By Victor Fernandes Erie Times-News staff blogger
Staff writer Victor Fernandes has ice in his veins. Hockey – he plays it, coaches it and provides the region's best coverage of it.   Read more about this blog.
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Posts tagged ‘dave macqueen’
Posted: March 22nd, 2013

Peter Sidorkiewicz survived three head coaching changes with the Erie Otters, including his own.
But after 14 seasons, his tenure with the OHL club is over. Sherry Bassin, Otters managing partner and general manager, has chosen not to renew Sidorkiewicz’s contract, which expires at the end of this season, because “they’re looking at going in another direction,” Sidorkiewicz said Friday.
Sidorkiewicz, 49, joined the Otters in 1999 to serve as assistant and goaltending coach under then-coach Dave MacQueen. He replaced MacQueen as coach before the 2006-07 season, but was demoted to assistant under coach Robbie Ftorek after posting an 18-62-1-2 record during one-plus seasons.
Sidorkiewicz, a former NHL goaltender, again chose to remain on staff after Kris Knoblauch was hired to replace Ftorek this past November.
Yet Sidorkiewicz said, “I’m not part of the plan” for the 2013-14 season. “I think they want to get a couple of younger coaches.
Dave Brown, Otters assistant manager of hockey operations, said the staff likely will include two full-time assistants and a part-time goaltending coach, although club officials wouldn’t rule out hiring one of the new assistants to also work with the goaltenders.
Bassin declined to comment on if Sidorkiewicz’s performance factored into the decision. The Otters topped 300 goals allowed – 650 in all – the past two seasons, and their goaltenders – Ramis Sadikov and Devin Williams in 2011-12, as well as Oscar Dansk and Williams this season – struggled mightily.
“I have nothing negative to say about it. We’re looking at different things that could be done,” said Bassin, who added that Knoblauch wants input into the staff. Sidorkiewicz said he worked well with Knoblauch. But with a new coach, Sidorkiewicz said, “you always know (a change is) possible.”
Sidorkiewicz will turn his attention to finding a new job. “It’s like a kick in the gut,” he said of leaving the Otters. “But I have to get off the floor. I have to find a new job.” Bassin said he plans to help Sidorkiewicz find a job at a higher level. “I’m going to do my best to call a lot of people because he would be a wonderful addition to their staff,” Bassin said. “I think the world of him. I’m going to do my best to get him to the next level.”
In other news, the Otters have chosen not to retain Mike Hildenbrand, who spent the past three seasons as equipment manager. Paul Roper, who served as play-by-play broadcaster and media relations manager for the past four seasons, won’t also remain with the club.

- Victor Fernandes

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: September 19th, 2012

This week, I’ll break down all 20 OHL clubs division by division and unveil my predictions for the 2012-13 season. Today, let’s look at the Western Conference’s West Division (listed in alphabetical order):

Plymouth Whalers
Coach/GM: Michael Vellucci
2011-12 finish: 47-18-2-1, 1st division, 2nd conference
Playoff finish: Lost to Kitchener 4-3 in conference semifinals
Key players: LW Stefan Noesen (38 goals, 44 assists, 82 points; signed with Ottawa), C Mitchell Heard (29-28-57; signed with Colorado), RW Alex Aleardi (36-29-65), LW J.T. Miller (25-37-62; signed with N.Y. Rangers; G Matt Mahalak (19-8-0-0 record, 2.66 goals-against average, .923 save percentage, 3 shutouts; Carolina prospect)
Key losses: G Scott Wedgewood (28-10-2-1, 3.02, .911, 3 SO; signed with New Jersey), D Beau Schmitz (14-40-54, +37; signed with Carolina), C Andy Bathgate (19-44-63)
Outlook: The Whalers had a chance to reach the Western finals last season, but they lost Game 7 at home to Kitchener. They lost some key players off that team, but the Whalers still have are strong enough to make a deeper run this season.

