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 ‘ontario hockey league’
Posted: August 10th, 2012

The Ontario Hockey League announced today that the Windsor Spitfires have been punished for what the league termed as “violations of our Recruitment/Benefit Rules and Policies.”
The club was fined $400,000 and was stripped of five OHL draft picks over the next five years – first-rounders in 2013, 2014 and 2016 and second-rounders in 2015 and 2017. The ruling was handed down based on findings from two separate investigations, the league said in a statement.
“While the penalties may appear to be severe,” OHL Commissioner David Branch said in the statement, “the league and its member teams recognize for any such violations of our Recruitment/Benefit Rules and Policies, we must send a strong message to preserve the integrity of our league.”
Branch pointed to the league’s enforcement program, which was developed by the OHL’s Board of Governors in 2009. The program, he said in the statement, “is designed to address and attempt to eliminate violations of the rules and impose appropriate penalties if violations occur.”
The enforcement process,” Branch added, “is an integral part of the process to ensure integrity and fair play among the member teams. One of the fundamental principles of the enforcement process is to ensure that those member teams that are abiding by the rules are not disadvantaged by their commitment to compliance.”
Check out this story from The Windsor Star.

Posted: June 27th, 2012

The Erie Otters of the Ontario Hockey League selected Swedish goaltender Oscar Dansk (DAHN-sk) from Brynäs of the Elitserien with the third overall selection in the 2012 CHL Import Draft Wednesday morning.

Born February 28, 1994 in Stockholm, the 6-foot-2, 187-pound Dansk was drafted by the Columbus Blue Jackets with the 31st overall pick of the 2012 NHL Entry Draft. Dansk was ranked second among European goaltenders by NHL Central Scouting in their final rankings for the draft.

In 28 games in the junior-level Super Elitserien, Dansk had a 2.82 goals-against-average and a save percentage of .910 with Brynäs. He also won a silver medal with Sweden at the 2012 IIHF Under-18 World Championships.

Dansk has previously played in North America with the storied Shattuck-St. Mary’s program in Minnesota, which has produced hockey superstars such as Pittsburgh Penguins center Sidney Crosby, New Jersey Devils left wing Zach Parise and Chicago Blackhawks center Jonathan Toews.

Elite Prospects describes Dansk as “A very agile goalie with a large frame. Plays a hybrid style of play. Solid technical skills and is also strong mentally. Uses his size to his advantage and cuts off angles well. A good competitor.”

The Otters will select their next player in the 63rd spot.

The Quebec Major Junior Hockey League’s Moncton Wildcats used the first overall pick to select Russia left wing Ivan Barbashev. The Prince Albert Raiders of the Western Hockey League selected German left wing Leon Draisaitl with the second overall pick.

- From Erie Otters news release

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: May 31st, 2012

Three former Erie Otters – David Broll, Jaroslav Janus and Greg McKegg – have a chance to win an American Hockey League championship.
The Norfolk Admirals and Toronto Marlies begin the best-of-seven Turner Cup finals today at 7:30 p.m. at Scope Arena in Norfolk, Va. Janus has a 3-1-0 record, 1.69 goals-against average, .937 save percentage and one shutout in four playoff games with Norfolk this spring. He helped the Admirals finish the regular season with 28 straight wins, the longest streak in North American professional hockey history.
McKegg joined the Marlies earlier this week after leading the Ontario Hockey League champion London Knights to the Memorial Cup final.
Broll, who spent the past season and a half with the OHL’s Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds, also plays for the Marlies. He has no points in one playoff game. Current Otters winger Sondre Olden is no longer with the Marlies. He reportedly was released from an amateur tryout contract in April.
Game 2 is set for Saturday at 7:15 p.m. in Norfolk. The series heads to Toronto for Game 3 (Thursday, 7 p.m.), Game 4 (June 9, 3 p.m.) and Game 5 (June 10, 3 p.m.). Norfolk hosts Game 6 (June 13, 7:15 p.m.) and Game 7 (June 15, 7:30 p.m.).

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: May 18th, 2012

NEW YORK — For the fifth consecutive year, NHL Network™ U.S. will air the MasterCard Memorial Cup, the championship of the Canadian Hockey League. NHL Network U.S will feature a combination of live and tape-delayed broadcasts throughout the 10 days of competition from the host city of Shawinigan, Quebec.

