In case you missed it Monday afternoon, Hockey Canada announced the selection camp roster for the upcoming World Junior Hockey Championship in Ufa, Russia, inviting 37 players. The Ontario Hockey League will be well represented at the camp, which opens in Calgary next Monday, as 18 players from the OHL made the list. Head Coach Steve Spott is also from the OHL’s Kitchener Rangers, meaning the team that heads to Russia is likely to have a distinctly Ontario feel to it. Before we get to the Players Of The Week and the OHL Power Rankings, the Team Canada Selection Camp Roster is as follows:
Francis Beauvillier (Rimouski Oceanic/QMJHL)
Anthony Camara (Barrie Colts/OHL)
Dan Catenacci (Owen Sound Attack/OHL)
Phillip Danault (Victoriaville Tigres/QMJHL)
Jonathan Drouin (Halifax Mooseheads/QMJHL)
Tyler Graovac (Ottawa 67’s/OHL)
Charles Hudon (Chicoutimi Sagueneens/QMJHL)
Boone Jenner (Oshawa Generals/OHL)
JC Lipon (Kamloops Blazers/WHL)
Nathan MacKinnon (Halifax Mooseheads/QMJHL)
Mark McNeill (Prince Albert Raiders/WHL)
Sean Monahan (Ottawa 67’s/OHL)
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (Oklahoma City Barons/AHL)
Ty Rattie (Portland Winterhawks/WHL)
Brett Ritchie (Niagara IceDogs/OHL)
Mark Scheifele (Barrie Colts/OHL)
Hunter Shinkaruk (Medicine Hat Tigers/WHL)
Colton Sissons (Kelowna Rockets/WHL)
Ryan Strome (Niagara IceDogs/OHL)
Tom Wilson (Plymouth Whalers/OHL)
Frank Corrado (Sudbury Wolves/OHL)
Matthew Dumba (Red Deer Rebels/WHL)
Dougie Hamilton (Niagara IceDogs/OHL)
Scott Harrington (London Knights/OHL)
Ryan Murphy (Kitchener Rangers/OHL)
Xavier Ouellet (Blainville-Boisbriand Armada/QMJHL)
Adam Pelech (Erie Otters/OHL)
Derick Pouliot (Portland Winterhawks/WHL)
Griffin Reinhart (Edmonton Oil Kings/WHL)
Morgan Rielly (Moose Jaw Warriors/WHL)
Ryan Sproul (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds/OHL)
Tyler Wotherspoon (Portland Winterhawks/WHL)
Jordan Binnington (Owen Sound Attack/OHL)
Laurent Brossoit (Edmonton Oil Kings/WHL)
Jake Paterson (Saginaw Spirit/OHL)
Malcolm Subban (Belleville Bulls/OHL)
Players Of The Week
Reid Boucher (Sarnia Sting) – While teammate Charles Sarault may have been named the Ontario Hockey League’s Player Of The Week, we give Reid Boucher the nod as our Top Forward this week. While everyone on Sarnia’s top line, including Alex Galchenyuk, had an excellent week, Reid stepped up when his team needed him, registering a hat trick as part of a five-point night Friday against Saginaw. Boucher scored twice more, as well as adding another assist the following night in Peterborough, and was a force again Sunday night, another win, in Oshawa. The Sting won all three of their contests this week, and Reid Boucher was a big part of their success, finishing the week with five goals and eight points, and a +4 rating, to earn our choice as Top Forward.
Colin Miller (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds) – If the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds are to be successful down the stretch, they will rely heavily on their defence, and Colin Miller is one of a number of qualified rearguards the Hounds. Over the last week, Colin was excellent, stepping up to help Sault Ste. Marie to a pair of victories. Wednesday night, Colin scored the tying goal in the final minute of regulation as part of a two point night, a game the Greyhounds would eventually win in a shootout. Miller would double that performance with another goal and an assist on Friday night, as the Hounds defeated Erie. Like many of his teammates, Colin would be held off the scoreboard Saturday, a loss to Owen Sound, but his two goals and four points this week, and his +2 rating earns him honours as this week’s Top Defenceman.
