Toronto, Ont. – Welcome back, it’s 2020! Here’s a look at what’s happening across the Ontario Hockey League this week.
HAPPY NEW YEAR – A DECADE OF OHL CHAMPIONS:
There’s lots to look back on from the past decade. The OHL spent the days leading up to New Year’s Eve recounting past champions and some of the greatest moments of the past 10 years.
WATCH • DECADE IN REVIEW
HAYTON’S PAIR PROPELS CANADA PAST SLOVAKIA IN QUARTERFINALS:
Soo Greyhounds graduate Barrett Hayton scored a pair of goals to lead Canada past Slovakia 6-1 and into the semi-finals at the 2020 World Juniors. Canada will now face off against Finland in Saturday’s semi-final game with a 1pm ET puck drop.
OHL TOP PERFORMERS OF THE MONTH FOR DECEMBER:
Mississauga’s Cole Schwindt, Ottawa’s Noel Hoefenmayer, Peterborough’s Mason McTavish and Kitchener’s Jacob Ingham are OHL Top Performers for November 2019.
KNIGHTS’ EVANGELISTA ADDED TO KUBOTA CHL/NHL TOP PROSPECTS GAME:
London Knights forward Luke Evangelista has been added to the 2020 Kubota CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game. He’ll replace injured Oshawa Generals forward Oliver Suni. Evangelista has 33 points (14-19–33) over 35 games with the Knights this season after being the club’s first round pick in the 2018 OHL Priority Selection.
ROOKIE PHENOM WRIGHT TAKING THE LEAD IN KINGSTON:
At 15-years-old, Kingston Frontenacs rookie star Shane Wright has been entrusted with an ‘A’ on his jersey. The OHL’s Sarah Jean Maher caught up with Wright and his Frontenacs teammates this past week.
67’s, PETES AND STORM IN KIA CHL TOP 10 RANKINGS:
The Ottawa 67’s remain the second-ranked team in the CHL this week while the Peterborough Petes and Guelph Storm are also inside the Top 10. The Windsor Spitfires and Saginaw Spirit both received honourable mentions.
KIA CHL TOP 10 SPOTLIGHT – SAGINAW SPIRIT:
As the season enters its second half, the Saginaw Spirit are recognized as an honourable mention in the latest Kia CHL Top-10 Rankings. The Spirit are currently riding a six-game winning streak and sit tied atop the West Division.
67’s’ GARREFFA NAMED OHL ‘ON THE RUN’ PLAYER OF THE WEEK:
Joseph Garreffa of the Ottawa 67’s is the OHL ‘On the Run’ Player of the Week of games spanning December 18-29 with 10 points over three contests.
GARREFFA, HOEFENMAYER AND SCHWINDT NAMED TO VAUGHN CHL TEAM OF THE WEEK:
Ottawa 67’s teammates Joseph Garreffa and Noel Hoefenmayer join Mississauga Steelheads forward Cole Schwindt on the Vaughn CHL Team of the Week.
VAUGHN SAVES OF THE WEEK – JAN. 1, 2020:
The first 2020 edition of Vaughn Saves will have you coming back for more! Check out big stops from the Oshawa Generals duo of Zachary Paputsakis and Andrew MacLean, Hamilton’s Zachary Roy, Sault Ste. Marie’s Bailey Brkin, Peterborough’s Hunter Jones, Barrie’s Jet Greaves, Ottawa’s Cedrick Andree, Windsor’s Xavier Medina and Kitchener’s Jacob Ingham.
OHL WEEKEND NOTEBOOK: DEC. 30, 2019:
The OHL Weekend Notebook recaps the weekend that was with news, information and interesting facts from both on and off the ice. Here are 10 of the leading stories from this past weekend.
CHROMIAK, MCGURN SCORE FIRST OHL GOALS:
The latest instalment of OHL Milestone Moments features two young forwards who scored their first OHL goals this past week. Kingston Frontenacs forward Martin Chromiak scored in his OHL debut on Thursday after London’s Sean McGurn found the back of the net on New Year’s Eve.
