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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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 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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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

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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Toronto Titans Day Three Alliance Recap

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.
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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 MairsĀ 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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