After 20 years, the city of North Bay is losing their junior hockey franchise.
The announcement was made this morning at an 11 a.m. news conference. Centennials co-owner has sold the team to a Saginaw, Michigan group that is headed by Wren Blair and Richard J. Garber.
Garber is the owner and president of Garber Management Group, which operates Garber Buick as well as seven other car companies in Michigan, Illinois and Florida.
Through their first 15 home games this season the Centennials have reportedly lost around $5000 per game and over the past several seasons have lost more than $200,000 per season. The team was averaging 2,298 fans per home game through the end of November. Only the Kingston Frontenacs, Toronto St. Michael’s Majors and Brampton Battalio have averaged less fans per game.
The Centennials will play out of the 6,000 seat Saginaw County Event Center next fall. The arena underwent a $14 million American renovation project recently as well.
This isn’t the first time that the Centennial franchise has been sold or re-located. The franchise entered the OHL as the St. Catharines Blackhawks in 1973-74, then moved to Niagra Falls before the 1976-77 season before moving to North Bay in 1982-83.
New co-owner Wren Blair had initially attemted to bring an expansion OHL franchise to the city of Saginaw but was turned down. The city was reportedly on a list of possible sites for the OHL to expand to but when Blair attempted to bring a franchise to the city the OHL was not yet ready for another expansion.
Blair has been involved i Read more»
Written by Ivana Paulova and Robert Neuhauser
Another playing day in Pardubice and Hradec Kralove ended by disappointment for Czech players.
Czechs lost to Slovakia 0:1, USA tied with Sweden 2:2, Canada beaten Switzerland 6:1 and Finland
won over Russia 2:1. Team Canada is performing extremly well where as young Czechs are still
struggling. You can read more about each of these games in our report.
Czech Republic – Slovakia 0:1
33:12 SVK Kopecky (Pohanka, Velebny) 1:0
Czech team started the game with offensive pressure which was due to a high number of Slovak fouls.
But the Czechs were not able to take advantage of three five on three power plays. Goalie of the Slovak
selection Peter Budaj had a great day and thanks to his unbelievable saves none of the Czech 45
shots ended in goal, Peter Budaj’s comment: “The whole team performed really well, we all
promised to work for the team and we were able to do it for the whole game. It was probably the
best game in my career and I’m happy that it was heplful for the team”. The only goal of the
game was scored by Tomas Kopecky who performed really
well and he appears to be in a great shape at this tournament. On the Czech side Ales Hemsky was
awarded the best player and he responded to the game: I think we played well but didn’t
have luck on our side. We didn’t score so we couldn’t win. During power plays we missed
explosiveness. We were a bit nervous as well”. He had couple of good opportunities but did not
manage to score Read more»
WESTERN HOCKEY LEAGUE – STANDINGS AND SCORING LEADERS
Eastern Conference GP W L T OTL GF GA Pts Last 10 Streak
Regina Pats 39 21 11 3 4 130 96 49 8-1-1 1T
Brandon Wheat Kings 34 21 11 0 2 127 105 44 7-3-0 3W
Moose Jaw Warriors 41 16 20 4 1 125 140 37 4-5-1 1L
Prince Albert Raiders 37 13 20 1 3 119 150 30 6-4-0 2W
Saskatoon Blades 37 11 20 4 2 101 134 28 1-8-1 1W
Swift Current Broncos 38 23 10 3 2 140 113 51 6-4-0 1L
Red Deer Rebels 36 21 10 5 0 119 88 47 3-6-1 3W
Lethbridge Hurricanes 36 18 12 6 0 132 107 42 3-5-2 2L
Calgary Hitmen 36 17 18 1 0 135 139 35 7-3-0 1L
Medicine Hat Tigers 40 15 23 1 1 141 181 32 5-5-0 1L
Prince George Cougars 35 21 9 3 2 130 93 47 5-4-1 1L
Kamloops Blazers 34 21 10 1 2 133 109 45 5-5-0 1W
Kootenay Ice 38 19 16 3 0 138 121 41 4-6-0 3L
Kelowna Rockets 36 14 17 2 3 123 123 33 3-7-0 5L
Vancouver Giants 36 9 23 2 2 107 171 22 4-6-0 1W
Spokane Chiefs 39 22 12 3 2 127 113 49 4-4-2 1W
Portland Winter Hawks 35 17 12 3 3 137 117 40 5-4-1 1L
Tri-City Americans 37 16 18 3 0 122 135 35 3-6-1 1W
Seattle Thunderbirds 36 10 23 2 1 106 157 23 4-4-2 2L
Player, Club GP G A Pts +/- PIM PPG SHG GWG GTG
Barrett, Nathan, LET 36 24 33 57 6 52 9 3 5 1
Kopecky, Tomas, LET 32 21 28 49 16 58 7 1 2 1
Balej, Josef, POR 33 26 22 48 12 22 12 2 2 0
Jo Read more»
The first half of the OHL season produced some surprises and changes but for the most part it gave fans an idea that anything can happen in the OHL. Here’s a team-by-team review of the first half of the OHL season. (Note: Teams are listed in order of the standings)
1. Barrie Colts (35 Games Played, 21-10-4-0 record, 46 points)
The Colts are rebounding from an off-season and have been playing well this year. The Colts have played well enough to put themselves in a position to bid for the Memorial Cup. Goaltender David Chant has the lowest Goals Against Average in the OHL with a 2.09 mark. He has come on in the latter part of the first half and could be a threat in the Colts goal come playoff time.
2. Peterborough Petes (37 Games Played, 16-12-5-4 record, 41 points)
The Petes entered the break having gone 2-6-2 in their last 10 games but suffered an overtime loss in North Bay to move 1 point ahead of Ottawa the East Division. Greg Chambers and Eric Staal have been key to the Petes success and have put up solid numbers in the first half. They will need to continue their solid play through the rest of the season.
3. Toronto St. Michael’s Majors (36 Games Played, 19-11-6-0 record, 44 points)
Goaltenders Peter Budaj and Andy Chiodo, despite being involved in trade talks almost all season, have put up solid numbers as the Majors continue to play good hockey. With Budaj holding the 2nd best GAA in the OHL at 2.37, goaltending will be the key to any second half suc Read more»
Tobias Stephan:2002 draft eligible Stephan who got a 17-save shutout in the first game against Finland played well in the game vs Canada as well despite finding the puck behind him 6 times. This was mainly due to a fatigued Swiss defense in the third period. Stephan prevented the Candians to go into double figures with some excellent saves. The EHC Chur goalie was especially quick with covering up rebounds and closed his legs in time to prevent 5-hole goals. He
wasn’t to be blamed for any of the Canadian goals in the game and Switzerland know they have a more than safe goalie in their net for the rest of the tournament.
Rene Back: This EHC Chur defenseman logged a lot of ice time on the first line and played well for the first two periods were he showed his capabilities
as a physically strong defenseman. Back was delivering hits allover the place and gave the Candians forwards a hard time setting up plays in the offensive zone
Beat Forster: The Phoenix Coyotes prospect showed himself as a physical presence as well along with Back on the Swiss first line defence. Forster won’t score many points but is steady on his feet and uses his body well.
Thibaut Monnet: Speedy forward that needs to add some strength. He is to become a top sniper in the Swiss league, but hasn’t been drafted. He didn’t have
a great game today, depsite scoring Switzerland’s only goal, mainly because of the physical power the Canadian defense had.
Andreas Camenzind: Captain of team Switzerland and he showed today that he deserved to be so. He showed lea Read more»