Heading into Thursday's game against the Plymouth Whalers the Guelph Storm were sitting pretty, they had a 2 games to one series lead and they were playing on home ice with a chance to go up three to one in the best of seven series.
The Storm came out of the gate on fire and nearly took the early lead after a puck got by Whalers goalie Scott Wedgewood and hit the post, Guelph's Tanner Richard was right there for the tap in but Wedgewood dove back across the crease to rob Richard of what would've been the games opening goal. Fans however wouldn't have to wait too much longer, later in the period Whalers d-man Nick Malysa was able to keep the puck in and threw it at the net, Tom Wilson was waiting and deflected the puck past the Storm tender Garret Sparks to give Plymouth the lead 1-0. Guelph would get a late power play and would capitalize after some nifty passing that started with Matt Finn passing to Tanner Richard and eventually dished the puck onto Zack Mitchell's stick and Mitchell tied the game up at one, and that's how the period would end.
The Whalers started the second with an abbreviated five on three power play that they wouldn't waste as Dario Trutmann beat Sparks from the point with lots of traffic out front. Plymouth's lead would only last for two minutes however. Jason Dickinson who seems to get better with every game he plays. After he dangled around two defenders, he turned on a dime and found Cody McNaughton wide open in the slot. McNaughton was able to beat Wedgewood to tie it up again. The teams exchanged some power plays but neither team could cash in, the score was 2-2 after 2.
At the start of the third this game seemed destined for OT, however it was not to be. I will get to that in a minute. Plymouth would be awarded a power play when Matt Finn was called for hooking which looked slightly embellished to me. It was the beginning of the referee show. Never the less the Whalers capitalized when JT Miller hit Mitchell Heard with a beautiful blue line to blue line pass which sent Heard in behind everyone and he beat Sparks with ease to give his team a 3-2 lead early in the third. Just past the halfway point of the period in the biggest game of the series, Alex Aleardi put Plymouth up 4-2. It was bad enough the Storm trailed by two with less then ten-minutes to go, but then the officials took over what had been a great game. Tanner Richard was given a 10 minute misconduct for abuse of the official. Less then a minute after Richard was dispatched Scott Kosmachuk was given a 10 minute misconduct as well for abuse of the official. Prior to the Kosmachuk misconduct both he and Austin Levi were given roughing penalties. I was at the opposite end of the rink but what appeared to transpire was that Kosmachuk wanted a piece of Levi but the official wouldn't let him near him and some pushing ensued, hence why he was given a 10 minute misconduct. Too be fair I never seen anything from Kosmachuk that warranted a misconduct. But that coupled with the Richard misconduct spelt the end for the Storm's series lead and game 4. Aleardi would add a second goal to give the Whalers a 5-2 lead with three minutes to go. The officials weren't done there though, a minute after Aleardi's goal Jamie Devane hit Guelph's Brock McGinn from behind which sent everyone into a frenzy that seen Devane, Aleardi, and Guelph's Matt Finn all receive 10 minute misconducts. Cooler heads would prevail for the remaining two minutes and after the horn ended the game, Plymouth had tied the series at 2 games a piece.
The series is now a best of three with Plymouth retaining home ice advantage. Game five goes Saturday at 6:30pm in Plymouth. Needless to say the winner of game five controls their own destiny and will have a chance to eliminate the opposing team in game 6.
My prediction for game 5 is as follows, I see the Storm retaking the series lead and winning the game by a final of 4-3. Look for Dickinson and Finn to have big games.
Give me a follow @Chrismcdonald91. You can also listen to my post game interview with Plymouth Whalers goalie Scott Wedgewood on the site under the heading ITO Playoff Interviews.
Heading into Thursday's game against the Plymouth Whalers the Guelph Storm were sitting pretty, they had a 2 games to one series lead and they were playing on home ice with a chance to go up three to one in the best of seven series.
By: Thayne Hallyburton
Below is my 2012 Ontario Hockey League Priority Selection 5 round mock draft. This is not a top 100 players, as much as it is all about team needs and who fits in where, as well as who will report where.
