2018/19 Windsor Jr. Spitfires Season Preview

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2017/18 Minor Midget Record: 9-20-4 (11th Place)

2017/18 Minor Midget Result: Did not qualify for playdowns

2017/18 Major Bantam Record: 19-11-2 (4th Place)

2017/18 Major Bantam Result: Lost in Alliance Championship to Waterloo Wolves in 5 games.

Following a season that was tough in many different ways, the Jr. Spitfires are back in full force with a team that will be a threat to many.

The minor midget team got off to a slow start last year and it was hard to recover from. For a portion of the season, Windsor was battling with Hamilton to stay out of the Alliance cellar. Led by big forward Bryce Ryan and arguably the best goaltender in the Alliance Matt Sbrocca, Windsor quietly played better hockey down the stretch and ended up just a single point behind the 9th place Lambton.
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2018/19 Waterloo Wolves Season Preview

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2017/18 Minor Midget Record: 16-14-3 (5th Place)

2017/18 Minor Midget Result: Lost in 1/4 finals to Brantford 99ers in 6 games.

2017/18 Major Bantam Record: 14-14-4 (7th Place)

2017/18 Major Bantam Result: Won the Alliance Championship over the Windsor Jr. Spitfires in 5 games. (1-4-1 at OHF Championships)

After failing to reach the Alliance championship and OHL Cup for the first time since 2012, the Waterloo Wolves look to regain their spot as one of the top dogs in the association.

The season didn’t start out strong for the Wolves last season at minor midget. After winning in their season opener, the Wolves would go on to lose their next six games to fall to 1-6 out of the gate. It was after the Wendy Dufton tournament when they really took off, led in goal by Matt Onuska. Goal scoring was always the weakness for the team, but they were able to come up with timely goals to bring them an overtime goal away from knocking out eventual champions Brantford in the quarter-finals.
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2018/19 Sun County Panthers Season Preview

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2017/18 Minor Midget Record: 18-8-7 (3rd Place)

2017/18 Minor Midget Result: Lost in semi-finals to London Jr. Knights in 3 games (Lost in OHL Cup Quarter-Finals to Toronto Jr. Canadiens)

2017/18 Major Bantam Record: 11-18-3 (8th Place)

2017/18 Major Bantam Result: Lost in 1/4 finals to London Jr. Knights in 3 games

Following an appearance in the OHL Cup quarter-finals last season, the Sun County Panthers have some big shoes to fill in order to replicate that success.

When the 2002 born Sun County Panthers were on, there wasn’t a more entertaining team. Chalked full of speed, the Panthers had a deadly first line that included Matt Maggio, Ryan Gagnier and Zane Dalpe that took the league by storm to begin the year. While the offense was always there, the defense left the team wanting more and it was the defense that ultimately saw their demise in the semi-finals against London. A wild card win over the Toronto Titans was the beginning of an OHL Cup run that got the team to the final 8.
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2018/19 London Jr. Knights Season Preview

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2017/18 Minor Midget Record: 20-9-4 (2nd Place)

2017/18 Minor Midget Result: Lost in Alliance Championship to Brantford 99ers in 5 games (0-4 at OHL Cup)

2017/18 Major Bantam Record: 19-10-3 (3rd Place)

2017/18 Major Bantam Result: Lost in semi-finals to Waterloo Wolves in 5 games

Year after year the London Jr. Knights find themselves near the top of the Alliance and en route to the OHL Cup. With the 2003 group set to get their season underway, I don’t see any reason why this team would be any different.

The minor midget team last season was fairly under rated in my mind. Those Jr. Knights had depth at forward and ran three lines that could put the puck in the net. Defensively they weren’t flashy but they were effective. Led by the likes of George Diaco, Sheldon Serraglio, Brendan Mairs¬†and Quinton Pepper, the Jr. Knights were an overtime goal away from their second straight Alliance title. Although the OHL Cup didn’t go as planned, the season did showcase plenty of player talent.
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2018/19 Lambton Jr. Sting Season Preview

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2017/18 Minor Midget Record: 8-18-7 (9th Place)

2017/18 Minor Midget Result: Did not qualify for playdowns

2017/18 Major Bantam Record: 7-20-5 (10th Place)

2017/18 Major Bantam Result: Lost in 1st round to Chatham-Kent Cyclones in 3 games

Currently riding the longest postseason drought in the Alliance, the Lambton Jr. Sting of this season will rely on plenty of new faces to try and secure their first playdown appearance since the 2014/15 season.