Saginaw Spirit
Coach/GM: Greg Gilbert/Jim Paliafito
2011-12 finish: 40-22-4-2, 3rd division, 5th conference
Playoff finish: Lost to London 4-2 in conference semifinals
Key players: C Vincent Trocheck (29-56-85; signed with Florida), LW Brandon Saad (34-42-76; signed with Chicago), LW Garret Ross (25-29-54), C Eric Locke (20-20-40), D Dalton Young (5-15-20)
Key losses: LW Josh Shalla (40-36-76; signed with Nashville), RW Michael Fine (22-45-67), C John McFarland (20-21-41; signed with Florida), D Brad Walch (5-18-23, +21)
Outlook: Trocheck and Saad headline an offense that ranked fifth in the league a season ago with 259 goals. Now they have to solidify a defense that allowed 259 goals, the fourth most in the league. Clint Windsor and Jake Paterson are the keys in net.

Sarnia Sting
Coach/GM: Jacques Beaulieu
2011-12 finish: 34-27-2-5, 2nd division, 4th conference
Playoff finish: Lost 4-2 to Saginaw in conference quarterfinals
Key players: C Alex Galchenyuk (0-0-0 in 2 games; signed with Montreal), G J.P. Anderson (27-23-2-4, 3.03, .908, 3 SO), LW Reid Boucher (28-22-50), D Connor Murphy (8-18-26; signed with Phoenix), D Alex Basso (9-27-36, +5)
Key losses: RW Nail Yakupov (31-38-69 in 42 games; signed with Edmonton), C Brett Thompson (32-38-70; former Otter), C Ryan Spooner (29-37-66; signed with Boston), LW Tyler J. Brown (21-27-48), D Adrian Robertson (10-28-38, +13)
Outlook: Yakupov, the No. 1 pick in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, isn’t expected to rejoin the Sting. But Galchenyuk, the No. 3 pick in the draft, returns after missing nearly all of last season with a knee injury. But can the Sting overcome other key losses?

Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds
Coach/GM: Mike Stapleton/Kyle Dubas
2011-12 finish: 29-33-2-4, 5th division, 9th conference
Playoff finish: Did not qualify
Key players: C Nick Cousins (35-53-88; signed with Philadelphia), G Matt Murray (13-19-0-1, 4.08, .876; Pittsburgh prospect), D Ryan Sproul (23-31-54, +16), RW Andrew Fritsch (13-19-32 in 35 games; Phoenix prospect), LW Michael Schumacher (26-24-50)
Key losses: C Brett Findlay (20-36-56; traded to Peterborough), C Carson Dubchak (16-16-32)
Outlook: The Greyhounds are trying to avoid a third straight season out of the playoff picture. But does Stapleton, the Otters’ former associate and assistant coach, have enough talented depth to make that happen in a challenging conference?

Windsor Spitfires
Coach/GM: Bob Boughner/Warren Rychel
2011-12 finish: 29-32-5-2, 4th division, 8th conference
Playoff finish: Lost to London 4-0 in conference quarterfinals
Key players: LW Kerby Rychel (41-33-74); C Brady Vail (22-30-52), LW Chris Marchese (18-25-43; former Otter), D Nick Ebert (6-33-39), RW Joshua Ho-Sang (No. 5 pick in OHL Priority Selection), LW Ben Johnson (18-20-38)
Key losses: C Alexander Khokhlachev (25-44-69; playing in Russia), C Zack MacQueen (18-20-38; son of former Otters coach Dave MacQueen)
Outlook: The unexpected departure of Khokhlachev will hurt thre Spitfires, unless forwards like Rychel, Vail, former Otter Marchese and first-round pick Ho-Sang pick up the slack. But will they have enough on defense and in net to win consistently?

- Victor Fernandes

Posted: June 20th, 2012

Former Erie Otters and Sarnia Sting coach Dave MacQueen is heading to Austria to coach. Read more by clicking the link.

Posted: March 26th, 2011

What: No. 4 Erie Otters vs. No. 5 Windsor Spitfires

When: Saturday, 7 p.m.

Where: Tullio Arena

On the air: WFNN-AM/1330, (live stream)

Fast facts

Erie – The Otters have won nine straight games. They haven’t lost since a 6-5 home loss to Peterborough on Feb. 26. … Their 2-1 win in Game 1 on Thursday at WFCU Centre in Windsor, Ontario, was the Otters’ first playoff victory since March 25, 2009, when they beat London in Game 3 of a first-round series. … The Otters won for only the fourth time in the past 17 playoff games since their last series win against Sarnia in 2004. … The Otters are 6-2 all-time when winning the first game of a series. … G Ramis Sadikov stopped 40-of-41 shots to earn his first OHL playoff win in his third appearance. … The winner of the last two series between these teams has won the OHL championship and advanced to the Memorial Cup (Otters in 2002, Spitfires in 2010). … The Otters’ penalty kill was successful on 10-of-11, man-down situations in Game 1. The unit finished No. 2 overall in the regular season (83.2 percent). … C Phil Varone scored short-handed in the opener – his 12th goal in 20 career playoff games. … RW Brett Thompson had two assists in the win. Yet he’s still looking for his first career playoff goal (0 goals, 4 points in 6 games). … Former Otters coach Dave MacQueen (1999-2006) is expected to attend tonight’s game. His son, Zack MacQueen, plays right wing for the Spitfires.

