1999-2000 season opens
The 1999-2000 Ontario Hockey League season opened Wednesday with two games featuring each of the 1999 OHL finalists. The Belleville Bulls, who defeated the London Knights in seven games to win the 1999 OHL Championship Series, hosted the Peterborough Petes, while the Knights traveled to Owen Sound for a rematch of the 1999 Western Conference final. The Petes spoiled Belleville’s home opener by defeating the Bulls 6-4 on the strength of three goals late in the third period, while the Platers defeated London 6-2. Greg Jacina, Owen Sound’s first pick in the 1999 OHL Priority Selection, scored the first goal of the year for the Platers, beating Bill Ruggiero 11:22 into the first period. The 1999-2000 season sees the introduction of the four on four overtime format that was introduced in the National Hockey League this season(see accompanying story). Each team will now receive a point for a tie in regulation time, with an additional point up for grabs during the overtime period.
The American Hockey League experimented with this overtime format during the final 204 games of the 1998-99 season. There was a winner in 61 per cent of the games played that went into overtime, compared to 33 per cent under the previous format. League standings will now include a notation for a regulation tie (RT) in each team’s record. The 1999-2000 schedule will, for the first time, feature inter-league games between the OHL and Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. The inter-league games, which will count in each respective league’s standings, begin January 16 as the Toronto St. Michael’s Majors travel to Montreal to face the expansion Rockets, and the North Bay Centennials will host the Val d’Or Foreurs. Also competing in the inter-league home and home series will be the Ottawa 67’s and Hull Olympiques and the Sudbury Wolves and Rouyn-Noranda Huskies. Other special dates this season will include December 31 when the Brampton Battalion host the Mississauga IceDogs for the last game of the 20th century. The year 2000 will open with 10 teams in action as Belleville, Kingston, Oshawa, Peterborough and Owen Sound will host games on New Year’s Day. The IceDogs will host the 2000 OHL All-Star Game at the Hershey Centre on Tuesday January 25. The game will be broadcast live nationally on CTV Sportsnet. The CHL Top Prospects Game is scheduled for Wednesday February 2 at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto.
OHL announces rule changes for 1999-2000 season
The Ontario Hockey League has adopted several rule changes for the 1999-2000 season, including a new overtime format where each team will receive a point for a regulation tie, and then play a four on four overtime period for an additional point.
Rule 89 – Tied Games
During regular season games, if at the end of three periods of play the score is tied, each team shall be awarded a point in the League standings. The teams will then play an additional five minute sudden victory overtime period with the team scoring first declared the winner and awarded an additional point. The overtime period shall be played with four skaters and one goaltender per team. If a team is penalized during the overtime, teams play four on three for the duration of the power-play. If a team is penalized such that a two-man advantage is called for, then the offending team will remain at three skaters while the non-offending team will be permitted a fifth skater. A team may pull their goaltender during the overtime period. However, should that team lose the game during the time in which the goaltender is removed, it would forfeit the automatic point gained at the end of regulation play, except if the goaltender has been removed at the call of a delayed penalty against the other team.
The following rule changes have also been adopted for the 1999-2000 season:
Rule 3 – Goal Posts and Nets
The rule has been adjusted to reflect that the goal nets will be moved out an additional three feet (3′) to thirteen feet (13′) from the end boards.
Rule 21 – Goaltender Equipment
All equipment worn by goaltenders must now meet certain measurement specifications including, but not limited to, the catching glove, blocker, chest and arm pads, pants and jersey. The specifications are consistent with those previously adopted by the National Hockey League.
Rule 65 – Icing the Puck
The following addition has been made to the icing the puck rule; “if, in the opinion of the Linesman, the goaltender leaves the crease on a potential icing and feigns playing the puck at any time, the potential icing shall not be called and play shall continue.”
Around the OHL
Barrie Colts (1-4-1)
The Colts opened the 1999-2000 season with a 5-3 win over Kitchener in their home opener on Thursday…G Ben Vandeklok recorded the win as the Colts await the return of G Brian Finley from Nashville…RW Denis Shvidki remains at the Florida Panthers training camp.
Belleville Bulls (2-4-2)
C Justin Papineau, who had returned from Los Angeles on Tuesday, scored two goals in a 6-4 loss to the Petes on Wednesday…Papineau was named team captain prior to the opener…veteran RW Jonathan Cheechoo has yet to return from the San Jose Sharks training camp.
Brampton Battalion (2-2-2)
First round draft pick C Jay McClement had two goals and an assist in six pre-season games with the Battalion…coach Stan Butler led the Canadian Under-18 team to a gold medal win in the Czech Republic in August.
Erie Otters (1-0-2)
Erie opened the season with a 5-3 win over North Bay on Thursday…C Shane Nash scored two of four Otters power-play goals in the win…Erie was one of two teams (Peterborough) to finish the pre-season without a loss.