Kevin Bailie (London Knights) – The London Knights duo of Kevin Bailie and Jake Patterson have been excellent all season long, allowing the Knights to climb to the top of the OHL standings, and this week, it was Kevin’s turn, as he played every minute of four London victories. Tuesday night, Bailie turned aside 39 of 40 Rangers shots in Kitchener, and back at home on Friday, stopped 30 of 33 in another win, this time over Barrie. A night later, Kevin would be beaten just once again, facing 31 shots from Guelph, making 30 more saves. Sunday afternoon, Bailie stopped 36 of 39 in regulation and overtime, and stopped 16 of 19 more in the shootout, as the Knights survived the OHL’s longest shootout in Mississauga. In his four victories, Kevin posted a goals against average of 1.96 and a save percentage of .944, and is this week’s Top Goaltender.
OHL Power Rankings
1. London Knights – (Last Week: 1) The London Knights remain atop the OHL Power Rankings this week, and until another team finds a way to defeat them, look for them to stay here for a while. With four more victories this week, the Knights extend their winning streak to fifteen games, and sit atop the OHL standings as well. After a win in Kitchener on Tuesday night, London kept the streak alive over a three game weekend, winning at home to Barrie on Friday and Guelph on Saturday, then again Sunday afternoon in Mississauga, where they outlasted the Steelheads in a 19-round shootout, an OHL record. Looking ahead, Thursday the Knights play in Brampton, then return home for games against Niagara on Friday, and a rematch with Mississauga on Sunday.
2. Owen Sound Attack – (Last Week: 2) The Owen Sound Attack continue to nip at the heels of the OHL leaders from London, and won all three of their road games over the weekend to keep pace in the tough Western Conference. The Attack won games in Sudbury on Friday, Sault Ste. Marie Saturday, and Saginaw on Sunday to extend their winning streak to four. Owen Sound plays two of their three games this coming week at home, beginning on Wednesday, when they host Plymouth. After a contest in Guelph on Friday, the Attack return to Owen Sound to battle Belleville on Saturday night.
3. Kitchener Rangers – (Last Week: 3) The Kitchener Rangers remain at number three this week in the OHL Power Rankings, winning two out of three games over the past week. After losing on home ice against London on Tuesday, the Rangers rebounded with a pair of victories, both coming in the shootout. Friday, Kitchener would defeat Windsor, and a night later, the Rangers won again in Plymouth. Kitchener remains home for all three of their games this week, hosting Guelph on Tuesday, before a pair of weekend games, Friday, against Belleville, and Sunday, versus Ottawa.
4. Barrie Colts – (Last Week: 4) The Barrie Colts are unable to crack the top three this week, remaining at number four after splitting a pair of road games. On Thursday, the Colts were successful in Windsor, but were unable to topple the Knights in London the following night. Barrie plays just twice for the second straight week, but this week, both games are on home ice, as the Colts host Sudbury on Thursday night, and Kingston on Saturday.
5. Niagara IceDogs – (Last Week: 6) One of the few teams to see themselves moving up this week, the Niagara IceDogs climb back into the top five in the OHL Power Rankings, despite winning just one of their three games this week. The IceDogs began the week with a loss in Belleville on Wednesday, but were much better on Friday night, picking up the win in Mississauga. Saturday, Niagara lost again, this time on home ice, against Brampton. The IceDogs only play twice this week, first hosting Ottawa on Thursday, then traveling to London for a big Friday night tilt.
6. Mississauga Steelheads – (Last Week: 5) By losing both of their games over the past week, the Mississauga Steelheads drop one spot, landing at number six in the OHL Power Rankings this week. Friday night, a loss at home to their divisional rivals from Niagara hurt their cause, but the Steelheads managed to take a point away from the week, losing Sunday afternoon to London in a 19-round shootout, a new OHL record. Again, Mississauga only has two games on the schedule in the coming week, as they play in Sudbury on Friday night, then in London, a rematch on Sunday afternoon.
7. Guelph Storm – (Last Week: 7) A split in their two games this week isn’t enough to move the Guelph Storm either way in this week’s Power Rankings, as they hold firm at number seven. After defeating Brampton at home on Friday night, the Storm were stopped in London the following night. Guelph will look to climb the rankings with three games this week, beginning in Kitchener on Tuesday night. The Storm are back at home to play Owen Sound on Friday, then finish out the weekend with a game in Erie the following night.
