COSTANTINI AND JOHNSTON NAMED OHL TOP PERFORMERS OF THE WEEK

Toronto, Ont. – The Ontario Hockey League today announced Top Performers of the Week for the week of playoff games ending Sunday, May 15, 2022.

Spitfires’ Wyatt Johnston Named OHL Player of the Week

Dallas Stars prospect Wyatt Johnston of the Windsor Spitfires is the OHL Player of the Week, leading the League with 10 points including four goals and six assists in three games along with a plus/minus rating of plus-8.

Johnston recorded three straight multi-point efforts to help the Spitfires eliminate the Kitchener Rangers in five games and reach the Western Conference Championship Series for the first time since 2011. He rallied the Spits from a pair of early deficits in Kitchener on Tuesday and Thursday, registering consecutive four point (2-2–4) showings in Games 3 and 4 on the road. He picked up a pair of helpers, setting up Andrew Perrott’s game winning goal in Saturday’s 3-2 win over the Rangers at home in Game 5, pushing him into the OHL Playoff scoring lead with 23 points (8-15–23) through 11 games.

A 19-year-old native of Toronto, Ont., Johnston claimed the Eddie Powers Trophy as the OHL’s top scorer during the regular season, recording 124 points (46-78–124) over 68 games. He was also voted the Western Conference’s Most Outstanding Player and Most Sportsmanlike Player. Selected by Dallas with the 23rd overall pick of the 2021 NHL Draft, Johnston has recorded 58 goals, 96 assists and 154 points in 121 career regular season games. He was a member of Canada’s gold medal-winning National Under-18 Team in 2021. The Spitfires selected Johnston with their first round (6th overall) pick in the 2019 OHL Priority Selection.

Also considered for the award this week, North Bay Battalion forward Mitchell Russell put up eight points (3-5–8) in three games as the Troops advanced to the Eastern Conference Championship Series for the first time since 2015. Dallas Stars prospect Francesco Arcuri of the Kingston Frontenacs was also in the running with seven points (2-5–7) over three contests.

2021-22 OHL Players of the Week – Playoffs:
May 9 – May 15: Wyatt Johnston (Windsor Spitfires)
May 2 – May 8: Joseph Serpa (Kitchener Rangers)
Apr. 25 – May 1: Zayde Wisdom (Kingston Frontenacs)
Apr. 19 – Apr. 24: Antonio Stranges (London Knights)

2021-22 OHL Players of the Week – Regular Season:
Apr. 11 – Apr. 18: Robert Calisti (Soo Greyhounds)
Apr. 4 – Apr. 10: Martin Chromiak (Kingston Frontenacs)
Mar. 28 – Apr. 3: Mason McTavish (Hamilton Bulldogs) 
Mar. 21 – Mar. 27: Dalton Duhart (Saginaw Spirit)
Mar. 14 – Mar. 20: Matthew Maggio (Windsor Spitfires)
Mar. 7 – Mar. 13: Lucas Edmonds (Kingston Frontenacs)
Feb. 28 – Mar. 6: Theo Hill (Sarnia Sting)
Feb. 21 – Feb. 27: Logan Morrison (Hamilton Bulldogs)
Feb. 14 – Feb. 20: Antonio Stranges (London Knights)
Feb. 7 – Feb. 13: Logan Morrison (Hamilton Bulldogs).
Jan. 31 – Feb. 6: Luke Evangelista (London Knights)
Jan. 24 – Jan. 30: Brandt Clarke (Barrie Colts)
Jan. 17 – Jan. 23: Riley Piercey (Flint Firebirds)
Jan. 10 – Jan. 16: David Goyette (Sudbury Wolves)
Jan. 3 – Jan 9: Wyatt Johnston (Windsor Spitfires)
Dec. 27 – Jan. 2: James Hardie (Mississauga Steelheads)
Dec. 13 – Dec. 19: Ty Tullio (Oshawa Generals)
Dec. 6 – Dec. 12: Lucas Edmonds (Kingston Frontenacs)
Nov. 29 – Dec. 5: Wyatt Johnston (Windsor Spitfires)
Nov. 22 – Nov. 28: Brennan Othmann (Flint Firebirds)
Nov. 15 – Nov. 21: Brandon Coe (North Bay Battalion)
Nov. 8 – Nov. 14: Antonio Stranges (London Knights)
Nov. 1 – Nov. 7: Shane Wright (Kingston Frontenacs)
Oct. 25 – Oct. 31: Tucker Robertson (Peterborough Petes)
Oct. 18 – Oct. 24: Rory Kerins (Soo Greyhounds)
Oct. 11 – Oct. 17: Calum Ritchie (Oshawa Generals)
Oct. 4 – Oct. 10: Jack Thompson (Sudbury Wolves)

Bulldogs’ Marco Costantini Named OHL Goaltender of the Week

Marco Costantini of the Hamilton Bulldogs is the OHL Goaltender of the Week, going 2-0 with a 0.99 goals-against average, .969 save percentage and one shutout to help the Bulldogs advance to the Eastern Conference Championship Series.

Costantini stopped 62 of the 64 shots that came his direction in Games 3 and 4 of the Eastern Conference Semi-Final as the Bulldogs eliminated the Mississauga Steelheads in four straight games. He stopped all 35 shots he faced in Tuesday’s 3-0 road win in Game 3, earning first star honours. Costantini returned to the crease on Friday for Game 4, turning aside 27 of 29 as the Bulldogs earned their 18th consecutive win dating back to March 27.

A 19-year-old product of Hamilton, Costantini was voted the Eastern Conference’s Top Goaltender this past season with league-leading figures that include a 2.32 goals-against average, .917 save percentage and six shutouts. He played to a mark of 31-9-2-2 in 45 games, improving to 41-24-8-2 with a 3.15 goals-against average and .897 save percentage in his 79-game OHL regular season career. Costantini has played to a postseason record of 8-0 with a 1.87 goals-against average and .931 save percentage. He was Hamilton’s fifth round (95th overall) pick in the 2018 OHL Priority Selection.

Also considered for the award this week, back-to-back winner Luke Cavallin was steady for the Flint Firebirds once again, going 2-1 with a 1.91 goals-against average and .939 save percentage to help his team advance to the Western Conference Championship Series. Windsor’s Matt Onuska played to a 3-0 mark with a 2.33 goals-against average and .918 save percentage as the Spitfires are into the third round for the first time since 2011.

