Shootout
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 Hall of Fame’
Posted: September 12th, 2013

Alain Lemieux, older brother of Hockey Hall of Famer and Pittsburgh Penguins principal owner and chairman Mario Lemieux, has joined the coaching staff for the Gannon University club hockey team. Read more by clicking the link

Posted in: NHL, Uncategorized
Posted: May 31st, 2012

Toronto – The Ontario Hockey League today announced that Kitchener Rangers’ Chief Operating Officer and Governor Steve Bienkowski is the recipient of the OHL Executive of the Year Award for the 2011-12 season.

Bienkowski championed the 2012 expansion of the Kitchener Memorial Auditorium Complex creating a business plan that will see the Rangers Hockey Club fully fund the $10.6 million upgrade to the city owned facility. The venture will see an additional 968 seats installed providing more opportunities for fans to enjoy Kitchener Rangers hockey.

The facility will also receive new media boxes and suite expansions, new concourse, washrooms and concessions, improved accessibility, along with a dressing room upgrade for the club, new medical and training facilities for players, and business offices for staff. The renovations will also create a new Rangers “Hall of History” in time for the franchise’s 50th Anniversary celebrations next season.

“We are very fortunate to have Steve leading our business operations,” said Craig Campbell, President of the Kitchener Rangers Board of Directors. “Steve complements the vision of our entire Board in recognizing the importance of our role in supporting community. On behalf of our Board, I offer congratulations to Steve on this most deserving recognition.”

Under Bienkowski’s leadership the Rangers maintain a strong focus on their community supporting hundreds of charitable programs and non-profit organizations including: St. John Ambulance, Kitchener Sports Association, Children’s Wish Foundation, Kitchener Minor Hockey Association, House of Friendship, Kitchener Panthers Baseball Club, Food Bank of Waterloo Region , THEMUSEUM, Waterloo Regional Boxing Academy, and the Royal Highland Fusiliers.

Bienkowski, the Rangers’ COO since 2002, previously served six years on the club’s Board of Director’s Executive Committee. He is also a graduate of the league playing two seasons with the Rangers from 1979-81 winning an OHL Championship in his final season. His tireless efforts have also been recognized by the community as Bienkowski received the 2011 Citizen of the Year Award bestowed by the Lions Club of Kitchener, and also recently received the Order of St. John from the Governor General of Canada in recognition of his many years of volunteer service to St. John Ambulance.

The OHL Executive of the Year Award is presented annually to the executive whose team demonstrates success both on the ice and at the administration level through excellent organization and franchise success. The winner is selected by the League’s Executive Council.

This marks Bienkowski’s second OHL Executive of the Year Award having first received the honour following the Rangers’ Memorial Cup-winning season in 2002-03. Other recipients of the award include Craig Goslin of the Saginaw Spirit who won the award back-to-back in 2005-06 and 2006-07, followed by Denise Burke of the Niagara IceDogs in 2007-08, Warren Rychel of the Windsor Spitfires in 2008-09, Rick Gaetz of the Guelph Storm in 2009-10, and Dale DeGray of the Owen Sound Attack who won the award last season.

Bienkowski will be formally presented with the OHL’s Executive of the Year Award at the league’s annual award ceremony at the Hockey Hall of Fame on Tuesday.

- From OHL new release

Posted: April 18th, 2012

Toronto – The Ontario Hockey League today announced that Michael Houser of the London Knights is the 2011-12 recipient of the OHL’s Goaltender of the Year award.

Houser posted a 46-15-0-1 record backstopping the Knights to their fifth Hamilton Spectator Trophy as the OHL’s top regular season team, and tied an OHL single season record for most wins by a goaltender. He becomes the third member of the Knights to win the award following Adam Dennis in 2006, and Steve Mason in 2007.

“I am proud to receive this award, it was a great season individually and most importantly from a team standpoint we were successful,” said Houser. “I was fortunate to have a good group of defencemen in front of me that made my job easy.”

Houser, a 19-year-old from Wexford, PA, is just the second American goaltender to win the award following Ottawa Senators netminder Craig Anderson of Park Ridge, IL, who claimed the honour in 2001 with the Guelph Storm. This season Houser played in 62 games to lead all goaltenders, also leading the way with 1862 saves while finishing second with six shutout victories.

