at Ottawa – 2:00pm
London at Windsor – 4:00pm (CHL on Sportsnet – Sportsnet 360)
Sarnia at Erie – 7:00pm
Oshawa at Flint – 7:00pm
Mississauga at Hamilton – 7:00pm
Barrie at Peterborough – 7:05pm
Sudbury at Saginaw – 7:05pm
Guelph at Owen Sound – 7:30pm

Sunday March 5:
Sault Ste. Marie at Kitchener – 2:00pm
Sarnia at Mississauga – 2:00pm
Erie at Niagara – 2:00pm
Hamilton at North Bay – 2:00pm
Barrie at Ottawa – 2:00pm
Sudbury at Windsor – 2:05pm

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

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