2021-22 OHL Goaltenders of the Week – Playoffs:
May 9 – May 15: Marco Costantini (Hamilton Bulldogs)
May 2 – May 8: Luke Cavallin (Flint Firebirds)
Apr. 25 – May 1: Luke Cavallin (Flint Firebirds)
Apr. 18 – Apr. 24: Tucker Tynan (Soo Greyhounds)

2021-22 OHL Goaltenders of the Week – Regular Season:
Apr. 11 – Apr. 17: Max Donoso (Ottawa 67’s)
Apr. 4 – Apr. 10: Michael Simpson (Peterborough Petes)
Mar. 28 – Apr. 3: Patrick Leaver (Oshawa Generals)
Mar. 21 – Mar. 27: Joey Costanzo (Niagara IceDogs)
Mar. 14 – Mar. 20: Marco Costantini (Hamilton Bulldogs)
Mar. 7 – Mar. 13: Nick Chenard (Owen Sound Attack)
Feb. 28 – Mar. 6: Marco Costantini (Hamilton Bulldogs)
Feb. 21 – Feb. 27: Leevi Merilainen (Kingston Frontenacs)
Feb. 14 – Feb. 20: Mack Guzda (Barrie Colts)
Feb. 7 – Feb. 13: Pavel Cajan (Kitchener Rangers)
Jan. 31 – Feb. 6: Patrick Leaver (Oshawa Generals)
Jan. 24 – Jan. 30: Max Donoso (Ottawa 67’s)
Jan. 17 – Jan. 23: Mack Guzda (Barrie Colts)
Jan. 10 – Jan. 16: Mitchell Weeks (Sudbury Wolves)
Jan. 3 – Jan. 9: Nolan Lalonde (Erie Otters)
Dec. 27 – Jan. 2: Joe Ranger (Mississauga Steelheads)
Dec. 13 – Dec. 19: Owen Bennett (Guelph Storm)
Dec. 6 – Dec. 12: Mack Guzda (Barrie Colts)
Nov. 29 – Dec. 5: Leevi Merilainen (Kingston Frontenacs)
Nov. 22 – Nov. 28: Tye Austin (Peterborough Petes)
Nov. 15 – Nov. 21: Ben Gaudreau (Sarnia Sting)
Nov. 8 – Nov. 14: Joe Vrbetic (North Bay Battalion
Nov. 1 – Nov. 7: Roman Basran (Mississauga Steelheads)
Oct. 25 – Oct. 31: Patrick Leaver (Oshawa Generals)
Oct. 18 – Oct. 24: Jacob Oster (Guelph Storm)
Oct. 11 – Oct. 17: Brett Brochu (London Knights)
Oct. 4 – Oct. 10: Tucker Tynan (Niagara IceDogs)


About the Ontario Hockey League
The Ontario Hockey League is a proud member of the Canadian Hockey League which is the world’s largest development hockey league with 60 teams in nine Canadian provinces and four American states. In addition to the OHL, the CHL is made up of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League and the Western Hockey League. The CHL supplies more players to the National Hockey League and U SPORTS than any other league.

OHL ANNOUNCES WESTERN CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES SCHEDULE

Toronto, Ont. – The Ontario Hockey League today announced the 2022 OHL Western Conference Championship Series for the Wayne Gretzky Trophy between the Windsor Spitfires and Flint Firebirds beginning Saturday, May 21 in Windsor.

The third round series features a pair of highly familiar West Division rivals. The Spitfires won the West Division with a 44-17-4-3 record during the regular season. They proceeded to eliminate the Sarnia Sting in six games and the Kitchener Rangers in five to reach their first Western Conference Final since 2011. The Firebirds played to a franchise record 42-21-1-4 mark, finishing third in the Western Conference. They bested the Owen Sound Attack in seven games before eliminating the Soo Greyhounds in five contests, reaching the Western Conference Championship Series for the first time in their history.

The Spitfires and Firebirds faced each other eight times during the regular season, with Windsor winning seven of those meetings.

The Western Conference Champion receives the Wayne Gretzky Trophy named in honour of the Hockey Hall of Fame member who played for the Soo Greyhounds in 1977-78.  The Spitfires made three straight appearances in the Western Conference Championship Series from 2009-11, winning consecutive titles in the first two showings. The Firebirds have won their first two playoff rounds in the six-year history of the franchise this year, and look to keep the momentum going when the puck drops on Saturday.

WESTERN CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES SCHEDULE:

(1) WINDSOR SPITFIRES (44-17-4-3) vs. (3) FLINT FIREBIRDS (42-21-1-4) – #WSRvsFLNT

Game 1, Sat., May 21 at Windsor, 7:05pm
Game 2, Mon., May 23 at Windsor, 7:05pm
Game 3, Wed., May 25 at Flint, 7:00pm
Game 4, Fri., May 27 at Flint, 7:00pm
Game 5, Sun., May 29 at Windsor, 7:05pm*
Game 6, Tues., May 31 at Flint, 7:00pm*
Game 7, Wed., June 1 at Windsor, 7:05pm*
*if necessary 

2022 OHL Playoff Brackets

Don’t miss a second of the 2022 OHL Playoffs. CHL TV playoff packages are on sale now, with complete OHL Playoff passes, round-by-round passes and single day passes available. See a full range of options at watch.chl.ca.


About the Ontario Hockey League
The Ontario Hockey League is a proud member of the Canadian Hockey League which is the world’s largest development hockey league with 60 teams in nine Canadian provinces and four American states. In addition to the OHL, the CHL is made up of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League and the Western Hockey League. The CHL supplies more players to the National Hockey League and U SPORTS than any other league.

OHL ANNOUNCES EASTERN CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES SCHEDULE

Toronto, Ont. – The Ontario Hockey League today announced the 2022 OHL Eastern Conference Championship Series for the Bobby Orr Trophy between the Hamilton Bulldogs and North Bay Battalion beginning Friday, May 20 in Hamilton.

The third round series features the top two seeds in the Eastern Conference as the Bulldogs, who won the Hamilton Spectator Trophy with the OHL’s best regular season record, come off consecutive series sweeps of the Peterborough Petes and Mississauga Steelheads to reach the Conference Final. They’ll face the Central Division champion North Bay Battalion, who eliminated the Ottawa 67’s and Kingston Frontenacs to reach the Eastern Conference Championship Series for the first time since 2015.

The Bulldogs and Battalion faced each other four times during the regular season, with North Bay winning the first two meetings before Hamilton responded with victories in the final two encounters.

The Eastern Conference Champion receives the Bobby Orr Trophy named in honour of the Hockey Hall of Fame member who played four OHL seasons with the Oshawa Generals from 1962-66.  The Bulldogs last hoisted the Bobby Orr Trophy in the same year they were eventually crowned OHL champions in 2018. The Battalion last won an Eastern Conference title in 2014.

