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.

GAME CENTRE

HIGHLIGHTS

WAYNE GRETZKY 99 AWARD PRESENTATION

POST-GAME WITH ANTHONY CIRELLI, TAYLOR RADDYSH

 POST-GAME WITH DYLAN STROME, KRIS KNOBLAUCH

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

2017 OHL PLAYOFF BRACKETS

Storm’s Garrett McFadden Named OHL Humanitarian of the Year

Toronto, ON – The Ontario Hockey League today announced that defenceman Garrett McFadden of the Guelph Storm is the 2016-17 recipient of the Dan Snyder Memorial Trophy awarded annually to the OHL’s Humanitarian of the Year.

In September, 2016, the Storm captain introduced ‘McFadden’s Movement’; a mental health campaign that strives to change, help, and develop mental health among athletes.

“It’s an honour to win the Humanitarian of the Year award, and to be recognized under Dan Snyder’s name,” McFadden said. “I want to thank everyone from the Guelph Storm and Steph Coratti, as well as the Canadian Mental Health Association, Wes for Youth, and everyone else who has done anything to make this foundation possible. It’s been an amazing experience and I have got to meet a lot of special people who share the same goals of making mental health something that is talked about. It’s hard to take full credit for everything that McFadden’s Movement has become because so many people are involved in allowing me to help others who need it.”

Directly affected by the loss of a close family friend, Wes Cameron, to suicide in 2011, McFadden has drawn on his own challenges when connecting with youth.  This season McFadden has been hosted by 15 different minor hockey teams and local schools highlighting the pressures of sport and the importance of talking about mental health and eliminating the stigma.  McFadden’s Movement was designed and launched in partnership with the Canadian Mental Health Association with all youth presentations accompanied by a CMHA professional and paired with McFadden’s own SafeTalk training received through the league’s Talk Today initiative.  The Movement has also included a strong awareness campaign powered through social media, the sale and distribution of over 1,500 program wristbands, as well as fundraising for mental health resources supporting Wes for Youth Online – a free counselling service created in memory of Wes Cameron, and the CMHA Waterloo-Wellington branch.  To date, the Movement has raised over $7,000 with future events like a June 17 road hockey tournament designed with the goal of keeping the conversation going.

“Garrett McFadden has become a mental health advocate in the Guelph community,” said Megan Brady, Communications Specialist for CMHA Waterloo-Wellington. “By sharing his personal story about his struggles and the loss of a close family friend to suicide he has helped to shed light on the topic of mental illness. CMHA Waterloo-Wellington has enjoyed partnering with Garrett and providing assistance during his McFadden’s Movement presentations. The combination of hearing Garrett’s story and being able to share CMHA resources with young people has had a great impact on our community. As a leader on the Guelph Storm and a recognizable athlete in the community, he is using his position to help share important messages with young athletes.”

A 19-year-old from Kincardine, Ont., McFadden joined the Storm as the club’s first round pick in the 2013 OHL Priority Selection.  The four-year OHL veteran was part of the Storm’s 2014 championship squad, has been named twice to Team OHL competing in both the 2015 and 2016 CIBC Canada Russia Series, and has recorded 103 points in 224 career games to date which ranks sixth among all time defencemen.  In 2016-17 his 12 goals were a new career-high finishing the season with 37 points in 58 games and was named the Storm’s Most Valuable Player.  In addition to his commitment to McFadden’s Movement, he led the Storm’s Champions for Education program visiting schools up to three times per week, while also representing the club as a Booster Juice Ambassador practicing regularly with local teams.  The University of Guelph student was also a 2017 recipient of the ‘Be the Change’ Award presented by the school’s Student Life association.

“It’s been remarkable to watch Garrett become such an incredible leader in the conversation surrounding mental health, and in the community overall,” said Storm Governor Rick Gaetz. “Our entire organization congratulates him on this honour. Garrett is one of the most genuine and humble individuals anyone would have the pleasure to come across, and this is more than evident in everything he does. Whether he’s standing in front of a young hockey team, in front of a gym full of students, or one-on-one, Garrett has an outstanding passion for making a difference in the lives of others, always leaving a lasting impression just by being who he is. Everyone within the Storm, from management to staff to teammates, and so many others, are very proud of Garrett, and can’t wait to continue supporting him in his goal of not only changing the conversation around mental health, but in everything else that lies ahead.”

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.

McFadden becomes the first member of the Storm to earn the award.  Past recipients include Chris Terry and Ryan Hayes who represented the Plymouth Whalers with back-to-back awards in 2009 and 2010 respectively, before Jack Walchessen and Andrew D’Agostini of the Peterborough Petes won in 2011 and 2012.  Ben Fanelli (Kitchener 2013), Scott Simmonds (Belleville 2014), Nick Paul (North Bay 2015), and Will Petschenig (Saginaw 2016) are the most recent award recipients.

The 2017 OHL Awards Ceremony takes place on Thursday June 8 at the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto where McFadden will be formally presented with the Dan Snyder Memorial Trophy.  He will also be the OHL’s nominee for Humanitarian of the Year at the annual CHL Awards presented on Saturday May 27 at the 2017 Mastercard Memorial Cup in Windsor.

