13 OHL PLAYERS CAPTURE U18 WORLDS GOLD AS CANADA DEFEATS RUSSIA 5-3

Toronto, Ont. – The Ontario Hockey League is pleased to congratulate 13 OHL players who will return from the Lone Star State with gold medals after defeating Russia by a score of 5-3 in the IIHF World Under-18 Hockey Championship gold medal game on Thursday in Frisco, Texas.

Kingston Frontenacs star Shane Wright found the back of the net twice as Canada’s National Under-18 Team completed a perfect 7-0 tournament, outscoring opponents 51-12 in the process to claim their first U18 Worlds gold since 2013.

“It means the world to this country, to the guys in our dressing room, all of the coaches and all of the staff,” said Wright after the win. “Just the effort we put in, how hard everyone has worked since day one. I couldn’t be prouder of the work everyone has put in and all the sacrifices that have been made.”

Russia presented a new challenge to Canada in the early going, with tournament scoring leader Matvei Michkov netting his 12th of the U18 Worlds 5:13 in, marking the first time Canada had surrendered the first goal in the event.

“We had scored first every single time, which is a great thing, but we knew it was going to happen,” said Canadian coach Dave Barr, who was OHL Coach of the Year with the Guelph Storm in 2006. “We talked about it in the first intermission about playing from behind and how we aren’t going to change the way we play the game. We just did what we needed to do to work our way back into the game.”

Just over a minute after a denied penalty shot, exceptional talent Connor Bedard (Regina Pats) beat Sergei Ivanov on the backhand with 4:01 remaining in the first to tie things up as Chase Stillman (Sudbury Wolves) picked up a secondary assist. Russia quickly responded with a goal from Dmitri Buchelnikov before Wright ripped home a wrist shot on the power play to make it 2-2 after one.

A shot from a tight angle off the stick of Brennan Othmann (Flint Firebirds) put Canada in the lead 3-2 off a feed from Ethan Del Mastro (Mississauga Steelheads) 4:42 into the second. Logan Stankoven (Kamloops Blazers) delivered a wrist shot to double the Canadian lead near the period’s end as Brandt Clarke (Barrie Colts) and Wright pitched in with assists.

Following a scoreless nine minutes to start the third, Vladimir Grudinin brought Russia back within one on the power play. Wright ultimately struck on the empty net with 40 seconds remaining off an impressive pass from Bedard to seal an undefeated tournament for Team Canada. With his ninth goal, Wright surpassed Connor McDavid‘s 2013 mark of eight to set a Canadian record at the U18 Worlds.

Ben Gaudreau (Sarnia Sting) amassed 31 saves in net to improve to 5-0 for Canada as the shots ended an even 34-34.

“It was really exciting, the last minute felt about as long as the entire game,” said Gaudreau after the buzzer. “Once Shaner (Wright) put the icing on the cake there with 40 seconds left it really set in. The feelings can’t really be described. I couldn’t have done this with a better group of guys.”

Wright finished the tournament tied for second in scoring with fellow exceptional status forward Bedard, racking up 14 points (9-5–14) in just five games, two back of tournament-leader Michkov of Russia who wound up with 16 points.

Brandt Clarke finished tied for second in tournament scoring by defencemen with seven points (2-5–7) in as many games, being named to the event’s media all-star team.

Between the pipes, Gaudreau paced all goaltenders with five wins, a 2.20 goals-against average and .919 save percentage over five games to be recognized as the tournament’s top goaltender by the IIHF directorate.

“I have had a great time coaching this team,” said Barr. “It was a lot of fun to be able to bring the gold medal back to Canada, and I was very fortunate to have two great assistant coaches in Mike Stothers and Gordie Dwyer. Ultimately you are trying to win the gold medal and you never know how a game like tonight’s is going to go, but we focused on what we were able to control and that gave us a great chance to win.”

Since 2002, Canada has won four gold medals at the IIHF U18 World Championship (2003, 2008, 2013, 2021), in addition to one silver (2005) and three bronze (2012, 2014, 2015).