EASTERN CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES SCHEDULE:

(1) HAMILTON BULLDOGS (51-12-3-2) vs. (2) NORTH BAY BATTALION (43-18-3-4) – #HAMvsNB

Game 1, Fri., May 20 at Hamilton, 7:00pm
Game 2, Sun., May 22 at Hamilton, 7:00pm
Game 3, Wed., May 25 at North Bay, 7:00pm
Game 4, Fri., May 27 at North Bay, 7:00pm
Game 5, Sun., May 29 at Hamilton, 7:00pm*
Game 6, Tues., May 31 at North Bay, 7:00pm*
Game 7, Wed., June 1 at Hamilton, 7:00pm*
*if necessary 

2022 OHL Playoff Brackets

Don’t miss a second of the 2022 OHL Playoffs. CHL TV playoff packages are on sale now, with complete OHL Playoff passes, round-by-round passes and single day passes available. See a full range of options at watch.chl.ca.


About the Ontario Hockey League
The Ontario Hockey League is a proud member of the Canadian Hockey League which is the world’s largest development hockey league with 60 teams in nine Canadian provinces and four American states. In addition to the OHL, the CHL is made up of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League and the Western Hockey League. The CHL supplies more players to the National Hockey League and U SPORTS than any other league.

ATTACK’S MARK WOOLLEYNAMED OHL HUMANITARIAN OF THE YEAR

Toronto, Ont. – The Ontario Hockey League today announced that Mark Woolley of the Owen Sound Attack is the 2021-22 recipient of the Dan Snyder Memorial Trophy awarded to the OHL Humanitarian of the Year.

Diagnosed as a Type 1 Diabetic as a teenager, the Attack captain has been a leader on and off the ice. Woolley raised $25,000 toward Diabetes Canada during the 2021-22 season, contributing to an overall contribution of over $60,000 through his Woolley’s Warriors initiative over the course of his five-year OHL career. The funds raised are being used to send children to Diabetes Canada D-Camps.

Even faced with barriers to community involvement through the Covid-19 pandemic, Woolley joined high school-aged Attack teammates in spearheading a charitable online auction entitled Woolley’s Warriors Operation November that raised over $2,000 for his foundation. He took the lead and joined forces with the Attack on February 26, 2022 to host the club’s first-ever Woolley’s Warriors Night that featured specially-themed uniforms auctioned off for charity, an event that raised upwards of $19,000.

“I’m extremely honoured to have been selected by the league for such a prestigious award,” said Woolley. “If you take a look at all the past winners of the Humanitarian Award there are some pretty special names that were involved in their community on that list, so to be recognized on that stage is a huge accomplishment that I am very proud of. Obviously it’s my face and name on the front of Woolley’s Warriors, but I just want to make sure I give proper thanks to everybody who has been involved thus far. There are so many little details that go on behind the scenes and without the amazing support I’ve gotten along the way none of this would have been possible. To the Guelph Storm and the Owen Sound Attack, thank you for giving me the opportunity to grow in two outstanding organizations and for shaping me into being the young man I am today.”

In addition to building friendships and forming connections with young fans who have also been diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes, Woolley was a force for the Attack on the ice, recording 12 points (3-9–12) over 54 games while drawing high praise on the OHL Coaches Poll, being voted the top Body Checker and top Shot Blocker in the Western Conference. The 6-foot-3, 226Ib. native of St. Thomas, Ont. played four OHL seasons between Owen Sound and Guelph, recording 41 points (9-32–41) over 225 regular season games while adding four assists in 18 postseason matchups. Woolley was originally a third round (54th overall) pick by the Guelph Storm in the 2017 OHL Priority Selection.

“The organization would like to congratulate Mark Woolley on being selected as OHL Humanitarian of the Year,” said Attack General Manager Dale DeGray. “Mark has shown an incredible amount of willingness to continue the growth of his endeavour through some crazy times during Covid. He has maintained his availability to help in every way he could at the same time being the captain of a young group of players that needed his direction as well. He is a very worthy recipient of this award and the Attack organization is proud to see him furthering the legacy of Dan Snyder, who made a tremendous impact on the city of Owen Sound.”

Each year the OHL awards a player that has demonstrated outstanding qualities as a positive role model in the community with the Dan Snyder Memorial Trophy.  The Ontario Hockey League Board of Governors announced in 2004 that the OHL Humanitarian of the Year award would be renamed in recognition of the former Owen Sound Platers captain, who was twice named his team’s Humanitarian of the Year in recognition of his tremendous efforts in supporting community activities.

Woolley becomes the first Attack player to earn Humanitarian of the Year honours since Mike Angelidis in 2005-06. Recent recipients include back-to-back winner Garrett McFadden of the Guelph Storm in 2017 and 2018, Nicholas Canade of the Mississauga Steelheads in 2018-19 and Jacob Ingham of the Kitchener Rangers in 2019-20.

Two other Dan Snyder Memorial Trophy nominees joined Woolley as repeat candidates from 2019-20 including Kingston Frontenacs defender Braden Haché and Soo Greyhounds forward Cole MacKay, who both served as ambassadors for Hockey Gives Blood in their respective communities. Haché was the 2020-21 recipient of the Dayna Brons Honorary Award and launched his own blood drive in Kingston that recruited 30 new donors this past season. A hometown product of Sault Ste. Marie, MacKay was a 2021-22 nominee for the Dayna Brons Honorary Award having demonstrated his commitment to raising the profile of blood, stem cell, organ and tissue donation for the past two years.

Woolley will be the OHL’s nominee for the Canadian Hockey League Humanitarian of the Year Award.

For more information you can follow @WoolleysWarriors or visit www.woolleyswarriors.com to support the cause.

From Diabetes Canada Community Engagement Coordinator Lindsay Wig:
“As a person living with type 1 diabetes, Mark has been a strong role model in the Diabetes Canada community. He has been a supportive presence in our fundraising events, including our Flame of Hope Golf Tournament in Shelburne, Ontario; being a type 1 diabetes model in our Pump Couture Fashion Show; and rallying a team for our Lace Up to End Diabetes virtual walk. Since Mark launched Woolley’s Warriors in 2019, he has raised over $60,000 and connected those living with diabetes through sharing his story, while building a platform for others to share theirs.

“Mark doesn’t let diabetes stand in the way of his goals. Thanks to an exceptional health care team and the unwavering support of his family, Mark has risen above his diagnosis and achieved his dreams of playing hockey at an elite level. One in three Canadians are currently living with or are at risk of diabetes and Mark does everything he can to help and inspire those affected by diabetes live healthier, more hopeful lives.”