Some players will rise or drop in the first round. Issues that affect teams are their potential. Some teams see players as "2 year players" meaning that they are players who have the best chance at going pro at 18, rather than playing their junior career out. A prime example of this was in 1995. The Barrie Colts had the 1st overall pick as an expansion team and their decision came down to Daniel Tkachuk and Joe Thornton. The Barrie Colts decided to go with Tkachuk, considered the second best player in that conversation by most people. They did so, knowing that he would be a 4 year player. And he was. Joe went to the Soo and found himself on the Boston Bruins 2 years later. This is just one example of a team's mindset entering the draft.
This is all to help familiarize fans of the OHL with some of these lesser-known players and to create a debate! So feel free to hit me up on Twitter (@thallyburton) or by email(Thallyburton@intheoradio.com) and let's get some friendly discourse going! All of this is a lead up to our LIVE draft day show on April 7th! Be sure to tune in as we will have all of the prominent kids, a scout or two and a maybe few other surprises! All of the fun gets started at 12 p.m.!
Now it's time to get down to business...
With the 1st overall pick in the 2012 OHL Priority Selection...the Erie Otters are proud to select.....from the Toronto Marlboros of the Greater Toronto Hockey League.....
1) Erie Otters: Connor McDavid - Toronto Marlboros GTHL - 5'11" - 170
Connor McDavid is the best player available in this year's draft, that is why it is so difficult for people to believe that he is one year younger than the rest of the kids eligible. Connor possesses a hockey IQ unlike any other in this age group. He makes moves at top speed that bring people out of their seats. He has an elusive release on his shot and is not affraid to go into the dirty areas to track down the puck. Connor has played with this age group snce his days with the York Simcoe Express and has always been the top player of the 96 age group. Connor McDavid is OHL ready and should contribute immediately in a team's top 2 lines. The Erie Otters season ticket holders will be in awe many nights next year at the Tulio.
2) Kingston Frontenacs: Rolland McKeown - Toronto Marlboros GTHL - 6'1" - 180
Doug Gilmour is a huge fan of Rolland McKeown, so much so that he can't risk letting Rolland go and hoping he is there at #9 where he will select his next pick. McKeown is a big, mobile defenceman who possesses a top level shot and elite vision. He plays both sides of the puck well and has the uncanny ability to jump up into the rush at the right time. What makes him so elite is his gap control. There was one defenceman in last year's draft with the same awareness (Aaron Ekblad). With that comparison it is no wonder why McKeown will be taken so high.
3) Peterborough Petes: Eric Cornel - Upper Canada Cyclones OEMHL - 6'2" -165
Dave Reid has an interesting decision here between Cornel and Jared McCann. Both are elite forwards with upper echelon skill sets. Cornel is an interesting player. He played on a sub par team with the Cyclones but still impressed on a nigthly basis. Cornel is a fantastic playmaker, but he isn't shy in his ability to finish too. He is a point machine at times but can forget his defensive assignments. There is some small NCAA concerns here, but being this high of a pick, should make that a non-issue. Once he fills out, he will be one of the top players in the league.
4) Sault St. Marie Greyhounds: Robert Fabbri - Mississauga Rebels GTHL - 5'10" - 155
Kyle Dubas has an interesting decision here. Does he go with Jared McCann, a little more of a powerforward type of player? Or, maybe the super skilled Josh Ho Sang who he knows Windsor wants? Or maybe the kid with local ties who also has elite skill and a nasty streak in Robert Fabbri? Dubas will go with Fabbri...he is the safe pick. He has grand parents who live in the Soo already. Fabbri is an elite offensive talent who skates well and makes his reads on the fly as he gains the line. He also has a good shot and is an explosive skater. He isn't affraid to go after guys and will not shy away from post-whistle scrums.
5) Windsor Spitfires: Joshua Ho Sang - Toronto Marlboros GTHL - 5'11" - 166
Josh Ho Sang has the best offensive talent in this draft. Warren Rhychel is on record as saying he may be the best minor midget aged player he has ever seen. So, if Ho Sang is still on the board, it is a no brainer that this is where he goes. Josh has the ability to slow the game down and then speed it back up when the puck is on his stick. His playmaking abilities are underrated due to all of the tlak of his selfishness, but he may be one of the best passers in this draft. He is an absolute steal at #5.
