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OHL Grad Kyle Clifford Shows Class Beyond His Years In Most Recent NHL Fight


OHL graduate and former Barrie Colt Kyle Clifford has been making an impact for the LA Kings as a 19-year-old rookie in the NHL this season. Clifford has been quite the physical presence for LA, and in his most recent fight with Aaron Voros of the Aneheim Ducks, Clifford removes his helmet mid-fight after Voros lost his. Classy move - although not necessary since it was not pre-determinded to go buckets off - still a solid move by the kid. You won't see this much in the NHL, and it is infact illegal in the OHL to remove the helmet. Bad rule in my opinion, 1 death in over 100 years of hockey from removing a helmet in a hockey fight, and how many broken hands?...

OHL Players Named to Team Canada World Juniors Camp Roster

Goaltenders

Name S Ht. Wt. Born Hometown         Club team          Pro Status
JP Anderson R 5'10 192 02/14/92 Toronto, ON       Mississauga (OHL) SJ 2010
Mark Visentin L 6'1 198 08/07/92 Waterdown, ON Niagara (OHL)      PHX 2010

Defencemen

Name                 S Ht. Wt. Born Hometown Club team           Pro Status
Calvin de Haan*  L 6'1 189 05/09/91 Carp, ON   Oshawa (OHL)    NYI 2009
Ryan Ellis*          R 5'10 184 01/03/91 Freelton, ON Windsor (OHL)    NSH 2009
Erik Gudbranson R 6'4 211 01/07/92 Orleans, ON Kingston (OHL)  FLA 2010
Ryan Murphy      R 5'11 176 03/31/93 Aurora, ON Kitchener (OHL)  2011 Draft

Forwards

Name S Ht. Wt. Born Hometown Club team              Pro Status
Casey Cizikas L 5'11 191 02/27/91 Missiaug., ON Mississauga (OHL)   NYI 2009
Marcus Foligno L 6'1 200 08/10/91 Sudbury, ON Sudbury (OHL)          BUF 2009
Joey Hishon L 5'10 171 10/20/91 Stratford, ON Owen Sound (OHL)   COL 2010
Zack Kassian R 6'3 226 01/24/91 LaSalle, ON Windsor (OHL)         BUF 2009
Garrett Wilson L 6'2 205 03/16/91 Elmvale, ON Owen Sound (OHL)  FLA 2009

* - Returning Player

Head Coach: Dave Cameron (Mississauga St. Michael's, OHL)
Assistant Coach: Andre Tourigny (Rouyn-Noranda, QMJHL)
Assistant Coach: Ryan Huska (Kelowna, WHL)
Assistant Coach: George Burnett (Belleville, OHL)

IceDogs Captain Andrew Agozzino vs. Majors Captain Casey Cizikas


Niagara IceDogs Captain Andrew Agozzino takes on Mississauga Majors Captain Casey Cizikas after Agozzino lays a big hit on one of the Majors defenders. Spirited battle between two competitive captains.

Eastern Conf. Power Rankings - Week 8

By JEFF BLAY
In the O Blogger
www.intheoradio.com


1. Mississauga St. Michael's Majors - 35 Pts
Record: 17-2-0-1
P10: 9-0-0-1
Streak: 10-0-0-1
2. Ottawa 67's - 28 Pts
Record: 14-8-0-0
P10: 6-4-0-0
Streak: 3-0-0-0
3. Niagara IceDogs - 28 Pts
Record: 13-6-1-1
P10: 5-4-1-0
Streak: 2-0-0-0
4. Kingston Frontenacs - 27 Pts
Record: 13-6-1-0
P10: 8-2-0-0
Streak: 3-0-0-0
5. Oshawa Generals - 26 Pts
Record: 11-5-2-2
P10: 5-2-2-1
Streak: 3-0-1-0
6. Brampton Battalion - 19 Pts
Record: 8-8-0-3
P10: 2-6-0-2
Streak: 0-2-0-0
7. Belleville Bulls - 14 Pts
Record: 6-14-0-2
P10: 3-5-0-2
Streak: 0-1-0-1
8. Barrie Colts - 9 Pts
Record: 4-14-1-0
P10: 3-6-1-0
Streak: 0-3-0-0
9. Sudbury Wolves - 11 Pts
Record: 5-14-1-0
P10: 2-8-0-0
Streak: 0-4-0-0
10. Peterborough Petes - 10 Pts
Record: 4-13-1-1
P10: 1-7-1-1
Streak: 0-6-1-0