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

2016-17 Dan Snyder Memorial Trophy Nominees:
Barrie Colts – Chris Cameron
Erie Otters – Troy Timpano
Flint Firebirds – Alex Peters*
Guelph Storm – Garrett McFadden
Hamilton Bulldogs – Jack Hanley
Kingston Frontenacs – Liam Murray
Kitchener Rangers – Dylan Di Perna
London Knights – Robert Thomas
Mississauga Steelheads – Stefan LeBlanc*
Niagara IceDogs – Ben Jones
North Bay Battalion – Zach Shankar
Oshawa Generals – Jack Studnicka
Ottawa 67’s – Olivier Lafreniere
Owen Sound Attack – Matt Schmalz
Peterborough Petes – Steven Lorentz
Saginaw Spirit – Kris Bennett
Sarnia Sting – Nick Grima
Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds – Zachary Senyshyn*
Sudbury Wolves – Reagan O’Grady
Windsor Spitfires – Michael DiPietro
*repeat nominee

Otters’ Alex DeBrincat Wins Red Tilson Trophy as OHL’s Most Outstanding Player of the Year

Toronto, ON – The Ontario Hockey League today announced that Chicago Blackhawks prospect Alex DeBrincat of the Erie Otters is the 2016-17 recipient of the Red Tilson Trophy awarded to the OHL’s Most Outstanding Player of the Year as voted by the writers and broadcasters that cover the league.

DeBrincat led the OHL with 127 points in 63 games scoring a league-high 65 goals along with 62 assists and a plus-minus rating of plus-60.  His offensive production helped the Otters capture a second straight Hamilton Spectator Trophy as first overall in the regular season, a third straight Midwest Division crown, and a Canadian Hockey League record fourth straight 50-win season.

Alex DeBrincat of the Erie Otters. Photo by Terry Wilson / OHL Images.
Alex DeBrincat of the Erie Otters. Photo by Terry Wilson / OHL Images.

A 19-year-old from Farmington Hills, Michigan, DeBrincat committed to the Otters prior to the 2014-15 season quickly establishing himself as a prolific goal scorer achieving OHL and CHL Rookie of the Year honours and accumulating a resume of scoring records over the course of his most outstanding 2016-17 campaign.  His 65 goals represent a new Otters single season record and mark the third straight year he has eclipsed the 50-goal plateau becoming just the second player in OHL history to accomplish the feat of consistency following Dale McCourt (1974-77).  DeBrincat also became just the third Otter to reach the prestigious 300 career-point milestone and the eighth player in the league’s modern era to record three-straight 100-point seasons.  In three seasons and 191 games in an Otters uniform, DeBrincat scored 167 goals and 165 assists for 332 points cementing his status as the Otters all-time leading goal scorer and the leading American goal scorer in OHL history.

“We are absolutely elated for Alex,” said Otters General Manager Dave Brown. “His continued perseverance and determination is what continues to allow him to excel in all areas. Alex’s continued dedication to his teammates, organization, and his professional development is something that our entire organization admires and hope will be passed along to others.  The Otters are thrilled for Alex and his family to be recognized with such a prestigious award.”

Following his second round, 39th overall selection by the Blackhawks in the 2016 NHL Draft, DeBrincat’s 2016-17 highlights also included 36 multi-point performances featuring a trio of five-point contests, three-time recognition as the Pioneer Energy OHL Player of the Week, and OHL Player of the Month nods for November and February.  DeBrincat matched Mike Ricci’s 1988 mark with goals in 19 consecutive games from January 24 to March 10, and finished the season riding a 27-game point-streak that began on January 14 and tied Connor McDavid’s 2014-15 team record.  He was recognized in the Western Conference Coaches Poll finishing first in the Best Shot category and was voted Most Dangerous in the Goal Area for a third straight season.  The Otters’ representative on the OHL’s Scholastic Team was also honoured across OHL rinks this season with a league-high 26 three-star selections including 13 times as first star and 12 times as second star of the game. 

“Alex is very deserving of this award as his performance was remarkable this season,” said Blackhawks Vice President and General Manager Stan Bowman. “His ability to score goals has been consistent over the last three seasons with Erie and he has done a lot to contribute to the success of his team. We wish him and his team the best during their playoff run and look forward to Alex joining the Blackhawks organization in the future.”

The Red Tilson Trophy is the most prestigious individual award presented by the Ontario Hockey League.  First presented in 1945, the trophy is named in honour of Albert “Red” Tilson, who was killed in action in Europe during World War II. Tilson was the OHA scoring champion for the 1942-43 season after scoring 19 goals and 38 assists for 57 points in 22 games with the Oshawa Generals.

Accredited media were asked to select their top three choices from the 20 nominees submitted by all 20 member clubs.  Players received five points for a first place selection, three points for second place and one point for a third place selection.  DeBrincat received 314 points in the voting process including first place votes on 85% of all ballots while receiving a top-three selection from 97% of the media polled.  Montreal Canadiens prospect and OHL Goaltender of the Year Michael McNiven of the Owen Sound Attack finished in second with 157 voting points, followed by Florida Panthers prospect Adam Mascherin of the Kitchener Rangers in third place with 34 voting points.

