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 ‘Erie’
Posted: April 16th, 2010

From OHL news release

Toronto – The Ontario Hockey League today announced that Dougie Hamilton of the Niagara IceDogs and Derek Lanoue of the Windsor Spitfires are Scholastic Award winners for the 2009-10 season.

Hamilton is the recipient of the Ivan Tennant Memorial Award as the OHL’s top academic player attending high school, finishing ahead of Erie Otters center Jeremy Gottzmann. Lanoue claims the Roger Neilson Memorial Award as the OHL’s top academic player attending college or university.  Both awards were first introduced in March 2005 to recognize the accomplishments of the top student athletes that compete in the OHL.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: April 15th, 2010

BOBRUISK, Belarus – Erie Otters forward Greg McKegg’s goal and three assists led Canada to an 11-3 win over host Belarus in preliminary-round action at the IIHF World Under-18 Championships on Thursday.

McKegg assisted on two of Sudbury forward John McFarland’s three goals, as Canada (1-1) rebounded from Tuesday’s opening-game loss to Switzerland. Canada built a 4-1 first-period lead and then sealed the win with a five-goal third period. McKegg scored the second goal in that third-period barrage.

Canada returns to action Friday at noon ET against the United States. Team USA (1-1) followed an opening loss to Sweden on Tuesday with a 5-1 win against Switzerland on Wednesday.

Posted: April 15th, 2010

Greg McKegg (Contributed/Erie Otters)Erie Otters forward Greg McKegg finished a close second to Peterborough center Ryan Spooner in voting for the OHL’s William Hanley Trophy, awarded annually to the league’s most sportsmanlike player. Each player received 48 total points (five for first place, three for second and one for third) in voting conducted by the league’s 20 general managers. GMs couldn’t vote for their team’s player.

But Spooner earned the honor because he had more first-place votes than McKegg. Saginaw winger Jordan Skellett, a former Otter, finished third with 32 points. Former winners of the award include Hockey Hall of Famer Wayne Gretzky (Sault Ste. Marie, 1977-78), Chicago Blackhawks defenseman and former Buffalo Sabre Brian Campbell, St. Louis Blues center and former Otter Brad Boyes (2000-01 and 2001-02) and Philadelphia Flyers center Jeff Carter (Sault Ste. Marie, 2004-05).

Spooner will receive the award at the 2009-10 CHL Awards Ceremony, set for June 9 at the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto.

- From OHL news release

Posted: April 15th, 2010

Toronto, ON – The Ontario Hockey League announced on Wednesday that forward Ryan Hayes of the Plymouth Whalers is the Dan Snyder Memorial Trophy Winner presented to the OHL’s humanitarian of the year for the 2009-10 season.

Hayes, a 20-year-old from Syracuse, New York, led the Whalers’ organization in his third OHL season with 54 official community appearances, representing participation in nearly a quarter of the team’s total community events.  Hayes follows Chris Terry as the second straight member of the Whalers to receive this award.

“I had a great role model last year working with Chris (Terry) in the community,” said Hayes.  “It really is a huge honour for me to win this award.  It means a lot to be able to give back to the community as a hockey player.  I remember when I was younger how much it meant to me to see older guys at appearances, and hopefully the kids we reach out to give back when they get older.”

This season, Hayes took on a leadership role for the Whalers in the “Friends of Jaclyn” program, which supports the non-profit charitable organization that improves the quality of life for children with pediatric brain tumors.  The Whalers were paired up with 7-year-old Johnny Muller and his 5 year-old brother Aidan.  Johnny has had a brain tumor since the age of 2.  Hayes took over the project by explaining to the rest of the players what the program was and the importance of helping out.

“Our whole team was involved in the program,” said Hayes.  “The boys always put a smile on our faces even after losses.  They are a great family and the boys are just like little brothers to me.”

After learning of the boys’ interest in becoming hockey players, Hayes organized a private postgame skate and stayed on the ice for nearly two hours providing individual lessons.  He has been a constant role-model and friend to both Johnny and Aidan and keeps close contact with the Mullers to learn the latest news about Johnny’s condition and provide the necessary support.  He even drove an hour and a half on an off day to the boys’ school to take part in a “show and tell” class presentation.

“Ryan not only made Johnny and Aidan feel welcome every weekend, before and after the games, but he went above and beyond to show my boys how much they meant to him,” said Krissy Muller.  “The boys had never skated before and it was a very scary idea for Johnny considering his tumor sits on the area of his brain that controls balance.  Ryan talked him into coming out on the ice with him and made it a night Johnny would later call the best day of his life.”

