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.
 Phone: 814-870-1716
Posts tagged ‘hockey canada’
Posted: December 2nd, 2013

Here’s what Hockey Canada head scout Ryan Jankowski said about Erie Otters C Connor McDavid, who will join D Adam Pelech at Canada’s National Junior Team selection camp starting Dec. 12 in Etobicoke, Ontario. That camp will determine which players will represent Canada at the IIHF World Junior Championship, set for Dec. 26 to Jan. 5 in Malmo, Sweden …

“His skill set speaks for itself. He’s very gifted, and yet he’s only 16 years old. This event is very difficult for every 16-year-old who’s ever been there, and really the most effective 16-year-old for Canada has been Wayne Gretzky. That being said, he’s earned this opportunity to be able to show his stuff.”

Check out this past story on McDavid and World Juniors

Find the complete camp roster here

Posted: August 25th, 2013

The Mercyhurst women’s hockey program were represented by four current and former players – rising senior forward Christine Bestland and alums Meghan Agosta-Marciano, Vicki Bendus and Bailey Bram – at Hockey Canada’s National Women’s Program Red-White Series at Markin MacPhail Center in Calgary, Alberta. The series capped a week-long camp that ended Saturday and featured 27 players training with Canada’s National Women’s Team in preparation for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, and the top 13 players on the nation’s National Women’s Development Team.
Agosta-Marciano led the White team to the series title with three goals, including both goals in a 2-1 shootout win against the Red Team in the final game Saturday. Bendus (goal, two assists) and Bestland (no points) also played for the White team. Bram had no points for the Red team. Mercyhurst assistant coach Delaney Collins is part of Hockey Canada’s coaching staff.

Posted: August 1st, 2013

Mercyhurst University women’s hockey players Christine Bestland and Shelby Bram are set to join 38 other players for Canada’s National Women’s Development Team Camp, which is set for Aug. 10-18 at Canada Olympic Park’s Markin MacPhail Centre in Calgary, Alberta. Meanwhile, Lakers third-year assistant coach Delaney Collins will serve as one of two assistant coaches on the National Development Team’s staff.
The camp features 24 forwards, 12 defensemen and four goaltenders, who were chosen based on evaluations by Hockey Canada scouts this past season as well as past performances with Canada’s National Women’s Program. Hockey Canada officials will select 13 players to join 27 senior team players in Calgary to train for the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia, this coming February.
Bestland, 21, a rising senior forward, had a career-high 72 points (28 goals, 44 assists) a season ago. She needs 28 points to join former Lakers Meghan Agosta, Valerie Chouinard and Jesse Scanzano as the only players in school history to reach 200 career points. Bram, 19, a rising junior forward and younger sister of former Lakers forward Bailey Bram, had a career-high 31 points (eight goals, 23 assists) a season ago after totaling 21 points as a freshman.

Posted: July 29th, 2013

Erie Otters D Adam Pelech has withdrawn from Hockey Canada’s World Junior summer camp because his wrist, which was surgically repaired for the third time this past May 1, didn’t heal as quickly as initially expected. Pelech had surgery to fix a bone that hadn’t healed properly.
The cast was removed about two weeks ago, which was two to three weeks later than Pelech had hoped. “It ended up taking about 11 (weeks). If it would have taken eight or nine weeks, I probably would have been able to play (in the WJC camp),” said Pelech, who originally fractured his wrist early in the 2011-12 Ontario Hockey League season. He underwent the first surgery shortly after suffering the injury, and then the second procedure in May 2012 to remove a screw inserted during the first procedure. “It should be the last (surgery),” he said. “This time they got it right.”
Pelech said he hasn’t suffered a setback in his recovery. He wants to take more time to heal so he will be fully healthy for opening day of Otters training camp Aug. 27 at Mercyhurst Ice Center.
“It really feels a lot better than, say, last summer after my (second) surgery,” Pelech said.
Pelech will attend the opening two days of WJC camp in Montreal on Saturday and Sunday. But he won’t travel with the team to Lake Placid, N.Y., for USA Hockey’s National Junior Evaluation Camp Aug. 5-10, where they will play exhibition games against the United States, Sweden and Finland. Yet Pelech doesn’t believe not playing in this camp will hurt his chances to earning a spot on the WJC team this coming winter.
“The way I look at it,” Pelech said, “(it’s) better to let it fully heal, and then by the time the Christmas camp comes around, even the regular season, I’ll be able to play to my full potential rather than having this lingering wrist injury that could make me play worse during the season or at the Christmas camp.”
Otters goaltender Oscar Dansk is expected to play for Sweden in that camp. Windsor Spitfires D Slater Koekkoek reportedly has replaced Pelech on Canada’s WJC roster.

