Where Greatness Begins: Sportsnet Announces 2018-19 CHL Broadcast Schedule

– Broadhead, Cosentino and Faulds return as CHL on Sportsnet broadcast team –

– Schedule includes weekly CHL Saturday Showcase matchups and marquee CHL events, including the 2019 Memorial Cup Presented by Kia in Halifax –

– Televised coverage begins Saturday as London Knights host Kitchener Rangers on Sportsnet 360 & Sportsnet NOW –

Join the conversation: #WhereGreatnessBegins

TORONTO (October 18, 2018) Delivering the sights, sounds and stars of the Canadian Hockey League to viewers across Canada, Sportsnet is set to deliver exclusive national coverage of the 2018-19 CHL season, beginning this week. Headlined by CHL Saturday Showcase broadcasts from around the league, Sportsnet’s CHL broadcast schedule also features three marquee events – the 2018 CIBC Canada Russia Series, the 2019 Sherwin-Williams CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game, and the 2019 Memorial Cup Presented by Kia.

CHL Sportsnet

As Canada’s Home of Hockey, Sportsnet drops the puck on its exclusive national English-language CHL coverage this Saturday, as the London Knights host the Kitchener Rangers on CHL Saturday Showcase at 3:30 p.m. ET / 12:30 p.m. PT on Sportsnet 360 and Sportsnet NOW.

Hitting the ice for another season, play-by-play announcer R.J. Broadhead, game analyst Sam Cosentino and host Rob Faulds return as the CHL on Sportsnet team to deliver the latest news, analysis and insight to fans across Canada.

In addition to regular season coverage, the CHL on Sportsnet schedule includes:

  • 2018 CIBC Canada Russia Series (Nov. 5-15, 2018) – The 16th annual best-on-best showdown between the CHL’s regional teams of Canadian World Junior candidates and the Russian National Junior Team.
  • 2019 Sherwin-Williams CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game (Jan. 23, 2019)The CHL’s Top 40 NHL draft eligible players compete in front of scouts at the 24th annual showcase live from Red Deer, AB.
  • 2019 Memorial Cup Presented by Kia (May 17-26, 2019) – The Halifax Mooseheads host the 101st annual CHL championship tournament, facing off against the champions from the Ontario Hockey League, the Western Hockey League and the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.

Digital – Sportsnet.ca

The ultimate destination for Canadian hockey fans, the Junior Hockey page on sportsnet.ca is home to exclusive CHL articles, videos and content throughout the season, including:

  • 2019 IIHF World Junior Championship coverage – In-depth coverage from Sportsnet Insiders Mark Spector and Iain MacIntyre in Vancouver and Victoria, delivering insight on the players and teams that matter most to Canadian fans.
  • Top 31 2019 NHL Draft Prospect Rankings – Sam Cosentino delivers monthly articles to rank the NHL Draft eligible players from across the CHL and the globe.
  • CHL Notebook: Brad Coccimiglio captures the news, notes and highlights from around all three major junior leagues every Monday.
  • Ongoing news, videos, features and profiles from Sportsnet’s roster of hockey experts, including monthly prospect reports and live coverage from marquee events.

As Canada’s Home of Hockey, Sportsnet is now in its fifth season of a 12-year partnership with the Canadian Hockey League. Featuring a comprehensive suite of multimedia rights including television, online and mobile, Sportsnet is the exclusive English-language broadcaster of the CHL and Memorial Cup in Canada. The deal also includes a 12-year sub-licensing agreement with TVA Sports for exclusive French-language multiplatform rights for CHL games.

2018-19 CHL Regular Season Broadcast Schedule on Sportsnet

*All games available on Sportsnet NOW

October 2018

  • Saturday, Oct. 20, CHL Saturday Showcase: Kitchener @ London, 3:30 p.m. ET / 12:30 p.m. PT (Sportsnet 360)

 

November 2018

  • Nov. 5 to Nov. 15 – CIBC Canada Russia Series (broadcast schedule below)
  • Saturday, Nov. 17, CHL Saturday Showcase: London @ Guelph, 3:30 p.m. ET / 12:30 p.m. PT (Sportsnet & Sportsnet ONE)
  • Thursday, Nov. 22, Mississauga @ London, 7 p.m. ET / 4 p.m. PT (Sportsnet)
  • Saturday, Nov. 24, CHL Saturday Showcase: Lethbridge @ Moose Jaw, 3:30 p.m. ET / 12:30 p.m. PT (Sportsnet)

December 2018

  • Saturday, Dec. 1, CHL Saturday Showcase: Kingston @ Oshawa, 3:30 p.m. ET / 12:30 p.m. PT (Sportsnet & Sportsnet ONE)
  • Saturday, Dec. 8, CHL Saturday Showcase: Rimouski @ Sherbrooke, 3:30 p.m. ET / 12:30 p.m. PT (Sportsnet & Sportsnet ONE)
  • Saturday, Dec. 15, CHL Saturday Showcase: Sault Ste. Marie @ Hamilton, 3:30 p.m. ET / 12:30 p.m. PT (Sportsnet East, Ontario & Pacific)