DeBrincat is the fourth member of the Otters to win the award and third in four years following Connor McDavid (2015), Connor Brown (2014), along with back-to-back winner Brad Boyes (2001, 2002).  The list of former Red Tilson Trophy recipients includes nine former Chicago Blackhawks including Brian Campbell (Ottawa 67’s 1999), Doug Gilmour (Cornwall Royals 1983), Andre Lacroix (Peterborough Petes 1965, 1966), Pit Martin (Hamilton Red Wings 1962), Stan Mikita (St. Catharines Teepees 1959), Hank Ciesla (St. Catharines Teepees 1955), Glenn Hall (Windsor Spitfires 1951), Ed Sandford (St. Michael’s College Majors 1947), and Tod Sloan (St. Michael’s College Majors 1946).  More recently, the list of winners includes current NHL stars like Corey Perry (London Knights 2005), John Tavares (Oshawa Generals 2007), Tyler Seguin (Plymouth Whalers 2010), Ryan Ellis (Windsor Spitfires 2011), Vincent Trocheck (Plymouth Whalers 2013), and Mitch Marner (London Knights 2016).

The Red Tilson Trophy winner is the OHL’s nominee for Canadian Hockey League Player of the Year presented at the CHL Awards Ceremony on Saturday May 27 during the 2017 Mastercard Memorial Cup in Windsor.  DeBrincat will also be formally presented with the Red Tilson Trophy at the OHL’s Awards Ceremony on Thursday June 8 at the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto.

OHL Playoff Preview: The Finals

Everyone tries to be perfect, and yours truly is no different. As you can see by my three previous rounds of predictions and outcomes, I’m far from it. But here I am to face my “embarrassment” and look at the Ontario Hockey League battle for the J. Ross Robertson Cup between the Erie Otters and the Mississauga Steelheads and the opportunity to join the Windsor Spitfires at the Memorial Cup.

But first, here’s a look back at the previous three rounds predictions and results:

OHL Playoffs

The Otters swept the season series 4 games to none and have a decided edge head-to-head over the past 5 seasons with a 15-3 record. As most are aware by now, the Steelheads didn’t get off to the start that everyone (including themselves) expected this season and that two lopsided Otters victories came before the Steelheads righted the ship.

On November 4, the Otters skated to a 7-4 victory in Mississauga. On November 29, they totally dominated the Steelheads in the rematch in Erie 9-2. On back-to-back nights beginning February 17, the results were the same, but not as dominating. The Otters would go into the Hershey Center and take the first game of the double-header 4-1. Back at the Erie Insurance Arena, the Steelheads were blanked 3-0.

Many believe that the Steelheads, being in the Eastern Conference, had the easier path to the finals. To some extent, there is some truth to that. Even with their 12-3 record heading into the finals, the Steelheads made things easier for themselves then they should have been.

A first-round victory over the Ottawa 67’s went pretty much as expected. But series victories over the Oshawa Generals and Peterborough Petes were completed in quick fashion. I don’t think many expected a sweep of the Petes in the Eastern Conference Finals. Many, including myself, were predicting a Petes win.

The Otters enter the finals with a 12-5 record. After dismantling the Sarnia Sting in 4 games, as they should have, things got tough for Erie. It took 7 games to dispose of the London Knights in a hard fought and entertaining series.

In an equally entertaining series, Erie had a 3-2 series lead over the Owen Sound Attack and then dominated in game 6 in Owen Sound to close out the series.

The winner will take home the J. Ross Robertson Cup and join the host Windsor Spitfires at the Memorial Cup.

Here’s how the two teams stack up (regular season – playoff stats):

  Erie Mississauga
Overall Record 50-15-2-1 34-21-6-7
Head-to-Head 4-0-0-0 0-4-0-0
Home Record 30-2-1-1 16-11-4-3
Away Record 20-13-1-0 18-10-2-4
Goals For 319 – 78 240 – 62
Goals Against 182 – 47 219 – 35
Powerplay 27.2% – 26.3% 19.7% – 22.9%
Penalty Kill 83.4% – 80.4% 80.6% – 79.0%
Draft Eligible Players to Watch Ivan Lodnia (C) Nicolas Hague (D)
    Owen Tippett (RW)
    Shaw Boomhower (C)

 

Prediction: Erie in 6 games

Attack’s Michael McNiven Named OHL Goaltender of the Year

Toronto, ON – The Ontario Hockey League today announced that Montreal Canadiens prospect Michael McNiven of the Owen Sound Attack is the 2016-17 recipient of the OHL’s Goaltender of the Year award.

McNiven played in 54 games this season carrying a record of 41-9-2-2 including six shutout victories that tied for a league-high, while also posting a league-low goals-against-average of 2.30 and a save percentage of .915 that ranked sixth overall.  His 41 wins not only led the OHL this season but established a new Attack single season record surpassing Jordan Binnington’s previous mark of 32 set during his award winning 2012-13 season. 