SPIRIT’S DUHART REPRESENTS OHL IN CHL SHOWDOWN:
Saginaw Spirit forward Dalton Duhart is this week’s OHL representative in CHL Showdown, a weekly contest that features one great play from all three leagues.
WATCH & VOTE AT CHLSHOWDOWN.CA
#PLAYERSFIRST – HOLISTIC APPROACH TO PLAYER DEVELOPMENT:
The OHL’s holistic approach to player development allows it to produce great hockey players as well as well-rounded young men. The League and its member teams strive to develop the whole person through education, awareness and community involvement.
FACT OF THE WEEK • ALUMNI SPOTLIGHT
OHL CUP POWERED BY UNDER ARMOUR MINOR MIDGET TOP-10 RANKINGS:
The Quinte Red Devils remain on top of the OHL Cup Powered by Under Armour Minor Midget Top-10 Rankings after finishing in the final four of last weekend’s Toronto Marlboros Holiday Classic. The Toronto Titans, Elgin-Middlesex Chiefs and Toronto Nationals are also on the rise inside the Top-5.
67’s EARN FRANCHISE RECORD 15TH CONSECUTIVE WIN:
The Ottawa 67’s set a new franchise record on Thursday, defeating the Kingston Frontenacs 8-4 for their 15th consecutive win. Ottawa’s 15-game winning streak surpasses the franchise’s prior mark set during the 1998-99 season.
STORM’S PHILLIPS RETURNS FROM KINGS ORGANIZATION:
The Los Angeles Kings have reassigned overage defenceman Markus Phillips back to the Guelph Storm where he won an OHL Championship last spring. The 20-year-old defenceman has spent the majority of this season with the ECHL’s Fort Wayne Komets, recording six assists over 20 games.
67’s’ OKHOTYUK SIGNS WITH DEVILS:
The New Jersey Devils have signed Ottawa 67’s defenceman Nikita Okhtoyuk to a three-year entry level NHL contract. The 19-year-old defenceman has six assists in an injury-shortened 12 game season to this point after being New Jersey’s second round pick in the 2019 NHL Draft. The 6-foot-1 defenceman recorded 17 points (2-15–17) with the 67’s last season.
ATTACK’S DUDAS SIGNS WITH KINGS:
The Los Angeles Kings have signed Owen Sound Attack captain Aidan Dudas to a three-year entry level NHL contract. The Owen Sound Attack captain is currently representing Canada at the 2020 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship in Ostrava, Czech Republic. The Parry Sound, Ont. native has 30 points (11-19–30) in Owen Sound this season.
TOP CHL IMPORT DRAFT SELECTION MARTIN CHROMIAK COMMITS TO FRONTENACS:
The Kingston Frontenacs have received a commitment from 2019 second overall CHL Import Draft selection Martin Chromiak. Chromiak spent the beginning of this season with HK Dukla Trencin of the Slovakian Tipsport Liga. While playing against men in a professional league he scored five goals and an assist in 32 games.
5 QUESTIONS WITH JAMIE DRYSDALE:
Defenceman Jamie Drysdale of the Erie Otters shares his thoughts about being named to Canada’s National Junior Team and playing in his NHL Draft season.
HOW OWEN BRADY’S CANCER DIAGNOSIS DIDN’T STOP HIS NHL DREAM:
Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman spoke with Oshawa Generals prospect Owen Brady as part of the Rogers Hometown Hockey Tour’s coverage this past weekend in Whitby, Ont. Friedman chats with Brady about his journey through an osteosarcoma diagnosis followed by a brave fight and current recovery as he looks to make a return to the ice.