January 2019

  • Saturday, Jan. 5, CHL Saturday Showcase: Medicine Hat @ Calgary, 3:30 p.m. ET / 12:30 p.m. PT (Sportsnet)
  • Saturday, Jan. 12, CHL Saturday Showcase: Ottawa @ London, 3:30 p.m. ET / 12:30 p.m. PT (Sportsnet ONE)
  • Saturday, Jan. 19, CHL Saturday Showcase: Calgary @ Edmonton, 3:30 p.m. ET / 12:30 p.m. PT (Sportsnet & Sportsnet ONE)
  • Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2019 Sherwin-Williams CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game: Team Cherry vs. Team Orr, 10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT (Sportsnet East, Ontario & West, Sportsnet ONE & Sportsnet 360)
  • Thursday, Jan. 24, Prince Albert @ Vancouver, 10:30 p.m. ET / 7:30 p.m. PT (Sportsnet East, Ontario, West & Sportsnet 360)
  • Saturday, Jan. 26, CHL Saturday Showcase: Oshawa @ Ottawa, 3:30 p.m. ET / 12:30 p.m. PT (Sportsnet)

February 2019

  • Saturday, Feb. 2, CHL Saturday Showcase: Rimouski @ Quebec, 3:30 p.m. ET / 12:30 p.m. PT (Sportsnet & Sportsnet ONE)
  • Saturday, Feb. 16, CHL Saturday Showcase: Charlottetown @ Halifax, 3:30 p.m. ET / 12:30 p.m. PT (Sportsnet & Sportsnet ONE)
  • Saturday, Feb. 23, CHL Saturday Showcase: Regina @ Moose Jaw, 3:30 p.m. ET / 12:30 p.m. PT (Sportsnet & Sportsnet ONE)

March 2019

  • Saturday, March 2, CHL Saturday Showcase: Lethbridge @ Regina, 3:30 p.m. ET / 12:30 p.m. PT (Sportsnet East, Ontario & Pacific)
  • Saturday, March 9, CHL Saturday Showcase: Oshawa @ Ottawa, 3:30 p.m. ET / 12:30 p.m. PT (Sportsnet)
  • Saturday, March 16, CHL Saturday Showcase: Charlottetown @ Halifax, 3:30 p.m. ET / 12:30 p.m. PT (Sportsnet & Sportsnet ONE)

2018 CIBC Canada Russia Series Broadcast Schedule on Sportsnet

*All games available on Sportsnet NOW

  • Monday, Nov. 5, Russia @ WHL, 10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT (Sportsnet)
  • Tuesday, Nov. 6, Russia @ WHL, 10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT (Sportsnet & Sportsnet ONE)
  • Thursday, Nov. 8, Russia @ OHL, 7 p.m. ET / 4 p.m. PT (Sportsnet East, Ontario & Sportsnet 360)
  • Monday, Nov. 12, Russia @ OHL, 7 p.m. ET / 4 p.m. PT (Sportsnet East, Ontario & West)
  • Tuesday, Nov. 13, Russia @ QMJHL, 7 p.m. ET / 4 p.m. PT (Sportsnet East, Ontario & Sportsnet ONE)
  • Thursday, Nov. 15, Russia @ QMJHL, 7 p.m. ET / 4 p.m. PT (Sportsnet East, Ontario & Sportsnet 360)

*schedule subject to change

Broadcast details for the CHL Playoffs and the 2019 Memorial Cup will be announced at a later date.

Social Media Links:

Official website, Sportsnet www.sportsnet.ca

Sportsnet NOW website, www.sportsnet.ca/now/

Join the conversation: #UnitedBySport

Like Sportsnet www.Facebook.com/Sportsnet

Like R.J. Broadhead @SNRJBroadhead

Like Rob Faulds @SNFaulds

Like Mark Spector @SportsnetSpec

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About Sportsnet

Sportsnet is Canada’s #1 sports media brand. Uniting Canadians through sport, Sportsnet’s multimedia offerings include Sportsnet (consisting of 4 regional channels: East, Ontario, West, and Pacific), Sportsnet ONE, Sportsnet 360, Sportsnet World, the Sportsnet Radio Network, Sportsnet.ca, Sportsnet NOW, the Sportsnet app, and podcasts. Sportsnet is the official Canadian NHL national multiplatform rights holder, and is the regional broadcaster for the Vancouver Canucks, Calgary Flames, Edmonton Oilers, and Toronto Maple Leafs. Sportsnet also has extensive coverage of the Blue Jays, as well as NBA, MLB, Grand Slam of Curling, Rogers Cup, CHL, IndyCar, WWE, Premier League, and FA Cup. Sportsnet is part of Rogers Media, which is a subsidiary of Rogers Communications Inc. (TSX, NYSE: RCI). Visit Sportsnet.ca.

 

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Kia CHL Top 10 Rankings

Toronto, ON – The Canadian Hockey League today announced the week five edition of the Kia CHL Top-10 Rankings for the 2018-19 season.  The weekly rankings of the CHL’s Top-10 teams are selected by a panel of National Hockey League scouts.

 

Kia CHL Top 10 Rankings – Week 5:

 

Rank: Team: Last Week Rank: Number of Weeks Ranked:
1 Prince Albert Raiders (11-1-0-0) 2 3
2 Rouyn-Noranda Huskies (9-1-0-0) 6 2
3 Halifax Mooseheads (8-2-0-0) 3 5
4 Victoria Royals (7-1-0-0) 4 2
5 Peterborough Petes (8-2-0-0) 1
6 Vancouver Giants (9-1-1-0) 7 3
7 Baie-Comeau Drakkar (8-2-0-1) 1 3
8 Ottawa 67’s (8-3-0-0) 2
9 Saginaw Spirit (6-2-1-0) 3
10 Guelph Storm (6-2-1-0) 9 2
Honourable Mention:
Seattle Thunderbirds (6-1-1-0) 0
Moncton Wildcats (6-3-1-0) 0
Mississauga Steelheads (6-2-1-0) 0

Kia CHL Top 10

Team OHL Roster Announced for 2018 CIBC Canada Russia Series

Toronto, ON – The Ontario Hockey League, in collaboration with the Canadian Hockey League and Hockey Canada, today announced the Team OHL rosters for the 2018 CIBC Canada Russia Series.

