Road to the 2018 OHL Cup: American entries assembled
Two long-standing OHL Cup American entries make their return to the annual showcase this week as Elite Hockey Group and TPH Hockey take to the ice with a mix of talent from across the United States.
Both clubs played to competitive 2-2-0-0 records at last year’s event with Elite Hockey Group being led by London Knights rookie Dalton Duhart (5-0–5) while TPH featured Guelph Storm rookie Tag Bertuzzi (1-2–3).
“I anticipate we’ll see a couple of competitive teams from south of the border,” commented OHL Director of Central Scouting Darrell Woodley. “It always takes some time to get the rosters finalized but both of these teams are set now and raring to go.”
Elite Hockey Group features a number of capable forwards up front including Isaac Novak of Detroit Belle Tire, Dane Dowiak of the Pittsburgh Jr. Penguins, Michael Cameron of the Philadelphia Jr. Flyers and Kyle Smolen of the Chicago Young Americans.
EHG also includes a familiar name in forward Matthew DeBoer, the son of former OHL head coach and current San Jose Sharks bench boss Peter DeBoer.
“This team might be a smaller group but there’s definitely some skill there,” noted Woodley. “They’ll be a quick team and like always, it’ll be interesting to see what kind of chemistry they form with a lot of these guys playing together for the first time.”
EHG will compete in the Nash Division alongside the GTHL Champion Toronto Marlboros, OMHA Silver Medalist Guelph Gryphons, ALLIANCE Wild Card Series winner Cambridge Hawks and the winner of a Wild Card Play-In Game between the Sun County Panthers and the Toronto Titans.
In the Shanahan Division, TPH Hockey will go up against the OMHA Champion York-Simcoe Express, GTHL Finalist Mississauga Reps and a pair of Wild Card Play-In entries.
Consisting of talent brought in largely from the Michigan and Illinois regions, TPH will look for stability from the back end as dependable defenders in Noah Marino of the Chicago Fury and Frank Jenkins of Detroit Honeybaked’s U15 team patrol the blue line.
Up front, big 6-foot-6, 195Ib. forward Kyle Van Compernolle has recorded 24 points (13-11–24) in 26 games with the Fox Motors U15 team this season and brings an intriguing blend of size and skill to the roster.
“TPH has featured some pretty good players in recent years,” said Woodley. “Guys like Jack Studnicka, Blade Jenkins and Tag Bertuzzi have all worn the sweater so it will be interesting to see if there’s another big name or two that will assert themselves this week.”
Elite Hockey Group is in action on Tuesday night with a big challenge, squaring off with the Toronto Marlboros to begin the tournament. TPH hits the ice on Wednesday afternoon to take on the GTHL Finalist Mississauga Reps.
Now that we’ve looked at the American teams, let’s take a glance at how things wrapped up in playoff action across Ontario these past few weeks.
***The four teams that reach the GTHL semi-finals earn a 2018 OHL Cup berth. (Toronto Marlboros, Mississauga Reps, Toronto Jr. Canadiens, Vaughan Kings). The winners of the GTHL Wild Card Play-In Series will earn a Wild Card Play-In game opportunity at the OHL Cup (Mississauga Rebels, Mississauga Senators). The Don Mills Flyers and Toronto Titans were chosen by the OHL Cup Wild Card Selection Committee and will compete in Play-In games on Tuesday March 13th.
(1) Toronto Marlboros vs. (2) Mississauga Reps
Marlboros win series 9-5 in points
GTHL WILD CARD SERIES A
(5) Don Mills Flyers vs. (8) Mississauga Senators
Senators win series 9-5 in points
GTHL WILD CARD SERIES B
(6) Mississauga Rebels vs. (7) Toronto Titans
Rebels win series 9-5 in points
*** The champion, finalist (London Jr. Knights, Brantford 99’ers) and third place team qualify for the 2017 OHL Cup
(2) London Jr. Knights vs. (4) Brantford 99’ers
Brantford wins series 6-4 in points
ALLIANCE WILD CARD SERIES
(1) Cambridge Hawks vs. (3) Sun County Panthers
Cambridge wins series 6-0 in points
***The OMHA champion York-Simcoe Express, Guelph Gryphons, Oakville Rangers and Barrie Jr. Colts have clinched at spot at the 2018 OHL Cup Powered by Under Armour. The fifth place Quinte Red Devils and SCTA’s Grey-Bruce Highlanders will play a Wild Card Play-In Game. The Peterborough Petes and Niagara North Stars were chosen by the OHL Cup Wild Card Selection Committee to also compete in a Wild Card Play-In game.
OMHA CHAMPIONSHIP GAME
York-Simcoe Express defeat Guelph Gryphons 3-1
OMHA CHAMPIONSHIP FINAL STANDINGS
- York-Simcoe Express
- Guelph Gryphons
- Oakville Rangers
- Barrie Jr . Colts
- Quinte Red Devils (OHL Cup Wild Card Play-In Game)
OMHA SCTA WILD CARD PLAY-IN QUALIFIER
Grey-Bruce Highlanders defeat Brampton 45’s 5-2
For more information on the 2018 OHL Cup Showcase Tournament Powered by Under Armour, visit ohlcup.ca.