2017/18 Alliance Regular Season Award Nominations

For the first time ever, we are going to reward some players who have had some exceptional years. Much like every league does once a season is completed, we are going to put out some awards and look to acknowledge some players in the league.

Firstly, we will release the nominations fo each award along with a poll so the readers can chime in with who they believe should be victorious.

To begin, we have a couple of awards that have already been won on the boxscore.

Spencer Watson Award (Highest Goal Scorer)

Congratulations to London forward George Diaco, who with 23 goals, led the Alliance this season.

Travis Konecny Award (Highest Point Total)

Congratulations to London forward George Diaco, who with 52 points, led the Alliance this season.

Suzuki Award (Alliance Season MVP)

And the nominees are…

DiPietro Award (Alliance Best Goaltender)

And the nominees are…

Ekblad Award (Alliance Best Defenseman)

And the nominees are…

Jack Adams Award (Alliance Best Coach)

And the nominees are…(sorry, no clever name for this one yet)


Series Preview: (1) Cambridge Hawks vs. (8) Chatham-Kent Cyclones

The final series to get underway this season is the top ranked Cambridge Hawks taking on a Chatham-Kent team that battled hard at the end of the season to secure the eighth seed. The Hawks rolled through the Alliance regular season, falling just twice through 33 games Cambridge had a roster full of talent from offense to goaltending. Chatham got points in six of their final eight games to propel them into the postseason after a tough battle with Kitchener and Lambton.

Season Series:

Cambridge defeated Chatham-Kent 6-3 on September 30th

Cambridge defeated Chatham-Kent 4-0 on November 5th

Cambridge defeated Chatham-Kent 6-3 on December 1st (All-Star Showcase)

Leading Scorers:

Cambridge                                                 Chatham-Kent

Joseph Serpa 14-26-40                              Craig Spence 7-20-27

Ben McFarlane 21-16-37                            Darby Lemieux 15-10-25

Tyler Healey 14-13-27                                 Adrian Stubberfield 13-12-25

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Alliance Series Preview: (4) Brantford 99ers vs. (5) Waterloo Wolves

Our next series looks at probably the closest one in the opening round. The Waterloo Wolves will look to reach their sixth consecutive Alliance championship, but their road will be much tougher than previous years. Brantford returns to the playdowns for the first time since their semi-final run with the 1998 born players. This years team has showcased speed and skill along with showcasing some players for the future.

Season Series:

Brantford defeated Waterloo 1-0 on October 2nd

Waterloo defeated Brantford 3-1 on January 9th

Waterloo defeated Brantford 4-0 on January 27th

Leading Scorers:

Brantford                                                                 Waterloo

Andrew Casasanta 13-25-38                                  Chase Broda 16-19-35

Maddox Callens 15-18-33                                       Nathan Dewar 15-18-33

Theo Hill 13-19-32                                                   Zac McCann 14-14-28
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Alliance Series Preview: (2) London Jr. Knights vs. (7) Huron-Perth Lakers

The first series preview comes to us with perennial contenders London taking on a Huron-Perth team that began the year as a top team but found themselves struggling near the end of the season. We will look at a few aspects of the teams and see where how they match up before they get their series underway on Wednesday evening at Western Fair.

Season Series:

London defeated Huron-Perth 10-2 on October 2nd

London defeated Huron-Perth 3-1 on December 2nd (All-Star Showcase Weekend)

London defeated Huron-Perth 5-0 on January 20th

Leading Scorers:

London                                                         Huron-Perth Lakers

George Diaco 23-29-52                                 Carter Schoonderwoerd 18-12-30

Brendan Mairs 20-24-44                              Sheldon Pryce 14-11-25

Quinton Pepper 14-21-35                             Blake Wideman 12-5-17

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2017/18 Alliance Player Rankings Top 5

Apologies for the long and lengthy delay, but the Alliance Scout Top 5 rankings are finally here. Unlike previous years, there is some competition for the top spot in the association. The gap between spots three and five is incredibly thin while the top two spots are a toss-up on a daily basis. The tight nature of these rankings makes the final month of the regular season and the playdowns all the more exciting for all these players.

5. George Diaco (London Jr. Knights)

Diaco is the engine that keeps the Jr. Knights offense rolling. Not only does he take charge of the forwards, but Diaco is the quarterback for their powerplay. An undersized forward, Diaco uses his speed to create space and blow past defenders. Many will compare Diaco to Hawks forward Joseph Serpa. The difference I see is that Diaco is a finisher. A fantastic shot and quick dekes is one reason Diaco is a top scorer in the league. Diaco could up his stock with an extended run by London in the post season.

4. Matt Maggio (Sun County Panthers)

The best pure goal scorer in the league this season, Maggio began this year like a bat out of hell. The first showcase of the year in Windsor hadn’t even started and we knew that Maggio was going to wreck havoc this season. Armed with a tendency to shoot for any angle possible, Maggio has shown repeatedly that he can score from these odd angles as well. Maggio has quick acceleration which allows him to deceptively get past defenders. Like Diaco, Maggio could vault himself higher with a strong run deep this season with Sun County.

3. Sheldon Serraglio (London Jr. Knights)

A calm defender at all times, Serraglio is criminally underrated in what he can create on the ice. Serraglio isn’t flashy nor does he have the size one would expect from a top defender, Serraglio is as effective as anyone along the boards. On the offensive size of things, Serraglio has the perfect low point shot you want on a powerplay and has the vision and ability to thread the needle for scoring chances. The more I see Serraglio, I see him as being similar to Owen Lalonde when he was with Windsor. As long as he stays healthy, Serraglio should see his name mentioned more often with the other top players in the Alliance.

