OHL tops Russia in tight affair

by Ken McKenna

Given the lopsided series advantage for Canada over the four years of the Canada-Russia Challenge, the 4-3 outcome of Monday night’s tilt in Oshawa was not at all surprising.

Forgetting the CHL’s dominant run through the 22 games played so far in the four years, the game at the newly minted General Motors Centre between the OHL All-Stars and the Russian Selects was a truly entertaining and intense affair. This contest offered a little bit of everything, including skilled playmaking, thundering hits and solid goaltending.

But what turned into an intense battle didn’t look so special through the first period and the early portion of the second as the OHL built a 3-1 lead off goals by center Ryan O’Marra (New York Islanders, 1st round – 2005), defenseman Patrick McNeill (Washington Capitals, 4th round – 2005) and right wing Steve Downie (Philadelphia Flyers, 1st round – 2005). Were it not for some great goaltending by Russian goaltender Ilia Proskuryakov, a rout surely would have ensued given the OHL’s ability to create several outstanding scoring chances at the expense of the overwhelmed Russian forwards and defense. Indeed, with the shot clock showing the OHL with a 22-9 advantage at the 13.50 mark of the second period, it seemed that a blowout was inevitable.

But the Russian squad found their legs at this point in the game while the OHL players seemed to lose their edge. The Russian forwards, who were smothered through the first half of the game by the bigger and talented OHL defensive corps, finally were able to create some room for themselves in t Read more»

Q & A with Erie Otters Brad Bonello

by Ken McKenna

Q&A with Erie’s Brad Bonello

By Ken McKenna

In the 01-02 season, a draft-eligible player on the Erie Otters roster
faced an uphill battle in his bid to be drafted by a NHL team. Forward
Scott Dobben (now of the Ste. St. Marie Greyhounds) was overlooked in the
Central Scouting Service’s mid-term rankings, but went on to be drafted by
the Ottawa Senators in the 2002 NHL Draft. This season, another Otter,
center Brad Bonello, is in the same position that former teammate Dobben
was in last year, with Brad being overlooked in CSS’s mid-term rankings.

Brad is in his second season with the Otters, a season that has been almost the opposite of what he experienced last year during Erie’s run to the Memorial Cup tournament. The Otters have struggled to stay near the .500 mark throughout the 02-03 campaign, with the team currently being locked in a battle to earn the right to defend their OHL title.

Bonello had a good start to this season, as he was amongst the goal-scoring leaders in the OHL through the first month. The feisty pivot has notched three 4-point games so far, but his overall production has tailed off some more recently. Through 51 games, Brad has tallied 44 points (18G, 26A), to go along with 120 penalty Read more»

1999-2000-A Season Full of Ups And Downs

by Brad Coccimiglio
Despite the fact that the OHL season finished up over a month ago it’s never too late to look back at the season past. In this season summary you will find almost everything you need to know about the 1999-200 OHL season.

The OHL sure had it’s share of turmoil this year. The Barrie Colts had plenty of run-ins with Commissioner David Branch’s office over the course of the 1999-2000 season. The Colts were the OHL’s version of “Team Turmoil”. With all of the problems that they had it was surprising that they were as successful as they were. We won’t get into those problems though. Many teams did better than expected this year while some weren’t quite as successful. Here is a brief look back at each team’s season:

Barrie Colts

Regular Season: 43-19-6-1, 93 points, Division-1st, Conference-1st, Overall-2nd

Playoffs: Won league title, Lost in Memorial Cup final to Rimouski (QMJHL)

Leading Scorer: Sheldon Keefe (48-73-121)

Read more»

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