Canada Russia

Team OHL will compete against the Russian National Junior Team in Game 3 of the six-game cross Canada series in Sarnia on Thursday November 8 and in Game 4 in Oshawa on Monday November 12.  The series will begin with two games in the Western Hockey League and will wrap up with two games played in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.

A total of 31 players have been selected to represent the OHL in the 2018 CIBC Canada Russia Series including nine players who will compete in both Ontario games.  The rosters feature 24 players who have been selected in the NHL Draft including first round picks Barrett Hayton (Arizona Coyotes, 5th in 2018) and Morgan Frost (Philadelphia Flyers, 27th in 2017) of the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds, Owen Tippett (Florida Panthers, 10th in 2017) of the Mississauga Steelheads, Ty Dellandrea (Dallas Stars, 13th in 2018) of the Flint Firebirds, Nick Suzuki (Vegas Golden Knights, 13th in 2017) of the Owen Sound Attack, Liam Foudy (Columbus Blue Jackets, 18th in 2018) of the London Knights, and Ryan Merkley (San Jose Sharks, 21st in 2018) of the Guelph Storm.  Three players who are first time eligible for the NHL Draft in 2019 have also been named to the roster including forward Ryan Suzuki of the Barrie Colts, defenceman Thomas Harley of the Mississauga Steelheads, and goaltender Hunter Jones of the Peterborough Petes.

Sting captain and Toronto Maple Leafs prospect Ryan McGregor will have the opportunity to compete before the hometown crowd in Sarnia on November 8, while a trio of Oshawa Generals including captain Jack Studnicka (Boston Bruins), Serron Noel (Florida Panthers), and defenceman Giovanni Vallati (Winnipeg Jets) will represent the hosts on November 12.

The Team OHL rosters were assembled by a Selection Committee that includes Owen Sound Attack General Manager Dale DeGray and Ottawa 67’s General Manager James Boyd in consultation with Hockey Canada Head Scout Brad McEwen and Hockey Canada Program of Excellence National Junior Team Manager Steve Staios of the Hamilton Bulldogs.

In 15 years of competition against the Russian National Junior Team, the OHL has a record of 24-5-1 in this series following a 5-2 loss in Owen Sound and a 4-2 victory in Sudbury last season.

Team OHL Roster:
Game 3 – Thursday November 8 – Sarnia
Goaltenders:
Michael DiPietro (Windsor Spitfires)
Luke Richardson (Kitchener Rangers)

Defencemen:
Hayden Davis (Saginaw Spirit)
Brady Lyle (Owen Sound Attack)
Ryan Merkley (Guelph Storm)*
Markus Phillips (Owen Sound Attack)*
Tyler Tucker (Barrie Colts)
Giovanni Vallati (Oshawa Generals)*

Forwards:
MacKenzie Entwistle (Hamilton Bulldogs)*
Liam Foudy (London Knights)*
Morgan Frost (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds)
Barrett Hayton (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds)*
Cam Hillis (Guelph Storm)
Ben Jones (Niagara IceDogs)
Ryan McGregor (Sarnia Sting)
Ryan McLeod (Mississauga Steelheads)*
Isaac Ratcliffe (Guelph Storm)
Nick Suzuki (Owen Sound Attack)
Akil Thomas (Niagara IceDogs)*
Owen Tippett (Mississauga Steelheads)*
*denotes players competing in both games
Game 4 – Thursday November 12 – Oshawa

Goaltenders:
Hunter Jones (Peterborough Petes)
Matthew Villalta (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds)

Defencemen:
Kevin Bahl (Ottawa 67’s)
Declan Chisholm (Peterborough Petes)
Thomas Harley (Mississauga Steelheads)
Ryan Merkley (Guelph Storm)*
Markus Phillips (Owen Sound Attack)*
Giovanni Vallati (Oshawa Generals)*

Forwards:
Ty Dellandrea (Flint Firebirds)
MacKenzie Entwistle (Hamilton Bulldogs)*
Liam Foudy (London Knights)*
Barrett Hayton (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds)*
Austen Keating (Ottawa 67’s)
Ryan McLeod (Mississauga Steelheads)*
Serron Noel (Oshawa Generals)
Nate Schnarr (Guelph Storm)
Jack Studnicka (Oshawa Generals)
Ryan Suzuki (Barrie Colts)
Akil Thomas (Niagara IceDogs)*
Owen Tippett (Mississauga Steelheads)*
*denotes players competing in both games
2018 CIBC Canada Russia Series Schedule:
Game 1 – Monday November 5 at Kamloops, BC
Game 2 – Tuesday November 6 at Vancouver, BC
Game 3 – Thursday November 8 at Sarnia, ON
Game 4 – Monday November 12 at Oshawa, ON

Game 5 – Tuesday November 13 at Sherbrooke, QC
Game 6 – Thursday November 15 at Drummondville, QC

The 2018 CIBC Canada Russia Series is supported by title sponsor CIBC, the Official Bank of the CHL, along with associate sponsors Kia Canada, Sherwin-Williams, Cooper Tires, and Kubota Canada.  All games will be broadcast nationally on Sportsnet and TVA Sports.

