2019/20 London Jr. Knights Season Preview

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2018/19 Minor Midget Record: 20-8-5 (4th Overall)

2018/19 Minor Midget Result: Lost in quarter-finals to Windsor (2-4 in OHL Cup as Wildcard team)

2018/19 Major Bantam Record: 20-6-6 (1st Overall)

2018/19 Major Bantam Result: Lost in finals to Elgin-Middlesex Chiefs

A contender for as long as I can remember, the London Jr. Knights have their sights set on an Alliance championship and redemption against a local rival.

Last year was an odd year for the Minor Midget Jr. Knights. For the first time since the 1998 birth year where the Jr. Knights were not playing for the Alliance championship. The team, led by the likes of Brett Harrison, Jordan D’Intino and Riley Wood, were bounced in the opening round by a strong Windsor team. Although London ended up making the OHL Cup through the wild card process, there does seem to be a sense of unfinished business heading into this year.

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2019/20 Waterloo Wolves Season Preview

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2018/19 Minor Midget Record: 20-8-5 (2nd Overall)

2018/19 Minor Midget Result: Lost to Kitchener in semi-finals (2-5 OHL Cup record as Wild Card winner)

2018/19 Major Bantam Record: 18-11-3 (5th Overall)

2018/19 Major Bantam Result: Lost to Huron-Perth in quarter-finals

Always a threat at the top of the Alliance standings, this years Wolves team brings a physical style to the ice with speed and good play making abilities up front.

One year ago, the Wolves came into the league a very balanced squad. Led up front by the likes of Cooper Way, Owen Parsons and Kyle Maloney, the Wolves were able to go deep at forward and get contributions up and down the lineup. Although injuries hampered the team in the postseason, the Wolves were still able to secure an OHL Cup spot and took the long route to eventual get in by winning the Wild Card “tournament” as you could call it.

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All-Star Weekend Showcase Schedule Released

Just a couple days after the schedule for the September Showcase in Waterloo was released, the schedule for All-Star weekend is now available to the public.

All-Star weekend, which will take place in Woodstock for the third consecutive year, will bring another weekend where fans and observers can see all of the Alliance teams in action in one central area. In addition to the 3 game showcase weekend, Woodstock will also host the Alliance All-Star games for the Bantam, Minor Midget and Midget age groups.

It should be noted that All-Star weekend is happening earlier than it has in past seasons. Usually reserved for the first weekend in December, the event will now take place November 22nd-24th. No word as to why the change was made, but the fact that the Whitby Silver Stick tournament, one of the biggest in the age group, has been moved back a week could be one reason for the switch.

Here is the schedule as was released on the Alliance’s official site.

Friday, November 22nd

3:00pm – London Jr. Knights vs Kitchener Jr. Rangers

3:15pm – Elgin-Middlesex Chiefs vs Waterloo Wolves

5:00pm – Chatham-Kent Cyclones vs Cambridge Hawks

5:15pm – Lambton Jr. Sting vs Brantford 99ers

7:00pm – Windsor Jr. Spitfires vs Huron-Perth Lakers

7:15pm – Sun County Panthers vs Hamilton Huskies

Saturday, November 23rd

8:00am – Kitchener Jr. Rangers vs Chatham-Kent Cyclones

8:15am – Hamilton Huskies vs Elgin-Middlesex Chiefs

10:00am – Huron-Perth Lakers vs Lambton Jr. Sting

10:15am – Cambridge Hawks vs London Jr. Knights

12:00pm – Waterloo Wolves vs Sun County Panthers

12:15pm – Brantford 99ers vs Windsor Jr. Spitfires

4:00pm – London Jr. Knights vs Huron-Perth Lakers

4:15pm – Elgin-Middlesex Chiefs vs Cambridge Hawks

6:00pm – Chatham-Kent Cyclones vs Brantford 99ers

6:15pm – Lambton Jr. Sting vs Hamilton Huskies

8:00pm – Sun County Panthers vs Kitchener Jr. Rangers

8:15pm – Windsor Jr. Spitfires vs Waterloo Wolves

September Alliance Showcase Schedule Released

Although it is the middle of the summer, that doesn’t mean that plans aren’t already in the works for the upcoming hockey season.

The first plans that are starting to come to fruition are in regards to the September Alliance Showcase, which is being hosted by the Waterloo Wolves at RIM Park this season. The Showcase is the first good look at all the Alliance teams in action and lays the groundwork for some players to make a mark. One example is from the 2002 group when Ryan Gagnier tore up the Showcase in Windsor, putting his name into the conversation with teammate Matt Maggio as one of the top skaters in the loop.

While we are still three months away from its beginnings, the Showcase schedule has been put out there and we have it here in its entirety. It should be noted that the Showcase at RIM Park will be split between two rinks. The Pillers rink, which is the home ice for the Minor Midget Wolves, and the Optimists rink will be where the entire event takes place.

