2018/19 Windsor Jr. Spitfires Season Preview

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2017/18 Minor Midget Record: 9-20-4 (11th Place)

2017/18 Minor Midget Result: Did not qualify for playdowns

2017/18 Major Bantam Record: 19-11-2 (4th Place)

2017/18 Major Bantam Result: Lost in Alliance Championship to Waterloo Wolves in 5 games.

Following a season that was tough in many different ways, the Jr. Spitfires are back in full force with a team that will be a threat to many.

The minor midget team got off to a slow start last year and it was hard to recover from. For a portion of the season, Windsor was battling with Hamilton to stay out of the Alliance cellar. Led by big forward Bryce Ryan and arguably the best goaltender in the Alliance Matt Sbrocca, Windsor quietly played better hockey down the stretch and ended up just a single point behind the 9th place Lambton.
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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 Mairs 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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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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Series Preview: (1) Cambridge Hawks vs. (8) Chatham-Kent Cyclones

The final series to get underway this season is the top ranked Cambridge Hawks taking on a Chatham-Kent team that battled hard at the end of the season to secure the eighth seed. The Hawks rolled through the Alliance regular season, falling just twice through 33 games Cambridge had a roster full of talent from offense to goaltending. Chatham got points in six of their final eight games to propel them into the postseason after a tough battle with Kitchener and Lambton.

Season Series:

Cambridge defeated Chatham-Kent 6-3 on September 30th

Cambridge defeated Chatham-Kent 4-0 on November 5th

Cambridge defeated Chatham-Kent 6-3 on December 1st (All-Star Showcase)

Leading Scorers:

Cambridge                                                 Chatham-Kent

Joseph Serpa 14-26-40                              Craig Spence 7-20-27

Ben McFarlane 21-16-37                            Darby Lemieux 15-10-25

Tyler Healey 14-13-27                                 Adrian Stubberfield 13-12-25

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Alliance Series Preview: (3) Sun County Panthers vs. (6) Elgin-Middlesex Chiefs

The series between the Sun County Panthers and the Elgin-Middlesex Chiefs may be the best series of the opening round. Both teams can lay claim to being the hottest team in the Alliance over the final month of the season. Sun County went on a great run to end the year, going 8-1-4 from the December showcase to the end of the year. The Chiefs were on the outside looking in before going on a run that saw them go undefeated in their final 11 games of the season. When looking ahead to this matchup, it is a classic offense versus defense battle.

Season Series:

Sun County defeated Elgin-Middlesex 8-5 on September 17th

Sun County defeated Elgin-Middlesex 4-3 on November 19th

Sun County defeated Elgin-Middlesex 4-0 on December 10th

Leading Scorers:

Sun County                                                    Elgin-Middlesex

Matt Maggio 20-24-44                                     Rylan Bowers 14-30-44

Zane Dalpe 16-22-38                                       Michael McKnight 16-24-40

Ryan Gagnier 19-11-30                                    Tyler Mosher 9-15-24

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Alliance Series Preview: (4) Brantford 99ers vs. (5) Waterloo Wolves

Our next series looks at probably the closest one in the opening round. The Waterloo Wolves will look to reach their sixth consecutive Alliance championship, but their road will be much tougher than previous years. Brantford returns to the playdowns for the first time since their semi-final run with the 1998 born players. This years team has showcased speed and skill along with showcasing some players for the future.

Season Series:

Brantford defeated Waterloo 1-0 on October 2nd

Waterloo defeated Brantford 3-1 on January 9th

Waterloo defeated Brantford 4-0 on January 27th

Leading Scorers:

Brantford                                                                 Waterloo

Andrew Casasanta 13-25-38                                  Chase Broda 16-19-35

Maddox Callens 15-18-33                                       Nathan Dewar 15-18-33

Theo Hill 13-19-32                                                   Zac McCann 14-14-28
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2017/18 London Jr. Knights Season Preview

Minor Midget Record: 27-2-4 (1st Place)

Minor Midget Result: Won Alliance Championship over Waterloo in 4 games (OHL Cup Semi-Finalist)

Major Bantam Record: 19-7-6 (2nd Place)

Major Bantam Result: Lost in Alliance Championship to Cambridge in 4 games

After a stellar season that saw the London Jr. Knights reign as the top Ontario team for the majority of the season, the 2002 crop comes up with loads of talent and a shot at another Alliance championship.

The Minor Midget Jr. Knights were probably the best team in minor hockey last season. Even though they didn’t win the OHL Cup, the amount of talent that was on that team to go along with how well they played together made it a treat to watch them every single game. Led by Ryan Suzuki, the first overall pick in the OHL Draft, the Jr. Knights had a laundry list of guys who you will probably see playing in the OHL either this year or next. Names like Prueter, Burridge, Van Loon, Drewitt and Say are just some of the guys you could see in the OHL shortly.
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2017/18 Kitchener Jr. Rangers Season Preview

Minor Midget Record: 17-9-7 (3rd Place)

Minor Midget Result: Lost in semi-finals to Waterloo in 8 games (Lost in OHL Cup Play-In Game)

Major Bantam Record: 12-15-5 (9th Place)

Major Bantam Result: Lost in first round to Waterloo in 4 games

Following another disappointing end to their season at the OHL Cup, the Kitchener Jr. Rangers will once again aim for a permanent spot in the provincial championship tournament.

Last year’s Minor Midget team was one of the more surprising teams in the league. After finishing bantam in last place, the 2001 version of the Kitchener Jr. Rangers were a top tier team in the Alliance thanks to the offensive additions of Cole Mackay and Justin McCombs. In addition to Mackay and McCombs, it was the emergence of Cole Schwindt and the play of Zach Russell that got Kitchener to the semi-finals of the playdowns, culminating in one of the best postseason series I’ve ever seen.
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Alliance OHL Cup Preview

The latest hockey season has come to an end for some of the teams in the Alliance but there is still hockey being played which includes four Alliance teams trying their hand at the illustrious OHL Cup championship title. The London Jr. Knights, Waterloo Wolves and Cambridge Hawks have all punched their ticket to the dance with the Kitchener Jr. Rangers just one win away from joining them. Last year was a disappointing tournament for the Alliance with no teams from the association making it past the round robin portion of the tournament. This season, the Alliance enters the tournament with London being ranked at the top and legitimate contenders to take the crown.

Let’s just go through the divisions and see exactly what each team has in store for them later this week. Click here for full article