For event information including how to purchase tickets please visit http://chlcanadarussia.ca.

CHL Announces Weekly Award Winners

Spirit’s Damien Giroux named CHL Player of the Week

Toronto, ON – The Canadian Hockey League today announced that Minnesota Wild prospect Damien Giroux of the Saginaw Spirit is the CHL Player of the Week for the regular season week ending October 14 after scoring four goals and three assists for seven points in two games with a plus-minus rating of plus-7.

Giroux contributed to seven of the Spirit’s eight goals last week helping extend their winning-streak to five games for a hold of first place in the OHL’s West Division standings with a 6-2-1-0 record.  His first of back-to-back multi-point performances featured a career-high five points and first hat-trick scored entirely in the third period to earn first star honours of a 6-2 win over the North Bay Battalion.  On Sunday the first year captain scored the game-winning goal for the second straight game and added one assist as second star of a 2-1 victory over the Kitchener Rangers.

An 18-year-old from Hanmer, Ont., Giroux is playing in his third season with the Spirit after being chosen by the club in the third round of the 2016 OHL Priority Selection.  So far this season he’s produced six goals and five assists for 11 points in nine games following a sophomore season of 19 goals and 24 assists for 43 points in 68 games.  Giroux was picked by the Wild in the fifth round of the 2018 NHL Draft in June.

Also considered for the award this week was forward Brett Leason of the Prince Albert Raiders who scored five goals and three assists for eight points in three games, and top 2020 NHL Draft prospect Alexis Lafreniere of the Rimouski Oceanic who scored twice with seven assists for nine points in four games.

2018-19 CHL Players of the Week – Regular Season:

Oct. 8 – Oct. 14: Damien Giroux (Saginaw Spirit)
Oct. 1 – Oct. 7: Dawson Davidson (Saskatoon Blades)
Sept. 24 – Sept. 30: Luka Burzan (Brandon Wheat Kings)
Sept. 19 – Sept. 23: Kirby Dach (Saskatoon Blades)

Mooseheads’ Alexis Gravel named Vaughn CHL Goaltender of the Week

Toronto, ON – The Canadian Hockey League today announced that Chicago Blackhawks prospect Alexis Gravel of the Halifax Mooseheads is the Vaughn CHL Goaltender of the Week for the regular season week ending October 14 after posting a 2-0-0-0 record including one shutout victory for a goals-against-average of 1.00 and save percentage of .970.

Gravel turned aside 65 shots last week for the Mooseheads who have now won three-straight games and rank second in the QMJHL’s overall standings with an 8-2-0-0 record.  On Thursday night his 35-save performance earned him third star honours in an 8-2 road win over the Charlottetown Islanders.  Then on Sunday his 30-save effort produced his second career shutout and first star honours blanking the Acadie-Bathurst Titan by a 5-0 score.

An 18-year-old from Asbestos, Que., Gravel is playing in his third season with the Mooseheads who chose him in the second round of the 2016 QMJHL Entry Draft.  So far this season he has six wins in eight starts for the 2019 Memorial Cup presented by Kia hosts maintaining a 2.51 goals-against-average and a .927 save percentage which improve upon his 2017-18 marks of 3.38 and .890 respectively in 39 appearances.  Gravel was a sixth round selection by the Blackhawks in the 2018 NHL Draft.

Also considered for the award this week was 2019 NHL Draft prospect Hunter Jones of the Peterborough Petes who posted a 4-0-0-0 record making 122 saves for a goals-against-average of 1.19 and save percentage of .968.  In the WHL, Toronto Maple Leafs prospect Ian Scott of the Prince Albert Raiders maintained a 3-0-0-0 record including one shutout victory while stopping a total of 77 shots for a goals-against-average of 1.00 and save percentage of .963.

2018-19 Vaughn CHL Goaltenders of the Week – Regular Season:

Oct. 8 – Oct. 14: Alexis Gravel (Halifax Mooseheads)
Oct. 1 – Oct. 7: Trent Miner (Vancouver Giants)
Sept. 24 – Sept. 30: Luke Richardson (Kitchener Rangers)
Sept. 19 – Sept. 23: Hunter Jones (Peterborough Petes)

2018 CIBC Canada Russia Series Coaching Staffs

Toronto, ON – The Canadian Hockey League in association with the Western Hockey League, the Ontario Hockey League, and the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, today announced the coaching staffs for the 2018 CIBC Canada Russia Series.

The six-game series features regional league teams of Canadian National Junior Team candidates competing against the Russian National Junior Team and is an integral part of the identification process for Team Canada prior to the IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship which returns to Canadian soil this December in Vancouver and Victoria, British Columbia.

Canada Russia

Canada’s National Junior Team staff will be at the forefront of the CIBC Canada Russia Series with head coach Tim Hunter leading Team WHL when the puck drops in Kamloops on November 5 and in Vancouver on November 6.  Team Canada assistant coaches Brent Kisio, Jim Hulton, and Marc-André Dumont will also figure prominently in the November series with Kisio serving in an assistant role for Team WHL, with Hulton to lead Team QMJHL as head coach and Dumont appointed Team QMJHL assistant.

Hunter won back-to-back medals as an assistant coach with Team Canada including gold in 2018 and silver in 2017.  The fifth year head coach of the Moose Jaw Warriors also won a bronze medal as head coach of Canada’s National Men’s Under-18 Team at the 2015 IIHF U18 World Championship.  He returns to the Team WHL bench for the third straight season where he has compiled a 2-1-1 record.

