The Erie Otters traded second-year defenseman Nathan Glass to Saginaw Wednesday for a seventh-round pick in the 2014 OHL Priority Selection. Glass, 18, had 10 points and 32 penalty minutes in 90 games with the Otters, including four points and eight penalty minutes in 29 games this season. In other news, Connor McDavid was named OHL rookie of the month for November. He had nine goals and 17 points in 13 games on the way to capturing the honor for the second straight month. He had points in 11-of-13 games.
Posts tagged ‘saginaw spirit’
Posted: December 5th, 2012
Posted: October 27th, 2012
A weekend that began with such promise ended with a thud for the Erie Otters Saturday night.
Unlike their strong efforts in a convincing six-goal win against Saginaw Wednesday night and a shootout loss to Sault Ste. Marie Friday night, the Otters had little energy in a 5-2 loss to Sarnia in front of 2,648 fans at Erie Insurance Arena Saturday night.
Rookie center Connor McDavid had a goal and assist for the Otters (4-8-1-2), which dropped their second straight game and finished the three-game weekend series at home 1-1-0-1. McDavid, who extended his point streak to 14 straight games and has 18 points in 15 games, was one of the lone bright spots for a team that struggled to find consistency against the Sting (7-6-0-1).
The Otters entered the game with the OHL’s seventh-ranked penalty kill at 82.5 percent. But Sarnia’s third-rated power play burned the Otters for four goals on five chances in the game. Craig Duininck, who had one goal in his first 12 games, scored the first of his two power-play goals on assists from Nikolay Goldobin and Anthony DeAngelo 9 minutes, 47 seconds into the opening period.
Goaltender Oscar Dansk made several key stops, especially in close, to keep the Otters within a goal until Charles Sarault netted his sixth goal of the season, a power-play score 10:04 into the second period, to extend the Sting’s lead to 2-0. Sarnia’s lead reached 3-0 less than two minutes later, as Duininck scored his second goal of the night on assists from Goldobin and Bryan Moore.
The Otters crept within 3-1 on Connor Crisp’s sixth goal of the season – a loose puck in front that he slipped past Sting goaltender J.P. Anderson – with 1:45 left in the period. Moments later, Otters defenseman Adam Pelech was helped to the dressing room with a left ankle injury suffered while blocking a shot. Club officials believe Pelech suffered only a bruise, but he was expected to undergo x-rays. Pelech, who was hit with a shot on the same ankle in Friday’s game was seen walking gingerly outside the dressing room after the game. The Otters learned before the game that winger Nick Betz will miss at least the next six to eight weeks after undergoing surgery Friday night for a ruptured appendix.
Then any momentum the Otters gained from Crisp’s goal vanished 53 seconds into the third period, as the Sting regained a three-goal lead at 4-1 on Reid Boucher‘s goal. McDavid provided a bit of a spark, as his steal in front of the Sting’s net and two nifty moves through traffic produced his seventh goal of the season and moved the Otters within 4-2 with 10:12 left in the game.
But Goldobin’s shot into an open net – Sarnia’s fourth power-play goal in five chances – with 1:30 left sealed the Sting’s win.
- Victor Fernandes
Posted: October 24th, 2012
The Erie Otters hadn’t enjoyed a game like this for a long time.
“It feels good,” veteran winger J.P. Labardo said after a 7-1 win against Saginaw in front of 2,083 at Erie Insurance Arena Wednesday night. Since the rebuilding process began a season ago, the Otters (4-7-1-1) have found themselves on the wrong end of blowouts.
And for the most part, Erie has encountered tightly contested games this season. Yet after a slow opening few minutes against the Spirit (4-7-2-0), the Otters exploded offensively, especially on special teams, while clamping down on Saginaw’s dangerous offense.
The Otters scored three times apiece in the first and second periods, headlined by two power-play goals and a pair of short-handed scores, on the way to the franchise’s largest margin of victory since a 10-3 win in Kingston Feb. 13, 2011. The Otters also scored their most goals in a game since an 8-7 shootout loss to the Spirit March 2, 2012. They entered the game averaging 2.9 goals per game.
Luke Cairns led the way with a goal and two assists. Labardo scored twice while Connor Crisp (goal, assist), Jimmy McDowell (goal, assist) and Adam Pelech (two assists) had two points apiece. Meanwhile, Oscar Dansk stopped 34-of-35 shots, and was headed to his first OHL shutout until Jimmy Lodge’s power-play goal with 1 minute, 32 seconds left in the game.
- Victor Fernandes
Posted: October 1st, 2012
Toronto – The Ontario Hockey League announced today that forward Ryan Kujawinski of the Kingston Frontenacs is the OHL Player of the Week for the week ending Sept. 30 after recording five points in two games scoring twice with three assists and a plus-minus rating of plus-2.
Kujawinski helped lift the Frontenacs to a pair of victories over the weekend beginning Friday night, where he picked up three assists as second star when the club erased a 5-3 third period deficit to comeback and beat the Erie Otters 6-5 in overtime.
On Sunday afternoon, he received first-star honours with two goals in a 5-4 win over the Niagara IceDogs giving the Frontenacs their best start to a season since 1997-98 with a perfect 3-0-0-0 record as the only undefeated team remaining in the OHL.
