2016/17 Alliance Scout Player Rankings 6-15

Just one day after releasing our first round of Alliance Scout player rankings, we are back at it again as we get closer and closer to the top of the list. This group of players, which counts down to the top five, features some skaters who I probably would have had in the top five had I done a preseason rankings.

That isn’t to say that their game has regressed by any means, but that some others players have seen immense improvements in their game. To repeat something that I talked about yesterday, the difference between some of these players is incredibly miniscule. After making the tough decision of getting down to 25 players, placing them in a specific order was even more of a challenge.

With the players from 6-15 now released, look for the top five Alliance Scout rankings to come out very soon. Click here for full article

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Jake Murray, Mitch Hoelscher among 15 Alliance Alumni named to GOJHL Top Prospect Game

The Alliance crop of players from the 2000 age group is really making its mark on the Junior B circuit.

On Wednesday, the rosters for the 2016/17 GOJHL Top Prospects game were released and the Alliance association was well represented. 15 players with Alliance roots were selected to represent their Junior B clubs with another four former Alliance members being named as alternates.

While some names were probably expected, it is also great to see five undrafted players from last season named to the squad.

Here is the full list of former Alliance players selected to the squad.

Mason Hardy – Stratford Warriors (Waterloo Wolves)

Spencer Lapointe – St. Thomas Stars (Elgin-Middlesex Chiefs)

Luke Bignell – Kitchener Dutchmen (Kitchener Jr. Rangers)

Jake Murray – St. Thomas Stars (Elgin-MIddlesex Chiefs)

Richard Little – Brantford 99ers (Brantford 99ers)

Holden Wale – Cambridge Winterhawks (Brantford 99ers)

Tyler McBay – Elmira Sugar Kings (Waterloo Wolves)

Parker Jacques – Leamington Flyers (Sun County Panthers)

Brady MacDonald – Strathroy Rockets (Elgin-Middlesex Chiefs)

Brett Fisher – Lambton Shores Predators (London Jr. Knights)

Mitch Hoelscher – Elmira Sugar Kings (Waterloo Wolves)

Spencer Kersten – Waterloo Siskins (Waterloo Wolves)

Jack Bowler – LaSalle Vipers (Sun County Panthers)

Kyle Fisher – Lambton Shores Predators (London Jr. Knights)

Wes Dobbin – Lambton Shores Predators (Elgin-Middlesex Chiefs)

*Tristan DeJong – Cambridge Winterhawks (Waterloo Wolves)

*Issac Walker – London Nationals (London Jr. Knights)

*John Parker-Jones – Brampton Bombers (Brantford 99ers)

*Ty Glover – Strathroy Rockets (Elgin-Middlesex Chiefs)

*Indicates alternate selection

A big congratulations goes out to all the players who were selected to appear in the event.

2016/17 Minor Midget Rankings (Week Two)

We are only two weeks into the weekly team rankings and the shakeups have already begun.

Last week’s #1 Kitchener had a rough start to begin the week while London and Waterloo both had some quality games. Other teams such as Windsor and Huron-Perth had successful weekends while other squads had some games they wish to remove from their memory.

Week two of the rankings has been a crazy one. I can only imagine what week three will bring us.

Click here for full article

2016/17 Minor Midget Rankings (Week One)

2016 OHL Priority Selection Draft Results

The day that so many players and families have been waiting for has finally arrived. The OHL Draft has arrived and with plenty of anticipation.

For the live blog today, we will go through with you every single round and discuss every Alliance player selected in the draft. Historically, the Alliance has produced approximately 42 players into the OHL Draft on a yearly basis. Not a lot considering that there are over 200 players combined in the league.

Just remember, if your name gets called to savour the moment. Do not dwell if it is lower than you were expecting as your draft position is just a number and your future play will determine everything. Those players who will not be as fortunate to hear their name, hard work can still present that opportunity to you. Mike Hoffman of the Ottawa Senators knows that first hand and he is a story that should give motivation for any undrafted players still looking to make that jump to major junior hockey.

With everything said, sit back and relax if that’s possible. The draft begins at 9am and we will be here with you for its entirety.

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Alliance Scout Player Rankings 16-25

Well, it’s finally here. After weeks of watching and observing Alliance games left, right and centre, I’ve finally compiled the top 25 players in the Alliance.

Needless to say, this was not the easiest task in the least. Even after sorting through all 12 rosters and doing my initial lists, I was still sitting at about 45-50 players that I then needed to cut in half to make up the inaugural Alliance Scout rankings.

It must be stated that this is the initial rankings based on play from the first few months of the season. This includes all regular season games, the Alliance Showcase and All Star Weekend as well as other tournaments such as the Whitby Silver Stick and Toronto Titans Early Bird Tournament.

For those players that did not make the initial 25, that does not mean they will not make the list in the future. There are still plenty of tournaments and the playdowns for players to make an impact and make that leap into the top 25.

For today, we will release the players ranked from 16 to 25. The following list will hold players six through 15 while the final list will be a look at the top five players in the Alliance in my opinion.