Kisio’s Hockey Canada resume includes a gold medal as head coach of Canada’s National Men’s Summer Under-18 Team at the 2017 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Cup.  The fourth year head coach of the Lethbridge Hurricanes was also a head coach of Team Canada White at the 2016 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge and earned silver with Team Pacific at the 2014 U17 event.

Hulton returns to the Under-20 sector of the Program of Excellence for the first time in over a decade having previously won World Junior silver in 2004 and gold in 2005 in assistant coaching roles.  Now in his fourth season behind the Charlottetown Islanders bench, Hulton makes a second straight appearance at this event after assisting Dom Ducharme to a pair of Team QMJHL victories last season in Charlottetown and Moncton.

Dumont has served as head coach and general manager of the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles since 2012-13.  With Hockey Canada, he previously served as head coach of Team Quebec at the 2009 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge.

Leading Team OHL in Game 3 of the series on November 8 in Sarnia will be fourth year Sting head coach Derian Hatcher alongside his assistants David Legwand and Brad Staubitz.  For Game 4 in Oshawa on November 12 it will be Generals first year head coach Greg Walters with assistants Nathan McIver and Greg Nemisz.

Third year Kelowna Rockets head coach Jason Smith also joins the Team WHL coaching staff as an assistant for both games in British Columbia.  In the QMJHL, third year Sherbrooke Phoenix head coach Stéphane Julien will serve as an assistant when his club hosts Game 5 of the series on November 13, with first year Drummondville Voltigeurs head coach Steve Hartley serving as an assistant when his club hosts Game 6 to close out the series on November 15.

Since the event first began in 2003, CHL teams have played to an overall record of 61-22-1-6.  The competitiveness of the rivalry has grown in recent years with five of the last eight series decided in the final game including last season where for the first time in event history a QMJHL shootout victory determined the overall series outcome in favour of the CHL after both countries played to a 9-9 tie in points through six games.

2018 CIBC Canada Russia Series Staff and Schedule:

Team WHL:

Game 1 – Monday November 5 at Kamloops, BC
Head Coach: Tim Hunter (Moose Jaw Warriors)
Assistant Coach: Brent Kisio (Lethbridge Hurricanes)
Assistant Coach: Jason Smith (Kelowna Rockets)
Athletic Trainer: Mike Burnstein (Vancouver Giants)
Equipment Manager: Colin ‘Toledo’ Robinson (Kamloops Blazers)

Game 2 – Tuesday November 6 at Vancouver, BC
Head Coach: Tim Hunter (Moose Jaw Warriors)
Assistant Coach: Brent Kisio (Lethbridge Hurricanes)
Assistant Coach: Jason Smith (Kelowna Rockets)
Athletic Trainer: Mike Burnstein (Vancouver Giants)
Athletic Therapist: Khore Elliott (Victoria Royals)
Equipment Manager: Shingo Sasaki (Vancouver Giants)

Team OHL:

Game 3 – Thursday November 8 at Sarnia, ON
Head Coach: Derian Hatcher (Sarnia Sting)
Assistant Coach: David Legwand (Sarnia Sting)
Assistant Coach: Brad Staubitz (Sarnia Sting)
Athletic Therapist: Amy Mausser (Sarnia Sting)
Equipment Manager: Spencer Stehouwer (Sarnia Sting)

Game 4 – Monday November 12 at Oshawa, ON
Head Coach: Greg Walters (Oshawa Generals)

Assistant Coach: Nathan McIver (Oshawa Generals)

Assistant Coach: Greg Nemisz (Oshawa Generals)

Head Athletic & Equipment Manager: Bryan Boyes (Oshawa Generals)

Athletic Therapist: Matt Leech (Oshawa Generals)

Team QMJHL:
Game 5 – Tuesday November 13 at Sherbrooke, QC
Head Coach: Jim Hulton (Charlottetown Islanders)
Assistant Coach: Marc-André Dumont (Cape Breton Screaming Eagles)
Assistant Coach: Stéphane Julien (Sherbrooke Phoenix)
Athletic Therapist: Nicholas Borrelli (Sherbrooke Phoenix)
Equipment Manager: Jean Huynh (Sherbrooke Phoenix)

Game 6 – Thursday November 15 at Drummondville, QC
Head Coach: Jim Hulton (Charlottetown Islanders)
Assistant Coach: Marc-André Dumont (Cape Breton Screaming Eagles)
Assistant Coach: Steve Hartley (Drummondville Voltigeurs)
Athletic Therapist: Andrew Oddy (Drummondville Voltigeurs)
Equipment Manager: Robert Pouliot (Drummondville Voltigeurs)

The 2018 CIBC Canada Russia Series is supported by title sponsor CIBC, the Official Bank of the CHL, along with associate sponsors Kia Canada, Sherwin-Williams, Cooper Tires, and Kubota Canada.  All games will be broadcast nationally on Sportsnet and TVA Sports.

For event information including how to purchase tickets please visit http://chlcanadarussia.ca.

Spirit’s Damien Giroux named OHL ‘On the Run’ Player of the Week

Toronto, ON – The Ontario Hockey League today announced that Minnesota Wild prospect Damien Giroux of the Saginaw Spirit is the OHL ‘On the Run’ Player of the Week for the regular season week ending October 14 after recording seven points including four goals and three assists in two games with a plus-minus rating of plus-7.