2021-22 Dan Snyder Memorial Trophy Nominees:
Barrie Colts – Ethan Cardwell
Erie Otters – Spencer Sova
Flint Firebirds – Luke Cavallin
Guelph Storm – Jacob Oster
Hamilton Bulldogs – Nathan Staios
Kingston Frontenacs – Braden Haché*
Kitchener Rangers – Reid Valade
London Knights – Antonio Stranges
Mississauga Steelheads – Ethan Del Mastro
Niagara IceDogs – Landon Cato
North Bay Battalion – Dalyn Wakely
Oshawa Generals – Ty Tullio
Ottawa 67’s – Cameron Tolnai
Owen Sound Attack – Mark Woolley*
Peterborough Petes – Konnor Smith
Saginaw Spirit – Nick Wong
Sarnia Sting – Nolan DeGurse
Soo Greyhounds – Cole MacKay*
Sudbury Wolves – David Goyette
Windsor Spitfires – Daniel D’Amico

*- 2019-20 nominee

2022 OHL Awards announcements continue next week when the OHL recognizes its academic award winners.


About the Ontario Hockey League
The Ontario Hockey League is a proud member of the Canadian Hockey League which is the world’s largest development hockey league with 60 teams in nine Canadian provinces and four American states. In addition to the OHL, the CHL is made up of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League and the Western Hockey League. The CHL supplies more players to the National Hockey League and U SPORTS than any other league.

STEELHEADS’ JAMES RICHMOND NAMED OHL COACH OF THE YEAR

Toronto, Ont. – The Ontario Hockey League today announced that James Richmond of the Mississauga Steelheads is the recipient of the Matt Leyden Trophy awarded annually to the OHL’s Coach of the Year.

Completing his fifth season as head coach in Mississauga, Richmond steered the Steelheads to club records with 37 wins and 82 points, placing second in the Central Division standings. They surrendered the League’s second-lowest total of 189 goals, produced the OHL’s third-ranked penalty kill, finished first in both shots-per-game (35.7) and fewest shots-against-per-game (26.6), and outshot opponents in 53 of their 68 contests. The Steelheads finished the season tied for the League lead with six players included on NHL Central Scouting’s Final Draft Rankings, including top-10 considerations Luca Del Bel Belluz and Owen Beck.

“It’s a tremendous honour to be a finalist for Coach of the Year in the OHL and an even greater honour to ultimately win it,” said Richmond. “Knowing that your peers are responsible for the votes gives me a huge sense of humility because I can tell you, I think we have great coaches throughout this entire league. I also know I didn’t win this award on my own. The Steelheads organization is filled with wonderful hard-working people that make me better and I can’t thank them enough for everything they do.”

Richmond took the opportunity to recognize key individuals to the Steelheads’ success throughout the season.

“Mike Doyle has been with me for more than a decade and his work and friendship mean the world to me. My assistant coaches, Jeff Kyrzakos and Brendan Taylor are two unbelievable people that grind away everyday and I’m so thankful for their commitment to the Steelheads. Our goalie coach Chris Beckford-Tseu and video coach Matt Comand make our team and myself better. Our support staff, equipment manager Tom Frater and athletic therapist Binne Brouwer are two of the best in the business. Our Director of Scouting Rob Toffoli finds the character players for us to coach, and our boss the owner, Elliott Kerr, is much more than that. He’s a wonderful man that allows me to coach in this league and work at what I love to do. I’m a pretty lucky person to have the job I have. I’ve had a super group of players to lead and none of this goes unnoticed. I am truly thankful of everyone that is part of the Steelheads team.

“Most importantly I’d like to thank my family, my wife, Ainsley is by my side everyday and night encouraging me to be the best I can be. My kids, Kennedy and MacGregor love me no matter what the score is.

“With great pride and gratitude I accept the Coach of the Year Award not just for myself but for all those that surround me. Thank you so so much!”

Richmond joined the Steelheads as an assistant coach in 2015-16 after spending 10 seasons as a head coach in the OJHL between the Georgetown Raiders and Aurora Tigers while also serving on the player development staff of the Los Angeles Kings. Richmond assumed head coaching responsibilities with the Trout to begin the 2016-17 season and became the club’s general manager starting in 2017-18 after guiding the Steelheads to an East Division title and Eastern Conference championship. The 58-year-old Mississauga native owns a career OHL coaching record of 163-134-18-18 for a winning percentage of .544.

The Matt Leyden Trophy has been awarded annually to the OHL’s Coach of the Year as selected by his peers since 1972.  The award is in recognition of the contributions of Matt Leyden, past president of the Ontario Hockey Association from 1965-67, and former manager of the Oshawa Generals who spent more than 50 years with the team.

The first Matt Leyden Trophy recipient in the all-time history of the Steelheads franchise, Richmond will be the OHL’s nominee for Canadian Hockey League Coach of the Year Award.

2022 OHL Awards announcements continue on Thursday when the OHL recognizes its Dan Snyder Memorial Trophy recipient as the League’s Humanitarian of the Year.


About the Ontario Hockey League
The Ontario Hockey League is a proud member of the Canadian Hockey League which is the world’s largest development hockey league with 60 teams in nine Canadian provinces and four American states. In addition to the OHL, the CHL is made up of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League and the Western Hockey League. The CHL supplies more players to the National Hockey League and U SPORTS than any other league.

CAVALLIN AND SERPA NAMED OHL TOP PERFORMERS OF THE WEEK

Toronto, Ont. – The Ontario Hockey League today announced Top Performers of the Week for the week of playoff games ending Sunday, May 8, 2022.

Rangers’ Joseph Serpa Named OHL Player of the Week

Kitchener Rangers forward Joseph Serpa is the OHL Player of the Week, leading the League with nine points including four goals and five assists over four games with a plus/minus rating of plus-5.

Serpa helped Kitchener eliminate the London Knights in seven games before getting off to a hot start in their second round series against the Windsor Spitfires. After being held off the scoresheet in Game 6, Serpa came up with a three-point performance in Game 7 on the road in London, scoring the game-tying goal in the third period while adding two assists as the Rangers edged the Knights 4-3 in overtime. He scored twice and added two assists in Kitchener’s 6-5 Game 1 loss to the Spitfires on Saturday, and came back with a goal and an assist as the Rangers beat Windsor 4-2 on Sunday. Serpa becomes the first Rangers skater to earn OHL Player of the Week honours since Greg Meireles in March 2019.

A 20-year-old native of Cambridge, Ont., Serpa sits tied for the OHL playoff scoring lead with 14 points (6-8–14) over nine contests. The 5-foot-11, 155Ib. centreman had 20 goals, 49 assists and 69 points in 62 games this past season and was originally Kitchener’s fourth round (77th overall) pick in the 2018 OHL Priority Selection.

Also considered for the award this week, New York Rangers prospect Brennan Othmann of the Flint Firebirds had eight points (4-4–8) in four games as Flint eliminated Owen Sound and took a 2-0 second round series lead on Sault Ste. Marie. Serpa’s Rangers teammate Mitchell Martin was also considered after recording seven points (3-4–7) in four outings.

