2018/19 Minor Midget Record: 13-14-6 (7th Overall)
2018/19 Minor Midget Result: Lost in quarter-finals to Waterloo
2018/19 Major Bantam Record: 20-8-4 (3rd Overall)
2018/19 Major Bantam Result: Won Alliance Championship over London (2-3-1 at OHF Championships)
Coming off an Alliance championship and an appearance at the OHF championships, the Elgin-Middlesex Chiefs have loaded up for a run at a Minor Midget Alliance Championship and an OHL Cup appearance.
The 2003 born Chiefs had one of the best runs in the league last year. At the All-Star weekend showcase in Woodstock, the Chiefs went 0-2-1 and it seemed like they were destined to miss the playdowns. Fast forward to the end of January and the Chiefs went on a 6-2-1 run to surge their way into the 7th seed in the postseason. Led up front by sniper Ryan Burke and speedy Eric Bertelsen, the Chiefs pushed Waterloo to the brink before falling in the deciding sixth game.
The 2019 OHL Priority Selection has come and gone and although we still do have the U18 draft to look forward to tomorrow evening, it’s time to put a nice tidy little bow on the events from this past Saturday.
In total, 40 players from the Alliance were selected on Saturday morning/afternoon. That included 25 forwards, 12 defense and 3 goaltenders. The 40 player mark is right around the average of where the Alliance normally is in terms of players selected. Since the 2015 OHL Priority Selection, the average number of players is 40.4.
In terms of Alliance teams, it was the London Jr. Knights who led the way with eight players selected. The Jr. Knights continue their trend of having the most players selected from their teams of all Alliance centres.
The day has finally come that so many minor midget hockey players have been looking forwar to. OHL teams will run down their lists and select 303 players to join their clubs with a chance at realizing that OHL dream.
Below you can catch up to the minute updates on all the Alliance players selected in today’s draft. After 37 players were taken from the Alliance last season, I would expect this year to be similar to the 2001 born draft. That selection saw 46 players taken with 10 players going in the first three rounds.
While we may not hit that mark, I do expect a big contingent of Alliance players to go in the first few rounds.
Join us for all the action as we track how the Alliance fares in the 2019 OHL Priority Selection.
The 2003 born age group has definitely given the public a great opportunity to see some incredible talent in the Alliance this season. After last year saw a bit of a down year for the association, this year has some top flight talent, some of which could make the jump directly from minor hockey to the OHL.
I started off by having more than 40 names on a list of potential candidates that needed to be dwindled down to 25. Once down to the magic number, there were still some players who I felt deserved mention that for the first time in four season, I will be including a number of players who make the “honourable mention” list.
As for the top 15, players ranked from 6-15 will be released on Thursday while the top five should be out on Friday, just in time for some 2nd period flood reading at the Marlies Holiday tournament.
We have finally made it to the holiday break, which actually isn’t much of a break for many teams. 10 of the 12 Alliance squads will be participating in the Toronto Marlboros Holiday Classic, with just the Chatham-Kent Cyclones and the Lambton Jr. Sting skipping out on the tournament.
The new year will bring plenty of battles and lots of exciting play in the Alliance loop. While the eight teams that will be advancing to the playdowns seems to get clearer and clearer every day, it is the battle for positioning that should take us down to the wire. Add in the new postseasons twist of the “consolation” playoff winner having a shot at an OHL Cup Wildcard spot and there is lots of meaningful hockey ahead.
With only a month left to play, here is what I think the opening round of the playdowns will look like.
Brantford vs Huron-Perth
London vs Chatham-Kent
Windsor vs Cambridge
Kitchener vs Waterloo
Now here is the final team rankings for the year of 2018.
The Alliance All-Star Showcase in Woodstock this past weekend gave everyone a great opportunity to see all the Alliance teams in action in one spot. It also provided some fantastic games and top matchups between the best teams in the association.
The game between Chatham and Cambridge on Friday night probably stands as my favourite game of the year thus far. While it ended without a single goal being scored, the chances along with the high intensity and physical play made for a great couple hours of entertainment.
The Saturday afternoon tilt between Brantford and Windsor was a battle between the top ranked teams in my inaugural rankings. Several players shined bright in that game and it was a great showing for a Windsor team that I don’t think really gets the respect they deserve around the league.
The next couple of weeks are busy for Alliance teams. We have the Gold Puck tournament in Waterloo this weekend and teams are getting set for the holidays which means the Marlies Holiday Classic for many.
I said last week that the rankings were very close and lots could be argued. As you will see by this weeks edition, plenty can change in a couple of weeks and it shows just how tight the teams at the top of the standings are to one another. Continue reading →
Feels good to finally be back with some time to bring written content to the site. I know I’ve been absent for quite a long time but things have been a bit busy on my end. I’d like to thank everyone for their kind words and support during the last couple of months.
While I’m unable to attend the vast amount of Alliance games as I’m used to over the past couple of months, I’ve still been keeping a keen eye on things. Now that most teams have completed over half of their regular season schedule, the playdown picture is starting to take shape all the upcoming battles for positioning are sure to be incredible as well.
For the first edition of these rankings, it shouldn’t be a surprise who is occupying the top spot. It is the next five spots where there can be lots of debate as to who seeds where. It is those debates that is going to make the final two months of the regular season a real treat.
Follow along and let me know where I’ve gone wrong. Don’t worry, I’ve got thick skin. Continue reading →
Day three of the Toronto Titans tournament is when things really got kicked off. As the long distance teams begin arriving in town for the tournament, most teams will get their first game of the tournament underway, while others like the Hamilton Huskies will play their third in three nights already.
Results wise, it’s hard to say that Thursday’s play wasn’t a disappointing outcome for the Alliance squads in attendance. All nine teams had games and the overall record was just 2-7. It should be noted for some of these teams it was their first action of the year and there are still some kinks to work out. It isn’t until the entire tournament is over before we can accurately assess the results.
Chatham-Kent off to a rough start, losing 10-1 to the Toronto Marlboros
The Toronto Marlboros probably aren’t the first team you want to see when entering the first tournament of the hockey season. The Marlies, perennial OHL Cup contenders, once again showed that they are a championship caliber club, putting up 10 goals on the Cyclones. Brayden Fryfogle notched the lone goal for Chatham and top Alliance prospect Deni Goure got on the score sheet with an assist. The Cyclones will try to rebound in their second game of the tournament against Ajax-Pickering on Friday. Continue reading →
2017/18 Minor Midget Result: Lost in 1/4 finals to Sun County Panthers in 5 games
2017/18 Major Bantam Record: 9-16-7 (9th Place)
2017/18 Major Bantam Result: Lost in 1st round to Sun County Panthers in 4 games
Last season, the Minor Midget Chiefs were arguably the best team in the Alliance in the second half of the season. In this upcoming year, the chemistry of the team will be key to determine where they end up come playdown time.
The 2002 born group got off to a slower start to their season but as stated above, there wasn’t a hotter team down the stretch than Elgin. Elgin ended the year on an 8-2-3 run that catapulted them into the 6th spot, just a point out of 5th. A tough series against Sun County saw them fall in the opening round of the playdowns, but they would go on to win the consolation title over Waterloo. Rylan Bowers was the offensive leader for the Chiefs while first year player Michael McKnight shined. Mix in an underrated defense with Bryce Walcarius stealing the show in goal and the Chiefs were a team many overlooked in my opinion. Continue reading →