OHL Announces 2017-18 Regular Season Schedule

Toronto, ON – The Ontario Hockey League today announced the regular season schedule of games for 2017-18.

OHL Opening Week17-18

#OHLOpeningWeek begins on Thursday September 21 with three games on the schedule including the defending Mastercard Memorial Cup champion Windsor Spitfires at home to the Saginaw Spirit, the OHL champion Erie Otters on the road against the Peterborough Petes, along with the Barrie Colts hosting the Ottawa 67’s.  In total, #OHLOpeningWeek features 20 games through Sunday September 24 and includes 16 home openers.

The 2017-18 schedule includes 681 games this season due to a special inter-league series between the Ottawa 67’s and the QMJHL’s Gatineau Olympiques.  As part of their 50th anniversary celebrations, the 67’s will play their cross-river neighbours twice including in Ottawa on Sunday December 17 and in Gatineau on Friday January 12 with both games counting towards league standing.

Other highlights of the 2017-18 regular season schedule include the raising of OHL Championship banners on Saturday September 30 in Erie as the Otters play host to the Kitchener Rangers for their home opener.  The schedule also includes eight School Day games with morning puck drops.  On Wednesday November 1 the Otters host the Rangers and the 67’s host the Kingston Frontenacs for 10:30 am contests, followed by a trio of morning matchups on Wednesday November 15 including the Flint Firebirds hosting the Sarnia Sting, the Hamilton Bulldogs hosting the Petes, and the Mississauga Steelheads hosting the Otters.  On Wednesday November 29 the Frontenacs host the 67’s at 10:30 am, on Thursday February 8 the Bulldogs host the Colts at 10:30 am, and on Wednesday February 14 the Steelheads host the Rangers at 11:00 am.  Cogeco TV’s Hockey Day in the OHL returns for a fifth straight year taking place on Sunday January 28 with a broadcast triple-header that features Niagara at North Bay at 1:00 pm, Peterborough at Kingston at 4:00 pm, then Sarnia at Hamilton beginning at 7:00 pm.  The two busiest days of the calendar include Thursday December 28 and Friday January 26 that both feature all 20 teams in action, while six different dates feature nine games including Sunday October 29, Friday November 10, Sunday November 19, Friday November 24, Friday February 2, and Family Day on Monday February 19 with every game beginning at 2:00 pm.

The regular season wraps up on Sunday March 18 with five games scheduled before the top eight teams in each conference will compete for the J. Ross Robertson Cup in the 2018 OHL Playoffs.

CHL Special Events this season include the CIBC Canada Russia Series in OHL markets on Thursday November 9 in Owen Sound, and Monday November 13 in Sudbury.  The 2018 Sherwin-Williams CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game is also hosted by the OHL this season and will be played on Thursday January 25 in Guelph.  The 2018 Mastercard Memorial Cup is set for May 17-27 in Regina, Saskatchewan, and will feature the OHL champion along with the host Pats, the Western Hockey League champion, and the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League champion competing in the 100th edition of the CHL’s prestigious national championship.

The 2017-18 campaign features milestones for several clubs including the Battalion’s 20th OHL season and 5th in North Bay, the 45th season for the Frontenacs, and the 55th season for the Rangers.

Divisional alignment remains the same for 2017-18 with all teams playing inter divisional rivals a minimum of six times including three games at home and three on the road, while teams will continue to play a minimum of one home and one road matchup against all 19 other clubs.

 The Ontario Hockey League continues the tradition of being primarily a weekend league in order to accommodate the student athlete with over 89% (607) games scheduled between Thursday and Sunday.  Friday continues to be the busiest night during the season with 187 games scheduled, followed by 163 on Saturdays, and 157 on Sundays.

Day – No. of Games (Percentage)

MON 15 2.2%
TUES 8 1.2%
WED 51 7.5%
THURS 100 14.7%
FRI 187 27.5%
SAT 163 23.9%
SUN 157 23.1%
681 100.0%

The entire 2017-18 OHL Regular Season Schedule is attached but can also be found online at www.ontariohockeyleague.com.

Help promote the launch of the 2017-18 OHL Regular Season on social media by using #OHLOpeningWeek.



OHL This Week for May 28 to June 5, 2017

Toronto, ON – It’s the final edition of ‘OHL This Week’ for the 2016-17 season!  All of the champions have been crowned, the action on-ice is complete, but  another season is just around the corner.

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

For the third time in franchise history the Windsor Spitfires are Mastercard Memorial Cup champions. Fourth-year veteran Aaron Luchuk scored the game winner 5:07 into the third period as the host Spitfires defeated the OHL champion Erie Otters 4-3 before a capacity crowd of 6,519 at the WFCU Centre. Read more / Highlights / Photo Gallery


Less than 72 hours after hoisting the Memorial Cup on home ice, the Windsor Spitfires took the streets to celebrate the franchise’s third championship with fans, parading the prestigious trophy down Ouellette Avenue. They couldn’t have asked for better weather either as the sun shone down on the lengthy caravan that greeted supporters down a stretch headed toward the banks of the Detroit River. Watch


Social media provides a platform to share moments and emotions with the world. The Windsor Spitfires 2017 Mastercard Memorial Cup title flooded digital devices with content celebrating the team’s historic win on home ice. Read more


2017 NHL Draft prospect Michael DiPietro led the Windsor Spitfires to the ultimate prize with a sensational Mastercard Memorial Cup performance. The native of nearby Amherstburg hoisted the Memorial Cup on home ice while also becoming one of the few 17-year-olds to earn the Hap Emms Memorial Trophy as the tournament’s most outstanding goaltender. Read more


While the home team celebrated on the ice, the OHL champion Erie Otters reflected on a disappointing end to an otherwise successful season. The legacy this group of Otters players leaves behind is considerable. The much talked-about four 50-win campaigns, two OHL final appearances and one Robertson Cup speak for themselves. When the dust settles, as many as a half-dozen Otters are expected to one day suit up in the NHL. Read more


Erie Otters teammates Dylan Strome and Anthony Cirelli along with Windsor Spitfires goaltender Michael DiPietro all received Mastercard Memorial Cup awards while DiPietro and five other OHL players were named to the tournament all-star team. Read more


Erie Otters forward Alex DeBrincat, the Owen Sound Attack trio of Michael McNiven, Nick Suzuki and coach Ryan McGill as well as Ottawa 67’s forward Sasha Chmelevski all earned CHL Awards handed out at the 2017 Mastercard Memorial Cup in Windsor. Read more / Photo Gallery


22 OHL players have been invited to the 2017 NHL Scouting Combine that is being held from Monday May 29th to Saturday June 3rd at First Niagara Center and the nearby Harbor Center in Buffalo, NY. The list of OHL invitees includes 16 forwards, five defencemen and one goaltender. OHL talent represents 21% of the 104 players invited to attend the event. Read more


The Flint Firebirds have received a commitment from 2017 first round (10th overall) selection Ethan Keppen. A native of Whitby, Ont., Keppen earned 35 points (14G, 21A) in 33 games played last season with the Toronto Nationals Minor Midget AAA Hockey Club. Read more


