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 ‘Steve Spott’
Posted: December 3rd, 2012

Erie Otters defenseman Adam Pelech has been invited to participate in Canada’s National Junior Team selection camp, which is set for Dec. 11-13 at the Markin MacPhail Centre Canada Olympic Park in Calgary, Alberta. The third-year veteran ranks among the OHL’s top scoring defensema this season with 24 points in 29 games.
He will be joined by 11 other OHL players – goaltender Malcolm Subban (Belleville), defensemen Cody Ceci (Ottawa), Dougie Hamilton (Niagara), Scott Harrington (London) and Ryan Murphy (Kitchener) and forwards Tom Wilson (Plymouth), Ryan Strome (Niagara), Mark Scheifele (Barrie), Sean Monahan (Ottawa), Boone Jenner (Oshawa) and Lucas Lessio (Oshawa). The team will be coached by Steve Spott, Kitchener coach and general manager.
Otters goaltender Oscar Dansk will participate in Sweden’s National Junior Team camp starting Dec. 15 in Norrtalje, Sweden. He has 7-14-1-3 record, 3.64 goals-against average and .905 save percentage in 25 games this season.

Posted: September 18th, 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 Midwest Division (listed in alphabetical order):

Erie Otters
Coach/GM: Robbie Ftorek/Sherry Bassin
2011-12 finish: 10-52-3-3, 5th division, 10th conference
Playoff finish: Did not qualify
Key players: C Connor McDavid (No. 1 pick in 2012 OHL Priority Selection; 33 goals, 39 assists, 72 points in 33 games with Toronto Marlboros minor midget), G Oscar Dansk (No. 3 pick in 2012 CHL Import Draft; 2.82 goals-against average, .910 save percentage in 28 games with Brynas in Sweden), C Dane Fox (23-31-54), RW Connor Brown (25-28-53; Toronto prospect), LW Stephen Harper (24-11-35)
Key losses: G Ramis Sadikov (6-23-3-2, 4.26, .894)
Outlook: The highly anticipated McDavid era begins in Erie, but this team has other promising players at every position. Now these young Otters have to learn how to win after enduring the worst record in franchise history a season ago.

Guelph Storm
Coach/GM: Scott Walker/Mike Kelly
2011-12 finish: 31-31-2-4, 4th division, 7th conference
Playoff finish: Lost to Plymouth 4-2 in conference quarterfinals
Key players: RW Zack Mitchell (37-38-75), G Garret Sparks (27-25-1-3, 3.11, .907, 5 SO; Toronto prospect), RW Cody McNaughton (25-24-49), RW Scott Kosmachuk (30-29-59; Winnipeg prospect), D Andrey Pedan (10-30-40; N.Y. Islanders prospect)
Key losses: C Francis Menard (24-36-60; traded to Peterborough)
Outlook: The Storm are ready to take the next step in this always competitive conference. They play solid defense, led by Sparks in goal and Pedan on the blue line, and they have skill up front in Kosmachuk, Mitchell and McNaughton.

Kitchener Rangers
Coach/GM: Steve Spott
2011-12 finish: 42-24-1-1, 2nd division, 3rd conference
Playoff finish: Lost to London 4-0 in conference finals
Key players: RW Tobias Rieder (42-43-85; Edmonton prospect), D Ryan Murphy (11-43-54, +14; signed with Carolina), C Radek Faksa (29-37-66; signed with Dallas), LW Matt Puempel (34-35-69; acquired from Peterborough, signed with Ottawa), G John Gibson (21-10-0-0, 2.75, .928, 1 SO; signed with Anaheim)
Key losses: C Michael Catenacci (25-44-69), C Andrew Crescenzi (24-23-37; signed with Toronto)
Outlook: The Rangers are a perennial contender in the conference, and they made sure this season was no different with the acquisition of Puempel from Peterborough. Expect the Rangers to be near, if not at, the top of the West in 2012-13.

London Knights
Coach/GM: Dale Hunter/Mark Hunter
2011-12 finish: 49-18-0-1; 1st division, 1st conference
Playoff finish: Won league championship, lost to Shawinigan (QMJHL) in Memorial Cup final
Key players: RW Seth Griffith (45-40-85, Boston prospect), D Scott Harrington (3-23-26, +26; signed with Pittsburgh), D Olli Maatta (5-27-32, +25; signed with Pittsburgh; C Max Domi (21-28-49), C Ryan Rupert (17-31-48)
Key losses: Michael Houser (46-15-0-1, 2.47, .925, 6 SO; signed with Florida), C Greg McKegg (31-44-75; former Otter, signed with Toronto), C Vladislav Namestnikov (30-39-69; signed with Tampa Bay), RW Jared Knight (25-45-70; signed with Boston), C Austin Watson (25-43-68; signed with Nashville)
Outlook: Dale Hunter returns behind the Knights’ bench after leading the NHL’s Washington Capitals to the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs last season. He has work to do if the Knights are to recapture the success they enjoyed in 2011-12.

Owen Sound Attack
Coach/GM: Greg Ireland/Dale DeGray
2011-12 finish: 32-29-304, 3rd division, 6th conference
Playoff finish: Lost to Kitchener 4-1 in conference quarterfinals
Key players: G Jordan Binnington (21-17-0-1, 2.99, .906, 1 SO; signed with St. Louis), C Daniel Catenacci (33-39-72; signed with Buffalo), C Gemel Smith (21-39-60; Dallas prospect), C Cameron Brace (29-27-56), D Keevin Cutting (7-18-25, +20)
Key losses: LW Mike Halmo (40-45-85; signed with N.Y. Islanders), D Jay Gilbert (10-23-33, +8)
Outlook: The Attack lost a 40-goal scorer in Halmo, but they have enough talent from back to front to make a run in the conference. But they need to be more consistent after tailing off late last season and losing in the first round of the playoffs.

- Victor Fernandes

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: April 16th, 2012

The winner of the Matt Leyden Trophy as the OHL’s Coach of the Year will be announced Tuesday at 11 a.m. The finalists are Brampton’s Stan Butler, Ottawa’s Chris Byrne, Saginaw’s Greg Gilbert, Barrie’s Dale Hawerchuk, Kitchener’s Steve Spott and Guelph’s Scott Walker.