WATCH AT SPORTSNET.CA
ROGERS HOMETOWN HOCKEY TOUR VISITS COBOURG:
The Rogers Hometown Hockey Tour shifts to Cobourg, Ont. this weekend after last weekend’s stop in Whitby covered such stars as OHL graduate James Neal. Cobourg is the home of OHL graduate and three-time Stanley Cup champion Justin Williams. Visit hometownhockey.com for all of this weekend’s coverage.
Quinton Byfield Bobblehead Night in Sudbury: He won’t be in the lineup, but there’ll be plenty of his bobbleheads at the Sudbury Community Arena on Friday as the Wolves host Quinton Byfield Bobblehead Night at home to the Barrie Colts. The first 1,000 fans into the arena on Friday will received a free Quinton Byfield Bobblehead!
READ MORE AT SUDBURYWOLVES.COM
Firebirds Fight Hunger: The Flint Firebirds have partnered with the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan for the team’s fifth annual “Firebirds Fight Hunger” campaign. Fans are encouraged to bring in a minimum of five non-perishable food items to be donated during Friday’s game against the visiting Oshawa Generals, as well as Saturday’s tilt against the London Knights.
MORE DETAILS AT FLINTFIREBIRDS.COM
Storm presents “Angels in the Stands”: As the Storm host the Peterborough Petes on Friday, January 3rd, they’ll be presenting their first annual “Angels in the Stands” game in support of Michael House. Michael House provides pregnancy and parenting support services to pregnant and parenting women in the community. There will be contests held and “Holiday Hoopla” Fan Bags containing Guelph Storm baseball caps and other fun items available for purchase. All donations will go toward Michael House.
READ MORE AT GUELPHSTORM.COM
Ted Lindsay Night in Saginaw: The Saginaw Spirit pay homage to a Detroit Red Wings all-time great on Saturday on Ted Lindsay Night at the Dow Event Center. Fans will have the opportunity to have their photo taken alongside the Ted Lindsay MVP Trophy in the Red Room prior to game time.
FULL DETAILS AT SAGINAWSPIRIT.COM
67’s host Teddy Bear Toss: Sunday’s tilt against the visiting Erie Otters is the Ottawa 67’s Teddy Bear Toss game, where fans are welcome to bring new or gently used stuffed animals to be launched onto the ice following the first Ottawa goal, where they will then be collected and later donated. Bears will also be available for purchase.
MORE INFO AT OTTAWA67s.COM
Isaac Nurse Bobblehead Night in Hamilton: The first 1000 fans to arrive for Sunday’s matchup between the host Hamilton Bulldogs and the Niagara IceDogs will receive an exclusive Isaac Nurse Bobblehead, one of three different bobbleheads available at Bulldogs games this season.
3 OHL grads win Spengler Cup with Canada: Three OHL graduates are Spengler Cup champions after representing Canada at the annual clash in Davos, Switzerland. Canada returned to the top of the podium after settling for second place last year, winning their 16th event title and fourth in the past five years. OHL graduates Brendan Burke (Univ. of Alberta/London Knights), Dustin Jeffrey (Lausanne HC/Soo Greyhounds) and Mathew Maione (Dinamo Riga/Niagara IceDogs) were part of the Canadian squad.
Stephens scores first NHL goal: Former Saginaw Spirit and London Knights forward Mitchell Stephens scored his first career NHL goal on Saturday. The 22-year-old helped the Tampa Bay Lightning defeat the Montreal Canadiens 5-4, scoring in his eighth career contest. A second round pick of the Lightning in the 2015 NHL Draft, Stephens had registered 10 points (5-5–10) in 24 games with the AHL’s Syracuse Crunch to start the season and now has a goal through 11 contests with the Lightning. Stephens played in the OHL from 2013-17, spending three and a half seasons in Saginaw before finishing his career in London. The Peterborough, Ont. native put up 160 points (73-87–160) over 209 career regular season contests.