6) Guelph Storm: Jared McCann - London Jr. Knights Gold ALLIANCE- 6'0" - 176
This draft has 6 bonafide, surefire, superstars in it and Guelph is very lucky to be able to draft in the 6 hole. Jared McCann should still be there for them to take and he will be a great fit. McCann is an elite forward. He has the ability to score all ways imagineable, be it with his great shot, grabbing a rebound in front, tipping it in, or blowing by a whole team down the wing and burrying it. He has all the tools you look for in a top player. He has an unorthodox skating style, but if you look past it, you will see that it works for him and he can fly.
7) Oshawa Generals: Jacob Middleton - Huron-Perth Lakers ALLIANCE - 6'3" - 185
Oshawa needs to draft a D with their first pick and Generals fans will love what they see in training camp. This big defenceman has the ability to rush the puck at will and is a great leader. He skates well, handles the puck well and has good footwork along the boards. He has shown a bit of a habit of taking the puck first, which is unusual for such a big player but it's easily correctable. He is the 2nd best defenceman available in this draft/
8) Owen Sound Attack: Michael Dal Colle - Vaughn Kings GTHL - 6'2" - 185
MDC is possibly the smartest hockey player in this draft. He can play at both ends of the ice effectively but, to be expected with a pick this high, he shows his true colours in the offensive zone. Dal Colle always finds himself around the puck and can bury it like few people in this draft class. He is an adequate skater, but he lacks the 3 step explosiveness that most scouts look for. He is a very safe pick here for the Attack. He will either be a very good OHLer or an elite player. If he gets it all figured out he may be looked at in 20 years as the best player to come out of this draft, hands down.
9) Kingston Frontenacs: Sam Bennett - Toronto Marlboros GTHL - 5'11" - 160
Sam Bennett is the classic speedster type of player. He can burn a defender before they even know what's coming. There was some concern that he was just Connor McDavid's winger and that's why he was piling on the points, but with watching him play, you notice he sets up McDavid as much as McDavid sets up him. He will be a tough player to handle even as a 16 year old. He is OHL-ready.
10) Belleville Bulls: Brett Hargrave - Mississauga Rebels GTHL - 6'4" - 195
George Burnett must be licking his chops when he sees Hargrave is is still on the board when he picks. Hargrave is a very large presence on the ice. He had a great OHL Cup where he was the Rebels best player. Brett is a tough kid to stop off the rush and makes very smart plays from that situation. He also has an OHL shot and OHL speed, which may surprise people because of his size. Hargrave has a very high ceiling.
11) Mississauga St. Michaels Majors: Damien Bourne - Mississauga Rebels GTHL - 6'4" - 190
James Boyd was probably hoping to have Hargrave available to him here, but he will settle and be happy with Damien Bourne. They need size up front and Bourne brings just that. as you would expect with a 15 year old kid who is already 6'4" his skating is not where it needs to be, but everything else is there with this kid. He struggles with game-to-game consistency as well and that is something that will need to be fixed at the next level.
12) Saginaw Spirit: Brook Hiddink - Elgin-Middlesex Chiefs ALLIANCE - 5'11" - 185
Like Josh Ho Sang, Brook Hiddink played at the minor midget level last year as well. Hiddink is an elite talent who can play the two way game to perfection, fitting right in with the Saginaw system. Hiddink is quite good at putting the puck home around the net and is a very good skater. He is the consumate team guy, willing to block shots and do all the little things it takes to help his team win. Hiddink is the classic example of someone who has been over-scouted. If this were his first year, I firmly believe he would be a top 7 pick.
13) Sarnia Sting: Dante Salituro - Don Mills Flyers GTHL - 6'0" - 170
Sarnia will be happy to have Salituro fall to them here. Dante is easily the best finisher in this draft. He is also one of the best skaters. This makes for a deadly combination. Not only that but he also doesn't shy away from the physical play. He has a fast release where the puck seems like it isn't even on his stick before he gets it off and towards the net. To play this game at the next level he will have to get stronger in the off season.