Michael McNiven of the Owen Sound Attack. Photo by Terry Wilson/OHL Images.
Michael McNiven of the Owen Sound Attack. Photo by Terry Wilson/OHL Images.

“This is a huge honour,” McNiven said. “At the beginning of the year I made it my goal to be the best goalie I could be on a night in, night out basis, and to be named Goaltender of the Year in a league with so many fantastic goalies means a lot to me. That said, this should be viewed as a team award. I wouldn’t have been able to make the saves I did if it wasn’t for my teammates who blocked shots, cleared players from the front of the net, and made my job easier.”

During the 2016-17 campaign, McNiven was part of an Attack squad that set franchise records for wins (49) and points (102) while surrendering a league-low 177 goals-against earning the league’s Dave Pinkney Trophy with partner Emanuel Vella.  He won 11 straight games from December 9 through January 21 contributing to the club’s record 15-game winning-streak and was recognized with Pioneer Energy OHL Player of the Week honours on January 2.  McNiven also earned Vaughn OHL Goaltender of the Month honours for February and was acknowledged in the Western Conference Coaches Poll finishing second in the Best Puckhandling Goalie vote, and first in the Best Shootout Goalie vote.

“Michael is extremely deserving of this award,” said Attack General Manager Dale DeGray. “His work ethic and dedication to getting better every day is unmatched and his performance this year showed just how hard he worked. Michael was a large part of our success this year and the entire organization is extremely proud of him.”

A 19-year-old from Georgetown, Ont., McNiven was chosen by the Attack in the fourth round of the 2013 OHL Priority Selection.  He has now played three full seasons in Owen Sound accumulating 77 career wins which ranks second in franchise history behind Binnington’s 86 recorded over four seasons from 2009-13.  McNiven did surpass Binnington this season for first on the club’s all-time shutout list with 11.  He becomes the third Attack goaltender to earn this award following Binnington (2012-13) and Jamie Storr (1993-94).  In September, 2015, McNiven signed a free agent entry-level contract with the Canadiens.

The OHL Goaltender of the Year is awarded to the league’s most outstanding goaltender as selected by OHL General Managers.  Teams were not permitted to vote for a goaltender from their own hockey club.  Goaltenders received five points for a first place vote, three points for a second place vote, and one point for a third place vote.

McNiven received 89 of a possible 95 points in the voting process, followed by Calgary Flames prospect Tyler Parsons of the London Knights who finished in second place with 27 voting points, and 2017 NHL Draft prospect Michael DiPietro of the Windsor Spitfires who finished in third place with 26 voting points.

The award was first presented in 1987-88 to Rick Tabaracci (Cornwall) with other notable winners including Manny Legace (Niagara Falls 1992-93), Craig Anderson (Guelph 2000-01), Steve Mason (London 2006-07), the league’s only back-to-back winner Mike Murphy (Belleville 2007-08 and 2008-09), Mark Visentin (Niagara 2010-11), Michael Houser (London 2011-12), Alex Nedeljkovic (Plymouth 2013-14), Lucas Peressini (Kingston 2014-15), and Mackenzie Blackwood (Barrie 2015-16).

McNiven will be formally presented with the OHL’s Goaltender of the Year Award on Thursday June 8 at the OHL Awards Ceremony held at the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto.  He is also the OHL’s nominee for CHL Goaltender of the Year to be announced on Saturday May 27 at the 2017 Mastercard Memorial Cup in Windsor.

Otters’ Darren Raddysh Named OHL Defenceman of the Year

Toronto, ON – The Ontario Hockey League today announced that Darren Raddysh of the Erie Otters is the 2016-17 recipient of the Max Kaminsky Trophy awarded annually to the OHL’s Most Outstanding Defenceman of the Year.

Raddysh becomes the first Otter to ever win the award after leading all OHL defencemen in scoring this season with 81 points including 16 goals and 65 assists in 62 games while establishing new team single season records for assists and points from the blue line surpassing Chris Campoli’s marks of 46 and 66 set in 2003-04.

Darren Raddysh of the Erie Otters. Photo by Aaron Bell/OHL Images
Darren Raddysh of the Erie Otters. Photo by Aaron Bell/OHL Images

“It’s a huge honour,” Raddysh said. “There were a lot of great defencemen this year and to be recognized as the top defenceman…I’m speechless. I can’t find the words to express how truly honoured I am to accept this award.”

The 21-year-old from Caledon, Ont., was also recently announced as the Leo Lalonde Memorial Trophy recipient as this season’s Overage Player of the Year.  He becomes the first player in OHL history to earn both awards, and just the second overage defenceman to earn the Max Kaminsky Trophy following current Los Angeles Kings star Jake Muzzin who received the honour as a member of the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds in 2009-10.

“I learned to be patient and not rush things on and off the ice,” Raddysh added. “It takes time to develop as a person. As a 16-year-old you come in and try to be a sponge and I learned from all of the guys that were here before me. We had a lot of great coaches and I had a lot of great mentors that were on the back end. I tried to learn as much as I could from them and apply it to my game.”