Marchment makes NHL debut: Mississauga Steelheads graduate Mason Marchment made his NHL debut with the Toronto Maple Leafs on Thursday. The 24-year-old from Uxbridge, Ont. was called up by the Leafs earlier this week after recording four points (2-2–4) in 11 games with the AHL’s Toronto Marlies to start the season. Marchment, who was a Calder Cup champion with the Marlies in 2018, played two OHL seasons between Erie, Hamilton and Mississauga from 2014-16. He is the son of OHL graduate and long-time NHL defenceman Bryan Marchment.
Smith makes NHL debut: It was a long time coming for Dalton Smith, but the Ottawa 67’s graduate made his NHL debut at 27-years-old on New Year’s Eve as the Buffalo Sabres fell to the Tampa Bay Lightning 6-4. Smith, who has spent parts of eight seasons in the minors since graduating from the 67’s in 2011-12, was sent back to the the AHL’s Rochester Americans following the game, but will always have the memory of his first NHL contest. The 6-foot-2, 217Ib. winger spent four seasons in Ottawa from 2008-12, recording 105 points (50-55–105) over 196 career regular season contests. He was a second round pick of the Columbus Blue Jackets in 2010.
11 OHL grads named to AHL All-Star rosters: A total of 11 OHL grads have been named to AHL All-Star Game rosters including Andrew Aggozzino (WBS Penguins/Niagara IceDogs), Reid Boucher (Utica Comets/Sarnia Sting), Kyle Capobianco (Tucson Roadrunners/Sudbury Wolves), Morgan Frost (Lehigh Valley Phantoms/Soo Greyhounds), Joey Keane (Hartford Wolf Pack/London Knights), Rasmus Sandin (Toronto Marlies/Soo Greyhounds), Michael Sgarbossa (Hershey Bears/Sudbury Wolves), Anthony Stolarz (San Diego Gulls/London Knights), Jack Studnicka (Providence Bruins/Niagara IceDogs), Chris Terry (Grand Rapids Griffins/Plymouth Whalers), Owen Tippett (Springfield Thunderbirds/Saginaw Spirit). Former OHL coaches behind the bench will include Kris Knoblauch (Hartford Wolf Pack/Erie Otters) and Jay Varady (Tucson Roadrunners/Kingston Frontenacs) as well as OHL playing graduate Chris Taylor (Rochester Americans/London Knights). The 2020 AHL All-Star Classic is set for January 26-27 in Ontario, California.
READ MORE AT THEAHL.COM
Dansk named AHL Goaltender of the Month: Erie Otters graduate Oscar Dansk is the AHL Goaltender of the Month for December, going 7-0 with a 1.57 goals-against average and .943 save percentage with the Chicago Wolves, top affiliate of the Vegas Golden Knights. Dansk is 11-6 with a 2.75 goals-against average and .903 save percentage in Chicago this season. The 25-year-old played two seasons in Erie from 2012-14, going 40-32-4-3 with a 3.25 goals-against average and .897 save percentage. He was a second round pick of the Columbus Blue Jackets in 2012.
Timmins’ game continuing to come around: Soo Greyhounds graduate Conor Timmins has battled injury since graduating from the OHL in 2018. The 21-year-old Colorado Avalanche prospect is finding success in 2019-20 though, recording 13 points (3-10–13) in 22 games with the AHL’s Colorado Eagles. TheAHL.com’s Demitri Herrera takes a closer look at where Timmins fits into Colorado’s plans as he continues to develop in their farm system.
READ MORE AT THEAHL.COM
Parsons named ECHL Goaltender of the Week: London Knights graduate Tyler Parsons is the ECHL Goaltender of the Week, going 2-0 with a shutout and a 1.00 goals-against average for the Kansas City Mavericks. The 22-year-old is 6-3 with a 2.76 goals-against average and .916 save percentage in 10 games with Kansas City this season. The Chesterfield, Mich. native is a Calgary Flames prospect who was selected in the second round of the 2016 NHL Draft. Parsons, who won a Memorial Cup with London in 2016, played three OHL seasons with the Knights from 2014-17, going 75-25-4-6 with a 2.65 goals-against average and .918 save percentage.