Giroux produced a pair of multi-point performances that helped the West Division leading Spirit extend their winning-streak to five games bringing their first place record to 6-2-1-0.  Giroux had a hand in seven of the team’s eight goals last week highlighted by a career-high five points on Saturday earning first star honours in a 6-2 home ice win over the North Bay Battalion.  His first career hat-trick in that contest was scored entirely in the third period and included the game-winning goal erasing an early 2-0 deficit.  On Sunday Giroux scored another third period game-winner after assisting on Nick Porco’s eighth goal of the season and was named second star of a 2-1 victory over the visiting Kitchener Rangers.

An 18-year-old from Hanmer, Ont., Giroux is playing in his third season with the Spirit after being chosen by the club in the third round of the 2016 OHL Priority Selection.  The recently appointed Spirit captain has six goals and five assists for 11 points through nine games after scoring 19 goals and 24 assists for 43 points in 68 games last season.  Giroux was picked by the Wild in the fifth round of the 2018 NHL Draft in June.

Watch video highlights of Giroux and the Spirit against the Battalion and Rangers.

Also considered for the award this week was Dallas Stars prospect Jason Robertson of the Kingston Frontenacs with five goals and three assists for eight points in three games, and Los Angeles Kings prospect Akil Thomas of the Niagara IceDogs who scored twice with six assists for eight points in three games.  In goal, 2019 NHL Draft prospect Hunter Jones of the Peterborough Petes posted a 4-0-0-0 record making 122 saves for a goals-against-average of 1.19 and save percentage of .968.

2018-19 OHL ‘On the Run’ Players of the Week – Regular Season:

Oct. 8 – Oct. 14: Damien Giroux (Saginaw Spirit)
Oct. 1 – Oct. 7: Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen (Sudbury Wolves)
Sept. 24 – Sept. 30: Lucas Chiodo (Barrie Colts)
Sept. 19 – Sept. 23: Akil Thomas (Niagara IceDogs)

Goaltenders: Is This the Year For the OHL?

At the 2018 National Hockey League Draft, the Los Angeles Kings selected Jacob Ingham of the Mississauga Steelheads in the sixth round, 175th overall, while the Las Vegas Goldens Knights chose London Knights puck stopper Jordan Kooy in the seventh round, 208th overall.

At the 2017 Draft, the Vancouver Canucks selected Michael DiPietro of the Windsor Spitfires in the third round, 64th overall. Also selected in the third round was Sault Ste Marie netminder Matthew Villalta, 72nd overall by the Los Angeles Kings. Kaden Fulcher of the Hamilton Bulldogs and Kyle Keyser of the Oshawa Generals were signed as free agents by the Detroit Red Wings and Boston Bruins respectively before the start of the 2017-2018 season.

Michael DiPietro of the Windsor Spitfires. Photo by Terry Wilson / OHL Images.
Michael DiPietro of the Windsor Spitfires. Photo by Terry Wilson / OHL Images.

In 2016, Tyler Parsons of the London Knights was selected in the second round, 54th overall, by the Calgary Flames. The New Jersey Devils would nab Evan Cormier from the Saginaw Spirit in the fourth round, 105th overall.  Dylan Wells of the Peterborough Petes was selected in the fifth round. 123rd overall, by the Flames neighbours the Edmonton Oilers. while the Carolina Hurricanes would take Jeremy Helvig of the Kingston Frontenacs in the fifth round, 134th overall.

In 2015, MacKenzie Blackwood would be the only Ontario Hockey League goaltender selected at the draft. The New Jersey Devils would select Blackwood in the second round, 42 overall.

Ask around in hockey circles and many would tell you that goaltending is an area of weakness in the OHL when it comes to the NHL Draft. 2017 looks good at the moment, but Fulcher and Keyser were never drafted which means all 31 NHL Clubs passed on them seven times.

So why would 2019, which takes place in Vancouver, British Columbia, on June 21-22 be any different? Well the simple answer is: I don’t know. I don’t have some magic crystal ball that helps predict the future. Just the sheer number of goaltenders entering their draft year adds some intrigue. Add to them a couple of undrafted goaltenders that will be re-entering the draft adds another dimension.

During the 2016-2017 OHL season, an undrafted (in the OHL) Villalta drew my attention very early on. And as the season progressed, his draft stock began to rise. All the way to number 72 in the draft. So, is there another Matthew Villalta knocking at the door in 2018-2019?

When NHL Central Scouting released it’s players to watch list earlier this month, five OHL goaltenders were found on the list. They include Mack Guzda of the Owen Sound Attack as a B prospect, Luke Cavallin of the Flint Firebirds, Hunter Jones of the Peterborough Petes, Nicholas Daws of the Guelph Storm, and Kari Piiroinen of the Windsor Spitfires, all as C prospects. (a B prospect is considered a second or third rounder while a C prospect is considered a fourth, fifth or sixth round prospect).

It was no surprise to see Guzda at the top of Central’s list as he already had the benefit of an OHL season under his belt. During the 2017-2018 season, Guzda appeared in 30 games for the Attack posting a 3.20 goals-against average and .879 save percentage. But it has been a less-then-expected start for Guzda and his Attack Team. In seven games he boasts a 2-5-0-0 record with a save percentage at just .859 and a goals-against average of 4.11. But I have no doubt that he will improve on those stats as the season progresses.

Much like Villalta during the 2016-2017 season, if you haven’t started paying attention to the Petes’ Hunter Jones, then you should probably start now before you lag behind. He leads all OHL goaltenders in appearances (10), minutes played (539), shots faced (323), saves (303) and wins (8). Among puck stoppers who have played in four or more contests, he trails only Kooy in goals-against average (2.22 versus 2.01) and leads all netminders in save percentage (.938).