13 OHL players winning gold with Canada at the U18 Worlds:

Goaltender:
Ben Gaudreau (Sarnia Sting)

Defence:
Brandt Clarke (Barrie Colts), Ethan Del Mastro (Mississauga Steelheads), Jack Matier (Ottawa 67’s)

Forwards:
Brett Harrison (Oshawa Generals), Wyatt Johnston (Windsor Spitfires), Mason McTavish (Peterborough Petes), Brennan Othmann (Flint Firebirds), Francesco Pinelli (Kitchener Rangers), Chase Stillman (Sudbury Wolves), Ryan Winterton (Hamilton Bulldogs), Shane Wright (Kingston Frontenacs), Danny Zhilkin (Guelph Storm)

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

13 OHL PLAYERS NAMED TO CANADA’S NATIONAL MEN’S UNDER-18 TEAM

Toronto, Ont. – The Ontario Hockey League is proud to recognize 13 OHL players named to Canada’s National Men’s Under-18 Team that will compete in the 2021 IIHF World Under-18 Hockey Championship set to take place from April 26 to May 6 in Frisco and Plano, Texas.

The 13 OHL players are part of a 25-man Canadian roster consisting of three goaltenders, eight defencemen and 14 forwards to be coached by former OHL Coach of the Year Dave Barr (Guelph Storm, 2003-08) along with assistant Mike Stothers (Owen Sound Attack, 2002-07).

The Canadian roster was assembled by Hockey Canada director of player personnel Alan Millar along with manager of national teams Benoit Roy.

OHL PLAYERS NAMED TO CANADA’S NATIONAL UNDER-18 TEAM:

Goaltender: Benjamin Gaudreau (Sarnia Sting)

Defence: Brandt Clarke (Barrie Colts), Ethan Del Mastro (Mississauga Steelheads), Jack Matier (Ottawa 67’s)

Forwards: Brett Harrison (Oshawa Generals), Wyatt Johnston (Windsor Spitfires), Mason McTavish (Peterborough Petes), Brennan Othmann (Flint Firebirds), Francesco Pinelli (Kitchener Rangers), Chase Stillman (Sudbury Wolves), Ryan Winterton (Hamilton Bulldogs), Shane Wright (Kingston Frontenacs), Danny Zhilkin (Guelph Storm)

“We are excited to announce the 25 players that have been selected to wear the Maple Leaf at the 2021 IIHF U18 World Championship. Despite a difficult year for our players and staff, we are confident this group will represent our country with pride while giving us a chance to compete for a gold medal in Texas,” said Millar. “We are also pleased to have Dave (Barr), Mike (Stothers) and Gordie (Dwyer) as a part of our coaching staff, and to welcome a number of excellent support staff who bring unique skills to our team. We know the extensive experience of our coaching staff and the dedication of our support staff will greatly benefit our team at the world championship.”

Barr most recently served as an assistant coach with the San Jose Sharks (2017-19). Prior to joining the Sharks, he was an associate coach with the Florida Panthers (2016-17), as well as an assistant coach with the Buffalo Sabres (2015-16), New Jersey Devils (2011-15), Minnesota Wild (2009-11) and Colorado Avalanche (2008-09). Barr spent five seasons (2003-08) as the general manager and head coach of the Guelph Storm of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL), leading the Storm to an OHL championship in 2004. He also held various positions with the Houston Aeros of the American Hockey League (AHL) and International Hockey League (IHL) from 1997-2003, including assistant coach, head coach, director of hockey operations, vice-president, general manager and president. He has represented Canada once as a head coach, leading Canada’s National Men’s Summer Under-18 Team to a gold medal at the 2008 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament.

