2018/19 Minor Midget Record: 14-15-4 (8th Overall)
2018/19 Minor Midget Result: Lost in 1/4 finals to Brantford
2018/19 Major Bantam Record: 7-21-4 (10th Overall)
2018/19 Major Bantam Result: Lost in 1/4 finals to London
Followin a bantam season that saw the Cyclones surpass expectations and make an unexpected postseason run, Chatham is once again hoping to surprise some and secure a postseason spot.
At the beginning of last season, I was one person who was very high on the 03 Cyclones. Led by dynamic forward Deni Goure, I felt like Chatham could be a dark horse team that could even challenge for home ice in the opening round of playdowns. A very slow start by the team seemingly dashed that thought, but a resurrgence in November and December and the Cyclones were making moves. A sweep at the hands of eventual champions Brantford was nothing to scoff at, but injuries to both goalies Ethan Labbe and Ty Cirillo didn’t allow for the Cyclones to truly show what they may have been capable of.
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.
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.
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.
The 2003 born age group has definitely given the public a great opportunity to see some incredible talent in the Alliance this season. After last year saw a bit of a down year for the association, this year has some top flight talent, some of which could make the jump directly from minor hockey to the OHL.
I started off by having more than 40 names on a list of potential candidates that needed to be dwindled down to 25. Once down to the magic number, there were still some players who I felt deserved mention that for the first time in four season, I will be including a number of players who make the “honourable mention” list.
As for the top 15, players ranked from 6-15 will be released on Thursday while the top five should be out on Friday, just in time for some 2nd period flood reading at the Marlies Holiday tournament.
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.
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. Continue reading →
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. Continue reading →
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. Continue reading →
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.