An Email from TVCogeco Personnel Leads to OHL Fan Site to Consider Shutting Down

According to a letter from an admin from icedogfans.com, someone from TVCogeco sent an email addressing the fan site and scolding them for using clips of media from the hockey games and putting them on YouTube for the purpose of discussion and viewing as a fan. The clips were brief and for discussion purposes only, not for commercial use.

One of these video's just happened to be one of most talked about goals in hockey this year - Ryan Strome's Highlight-reel goal against the Plymouth Whalers. The goal video went viral on YouTube, and was featured on just about every major hockey media outlet, including the front page of NHL.com.

Wouldn't you think that kind of exposure is good? TVCogeco announcers heard worldwide, thanks to the video being posted on YouTube..

Not to mention, posting videos is a great way to get exposure for the players and allow fans to catch up on what they may have missed. Video's are used all the time from clips of hockey on various websites, and even the biggest media giants never tend to shut these sites down unless they are using the material for commercial gain or profit. If you are going to get into covering sports in your media company, you should get used to people reusing clips etc.

Due to the videos and articles being a main feature of the fan site, and with the creator paying out of his own pocket to run the site, he has pondered the worth of keeping the site active.

This is unfortunate as the site was one of the few fans sites for an OHL team, although it was in no way associated with the Niagara IceDogs hockey club, it was still a great voice for the team. The site generated lots of hits and lots of feedback, and was a great source for news giving the fans a way to show their support to the team from home, not just by coming to the rink.

This is a perfect lesson in new media. What is right and what is wrong? It's hard to tell with so many video sites and YouTube, along with blogs, is the face of media changing? Or will people continue to get penalized for reproducing media for non-commercial intent?

What do you think is right ? Please give your questions and opinions in the comments section below!



The email from Cogeco read:

Quote:
To Whom It May Concern,
It has recently come to our attention that you are using TVCogeco’s footage of The Niagara Ice Dogs on your website. Please note this is an unauthorized use and as such is a breech of copyright.
We ask that you immediately stop using the footage. If you’d like to provide a link to our TVCogeco website, where the highlights are available online, I would be more than happy to discuss that with you.
Please do not hesitate to contact me at (phone # removed) at your convenience.
Thank you in advance for your co-operation.

Team OHL Defeats Russian Juniors 2-1 in Shootout

By JEFF BLAY
In the O Blogger 

Joey Hishon scored the shootout winner for team OHL while Ryan Ellis and Marcus Folingo also added goals during the shootout. Casey Cizikas earned the OHL player of the game as he notched a clutch shorthanded goal in the third period to tie the game 1-1 and ultimately lead team OHL to victory.

The first period was scoreless, with IceDogs goaltender MarkVisentin getting the start in net and stopping all of the eight shots he faced.

Team OHL showed the Russian team the type of physical game they play with some big hits coming from Brock Beukeboom and Devante Smith-Pelly, and the first frame ended with a physical tone and a 0-0 score.

In the second, IceDogs sophomore forward Ryan Strome made several excellent passes out of the corner and one nearly led to a goal. However, Owen Sound Attack top-gun Joey Hishon couldn’t quite solve London Knights goaltender and Anaheim Ducks draftee Igor Bobkov, who also played a solid first period in net for the Russians.

The Russians almost took the first lead of the game as the puck went past Mark Visentin during a scramble in front of the net, but the goal was called off as one of the Russian players used his skate to kick the puck in.