Raddysh finished the 2016-17 campaign with a plus-62 rating behind only his brother Taylor who recorded a league-high plus-67.  Since the OHL has recorded plus/minus beginning in 1996-97, Raddysh’s plus-62 is the fourth highest among defencemen following Nick Boynton’s plus-81 (Ottawa 1996-97), Sean Blanchard’s plus-74 (Ottawa 1996-97), and Danny Syvret’s plus-70 (London 2004-05).  Raddysh produced 26 multi-point performances this season and earned OHL Defenceman of the Month honours for November and February.  He was also recognized in the OHL’s Western Conference Coaches Poll as having the third Hardest Shot and was voted Best Offensive Defenceman.

“Darren is very deserving of this award,” said Otters head coach Kris Knoblauch. “He has sacrificed a lot for the team’s success and after all these years he’s finally being recognized for his talents. As an organization, we’re very proud of him for what he has brought to the Erie Otters organization on and off the ice.”

Originally chosen by the Otters in the fifth round of the 2012 OHL Priority Selection, Raddysh played in 274 regular season games over five years accumulating 41 goals and 143 assists for 184 points.  He graduates from the Otters as the franchise’s all-time assists and points leader among defencemen surpassing Campoli’s marks of 119 and 150 from 2000-04.  Raddysh has also been instrumental in the Otters regular season success achieving a Canadian Hockey League record four-straight 50 win campaigns capped by a 2016-17 Midwest Division title and Hamilton Spectator Trophy.

The Max Kaminsky Trophy is awarded each year to the Most Outstanding Defenceman as selected by OHL General Managers.  All 20 clubs submitted a nominee but were not permitted to vote for their own player.  Players received five points for a first place vote, three points for a second place vote and one point for a third place vote.

Raddysh received 70 points in the voting process, followed by fellow overage player Santino Centorame of the Owen Sound Attack who finished in second place with 44 voting points, and last year’s recipient Mikhail Sergachev of the Windsor Spitfires who finished in third place with 26 voting points.

Past winners of the award since 1970 include Craig Hartsburg (Sault Ste. Marie 1976-77), Larry Murphy (Peterborough 1979-80), Al MacInnis (Kitchener 1982-83), Chris Pronger (Peterborough 1992-93), Brian Campbell (Ottawa 1998-99), Marc Staal (Sudbury 2006-07), Drew Doughty (Guelph 2007-08), Ryan Ellis (Windsor 2008-09 and 2010-11), Dougie Hamilton (Niagara 2011-12), Ryan Sproul (Sault Ste. Marie 2012-13), Aaron Ekblad (Barrie 2013-14), and Anthony DeAngelo (Sault Ste. Marie 2014-15).

The award is named in recognition of Max Kaminsky, who enjoyed a 10-year professional playing career that included four years in the NHL with Ottawa, Boston, and Montreal.  After he retired from playing, Kaminsky enjoyed a 15-year coaching career that was capped by winning the Memorial Cup with the St. Catharines Teepees in 1960.

Raddysh will be formally presented with the Max Kaminsky Trophy at the OHL Awards Ceremony which takes place June 8 at the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto.  He will also be the OHL’s nominee for CHL Defenceman of the Year to be announced on May 27 at the 2017 Mastercard Memorial Cup in Windsor.

OHL This Week for April 26-30, 2017

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Toronto, ON – The Mississauga Steelheads have advanced to the Rogers OHL Championship Series and await the winner between the Erie Otters and Owen Sound Attack currently deadlocked at 2-2 in the Western Conference Final.  That story and more around the OHL this week.

MISSISSAUGA STEELHEADS ARE EASTERN CONFERENCE CHAMPIONS:

The Mississauga Steelheads have claimed the Bobby Orr Trophy as Eastern Conference Champions for the first time in team history, sending Mississauga to its first Rogers OHL Championship Series since 2011. The Steelheads took a commanding 7-0 home ice victory in Game 4 on Wednesday, taking a clean sweep of their Eastern Conference Championship Series against the Peterborough Petes. Read more / Photo Gallery / Highlights / Post-Game

WATCH EVERY PLAYOFF GAME WITH OHL LIVE PLAYOFF PACKAGES:

Don’t miss a game! Follow your team throughout the #OHLPlayoffs with new OHL LIVE Playoff Packages including the flexibility of single game, team pass and all access options. Visit OHLLIVE.com for full details.

LIFTMASTER ROAD TO THE MASTERCARD MEMORIAL CUP:

Get caught up on what’s going on around the entire CHL Playoffs in the third edition of LiftMaster Road to the Mastercard Memorial Cup.  11 teams remain in the hunt to join the Windsor Spitfires in May as third round action winds down.  LiftMaster is the Official Garage Door Opener of the Canadian Hockey League. Watch.