2021-22 OHL Players of the Week – Playoffs:
May 2 – May 8: Joseph Serpa (Kitchener Rangers)
Apr. 25 – May 1: Zayde Wisdom (Kingston Frontenacs)
Apr. 19 – Apr. 24: Antonio Stranges (London Knights)

2021-22 OHL Players of the Week – Regular Season:
Apr. 11 – Apr. 18: Robert Calisti (Soo Greyhounds)
Apr. 4 – Apr. 10: Martin Chromiak (Kingston Frontenacs)
Mar. 28 – Apr. 3: Mason McTavish (Hamilton Bulldogs) 
Mar. 21 – Mar. 27: Dalton Duhart (Saginaw Spirit)
Mar. 14 – Mar. 20: Matthew Maggio (Windsor Spitfires)
Mar. 7 – Mar. 13: Lucas Edmonds (Kingston Frontenacs)
Feb. 28 – Mar. 6: Theo Hill (Sarnia Sting)
Feb. 21 – Feb. 27: Logan Morrison (Hamilton Bulldogs)
Feb. 14 – Feb. 20: Antonio Stranges (London Knights)
Feb. 7 – Feb. 13: Logan Morrison (Hamilton Bulldogs).
Jan. 31 – Feb. 6: Luke Evangelista (London Knights)
Jan. 24 – Jan. 30: Brandt Clarke (Barrie Colts)
Jan. 17 – Jan. 23: Riley Piercey (Flint Firebirds)
Jan. 10 – Jan. 16: David Goyette (Sudbury Wolves)
Jan. 3 – Jan 9: Wyatt Johnston (Windsor Spitfires)
Dec. 27 – Jan. 2: James Hardie (Mississauga Steelheads)
Dec. 13 – Dec. 19: Ty Tullio (Oshawa Generals)
Dec. 6 – Dec. 12: Lucas Edmonds (Kingston Frontenacs)
Nov. 29 – Dec. 5: Wyatt Johnston (Windsor Spitfires)
Nov. 22 – Nov. 28: Brennan Othmann (Flint Firebirds)
Nov. 15 – Nov. 21: Brandon Coe (North Bay Battalion)
Nov. 8 – Nov. 14: Antonio Stranges (London Knights)
Nov. 1 – Nov. 7: Shane Wright (Kingston Frontenacs)
Oct. 25 – Oct. 31: Tucker Robertson (Peterborough Petes)
Oct. 18 – Oct. 24: Rory Kerins (Soo Greyhounds)
Oct. 11 – Oct. 17: Calum Ritchie (Oshawa Generals)
Oct. 4 – Oct. 10: Jack Thompson (Sudbury Wolves)



Firebirds’ Luke Cavallin Named OHL Goaltender of the Week

Luke Cavallin of the Flint Firebirds is the OHL Goaltender of the Week after posting a 3-1 record with a 2.75 goals-against average and .939 save percentage.

Cavallin stopped 168 shots over four games, helping the Firebirds win their first-ever OHL playoff series before posting making at least 50 saves in back-to-back second round wins over the Soo Greyhounds. He surrendered three goals on 29 shots last Tuesday as the Firebirds fell 4-0 to the Owen Sound Attack in Game 6 of their first round series, returning to the crease a night later to make 34 saves as Flint advanced with a 4-2 win in Game 7. Cavallin was sharp in consecutive second round starts, stopping 55 of 58 in Game 1 as the Firebirds defeated the Soo Greyhounds 5-3. He turned in an additional 53 saves on Sunday as Flint skated to another 5-3 win over Sault Ste. Marie.

A 21-year-old from Greely, Ont., Cavallin owns a 6-3 record with a 2.57 goals-against average and .933 save percentage in the postseason. He led the OHL with 36 wins during the regular season, setting other Firebirds club records with a 3.16 goals-against average and .910 save percentage. His 3,288 minutes played were the second-most in the League. Flint’s career leader in games played (143), wins (62) and shutouts (2), Cavallin is in his fourth season with the franchise after being selected in the second round (28th overall) of the 2017 OHL Priority Selection.

Also considered for the award this week, Nick Chenard of the Owen Sound Attack went 1-1 with a 1.52 goals-against average, .963 save percentage and one shutout. Kitchener’s Pavel Cajan played to a 2-1 mark, making 122 saves to help the Rangers eliminate the London Knights in seven games and advance to face the Windsor Spitfires in the second round of the playoffs.

2021-22 OHL Goaltenders of the Week – Playoffs:
May 2 – May 8: Luke Cavallin (Flint Firebirds)
Apr. 25 – May 1: Luke Cavallin (Flint Firebirds)
Apr. 18 – Apr. 24: Tucker Tynan (Soo Greyhounds)

2021-22 OHL Goaltenders of the Week – Regular Season:
Apr. 11 – Apr. 17: Max Donoso (Ottawa 67’s)
Apr. 4 – Apr. 10: Michael Simpson (Peterborough Petes)
Mar. 28 – Apr. 3: Patrick Leaver (Oshawa Generals)
Mar. 21 – Mar. 27: Joey Costanzo (Niagara IceDogs)
Mar. 14 – Mar. 20: Marco Costantini (Hamilton Bulldogs)
Mar. 7 – Mar. 13: Nick Chenard (Owen Sound Attack)
Feb. 28 – Mar. 6: Marco Costantini (Hamilton Bulldogs)
Feb. 21 – Feb. 27: Leevi Merilainen (Kingston Frontenacs)
Feb. 14 – Feb. 20: Mack Guzda (Barrie Colts)
Feb. 7 – Feb. 13: Pavel Cajan (Kitchener Rangers)
Jan. 31 – Feb. 6: Patrick Leaver (Oshawa Generals)
Jan. 24 – Jan. 30: Max Donoso (Ottawa 67’s)
Jan. 17 – Jan. 23: Mack Guzda (Barrie Colts)
Jan. 10 – Jan. 16: Mitchell Weeks (Sudbury Wolves)
Jan. 3 – Jan. 9: Nolan Lalonde (Erie Otters)
Dec. 27 – Jan. 2: Joe Ranger (Mississauga Steelheads)
Dec. 13 – Dec. 19: Owen Bennett (Guelph Storm)
Dec. 6 – Dec. 12: Mack Guzda (Barrie Colts)
Nov. 29 – Dec. 5: Leevi Merilainen (Kingston Frontenacs)
Nov. 22 – Nov. 28: Tye Austin (Peterborough Petes)
Nov. 15 – Nov. 21: Ben Gaudreau (Sarnia Sting)
Nov. 8 – Nov. 14: Joe Vrbetic (North Bay Battalion
Nov. 1 – Nov. 7: Roman Basran (Mississauga Steelheads)
Oct. 25 – Oct. 31: Patrick Leaver (Oshawa Generals)
Oct. 18 – Oct. 24: Jacob Oster (Guelph Storm)
Oct. 11 – Oct. 17: Brett Brochu (London Knights)
Oct. 4 – Oct. 10: Tucker Tynan (Niagara IceDogs)


About the Ontario Hockey League
The Ontario Hockey League is a proud member of the Canadian Hockey League which is the world’s largest development hockey league with 60 teams in nine Canadian provinces and four American states. In addition to the OHL, the CHL is made up of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League and the Western Hockey League. The CHL supplies more players to the National Hockey League and U SPORTS than any other league.