With the goal called off, Mark Visentin would exit the game at the midway mark of the second period with a shutout, stopping 17 shots. Visentin has been hot as of late, as he picked up his first OHL career shutout this past Saturday in the IceDogs 2-0 victory over the Sudbury Wolves.

Not long after Mississauga Majors goalie JP Anderson took over for Visentin in net for team OHL, the Russian team was able to capitalize and open the scoring at the 13:54 mark of the second period. Artem Voronin took a perfect feed from Nikita Dvurechensky to beat Anderson on his left side and give Russia a 1-0 lead.

After the Russian goal, IceDogs defender Dougie Hamilton nearly helped generate a tying goal with a blast from the point that was tipped in front of the Russian net, but Bobkov kept his perfect game intact with a crucial save.

The game would remain a 1-0 Russian lead after 40 minutes of play.

Team OHL tied the game up at the 4:40 mark of the third period as Mississauga Majors teammates Justin Shugg and Casey Cizikas combined efforts to tie the game with a beautiful short-handed goal courtesy Cizikas.

Strome also gave Ethen Werek a chance to gain the lead late in the third with a nifty pass, but Werek lost control of the puck and the game remained at a 1-1 tie, leaving the winner to be decided by a shootout.  

The Russians scored first in the shootout with a nifty move by Los Angeles Kings draft pick Maxim Kitsyn, while team OHL captain Ryan Ellis answered back with an impressive goal of his own.
Sudbury’s home-town hero Marcus Folingo put the OHL ahead, and with a key stop from JP Anderson, Joey Hishon got a chance to finish the game and made no mistake as he beat Bobkov with a beautiful move to the backhand to boost the OHL to a 2-1 victory over the Russian Juniors.

Igor Babkov earned the player of the game for Russia as he stopped 38 shots, while Casey Cizikas was named player of the game for team OHL. 

Scoreboard:
2. RUS Voronin, (1) (Dvurechensky), 13:54
3. OHL Cizikas, (1) (Shugg), 4:40 (SH)

Why the Mississauga St. Mike's Majors Are So Boring to Watch

By JEFF BLAY
In the O Blogger 

After taking in the many murmurs, the comments on twitter, and the first-hand experience of viewing two Majors games last week, I thought of this blog, and I hope it doesn't come to the surprise of anyone when I say the Mississauga Majors are probably the most boring team to watch in the OHL. This is really unfortunate as they just happen to be the hosts of this year's Memorial Cup. Why are they so boring? Let me explain...

The Majors play a really tight, defensive style of hockey under head coach Dave Cameron. They tend to clog up the neutral zone with four players while one trails a bit further behind in the defensive end. Their fore-check is very safe, usually sending just one man deep until they gain possession. Although this is an effective defensive strategy, it can make for some really boring, low action hockey. Since they don't play an aggressive fore-check, once they are ahead on the scoreboard, they will usually tighten up defensively even more. When they are playing other top-seeding teams, they games usually end up at a very low score. The Majors do play successful hockey, and many teams in the NHL play a similar game, but it's just not my kind of hockey. The division-leading penalty minutes may be the only good thing about them, as they do throw down the mitts quite often. They have a plethora of great offensive talent, which shows while playing weaker teams, but when they stick to their heavy traffic neutral zone play, it's hard to watch. 

A recent comment I received from a colleague and certain radio announcer sums it up quite well: "If you're an insomniac, the Mississauga Majors are you're cure." 
Probably at a Mississauga Majors game...

I never find their victories to be that exciting... Let me give some examples of teams and games that will make the fans happy, and make for interesting hockey to watch. 

The Guelph Storm lost to the Owen Sound Attack on Friday night by a score of 4-3 in  overtime. Both teams play a crash and bang, offensive game, both with lots of defenders who like to jump up into the play. 