OTTERS’ DARREN RADDYSH NAMED OHL OVERAGE PLAYER OF THE YEAR:

Erie Otters defenceman Darren Raddysh has been voted the 2016-17 Leo Lalonde Memorial Trophy recipient presented annually to the OHL’s Overage Player of the Year. Raddysh led all overage players in scoring this season with 81 points in 62 games including 16 goals and 65 assists.  His 81 points were tops among OHL defencemen and established a new Otters single season mark for production from the blueline. Read more

ATTACK’S NICK SUZUKI NAMED OHL’S MOST SPORTSMANLIKE PLAYER:

2017 NHL Draft prospect Nick Suzuki of the Owen Sound Attack is the William Hanley Trophy recipient awarded to the league’s Most Sportsmanlike Player of the Year. Suzuki finished fifth in league scoring with 96 points including 45 goals and 51 assists in 65 games played with a plus-minus rating of plus-51 that ranked seventh among all OHL skaters.  He recorded just 10 penalty minutes in 2016-17 which was fewest among the league’s top-10 scorers serving just one minor penalty during the final 26 games of the season. Read more

CHMELEVSKI, GIBSON AND HANNA EARN 2017 OHL ACADEMIC AWARDS:

Sasha Chmelevski of the Ottawa 67’s is the recipient of the Bobby Smith Trophy as Scholastic Player of the Year, with Stephen Gibson of the Mississauga Steelheads earning the Roger Neilson Memorial Award as the Top Post-Secondary School Student, and Quinn Hanna of the Guelph Storm named the Ivan Tennant Memorial Award recipient for Top High School Student. All three players will be formally presented with their awards at the annual OHL Awards Ceremony on Thursday June 8.  Chmelevski will be the OHL’s nominee for CHL Scholastic Player of the Year which will be announced on Saturday May 27 as part of the events at the 2017 Mastercard Memorial Cup in Windsor. Read more

STAYING THE COURSE: HOW THE STEELHEADS TURNED THINGS AROUND:

A look at the Mississauga Steelheads’ ascension from holding the OHL’s worst record in early December to being crowned Central Division champions at season’s end. Head coach James Richmond and his staff stayed the course and benefited from the midseason additions of Spencer Watson and Vili Saarijarvi. Read more

EAST DIVISION CHAMPION PETES RETURN TO PROMINENCE:

The Peterborough Petes played in their first Eastern Conference Final since 2006, becoming the talk of the town once again. Former Petes goaltender turned coach Andrew Verner reflects on his playing days in the Electric City and discusses the competitive standard this year’s club set for future seasons. Read more

GADJOVICH AND HANCOCK EMBODY ATTACK IDENTITY:

Forwards Jonah Gadjovich and Kevin Hancock represent an Owen Sound Attack hockey club that flew under the radar and improved into one of the league’s best. The two draft eligible forwards received high praise in the Western Conference Coaches Poll in categories that are the essence of this year’s Attack; improved and underrated. Read more

FOUR YEARS RUNNING FOR TRIO OF OTTERS:

Erie Otters veterans Dylan Strome, Kyle Pettit, and Darren Raddysh are competing in their fourth straight Western Conference Championship Series. The Otters hope this season will be their year to celebrate the Flagship City’s first OHL title since 2002. Read more

4 OHL PLAYERS EARN MEDALS AT WORLD UNDER-18 HOCKEY CHAMPIONSHIP:

Four OHL players earned medals at the 2017 IIHF World Under-18 Hockey Championship in Poprad and Spisska Nova Ves, Slovakia. A total of 15 OHL players competed in the annual event including nine who competed for Canada in a fifth place finish following a quarterfinal loss to Sweden. Read more

ICEDOGS NAME JOEY BURKE GENERAL MANAGER:

The Niagara IceDogs have named former Director of Player Personnel Joey Burke as General Manager of the club. Burke, who has been with the IceDogs since their inaugural season in Niagara in 2007-08. He has served as the club’s Assistant General Manager since the beginning of the 2010 season. Read more

67’s ANNOUNCE RESIGNATION OF HEAD COACH & GM JEFF BROWN:

The Ottawa 67’s have announced that Head Coach and General Manager Jeff Brown has resigned for personal reasons. Brown took over coaching duties with the 67’s in the 2014-15 season and was promoted to the dual role of Head Coach and General Manager in May 2015. In his first season behind the bench, the 67’s finished second in the OHL’s Eastern Division and secured a playoff spot after missing the post-season in the two previous seasons. The team qualified for the playoffs in each year of Brown’s tenure as Head Coach. Read more

GREYHOUNDS’ KATCHOUK SIGNS WITH LIGHTNING:

The Tampa Bay Lightning have signed Sault Ste Marie Greyhounds forward Boris Katchouk to a three-year, entry-level NHL contract. Katchouk, 18, played in 66 games with the Greyhounds this season, recording 35 goals and 64 points to go along with 46 penalty minutes. The 6-foot-1,192-pound forward ranked second on the Greyhounds for goals, third for points and fifth for assists. Katchouk paced the entire OHL for shorthanded goals with seven.  Read more

GREYHOUNDS’ KOPACKA SIGNS WITH DUCKS:

The Anaheim Ducks have signed Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds forward Jack Kopacka to a three-year, entry-level NHL contract. Selected in the fourth round (93rd overall) of the 2016 NHL Draft, Kopacka recorded 30-19=49 points with a +8 rating and 16 PIM in 65 games with the Greyhounds in 2016-17. The 6-2, 202-pound forward set OHL career highs during the regular season in goals, points and plus/minus. He also ranked second on the Greyhounds in playoff scoring (5-6=11) and assists in 11 postseason appearances this spring. Read more