Dwyerwas the head coach of the Shawinigan Cataractes of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) last season. Prior to joining the Cataractes, he spent two seasons as head coach of Dinamo Minsk (2017-19) and two seasons as head coach of Medvescak Zagreb (2015-17) of the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL), as well as part of one season as head coach of HC Ambrì-Piotta (2016-17) of National League A (NLA). Dwyer also served two seasons as head coach of the Charlottetown Islanders (2013-15) and two seasons as head coach of the Prince Edward Island Rocket (2011-13) of the QMJHL, as well as two seasons as head coach and director of player personnel with the Summerside Western Capitals of the Maritime Junior Hockey League (MHL). He won bronze medals as the head coach of Team Canada at the 2020 Youth Olympic Games and as an assistant coach at the 2012 IIHF U18 World Championship and was an assistant coach at two Spengler Cups (2016, 2018).

Stothersmost recently served as head coach of the Ontario Reign of the American Hockey League (AHL) for five seasons (2015-20). He has held various coaching positions in the NHL, AHL, OHL and Western Hockey League (WHL), including one season as an assistant coach with the NHL’s Atlanta Thrashers (2010-11) and two seasons as an assistant with the Philadelphia Flyers (2000-02). Stothers was also the head coach of the AHL’s Manchester Monarchs (2014-15), winning a Calder Cup and Louis A.R. Pieri Memorial Award as AHL coach of the year, as well as the Grand Rapids Griffins (2007-08). He also served as an assistant coach with the Philadelphia Phantoms (1996-2000) and Hershey Bears (1991-96). His Canadian Hockey League (CHL) experience includes three seasons as head coach of the WHL’s Moose Jaw Warriors (2011-14) and five seasons as head coach of the OHL’s Owen Sound Attack (2002-07). Stothers had a 10-year professional playing career in the NHL and AHL, winning the Calder Cup with the Maine Mariners in 1984.

The support staff that will work with Team Canada at the IIHF U18 World Championship includes:

  • Senior vice-president of national teams Scott Salmond
  • Video coach Travis Crickard
  • Goaltending coach Matt Weninger (Moose Jaw Warriors)
  • Athletic therapists Kevin Elliott (Charlottetown Islanders) and Doug Stacey
  • Equipment manager A.J. Murley
  • Mental performance consultant Ashwin Patel (Guelph Storm)
  • Team physician Dr. Ben Cameron (Lethbridge Hurricanes)
  • Education consultant Dave Tennant (Kitchener Rangers)
  • Coordinator of national teams Kurt Keats

Prior to travelling to Frisco on April 17, players and staff will self-isolate at home starting April 12 and will be tested for COVID-19 three times. Upon arrival in Texas, all team personnel will enter a four-day quarantine at the hotel before starting a pre-tournament camp on April 21. The team will take on Finland in its lone pre-tournament game on April 24 at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT.

Canada will open the 2021 IIHF U18 World Championship against Sweden on April 26 at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT, and will also take on Latvia, Switzerland and Belarus in preliminary-round action. TSN and RDS, the official broadcast partners of Hockey Canada, will broadcast select games throughout the tournament and will announce details at a later date.

Since 2002, Canada has won three gold medals at the IIHF U18 World Championship (2003, 2008, 2013), in addition to one silver (2005) and three bronze (2012, 2014, 2015).

For more information on Hockey Canada and Canada’s National Men’s Under-18 Team, please visit HockeyCanada.ca, or follow along via social media on Facebook and Twitter.

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

OHL ANNOUNCES ACADEMIC PLAYERS OF THE MONTH FOR JANUARY

Academic players for January

Toronto, Ont. – The Ontario Hockey League today announced that Tye Austin of the Peterborough Petes, Ethan Del Mastro of the Mississauga Steelheads, Logan LeSage of the Owen Sound Attack and Will Cuylle of the Windsor Spitfires have been named OHL Academic Players of the Month for January.

East Division: Peterborough’s Tye Austin is January’s East Division Academic Player of the Month. The 17-year-old netminder is taking grade 12 university-level courses in English, Functions, and Biology, and boasts a 100% mark in his Math class.

“Tye is extremely worthy of the Academic Player of the Month tribute,” wrote Kim Driscoll, Co-operative Education Teacher at Thomas A. Stewart Secondary School. “He works diligently on his school work whether that means staying up late after practice or a game, working on a bus during a road trip or working through lunch while at school.” Austin has future plans to pursue biochemistry and medical school.