Guelph started off with two quick goals in the first, while each team played a physical game coming up with some big hits to finish the period. 
The second was all Guelph's once again, but Owen Sound set the physical tone with some big hits and Andrew Shaw took on Peter Holland in a brief but spirited tilt. Liam Heelis then dropped the gloves with Chris Van Laren and Heelis pounded Van Laren in a toe-to-toe punching frenzy. Although the period was scoreless, there was lots of action, lots of high-risk plays with forwards getting into those high-risk areas, and lots of bad blood brewing. 
The third period went back and forth for the first 15 minutes, before Owen Sound began to show why they are one of the top teams in the OHL. Beginning at the 17:12 mark and ending at the 19:02 mark, Owen Sound came back and scored three quick goals to tie the game up. Garret Wilson, the beauty captain that he is, started  things off with a tip in for his 19th of the season, and his team followed suit. 

The game goes into OT and Owen Sound finished the Storm off as Joey Hishon sets up a beautiful goal to pick up his third assist of the night and lead the Attack's comeback - that's a game. The IceDogs defeat Saginaw (5th in the Country) 5-4 in a fast-paced, high-scoring thriller - that's a game. Getting a narrow lead and sitting on it with careful defense and no edge to score - that's a bore, and I'm sure that's a contributing factor to their poor attendance records.

OHL Eastern Conf. Power Rankings - Week 7

By JEFF BLAY
In the O Blogger

1.    Mississauga St. Michael’s Majors – 29 Pts
Record: 14-2-0-1
P10: 8-1-0-1
Streak: 7-0-0-1
Weekend Recap: Shutout IceDogs 3-0, beat Brampton 3-1, lost to Erie 2-1 in S/O.
2.    Kingston Frontenacs – 23 Pts
Record: 11-6-1-0
P10: 7-3-0-0
Streak: 1-0-0-0
Weekend Recap: Won 3-2 over both Petes and Bulls, lost 5-1 to Barrie.
3.    Niagara IceDogs – 24 Pts
Record: 11-5-1-1
P10: 6-3-0-1
Streak: 1-0-0-0
Weekend Recap: Shutout 3-0 by Majors, Won against Petes 4-2
4.    Oshawa Generals – 21 Pts
Record: 9-5-1-2
P10: 4-4-1-1
Streak: 1-0-0-0
Weekend Recap: Lost to Greyhouds, won 2-1 against Wolves.
5.    Brampton Battalion – 19 Pts
Record: 8-6-0-3
P10: 4-4-0-2
Streak: 1-0-0-0
Weekend Recap: Lost to Plymouth 3-2, Lost to Majors 3-1, Won 4-1 over Barrie.
6.    Barrie Colts – 9 Pts
Record: 4-12-1-0
P10: 3-6-1-0
Streak: 0-1-0-0
Weekend Recap: Won 5-1 over Kingston, lost 4-1 to Brampton
7.    Sudbury Wolves – 11 Pts
Record: 5-11-1-0
P10: 4-6-0-0
Streak: 0-1-0-0
Weekend Recap: Beat Plymouth 6-4, lost to  Oshawa 2-1.
8.    Ottawa 67’s – 22 Pts
Record: 11-8-0-0
P10: 5-5-0-0
Streak: 0-2-0-0
Weekend Recap: Beat London 4-3, lost to Sarnia and Guelph
9.    Belleville Bulls – 11 Pts
Record: 5-12-0-1
P10: 3-6-0-1
Streak: 0-1-0-1
Weekend Recap: Lost 8-0 to Kitchener, Lost 3-2 to Kingston in S/O
10.    Peterborough Petes – 9 Pts
Record: 4-11-0-1
P10: 3-6-0-1
Streak: 0-4-0-0
Weekend Recap: Lost to Kingston 3-2, Lost to Niagara 4-2

Top 10 Most Improved Players in the OHL

By JEFF BLAY
In the O Blogger

Here is my Top 10 list of Most Improved Players from around the OHL. Somewhat in order, but this was a toughie. There are so many players who have upped their game since last season, but the following are players I feel have made the most improvement, which has resulted positively for their respective teams. The honourable mentions could very well have made this list, but I simply couldn’t decide on just 10. With such a big league and so many new and improving players, I may have skimmed over some worthy choices. If you feel I have, please send your feedback to jeff.blay@intheoradio.com.

