2017 OHL Cup Powered by Under Armour Quarter-Final Preview
Saturday’s Quarter-Final matchups are set as eight teams remain in the quest for 2017 OHL Cup supremacy. The action begins at 10:00am.
Here’s a quick look at the Quarter-Final matchups:
Scotiabank Pond 1
Toronto Jr. Canadiens (2-1-1, 2nd Subban Division) vs. Mississauga Reps (3-0-1, 1st Shanahan Division) – 10:30am
Two evenly matched GTHL opponents square off for a chance to advance to the final four. The Reps and Jr. Canadiens played a closely contested season series in the GTHL this season, with the Reps winning the first meeting back in September before the two clubs tied in their final two encounters.
Mississauga’s big unit of Jamieson Rees joined by Aaron Jamieson and Mike Petizian has been dangerous throughout the OHL Cup Showcase, with Petizian sitting tied for the tournament lead in assists with five. They’ll look for some secondary scoring punch from Dennis Golovatchev and Wild Card Play-In game hero Cole Burtch up front while rearguards Zachery Wright, Igor Chibrikov and Klim Georgiev continue to eat big minutes.
The Jr. Canadiens have been a tough two points throughout the showcase, getting steady performances from reliable two-way centreman Cody Morgan, scoring winger Brendan Hoffman and big rearguard Matthew Hill.
With a wealth of evenly matched teams across the league this season, this tilt is just another tough GTHL matchup that will be determined by an ability to execute.
Toronto Nationals (3-1-0, 2nd Nash Division) vs. Whitby Wildcats (2-0-2, 1st Lindros Division) – 12:15pm
An intriguing matchup pits the Wild Card entry Toronto Nationals against the OMHA Champion Whitby Wildcats.
Whitby has had a tough time putting together a full 45 minutes to this point in the OHL Cup, but when they’re on – they’re on. The well-established line of Cole Perfetti with Brett Benham and Jacob Sirizzotti has been a treat to watch as the underage Perfetti is tied for the OHL Cup lead in points with eight (3-5–8). Go-to guy Blake Murray has the ability to be a game-changer but has been limited to just one point through four games. It should be noted that the Wildcats haven’t lost a game since December 4th, a run of 29 straight games undefeated.
The Nats have been a tenacious force at the OHL Cup, getting big performances from power forwards in long-time friends Ethan Keppen and Brandon Coe while goaltender Zach Roy has been among the tournament’s best puckstoppers. Robert Calisti and Jordan Power will be called upon early and often to match up against Whitby’s best forwards. The Nats have battled through adversity, overcoming injuries to regulars Mason Primeau and Bryan Foster and have earned the opportunity to play in this very important game.
Both teams have legitimate strengths with Whitby’s offensive creativity and team speed giving them an edge while the Nats rely on great goaltending and brute force to get their desired results.
Scotiabank Pond 2
Toronto Marlboros (3-1-0, 2nd Shanahan Division) vs. London Jr. Knights (4-0-0, 1st Subban Division) – 10:00am
The mighty Marlboros meet the London Jr. Knights in a rematch of the 2015 OHL Cup Semi-Final that saw Matthew Strome (Hamilton Bulldogs), Ryan McLeod (Mississauga Steelheads) and the Marlins edge Nick Suzuki (Owen Sound Attack), Isaac Ratcliffe (Guelph Storm) and the Jr. Knights 4-3.
The ALLIANCE Champion Knights have been on a roll at the OHL Cup, going 4-0-0 in the Round Robin, outscoring opponents 17-5 in the process. Depth is their calling card as second and third line forwards in Peter Fleming, Luke Drewitt and Liam Van Loon have been among London’s best players in the showcase thus far.
The high-powered Marlboros counter with lots of skill on forward as Jack Hughes and Graeme Clarke have turned heads over the course of the showcase. Each has seven points over four games as Clarke leads all players with six goals. The two are also first and second respectively in shots on goal, a further testament to just how much these two have the puck on their sticks.
The Jr. Knights sat atop the OHL Cup Powered by Under Armour Top-10 Rankings through much of the season and now have their chance to show people what they’re made of in a one-game showdown against the most successful program in OHL Cup history. The Marlies have a winning tradition, one they take great pride in and won’t be surrendering without a fight.
Vaughan Kings (2-0-2, 2nd Lindros Division) vs. Mississauga Rebels (4-0-0, 1st Nash Division) – 11:45am
The defensively responsible Vaughan Kings take on the GTHL Champion Mississauga Rebels in a game of high stakes, looking to advance to the final four for the first time ever.
The Kings took two of their three meetings against the Rebels in the GTHL this season with the third encounter ending in a tie. GTHL Player of the Year Nick Porco joins gritty defenceman Nathan Staios in leading a physical, hard-checking Kings team into battle against a highly skilled opponent. Brendan Sellan has led Vaughan in scoring while Kosta Manikis leads the team in goals with three. The Kings have been rolling ever since a big Tuesday night comeback against the Whitby Wildcats to open their tournament in a 3-3 tie. Vaughan goaltender Christian Sbaraglia has been among the OHL Cup’s best, surrendering just one goal over 113 minutes of work.
The Rebels are the hottest team in the province, rattling off four straight wins at the OHL Cup following their GTHL Championship win over the Toronto Marlboros. Two-way rearguard Anthony Aguanno leads Mississauga in scoring with six points (2-4–6) and holds the tournament’s best plus-minus rating of plus-10. The scoring has come by committee with the ever-competitive, pesky twins Ty and Dylan Jackson always factoring into the outcome of the game.
The Rebels are in the hunt for their first OHL Cup title since 2012 and right now look like as good a bet as any to win it all. Teams like Vaughan however, who play a responsible, defensive, hard-checking style can win a game on any given night. Could the Kings topple the Rebels?
The winners of Saturday morning’s Quarter-Final matchups will advance to Saturday night’s OHL Cup Semi-Final.
OHL Cup Semi-Finals (Scotiabank Pond 1):
6:00 pm Semi-Final 1 – Winner Quarter-Final 2 vs. Winner Quarter-Final 1
8:00 pm Semi-Final 2 – Winner Quarter-Final 4 vs. Winner Quarter-Final 3