In his second year in net for the Petes, Austin holds a 4.16 goals-against average and an .868 save percentage through his first 14 appearances. The Pembroke, Ont. native was a third round pick of the Petes in the 2018 OHL Priority Selection.

Central Division: Ethan Del Mastro has been recognized as January’s Central Division Academic Player of the Month. The Mississauga Steelheads rookie holds an 86% grade in his Accounting class, 80% in Biology, 88% in Data Management and an 84% in his Co-op program.

Head coach James Richmond praised Del Mastro’s performance. “Ethan has played in our top four all year against the other team’s best players night in and night out,” said Richmond. “To do that as a 16-year-old is very impressive.”

The 17-year-old defender is described as “quiet” and “diligent” by Philip Pocock Secondary School’s Guidance Councillor, Genevieve Wong.

Del Mastro has recorded five assists in his first 43 games with the Steelheads. He was drafted 12th overall in last year’s OHL Priority Selection following a 44-point season (8-36-44) with the Toronto Marlboros Minor Midgets.

Midwest Division: Logan LeSage of the Owen Sound Attack is January’s Midwest Division Academic Player of the Month. The 18-year-old centreman is a student at Owen Sound District Secondary School and has maintained a 100% grade in his International Business class. He also holds a 99% in Organizational Business, 97% in Leadership, and a 99% through two periods of Co-op.

His teachers commented that his assignments always exceed the stated expectations, and are completed with extensive research and extreme attention to detail. He’s described as an “absolute joy to teach” and a “leader among his peers.”

“Logan has demonstrated an outstanding effort this semester,” wrote Academic Advisor Sarah Rowe. “He always has a positive attitude and is the first to help other students who have difficulty.”

Through the first 10 games of his rookie season, LeSage has recorded one assist. He was a second round pick of the Attack at the 2019 OHL Under-18 Priority Selection, and spent the 2018-19 season with the Carleton Place Canadians where he amassed 35 points (15-20-35) in 39 games.

West Division: Will Cuylle has been named the West Division’s Academic Player of the Month for January. The Windsor Spitfires sophomore’s studies at St. Anne Catholic High School include Grade 12 Data Management, Grade 12 Business Leadership, and an online Accounting Class. He maintains an overall 80% average.

“Will’s academic achievement is a direct reflection of his work ethic and commitment to being the best student athlete that he can be,” wrote Windsor’s Academic Advisors. “He sets goals to improve and he applies the work to achieve that goal.” He’s described by his teachers as “an overall good character person” who shows respect.

The 17-year-old winger, eligible for this summer’s NHL Draft, has 16 goals and 32 points in 43 games. He was recently ranked 21st in NHL Central Scouting’s Midterm Rankings among all North American Skaters.

2019-20 OHL Academic Players of the Month:

East Division:
January – Tye Austin (Peterborough Petes)
December – Cameron Tolnai (Ottawa 67’s)
November – Lleyton Moore (Oshawa Generals)
October – Shane Wright (Kingston Frontenacs)

Central Division:
January – Ethan Del Mastro (Mississauga Steelheads)
December – Giordano Biondi (Sudbury Wolves)
November – Jonah De Simone (Niagara IceDogs)
October – Pacey Schlueting (North Bay Battalion)

Midwest Division:
January – Logan LeSage (Owen Sound Attack)
December – Stuart Rolofs (London Knights)
November – Michael Vukojevic (Kitchener Rangers)
October – Zack Terry (Guelph Storm)

West Division:
January – Will Cuylle (Windsor Spitfires)
December – Jacob Holmes (Soo Greyhounds)
November – Ryan Mast (Sarnia Sting)
October – Cole Perfetti (Saginaw Spirit)

Last season, the OHL Centrally Administered Scholarship Program facilitated scholarships for 340 OHL Alumni at 69 different academic institutions across North America with a total scholarship payment in excess of $3.2 million. Since the 2007-08 season, OHL Scholarship payments have totalled more than $25 million.

Click here for more information about ‘OHL Players First’ programs.