Windsor – The Spitfires split two games in Erie during the regular season – a 3-2 win Oct. 29 and an 8-2 loss Feb. 5. … They were 18-14-2-0 on the road in the regular season. … G Jack Campbell had a strong performance in the Game 1 loss (35 saves on 37 shots) after struggling in the regular season (24-14-2-2 record, 3.80 goals-against average, .884 save percentage). … D Ryan Ellis, a Nashville Predators prospect, was held scoreless in Game 1 after being the first OHL defenseman in 16 years to reach 100 points in the regular season. … RW Zack Kassian, a Buffalo Sabres prospect, had an assist Thursday.

Up next: Game 3 at Windsor (Monday, 7:05 p.m.), Game 4 at Erie (Wednesday, 7 p.m.)

– Victor Fernandes

Posted: March 16th, 2011

What: Erie Otters (38-26-1-1) at Sarnia Sting (24-34-5-2)

When: Thursday, 7 p.m.

Where: Sarnia Sports & Entertainment Centre – Sarnia, Ontario

On the air: WFNN-AM/1330, (live stream)

Players to watch

Erie – C Greg McKegg (47 goals, 42 assists, 89 points), C Brett Thompson (44-37-81), C Phil Varone (31-47-78), RW Anthony Luciani (29-45-74), RW Shawn Szydlowski (39-35-74)

Sarnia – RW Nail Yakupov (47-46-93), LW Kale Kerbashian (36-50-86), C Alex Galchenyuk (28-48-76), LW Tyler Peters (19-37-56), D Joe Rogalski (6-25-31)

Fast facts

Erie – The Otters enter the final weekend of the regular season on a season-high, six-game winning streak. It’s their longest streak since the middle of the 2008-09 season. … The Otters need wins in their final two games to become the third team in franchise history to reach 40 wins. The Otters won 45 games in 2000-01 and 41 in 2001-02. … The Otters have won two of three meetings this season. Both wins were at home. … McKegg needs three goals to join Cory Pecker (53 in 2001-02) as the only players in franchise history to reach 50. He needs one point to join Pecker (99 in 2001-02), Rob Hisey (96 in 2003-04) and Zack Torquato (93 in 2009-10) as the only Otters to reach 90 points in a season. … McKegg had a career-high, seven-game goal streak snapped in Saturday’s win against Kitchener. But he extended his career-high point streak to 13 games (nine goals, 23 points). He is tied for fourth in the OHL in goals and ranks eighth in points. … Thompson and Szydlowski also rank among the top 11 in goals. … Luciani needs one goal to reach 30 for the second straight season. He would be the fifth Otter to reach that mark this season, which would be the most in the OHL. Niagara also has four 30-goal scorers. … The Otters need two goals in the final two games to break the single-season franchise mark of 271 set in 1998-99. … They are third in the league with 270 goals scored, one behind Windsor (271) and nine behind Mississauga St. Michael’s (279). … G Ramis Sadikov has a 2-0 record, 2.40 goals-against average and .912 save percentage in two games since returning from a leg injury. … He ranks second in single-season franchise history with 56 games and 3,175 minutes played, behind only Josh Disher (63 games and 3,524 minutes in 2003-04). … The Otters have 12 hat tricks, one shy of the club record set in 1998-99.

Sarnia – The Sting are eliminated from playoff contention for the second straight year. … They have earned points in three straight games (2-0-1) to move within one point of Sault Ste. Marie in the battle to stay out of last place in the Western Conference. … They are 6-9 under interim coach/general manager Trevor Letowski since Dave MacQueen, a former Otters coach, was fired Feb. 6. … They have allowed 307 goals, second most in the league to Barrie (340). … Yakupov leads all rookies in goals and points. He also is tied for third overall in goals and sixth in points. … Galchenyuk, the No. 1 pick in the 2010 OHL Priority Selection, is second among rookies in scoring.