Christian Kyrou – Erie Otters – Player Profile

HTWTDOBPOSSHOOTSOHL DRAFTNHLCSCOUNTRY
5’11”1829-16-03DR84th 201948 NACANADA
SEASONLEAGUETEAMGPGAPTS
2018-19ALL U-16Elgin-Middlesex3251722
2019-20GOJHLKomoka Kings142911
2019-20OHLErie Otters21000
2020-21OHLErie Otters0000
2021-22OHLErie Otters68184260
Christian Kyrou of the Erie Otters. Photo by Luke Durda/OHL Images

Patiently, I waited a couple of months for NHL Central Scouting to release its final draft rankings to see where they were going to slot Erie Otters Defenceman Christian Kyrou because I thought my eyes were playing tricks on me based on how Central Scouting was seeing him.

Not since 2010 when they ranked Jeff Skinner at 47 among North American skaters have, I waited with such anticipation. In the end, they ranked him at 34 but we all know by now he went 7th overall to the Carolina Hurricanes. At the time, I had OHL players ranked: Tyler Seguin (1), Taylor Hall (2) and Skinner (3) saying Seguin would be the better overall player, Hall would record the most points and Skinner would score the most goals in their NHL Careers.

So, What about Kyrou? Well, the younger brother of St Louis Blues forward Jordan Kyrou wasn’t listed on Central Scouting’s pre-season Players to Watch List. They saw some of the light and, on their midterm, placed him 179 among North American Skaters. That still shocked me because by the time you add in European skaters and Goaltenders, that leaves him outside the 224 players that will get drafted.

I was pleased to see that on their final ranking for the 2022 NHL Entry Draft, that they bumped him up a whopping 131 spots to the 48 spot among North American Skaters (and that might still be a tad too low for my liking).

On OHL Writers, I gave him serious consideration as our Draft Eligible Defenceman of the Year. In the annual OHL Coaches Poll he was voted the most improved player in the Western Conference and the Most Underrated Player in the Western Conference as well as the second-best Offensive Defenceman in the Western Conference. Among draft eligible defencemen, he finished first in goals, second in points and third in assists. Among all OHL defencemen, he finished second in goals, ninth in assists and fourth in points.

With a September 16 birthdate, Kyrou missed the 2021 Entry Draft eligibility by just one day, making him the oldest first-time eligible player for the draft. And there are some that believe that alone is worthy of dropping him a few spots. However, I disagree. There has to be a cut off somewhere, and for Kyrou this just happens to be it, but with the lost season a year ago, everyone is on the same level in my opinion.

Kyrou’s strengths are in his offensive game. He has a tremendous shot from the point. His hockey IQ in the offensive zone is off the charts. He reads the plays quickly and always makes the right decision. He is an extremely dangerous powerplay quarterback. To put it simply, his offensive game is NHL caliber for a blueliner.

Where most have an issue in Kyrou’s game – and I can agree to a point – is in his skating and defensive game. He is okay on his blades, but I would love it if he could add an extra gear that will not only help him in transitioning to offence, but also in retrieving pucks. I’m not always as concerned as some when it comes to skating because with good pro coaching, that development can come along.

That improved skating would also help him defensively in keeping gaps tight and in forcing players to the outside. I will also say that you can’t get a true read on his defensive abilities. Erie was a bad team, finishing a collective minus- 44 on the season and Kyrou was the best blueliner at minus-3. Sure, putting up 60 points helps alleviate that, but teammate Spencer Sova, who for most of the season has been ranked ahead of Kyrou finished a minus-24 and put up 28 points.

Kyrou was used on the penalty kill throughout the season (and he was a threat to go on offence even then) so the Otters coaching staff saw something there.

Kyrou is going to be interesting to watch come draft day to see how NHL teams view him. But he’s definitely a player I would look to very late in the second round or early in the third. Older brother Jordan was ranked 34th among North American skaters in 2016 and ended up going 35th overall. Maybe the St Louis Blues will like the bloodlines.

A Look at NHL Central Scouting’s Final Draft Ranking

So, I am not going to break down NHL Central Scouting’s rankings in its entirety, just those Ontario Hockey League players ranked (or not ranked). After all, this sight is all about the OHL, right?

Let’s begin in the blue paint. One name that we have been pushing on OHL Writers for most of the season is Patrick Leaver of the Oshawa Generals. We selected Leaver as our Draft Eligible Goaltender of the Year at the end of the regular season. Central scouting showed him a lot of love on their final list as Leaver had the highest jump among ranked OHL netminders climbing 13 spots from 29 on the midterm rankings to 16 on the final rankings.

Leaver wasn’t the only netminder with a massive jump. Niagara IceDogs Josh Rosenzweig went from unranked on the midterm list to 22 on the final list.

Of course, when you have risers, they must be accompanied by fallers and the OHL had their share. Brett Brochu of the London Knights dropped 15 spots from 16 to 31. Dom DiVincentiis of the North Bay Battalion dropped 10 spots from 14 to 24.  

When it comes to skaters, we have been big fans of Christian Kyrou of the Erie Otters since about the drop of the puck this season. We gave him serious consideration as our Draft Eligible Defenceman of the Year. In the annual OHL Coach’s Poll he was voted the most improved player in the Western Conference and the Most Underrated Player in the Western Conference as well as the second-best Offensive Defenceman in the Western Conference. Among draft eligible defencemen, he finished first in goals, second in points and third in assists. Central Scouting (finally) moved him up a whopping 131 spots from 179 to 48.

But that wasn’t the biggest jump. Matthew Maggio of the Windsor Spitfires jumped 149 spots from being not ranked (there were 251 players ranked on the midterm rankings so we used 252 as Maggio was not ranked) all the way up to 103 on the final rankings. Among draft eligible players, Maggio finished second in goals, assists and points. He was our runner up to Draft Eligible Forward of the Year. In the Coach’s Poll, he finished just ahead of Kyrou as the most improved player in the Western Conference and tied for third as the Hardest Worker in the Western Conference.

But the highest jump belonged to Amadeus Lombardi of the Flint Firebirds who moved up from not being ranked all the way to 94 on the final rankings. I can’t understand how he was not ranked on their midterm ranking, but they got this right.

Another player that deserves mentioning is David Goyette of the Sudbury Wolves who moved up 22 spots from 35 to 13. It’s a massive jump in its own right as that puts Goyette in the bottom third of the first round instead of middle second. And that’s a much-deserved spot for him. He deserves first round consideration.

Two of the biggest fallers are Ruslan Gazizov and Colton Smith, both of the London Knights who dropped from 62 to 149 and 129 to being not ranked respectively. For Comparison’s sake, Bob McKenzie had Gazizov at 15 and Smith as an honorable mention on his midterm rankings (only 80 players were ranked).