8. Brampton Battalion – (Last Week: 8) Wins in two out of three games are not enough to see the Brampton Battalion move up the Power Rankings, but the points allow them to keep pace in the thick of the Eastern Conference. The Battalion dropped the opening game of the weekend in Guelph on Friday, but were perfect from there, picking up wins in Niagara on Saturday, and back at home to Kingston on Sunday afternoon. Brampton will play two of their three games in the coming week at home, starting with a visit from London on Thursday. Friday, the Battalion play in Kingston, but return home to wrap up the week with a Sunday afternoon contest against Erie.
9. Plymouth Whalers – (Last Week: 9) Even earning five out of six possible points this past week is not enough for the Plymouth Whalers to climb the rankings, and they hold firm at number nine. On Wednesday, the Whalers would get an overtime win in Erie, and were victorious again on Friday, back at home versus Ottawa. Saturday, Plymouth would take a point away from a shootout loss to the visitors from Kitchener. The Whalers begin the week ahead with a contest in Owen Sound on Wednesday, then return to Plymouth for a pair of weekend games, hosting Saginaw on Friday and Oshawa on Saturday.
10. Sarnia Sting – (Last Week: 12) A perfect three-game weekend sees the Sarnia Sting as one of this week’s big movers, leaping two spots to re-enter the top ten. Friday night, the Sting picked up the win over the visitors from Saginaw, before heading out on the road for the weekend, winning in Peterborough on Saturday, and again in Oshawa Sunday evening. Sarnia begins a six-game home stand this week, but not before one more road game, Thursday night in Saginaw. The Sting host Windsor on Friday night and Sault Ste. Marie on Sunday afternoon.
11. Belleville Bulls – (Last Week: 10) The Belleville Bulls fall one spot this week, landing at number eleven after earning three points in as many games this past week. The week started well for the Bulls as they won on home ice against Niagara on Wednesday, but disappointing losses, first Thursday in Peterborough, in a shootout, then again at home to Kingston Saturday would hold Belleville from claiming the East Division lead. The Bulls will try to retake the division lead this week with three games beginning Wednesday night, when they host Peterborough. Belleville heads out on the road after that, playing Friday in Kitchener, and Saturday in Owen Sound.
12. Oshawa Generals – (Last Week: 13) The Oshawa Generals won two of their three games this week, and find themselves up one spot in the OHL Power Rankings, winding up at number twelve. The East Division leaders would start the week with wins in Peterborough on Tuesday and in Kingston on Friday, but couldn’t finish up the perfect week on home ice, losing to Sarnia on Sunday evening. The Generals now head out on the road for a pair of games over the weekend, playing in Plymouth on Saturday, and in Windsor Sunday afternoon.
13. Kingston Frontenacs – (Last Week: 11) Down two spots this week, the Kingston Frontenacs continue to fight for position in the Eastern Conference despite being one of the league’s youngest teams. The Fronts were busy this past weekend, playing three times, which started with a loss at home to Oshawa on Friday night. Kingston rebounded with a win in Belleville on Saturday, but dropped a Sunday matinee in Brampton. The Frontenacs face another three-in-three ahead, which begins Thursday night in Peterborough. Friday, Kingston returns home to play Brampton again, and finishes the week in Barrie on Saturday night.
14. Saginaw Spirit – (Last Week: 14) No change for the Saginaw Spirit this week, as they remain at number fourteen in the rankings after earning three points in as many games. After losing in Sarnia on Friday, the Spirit grabbed three of four points at home, defeating Ottawa on Saturday, and losing a shootout to Owen Sound on Sunday afternoon. Looking ahead, Saginaw plays three games from Thursday to Saturday this week, beginning at home to Sarnia. The Spirit are in Plymouth on Friday night and return home to face Sault Ste. Marie to end the week.
15. Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds – (Last Week: 16) The Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds find themselves at number fifteen this week in the OHL Power Rankings, climbing one spot with wins in two out of three games on home ice. The Hounds defeated Sudbury in a shootout on Wednesday and Erie on Friday, but a loss Saturday to Owen Sound would be the last for head coach Mike Stapleton. New coach Sheldon Keefe takes over behind the bench ahead of a three-game road trip, as Sault Ste. Marie plays games in Windsor Thursday, in Saginaw on Saturday, and in Sarnia Sunday afternoon.
16. Windsor Spitfires – (Last Week: 15) Three points from three games is not enough for the Windsor Spitfires to hold position this week, as they find themselves displaced to number sixteen in the OHL Power Rankings. The Spits started the week with a loss at home to Barrie on Thursday, and followed with another loss the following night in Kitchener, losing in a shootout. The shootout would be kinder to the Spitfires on Sunday afternoon, as they defeated Ottawa back at home. Windsor remains at home for the first of three games this coming week, hosting Sault Ste. Marie on Thursday, but play in Sarnia a night later. The Spitfires wrap up the week back at home, against Oshawa on Sunday afternoon.
17. Sudbury Wolves – (Last Week: 17) For the second week in a row, the Sudbury Wolves earned three points in three games, and have remained consistently around .500 all season long. Wednesday night, the Wolves lost a shootout in Sault Ste. Marie, and returned home, only to be defeated again Friday, this time at the hands of Owen Sound. Sudbury would make amends for the loss at home, winning in front of their fans Sunday afternoon against Erie. The Wolves are in tough this week, playing three games in three days, and having to start the stand Thursday night in Barrie. Sudbury then comes home for a pair of games, hosting Mississauga on Friday, and Peterborough Saturday.
18. Erie Otters – (Last Week: 18) The Erie Otters continue to struggle in the OHL’s tough Western Conference, and three more losses this week would see their winless streak reach six games. The Otters would pick up a valuable point on Wednesday, losing in overtime at home to Plymouth, but losses in Sault Ste. Marie on Friday and Sudbury on Sunday puts Erie further behind the pack. With a three-game weekend ahead of them, the Otters have an opportunity to pick up more points, beginning when they host Ottawa on Friday. A night later, Guelph comes to town, and Erie finishes the weekend Sunday afternoon in Brampton.
19. Ottawa 67’s – (Last Week: 19) The Ottawa 67’s continue to struggle through their long road-trip, and dropped all three of their games over the weekend, as their winless streak extended to six games. The 67’s were roughed up Friday night in Plymouth, and even more so a night later in Saginaw, but earned themselves a point on Sunday afternoon, losing a shootout in Windsor.
20. Peterborough Petes – (Last Week: 20) While the Peterborough Petes remain at the bottom of both the OHL standings and Power Rankings, the team continues to fight to be competitive, and managed to pick up a win in one of their three home games over the last week. Tuesday night, the Petes were defeated by Oshawa, but would have better success Thursday night, beating Belleville in a shootout. Saturday, a loss to Sarnia would end Peterborough’s week on a sour note, but the Petes have three games ahead to try to build momentum. Wednesday, the Petes play in Belleville, and are back on home ice the following night, facing Kingston. Peterborough ends the week on Saturday night, playing in Sudbury.
The newest edition of ‘In The O... The Magazine’ will be available for download later this week, featuring an interview with Sarnia Sting forward and Montreal Canadiens prospect Alex Galchenyuk. We also have one player’s position on the much-maligned CHLPA, a recap of the recent Silver Stick Tournament in Whitby, and a retrospective look back at the 2003 NHL Draft. The December edition and all past editions are always free, and available for download here. The ITO Players of the Week and OHL Power Rankings can be found every week for the rest of the season, right here at OHLWriters.com. Until then, join me on Twitter for conversation anytime, @N24Nicholson.
Anthony Nicholson is the Sports & Entertainment Editor for Toronto News 24 and regular contributor to OHLWriters.com, and can be heard occasionally on ‘In The O... The Radio Show’. Contact Anthony anytime for a conversation by joining him on Twitter, or send mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo: Kevin Bailie backstopped the London Knights to four victories over the last seven days, earning our choice as Top Goaltender for the week. (Photo Courtesy: Terry Wilson/OHLImages)