Up next: at Saginaw (Friday, 7:11 p.m.)

– Victor Fernandes

Posted: February 7th, 2011

Former Erie Otters coach Dave MacQueen has been fired as the Sarnia Sting’s coach and general manager.
Read more by clicking the link.

Posted: January 20th, 2011

What: Erie Otters (23-20-1-1) at Sarnia Sting (17-19-4-2)

When: Friday, 7 p.m.

Where: Sarnia Sports & Entertainment Centre – Sarnia, Ontario

On the air: WFNN-AM/1330, (live stream)

Players to watch

Erie – C Brett Thompson (27 goals, 23 assists, 50 points), RW Shawn Szydlowski (22-21-43), RW Anthony Luciani (16-24-40), C Phil Varone (19-22-41), C Mike Cazzola (11-23-34)

Sarnia – RW Nail Yakupov (30-31-61), LW Kale Kerbashian (25-36-61), C Alex Galchenyuk (15-30-45), LW Tyler Peters (16-23-39), RW Brett Ritchie (19-13-32)

Fast facts

Erie – The Otters, who are sixth in the tight Western Conference with 48 points, stand six points behind third-place Kitchener. … With a win, the Otters could move four games above .500 for the first time this season. … C Greg McKegg, who leads the team in goals (31), assists (30), points (61) and power-play goals (10) and is tied for the lead with three short-handed goals, isn’t expected to play tonight because of undisclosed injuries. … The Otters are 10-11-1-0 and have been outscored 87-73 on the road. … The Otters face Sarnia for the second time in the four-game season series. Erie lost the opener 3-2 at home Dec. 4. … Thompson has two goals and four points in four games since being acquired from Sault Ste. Marie Jan. 10. … Varone has points in six of seven games this month (five goals, 12 points). … Szydlowski needs six points to surpass his career high of 48 set last season.

Sarnia – Coach Dave MacQueen, who coached the Otters from 1999-2006 and led the franchise to its only OHL title in 2002, has a 10-5 record against his former team. He snapped a personal four-game losing streak with the win in December. … Yakupov, the No. 2 pick in the 2010 CHL Import Draft, leads all rookies in goals and points and ranks second in assists. He’s tied for sixth overall with Kerbashian in scoring. … Galchenyuk, the No. 1 pick in the 2010 OHL Priority Selection, ranks third among rookies in points and seventh in goals. … The Sting are ninth in the West, three points behind No. 8 Guelph. … They have lost three straight games, one apiece in overtime and shootout, and six out of their last 10. … They rank in the bottom five with 183 goals against, but are tied for seventh in goals scored (163).

Up next: at Plymouth (Saturday, 7:05 p.m.), at London (Jan. 28, 7:30 p.m.)

– Victor Fernandes

Posted: October 14th, 2010

What: Erie Otters (3-4-1-0) at Windsor Spitfires (4-4-0-1)

When: Thursday, 7:05 p.m.

Where: WFCU Centre – Windsor, Ontario

On the air: WFNN-AM/1330, (live stream)

Greg McKegg (Contributed/Erie Otters)Players to watch

Erie – C Greg McKegg (7 goals, 9 assists, 16 points), C Mike Cazzola (4-8-12), RW Shawn Szydlowski (3-6-9), LW David Broll (2-4-6), D Tyler Hostetter (2-4-6)

Windsor – D Ryan Ellis (3-3-6), RW Zack Kassian (3-8-11), C Alexander Khokhlachev (6-5-11), C Zack MacQueen (4-7-11), D Michael MacIntyre (4-4-8)

Fast facts

Erie – The Otters play four of the next five games on the road. They are 2-3-0-0 away from Tullio Arena. … McKegg has points in seven straight games (seven goals, nine points). He is tied with Kitchener D Ryan Murphy for the OHL’s scoring lead. McKegg also is third in goals, tied for second in assists and leads with three short-handed goals. … Five of eight games have been decided by one goal (1-3-1-0). … RW Anthony Luciani (undisclosed injury) began skating with the team on Tuesday. He hopes to play this weekend. … D Brett Cook (undisclosed injury) and rookie C Connor Crisp (concussion) still haven’t returned to practice. … The Otters

Zack MacQueen (Contributed/Windsor Spitfires)

have allowed power-play goals in seven of eight games this season. … They rank in the league’s bottom five on the power play and penalty kill. … The Otters have lost eight straight trips to Windsor since a 3-2 shootout win on Feb. 1, 2007. That streak includes two defeats in an opening-round playoff sweep by the Spitfires last season.