I do think that Central Scouting got a couple of Guelph Storm prospects correctly. For most of the season, Matthew Poitras was ranked ahead of Danny Zhilkin on a lot of lists. Poitras was ranked 23 on the midterm rankings and drops to 45 while Zhilkin was ranked 27 and drops to 35. We’re not saying we agree with the overall ranking, but that Zhilkin is rightfully ranked ahead of Poitras and we’ve been saying that for some time.

Vsevolod Gaidamak of the Ottawa 67’s was the highest ranked player on Central Scouting’s midterm rankings to fall off the chart on their final ranking. He went from 121 to being not ranked.

Nice to see a little love for James Hardie of the Mississauga Steelheads who moved up 56 spots from 204 to 148. But we are also surprised to see Tucker Robertson drop 53 spots from 109 to 162.

If you are looking for our final list, it usually comes out after the Memorial Cup. Until then, here is NHL Central Scouting’s rankings with their midterm and final ranking shown:

PLAYERTEAMNHL MIDNHL FIN
Shane WrightKingston11
Pavel MintyukovSaginaw56
Luca Del Bel BelluzMississauga118
Owen BeckMississauga1910
David GoyetteSudbury3513
Matyas SapovalivSaginaw1323
Michael BuchingerGuelph3630
Ty NelsonNorth Bay2532
Bryce McConnell-BarkerSoo2834
Danny ZhilkinGuelph2735
Vinzenz RohrerOttawa4642
Hunter HaightBarrie4744
Matthew PoitrasGuelph2345
Christian KyrouErie17948
Paul LudwinskiKingston2949
Gavin HayesFlint6851
Isiah GeorgeLondon4253
Servac PetrovskyOwen Sound5258
Cedrick GuindonOwen Sound7659
Jake KarabelaGuelph6162
Pano FimisNiagara7775
Spencer SovaErie2880
Jorian DonovanHamilton3981
Evan KonyenSudbury8885
Beau JelsmaBarrie13788
Amadeus LombardiFlint25294
Matthew MaggioWindsor252103
Lucas EdmondsKingston107104
Kiriil KudryavtsevSoo103108
Liam ArnsbyNorth Bay66115
Rodwin DionicioNiagara132118
Kocha DelicSudbury200122
Jackson EdwardLondon75123
Tnias MathurinNorth Bay152126
Zakary LavoieMississauga124134
Samuel MayerPeterborough120139
James HardieMississauga204148
Ruslan GazizovLondon62149
Aidan CastleOwen Sound155151
Brady StonehouseOttawa138152
Nolan CollinsSudbury252153
Kyle JacksonNorth Bay182158
Tucker RobertsonPeterborough109162
Gavin BryantOwen Sound160179
Bryce CookNiagara163183
Braeden BowmanGuelph217194
Kai SchwindtMississauga252196
Sam AlfanoPeterborough190207
Max NamestnikovSarnia219211
Landon SimLondon213215
Kasper LarsenMississauga252220
Kirill SteklovLondon196221
Roberto ManciniSaginaw195222
Caeden CarlisleSoo252223
Vsevolod GaidamakOttawa121225
Colton SmithLondon129225
Stuart RolofsOshawa142225
Bryce CookNiagara163225
Tyler SavardSoo183225
Brody CraneLondon188225
Ryan AbrahamWindsor210225
Nolan DannSarnia225225
Simon SlavicekFlintLV225
GOALIESNHL MIDNHL  FIN
Andrew OkeSaginaw89
Nolan LalondeErie1014
Patrick LeaverOshawa2916
Charlie SchenkelSoo1217
Jacob OsterGuelph1518
Josh RosenzweigNiagara3322
Domenic DiVincentiisNorth Bay1424
Marco CostantiniHamilton3329

OHL COMPLETES 2022 UNDER-18 PRIORITY SELECTION

Toronto, Ont. – The Ontario Hockey League today conducted the sixth annual OHL Under-18 Priority Selection for U18 AAA hockey players in Ontario.

Eligibility for the 2022 OHL Under-18 Priority Selection included all U18 players (2004 and 2005 birth years) not currently on an OHL Member Team Protected List who were carded with an Ontario based U18 AAA Hockey Club or an accredited Hockey Canada sport school within the Ontario Hockey Federation, Hockey Eastern Ontario or Hockey Northwestern Ontario in the current season.

A total of 52 players were selected from 32 different teams and included 23 forwards, 16 defencemen and 13 goaltenders. 46 of the 52 players selected were born in 2005.

“Congratulations to all 52 players selected tonight,” said OHL Director of Player Recruitment and Development Kyle Pereira. “It’s an exciting day for players, family members, coaches and teammates to celebrate perseverance through the past couple of seasons that may have included some players being overlooked in last year’s OHL Priority Selection. The Under-18 Priority Selection has provided the OHL with a number of quality players since its inception in 2017, and it presents another opportunity for prospects to further their development and showcase themselves in an effort to become the best player they can be.”

Winners of the Under-18 Priority Selection Draft Lottery back on April 20, the Saginaw Spirit used the first overall selection to take right-winger Lincoln Moore of the Soo Jr. Greyhounds U18 program. The pick follows their selection of Calem Mangone with the second overall choice from the same program last year. Mangone recorded 13 goals and 34 points in his rookie season with the Spirit.

The Erie Otters picked second and scooped up the first goaltender in 6-foot-2 netminder Vlad Visan of the Burlington Eagles U18 team. The Sudbury Wolves followed-up with another goaltender at third overall in Nate Krawchuk of the Thunder Bay Kings.

All OHL member teams were required to draft a minimum of two players, however to enhance opportunities specifically for goaltenders, clubs selecting a goaltender with one of their selections had the option to select another player (skater only) in a third round.

The Greater Toronto Hockey League led the way with 18 players selected including five from the Central Region U18 AAA champion Mississauga Reps. The Ontario Minor Hockey Association followed with 16, including five each from the Ajax-Pickering Raiders and Oshawa Generals U18 programs. The Minor Hockey Alliance of Ontario produced 12 picks, Hockey Eastern Ontario produced seven, and first overall pick Lincoln Moore was the lone representative from the Northern Ontario Hockey Association. One player was selected from an accredited Hockey Canada sport school.

The OHL Under-18 Priority Selection was conducted in partnership with RinkNet as picks were submitted online by OHL member clubs and displayed in real time at ontariohockeyleague.com. The selections were also streamed live on CHL TV.

Announced in January 2017, the concept of the OHL Under-18 Priority Selection was developed with full support from Hockey Canada’s three Ontario Branches including the Ontario Hockey Federation (OHF), Hockey Eastern Ontario (HEO), and Hockey Northwestern Ontario (HNO).