In eight of the complete games Jones has started this season, he has faced under 35 shots just twice. He had one poor start, allowing 6 goals against the Hamilton Bulldogs in two periods on September 29, 2018. His other starts would be a record setting pace.

Speaking of the Bulldogs, not making Central Scouting’s opening list is Hamilton netminder Zachary Roy. One has to wonder if things keep going the way they are in the Steel City, if there will be a goaltending controversy in the crease. Nick Donofrio, who went undrafted in 2018 and re-enters the draft, was the backup last season to Fulcher and the incumbent starter for this season.

It’s been a slow start for Donofrio, posting a 3-3-1-0 record with a 3.74 goals-against average and .881 save percentage. Roy was given his first OHL start on October 10 and put in a brilliant 42 save performance in a 5-2 victory over the Windsor Spitfires. A week later, Roy was given the start against the Mississauga Steelheads stopping 29 of 30 shots and getting the 5-1 victory. He was rewarded for his performance and started in back-to-back games and getting a 6-5 overtime victory on the road against the Oshawa Generals. Roy now has a 2.61 goals-against average and .929 save percentage.

Perhaps the goaltender that is going to be the toughest to get a read on is Flint Firebirds’ Luke Cavallin. The Firebirds are off to a dismal start at 0-9-0-0 having allowed the most goals (53) and scoring the fewest (17) so wins are going to be tough to come by in Flint.

Emanuel Vella is the number one goaltender in Flint. Cavallin has only appeared in two complete games this season, five in total. He’s come on in relief of Vella twice, not allowing a goal on both occasions. But he was also given the hook on one occasion in a game everyone would like to forget, a 12-1 drubbing by the Erie Otters.

The only way to get a good read on Cavallin is to hope he plays and plays a lot and to constantly have eyes on his performance and not paying attention to the outcome. Because the outcome may not be pretty.

Kari Piiroinen of the Windsor Spitfires is in kind of a similar situation. Not that the Spits are the Firebirds, but that you need to have eyes on Piiroinen constantly as you never know when he will make his next appearance. At least that is what one would think when you are backing up the best netminder in the OHL in Micheal DiPietro.

However, the Finnish born Piiroinen has started three of the Spits nine games and came on in relief of DiPietro in another. He boasts a 2-2-0-0 record with a goals-against average of 2.70 and a save percentage of .913, all of which are better then DiPietro’s stats. It’s possible the Spitfires might consider trading DiPietro in order to recoup some assets and that could benefit Piiroinen and his draft stock.

In Sault Ste Marie, Villalta is the incumbent for the Greyhounds. They began the season with OHL veteran Tyler Johnson as his backup, but he has since made the jump to the Lincoln Stars of the United States Hockey League. In comes Ethan Taylor, who was not on Central Scouting’s list.

Taylor has gotten 2 starts in the last ten days and has come on in relief of Villalta where he stopped all 15 shots he faced in a 6-2 loss the Ottawa 67’s handed the Greyhounds. Taylor has exceptional numbers: a 1-0-1-0 record to go along with his 1.65 goals-against average and .973 save percentage. There was a lot of intrigue surrounding Taylor, and with Johnson moving on, a window of opportunity has opened up for him. Now he has to make the best of his chances when his number is called upon.

The Guelph Storm’s Nicholas Daws did make Central Scouting’s list. He appeared in 14 games for the Storm a season ago posting a goals-against average of 4.06 and a save percentage of .880 and a 1-7-1-1 record. He has started three games for the Storm this season and his stats have regressed from a year ago with his 4.25 goals-against average and .843 saver percentage and a 2-1-0-0 record.

Daws is backing up veteran Anthony Popovich and will likely see more starts then the other backups who are draft eligible. The Storm currently lead the Midwest Division, second overall in the league, with a 6-2-1-0 record but with the league’s eighth worst goals allowed (33).  There is a real opportunity here for Daws and the Storm if he can put it all together and improve on his early season start.

Ryan Dugas of the 3-7-0-0 Kingston Frontenacs is another netminder not on Central Scouting’s list. The Fronts occupy the basement of the East Division and are third from the bottom in the entire league. Although he is backing up veteran Brendan Bonello, Dugas has been a bright spot of sorts for Kingston.

Dugas has appeared in 4 games, one of those being in relief of Bonello, and has a 2-1-0-0 record. His first OHL game was a 27 save shutout performance on September 29 against the Erie Otters. He holds a 2.52 goals-against average and .916 save percentage. He is Kingston’s goalie of the future and if he can steal some starts – and wins – he will draw some attention.

Finally, we have to give a mention to Barrie Colts netminder Jet Greaves. Currently behind veteran Kai Edmonds and 2017 Vegas Golden Knights draft pick Maksim Zhukov who the Colts selected in the 2018 Import Draft, I really like Greaves coming into the season if not for name alone.

The fact is that Edmonds and Zhukov were not getting it done for the Colts, who sit second to last in the Central Division and Greaves got a chance and has outperformed his partners. Although he has a 1-1-0-0 record, his loss came against the Mississauga Steelheads in which he stopped 28 of 30 shots and his teammates could only score once.

Greaves holds a 1.52 goals-against average with a .949 save percentage. It could be in the Colts best interest to give him more starts right now and see if he can run with it.

With all that said and out of the way, 2019 is not the best draft class to come out of the OHL. In fact, it could be one of the worst ever for the OHL. And that could bode well for a goaltending class that is better then usual – at least in sheer numbers.

