As usual, it was another busy weekend around the OHL, and with a busy weekend comes many stories from around the league. A little of this, a little of that, here are some news and notes from around the OHL.
Ben Gaudreau: the 2003 born rookie goaltender made an incredible 60 saves against the Windsor Spitfires on Friday in a 5-4 OTL. Gaudreau is eligible for the 2021 NHL draft. He was the seventh overall pick in the OHL draft this past spring. As a rookie, he’s held his own on a struggling Sarnia squad.
Jack Quinn: Quinn has 12 points in his last four games, including a six-point performance in Sundays 9-1 win over North Bay. Quinn is up to 75 points this season in just 49 games. He leads the league in goals with 44.
Kitchener Rangers: Since November 23rd, the Rangers have only lost twice in regulation. It’s no secret that the additions of defenceman Holden Wale and Panthers prospect Serron Noel at the deadline helped bolster this lineup, but the entire roster has really taken off as of late. Their current hot streak rivals that of the league-leading Ottawa 67s. And everyone knows how good they are.
We don't even know what to say anymore…
– 10 straight wins
– 7 straight road wins
– Tied record of 32 wins in season
– Record 15 road wins in season
— Flint Firebirds (@FlintFirebirds) February 10, 2020
Flint Firebirds: Things have not always been easy in Flint. There have been many stories, not many positive, out of Flint for many years now. But now, things have turned around. With a 5-3 victory over the Generals on Sunday, the Firebirds have now won 10 straight games and sit two points behind Saginaw for 2nd in the West division.
The Niagara IceDogs got outscored 28-5 this weekend. That’s it. That’s the tweet.
Performers of the Weekend
Noel Hoefenmeyer: Sometimes we all must remind ourselves that Noel Hoefenmeyer is, in fact, a defenceman. He has 71pts in 49 games this season. On Friday he scored the tying goal and overtime winner in Hamilton. He then added another goal on Sunday in a lopsided 9-1 victory in North Bay.
No lead is safe against Hoef and the #CHL’s top-ranked @Ottawa67sHockey 🙅♂️@noelhoefenmayer ties things up with 18 seconds left and nets the OT winner for his 2️⃣1️⃣🚨, stretching Ottawa’s winning streak to 🔟. pic.twitter.com/PaHAZxyxR8
— OntarioHockeyLeague (@OHLHockey) February 8, 2020
James Hardie: Six points in three games this weekend, including scoring the game-winner in the final minute of Sunday’s game to give the Steelheads a 5-4 victory over the Frontenacs The 2020 draft-eligible hit the 30 goal mark and has really caught fire as of late. Hardie’s picked up 23 points in his last 10 games.
Evgeniy Oksentyuk: The Brest, Belarus native tallied eight points including two goals and six assists in three games this weekend, helping the Firebirds to their franchise-record 10th straight win.
The Kids Are Alright
Looking ahead to future NHL drafts, some of the OHL rookies have been on a tear lately.
Kingston’s exceptional status rookie Shane Wright (’04) nabbed 6 points in 3 games this weekend and is riding a five-game point streak. His former Don Mills Flyers teammate Brennan Othmann (’03) had three points in three games for a hot Flint squad. Wright is eligible for the 2022 NHL draft, Othmann the 2021 draft.
Other OHL News
Marco Rossi is just six points away from becoming the first player in the OHL to hit 100 this season. There have only been three games this season where he’s been held off the score sheet, one being Saturday’s game against Peterborough. He still put up six points in the other two games he played this weekend.
Liam Foudy of the London Knights will be making his NHL debut with the Columbus Blue Jackets on Monday night. It’s not too often that an NHL team skips over their AHL affiliate to recall a player from junior. Foudy has 43 points in 32 games with the Knights this season.
Bode’s back. The Saginaw Spirit got a huge boost on the backend on Monday when it was announced that defenceman Bode Wilde will be reassigned to the team from the Islanders AHL affiliate the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. The 6’4” d-man finished third in OHL scoring among defensemen last season with 70 points.