Maletta makes return to ice with Brock Badgers: It’s been a long road back for OHL graduate Jordan Maletta, but the 24-year-old, who once signed a three-year entry level deal with the Columbus Blue Jackets, has returned to the ice with the Brock Badgers Men’s Hockey program. Maletta suits up under former Niagara IceDogs head coach Marty Williamson in St. Catharines after missing out on the entire 2018-19 season. The 6-foot-3, 215Ib. centreman played two pro seasons in the Columbus organization before being sidelined with an injury. The former first round pick in the 2011 OHL Priority Selection played five OHL seasons between Windsor and Niagara, recording 191 points (82-109–191) over 314 regular season games.
Peterborough Petes at Guelph Storm
Friday, January 3rd
Coming off a 5-0 loss, their third defeat in four games since returning from the holiday break, and trailing two points behind the league-leading Ottawa 67’s, the Peterborough Petes will be as hungry as ever for victory when they head to Guelph Friday evening for their second game of the New Year.
This will be the second meeting of the two clubs, with Guelph having claimed victory in their first tilt just recently on Dec. 28 by a 3-2 OT tally. Former Pete Pavel Gogolev notched the overtime winner against his previous team just 12 seconds in.
Rookie Mason McTavish continues to impress, skating in with 32 points to his name through just as many games atop the rookie scoring list. He netted his first career hat trick and career-high five point showing last weekend in his club’s 7-3 trampling over the Niagara IceDogs.
Guelph skates into the match having won six of their last 10 games. Gogolev leads the team with 57 points (27-30-57) and goals in his last nine games. He’s followed by Montreal draft pick Cam Hillis and then Eric Uba, who’s picked up seven points (2-5-7) in his last four games.
Saginaw Spirit at Kitchener Rangers
Friday, January 3rd
Two must-see Western Conference teams in Saginaw and Kitchener will go head-to-head on Friday evening at the Aud, looking to build on their win streaks and kick off the New Year in the win column.
The Rangers have won 11 of their last 12 games and are heading into Friday’s tilt on a three-game win skid that has seen multi-point performances from their leading trio of Riley Damiani, Jonathan Yantsis, and Greg Meireles. In fact, Meireles, a sixth round draft pick of the Florida Panthers last June, has picked up points in his last seven games. Jacob Ingham has continued to stand tall between the pipes with 11 wins in his last 13 starts and two shutouts within the last month.
Saginaw rolls in with six straight wins under their belt. In the absence of many of the league’s top scorers to their respective World Junior squads, top NHL Draft hopeful Cole Perfetti has seamlessly continued to soar among the league’s point leaders, heading into Friday’s game with an eighth-best 55 (20-35-55) to his name. He’s amassed points in his last five games.
Friday January 3rd:
Oshawa at Flint – 7:00pm
Erie at Kingston – 7:00pm
Owen Sound at Sarnia – 7:05pm
Barrie at Sudbury – 7:05pm
Windsor at Soo – 7:07pm
Peterborough at Guelph – 7:30pm
Saginaw at Kitchener – 7:30pm
Mississauga at London – 7:30pm
Saturday January 4th:
Kingston at Hamilton – 4:00pm
London at Flint – 7:00pm
Kitchener at Niagara – 7:00pm
Oshawa at Saginaw – 7:05pm
Windsor at Sudbury – 7:05pm
Sarnia at Soo – 7:07pm
North Bay at Barrie – 7:30pm
Guelph at Owen Sound – 7:30pm
Sunday January 5th:
Kitchener at Guelph – 2:00pm
Niagara at Hamilton – 2:00pm
Peterborough at Mississauga – 2:00pm
Windsor at North Bay – 2:00pm
Erie at Ottawa – 2:00pm
Sarnia at Saginaw – 5:30pm