Serving as an assistant captain and captain throughout the season, Hayes took on a leadership role off the ice in a variety of team initiatives, including regular “March is Reading Month” appearances at area schools stressing the importance of education to the students, and the Whalers’ annual “Pink Out” for Breast Cancer Awareness that again featured the entire hockey club dyeing their hair pink to promote the cause.  He also showed extensive participation with Special Olympics Michigan at their annual hockey tournament cheering on the participants, passing out the medals, and staying afterwards to pose for pictures and sign autographs.

“Just having a Plymouth Whaler at the event was enough for our athletes,” said Special Olympics Michigan Development Manager Ashley Diersch. “Ryan’s involvement and the true connection he seemed to have with everyone made it one of the best experiences they have had.”

Hayes’ commitment to the community was also evident during the summer, when the Whalers’ Learn to Skate Program was almost cancelled due to a lack of instructors.  Hayes informed the Whalers front office that he would be willing to teach the classes and promptly moved back to Plymouth for the entire summer to help out.

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 Snyder 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.

Hayes will officially be presented with the Dan Snyder Memorial Trophy at the OHL Awards Ceremony June 9 at the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto.  He will also be the OHL’s nominee for humanitarian of the year at the Annual CHL Awards.

2009-10 Dan Snyder Memorial Trophy Nominees:

Barrie – Stefan Della Rovere

Belleville – Adam Payerl

Brampton – Brad Albert

ErieMatthew Paton

Guelph – Tyler Carroll

Kingston – John Cullen

Kitchener – John Moore

London – Leigh Salters

Mississauga – Dustin Ekelman

Niagara – Dylan MacEachern

Oshawa – Andrew Wilson

Ottawa – Corey Cowick

Owen Sound – Marcus Carroll

Peterborough – Jack Walchessen

Plymouth – Ryan Hayes

Saginaw – Tyler Murovich

Sarnia – Nathan Chiarlitti

Sault Ste. Marie – Robin Lehner

Sudbury – John Kurtz

Windsor – Adam Wallace

- From OHL news release

Posted: April 13th, 2010

Heading to the playoffs

Players with Erie ties participating in postseason play in several professional leagues:

National Hockey League (starts Wednesday)

Pos. Name (local connection) Team   Opponent (round)

D Chris Campoli (Erie Otters)  Ottawa Buffalo (Eastern Conference quarterfinals)

C Tim Connolly (Erie Otters)   Buffalo            Ottawa (Eastern Conference quarterfinals)

D Steve Montador (Erie Otters)            Buffalo            Ottawa (Eastern Conference quarterfinals)

C Cal O’Reilly*           Nashville         Chicago (Western Conference quarterfinals)

C Ryan O’Reilly (Erie Otters)  Colorado          San Jose (Western Conference quarterfinals)

American Hockey League (starts Wednesday)

Pos. Name (local connection) Team   Opponent (round)

D Chris Breen (Erie Otters)      Abbotsford      Rochester (North Division semifinals)

D Tim Filangieri (Erie Otters)# Chicago           Milwaukee (West Division semifinals)

LW Luke Gazdic (Erie Otters) Texas   Rockford (West Division semifinals)

D Jamie Hunt (Mercyhurst)     Chicago           Milwaukee (West Division semifinals)

RW Nick Palmieri (Erie Otters)            Lowell Worcester (Atlantic Division semifinals)

ECHL (started April 5)

Pos. Name (local connection) Team   Opponent (round)

D Cullen Eddy (Mercyhurst)    Cincinnati        Charlotte (American Conference semifinals)^

F Sam Ftorek* Kalamazoo      Reading (American Conference quarterfinals – lost 3-2)

D Scott Hotham*         Florida Reading (American Conference semifinals)^

RW Anthony Peluso (Erie Otters)        Alaska Stockton (National Conference quarterfinals – lost 3-1)

F Matt Pierce (Mercyhurst)      Cincinnati        Charlotte (American Conference semifinals)^

D Eric Regan (Erie Otters)       Bakersfield      Stockton (National Conference semifinals)^

F Brett Robinson (Mercyhurst)            Cincinnati        Charlotte (American Conference semifinals)^

Note: Zack Torquato (Erie Otters) isn’t listed on Idaho’s playoff roster.

International Hockey League (begins next week)

Pos. Name (local connection) Team   Opponent (round)

RW Kerry Bowman (Mercyhurst)        Port Huron       TBD

D Paul Cianfrini (Erie Otters)   Port Huron       TBD

C Justin Hodgman (Erie Otters)           Fort Wayne      TBD

G Matt Lundin (Mercyhurst)    Muskegon        TBD

RW Sean O’Connor (Erie Otters)         Fort Wayne      TBD

Central Hockey League (started last month)

Pos. Name (local connection) Team   Opponent (round)

G Kevin Beech (Erie Otters)    Corpus Christi  Lost in first round

* O’Reilly is the older brother of former Erie Otter Ryan O’Reilly; Ftorek is son of Otters coach Robbie Ftorek; Hotham is the older brother of former Otter Andrew Hotham

# Former Erie Otters’ draft pick, attended Boston College

^ Cincinnati def. South Carolina 3-2 in quarterfinals; Florida def. Elmira 3-2 in quarterfinals; Bakersfield def. Victoria 3-2 in quarterfinals

Posted: April 13th, 2010

Former Erie Otters forward Justin Hodgman has returned to the scene of his greatest hockey achievements – Fort Wayne, Ind.