The London Knights have received commitments from 2017 first round (18th overall) selection Lucas Rowe and second round (34th overall) pick Andrew Perrott. Rowe helped lead the Mississauga Reps to an OHL Cup Championship when they defeated the Toronto Nationals by a 3-2 score.  Rowe will wear number 21 for the Knights this season. Perrott spent last season playing for his hometown Detroit HoneyBaked 16U, where the 6’0” 195-pound defenceman recorded 25 points in 46 games.  Perrott will wear number 24 for the Knights this season. Read more


The Ottawa 67’s have received commitments from 2017 first round (6th overall) selection Graeme Clarke and 2016 12th round selection Cedrick Andree. An Ottawa native, Clarke was touted as the best pure goal scorer in the draft and prior to his first development camp with the hockey club, Clarke was on the gold medal-winning team at the OHL Gold Cup. Andree was a twelfth round selection in 2016 and spent the past year playing in the United States at The Gunnery Prep School and also practiced with the 67’s at various points throughout the year. Read more


The Hamilton Bulldogs have received a commitment from 2017 second round (26th overall) selection Arthur Kaliyev. The Russian-born Kaliyev played last season for the Detroit Compuware U16 where he scored 13 goals and 5 assists, for 18 points in 19 games. He then went on to lead the team to the USA Hockey Youth Tier 1 U16 National championship where he led the tournament in scoring. Read more


The Niagara IceDogs have received a commitment from 2017 third round (51st overall) selection Ian Martin. The 5-foot-10 forward shined in Minor Midget this past season, posting 15 goals in just 22 games as a member of the Ajax-Pickering Raiders. Read more


The OHL champions welcome prospects to the city this weekend for the club’s annual Development Camp which includes fitness testing, on-ice sessions, and scrimmages at Mercyhurst Ice Center.  All on-ice activities are open to the public.  For more information visit ottershockey.com.


The 2017 OHL Coaches Conference is under a month away, taking place on Saturday June 3rd on the campus of UOIT in Oshawa. Many of the guest speakers for the 4th annual installment of the day-long conference have been confirmed and will provide minor hockey coaches the opportunity to learn from OHL, AHL, and NHL personnel in an interactive professional development day. Read more


The 2017 OHL Alumni Association Golf Tournament is fast approaching! The 2nd annual event is set to take place on Monday June 5th at the Devil’s Pulpit, one of Canada’s most acclaimed private golf clubs located in Caledon, Ont. This event is one of several networking events focused on bringing together former players from all generations.  Proceeds from the tournament will be donated to the Gudbranson Stem Cell Research Grant, which helps fund research for Stem Cell Treatments. Space is limited! Read more


Don’t miss out on Father’s Day deals at OHLShop.com! Until Father’s Day use the promo code ‘DAD25’ to get a 25% discount off the full men’s collection. Visit OHLShop.com to get in on the savings.


The 2017-18 Ontario Hockey League regular season schedule will be announced the week of June 5 beginning with home opener details published on Monday afternoon, followed by a full schedule release on Tuesday morning.  Keep track of the action online using #OHLOpeningWeek.


14 OHL graduates competing in Stanley Cup Final: A total of 14 OHL graduates, eight from the Pittsburgh Penguins and six from the Nashville Predators, will battle in the 2017 Stanley Cup Final of the NHL Playoffs. The Western Conference champion Predators advanced to their ever first Stanley Cup Final following a series win over the Anaheim Ducks. Nashville has had strong OHL alumni contributions from defencemen Ryan Ellis (Windsor Spitfires) and P.K. Subban (Belleville Bulls) while forwards James Neal (Plymouth Whalers) and Austin Watson (London Knights) have also factored into the team’s success. Predators captain Mike Fisher (Sudbury Wolves) has been limited by injuries of late while defenceman Yannick Weber (Kitchener Rangers) has skated in all 16 of the club’s playoff contests. Read more

22 OHL graduates competing in Calder Cup Final: A total of 22 OHL graduates, 12 from the Grand Rapids Griffins and 10 from the Syracuse Crunch, will battle in the 2017 Calder Cup Final of the AHL Playoffs. The Western Conference champion Griffins advanced to their first Calder Cup Final since 2013 with a 4-1 series victory over the San Jose Barracuda. Graduate Eric Tangradi (Belleville Bulls) is tied for the Grand Rapids team lead in playoff scoring with 15 points (2-13–15) while Tyler Bertuzzi (Guelph Storm) has also been impressive with 13 points (6-7–13). The Eastern Conference crunch advanced to their first Final since 2013 with a 4-1 series victory over the Providence Bruins. Graduates Slater Koekkoek (Windsor Spitfires), Jake Dotchin (Barrie Colts) and Dominik Masin (Peterborough Petes) have been regulars on the Syracuse blue line. Read more

4 Former OHL officials working 2017 Stanley Cup Final: Four former OHL officials have been assigned to work the Stanley Cup Final of the 2017 NHL Playoffs. Referees Dan O’Halloran and Kevin Pollock are joined by OHL playing and officiating graduate Scott Cherrey and Brad Kovachik on the lines.


Sunday May 28th:
Windsor Spitfires 4 vs. Erie Otters 3 – Highlights

Windsor Spitfires are 2017 Mastercard Memorial Cup Champions

  • Spitfires become tenth host team, first since 2012 to win
  • Windsor’s 12th straight win at Mastercard Memorial Cup ties Kamloops for most consecutive
  • 3rd title equals Cornwall and Kamloops for most championships since introduction of round-robin in 1972
  • Warren Rychel becomes 3rd GM to win three Mastercard Memorial Cups
  • Jeremy Bracco becomes 24th player to win Mastercard Memorial Cup and World Junior Gold in same season
  • OHL claims third straight Mastercard Memorial Cup for the first time
  • Mastercard Memorial Cup Awards and All-Stars Announced
2017 Memorial Cup (2)
The Memorial Cup is brought onto the ice. Photo by Aaron Bell/CHL Images

For the third time in franchise history the Windsor Spitfires are Mastercard Memorial Cup champions.

Fourth-year veteran Aaron Luchuk scored the game winner 5:07 into the third period as the host Spitfires defeated the OHL champion Erie Otters 4-3 before a capacity crowd of 6,519 at the WFCU Centre.

 Toronto Maple Leafs prospect Jeremy Bracco led the way with a goal and two helpers in the win, registering the lone assist on Luchuk’s game winning goal while Michael DiPietro made 32 saves and came up big late in the game.

 The Spitfires become the tenth host team to hoist the Memorial Cup since 1983 and first since the Shawinigan Cataractes did so in 2012.

“It’s so special winning at home, especially with this group of guys,” said DiPietro during post-game celebrations. “The crowd was so loud and played a big part in this, threw the momentum in our favour. They’re part of this too and helped us bring it home.”

Second-year Spitfires head coach Rocky Thompson put his club through a rigorous 44-day training regimen following their first round elimination from the OHL Playoffs. They came to the tournament in top condition, going undefeated with a pair of wins over Erie along with others against Saint John and Seattle.

“My guys are amazing,” said Thompson. “We saw what they’ve gone through here. We witnessed what they had to go through during that break. It’s an amazing feeling and an amazing thing that those guys did.

“Everybody bought in no matter who it was, staff, management, ownership and the players. They’re champions for a reason – they’re amazing.”