14) Sudbury Wolves: Daniel Desousa - Toronto MArlboros GTHL - 6'0" - 170
The Sudbury blue line is in need of some help and Dan Desousa will be that help. Desousa is the quintessential offensive defenceman and powerplay quarterback. He is a fantastic skater and shows great lateral mobility when walking the line with the puck. He has the knack for making smart passes while heading up the ice at speed. He also plays with some bite, something that Sudbury's back end lacks.
15) Brampton Battalion: Michael Cramarossa - Toronto Marlboros GTHL - 6'0" - 180
Cramarossa might be one of the most intelligent players in the age group and it is the reason why he gets many of his points. He is an adequate skater and has an adequate shot. He is also very good in the defensive zone. He may not have elite offensive upside but he will be a good top 6 forward. He fits the Stan Butler mold.
16) Barrie Colts: Brendan Perlini - Detroit Belle Tire HPHL - 6'2" - 190
This may seem as an off the wall selection but I believe this is where the Barrie Colts are going to go with their pick. Perlini is a unique prospect. His play now may be no indication of what he can become. He is a 5 tool offensive playr; he has size, strength, speed, stick handling and intelligence. If he figures it all out he could be a top player in the O. There are some NCAA concerns seeing as he moved from the Sault to Detroit in his major Bantam year and his older brother went the NCAA route taking a full scholarship form Michigan State, but I think the O suites his game more, and he knows that.
17) Kitchener Rangers: Dylan DiPerna - Mississauga Rebels GTHL - 6'1" - 170
He is an elite offensive defenseman who skates like the wind and isn't affraid to throw his weight around in either zone. He has some work to do defensively with reading the oncoming play and controlling his gaps, but those are things that are teachable. He possesses the intangibles that are not teachable. Will be a good replacement for that guy that is on the Rangers blueline now...whatever his name is....Murphy something, I think.
18) Ottawa 67's: Andrew Abou-Assely - Ottawa Jr. 67's OEMHL - 5'10" - 157
Andrew Abou-Assaly is a top flight offensive juggernaugt. He displays excellent puck skills and footwork and is great at finding open ice in the slot by sucking players in and bumping off them. What is underrated with his game is his passing ability. He is a great neutral zone passer and is never the guy who people say is a puck hog. He is a great pickup for the 67's style and will develop nicely there. He goes to private shool in Ottawa and there are some small NCAA concerns but I dont think he will go that way.
19) Niagara Ice Dogs: Liam Herbst - Missisauga Rebels GTHL - 6'3" - 165
I am not going to pretend that I know all about goaltenders, but I know a few people who do and they rave about this kid. He is a big kid who has supreme rebound control, athleticism and plays the angle to a 'T'. The people I talk to say he is a sure fire first rounder and the best goalie in this draft. I believe them. I see that Niagara's number 1 need is a goaltender and as a result I see them taking Herbst here.
20) Niagara Ice Dogs: Matt Schmalz - Southern Tier Admirals OMHA - 6'4" - 190
Niagara won't have to look too far for their next pick. Big Matt Schmalz is the guy they want. His big body in that little rink will fit this team perfectly. He is a skilled forward who has a nose for the net and uses his size well. He will go to the net to make things happen. He needs to work on bringing it every game at the same level but that should come at the next level.
21) Plymouth Whalers: Niki Petti - Southern Tier Admirals OMHA - 6'0" - 160
Petti is exactly the kind of player that Plymouth likes to take with these early picks. He has a lot of offensive upside as he sees the ice very well and has a top shot and is a very good skater. Niki can play a 2 way game and, even with his smaller stature, will play the body if it is asked of him. He has a higher upside than a few of the guys taken ahead of him here.
