2016/17 Hamilton Huskies Season Preview

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2015/16 Minor Midget Record: 13-14-6 (7th Place)

2015/16 Final Result: Lost in 4 to Waterloo in Quarter-Finals

2015/16 Major Bantam Record: 8-14-8 (7th Place)

2015/16 Final Result: Lost in 3 to Chatham-Kent in Preliminary Round

A year after allowing the most goals in the Alliance at the Minor Midget level, the Huskies are hoping an influx of talent from across town will help them to contend this season.

The 2015/16 Minor Midget team in Hamilton boasted the best scorer and arguably the best power forward in the league in their lineup. Derek Seguin and Isaac Taylor were both weapons that both needed to be contained to stop the Huskies offense. Only problem was, Seguin and Taylor’s offense couldn’t overcome a defense that allowed an average of nearly 4 goals a game. There was plenty of potential for the team, but defensively there was plenty to desire.
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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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Final Alliance Scout Top 25 Player Rankings

Just a couple days out from the OHL Priority Selection Draft and so much is still happening. The excitement for players, parents and coaches starts to hit its peak as the anticipation grows.

Plenty is still happening on the team front as it was announced today that the #3 overall pick was going to be forfeited by the Flint Firebirds due to the abomination that was their ownerships first season. With that news, there is even more talk about plenty of possibilities on who could fall where.

A lot of the talk includes Alliance Player of the Year Owen Lalonde. The Windsor defenseman seems to be a lock to be selected in the top 10 with some mock drafts placing him top five or in a couple cases top three. High praise for the young man, but that leads us into the final player rankings.

The top 25 saw some changes from its predecessor as playoff performances had some players jump while other players took a step back. Although a player does not make the top 25, that most certainly won’t exclude them from possibly hearing their name on Saturday. On average, the Alliance produces upwards of 45 picks every year. Look for a more in depth look at those stats before Saturday.

With that said, let’s begin the countdown and there is only one place to begin.

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Series Preview: (2) Waterloo Wolves vs. (7) Hamilton Huskies

Season Series:

Waterloo over Hamilton 6-1 (Oct. 5)

Waterloo and Hamilton tie 2-2 (Dec. 17)

Waterloo over Hamilton 3-2 (Jan. 9)

When you look at the four playdown series, probably the series that featured the closest games throughout the regular season is the one between Waterloo and Hamilton. Despite the early 6-1 loss, all three of their regular season games featured fairly even play with just some swings in momentum playing the difference in Waterloo winning two of the three meetings.

Waterloo is heading into the playdowns with a lot of momentum and confidence after downing top seeded London in the final weekend of the season. While Hamilton fell to Kitchener in their final regular season game, the Huskies have played significantly better over the past few weeks than they did in December. The turning point for Hamilton could be the Marlies tournament, where they were able to secure a spot in the final 16.

The Wolves have gone through the season playing with a stellar combination of offense, defense and goaltending. Nathan Torchia, a consensus top five goalie in this years OHL Draft has been strong in net and Alex Metzger has statistically been a top goalie in the Alliance this year as well. Waterloo also plays with big defenseman and have more than a handful of options up front to put the puck in the net.

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Week 15 Alliance Scout Minor Midget Rankings

And we are finally into the stretch run.

It is the final week of the regular season and there are still plenty of things that need to be sorted out before we head to playdown action. We only know for certain seven of the eight teams that will be moving on while we are still attempting to figure out who will hold home ice advantage during the first round.

One thing that is for certain, a vast majority of the top players in the Alliance will be moving on which makes for some fantastic hockey coming up in the next couple of weeks.

Here we go with the second to last rankings of the 2015/16 season.

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Alliance Scout Player Rankings 6-15

We’re back once again to continue our trek towards the top of the Alliance talent pool. On this day, we are looking at the players ranked from 15 all the way up to six.

When we look at the players featured in this set of rankings, you will see a good variety of talent. There are a couple strong blue line forces, some power forwards, two gifted scorers and the top goaltender in the Alliance.