Windsor – The Spitfires are rebuilding after losing several members of the two-time defending league and Memorial Cup champions to the pros, headlined by LW Taylor Hall (Edmonton Oilers), D Cam Fowler (Anaheim Ducks) and coach Bob Boughner (Columbus Blue Jackets assistant coach). … Ellis and Kassian, who recorded his 11 points in the past four games, anchor a young team. Both were recently assigned to the Spitfires by the Buffalo Sabres and Nashville Predators, respectively. … MacQueen, who was traded to the Spitfires by his father – former Otters coach and current Sarnia coach/general manager Dave MacQueen – is tied for the team lead in scoring. … G Jack Campbell, who led the United States to a gold medal in the IIHF World Junior Championship last winter, has struggled in his first OHL season (2-4-0-0, 4.99 goals-against average, .855 save percentage). … Khokhlachev, the 23rd pick in the 2010 CHL Import Draft, is tied for fourth in goals.

Up next: at London (Friday, 7:30 p.m.), vs. Ottawa (Saturday, 7 p.m.)

Posted: April 29th, 2010

Vince Scott (Contributed/Erie Otters)

High speed contributed to former Erie Otter forward Vince Scott’s fatal automobile accident early Wednesday morning in Thorold, Ontario, according to the Niagara Regional Police Service’s incident report.

The report states that a lone 23-year-old male, later identified as Scott, lost control of his black 2006 Honda Civic while approaching a right-hand curve. The vehicle collided with a utility pole located in a grassy ditch and overturned onto its roof. Scott was pronounced dead at the scene.

The Niagara Regional Police Service’s Traffic Services Unit is conducting an investigation to determine if other factors contributed to the accident, said NRPS Constable Nilan Davé. Investigations usually take one to two weeks to complete, Davé said.

Scott, a native of Mississauga, Ontario, totaled 42 goals and 71 points in 202 games with the Otters from 2003-06. He finished his OHL career in 2007 with Sarnia, under former Otters coach Dave MacQueen. Scott attended the University of Prince Edward Island for two years before transferring to Brock University. He played for the St. Catharines, Ontario, school this past season.

Posted: April 27th, 2010

Alexander Galchenyuk (Contributed/Chicago Young Americans)

The Sarnia Sting won’t announce the No. 1 pick in Saturday’s OHL Priority Selection until Friday at 1 p.m. But coach/general manager Dave MacQueen and his staff already have made their choice.

MacQueen confirmed the club has pinpointed their selection and that the prospect has agreed to report to the Sting. “We know who we’re taking,” he said. “The family knows. … He’s coming.”

And it appears high-scoring forward Alexander Galchenyuk will be the Sting’s choice.

Sources speaking on condition of anonymity said the Sting will select Galchenyuk, who played for the Chicago Young Americans U-16 team in the Tier I Elite Hockey League this season.

Sources also said the Sting and Galchenyuk have finalized a deal that guarantees he will join the club for the 2010-11 season.

MacQueen wouldn’t confirm or deny whether Galchenyuk was his choice and if a deal has been reached with their undisclosed prospect.

“I’d probably get in a lot of trouble if I went ahead and told you and didn’t tell anyone else,” said MacQueen, Otters coach from 1999-2006 who led the club to its only OHL championship in 2002.

MacQueen said club officials trimmed a list of six potential No. 1 picks to two prospects in the past couple of months. He didn’t confirm if Galchenyuk was one of those finalists. But MacQueen said, “Galchenyuk is certainly in our sights.”

Galchenyuk, 16, who’s listed at 6 feet 1 inch and 180 pounds on the Young Americans’ Web site, led the the nation’s top AAA youth league with 44 goals and 87 points in 38 games. He finished 16 goals and 33 points ahead of the runner-ups in both categories.

Galchenyuk recorded goals in 28 games, including goals in nine straight games midway through the season. He had points in all but two games, including a 30-game point streak to end the season.

- Victor Fernandes

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