His goals-against-average of 2.47 was third-best in the league, and his save percentage of .925 ranked fourth overall. Houser opened the season with a shutout victory and five straight wins to claim the season’s first Vaughn CHL Goaltender of the Week award. He also recorded a season-high winning-streak of nine games from December 30 through January 22, and finished the season as the Vaughn OHL Goaltender of the Month for March. In total, Houser stopped at least 30 shots in 36 different games this season including six games with 40 or more saves.

“Michael has been a winning goaltender since he joined the team three years ago,” said Knights Goaltending Coach Bill Dark. “He has a high standard of work ethic and is a true leader of this team. Often times the more respected a goalie is among his teammates, the better the guys play in front of him, and that was certainly the case this year.”

The OHL Goaltender of the Year is awarded to the league’s most outstanding goaltender as selected by OHL General Managers. Teams were not permitted to vote for a goaltender from their own hockey club. Goaltenders received five points for a first place vote, three points for a second place vote and one point for a third place vote.

Houser received 74 points in the voting process while last year’s winner Mark Visentin of the Niagara IceDogs finished in second place with 46 voting points. John Gibson of the Kitchener Rangers finished in third place with 30 voting points.

The award was first presented in 1987-88 to Rick Tabaracci (Cornwall) with other notable winners including Andrew Raycroft (Kingston 1999-00), Ray Emery (Sault Ste. Marie 2001-02), and Mike Murphy of the Belleville Bulls who is the only goaltender to win the award twice in 2007-08 and 2008-09.

Houser will be formally presented with the OHL’s Goaltender of the Year Award on Tuesday, June 5 at the OHL Awards Ceremony held at the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto. He is also the OHL’s nominee for the CHL Goaltender of the Year.

- From OHL news release

Posted: April 12th, 2012

Toronto, ON – The Ontario Hockey League today announced that Brandon Saad of the Saginaw Spirit is the 2011-12 recipient of the William Hanley Trophy awarded to the OHL’s Most Sportsmanlike Player.

Saad, a 19-year-old from Gibsonia, PA, scored 34 goals and 42 assists for 76 points in just 44 games while recording just 38 penalty minutes in his second OHL season with the Spirit. He becomes the second member of the Spirit to win the award following current Tampa Bay Lightning forward Tom Pyatt who received the honour in 2006-07.

“It’s an honor to win any award and be recognized by the league,” commented Saad. “I’m excited about the news and happy to win the award and accept this award on behalf of the Saginaw Spirit and my teammates.”

The Spirit captain led all OHL players with 1.73 points-per-game after beginning the season with the Chicago Blackhawks who selected him in the second round of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft. Upon his return to Saginaw he immediately produced an eight-game point-streak and received OHL Player of the Week honours following his second week in action ending October 23. That week included his first career five-point game where he scored a career-high four goals October 20 as first star of a 5-2 win over the Brampton Battalion.

A member of the U.S National Junior Team at the 2012 IIHF World Junior Championship, Saad recorded 21 multi-point games this season and had the fourth longest point-streak in the league at 16 games between January 15 and February 24. He also finished with the sixth-best plus-minus rating in the OHL with a mark of plus-35.

“Brandon has been an outstanding player for the Spirit organization,” said Head Coach Greg Gilbert. “His commitment both on and off the ice exemplifies the type of player and person he is. His passion for the game and his leadership for our club have been second to none. He plays each game with determination and respect, not only for the game itself, but for his team and opponents. He is a true leader.”

The William Hanley Trophy is awarded each year based on a selection by the 20 General Managers of the Ontario Hockey League. Teams are not permitted to vote for their own candidate with players receiving five points for a first place vote, three points for a second place vote, and one point for a third place vote. The trophy is presented by the OHL to commemorate William Hanley, former Secretary-Manager of the Ontario Hockey Association for over 25 years.

“Since his first day in Saginaw, Brandon Saad has displayed an extraordinary commitment to doing things right, both on and off the ice,” said Craig Goslin, Spirit Managing Partner, President and Governor. “Whether communicating with his teammates or visiting sick kids in a local hospital or doing a community appearance, his approach is consistently conducted with class and respect for others. Our franchise has certainly been the recipient of an outstanding future NHL hockey player and an outstanding person as well.”

