2019/20 Brantford 99ers Season Preview

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2018/19 Minor Midget Record: 21-8-4 (1st Overall)

2018/19 Minor Midget Result: Won Alliance Championship over Kitchener (1-3 OHL Cup Record)

2018/19 Major Bantam Record: 6-20-6 (11th Overall)

2018/19 Major Bantam Result: Lost to Cambridge in preliminary round

The winner of back to back Alliance championships, the Brantford 99ers will be in a tougher spot this season as they look to improve and snag a playdown position.

Following an unlikely Alliance championship in with the 2002 born group, the 99ers were favourites to repeat last season as the team was chalked full of talent. When you can puts the likes of Maddox Callens, Landon McCallum, Steven Laforme and Cole Hipkin in your lineup on a nightly basis, you’re in a good spot. Although injuries hampered their OHL Cup chances, it was the core group along with a stellar postseason from goalie Ben DiGiallonardo to secure the series win over Kitchener.

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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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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

2018/19 Alliance Player Rankings 6-15

We carry on with the Alliance player rankings today with the players who secured spots 6 through 15.

Look for the top five Alliance skaters as per our rankings to be released tomorrow.

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Alliance Team Rankings – 3rd Edition

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.

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Alliance Team Rankings – 2nd Edition

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.
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Alliance Team Rankings – 1st Edition

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.
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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 Brantford 99ers Season Preview

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2017/18 Minor Midget Record: 19-13-1 (4th Place)

2017/18 Minor Midget Result: Won Alliance Championship over London Jr. Knights in 5 games (1-3 at OHL Cup)

2017/18 Major Bantam Record: 25-2-5 (1st Place)

2017/18 Major Bantam Result: Lost in 1/4 finals to Waterloo Wolves in 4 games

Following a great postseason run that was capped off by an Alliance championship, the Brantford 99ers are poised for a possible repeat this year.

The 99ers went into the playdown season last year not playing their most consistent hockey. At no point after the Woodstock showcase did the 99ers reel off consecutive wins and they went into the postseason as a team I thought was capable of a first round loss. I can admit when I’m wrong and was I ever as the 99ers were as resilient as they come in the postseason, going 4-0 in elimination games to get past Waterloo, Cambridge and finally London and win the Alliance title. Led up front by Theo Hill and 03 Maddox Callens, the 99ers got timely scoring by their supporting players while Dylan Robinson and 03 Cole Hipkin led the way defensively.
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