22) London Knights: Spencer Watson - London Jr. Knights Gold ALLIANCE - 5'10" - 155
With the last pick of the first round, the London Knights will go with the home grown talent of young, Spencer Watson. Watson does lack size, but he makes up for it in his smarts and with his ability to find open ice in the offensive zone. One half of a twin-duo, the other being a defenceman, Watson could stand to learn a thing or two from his brother about the defensive aspect of the game, but he has shown a better effort in the defensive side of the puck from earlier in the season to the OHL cup at the end of the season. He will be able to step into the Knights lineup and get comfortable on the 4th line of a top team next season.
|25||Kingston||Kevin Spinozzi||Kingston Jr. Frontenacs||6'1" - 195||D|
|26||Kingston||Jaden Lindo||Toronto Marlboros||6'0" - 185||F|
|27||Peterborough||Connor Cummins||Whitby Wildcats||6'1" - 190||D|
|28||Owen Sound||Kyle Locke||York Simcoe Express||6'0" - 190||D|
|29||Erie||Cody Milan||St. Mary's Prep School||6'2" - 170||F|
|30||Mississauga||Patrick Sanvido||Guelph Jr. Storm||6'5" - 220||D|
|31||London||Ryan McInnis||St. Louis Blues U16 Tier1||6'3" - 165||F|
|32||Guelph||Owen McDade||Ottawa Valley Titans||5'11" 185||F|
|33||Belleville||Jeremiah Addison||Toronto Marlboros||6'0" - 175||F|
|34||Saginaw||Darby Llewelyn||Detroit Honeybaked||6'1" - 170||F|
|35||Plymouth||Jonathan Duchesne||Vaughn Kings||6'2" - 200||D|
|36||Sarnia||Joe Manchurek||Sun County Panthers||6'0' - 170||F|
|37||Erie||Santino Centorame||Mississauga Rebels||5'10" - 166||D|
|38||Brampton||David Miller||Mississauga Rebels||5'9" - 155||F|
|39||Saginaw||Joshua Jacobs||Detroit Honeybaked||6'1" - 172||D|
|40||Mississauga||Alex Peters||Huron-Perth Lakers||6'3" - 183||D|
|41||Ottawa||Brent Moran (G)||Ottawa Jr. 67's||6'3" - 166||G|
|42||Sault St. Marie||Medric Mercer||Ottawa Jr. 67's||6'0" - 172||D|
|43||Windsor||Nick Schmaltz||Chicago Mission Tier1||5'10" - 155||F|
|44||Barrie||Zach Bratina||Central Ontario Wolves||6'1" - 185||F|
|46||London||Trevor Abbot||London Jr. Knights||6'0" - 178||D|
|44||Erie||Chad Heffernan||Peterborough Petes||6'0" - 163||F|
|45||Windsor||Francesco Vilardi||Kingston Jr. Frontenacs||5'11" - 180||F|
|46||Kitchener||Gramae Brown||Kingston Jr. Frontenacs||6'0" - 175||D|
|47||Windsor||Dylan Larkin||Detroit Belle Tire||5'11" - 165||F|
|48||Barrie||Ty Learn||Southern Tier Admirals||5'11" - 170||F|
|49||Guelph||Jordan Addesi||Vaughn Kings||6'0" - 165||F|
|50||Saginaw||Matt Mancina (G)||Sun County Panthers||6'0" - 170||G|
|51||Owen Sound||Nic Coric||York Simcoe Express||5'9" - 160||F|
|52||Belleville||Kelly Summers||Ottawa Valley Titans||6'1" - 180||D|
|53||London||Nathan Billitier (USNTDP)||Buffalo Stars||5'10 - 170||D|
|54||Kingston||Garrett James||Huron Perth Lakers||6'2" - 186||F|
|55||Erie||Jake Evans||Mississauga Rebels||6'0" - 170||F|
|56||Sudbury||Anthony Stefano||sault St. Marie Stars||6'0" - 165||F|
|57||Brampton||Kyle Pettit||London Jr. Knights||6'2" - 170||F|