 A fiercely intense, furiously paced first period of hockey saw end-to-end action, blocked shots and big saves on both sides of the puck.

 The much sought-after first goal went to the Spitfires as Bracco converted on Windsor’s first power play of the night. The shifty winger jumped on a loose puck off a goalmouth scramble, sliding a puck through the legs of a stickless Troy Timpano at 13:01 as the sold out WFCU Centre erupted.

The Otters would respond though as captain Dylan Strome scored his seventh of the tournament just 49 seconds later. Strome’s quick wrister off the post and in came on a tremendous display of patience from defenceman Darren Raddysh who held the puck in at the offensive blue line before finding an open Strome for the finish with a cross-ice feed.

 Erie would lead for 52 seconds early in the second period as Warren Foegele redirected a Dylan Strome shot past DiPietro in the slot at 5:35 before Winnipeg Jets prospect Logan Stanley tied the score at two a shift later.

Stanley’s first goal since January 12th came on a wrist shot from the point through traffic that found its way past Timpano at 6:27.

The Otters regained the lead, pulling ahead 3-2 on a goal from blueliner TJ Fergus at 12:41. Erie’s fourth line of Ivan Lodnia, German Poddubnyi and Cameron Lizotte got the Otters on the board as the puck got back to the point for Fergus who fired a low release off a Spitfires defender and past DiPietro.

 The see-saw affair continued as Windsor went on the power play under two minutes later, setting up a perfectly executed passing play with Graham Knott providing the finish with his third of the tournament at 14:53. The Spitfires worked the puck down low for a cross-crease feed from Gabriel Vilardi to give him his second assist of the game and seventh of the tournament.

 The two clubs ended the second period tied at three as Erie led on the shot clock 24-17.

 Luchuk’s winner came 5:07 into the third as Bracco did the lion’s share of the work, busting down the wing to draw a pair of Erie defenders in before finding Luchuk coming down the middle as he beat Timpano over the glove to give Windsor a 4-3 lead. Luchuk managed to get free from his check as both clubs were in the midst of line changes, giving the speedy veteran ample time to pick a corner.

 The Otters made a late push, hitting a goal post inside the final two minutes of play but big saves from DiPietro carried the Spits to the final buzzer as they streamed onto the ice in celebration.

“We had our opportunities,” said Otters head coach Kris Knoblauch after his club outshot Windsor 35-22. “We hit two goal posts in the third, but you don’t always win them. I thought we could do it. We had a couple chances to really take control of the game.”

“I’m so proud of what we accomplished,” he concluded. “I’d like a Memorial Cup to go with it, but other than that it was a good run.”

Windsor’s 12th consecutive Mastercard Memorial Cup victory ties an event record set by the Kamloops Blazers between 1992-95. Their third title follows other championships in 2009 and 2010 and equals the Cornwall Royals (1972, 1980, 1981) and the Blazers (1992, 1994, 1995) for the most championships won since the introduction of the round robin format in 1972.

Spitfires general manager Warren Rychel (2009, 2010, 2017)  joins Matt Leyden (Oshawa Generals, 1939, 1940, 1944) and Bob Brown (Kamloops Blazers, 1992, 1994, 1995) as the third GM in Mastercard Memorial Cup history to win three career championships.

The Spits played to an overall record of 4-0 at the 2017 Mastercard Memorial Cup, outscoring opponents 18-8.

Seventeen-year-old goaltender Michael DiPietro earned the Hap Emms Memorial Trophy as the tournament’s most outstanding goaltender. The native of nearby Amherstburg, Ont. went 4-0 with a 2.00 goals-against average and a .932 save percentage.

Erie Otters captain Dylan Strome received the Stafford Smythe Memorial Trophy as Mastercard Memorial Cup MVP. Strome led the tournament in goal-scoring with seven over his four contests, one shy of a tournament record. He finished tied with teammate Taylor Raddysh for the tournament lead in points with 11 (4-7–11).

Bracco, who led the Spitfires in scoring with eight points (3-5–8), became the 24th player in tournament history to hoist the Memorial Cup in the same year as having won World Junior Hockey Championship gold. Bracco claimed World Junior supremacy with the United States in January, becoming the first Spitfires player to accomplish both feats since Cam Fowler did so in 2010.

The Windsor Spitfires are the 99th champion in Mastercard Memorial Cup history, and the third straight champion from the Ontario Hockey League which marks the first time in the event’s modern era that the OHL has produced three straight winners.

2017 Mastercard Memorial Cup Awards:

Stafford Smythe Memorial Trophy (Most Valuable Player)

  • Dylan Strome (Erie Otters)

Hap Emms Memorial Trophy (Outstanding Goaltender)

  • Michael DiPietro (Windsor Spitfires)

George Parsons Trophy (Most Sportsmanlike Player)

  • Anthony Cirelli (Erie Otters)

Ed Chynoweth Trophy (Leading Scorer)

  • Dylan Strome (Erie Otters) 7G – 4A – 11PTS

2017 MasterCard Memorial Cup All-Star Team:

F – Alex DeBrincat (Erie Otters)

F – Taylor Raddysh (Erie Otters)

F – Gabriel Vilardi (Windsor Spitfires)

D – Darren Raddysh (Erie Otters)

D – Mikhail Sergachev (Windsor Spitfires)

G – Michael DiPietro (Windsor Spitfires)

CHL announces 2016-17 Award winners

Windsor – The Canadian Hockey League today announced the 10 national award winners for the 2016-17 season including Chicago Blackhawks prospect Alex DeBrincat of the Erie Otters who earned Sportsnet CHL Player of the Year honours.

Photo by Aaron Bell/CHL Images
2017 CHL Award Winners. Photo by Aaron Bell/CHL Images

The awards were presented as part of the 2017 Mastercard Memorial Cup festivities in Windsor.

2016-17 CHL Award Winners:

Sherwin-Williams Top Prospect Award: Nolan Patrick, Brandon Wheat Kings

Brandon Wheat Kings captain Nolan Patrick is listed number one in NHL Central Scouting’s Final Rankings for the 2017 NHL Draft in Chicago.  The 18-year-old forward from Winnipeg, MB, wrapped up his third WHL season with 20 goals and 26 assists for 46 points limited to just 33 games played due to injury.  He is the first WHL player to earn this award since Seth Jones of the Portland Winterhawks in 2013, and could be the first western Canadian to be chosen first overall since Ryan Nugent-Hopkins of the Red Deer Rebels in 2011.  Finalists for the award include Nico Hischier of the Halifax Mooseheads who was listed second by NHL Central Scouting, and Gabe Vilardi of the Windsor Spitfires ranked fourth.

Chrysler Top Scorer Award: Sam Steel, Regina Pats

Anaheim Ducks prospect Sam Steel led the CHL with 131 points in 66 games played scoring 50 goals and 81 assists along with a plus-minus rating of plus-49 helping the Regina Pats to a first place finish atop the WHL’s regular season standings.  The 19-year-old from Sherwood Park, AB, delivered the CHL’s highest point total since Brendan Shinnimin of the Tri-City Americans recorded 134 points in 69 games played during the 2011-12 campaign.  Finalists for the award were Chicago Blackhawks prospect Alex DeBrincat of the Erie Otters with 127 points in 63 games, and Columbus Blue Jackets prospect Vitalii Abramov of the Gatineau Olympiques who scored 104 points in 66 games this season.