STEELHEADS’ MANCINA NAMED PIONEER ENERGY OHL PLAYER OF THE WEEK & VAUGHN CHL GOALTENDER OF THE WEEK:

Matthew Mancina of the Mississauga Steelheads is the Pioneer Energy OHL Player of the Week for the playoff week ending April 23 after posting a 2-0 record including a shutout victory with a goals-against-average of 1.50 and save percentage of .944. Mancina turned aside 51 shots last week for the Steelheads who opened the Eastern Conference Championship Series with a pair of road victories to take a 2-0 series lead against the Peterborough Petes. Mancina’s standout performance also earned him Vaughn CHL Goaltender of the Week honours. Read more

JAMIESON REES COMMITS TO STING:

The Sarnia Sting have received a commitment from 2017 first round, ninth overall selection Jamieson Rees. Rees, who captained the Mississauga Reps to an OHL Cup title, was also named to the OHL Cup Gatorade All-Star Team after recording 11 points (6-5–11) over eight games with a rating of plus-13. Read more

ALEXANDRE HOGUE COMMITS TO STING:

The Sarnia Sting have received a commitment from 2017 second round (37th overall) selection Alexandre Hogue. The HEO Player of the Year had 14 goals, 33 assists and 47 points in 45 games with the Cumberland Grads U18 Midgets. The Embrun, Ont. native is expected to suit up for Team HEO in the upcoming OHL Gold Cup taking place at the Activia Sportsplex in Kitchener from May 4-7. Read more

NATHAN STAIOS COMMITS TO SPITFIRES:

The Windsor Spitfires have received a commitment from 2017 first round, 17th overall pick Nathan Staios. The son of longtime NHL defenceman Steve Staios – who is now president and general manager of the Hamilton Bulldogs – Staios had five goals, 11 assists and 32 penalty minutes in 16 games for the the Vaughn Kings Minor Midgets in 2016-17. Read more

BLAKE MURRAY COMMITS TO WOLVES:

The Sudbury Wolves have received a commitment from 2017 first round, seventh overall pick Blake Murray. An Uxbridge, ON, native, Murray led the Whitby Wildcats Minor Midgets to an OMHA Championship this past season before reaching the OHL Cup Quarterfinals. Read more

JOE RUPOLI COMMITS TO GENERALS:

The Oshawa Generals have received a commitment from 2016 fifth round selection Joe Rupoli. The defenceman from Oakville played with the OJHL’s Mississauga Chargers this past season, recording three goals, 12 assists and 15 points over 48 games. Read more

OHL CLUBS HOST SPRING DEVELOPMENT CAMPS:

A total of nine OHL clubs hosted Development Camps last weekend, giving prospective players and their families an opportunity to meet coaches, staff, media, and fans in their respective organizations. Players taken in the 2016 and 2017 OHL Priority Selections in addition to 2017 OHL Under-18 Priority Selection picks and other free agent invitees attended the Development Camps that featured a fitness testing element in addition to on-ice scrimmages and information sessions over the course of the weekend. Read more

7 OHL U18 PRIORITY SELECTION PICKS REPRESENTING MISSISSAUGA REBELS AT TELUS CUP:

Seven players chosen in the 2017 OHL Under-18 Priority Selection are competing in the Telus Cup with the Mississauga Rebels Midgets. The Rebels represent the Central region at this year’s event in Prince George, BC and feature OHL prospects in Evan Benwell (Windsor Spitfires), Elijah Gonsalves (London Knights), Josiah Degazon (Barrie Colts), Bair Gendunov (Saginaw Spirit), Massimo Petricca (Barrie Colts), Eric Mergelas (Sudbury Wolves and Calder Lund (Flint Firebirds). For full coverage of the 2017 Telus Cup, please visit hockeycanada.ca.

OHL TO HOST 5TH ANNUAL OHL GOLD CUP HIGH PERFORMANCE OFFICIATING CAMP:

The Ontario Hockey League will be hosting its 5th annual OHL Gold Cup High Performance Officiating Exposure Camp from May 3-7 to enhance the development and performance of the top officiating prospects in Canada. This camp will be an opportunity for officials to showcase their skills and abilities to members of the OHL Officiating Department. A total of 20 officials out of over 80 applications have been selected to participate. Read more

2017 OHL COACHES CONFERENCE SCHEDULED FOR JUNE 3rd:

The 4th annual OHL Coaches Conference is scheduled for Saturday June 3rd on the campus of UOIT in Oshawa, ON. This event provides 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

WIN A TRIP TO THE MASTERCARD MEMORIAL CUP WITH SPORTSNET #WHATTOWIN:

What do you do to win? Show Sportsnet your skills using #WhatToWin on Twitter, and you could win a trip to the 2017 Mastercard Memorial Cup! Details.