Many of the players listed here have incredible potential, including the opportunity to move even higher in the rankings and even possibly crack the top five.

If you missed the 16-25 rankings, they can be found here.

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Alliance All Star Day 2 Recap

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The final day of the Alliance All Star weekend went today with four games, but two of the same games. In the early action, Team Navy took on Team Grey in a game that saw Grey take the win 7-4 behind a three point game from Hamilton’s Derek Seguin who took home the player of the game honours for Grey.

In the 2nd game, Team White shutdown the high powered offense of Team Blue with a 5-0 victory behind the stellar play of London’s Keaghan Brett. As it so turns out, the way the standings ended up we go these exact two same matchups for the afternoon games.

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Alliance All Star Day 1 Recap

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The best of the best from the Alliance came out to the Sun Life Financial Arena in Waterloo yesterday for the beginning of the Alliance All Star festivities. While the Bantam and Major Midget players played in one isolated game, the Minor Midget’s are competing in a mini four team tournament that will showcase the best attributes from each and every player.

The first day saw lots of action and lots of players were playing their best hockey of the season. There were four games in total, with Team Navy and Team Grey both going 2-0 while Team White and Team Blue both went winless in  their respective two games.

Here are some of the highlights from the first day.

Team Navy defeats Team White 5-4

The first game of the All Star weekend saw both Team Navy and Team White come out blazing with each team scoring a goal within the first 90 seconds of the game. It was two Jr. Knights who opened the scoring with Joel Mazzilli scoring for Navy and Brett Fisher for White.

London’s Keaghan Brett played the full game for Team White and played very well. He made some big saves including one on a breakaway by Sun County’s Jake Nimmo. James Walker got the start for Navy and definitely improved as the game progressed. Walker was fantastic for the third period, stalling the offensive pressure of White.

During the game, Team Navy was led offensively by Elgin-Middlesex’s Aidan Reid and Windsor’s Evan Ferguson offensively. Reid was especially impressive as he was all over the puck and when he was on the ice, plays went through him. The surprise player for Navy was Grant Spence who had lots of scoring chances and was a constant threat whenever in the offensive zone. Team White had many players who shined despite the loss. Isaac Taylor and Kyle Fisher were the stars on offense while Tristan DeJong and Duncan Core had great games on defense. Hometown guy Mason McMahon played probably the best game that I’ve seen him play this season and was constantly threatening and throwing heavy body checks.

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Alliance All Star Weekend Preview

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The Alliance will take a break this coming weekend to showcase all of the talent in the association with their All-Star Weekend festivities in Waterloo. The Minor Midgets take centre stage with a four team tournament while the Bantams and Midgets will send their best out there in a single exhibition game.

With the Minor Midgets bringing out four teams, there were plenty of players who were chosen to represent their teams. The Minor Midget Teams are as follows:

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Alliance Faceoff Day 2 Recap

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Day 2 at the Alliance Faceoff with 12 games in total over a 13 hour stretch. There were several close back and forth games to go along with a couple of lopsided games. Many players continued to stand out on their respective teams while other continued to try and make a name for themselves for the many scouts in attendance.

London Jr. Knights 8 – Cambridge Hawks 0

This was a tough one for the Cambridge Hawks as they continue to struggle. For London, they had this game under complete control from start to finish with few moments of worry.

All of the Jr. Knight players seemed to have their feet moving at all times, beating Cambridge to every lose puck throughout the game. It was both Brett and Kyle Fisher who were the stand outs for this game. The chemistry the two have is obvious and Kyle specifically was making some very crisp passes. Eric Guest continued to show obvious skill, but a six minute penalty midway through the 3rd period ended his day early.

For Cambridge, they just could not get any rhythm on offense to try and get any pressure. Despite London being the much faster team, Cambridge continued to try and dump the puck and beat London on the jump. I was again impressed with Cooper Page on defense. Despite his small stature, he players a big game especially in front of the net.

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