 BRP Sportsman of the Year Award: Nick Suzuki, Owen Sound Attack

2017 NHL Draft prospect Nick Suzuki of the Owen Sound Attack finished fifth in OHL scoring with 96 points including 45 goals and 51 assists in 65 games played with a plus-minus rating of plus-51 while recording just 10 penalty minutes.  The 17-year-old from London, ON, is listed tenth by NHL Central Scouting and helped the Attack secure franchise best marks of 49 wins and 102 points this season.  Finalists for the award were Tyler Steenbergen of the Swift Current Broncos and Hugo Roy of the Sherbrooke Phoenix.

Mastercard Humanitarian of the Year Award: Tyler Wong, Lethbridge Hurricanes

Lethbridge Hurricanes captain Tyler Wong is the CHL’s Humanitarian of the Year after being named a finalist for the award last season, establishing himself as an exceptional ambassador for his team and the league both on and off the ice.  The 21-year-old from Cochrane, AB, carried forward the ‘Canes KidSport program he introduced a year ago which donates $5 to KidSport Lethbridge & Taber for each goal he scores.  Powered by 51 goals of his own and with the help from teammates, alumni, and the community, the initiative surpassed all expectations and raised over $13,000 this season.  Finalists for the award were Garrett McFadden of the Guelph Storm and two-time nominee Samuel Laberge of the Rimouski Oceanic.

CIBC Scholastic Player of the Year Award: Sasha Chmelevski, Ottawa 67’s

2017 NHL Draft prospect Sasha Chmelevski of the Ottawa 67’s achieved a 98% average across his six Grade 12 courses through Michigan’s Virtual Charter Academy.  The 17-year-old from Northville, Michigan, also scored 21 goals and 22 assists for 43 points in 58 games appearing 43rd among North American players listed by NHL Central Scouting.  Finalists for the award were Brian King of the Everett Silvertips and Antoine Samuel of the Baie-Comeau Drakkar.

Sofina Brian Kilrea Coach of the Year Award: Ryan McGill, Owen Sound Attack

Ryan McGill led the Owen Sound Attack to an all-time franchise best record of 49-15-2-2 for 102 points surpassing the club’s previous highs of 46 wins and 97 points set during the 2010-11 season.  The 48-year-old from Sherwood Park, AB, helped the Attack become the league’s most improved team in just his second season behind the bench increasing their win total by 17 and point total by 27 while establishing a franchise record 15-game winning-streak and surrendering an OHL-low 177 goals against.  McGill was previously nominated for this award in 2013 during his tenure with the Kootenay Ice.  Finalists for the award were John Paddock of the Regina Pats and Danny Flynn of the Saint John Sea Dogs.

CCM Rookie of the Year Award: Nico Hischier, Halifax Mooseheads

2017 NHL Draft prospect Nico Hischier of the Halifax Mooseheads led all rookies in scoring with 86 points in 57 games including 38 goals and 48 assists.  The 18-year-old from Naters, Switzerland, was chosen sixth overall in the 2016 CHL Import Draft and is listed second in NHL Central Scouting’s final draft rankings.  He becomes the second Moosehead to win the award following current Winnipeg Jet Nikolaj Ehlers in 2014, and will challenge for the NHL’s top pick in June where he would follow 2013 first overall pick and Moosehead grad Nathan MacKinnon who currently stars with the Colorado Avalanche.  Finalists for the award were Aleksi Heponiemi of the Swift Current Broncos and Ryan Merkley of the Guelph Storm.

Vaughn Goaltender of the Year Award: Michael McNiven, Owen Sound Attack
Montreal Canadiens prospect Michael McNiven of the Owen Sound Attack carried a record of 41-9-2-2 including six shutout victories that tied for an OHL-high, while also posting a league-low goals-against-average of 2.30 and save percentage of .915 that ranked sixth overall in the OHL.  The 41 wins by the 19-year-old from Georgetown, ON, led the OHL this season and established a new Attack single season record while his shutout tally brings his three-year career total to 11 which is also a new team mark.  Finalists for the award were Philadelphia Flyers prospect Carter Hart who was the 2015-16 recipient, and Francis Leclerc of the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada.

Superstore Defenceman of the Year Award: Thomas Chabot, Saint John Sea Dogs
Ottawa Senators prospect Thomas Chabot of the Saint John Sea Dogs is the CHL’s Defenceman of the Year after scoring 10 goals and 35 assists for 45 points in just 34 games played.  The 20-year-old from Ste-Marie-de-Beauce, QC, was also a member of Canada’s National Junior Team earning a silver medal and Tournament MVP honours at the 2017 IIHF World Junior Championship.  The 18th overall pick in the 2015 NHL Draft helped the Sea Dogs to a first place finish in the QMJHL this season.  Finalists for the award were Edmonton Oilers prospect Ethan Bear of the Seattle Thunderbirds and Darren Raddysh of the Erie Otters.

Sportsnet Player of the Year Award: Alex DeBrincat, Erie Otters
Chicago Blackhawks prospect Alex DeBrincat of the Erie Otters led the OHL with 127 points in 63 games scoring 65 goals and 62 assists along with a plus-minus rating of plus-60.  The 19-year-old from Farmington Hills, Michigan, helped the Otters capture a second straight regular season title and set a CHL record with their fourth straight 50-win season.  The former CHL Rookie of the Year set a team record for goals in a season while eclipsing the 50-goal and 100-point plateau for the third straight season.  He is the second Otter to win the award in three seasons following current Edmonton Oilers star and NHL Top Scorer Connor McDavid who received the honour in 2015.  Finalists for the award were Anaheim Ducks prospect Sam Steel of the Regina Pats, and Columbus Blue Jackets prospect Vitalii Abramov of the Gatineau Olympiques.

OHL This Week for May 17-28, 2017

OHL Logo

Toronto, ON – The 2016-17 Canadian Hockey League season is almost over as the Mastercard Memorial Cup Championship Final on Sunday officially brings the campaign to a close as a national champion will be crowned for the 99th time in Windsor.

 Here’s an extended look at what else is going on around the league the last two weeks:


Jeremiah Addison recorded a hat-trick and Gabriel Vilardi chipped in with four assists as the Windsor Spitfires defeated the Erie Otters 4-2 to advance to the Mastercard Memorial Cup Final. Goaltender Michael DiPietro turned in a 33-save performance for Windsor as the Spits will face the winner of a Semi-Final matchup between Erie and the QMJHL champion Saint John Sea Dogs on Friday. Read more Highlights



Art of the Kill: Spitfires Record Setting Penalty Kill central to team’s success

Stanley’s return transformed Spits blue line

Repeat Reflections: Nemisz, Wellwood enjoyed the ride with Spitfires
Redemption Song: Spitfires aim to change last chapter

Otters back to the drawing board ahead of Semi-Final

Perfect Fit: Cirelli and Foegele put Otters over the top
McDavid elated to see Otters conquer goals

Star Makers: Talented Otters keep record run alive


Arizona Coyotes prospect Dylan Strome of the Erie Otters posted the best single game performance in Mastercard Memorial Cup history this past week, recording seven points (4-3–7) in a 12-5 win over the Saint John Sea Dogs. Read more