|58||Mississauga||Matt Mcleod||North York Rangers||6'1" - 160||F|
|59||Ottawa||Justin Felker||Southern Tier Admirals||6'3" - 170||D|
|60||Sarnia||Kevin Kerr||Team Comcast Tier1||5'11" - 155||D|
|61||Sault St. Marie||Michael Amadio||sault St. Marie Stars||5'11" - 165||F|
|62||Saginaw||Josh Maguire||Quinte Red Devils||5'11" - 188||F|
|63||Plymouth||Alex Turch (USNTDP)||Syracuse Nationals||6'2" - 190||F|
|64||Sarnia||Kyle jenkins||Mississauga Rebels||5'11" - 160||D|
|65||London||Connor Murphy||Hamilton Jr. Bulldogs||5'9" - 155||F|
|66||Peterborough||Matt Gillard||Southern Tier Admirals||5'10 - 175||F|
|67||Sault St. Marie||Brandon Prophet||Upper Canada Cyclones||6'3" - 210||D|
|68||Sault St. Marie||Marc Stevens||Vaughn Kings||6'0" - 160||F|
|69||Barrie||Ben Hughes||Barrie Jr. Colts||6'2" - 180||F|
|70||Belleville||Bobby MacIntyre||Whitby Wildcats||5'10" - 170||F|
|71||Kitchener||Andrew Ming||Eastern Ontario Wild||6'1" - 173||F|
|72||Sarnia||Marcel Godbout||Shattuck st. Mary's||5'10" - 180||F|
|73||Sudbury||Dallas Farr||Ottawa Valley Titans||6'2" - 195||F|
|74||Sault St. Marie||Evan Smith||Toronto Young Nats||5'11" - 175||F|
|75||Brampton||Bennett Morrison||Mississauga Rebels||6'3" - 190||D|
|76||Sudbury||Boyd Diclemente (G)||Peterborough Petes||5'11" - 190||G|
|77||Niagara||Connor Graham||Toronto Marlboros||5'11" - 175||F|
|78||Owen Sound||C.J. Garcia||Don Mills Flyers||6'0" - 170||D|
|79||Oshawa||Stefan LeBlanc||Oakville Rangers||5'11" - 160||F|
|80||Ottawa||Alex Renaud||Ottawa Jr. 67's||6'1" - 180||F|
|81||Plymouth||Owen MacDonald||Guelph Jr. Storm||5'8" - 150||F|
|82||Mississauga||Stuart Ilekys||Don Mills Flyers||5'9" - 155||F|
|83||London||Brandon Lemieux||Toronto Red Wings||6'0" - 180||F|
|84||Erie||John DiLorenzo||Southern Tier Admirals||6'1" - 190||D|
|85||London||Kegan Blasby||Markham waxers||6'0" - 170||F|
|86||Peterborough||Chris Brill-Morgan||Ajax=Pickering Raiders||6'2" - 172||F|
|87||Saginaw||Theo Lewis||Oakville Rangers||6'2" - 180||F|
|88||Windsor||Nick Magyar||Cleveland Barons||6'2" - 182||F|
|89||Windsor||Justin Wain||York Simcoe Express||5'11" - 166||F|
|90||Belleville||Mitchell Safaric||York Simcoe Express||5'10" - 153||F|
|91||Owen Sound||Greg Allen||Toronto Marlboros||6'3" - 175||D|
|92||Barrie||Darren Raddysh||Toronto Marlboros||5'11" - 165||D|
|93||Mississauga||Calvin Gomes||North York Rangers||6'1" - 155||F|
|94||Guelph||Logan Percy||Guelph Jr. Storm||6'1" - 185||D|
|95||Brampton||David Eccles||Hamilton Bulldogs||6'2" - 170||D|
|96||Barrie||Hayden Hodgson||Sun County Panthers||6'0" - 170||F|
|97||Sault St. Marie||Travis Dermott||York Simcoe Express||5'7" - 155||D|
|98||Kingston||Zach Emelifeonwu||Kingston Jr. Frontenacs||6'1" - 175||F|
|99||Saginaw||Kyle Wood||Waterloo Wolves||6'2" - 180||D|
|100||Ottawa||Bryce Mayea||Burlington Eagles||6'3" - 205||F|
|101||Plymouth||Chad Burrows||V aughn Kings||6'1" - 175||F|
|102||Guelph||Kris Bennett||North York Rangers||5'9" - 145||F|
|103||London||Matt Watson||London Jr. Knights||5'10" - 157||D|
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