The 02 born team had a chance to break that streak. Led by top Alliance skater Blake Butler, the Jr. Sting were right there alongside Chatham and Kitchener battling for the final playdown spot. Unfortunately for the Jr. Sting, they hit a rough patch to end the year, winning only one of their final nine games to end up on the outside looking in.
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2018/19 Kitchener Jr. Rangers Season Preview

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2017/18 Minor Midget Record: 9-19-5 (10th Place)

2017/18 Minor Midget Result: Did not qualify for playdowns

2017/18 Major Bantam Record: 23-7-2 (2nd Place)

2017/18 Major Bantam Result: Lost in semi-finals to Windsor Jr. Spitfires in 5 games

After a rare down year for the Jr. Rangers last season, the 03 group looks like a team that could inflict some serious damage on the Alliance this year.

It was a tough season for Dean DeSilva and the 2002 born players last season. While nobody was projecting them to be a top-tier team, I personally thought they would easily slide into the 6-8 range of the Alliance. That wasn’t the case as injuries to key guys along with a lack of scoring hurt the team down the stretch as they fell down to 10th place once the season was complete.
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2018/19 Huron-Perth Lakers Season Preview

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2017/18 Minor Midget Record: 12-14-7 (7th Place)

2017/18 Minor Midget Result: Lost in 1/4 finals to London Jr. Knights in 4 games

2017/18 Major Bantam Record: 16-12-4 (6th Place)

2017/18 Major Bantam Result: Lost in 1/4 finals to Kitchener Jr. Rangers in 3 games

Following year that saw the Lakers franchise surprise many with their play, a similar fate could be in store for the 2003 born group.

At minor midget last season, Huron-Perth was one of the biggest surprises on the loop. The Lakers had a mix of size and speed but wasn’t chalked full of high-end talent. Their work ethic though was second to none and under the tutelage of Mike Carter, the Lakers were one of the top teams in the Alliance in the first half. A slow second half and postseason hurt the Lakers, but it was a good showing otherwise.
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2018/19 Hamilton Huskies Season Preview

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2017/18 Minor Midget Record: 5-23-5 (12th Place)

2017/18 Minor Midget Result: Did not qualify for playdowns

2017/18 Major Bantam Record: 4-26-2 (12th Place)

2017/18 Major Bantam Result: Lost in 1st round to Huron-Perth Lakers in 3 games

A last place finish in 2017/18, the Hamilton Huskies will try to secure yet another year over year improvement to stay out of the basement of the league once again.

Nobody can deny it was a tough year for the 2002 born Hamilton Huskies last season. A team that saw plenty of change from the year before, the Huskies were shocking lots of people at the September Showcase as they undefeated over the weekend including a win over the London Jr. Knights. That success was short lived and the team finished in last place with 15 points.
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2018/19 Elgin-Middlesex Chiefs Season Preview

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2017/18 Minor Midget Record: 15-13-5 (6th Place)

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.
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2018/19 Chatham-Kent Cyclones Season Preview

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2017/18 Minor Midget Record: 12-16-5 (8th Place)

2017/18 Minor Midget Result: Lost in 1/4 finals to Cambridge Hawks in 5 games

2017/18 Major Bantam Record: 15-10-7 (5th Place)

2017/18 Major Bantam Result: Lost in 1/4 finals to Windsor Jr. Spitfires in 5 games

This past season, the 2002 born Cyclones proved themselves to be a tough opponent for any team in the Alliance. This year, the team looks to be on the same projectile.

Last season, Chatham-Kent came in as an underdog to many of the other teams in the Alliance. While they struggled to consistently put up offensive numbers, it was on the back end that the Cyclones shined. It all started in goal as Brett Brochu played his way into the conversation of the best goaltenders in the Alliance. In addition, both Craig Spence and Spencer Lecot played shutdown defense while also chipping in offensively from time to time.

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