The 2017 Mastercard Memorial Cup festivities officially began following a day full of celebration highlighted by the Memorial Cup’s arrival to the City of Windsor. Watch


OHL referees in the 2017 Mastercard Memorial Cup include Darcy Burchell of Etobicoke, ON, and Mike Cairns of Scarborough, ON, who each received their second championship assignment. Linesmen selected to work the 2017 Mastercard Memorial Cup include Geoff Rutherford from nearby Lasalle, ON, along with Adam Harris (Hamilton), Andrew Jackson (Caledon), Justin Knaggs (Whitby), Dustin McCrank (Guelph), and Andrew Smith (Kitchener).  Read more


The Sudbury Wolves have introduced former OHL champion and two-time Stanley Cup winner Cory Stillman as the club’s Head Coach. A native of Peterborough, Stillman has played more than 1000 games in the NHL and has been developing Junior and College players for the past six seasons, the last five with the Carolina Hurricanes organization. His experience playing for a range of coaches over the years such as Joel Quenneville, Peter Laviolette, and John Tortorella have allowed Cory to work with some of the best and most successful coaches in the NHL. Read more


The Mississauga Steelheads made a number of moves this past week, adding the title of General Manager to James Richmond’s pre-existing role as Head Coach. Richmond finalized his staff for the 2017-18 season on Thursday, promoting both Assistant Coach Jeff Kyrzakos and Coordinator of Analytics Mike Doyle to the role of Assistant General Manager. Former Video Coach Brendan Taylor will step into an Assistant Coach position. The Steelheads have also named Rob Toffoli as the club’s new Head Scout. Read more


A number of highly touted players chosen in the OHL Priority Selection have made commitments to the Ontario Hockey League. Robert Calisti (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds), Matt Gordon (Kitchener Rangers), Justin McCombs (Sarnia Sting), Nick Robertson (Peterborough Petes), Anthony Tabak (Sudbury Wolves) committed to their respective clubs this past week.

A week earlier, the commitment list was even longer and included: Connor McMichael (Hamilton Bulldogs), Grayson Ladd (Kitchener Rangers)Mason Primeau (Guelph Storm)Jack Quinn (Ottawa 67’s)Simon Rose and Kurtis Evans (North Bay Battalion), Aidan Prueter and Duncan Penman (Saginaw Spirit)Billy Constantinou (Niagara IceDogs), Nick Wong (Oshawa Generals).


Sting GM Sinclair Signs Multi-Year Extension:
Read more

Petes GM Oke Signs Extension Through 2019-20: Read more

Storm Name Phil Golding Assistant GM: Read more


The Peterborough Petes held their annual Spring Orientation Camp at the Peterborough Memorial Centre last weekend. They’re the latest in a long line of teams to host their OHL Priority Selection prospects for a weekend of getting familiarized with the organization. Read more


The 2017 OHL Coaches Conference is under a month away, taking place on Saturday June 3rd on the campus of UOIT in Oshawa. Many of the guest speakers for the 4th annual installment of the day-long conference have been confirmed and will provide minor hockey coaches the opportunity to learn from OHL, AHL, and NHL personnel in an interactive professional development day. Programs are open to any coach registered within the OHF, OHA, OWHA, HEO, or HNO, coaching Pee-Wee ‘AAA’, Minor Bantam and Major Bantam ‘AE to AAA’, Minor Midget and Midget ‘AE to AAA’. Read more


The 2017 OHL Alumni Association Golf Tournament is fast approaching! The 2nd annual event is set to take place on Monday June 5th at the Devil’s Pulpit, one of Canada’s most acclaimed private golf clubs located in Caledon, Ont. This event is one of several networking events focused on bringing together former players from all generations.  Proceeds from the tournament will be donated to the Gudbranson Stem Cell Research Grant, which helps fund research for Stem Cell Treatments. Space is limited! Be sure to sign up before Friday June 2ndRead more


Visit OHLSHOP.com and get 25% off your purchase during the 2017 Mastercard Memorial Cup! Use promo code ‘OHLMMC2017’ and take advantage of the savings! Visit OHLSHOP.com.


The Tampa Bay Lightning have signed forward Taylor Raddysh to a three-year, entry-level contract, vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman announced on Monday. Raddysh played in 58 regular season games with the Otters this season, recording 42 goals and 109 points with a plus-67 rating. He led the OHL for assists with 67, ranked second for points and tied for sixth for goals. Read more


The Edmonton Oilers have signed Peterborough Petes goaltender Dylan Wells to a three-year, entry-level NHL contract. Wells helped the Petes reach the Eastern Conference Final after posting a 3.07 goals-against average and a .916 save percentage over a career high 52 regular season contests. He tied for third in the OHL with 33 wins. Read more


Kingston Frontenacs head coach Paul McFarland returns to lead Canada’s National Under-18 Team while three other coaches from across the OHL take on international assignments with Hockey Canada. Ryan Oulahen (Flint Firebirds), Spencer Carbery (Saginaw Spirit) and B.J. Adams (Erie Otters) will take on roles with Hockey Canada’s National Under-17 Teams. Read more


The season finale of Junior Hockey Magazine features OHL Commissioner and CHL President David Branch previewing the 2017 Mastercard Memorial Cup and discussing the CHL Scholarship Program. Mississauga Steelheads GM James Boyd shares his story as an OHL graduate. Listen


8 OHL graduates earn IIHF World Championship Silver with Canada: 8 OHL graduates are IIHF World Championship silver medalists with Team Canada following a 2-1 shootout loss to Sweden on Sunday. Read more.

31 OHL graduates competing in AHL Conference Finals: A total of 31 OHL graduates have reached the Conference Finals of the 2017 Calder Cup Playoffs. The Providence Bruins (BOS) and Syracuse Crunch (TB) square off in the East Final while the San Jose Barracuda (SJ) and Grand Rapids Griffins (DET) meet in the West. Read more

Cord, Schemitsch, Mahon, Bovair featured in OHL Alumni of the Month spotlight: The May edition of the OHL Alumni of the Month spotlight features Alex Cord, Geoffrey Schemitsch, Craig Mahon, and Terry Bovair who used their time in the OHL as a stepping stone to post-secondary and business success. Read more

14 OHL graduates competing in Stanley Cup Finals: A total of 14 OHL graduates, eight from the Pittsburgh Penguins and six from the Nashville Predators, will battle in the 2017 Stanley Cup Finals of the NHL Playoffs. The Predators advanced to the final round following a series win over the Anaheim Ducks while Pittsburgh got by the Ottawa Senators in seven games to be crowned Eastern Conference champions. OHL grads on Pittsburgh include Tom Kuhnhackl (Niagara IceD0gs), Tom Sestito (Plymouth Whalers), Garrett Wilson (Owen Sound Attack), Frank Corrado (Kitchener Rangers), Trevor Daley (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds), Cameron Gaunce (Mississauga St. Michael’s Majors), Olli Maatta (London Knights) and Matt Murray (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds). OHL grads on Nashville include Mike Fisher (Sudbury Wolves), James Neal (Plymouth Whalers), Austin Watson (London Knights), Ryan Ellis (Windsor Spitfires), P.K. Subban (Belleville Bulls) and Yannick Weber (Kitchener Rangers). 94 OHL grads began the journey to the Stanley Cup Final back in mid-April. Read more

CHL graduates descend on Windsor for alumni game: Prominent Canadian Hockey League graduates, predominantly from the Windsor Spitfires organization are set to compete in a special CHL Alumni Game at the 2017 Mastercard Memorial Cup in Windsor on Saturday at 2:00pm. Current NHL players such as Taylor Hall, Jeff Skinner, Josh Bailey, Matt Martin and Zack Kassian will participate alongside former pro names such as Ed Jovanovski, Steve Staios, Bob Boughner and Todd Warriner. Coaching staff will include NHL head coaches in Peter DeBoer (San Jose Sharks) and Joel Quenneville (Chicago Blackhawks). For full details visit mastercardmemorialcup.ca.

