HIRING: INTERN, HOCKEY OPERATIONS
Date: Oct 17, 2019
The Oakville Blades open the 2019 National Jr. A Championship tourney with a big-time test.
The Ontario Junior Hockey League and Central Canadian champion Blades face the hometown Brooks Bandits in the southeast Alberta town Saturday at 9 p.m. EDT
Brooks went 57-3 during the regular season, including a 33-game winning streak and a perfect 30-0 in their home rink, the Centennial Regional Arena. Opened in 2010, the arena seats 1,700 plus standing room for 500.
The Bandits were top-ranked in the national rankings much of the season.
Oakville was ranked third in the final ratings.
The Blades, who went 44-5-2-4 in the OJHL regular season, have gone 20-3 in the 2018 postseason.
Manitoba’s Portage Terriers (46-11-3) and the Ottawa Jr. Senators (43-16-0-3) meet earlier in the day to open the tournament.
The Blades play the fifth team in the tourney – the former RBC Cup – British Columbia’s Prince George Spruce Kings, Sunday at 4 p.m. EDT
Prince George (39-13-1-5) captured the 2019 Doyle (Alberta/B.C.) Cup on Saturday night, downing visiting Brooks 4-2 in the decisive sixth game of the series.
The top four teams in the tournament round-robin qualify for the semifinals May 18. The final will be played Sunday, May 19, at 5 p.m. EDT.
All preliminary round and semifinals will be streamed live on HockeyCanada.ca. The championship game will be broadcast on TSN and streamed on TSN.ca
Ontario connections to the other four teams:
PRINCE GEORGE SPRUCE KINGS
MAX COYLE, D was born in Tillsonburg and played three seasons for the GOJHL's Listowel Cyclones.
LUCAS VANROBOYS, C is a native of Thamesville.
Goalie PIERCE CHARLESON is from Aurora and played three games for the Newmarket Hurricanes in 2016-17 and in 2017-18 for the Caledonia Corvairs of the GOJHL.
Blueliner JORDAN DI CICCO played for his hometown London Nationals (GOJHL) and one season for the OJHL's Cobourg Cougars (2016-17).
Assistant captain and defenceman BRENDAN SCANLIN is a Hamiltonian and played two seasons for the Brantford Jr. B 99ers.
Fellow blueliner WYATT VILLALTA, from Kingston played for the Soo Thunderbirds (NOJHL), Toronto Patriots (OJHL) and the Burlington Cougars (OJHL).
Right-winger SIMON BOYKO, from Mississauga played two games as a callup for the Toronto Junior Canadiens (OJHL).
Centre MACK HANCOCK, from Kingston, played on game for the Vees in 2014-15 and a season with the CCHL's Brockville Braves.
Centre BOBBY HARRISON is from Waterdown and suited up for the GOJHL's Chatham Maroons and Caledonia Corvairs.
Forward JAKOB LEE is a native of Owen Sound and suited up for three seasons with the Listowel Cyclones (GOJHL).
Stoney Creek's RYAN MAHSHIE was a Pelham Panther (GOJHL) in 2016-17.
Defenceman CALEAN MCPHEE from Ancaster played for his hometown Avalanche (GOJHL) and the Junior C Dundas Blues.
Forward CHASE HENRY from Chatham was a Jr. B. Maroon in 2017-18.
OTTAWA JUNIOR SENATORS
Blueliner BLAIR BOTACCHIO spent the 2017-18 campaign with the Kingston Voyageurs (OJHL).
Forward CONOR SMART from Keswick appeared in 3 games as a callup for the Oakville Blades (OJHL) in 2015-16 and spent a season, 2016-17, as an Orangeville Flyer (OJHL).
–with files from Ron Valentine