Find out more by clicking the link. In other news, former Otters defenseman Paul Cianfrini‘s first professional goal was a game winner. He scored with six seconds left in overtime to lead the Port Huron Icehawks to a 2-1 win against the Dayton Gems in an International Hockey League game on Sunday.

Posted: April 13th, 2010

Greg McKegg (Contributed/Erie Otters)BOBRUISK, Belarus – Erie Otters forward Greg McKegg’s initial experience at IIHF World Under-18 Championships wasn’t a good one.

His native Canada lost 3-1 to Switzerland Tuesday in their opening game of the preliminary round.

McKegg was scoreless despite tying for the team lead with four shots. The Canadians fell behind 2-0 after one period. Quinton Howden, of the Western Hockey League’s Moose Jaw Warriors, sliced Switzerland’s lead in half midway through the second. But Switzerland’s empty-net goal with five seconds left sealed the win.

Canada returns to action on Thursday against host Belarus. The United States also lost their opening game 4-2 to Sweden on Tuesday. The U.S. faces Switzerland today.

Posted: April 13th, 2010

Michael Rupp won the Stanley Cup as a rookie in 2003 with the New Jersey Devils.

Could he win Cup No. 2 this spring with the Pittsburgh Penguins? This is his best chance, Rupp said.

“We have all the tools,” Rupp said. That’s why he signed a two-year contract with the defending Cup champion last July.

“My main concern when I signed here was to be on contending team,” Rupp said. “I think we’re definitely that. We’ve had our struggles this year. We fought through them. In time, it’s made us stronger.”

Rupp has no regrets about joining the Penguins. Along with having another shot at the Cup, his offensive game has blossomed while playing alongside linemates such as superstars Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin.

Rupp set career highs with 13 goals and 19 points and tied his best with six assists. His previous single-season highs were six goals and 11 points with the Devils in 2003-04, his second NHL season.

“I was at the beginning of the year put in situations where I was able to show (the coaches) more of an offensive side,” he said. “The success of the team is when other players besides your superstars are able to chip in. We have guys that do that. It shows the depth of our team.”

Now it’s time for Rupp to perform in the playoffs.

“I hope that they feel I’m capable of doing whatever they call on me to do,” he said.

- Victor Fernandes

Posted: April 10th, 2010

WOODRIDGE, Ill. – Kevin Zugec and the Pittsburgh Hornets fell to the host Chicago Mission 3-1 on Saturday in the quarterfinals of the USA Hockey Tier I Boys 18U National Championships.
Zugec, the Erie Otters’ ninth-round pick in the 2009 OHL Priority Selection, didn’t record a point for the Hornets (1-2-1) in the loss. He finished the tournament with two goals and two points.

- Victor Fernandes

Posted: April 9th, 2010

EAST LANSING, Mich. – The Erie Lady Lions’ run at the USA Hockey Tier II Girls 19U National Championships ended Friday night.
Despite Meadville native Julia Fair’s 33 saves, the Lady Lions lost 2-0 to the Perinton Edge in their final pool-play game. With the loss, the Lady Lions (1-2) finished fifth in their six-team pool – one point behind the Edge (1-1-1), a team from Rochester, N.Y. The top four teams in each pool advanced to Saturday’s quarterfinals.
Perinton took a 1-0 lead on Jessica Blind’s goal with 4 minutes, 11 seconds left in the first period. Then Fair kept the Lady Lions in contention, as Perinton built a 35-14 advantage in shots. But with Fair on the bench for an extra attacker, Blind sealed the win with 22 seconds left in the game – her fifth goal of the tournament.
At Woodridge, Ill., the Pittsburgh Hornets topped the Buffalo Regals 7-1 in both teams’ final pool-play game at the USA Hockey Tier I Boys National Championships.
With the win, the Hornets (1-1-1) finished fourth in Pool B and advanced to face the Chicago Mission (3-0), the Pool A winner, in the quarterfinals on Saturday at 12:50 p.m.
Hornets defenseman Kevin Zugec, an Erie Otters’ 2009 draft pick, had two goals, one on the power play in the win. McDowell seniors Shane Reese and Ryan Sedney finished the tournament with a combined no points and 10 penalty minutes for the Regals (0-3), which finished last in Pool B.

- Victor Fernandes

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