Blues hire Ott as Assistant Coach: One month removed from his final NHL contest, Windsor Spitfires graduate Steve Ott has accepted an assistant coaching position with the St. Louis Blues. An 848-game NHL veteran, Ott played 14 NHL seasons from 2002-17, recording 109 goals, 179 assists and 288 regular season points. He played three OHL seasons with the Windsor Spitfires from 1999-2002, recording 116 goals, 121 assists and 237 points over 174 regular season games. His number 14 is retired by the Spitfires. He was originally Dallas’ first round pick in the 2000 NHL Draft. Ott played parts of three seasons with St. Louis from 2013-16 before playing his final games as a member of the Montreal Canadiens this past season.


Friday May 19th:
Saint John Sea Dogs 2 at Windsor Spitfires 3 (Game 1) – Highlights

Saturday May 20th:
Erie Otters 4 at Seattle Thunderbirds 2 (Game 2) – Highlights

Sunday May 21st:
Windsor Spitfires 7 at Seattle Thunderbirds 1 (Game 3) – Highlights

Monday May 22nd:
Erie Otters 12 at Saint John Sea Dogs 5 (Game 4) – Highlights

Tuesday May 23rd:
Seattle Thunderbirds 0 at Saint John Sea Dogs 7 (Game 5) – Highlights

Wednesday May 24th:
Windsor Spitfires 4 vs. Erie Otters 2 (Game 6) – Highlights

Friday May 26th:
Saint John Sea Dogs vs. Erie Otters (Semi-Final) – 7:00pm (Sportsnet, TVA Sports, NHL Network, CHLLive.com)

Sunday May 28th:
Saint John Sea Dogs/Erie Otters vs. Windsor Spitfires (Championship Final) – 7:00pm (Sportsnet, TVA Sports, NHL Network, CHLLive.com)

CHL announces 2016-17 Award Finalists

Toronto, ON – The Canadian Hockey League today announced the nominees for the 10 major awards that will be presented at the annual CHL Awards Ceremony which takes place on Saturday May 27 as part of the 2017 Mastercard Memorial Cup festivities in Windsor.

Sherwin-Williams Top Prospect Award:
Nolan Patrick (Brandon Wheat Kings)
Gabriel Vilardi (Windsor Spitfires)
Nico Hischier (Halifax Mooseheads)

Most recent winner by league: Pierre-Luc Dubois (Cape Breton Screaming Eagles 2016), Connor McDavid (Erie Otters 2015), Seth Jones (Portland Winterhawks 2013).

Chrysler Top Scorer Award:
Sam Steel (Regina Pats)
Alex DeBrincat (Erie Otters)
Vitalii Abramov (Gatineau Olympiques)

Most recent winner by league: Conor Garland (Moncton Wildcats 2016), Dylan Strome (Erie Otters 2015), Brendan Leipsic (Portland Winterhawks 2013).

BRP Sportsman of the Year Award:
Tyler Steenbergen (Swift Current Broncos)
Nick Suzuki (Owen Sound Attack)
Hugo Roy (Sherbrooke Phoenix)

Most recent winner by league: Samuel Girard (Shawinigan Cataractes 2016), Rourke Chartier (Kelowna Rockets 2015), Tyler Graovac (Belleville Bulls 2013).

Mastercard Humanitarian of the Year Award:
Tyler Wong (Lethbridge Hurricanes)
Garrett McFadden (Guelph Storm)
Samuel Laberge (Rimouski Oceanic)

Most recent winner by league: Will Petschenig (Saginaw Spirit 2016), Danick Martel (Blainville-Boisbriand Armada), Sam Fioretti (Moose Jaw Warriors 2014).

CIBC Scholastic Player of the Year Award:
Brian King (Everett Silvertips)
Sasha Chmelevski (Ottawa 67’s)
Antoine Samuel (Baie-Comeau Drakkar)

Most recent winner by league: Alex D’Aoust (Shawinigan Cataractes 2016), Connor McDavid (Erie Otters 2015), Josh Morrissey (Prince Albert Raiders 2013).

Sofina Brian Kilrea Coach of the Year Award:
John Paddock (Regina Pats)
Ryan McGill (Owen Sound Attack)
Danny Flynn (Saint John Sea Dogs)

Most recent winner by league: Gilles Bouchard (Rouyn-Noranda Huskies 2016), Sheldon Keefe (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds 2015), Jim Hiller (Tri-City Americans 2012).

CCM Rookie of the Year Award:
Aleksi Heponiemi (Swift Current Broncos)
Ryan Merkley (Guelph Storm)
Nico Hischier (Halifax Mooseheads)

Most recent winner by league: Alexander Nylander (Mississauga Steelheads 2016), Nikolaj Ehlers (Halifax Mooseheads 2014), Brett Connolly (Prince George Cougars 2009).

Vaughn Goaltender of the Year Award:
Carter Hart (Everett Silvertips)
Michael McNiven (Owen Sound Attack)
Francis Leclerc (Blainville-Boisbriand Armada)

Most recent winner by league: Carter Hart (Everett Silvertips 2016), Philippe Desrosiers (Rimouski Oceanic 2015), Michael Houser (London Knights 2012).

Superstore Defenceman of the Year Award:
Ethan Bear (Seattle Thunderbirds)
Darren Raddysh (Erie Otters)
Thomas Chabot (Saint John Sea Dogs)

Most recent winner by league: Ivan Provorov (Brandon Wheat Kings 2016), Anthony DeAngelo (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds 2015), David Savard (Moncton Wildcats 2010).

Sportsnet Player of the Year Award:
Sam Steel (Regina Pats)
Alex DeBrincat (Erie Otters)
Vitalii Abramov (Gatineau Olympiques)

Most recent winner by league: Mitch Marner (London Knights 2016), Anthony Mantha (Val-d’Or Foreurs 2014), Brandan Shinnimin (Tri-City Americans 2012).

For more information please visit www.mastercardmemorialcup.ca.

Memorial Cup Arrives in Windsor

2017 Memorial Cup

Windsor, ON – The 2017 Mastercard Memorial Cup festivities are officially underway following a day full of celebration highlighted by the Memorial Cup’s arrival to the City of Windsor.

The historic trophy ventured along the Detroit River Thursday evening from Sarnia on board the Canadian Coast Guard Patrol vessel Constable Carriere before docking at Dieppe Gardens.