Here it goes:

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3 Thoughts From Sun County at Cambridge (Sept. 20, 2015)

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This game had a lot of intensity for the first whistle all the way to the final buzzer. Both Sun County and Cambridge were coming off lopsided loses the previous day with each team allowing six goals. The pace of play only intensified after Steven MacDonald gave the Panthers a 1-0 just 14 seconds into the game.

While close for the first two periods, both teams exploded for a combined eight goals in the third, six of which came from Sun County. 8-2 Panthers would be the final with Sun County being led by Justin Bondy and MacDonald who each tallied four points.

It was the final game for each team before heading to St. Mary’s for the Alliance Faceoff this weekend. Both will be looking for some momentum as the Alliance season continues on.

Thought 1:

Successful Positioning by the Panthers

One thing most people would agree about the Sun County Panthers is that they are not a large team. So much so that even a small team like Cambridge looked physically larger than them. So you have to give credit to the Panthers coaching staff for realizing this and using more positioning rather than physical play to create scoring chances.

In the offensive zone, the Panthers used the point very effectively to either get shots on net or to draw a defender up so one of their skilled forwards could cheat towards the circle. On the rush, crisp passes and simple hockey allowed them to enter and maintain control in the offensive zone, a big improvement over their game in Kitchener Saturday.

Sun County even had a handful of chances from just catching the Hawks defenders sleeping. There were three or four times that a Panther forward, more times than not Jake Nimmo, was able to sneak behind the defense and an outlet pass later had a clear breakaway on net.

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3 Thoughts From Sun County at Kitchener (Sept. 19, 2015)

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The site of this one was the Activa Sportsplex and those in attendance saw the first regular season action for the Sun County Panthers as they took on a Kitchener team still searching for their first win of the season. It was a game that shifted period to period as the Panthers came out strong with lots of pressure in the first period. The second period saw the Rangers battle back and shore up some of their weaknesses on defense while the third period was complete domination for Kitchener en route to a 6-1 victory.

For Kitchener, it was a much needed win while for Sun County it was a learning experience early in the season.

Thought 1:

Giveaways, Giveaways, Giveaways

The story of the first period for both teams, and the entire game for Sun County was the excessive amount of turnovers in the defensive zone. The first period saw Kitchener with an abnormal amount. Outlet passes that were picked off or attempts to clear that didn’t have enough steam on them led to a few chances and the Jake Nimmo goal for Sun County.

While Kitchener improved on their lapses in defense, Sun County’s continued throughout the game. Catalin Morin, who was the only goalie dressed for the Panthers with Kody Williams out, was hung out to dry on several occasions and a few big saves made this score closer than it could have been.

The Panthers defense really struggled with the forechecking of the Jr. Rangers and saw many of their passes intercepted or just completely fanned on. Puck control in their own zone definitely one of the more important things the Panthers will be working on in upcoming practices.

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3 Thoughts From Kitchener at Cambridge (Sept. 13, 2015)

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It was the first game that I took in this season at Galt Arena on Sunday when the Cambridge Hawks hosted the Kitchener Jr. Rangers. Both teams were coming off of losses the previous evening. Cambridge was downed by Huron-Perth while Kitchener was defeated by Chatham-Kent in what can only be described as an upset.

In a game that was thoroughly dominated by Kitchener, it was the Jr. Rangers who needed a third period goal in order to secure the tie and a 2-2 tie would be the final in this one, giving both teams their first points on the young campaign.

As with most games that I attend this season (including the Alliance Faceoffs next weekend), I will try and give a few thoughts from each to enlighten those who were unable to attend.

Thought 1:

Goaltending Played a Big Factor in the Tie

It was an interested matchup in net between these two teams. The Hawks had former Jr. Ranger Ben Coveny between the pipes while Kitchener countered with newcomer Jackson Dewar. It should be noted that Rhetton Kimmel was at Galt Arena, but was not in uniform. If Coveny was not in net for the Hawks, I think they would still be searching for their first point of the year.

There were a handful of scoring chances that Kitchener had that should have been capitalized on if not for the incredible reflexes and positioning of Coveny.

On the Kitchener side, it was evident that Jackson Dewar is still getting accustomed to playing with his new teammates. Dewar, who played AA in Kitchener last season, faced few shots but a vast majority of them were with the Hawks driving down the wing.

No doubt that Dewar will improve as the season progresses, but however long Rhetton Kimmel is out with determine what kind of start Kitchener will have this season.

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2015/16 Sun County Panthers Preview

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2014/15 Minor Midget Record – 16-14-3 (7th overall)

Final Result – Lost in 4 to Waterloo in Quarter-Finals

2014/15 Major Bantam Record – 10-18-4 (9th overall)

Final Result – Lost in 5 to Elgin-Middlesex Chiefs in Quarter-Finals

Defence was the name of the game last season in Sun County. The Panthers were rock solid between the pipes with the highly touted Michael Dipietro and Patrick Timpany combined for a GAA of under 2. The problems that last seasons team ran into was on offense. Heading into this new season, Sun County the offense can match the defense to provide a few extra wins on the season.

On last seasons bantam team, the offense was very reflective of its minor midget counterpart. The big difference between the bantams and the midgets was that there was no Dipietro in net. I don’t mean that as a slight, but Dipietro is a once every five or ten years type talent.

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