1.     Ryan Strome ('93), C – Niagara IceDogs
2009/10: GP: 61 G: 8 A: 19 PTS: 27 PIM: 61
After a promising rookie season, Ryan Strome showed spurts of potential last year with both the Colts and IceDogs, and came into the 2010 training camp a new player. People expected this kid to do good things, but I don’t think anyone quite expected him to do as well as he has to start the season. Strome has been a top scorer in the OHL since the beginning of the season, not to mention scoring possibly one of the most talked about goals not only in the OHL, but in the entire hockey world. The buzz around the rink from scouts, and one of my sources in particular, Jeff Marek of CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada, is that Strome could pull a Jeff Skinner and sneak into the Top Ten of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, should he continue his exceptional play throughout the remainder of the season. For not really being noticed as a top pick in pre-season, Strome has done quite well in making himself known during first 18 games of the season. He leads the IceDogs with 9 goals, 19 assists, and 28 points. For this reason, Strome is the most improved player in the OHL.
2.    Ryan Murphy ('93), D – Kitchener Rangers
2009-10: GP: 62 G: 6 A: 33 PTS: 39 PIM: 22
Ryan Murphy was one of the top rookies last season – especially amongst defensemen.  Although he had a more than impressive 39 point season last year, he as improved himself even more and excelled as not only the top offensive defenseman, but one of the top five scorers in the OHL to start the season. Murphy as already recorded 10 goals and 21 assists for 31 points in just 17 games and currently sites in third overall in league scoring. Murphy worked hard over the summer to improve his skills even more, and he could very well be one of the most exciting defenders to watch in the OHL today.
3.     Shane Prince ('92), LW – Ottawa 67’s
2009/10: GP: 65 G: 15 A: 15 PTS: 30 PIM: 45
With the exit of a few of Ottawa’s top players, this season Prince has found himself facing more ice time and getting a better chance to prove himself. So far, he has done just that as he is vastly approaching his last years totals in the first 18 games of the season, as he has already recorded 7 goals, 19 assists and 26 points. Prince has gained confidence both with and without the puck, and playing with the likes of Tyler Toffoli, Ryan Martindale, Cody Lindsay and countless other successful producers on the 67’s roster, Prince could very well fit in with the OHL’s elite if he continues to walk the path he is currently on. He should be one of the 67’s top producers this season, as he currently leads the team in points with Toffoli, Martindale, and Thomas Nesbitt nipping at his heels.
4.     Colin Behenna ('91), C – Barrie Colts
2009/10: GP: 55 G: 7 A: 18 PTS: 25 PIM: 14
After the Barrie Colts made a Memorial Cup run last season, they have started this one with a lot less key players as they lost many to over-age, the AHL, and a few to the NHL. With many top-scorers gone from the roster, new opportunity awaits those left behind. Behenna is a perfect example. After a quite first two seasons, Behenna has started this one leading the Colts with 5 goals, 15 assists and 20 points in 17 games. His skill seems to be much improved, and increased ice time along with time on the power play will allow Colin to break out and improve his totals by a margin should he continue his stellar play on the struggling Barrie team.
5.     Ian Watters ('91), LW – Brampton Battalion
2009/10: GP: 57 G: 9 A: 16 PTS: 25 PIM: 46