From there it was off-loaded and embarked on a military led parade through the streets of downtown Windsor to the Cenotaph for a ceremony that included Royal Canadian Legion veterans and dignitaries.

The procession included participation from Windsor Police Services, Royal Canadian Legion Colour Party Zone A-1, Sterling Heights Police Colour Party, Royal Canadian Navy, Windsor Regiment, Essex and Kent Regiment, #31 Service Battalion, RCMP, CBSA, Veterans, Cadet Units, Windsor Fire Department, and Military G-Wagons, M-37’s, and 43 Willys Jeeps.

“The reason we have all gathered in Windsor is to celebrate the Memorial Cup,” said Michael Akpata, Military Liason for the 2017 Mastercard Memorial Cup Host Committee. “The Memorial Cup, one of the most prestigious and coveted trophies in North American sport, has a rich tradition that has shaped the way junior hockey is played in North America. The trophy originated in 1919, in remembrance of the many soldiers who paid the supreme sacrifice for Canada in The First World War.  In 2010 the Memorial Cup was rededicated to the memory of all fallen Canadian Military Personnel.”

The program at the Cenotaph included First Nations Drummers, the singing of both Canadian and American national anthems, the playing of The Last Post, Scottish Pipers, a wreath laying at the Cenotaph by WWII veteran Ralph Mayville, Gun Salute by members of the R.C.N.A Firing Party, Presentation of the Colours by the most Senior Veterans Organization, and the singing of God Save the Queen.

The event concluded with a parade of the Memorial Cup to City Hall where the trophy was displayed for public photo opportunities.

The 2017 Mastercard Memorial Cup Host Committee sincerely thanks the Ministry of National Defense for their contributions to the arrival ceremony, and to the many volunteers and community members for helping make this outstanding event a success.

2017 marks the 99th edition of the prestigious national championship featuring the host Spitfires along with the Erie Otters (Ontario Hockey League champions), Seattle Thunderbirds (Western Hockey League champions), and the Saint John Sea Dogs (Quebec Major Junior Hockey League champions).

The puck drops tonight with Game 1 featuring the Spitfires and Sea Dogs at 7:00 pm.  All games are broadcast live on Sportsnet and TVA Sports.

The 2017 MasterCard Memorial Cup is proudly supported by Mastercard, title sponsor of this event for 19 straight years.  Associate sponsors include CIBC, Cooper Tires, and autoTRADER.ca.

For more information please visit www.mastercardmemorialcup.ca.

OHL Announces 2016-17 All-Star Teams

OHL Logo

Toronto, ON – The Ontario Hockey League today announced the All-Star teams for the 2016-17 OHL season.

Red Tilson Trophy winner Alex DeBrincat of the Erie Otters headlines the First Team All-Stars at right wing after leading the league in scoring with 127 points in 63 games.  This marks the third straight season the Chicago Blackhawks prospect has been recognized post-season following second team honours in 2015, and a third team nod a year ago.  Otters captain Dylan Strome also receives a third straight All-Star honour, this time receiving first team recognition at centre after producing 75 points in just 35 games with a league-high points-per-game mark of 2.14.  The Arizona Coyotes prospect previously received third team votes in 2016, and appeared on the second team in 2015.  Leading the votes at left wing is Florida Panthers prospect Adam Mascherin of the Kitchener Rangers who finished third in league scoring hitting the century mark in points in his 65 games played.  A pair of overage defencemen share the blue line with first team honours awarded to Max Kaminsky and Leo Lalonde Memorial Trophy winner Darren Raddysh of the Otters, and Santino Centorame of the Owen Sound Attack.  Centorame is one of three Attack voted to the first team following the club’s record season along with Goaltender of the Year and Montreal Canadiens prospect Michael McNiven, and Coach of the Year Ryan McGill.

The Attack lead the way with a total of seven representatives including the forward trio of Nick Suzuki, Jonah Gadjovich, and Petrus Palmu listed on the second team, while Kevin Hancock was voted to the third team at left wing.  The Otters had five individuals recognized including three first team votes plus coach Kris Knoblauch on the second team, and right winger Taylor Raddysh on the third team.  The London Knights had three reps spread across the all-star voting including second team netminder Tyler Parsons, and third team honourees Cliff Pu at centre, and defenceman Olli Juolevi with a second straight third team award.  The Windsor Spitfires also featured multiple players including defenceman Mikhail Sergachev on the second team, and goaltender Michael DiPietro on the third team.  Niagara IceDogs captain Ryan Mantha rounds out the second team on defence, while defender Filip Hronek of the Saginaw Spirit, and coach Drew Bannister of the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds represent their clubs on the third team.

The OHL All-Star Teams were selected by the OHL’s General Managers.  Players were voted on by position and received five points for a first place vote, three for a second place vote, and one for a third place vote.  In the case of defencemen, the top two selections received five points, the third and fourth selections received three points, and the fifth and sixth selections each received a single point.

2016-17 OHL All-Star Teams (voting points listed following team):

First Team All-Stars:
C – Dylan Strome (Erie Otters) 77 – voted 3rd team in 2015-16, 2nd team in 2014-15
LW – Adam Mascherin (Kitchener Rangers) 83
RW – Alex DeBrincat (Erie Otters) 95 – voted 3rd team in 2015-16, 2nd team in 2014-15
D – Santino Centorame (Owen Sound Attack) 77
D – Darren Raddysh (Erie Otters) 77
G – Michael McNiven (Owen Sound Attack) 89
Coach – Ryan McGill (Owen Sound Attack) 81

Second Team All-Stars:
C – Nick Suzuki (Owen Sound Attack) 67
LW – Jonah Gadjovich (Owen Sound Attack) 52
RW – Petrus Palmu (Owen Sound Attack) 48
D – Ryan Mantha (Niagara IceDogs) 47
D – Mikhail Sergachev (Windsor Spitfires) 39 – voted 1st team in 2015-16
G – Tyler Parsons (London Knights) 27
Coach – Kris Knoblauch (Erie Otters) 53 – voted 1st team in 2015-16, 2nd team in 2013-14

Third Team All-Stars:
C – Cliff Pu (London Knights) 25
LW – Kevin Hancock (Owen Sound Attack) 33
RW – Taylor Raddysh (Erie Otters) 26
D – Filip Hronek (Saginaw Spirit) 25
D – Olli Juolevi (London Knights) 22 – voted 3rd team in 2015-16
G – Michael DiPietro (Windsor Spitfires) 26
Coach – Drew Bannister (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds) 16

Firebirds’ Alex Peters Awarded Mickey Renaud Captain’s Trophy

Toronto, ON – The Ontario Hockey League today announced that Flint Firebirds defenceman Alex Peters is the 2016-17 recipient of the Mickey Renaud Captain’s Trophy.

Peters was chosen for the award by a media selection committee as the OHL team captain that best exemplifies leadership on and off the ice, with a passion and dedication to the game of hockey and community that Mickey demonstrated.

Alex Peters of the Flint Firebirds. Photo by Aaron Bell/OHL Images
Alex Peters of the Flint Firebirds. Photo by Aaron Bell/OHL Images

“I am very honoured to receive the Mickey Renaud Captain’s Trophy,” said Peters. “It is a prestigious award, with special meaning named in memory of a great person. I would like to thank the Firebirds’ coaching staff and my fellow teammates for believing in me as captain, because the way I see it, we had a room full of leaders that all stepped up when they needed to. I would also like to say thank you to the Renaud family for giving us an example like Mickey to try to live up to.”