Fans will have the opportunity to see the NHL’s future stars and 2012 NHL Draft™ picks from May 18-27 at the Canadian Hockey League’s elite event. The host Shawinigan Cataractes of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League will be joined by the QMJHL champion Saint John Sea Dogs; the Ontario Hockey League champion London Knights; and the winner of the Western Hockey League, the Edmonton Oil Kings.

Each team will play three games in the preliminary round-robin, May 18-23. The semifinal game is May 25 and the championship game is May 27.

NHL Network U.S. will telecast Rogers Sportsnet’s coverage of all the championship games with the broadcast team of play-by-play man RJ Broadhead, analyst Sam Cosentino and host Rob Faulds. Each live game broadcast will feature intermission reports from NHL Network’s own NHL Tonight™ team in Toronto. All games will be broadcast in high definition.

MasterCard Memorial Cup games will be live unless there is a Stanley Cup® Conference Final game being played that night. In those instances, NHL Network will offer a broadcast of the MasterCard Memorial Cup game on a tape delay. Additional live game coverage from the championship will be added to the NHL Network U.S. schedule as the Stanley Cup Conference Finals series conclude. Fans are encouraged to check for updates. also will have special coverage of the championship in its entirety with a team of reporters and videographers on-site to cover the sights and sounds of the CHL’s best.

2012 MasterCard Memorial Cup on NHL Network U.S. Schedule (all times Eastern)

Date Game Time (ET)
Fri., May 18 Edmonton vs. Shawinigan 7:00 p.m. (LIVE)
Sat., May 19 Edmonton vs. Shawinigan 10:00 a.m. (tape delay)
Sat., May 19 Saint John vs. London 7:00 p.m. (LIVE)
Sun., May 20 Saint John vs. London 10:00 a.m. (tape delay)
Sun., May 20 Shawinigan vs. London 7:00 p.m. (LIVE)
Mon., May 21 Shawinigan vs. London 1:00 p.m. (tape delay)
Tue., May 22 Saint John vs. Edmonton 1:00 p.m. (tape delay)
Wed., May 23 London vs. Edmonton 1:00 p.m. (tape delay)
Thur., May 24 Shawinigan vs. Saint John 1:00 p.m. (tape delay)
Fri., May 25 tiebreaker* (if necessary) 1:00 p.m. (tape delay)
Fri., May 25 Semifinal TBA
Sun., May 27 Championship TBA

** for a complete MasterCard Memorial Cup schedule, visit

Posted: May 16th, 2012

Toronto – The Ontario Hockey League today announced that Andrew Agozzino of the Niagara IceDogs is the 2011-12 recipient of the Mickey Renaud Captain’s Trophy.

A three-year captain with the IceDogs, Agozzino was chosen for the award by a media selection committee as the OHL team captain that best exemplifies leadership on and off the ice, with a passion and dedication to the game of hockey and his community that Mickey demonstrated.

Nomination forms were submitted by OHL general managers on behalf of their individual team captains. The selection committee consisted of a panel of four, representing media from each OHL division.

“It is a special honor to have been awarded of the Mickey Renaud Captain’s Trophy,” said Agozzino, who competed against Mickey as a rookie with the IceDogs in 2007. “Mickey was very well respected and a great captain and to receive this in his memory is something I’m very proud of.”

On the IceDogs nomination form, Agozzino is described as a passionate and determined individual who truly cares for his teammates, his opponents, and the game. He leads by example putting team goals, objectives, and the well-being of those around him before his own personal goals. Agozzino is also very active in the community playing a large role in appearances and team initiatives in each of his five seasons, while personally raising $2,480 for Movember this year. His fundraising efforts led all OHL players in the first year of this CHL-wide initiative in support of men’s health and prostate cancer awareness.

“For five years Andrew has been the heart and soul of the IceDogs, just as Mickey was the heart and soul of the Spitfires,” said IceDogs’ owner Bill Burke. “With Mickey’s mother Jane having been from Niagara Falls and his father Mark having played for the Thunder, there is obviously a connection between the Renaud’s and the Niagara Region, making the award even more special for our team.”

Agozzino is a 21-year-old native of Kleinburg, ON, who 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 he 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.

Also named the Overage Player of the Year, he 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.

Agozzino becomes the fourth recipient of the award following Ryan Ellis of the Windsor Spitfires, John Kurtz of the Sudbury Wolves, and Chris Terry of the Plymouth Whalers who won the inaugural award for the 2008-09 season.