Watters leads the Brampton Battalion in points, and is a major reason why this underrated team is doing so well to start the season. With 11 goals, 5 assists and 16 points in just 17 games, he has already nearly reached his last years’ totals in roughly 1/3 of the games played. Watters hasn’t been talked about too too much, but is quietly making a name for himself, and should he continue his streak, he could very well be one of the top scorers for the Battalion and make for a valuable over-aged player next season. He looks more confident in the offensive zone, and has learned to take way more shots on net, which has paid of for him so far.
6.     Jacob Riley ('93), G – Brampton Battalion
As a rookie last season, Riley played in 10 games where he posted a 2.56 GAA, .898 SV% and a 2-4-1-0 record. This season, Riley has been given the chance to start in 11 games due to the loss of starting goaltender Patrick Kileen to over-age. In the 11 games, Riley has stopped 241 shots with a 2.86 GAA, a .893 SV% and 5-3-0-3 record. Although competing for a spot with fellow goalie Dennis Saikkonen, if Riley continues to play the way he has, I think he has a legitimate chance to take over the starting position. He needs to work on his shootouts, but has by far looked like the strongest goalie for the Battalion to start the season, and certainly looks much improved compared to last season.
7.     Brandon Francisco ('93), LW – Sarnia Sting
2009/10: GP: 65 G: 12 A: 20 PTS: 32 PIM: 14
Coming off an impressive rookie season, there was no doubt Brandon Francisco had great potential and could breakout in his sophomore season. So far he has lived up to the hype, and although he is not in the OHL’s top ten, his confidence and skill has noticeably improved. Francisco was a -30 last season with the Sting even though he scored 32 points, but this season he has already recorded about half of his last years totals and maintained a +6 rating. The Sting started off hot before cooling down as of late, but Francisco has the ability to be one of the leaders on the team and continue to improve as a player. He has the potential to be one of a team’s top scorers.
8.     Garrett Wilson ('91), LW – Owen Sound Attack
2009/10: GP: 65 G: 36 A: 25 PTS: 61 PIM: 80
The captain of the Owen Sound Attack has always been an impact player, but in his fourth OHL season, Wilson has started the season with passion, grit, and much improved skill to lead the OHL in goals and the impressive Owen Sound Attack in scoring, with a whopping 18 goals and 11 assists for 29 points in just 17 games. Wilson has emerged as a pure goal scorer and offensive juggernaut on special teams with 9 PPG and 2 SHG, and will surely be one of the Attack’s top producers throughout the season.
9.     Dougie Hamilton ('93), D, Niagara IceDogs
2009/10: GP: 64 G: 3 A: 13 PTS: 16 PIM: 36
Ranked 8th overall in Bob McKenzie’s pre-season scouting report for the 2011 NHL Draft, this powerful offensive defensemen will break out this season and be one of the top offensive producers among OHL defenders. His size, vision, skating ability, physicality, and wicked shot all contribute to Hamilton being a complete package. Already notching 2 goals and 10 assists in 17 games, Hamilton will surely bypass his last seasons totals and is expected to go in the first round of the 2011 NHL Draft. He leads the IceDogs in +/- with a +10, and is a great power play quarter back with 2PPG and 3PPA to start the season.
10.  Kale Kerbashian ('90), LW – Sarnia Sting
2009-10: GP: 58 G: 26 A: 30 PTS: 56 PIM: 28
Another Sting player makes the list. As a seasoned veteran and over-aged player, Kerbashian can use his experience to really breakout as an OA this season. Although his numbers have been relatively impressive throughout his tenure in the OHL, Kerbashian seems to be playing with a more intensive edge to start the 2010-11 season. He has already recorded 11 goals and 17 assists for 28 points, currently tied with Ryan Strome for the 5th/6th spot in league scoring. Kerbashian will definitely be one of the Stings’ key leaders both on and off the ice for the remainder of the season, and for these reasons he makes the Top 10.