Kia CHL Top 10 Rankings

Toronto, ON – The Canadian Hockey League today announced the week four edition of the Kia CHL Top-10 Rankings for the 2018-19 season.  The weekly rankings of the CHL’s Top-10 teams are selected by a panel of National Hockey League scouts.

Kia CHL Top 10 Rankings – Week 4:

Rank: Team: Last Week Rank: Number of Weeks Ranked:
1 Baie-Comeau Drakkar (7-0-0-1) 6 2
2 Prince Albert Raiders (8-1-0-0) 4 2
3 Halifax Mooseheads (5-2-0-0) 1 4
4 Victoria Royals (6-0-0-0) 1
5 London Knights (3-2-0-0) 2 4
6 Rouyn-Noranda Huskies (7-1-0-0) 1
7 Vancouver Giants (6-1-0-0) 2
8 Sudbury Wolves (6-2-0-0) 1
9 Guelph Storm (4-1-1-0) 1
10 Rimouski Oceanic (6-2-0-0) 3
Honourable Mention:
Kitchener Rangers (4-0-2-0) 10 1
Brandon Wheat Kings (4-0-1-0) 0
Saskatoon Blades (6-2-0-0) 1

Kia CHL Top 10

CHL Announces Weekly Award Winners

Blades’ Dawson Davidson named CHL Player of the Week

Toronto, ON – The Canadian Hockey League today announced that Saskatoon Blades defenceman Dawson Davidson is the CHL Player of the Week for the regular season week ending October 7 with eight points in four games including one goal and seven assists along with a plus-minus rating of plus-6.

Davidson leads the CHL in scoring among defencemen following a week where a trio of multi-point performances helped spark three straight wins for the Blades lifting them into second place in the WHL’s Eastern Conference standings with a 6-2-0-0 record.  The three Blades wins came at the end of a four-game Alberta road trip that began last Tuesday night with a 5-4 loss to the Red Deer Rebels with Davidson tallying two assists.  The next night in Edmonton, Davidson matched a season-high with a goal and two assists earning third star honours in a 5-3 victory that handed the Oil Kings their first loss of the season.  His weekend included one assist as part of a 3-0 win over the Calgary Hitmen on Friday, then two assists as second star of a 3-2 shootout win over the Lethbridge Hurricanes on Saturday.  Davidson’s point total last week included four even strength marks and four on special teams including three with the man advantage.  He is the second member of the Blades to earn CHL Player of the Week honours in three weeks this season following forward Kirby Dach.

A 20-year-old from Moosomin, Sask., Davidson is playing in his fifth WHL season since joining the league as a third round pick of the Kamloops Blazers in the 2013 WHL Bantam Draft.  The majority of his career was spent in Kamloops playing 124 games for the Blazers before a trade led him to the Regina Pats where he finished the 2016-17 campaign and started 2017-18.  Since being acquired by the Blades last season his tenure has included 34 games where he amassed 28 points including two goals and 10 assists for 12 points in eight games this season.

Also considered for the award this week was fellow overage defenceman Gabriel Bilodeau of the Gatineau Olympiques who scored once with four assists for five points in a trio of victories.  In the OHL, Philadelphia Flyers prospect Isaac Ratcliffe of the Guelph Storm scored three goals and two assists for five points in a pair of wins.

2018-19 CHL Players of the Week – Regular Season:

Oct. 1 – Oct. 7: Dawson Davidson (Saskatoon Blades)
Sept. 24 – Sept. 30: Luka Burzan (Brandon Wheat Kings)
Sept. 19 – Sept. 23: Kirby Dach (Saskatoon Blades)

Giants’ Trent Miner named Vaughn CHL Goaltender of the Week

Toronto, ON – The Canadian Hockey League today announced that Vancouver Giants rookie Trent Miner is the Vaughn CHL Goaltender of the Week for the regular season week ending October 7 after posting a 2-0-0-0 record including a shutout victory with a goals-against-average of 1.00 and save percentage of .964.

Miner turned aside 54 shots across his first two starts of the 2018-19 WHL season helping the Giants extend their winning-streak to four games putting them in a first place tie atop the Western Conference standings with a 6-1-0-0 record.  On Wednesday night he earned his first career shutout with a 21-save performance and third star honours blanking the Kelowna Rockets by a 5-0 score on the road.  He followed that effort with 33 saves on Saturday night in Prince George including 14 stops in the third period alone to preserve a 3-2 victory over the Cougars.

A 17-year-old from Brandon, Man., Miner was chosen 20th overall by the Giants in the 2016 WHL Bantam Draft.  His two games this season follow his WHL debut of a year ago where he appeared in nine regular season games and carried a 3-4-0-0 record with a goals-against-average of 4.20 and save percentage of .885.  He also appeared in three playoff contests and earned a victory in Game 1 of the first round series against the Victoria Royals.  Miner is eligible for the 2019 NHL Draft.

Also considered for the award this week was Buffalo Sabres prospect Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen who made 99 saves for a goals-against-average of 1.66 and save percentage of .952 winning all three games of a Sudbury Wolves road trip.  In the QMJHL, Alexis Shank of the Chicoutimi Sagueneens went 1-0-0-1 with a shutout victory stopping 40 shots in total for a goals-against-average of 0.96 and save percentage of .952.

2018-19 Vaughn CHL Goaltenders of the Week – Regular Season:

Oct. 1 – Oct. 7: Trent Miner (Vancouver Giants)
Sept. 24 – Sept. 30: Luke Richardson (Kitchener Rangers)
Sept. 19 – Sept. 23: Hunter Jones (Peterborough Petes)