ENTER WITH BRP FOR YOUR CHANCE TO WIN A TRIP TO THE MASTERCARD MEMORIAL CUP:

A proud partner of the Canadian Hockey League, BRP has launched a great new contest that gives fans a chance to win a trip for four to the 2017 Mastercard Memorial Cup in Windsor! Fill out all of the information and enter for your chance to win. Visit brpcontest.com.

JANES SAVES OF THE YEAR CONTEST CONTINUES:

Voting is now open for the #JanesSaves of the Year! Head to www.JanesSaves.ca and vote for the best OHL Save of the Year! Enter for your chance to win a trip for 4 to the 2017 Mastercard Memorial Cup and score a FREE box of Janes ultimates™

VOTE SPENCER WATSON IN #CIBCSHOWDOWN:

Los Angeles Kings prospect Spencer Watson of the Mississauga Steelheads is the OHL’s representative in this week’s edition of CIBC Showdown, a weekly contest that features one great play from all three leagues. Watch his play and vote at chlshowdown.ca.

OHL PLAYERS REWARDED WITH PRO OPPORTUNITIES FOLLOWING 2016-17 SEASON:

Several OHL players now on the other side of the 2016-17 season have received pro opportunities with AHL and ECHL clubs. The following players have recently signed professional and amateur tryout contracts with pro clubs since their OHL playoff elimination: Jeremy Brodeur (Oshawa Generals/Toledo Walleye – ECHL), Connor Bunnaman (Kitchener Rangers/Lehigh Valley Phantoms – AHL), Max Jones (London Knights/San Diego Gulls – AHL), Boris Katchouk (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds/Syracuse Crunch – AHL), JJ Piccinich (London Knights/Toronto Marlies – AHL), Mitchell Stephens (London Knights/Syracuse Crunch – AHL),

2017 MASTERCARD MEMORIAL CUP SINGLE GAME TICKETS NOW ON SALE:

2017 Mastercard Memorial Cup single-game tickets are now on sale. Tickets for games featuring the host Windsor Spitfires are available at a cost of $90+HST while games featuring two of the other three participating teams are priced at $75+HST. Read more

ALUMNI NOTES:

47 OHL graduates advance to second round of NHL Playoffs: A total of 47 OHL graduates have reached the second round of the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs. The Nashville Predators, St. Louis Blues, Anaheim Ducks and Edmonton Oilers advanced in the Western Conference while the New York Rangers, Ottawa Senators, Washington Capitals and Pittsburgh Penguins moved on in the East. Read more

Marner added to Canada’s Roster for 2017 IIHF World Championship: Fresh off an outstanding rookie season with the Toronto Maple Leafs, London Knights graduate and 2016 CHL Player of the Year Mitch Marner has been added to Canada’s roster for the 2017 IIHF World Hockey Championship. Marner will be representing his country in international competition for the third time in his career; he won gold at the 2014 Ivan Hlinka Memorial, and was part of Canada’s National Junior Team at the 2016 IIHF World Junior Championship. The Thornhill, Ont. native as Toronto’s rookie leader in regular season assists, posting 42 in 77 games this past season. He played three seasons with London from 2013-16, leading the Knights to an OHL title and a Mastercard Memorial Cup championship last spring.

Brooks named OHA Coach of the Year: OHL graduate and former coach of the Guelph Storm Jason Brooks has been named the 2017 OHA Coach of the Year. Brooks steered the Listowel Jr. B Cyclones to the franchise’s first Cherrey Cup title since 2005 this season, winning 40 games during the regular season. The Cyclones defeated the Elmira Sugar Kings to win the Cherrey Cup before falling to the London Nationals in the Sutherland Cup Semi-Final. Brooks played with the Cyclones before an OHL career spent with the Ottawa 67’s and London Knights from 1993-96. He spent nine years with the Storm organization from 2001-10 in a variety of roles, winning an OHL title with the club in 2004. He finished his most recent OHL coaching stint with the Niagara IceDogs in 2013. Brooks revealed to the Stratford Beacon-Herald this past week that he began undergoing chemotherapy in early February on a benign brain tumour that continued to grow. The Ontario Hockey League wishes Jason nothing but the best in his fight and congratulates him on a great season in Listowel.

Bruins name Cassidy head coach: After filling in on an interim basis, Bruce Cassidy has been named head coach of the Boston Bruins for the 2017-18 season. The Bruins went 18-8-1 under Cassidy, making the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the first time since 2014, though the Bruins did not make it out of the first round. He replaced Claude Julien, the Bruins’ coach for a decade, who was fired on Feb. 7.  Cassidy played with Brian Kilrea’s Ottawa 67’s from 1982-85 before an 11-year pro career. He coached the Kingston Frontenacs in parts of two seasons from 2006-08.

SCHEDULE:

Wednesday April 26th
Peterborough 0 at Mississauga 7 (Game 4) – Highlights
Erie 4 at Owen Sound 3 (Game 4) – Highlights

Friday April 28th:
Owen Sound at Erie (Game 5) – 7:00pm

Sunday April 30th:
Erie at Owen Sound (Game 6) – 2:00pm

Monday May 1st:
Owen Sound at Erie (Game 7) – 7:00pm*

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