Honourable Mention:
Scott Stajcer, G – Owen Sound Attack
Tyler Hostetter, D – Erie Otters
John Cullen, G – Sarnia Sting
Mitchell Theoret, C - Niagara IceDogs
Stefan Noesen, RW - Plymouth Whalers
Tyler Brown, F - Plymouth Whalers




Niagara Falls Native Bryan McGregor's Hockey Life In the Czech League

By VICKY GRYGAR

In the O Blogger

In Canada, hockey has grown to become part of everyday culture. The CHL along with our beloved 6 NHL franchises have united Canadians and fans across the country. As hockey enthusiasts these are the teams we follow and cheer for. It is evident that at times, many of us forget hockey has grown in popularity at each corner of the globe. Of course we all know of the remaining NHL teams located in the U.S. along with the AHL, ECHL, CHL, NCAA, USHL, etc, but many writers, reporters and fans don’t often look beyond these leagues.

Europe is a haven for up and coming hockey players. The most prominent league, as many know, is also one of the NHL’s fiercest competitors, the Russian KHL. The issues between the NHL and KHL are ever surfacing as each looks to gain control over the market. It is also now common nature for NHL players to transfer to the KHL in hopes of financially receiving what they believe they are truly worth. Moving beyond the KHL we run into the elite leagues of Sweden, Finland and the Czech Republic.

Fans flying the Canadian Flag for McGregor in the stands.
These rosters are usually dominated by European players, so it was an interesting story to learn that Bryan McGregor, a Niagara Falls, Ontario native, earned a spot on the Czech Extraliga’s HC Ocelari Trinec roster. This marks the first time in the team’s franchise history that a Canadian born player has had the opportunity to play for the Ocelari. McGregor, 26, left home at the age of 15 to pursue his hockey career in the BCHL with the Vernon Vipers. From there he committed to the NCAA route and played at the University of Minnesota-Duluth to simultaneously grow as a hockey player and student. Upon graduation McGregor found himself playing for 3 different ECHL teams and prior to heading to Europe, the forward tallied a few games with the Binghamton Senators of the AHL. The decision for a North American hockey player to embark on a career in Europe is not a light decision. Many, if given the opportunity would find the choice debatable and be edgy to pack up and leave everything they’ve known behind. McGregor however has embraced his chance and is now a popular entity in the city of Trinec. I had the opportunity to ask Bryan a few questions about his diverse hockey career.


1. Going back to Junior Hockey, what made you decide on the NCAA route versus CHL?

BM: It was a very difficult decision. At 15 years old, you have to decide your future in not only hockey but in life as well. I have a very high interest in academics and also did very well in high school. I felt I would not be ready for the NHL at 18-20, so I therefore decided to move to British Columbia to pursue the NCAA route. I always wonder what my life would of been like had I went the OHL route, but that’s life.

2. You've now had the chance to play in both Finland and the Czech Republic. How has the adjustment been for you in terms of culture?

BM: There are a lot of differences. I found that Finland is a lot more tolerant to English culture and more people speak English. The city I was in, in Finland was half Swedish and half Finnish. Swedish people speak English as we do, with almost no accent. I found that very fascinating. But if you want to get technical, both Swedish and English stem from the same language base (Germanic). The food is very different, in Finland the food was very different, a lot of fish and fish related dishes. Czech is more what I am used to with a lot of meat and potatoes. The countries in general are very different. Finland is a very clean and simple country. I find Czech is very old, lots of history. Both are unique and very nice in their own ways. I enjoy the differences, and like living in both countries.

3. How is communication with coaches/teammates working?

BM: Communication is easy on our team, as everyone speaks English except the coaches. So that is the only downside to the language barrier. I adapt well to languages, no matter where I am. I speak decent Finnish and Swedish, and every day I learn more Czech. I know all the basics, colours, numbers, foods, basic conversation, and am slowly getting better and better. I am able to adapt no matter where I am to language problems, as it is just something I have become accustomed to.

4. Being among one of the first Canadians to ever play for HC Ocelari Trinec, how have the fans treated you so far?

BM: I am actually the first Canadian to play for Ocelari, which is a very cool thing. The fans have been awesome to me, they fly the Canadian flag in the stands for me. Hopefully I play better, and more of that catches on. But everyone has been really good to me. There was a young boy who wanted my jersey, (he was the younger brother of a friend of mine), and so I bought him my jersey and gave it to him. I think it is good to give as much back to the fans as they give to you, and in Trinec we have really great fans.