- Victor Fernandes

Posted: June 11th, 2013

Canadian Hockey League teams have one more chance to select goaltenders in the CHL Import Draft.
On Tuesday, the league announced goaltenders won’t be eligible for the annual draft of European-born players starting in 2014. Goaltenders born in 1994 and 1995 can be chosen in the first round of this year’s two-round draft, which will be held July 3. The decision, which was approved by the CHL’s Board of Directors at a meeting in May, is in apparent response to the need to create more opportunities for Canadian-born goaltenders at the major junior level.
“The goaltender position is the most important in our game,” CHL president David Branch, who also serves as Ontario Hockey League commissioner, said in a prepared statement. “In partnership with Hockey Canada, the CHL has identified the need to further develop Canadian goaltenders by providing increased opportunities for them to compete in our league and succeed at the next level.”
European-born goaltenders currently with teams in the CHL’s three leagues – the OHL, Quebec Major Junior Hockey League and Western Hockey League – or selected in next month’s draft can continue to play until their eligibility expires. The Erie Otters, who have the fifth overall pick in this coming draft, already have Swedish goaltender Oscar Dansk on the roster. The Otters selected Dansk third overall in the 2012 CHL draft. They also enjoyed past success with European-born goaltenders, including Jaroslav Janus (No. 2 overall in 2007) and Ramis Sadikov (No. 36 overall in 2009).

Posted: March 22nd, 2013

My apologies, this didn’t post for some reason yesterday …

Sean Day was happy and relieved to hear the news Thursday. The Ontario Hockey Federation announced that Hockey Canada granted exceptional player status to the 15-year-old defenseman , which allows him to enter the OHL Priority Selection a year early.
He joins former current New York Islanders center John Tavares (Oshawa, 2005), Barrie Colts defenseman Aaron Ekblad (2011) and Erie Otters center Connor McDavid (2012) as the only players to receive early entry into the league.
Unlike his predecessors, Day reportedly isn’t guaranteed to be the No. 1 pick in the April 6 draft. Speculation has arisen about the Ottawa 67′s and their choice. Under league rules, the 67′s aren’t required to choose Day with that top pick. Day isn’t required to report to the club that picks him.
However, Day said during Thursday’s conference call that “I’m prepared to go anywhere,” he said. “Part of getting this (status) is to play in the OHL.”
Meanwhile, the Otters hold the No. 2 pick because they finished with the league’s second-worst record (19-40-4-5). Sherry Bassin, managing partner and general manager, was tight-lipped earlier this week regarding the pick. “We’ve got a pretty good idea,” Bassin said. “We’ll go with the best player.”
The Otters need help on a defense that allowed 312 goals this season, the second-worst total in the league. Day, a 6 foot 2 inch, 197-pound offensive defenseman, had 11 goals and 35 points in 63 games with Detroit-area Compuware’s minor midget club. “If you need me to play good defense, I can play that,” Day, a Belgian-born Canadian citizen who lives in Rochester, Mich., said during a conference call. “If you need a fourth forward, I can jump into the play.” Yet forwards such as Travis Konecny (Elgin Middlesex Chiefs) and Dylan Strome (Toronto Marlboros) are highly regarded. Earlier this week, Bassin said he needed the right complementary players to play alongside skilled performers like McDavid.
Keith Day, Sean’s father, said there has been no contact yet with officials from the 67′s or Otters.