Saad received 45 points in the voting process ahead of Tobias Rieder of the Kitchener Rangers who received 38 voting points, and Freddie Hamilton of the Niagara IceDogs who finished in third place with 31 voting points.

Former winners of the William Hanley Trophy include Wayne Gretzky (Sault Ste. Marie 1977-78), Brian Campbell (Ottawa 1998-99), Brad Boyes (Erie 2000-01 and 2001-02), Jeff Carter (Sault Ste. Marie 2004-05), Wojtek Wolski (Brampton 2005-06), and Cody Hodgson (Brampton 2008-09). Last season OHL top scorer Jason Akeson of the Kitchener Rangers claimed the award, while Ryan Spooner won the award in 2009-10 as a member of the Peterborough Petes.

Saad will be presented with the William Hanley Trophy at the 2011-12 OHL Awards Ceremony set for Tuesday June 5 at the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto. He will also be the OHL’s nominee for Sportsman of the Year at the Annual CHL Awards.

- From OHL news release

Posted: April 11th, 2012

Toronto, ON – The Ontario Hockey League today announced that forward Andrew Agozzino of the Niagara IceDogs is the Leo Lalonde Memorial Trophy winner awarded to the OHL’s Overage Player of the Year for the 2011-12 season.

Agozzino tied for fifth in league scoring with a career-high 88 points in 67 games scoring 40 goals and 48 assists leading the IceDogs to their first Central Division title and best overall record in team history with a record of 47-18-0-3 for 97 points. Agozzino becomes the second member of the IceDogs’ to win the award following his former teammate Michael Swift who earned it in the club’s first season in Niagara back in 2007-08.

“It’s a great feeling to win this award and it’s something I was looking forward to at the start of my overage year,” said Agozzino. “Having the opportunity to be an overager on the same team I started with is something special and I would like to thank the entire IceDogs organization for the opportunities they have given me.”

A 21-year-old native of Kleinburg, ON, Agozzino played all five of his OHL seasons with the IceDogs after being the franchise’s first ever draft pick selected 15th overall in the 2007 Priority Selection. This season the three-year captain led the IceDogs in both goals and points for the third time in five years finishing his career with a franchise record 159 goals and 147 assists for 306 points in a franchise record 318 regular season games played. In 2010, Agozzino represented the IceDogs at the OHL All-Star Classic in Kingston, ON, where he was named Eastern Conference Player of the Game scoring an All-Star Classic record four goals.

“We couldn’t be more happy or proud of Andrew winning the Overage Player of the Year Award,” said IceDogs owner Bill Burke. “Andrew is everything you could ask for in a leader, hockey player and a person and is extremely deserving of this award. He has meant everything to this organization in our five years here and will be impossible to replace.”

The Leo Lalonde Memorial Trophy is awarded annually to the top overage player of the year as selected by OHL General Managers. Teams were not permitted to vote for players from their own hockey club. Players received five points for a first place vote, three points for a second place vote and one point for a third place vote.

Agozzino finished the voting process with 53 points just slightly ahead of Owen Sound Attack forward Mike Halmo who finished with 52 points. Defenceman Beau Schmitz of the Plymouth Whalers finished in third with 28 voting points.

Former winners of the trophy include Bill Bowler (Windsor, 1994-95), and Dan Tessier (Ottawa 99-00), along with current NHL stars Chad LaRose (Plymouth 2002-03), and Ryan Callahan (Guelph, 2005-06). Top scorer Jason Akeson of the Kitchener Rangers captured the award last season.

The Leo Lalonde Memorial Trophy was donated by the trainers of the Ontario Hockey League, in memory of the late Leo Lalonde, former Chief Scout of OHL Central Scouting. Leo Lalonde was also formerly the Chief Scout for the Belleville Bulls as well as a scout for the Peterborough Petes.

Agozzino will be formally presented with the Leo Lalonde Memorial Trophy at the 2011-12 OHL Awards Ceremony scheduled for June 5 at the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto.

- From OHL news release

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