Friday, September 20th:

4:00pm – Chatham-Kent Cyclones vs Waterloo Wolves

4:30pm – Brantford 99ers vs Elgin-Middlesex Chiefs

6:00pm – Cambridge Hawks vs Lambton Jr. Sting

6:30pm – Kitchener Jr. Rangers vs Windsor Jr. Spitfires

8:00pm – Huron-Perth Lakers vs Sun County Panthers

8:30pm – Hamilton Huskies vs London Jr. Knights

Saturday, September 21st:

8:00am – Brantford 99ers vs Chatham-Kent Cyclones

8:30am – Cambridge Hawks vs Elgin-Middlesex Chiefs

10:00am – Huron-Perth Lakers vs London Jr. Knights

10:30am – Hamilton Huskies vs Lambton Jr. Sting

12:00pm – Waterloo Wolves vs Windsor Jr. Spitfires

12:30pm – Kitchener Jr. Rangers vs Sun County Panthers

4:00pm – Chatham-Kent Cyclones vs Huron-Perth Lakers

4:30pm – Brantford 99ers vs London Jr. Knights

6:00pm – Lambton Jr. Sting vs Waterloo Wolves

6:30pm – Elgin-Middlesex Chiefs vs Kitchener Jr. Rangers

8:00pm – Cambridge Hawks vs Sun County Panthers

8:30pm – Hamilton Huskies vs Windsor Jr. Spitfires

Sunday, September 22nd:

8:00am – Kitchener Jr. Rangers vs Lambton Jr. Sting

8:30am – Elgin-Middlesex Chiefs vs Huron-Perth Lakers

10:00am – Chatham-Kent Cyclones vs Hamilton Huskies

10:30am – Cambridge Hawks vs Windsor Jr. Spitfires

12:00pm – London Jr. Knights vs Waterloo Wolves

12:30pm – Brantford 99ers vs Sun County Panthers

Team Alliance for 2019 OHL Gold Cup Announced

With the OHL Gold Cup set to go from Kitchener in just a couple of weeks, the rosters for the teams was announced today. Below is the full Team Alliance roster, which will be coached by Jr. Rangers bench boss Dean DeSilva this season.

G – Max Donoso (Windsor)

G – Michael Simpson (London)

D – Luc Brzustowski (Kitchener)

D – Kai Greaves (Cambridge)

D – Cole Hipkin (Brantford)

D – Brayden Hislop (Waterloo)

D – Christian Kyrou (Elgin)

D – Sam Sedley (Huron)

F – Nicholas Beneteau (Windsor)

F – Braeden Bowman (Kitchener)

F – Ryan Burke (Elgin)

F – Maddox Callens (Brantford)

F – Cayden Faust (Windsor)

F – Deni Goure (Chatham)

F – Ray Hamlin (Windsor)

F – Brett Harrison (London)

F – Steven Laforme (Brantford)

F – Landon McCallum (Brantford)

F – Marko Sikic (Kitchener)

F – Cooper Way (Waterloo)

 

2019 OHL Priority Selection Wrap-Up

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.

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2019 OHL Priority Selection Results

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.

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Final Top 25 Alliance Player Rankings

After a long and very competitive season in the Alliance, we have finally reached the week that so many of these players have been waiting for. This Saturday will be the OHL Priority Selection, where many of these players will have their names called and for some, find a new home for themselves as early as this fall.

For the 2003 born age group, it was a solid bounce back for the Alliance after a bit of a dip last season. While last seasons selection saw 37 players selected, it was the absence of some top talent in those early rounds that was quite noticeable.

This season, the Alliance should see at least one player selected in the opening round while some people have speculated that as many as four skaters from the Alliance loop could be called in the first 21 picks.

When it comes to my personal rankings, this was a hard one without a doubt. Any player from 4-10 could easily have been flipped with legitimate reasoning. Saturday will be a busy time for the Alliance players.

No more delay, here is the final Top 25 Alliance Player Rankings.

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Series Preview: (4) London Jr. Knights vs. (5) Windsor Jr. Spitfires

Season Series:

December 7 – 5-4 Windsor

December 9 – 5-4 London

January 5 – 4-2 London

Playdown Schedule:

January 31 – 8:15pm – Western Fair

February 2 – 4:00pm – Central Park

February 3 – 5:00pm – Nichols

February 8 – 8:30pm – Central Park*

February 10 – 5:00pm – Western Fair*

February 11 – 7:00pm – Central Park*

(* if necessary)

Leading Scorers:

London

Brett Harrison 42-21-63

Riley Wood 21-28-49

Tyler Hotson 12-36-48

Windsor

Ray Hamlin 15-22-37

Cayden Faust 17-18-35

Nicholas Beneteau 18-14-32

In what is probably my favourite series of the opening round, London and Windsor will battle it out and one of the stronger teams in the Alliance will be knocked out in the first round and have a long road ahead of them should they wish to compete in the OHL Cup this season.

London powered through the regular season thanks to an offense that was hard to contain. While at times they seemed to be following an inconsistent path, the Jr. Knights never saw a league losing streak last longer than two games.

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2018/19 Alliance Player Rankings 1-5

We’ve finally reached the end of our list. Following four months of jam-packed action, I’ve finally been able to adjust the top five players into one rankings.

Brantford leads the way with three players in the top five, which shouldn’t be much of a shock. There is definitely a tiered prospect level in the Alliance this year and I think the argument can be made that these five skaters are in a tier of their own.

Enough chatter, here is the midseason top five. Continue reading