Peters was the first captain named in Firebirds history, given the ‘C’ prior to the 2015-16 season when the team relocated from Plymouth.  Affectionately known as ‘Captain Petey’, he quickly became a public figure around Flint and Genesee County large in part to his mature approach to leadership, but also as the club’s community spokesman.  During his two years as Firebirds captain, Peters was a two-time recipient of the club’s Humanitarian Award leading events such as the ‘Firebirds Fight Hunger’ campaign, spearheading teddy bear donations to children’s organizations, headlining the club’s reading program, and making countless visits to local hospitals to visit patients on his own time.

“Alex is a special person and was a huge part of the turnaround for the Flint Firebirds,” said Head Coach Ryan Oulahen. “He is responsible for setting a great culture on and off the ice. His work habits, positive outlook, relentless approach to getting better, attention to detail, determination, sincere demeanor, maturity and overall competitiveness are just a few of the characteristics Alex shows on and off the ice on a daily basis. Alex took great pride in leading a group of young men who were looking to prove people wrong. He believed in Flint and the process it took to put Flint on the map.”

On the ice, the 20-year-old from Blyth, Ont., helped the Firebirds earn the club’s first post-season berth with an improvement of 12 wins and 26 more points than their inaugural campaign.  Peters was a veteran of five OHL seasons with the organization including three as a Whaler after being chosen in the second round of the 2013 OHL Priority Selection.  He played in 239 career games accumulating 14 goals and 57 assists for 71 points while achieving career-highs during 2016-17 in all offensive categories (10-24—34) and dressing in all 68 games.  He also received high praise in the Western Conference Coaches Poll finishing second in the Best Defensive Defenceman category.

Peters becomes the ninth recipient of the award following Michael Webster of the Barrie Colts who received the award last season.  Past recipients also include Max Domi (London Knights 2015), Matt Finn (Guelph Storm 2014), Colin Miller (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds 2013), Andrew Agozzino (Niagara IceDogs 2012), Ryan Ellis (Windsor Spitfires 2011), John Kurtz (Sudbury Wolves 2010), and the Whalers’ Chris Terry who won the inaugural award for the 2008-09 season.

Nomination forms are submitted annually by OHL General Managers on behalf of their individual team captains.  The selection committee consists of a panel of four, representing media from each OHL division.

The Mickey Renaud Captain’s Trophy will be formally presented to Peters at the OHL Awards Ceremony on Thursday June 8 at the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto. 

Erie Otters are 2017 OHL Champions

Erie Otters Championship (1)
Action from Game 5 of the Rogers OHL Championship Series in Erie, PA. The Erie Otters defeated the Mississauga Steelheads 4-3 in double overtime to win the Robertson Cup as OHL champions. Photo by Dan Hickling/OHL Images 

ERIE, PA – Anthony Cirelli has developed a reputation for scoring big goals over the course of his OHL career.

The Tampa Bay Lightning prospect delivered when it mattered most once again on Friday, scoring 2:41 into overtime to crown the Erie Otters OHL Champions for the second time in franchise history.

Down 3-2 inside the final two minutes of the third period fellow Lightning draft selection Taylor Raddysh scored with 1:15 remaining, completing a hat-trick to send the game to overtime.

Cirelli took a Dylan Strome pass early in the extra frame to lift the Otters to a 4-3 win over the Mississauga Steelheads in Game 5 of the Rogers OHL Championship Series.

“It was all Stromer,” said Cirelli of the winner, “He got the puck low and fed it in front there and I banged it in.”

Game winning score celly
Game winning goal celebration. Photo by Dan Hickling/OHL Images

Acquired by the Otters midway through the season, Cirelli’s impact was immediate as the 19-year-old who is also remembered for being the hero of the 2015 Mastercard Memorial Cup with the Oshawa Generals came through in the clutch once again.

“I don’t know,” he reflected. “I just come to work every day and I just want to help the team to win. Everyone has been great to me here in Erie and I’m playing with unbelievable players. It makes my job easy.”

The J. Ross Robertson Cup title adds another impressive accomplishment to a decorated past few seasons of Otters hockey in Erie. Having made CHL history with their fourth consecutive 50-win season in 2016-17, the Otters advanced to their fourth consecutive Western Conference Final and are now OHL Champions for the first time in 15 years.

“I’m beyond words,” said head coach Kris Knoblauch. “It’s been a long time and I’m just kind of relieved that it’s come to this. I’m so proud of my guys.

“You look at what happened throughout these playoffs. Coming from behind in Game 7 against London and tonight being down two goals a couple times and then pulling it off in overtime, it’s pretty dramatic.”

Carolina Hurricanes prospect Warren Foegele had an assist in the win and received the Wayne Gretzky ’99’ Award as OHL Playoff MVP. Foegele finished the postseason with 13 goals, 13 assists and 26 points in 22 games including eight points in the Rogers OHL Championship Series. The Markham, Ont. native scored a number of big goals throughout Erie’s playoff run including a second round Game 7 overtime winner against the London Knights.

Wayne Gretzky Trophy presentaion
Wayne Gretzky Trophy presentation. Photo by Dan Hickling/OHL Images

While Foegele was named OHL Playoff MVP, Otters forward Alex DeBrincat led the OHL Playoffs in scoring, finishing with 38 points including 13 goals and 25 assists in 22 games.

The Otters overcame a pair of two goal deficits in the championship-clinching win and trailed 3-2 for much of the third before Raddysh completed his hat-trick, blowing the lid off Erie Insurance Arena with just 1:15 to go on assists from Strome and Warren Foegele.

Strome set up Cirelli for the overtime winner on the power play as the capacity crowd of 6,781 at Erie Insurance Arena erupted in celebration.

The Otters outshot the Steelheads 43-26 as Mississauga netminder Matthew Mancina made 39 saves.

Spencer Watson (15) and Michael McLeod (11) powered the Steelheads to a 2-0 lead in the first period before 2017 NHL Draft prospect Owen Tippett (10) scored to reinstate a two-goal cushion with 5:51 remaining in the second frame.

Raddysh’s hat-trick is the Otters’ fifth of the 2017 OHL Playoffs as he led the Otters comeback on an unforgettable night in the Flagship City.

Erie’s title marks the fourth time an American team has won an OHL Championship as the 2017 Otters join the 1995 Detroit Jr. Red Wings, 2002 Erie Otters and 2007 Plymouth Whalers in hoisting the Robertson Cup.

The Otters join the QMJHL’s Saint John Sea Dogs as the second champion from across the Canadian Hockey League to advance to the 2017 Mastercard Memorial Cup in Windsor. They open their schedule on Saturday May 20th against the champions from the Western Hockey League.






2017 Rogers OHL Championship Series:
Game 1 –
 MISS 1 @ ER 2
Game 2 – MISS 2 @ ER 3
Game 3 – ER 3 @ MISS 4
Game 4 – ER 5 @ MISS 2
Game 5 – MISS 3 @ ER 4 OT