Guelph Storm (3-1-2)
LW Colt King, Guelph’s 1st round pick in 1999, scored three goals and one assist in six pre-season games with the Storm…New coach Paul Gillis led the Quad City Mallards to consecutive West Division titles in the United Hockey League in 1998 and 1999.
Kingston Frontenacs (1-3-2)
The OHL postponed the Frontenacs home opener against Ottawa on Friday due to a labour dispute in Kingston…The Frontenacs will open the 1999-2000 season on the road as they visit Toronto on Sunday.
Kitchener Rangers (3-1-0)
C Ryan Held has returned to the Rangers lineup after an extended stay in the New Jersey Devils training camp…C Serge Payer, who spent the past eight months recovering from Guillain-Barre syndrome, is out of the Rangers lineup indefinitely with mononucleosis.
London Knights (3-2-1)
RW Justin Olden and C Joel Scherban scored, while D Dan Jancevski added two assists in the Knight’s season opening 6-2 loss to Owen Sound on Wednesday.
Mississauga IceDogs (1-2-2)
C Jason Spezza, the first overall selection in the 1999 OHL Priority Selection, scored three goals and six assists in five pre-season games…LW Chad Wiseman scored three goals and six assists in three pre-season games.
North Bay Centennials (3-1-1)
The Centennials introduced their new jerseys in front of a team record crowd for home openers of 3,394 on Thursday…Captain C Mike Cirillo scored in the 5-3 loss to Erie.
Oshawa Generals (2-4-0)
Director of Operations Wayne Daniels, who was with the Generals organization for more than 30 years resigned earlier this month to accept a scouting position with the Pittsburgh Penguins…The Generals scored three power-play goals in a 5-2 win in Windsor on Thursday…Brad Ralph scored two goals in the victory.
Ottawa 67’s (4-2-0)
The 67’s will open the 1999-2000 season in North Bay on Sunday after their game against Kingston on Friday was postponed…German rookie Franz Fritzmeier scored three goals in his exhibition debut against Belleville on September 6.
Owen Sound Platers (3-1-3)
Each of the Platers first three picks from the 1999 OHL Priority Selection scored in Owen Sound’s 6-2 win over London to open the season on Wednesday.
Peterborough Petes (5-0-1)
G Joey MacDonald stopped 35 Toronto shots, including a penalty shot by RW Darryl Bootland, to lead the Petes to a 4-1 win over the Majors on Thursday…The Petes opened the season with a 6-4 come from behind win in Belleville on Wednesday…Peterborough held the best pre-season record in the OHL this season.
Plymouth Whalers (1-1-2)
C Stephen Weiss, the Whalers first selection in 1999, registered a hat trick against Sarnia on September 17…Rookie G Aaron Molnar posted a 1-1-1 record, along with a 2.67 GAA, in three exhibition games with the Whalers.
Sarnia Sting (0-4-3)
The Sting have named D Mike Van Ryn captain after signing the 20 year old as an overager last week…Van Ryn, who was captain of Canada’s 1999 National Junior Team, played the past two seasons with the University of Michigan (CCHA).
S. S. Marie Greyhounds (1-2-1)
D Derek Fox, the Greyhounds first round choice in 1998, played his first exhibition game last Saturday after recovering from a groin injury. The sophomore blueliner was limited to 32 games last season with a similar injury.
Sudbury Wolves (2-3-0)
Coach and general manager Bert Templeton is eight wins shy of 800 in his career…Templeton, who is entering his 23rd season behind an OHL bench, is a two time OHL coach of the year…C Mike Fisher has received an extended look in the Ottawa Senators training camp.
Toronto St. Michael’s Majors (2-3-1)
Rookie goaltender Peter Budaj, who was selected in the 1999 CHL Import Draft, impressed during training camp allowing just one goal against in his first exhibition game.
Windsor Spitfires (1-1-2)
The Spitifires opened their 25th year in the OHL with a 5-2 loss to Oshawa…C Fedor Fedorov, the younger brother of Detroit Red Wings star Sergei, has joined the Spitfires after spending last season with Port Huron of the United Hockey League.
(Pre-season record in brackets.)
Sept. 14 Mississauga traded D Dan Armstrong to Plymouth for a 7th Round selection in 2000.
Sept. 16 Erie traded D Ryan Fraser to Oshawa for a 6th Round selection in 2000.
Sept. 17 Belleville traded RW Derek Campbell and a conditional 8th Round selection in 2000 to Owen Sound for C Peter Campbell and G Luc Bergeron.
This Week in OHL History
(1979) David E. Branch officially assumes the duties of Commissioner of the Ontario (Major Junior) Hockey League
25 (1988) North Bay goaltender Jason Houle becomes the second goaltender in OHL history to score a goal.