The Mickey Renaud Captain’s Trophy will be formally presented to Agozzino in addition to the Leo Lalonde Memorial Trophy at the OHL Awards Ceremony on Tuesday June 5 at the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto.

- From OHL news release

Posted: May 14th, 2012

Toronto – The Board of Governors of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) have approved the sale of the Mississauga St. Michael’s Majors to Mississauga businessman Elliott Kerr. Kerr, President of Landmark Sport Group Inc., will be the majority owner and the new franchise will continue to call the Hershey Centre home for the 2012-2013 season.

“We are very excited about the upcoming 2012-13 hockey season as well as the opportunity to continue Major Junior Hockey in our great City of Mississauga,” said Kerr. “I have been a proud resident of Mississauga for 25 years, my six year-old twins are actively involved in minor hockey here, our Mississauga Marathon event will be celebrating its tenth anniversary in 2013 and our Landmark Sport Group office is based here as well.”

“The Ontario Hockey League is excited to see the expanded involvement of Elliott Kerr in the OHL with his acquisition of the Mississauga franchise,” said OHL Commissioner David Branch. “ His experience as part of the ownership group with the Guelph Storm and the original Mississauga franchise, along with his passion for the game, family values, and being a Mississauga resident, will undoubtedly serve to see the Mississauga franchise grow and flourish”

Mayor Hazel McCallion is also thrilled to have the team staying in Mississauga “It is wonderful to know that we will continue to have an OHL team in Mississauga under the ownership of Elliott Kerr” said City of Mississauga Mayor Hazel McCallion. “I encourage community support for hockey at all levels in Mississauga and I am pleased that our residents will continue to enjoy a high caliber of sports entertainment that brings in many visitors to our City.

Under the new ownership, the hockey club will undergo a complete rebranding as the Mississauga St. Michael’s Majors name will be returned to the school. We want to thank Eugene Melnyk for supporting minor hockey in Mississauga and for bringing the Majors to this great city. In an effort to engage the residents of Mississauga, the new team will be conducting a “Name the Team Contest” in association with the Mississauga News this week. The team name will be unveiled following the contest.

Coach and General Manager, James Boyd will remain with the team and Kerr has appointed Scott Rogers as Vice President and Director of Business Operations for the club.

- From OHL news release

Posted: May 8th, 2012

Toronto – The Canadian Hockey League in association with SUBWAY® restaurant chain and the Ontario Hockey League today announced that the OHL’s Guelph Storm and Sarnia Sting will host Game 3 and Game 4 of the 2012 SUBWAY® Super Series.

Game 3 of the series will be played on Thursday November 7 in Guelph, Ontario, who last hosted the event in 2008. The series then returns to Sarnia, Ontario, for Game 4 to be played on Monday November 12, 2012. This will mark the third time that the Sting have hosted a Canada-Russia contest with previous games played in 2006 and 2003 when the event first began.

The 2012 SUBWAY® Super Series marks the tenth straight year that regional teams of CHL All-Stars will compete against the Russian National Junior Team as part of a six-game series. The series takes place November 5-15 and begins with two games in the QMJHL hosted by the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada and Val-d’Or Foreurs, and wraps up with two games in the WHL hosted by the Victoria Royals and the Vancouver Giants.

The SUBWAY® Super Series is an integral part of the identification process for Team Canada prior to the IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship which will be played in Russia next season. Last season the CHL edged Team Russia with a 3-2-1 record to win the series by a 10-8 margin in points, just one year following Russia’s first ever series victory in 2010. Canada and Russia would later meet at the 2012 IIHF World Junior Championship hosted by Calgary and Edmonton, AB, with Russia winning the semifinal contest with a roster that included 16 players from this event. 19 CHL players from the 2011 event competed on the bronze medal winning Team Canada.

All six games of the SUBWAY ® Super Series will be broadcast nationally on Sportsnet with TVA Sports televising both games from the QMJHL. The 2012 SUBWAY® Super Series is supported by CHL associate sponsors, Bank of Montreal and CCM.

2012 SUBWAY® Super Series Schedule of Games:
Game 1 – Monday November 5 at Blainville-Boisbriand, QC
Game 2 – Wednesday November 7 at Val-d’Or, QC
Game 3 – Thursday November 8 at Guelph, ON
Game 4 – Monday November 12 at Sarnia, ON
Game 5 – Wednesday November 14 at Victoria, BC
Game 6 – Thursday November 15 at Vancouver, BC

For more information please

- From CHL news release

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