2. Blake Butler (Lambton Jr. Sting)

An argument could be made for Butler to be number one on this list and that debate happened in my mind over and over again. Butler was the preseason top choice in the Alliance for his combination of size, speed and skill. There is no doub that Butler has an OHL calibre shot. He has scored some OHL level goals with one that sticks in my mind is his game winner against Hamilton at the Showcase in Woodstock in early December. Butler has taken Lambton on his back this year and has brought them into contention of a playdown spot. Don’t be surprised to hear Butler’s name called in the first couple of rounds come April’s OHL Draft.

1  Ben McFarlane (Cambridge Hawks)

McFarlane nabs the top spot in my initial rankings and as mentioned above, it wasn’t an easy decision by any means. McFarlane brings a big game in a small frame. A small player at the minor midget level, McFarlane has a lightning quick shot to go along with very good speed. Despite his small size, McFarlane plays a highly physical game and throws hits like he’s been shot out of a rocket launcher. Although on a team with loads of talent, McFarlane has been the one to take games over when the Hawks are in need of a boost. McFarlane has all the tools to be a great player at the next level, especially in this new age of hockey where size isn’t the be all end all.

2017/18 Alliance Player Rankings 6-15

Here we are, back at it with the second section of the inaugural Alliance Scout Player Rankings for the 2017/18 season. This list will bring us all the way to the top five and has some players who will be able to make a run at a top five position based on their play in the last few months of the season heading into the OHL Draft in April.

15. Matt Onuska (Waterloo Wolves)

Onuska is the lone goaltender to make the rankings in its first format. While there were a few goaltenders in the discussion for top netminder in the assocation, Onuska has done plenty to distance himself for the pack. Onuska has size on his side, already standing over six feet tall. He’s also incredibly agile for a bigger goaltender and rarely gives up bad rebounds. Onuska has been a key in the Wolves recent march up the Alliance standings.
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2017/18 Windsor Jr. Spitfires Season Preview

Minor Midget Record: 15-14-4 (6th Place)

Minor Midget Result: Lost in quarter-finals to Kitchener in 3 games

Major Bantam Record: 8-16-8 (10th Place)

Major Bantam Result: Lost in 1st round to Chatham-Kent in 4 games

Following a disappointing and inconsistent season for the minor midget team last season, the challenge is there once again for the Windsor organization.

There was plenty of talent on the 2001 born Windsor squad. Led by 2002 born Tyler Tullio and the likes of Aaron Shaw and Adam Jeffery up front, the Jr. Spitfires should have had a dynamic offense that should have been able to compete with the better teams in the Alliance. Windsor never got consistent play and was bounced quickly in the postseason by Kitchener.
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2017/18 Waterloo Wolves Season Preview


Minor Midget Record: 26-5-2 (2nd Place)

Minor Midget Result: Lost in Alliance Championship to London in 4 games (Advanced to OHL Cup)

Major Bantam Record: 13-10-9 (5th Place)

Major Bantam Result: Lost in semi-finals to London in 5 games

A year after seeing their streak of three consecutive Alliance championships come to an end, the Waterloo Wolves are once again positioned to possibly start a new streak this season.

It was going to be hard pressed for the Wolves organization to top the talent level that the 2000 born team had. When the days of the 2016/17 began to end, many thought that the 2001 team was more talent laden than their predecessor. Led up front by Keean Washkurak and on the back end by workhorse Nathan Allensen, the Wolves ended their regular season winning 16 consecutive league games and continued that with a sweep in the opening round. A phenomenal series against Kitchener followed and after a grueling eight game series win, the Wolves fell short against a dominant London squad.
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2017/18 Sun County Panthers Season Preview

Minor Midget Record: 11-15-7 (8th Place)

Minor Midget Result: Lost in quarter-finals to London in 3 games

Major Bantam Record: 13-14-5 (7th Place)

Major Bantam Result: Lost in semi-finals to Cambridge in 3 games

The Minor Midgets last season were a disappointment for the Sun County Panthers as they ran into the London Jr. Knights in round one. With the 2002 crop of Panthers, there is a legitimate shot at an OHL Cup appearance.

There were high hopes for the 2001 born Sun County team. Led in goal by arguably the top goaltender in the league Aidan Pitre, it was believed he would be able to lead the team to a strong season. In addition to Pitre, the Panthers were led up front by the criminally under rated Stephane Crevier, who was one of the best goal scorers in the Alliance last year. An inconsistent season led Sun County to an eighth place finish and a date with London in the first round and a quick postseason exit.
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2017/18 London Jr. Knights Season Preview

Minor Midget Record: 27-2-4 (1st Place)

Minor Midget Result: Won Alliance Championship over Waterloo in 4 games (OHL Cup Semi-Finalist)

Major Bantam Record: 19-7-6 (2nd Place)

Major Bantam Result: Lost in Alliance Championship to Cambridge in 4 games

After a stellar season that saw the London Jr. Knights reign as the top Ontario team for the majority of the season, the 2002 crop comes up with loads of talent and a shot at another Alliance championship.

The Minor Midget Jr. Knights were probably the best team in minor hockey last season. Even though they didn’t win the OHL Cup, the amount of talent that was on that team to go along with how well they played together made it a treat to watch them every single game. Led by Ryan Suzuki, the first overall pick in the OHL Draft, the Jr. Knights had a laundry list of guys who you will probably see playing in the OHL either this year or next. Names like Prueter, Burridge, Van Loon, Drewitt and Say are just some of the guys you could see in the OHL shortly.
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