5. Can you describe the technical difference between European and North American hockey?

BM: Well there are a lot of differences, but the biggest difference has to be speed. The European style of hockey is more technical, more skill, more speed. The NHL is as well, but with a lot more body contact in North America vs Europe. The size of the ice rinks has to do with that. In the NHL they play on a lot smaller surface. I like both styles mind you, but every country in Europe plays a different style, Finland vs Sweden vs Russia, etc.


Two OHL Graduates Square-Off in First NHL Fights - Logan Couture vs Alex Pietrangelo Nov 4,...



Former Niagara IceDog/Barrie Colt Alex Pietrangelo and Former Ottawa 67 Logan Couture square off against one another - both their first NHL fight. San Jose Sharks vs St. Louis Blues, Thursday, Nov. 4 2010.

Ryan Strome's Goal Featured on NHL.com Front Page!!

Congrats to Ryan Strome who had his goal featured on NHL.com's front page!! If you haven't seen the goal yet, you have to check it out here: http://intheobloggers.blogspot.com/2010/10/ryan-strome-highlight-reel-goal-vs.html or just scroll down our home page! The goal is also found on YouTube's front page in trending videos, and currently has 214,486 views. Wow. Unreal.

Questions of Ryan Strome? I have answers... jeff.blay@intheoradio.com
- Blayzer
Ryan Strome celebration after highlight reel goal. Courtesy joelsmithphotography.ca

Dougie Hamilton Insane Highlight-reel Goal vs. Guelph Storm



If you think Ryan Strome's goal was amazing, try this one in for size.

#27 Dougie Hamilton (Ranked 8th in TSN's Bob McKenzie's pre-season NHL Draft Rankings) carries the puck up the gut and undresses two Storm defenders before putting the puck in the net. And he's a defenseman!!

Can you say beauty??

OHL Eastern Conf. Power Rankings - Week 6

By JEFF BLAY
In the O Staff

Here are my OHL Eastern Conference Rankings for Week 6. Taken into account are each team’s games played, their current streak, and their past ten games record. This is a weekly power ranking, not standings in order of points.

1.    Mississauga St. Michael’s Majors – GP: 14, PTS: 24
Record: 12-2-0-0
P10: 9-1-0-0
Streak: 5-0-0-0
2.    Niagara IceDogs – GP: 16, PTS: 22
Record: 10-4-1-1
P10: 7-2-0-1
Streak: 2-0-0-1
3.    Kingston Frontenacs – GP: 15, PTS: 19
Record: 9-5-1-0
P10: 7-2-1-0
Streak: 2-0-0-0
4.    Ottawa 67’s – GP: 16, PTS: 20
Record: 10-6-0-0
P10: 6-4-0-0
Streak: 0-1-0-0
5.    Oshawa Generals – GP: 15, PTS: 19
Record: 8-4-1-2
P10: 4-4-1-1
Streak: 0-1-0-0
6.    Belleville Bulls – GP: 16, PTS: 10
Record: 5-11-0-0
P10: 4-6-0-0
Streak: 1-0-0-0
7.    Brampton Battalion – GP: 14, PTS: 16
Record: 7-5-0-2
P10: 4-4-0-2
Streak: 0-2-0-1
8.    Peterborough Petes – GP: 14, PTS: 9
Record: 4-9-0-1
P10: 4-5-0-1
Streak: 0-2-0-0
9.    Barrie Colts –GP: 14, PTS: 7
Record: 3-10-1-0
P10: 3-6-1-0
Streak: 0-1-0-0
10.     Sudbury Wolves – GP: 15, PTS: 9
Record: 4-10-1-0
P10: 3-6-1-0
Streak: 0-4-0-0

Niagara IceDogs on CBC's The National

Photo courtesy of Joel Smith Photography (joelsmithphotography.ca)
  • Click the link to see the OHL's Niagara IceDogs Andrew Agozzino, Ryan Strome, Alex Friesen, Johnson Andrews, and Freddie Hamilton interviewed regarding concussions on CBC's The National.

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