Kujawinski, a 17-year-old from Iroqouis Falls, ON, is playing in his second OHL season. Eligible for the 2013 NHL Entry Draft, Kujawinski was a first-round pick of the Sarnia Sting in the 2011 OHL Priority Selection, but finished his rookie campaign with the Frontenacs where he scored 15 goals and 15 assists for 30 points in 30 games.
Also considered for the award this week was Columbus Blue Jackets prospect Boone Jenner of the Oshawa Generals who scored four goals and four assists for eight points in three games, and Montreal Canadiens prospect Brady Vail of the Windsor Spitfires who picked up three goals and four assists for seven points in three games.
In goal, Detroit Red Wings prospect Jake Paterson of the Saginaw Spirit posted a 1-0-1-0 record including a shutout victory with a goals-against-average of 1.46 and save percentage of .955.
- From OHL news release
Posted: September 20th, 2012
Victor Fernandes unveils his predictions for the 2012-13 OHL season:
3. Owen Sound
5. Sault Ste. Marie
No. 1 Barrie def. No. 8 Peterborough, 4-0
No. 2 Belleville def. No. 7 Mississauga, 4-1
No. 3 Niagara def. No. 6 Ottawa, 4-1
No. 4 Oshawa def. No. 5 Brampton, 4-3
No. 1 Barrie def. No. 4 Oshawa, 4-2
No. 2 Belleville def. No. 3 Niagara, 4-2
No. 2 Belleville def. No. 1 Barrie, 4-3
No. 1 Kitchener def. No. 8 Erie, 4-1
No. 2 Plymouth def. No. 7 Sarnia, 4-1
No. 3 Guelph def. No. 6 Windsor, 4-2
No. 4 Owen Sound def. No. 5 London, 4-2
No. 1 Kitchener def. No. 4 Owen Sound, 4-1
No. 2 Plymouth def. No. 3 Guelph, 4-2
No. 1 Kitchener def. No. 2 Plymouth, 4-3
No. 1 Kitchener def. No. 2 Belleville, 4-2
- Victor Fernandes
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):
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.
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.
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?
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: 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 1st, 2012
Toronto, ON – The Ontario Hockey League today announced that a media conference is scheduled for Wednesday at 12 pm at the John Labatt Centre in London, Ontario, to announce the winner of the Red Tilson Trophy presented to the OHL’s Most Outstanding Player of the Year for the 2011-12 season.
The Red Tilson Trophy is the most prestigious individual award presented annually by the league to the Most Outstanding Player in the Ontario Hockey League during the regular season schedule of games as voted by sports writers and broadcasters in the OHL. The award is in honour of Albert “Red” Tilson, who was killed in action in Europe during World War II. Tilson was the OHA scoring champion for the 1942-43 season after scoring 19 goals and 38 assists for 57 points in 22 games with the Oshawa Generals. Ryan Ellis of the Windsor Spitfires captured the award last season.
2011-12 Red Tilson Trophy Nominees
Barrie Colts – Tanner Pearson
Belleville Bulls – Brendan Gaunce
Brampton Battalion – Sam Carrick
Erie Otters – Adam Pelech
Guelph Storm – Matt Finn
Kingston Frontenacs – Darcy Greenaway
Kitchener Rangers – Tobias Rieder
London Knights – Michael Houser
Mississauga St. Michael’s Majors – Riley Brace
Niagara IceDogs – Mark Visentin
Oshawa Generals – Kevin Bailie
Ottawa 67’s – Tyler Toffoli
Owen Sound Attack – Mike Halmo
Peterborough Petes – Andrew Yogan
Plymouth Whalers – Stefan Noesen
Saginaw Spirit – Brandon Saad
Sarnia Sting – Nail Yakupov
Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds – Nick Cousins
Sudbury Wolves – Michael Sgarbossa
Windsor Spitfires – Kerby Rychel
- 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: March 7th, 2012
The Erie Otters of the Ontario Hockey League have announced that Connor Crisp‘s jersey from his goaltending appearance against the Niagara IceDogs on March 4 is now up for auction on eBay at http://myworld.ebay.com/erieottersstore.
Crisp entered the game against the Niagara IceDogs after an injury to starting goaltender Ramis Sadikov 1:45 into the game. Since Devin Williams was not dressed due to an injury suffered Friday night against the Saginaw Spirit, Crisp was pressed into goaltending duty in his first game since April 5, 2011, when he was playing as a forward.
Despite not tending goal on ice in over 10 years, Crisp made 32 saves and became a fan favorite as a visitor during Sunday’s game. He was given first star honors and a standing ovation following the game.
Since a starting bid of $199.00 Tuesday at 5 p.m., there have been 12 bids, the highest at $355.00. Proceeds from the auction will be donated to Erie Shriners Hospitals for Children and The Mario Lemieux Foundation.
The media attention surrounding Crisp’s season debut as a goaltender has reached unprecedented levels, with coverage on TSN, Sportsnet, Deadspin and Yahoo! Sports.
The Otters are also selling one-of-a-kind Connor Crisp jersey t-shirts for a limited time on their official online store at erieottersstore.com, with all proceeds benefiting Shriners Hospitals for Children. The shirt features the temporary goalie number worn by Crisp (#1) rather than his usual number of #23. The t-shirts are $10.00 plus shipping and come in sizes medium, large and extra large.
- From Erie Otters release