- Victor Fernandes

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: June 16th, 2012

The Erie Otters of the Ontario Hockey League are proud to announce that defenseman Adam Pelech (Pell-eck) is one of 28 players who will represent Team Canada at the 2012 Canada-Russia Challenge in August.

A native of Toronto, Pelech rebounded after an early-season injury and was a steady influence on the blue line, collecting 20 points in 44 games. He was the first player in OHL history to receive the Ivan Tennant and Bobby Smith Awards for academic excellence in April.

At the Otters Annual Awards Banquet in April, Pelech took home Player of the Year and Defenseman of the Year honors, joining Chris Campoli as the only defensemen to be named as Otters Player of the Year.

Pelech has had considerable experience at the international level, winning gold medals with Canada and Team Ontario at the 2011 Memorial of Ivan Hlinka and the 2011 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge, respectively.

He also helped Canada win a bronze medal at the World Under-18 Championships in the Czech Republic, the country’s first medal at the event since 2008. Pelech served as an assistant captain and was named by opposing coaches as one of Canada’s top three players at the tournament.

The 2012 Canada-Russia Challenge is a collaboration between Hockey Canada, the Canadian Hockey League, Halifax Mooseheads and Halifax Trade Centre Limited, which will see Canada and Russia’s national junior programs face off in four games, two in Russia and two in Canada, to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the 1972 Summit Series. The series begins August 9 in Russia and concludes August 14 in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Canada’s roster, comprised of three goaltenders, 10 defensemen and 15 forwards, was selected by Kevin Prendergast, head scout of the men’s Program of Excellence for Hockey Canada, along with Hockey Canada senior director of hockey operations and national teams Scott Salmond, and the team’s coaching staff, comprised of head coach Steve Spott, Mario Duhamel, Don Nachbaur and André Tourigny.

- From Erie Otters news release

Posted: June 14th, 2012

The Erie Otters of the Ontario Hockey League are proud to announce that forward Stephen Harper is one of 40 players invited by Hockey Canada to attend Canada’s National Men’s Summer Under-18 Team selection camp, August 3-6 at the MasterCard Centre in Toronto, Ont.

Harper last played on the international stage at the 2012 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge in Windsor, Ont., where he won a bronze medal with Team Ontario. Harper scored two goals in five games during the tournament.

In his first OHL season with the Otters, Harper collected 24 goals and 11 assists, sharing team Rookie of the Year honors with Connor Brown. Harper’s 24 goals were the most among 1995-born players in the OHL last season.

The roster includes four goaltenders, 12 defensemen and 24 forwards. The players, born in 1995 and 1996, were selected by Hockey Canada head scout Kevin Prendergast, in consultation with head coach Todd Gill and assistant coaches Yanick Jean and Scott Walker.

“These players are the cream of the crop of under-18 talent in Canada, and it’s going to be exciting to see them battle for 22 roster spots,” Prendergast said. “As it is every year, there were some tough decisions to get down to 40, and they’ll be even tougher decisions to make to finalize the roster.”

The camp roster includes 17 players from the Ontario Hockey League, 13 from the Western Hockey League and 10 from the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. Of the 40 players who have been invited to the selection camp, 22 will be selected for Canada’s National Men’s Summer Under-18 Team, which will play in the 2012 Memorial of Ivan Hlinka tournament, scheduled for August 13-18 in Piestany, Slovakia and Breclav, Czech Republic.

Otters defenseman Adam Pelech won a gold medal with Team Canada at last year’s Memorial of Ivan Hlinka.

Also participating in the selection camp is Otters equipment manager Mike Hildenbrand, who is set to begin his third season with the Otters after stints with the Windsor Spitfires and ECHL’s Victoria Salmon Kings.

- From Erie Otters news release

Posted: March 21st, 2012

The OHL announced today that Hockey Canada has approved 15-year-old standout center Connor McDavid‘s application for exceptional status, making him eligible for the OHL Priority Selection April 7. The Erie Otters are officially on the clock …

Posted: February 29th, 2012

Check out this New York Times story on what may lie ahead for fighting in junior hockey.