About the Ontario Hockey League
The Ontario Hockey League is a proud member of the Canadian Hockey League which is the world’s largest development hockey league with 60 teams in nine Canadian provinces and four American states. In addition to the OHL, the CHL is made up of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League and the Western Hockey League. The CHL supplies more players to the National Hockey League and U SPORTS than any other league.

OHL Playoff Preview and Predictions Round Two

Before we look at the second round series matchups, lets look back and see how poorly I did in round one:

EASTERN CONFERENCEPREDICTIONOUTCOME
(1) Hamilton vs (8) PeterboroughHamilton in 4Hamilton wins 4-0
(2) North Bay vs (7) OttawaNorth Bay in 5North Bay wins 4-0
(3) Kingston vs (6) OshawaKingston in 6Kingston wins 4-2
(4) Mississauga vs (5) BarrieMississauga in 7Mississauga wins 4-2
WESTERN CONFERENCEPREDICTIONOUTCOME
(1) Windsor vs (8) SarniaWindsor in 5Windsor wins 4-2
(2) London vs (7) KitchenerLondon in 6Kitchener win 4-3
(3) Flint vs (6) Owen SoundFlint in 6Flint wins 4-3
(4) Sault Ste Marie vs (5) GuelphSault Ste Marie in 7Sault Ste Marie wins 4-1

So, 7 out of 8 correct winners. The Hockey Gods looked after the Kitchener Rangers after they were robbed of a goal as video review deemed it kicked in when it wasn’t. (The OHL officially came out and said the next day that it was an error). That call quite possibly cost the Rangers game 5. But they bounced back, tied the series and forced a game 7 in London in which they won in overtime to take the series.

But in only two of the series where I picked the correct winner did, I hit on the number of games. The biggest discrepancy was the Soo Greyhounds taking care of business against the Guelph Storm in 5 games where I had predicted it to go the distance. I don’t think anyone predicted the Storm wouldn’t give the Greyhounds a fight.

So, I try again with round two:

EASTERN CONFERENCE

(1) Hamilton vs (4) Mississauga

 HamiltonMississauga
Head-to-head5-2-0-13-5-0-0
PP Regular Season27.6%20.9%
PP Playoffs39.4%33.3%
PP vs opponent16.7%14.3%
PK Regular Season80.9%81.3%
PK Playoffs91.3%75.0%
PK vs opponent85.7%83.3%
GF Regular season300229
GF Playoffs2717
GA Regular season176189
GA Playoffs913
PIM /game regular season11.3/game11.5/game
PIM /game playoffs21.5/game9.8/game

I want to say “it’s hard to imagine the Hamilton Bulldogs losing a game in these playoffs” but I can’t because it’s bound to happen at some point. Offensively, the Bulldogs dominated during the regular season and the playoffs. Defensively, the Steelheads were almost as good as Hamilton during the regular season and the playoffs.

Both teams brought their powerplays to new levels during the playoffs. Mississauga’s penalty kill took a hit during the playoffs while Hamilton’s skyrocketed. However, one must take into account their respective opponents. If special teams are going to be a factor in this series, then you have to take into account that Mississauga is taking fewer penalties in the playoffs than the regular season while Hamilton has almost doubled theirs. But I’m not going to overthink this trying to find wins for Mississauga.

Prediction: Hamilton in 5 games.

(2) North Bay vs (3) Kingston

 North BayKingston
Head-to-head4-0-0-00-4-0-0
PP Regular Season25.9%25.3%
PP Playoffs30.0%26.7%
PP vs opponent53.8%13.3%
PK Regular Season80.6%79.8%
PK Playoffs90.0%60.0%
PK vs opponent86.7%46.2%
GF Regular season267285
GF Playoffs1727
GA Regular season198242
GA Playoffs1118
PIM /game regular season9.1/game11.1/game
PIM /game playoffs7.8/game11.5/game

As you can see above, the North Bay Battalion swept the season series against the Kingston Frontenacs. Only 6 points separated the two teams in the regular season. Their powerplays were pretty even as was their penalty kills and their goals for. North Bay had a decisive advantage in the goals against department.

Where North Bay had the big advantage was on specialty teams head-to-head. North Bay’s powerplay clipped along at 53.8% against Kingston while the Fronts could only score on 13.3% of their chances against the Battalion. And in the four games head-to-head during the regular season North Bay outscored Kingston 19-10. If Kingston gets into penalty trouble, this series could be over quickly.

Prediction: North Bay in 6 games.

WESTERN CONFERENCE

(1) Windsor vs (7) Kitchener

 WindsorKitchener
Head-to-head4-3-0-14-4-0-0
PP Regular Season26.1%18.3%
PP Playoffs7.4%22.7%
PP vs opponent21.9%16.0%
PK Regular Season82.6%77.4%
PK Playoffs76.0%80.0%
PK vs opponent84.0%78.1%
GF Regular season305236
GF Playoffs1823
GA Regular season248271
GA Playoffs1123
PIM /game regular season10.3/game11.0/game
PIM /game playoffs14.3/game9.3/game

The regular season series between the Kitchener Rangers and Windsor Spitfires was pretty even. The Spits were better team on the powerplay and the penalty kill against each other and the rest of the league. The Spits scored 69 more goals than the Rangers – that’s a goal per game more and also allowed 23 fewer goals against than the Rangers.

But in the playoffs, it was the Rangers who came out on top in the special team’s department while also playing a tougher opponent in the London Knights than Windsor had against the Sarnia Sting. The Spits have some star power for sure but of Rangers goalie Pavel Cajan can play as he did versus the Knights it will be a tight series. Mathias Onuska was no slouch for Windsor in the blue paint either.

Prediction: Windsor in 6 games.  

(3) Flint vs (4) Sault Ste Marie

 FlintSault Ste Marie
Head-to-head2-1-0-23-1-1-0
PP Regular Season19.7%28.4%
PP Playoffs9.7%35.3%
PP vs opponent34.6%17.6%
PK Regular Season84.3%78.7%
PK Playoffs87.5%90.9%
PK vs opponent82.4%65.4%
GF Regular season286295
GF Playoffs2221
GA Regular season238246
GA Playoffs                              2011
PIM /game regular season10.4/game11.5/game
PIM /game playoffs10.9/game15.4/game

The Flint Firebirds and Soo Greyhounds were also very close in the regular season. Only 4 points separated them in the standings. Their offence and defence were also close. The Greyhounds win out in the powerplay department while the Firebirds topped them on the penalty kill. However, head-to-head the Firebirds dominated.

Flint couldn’t get the man advantage to work for them in their first round series against the Owen Sound Attack while the Greyhounds exploded against the Guelph Storm. Unless the Greyhounds can limit the number of penalties, they take the powerplay could be the difference in this series. It could also come down to home ice advantage. For me, this is a flip a coin series.

Prediction: Sault Ste Marie in 7