NWHL Buffalo Beaut Shannon Szabados meets with media after first session of 2018 Training Camp.
BUFFALO, N.Y. — The Buffalo Sabres announced the team has signed forward Sam Reinhart to a two-year contract with an average annual value of $3.65 million.
Reinhart (6’1”, 192 lbs., 11/6/1995) established new career highs in games played (82), goals (25), points (50), power-play goals (12) and power-play points (21) during his third full professional season in 2017-18. In his last 38 games of the campaign, the forward recorded 37 points (18+19), and his 20 goals in the 2018 calendar year tied him for 12th in the NHL.
Selected by Buffalo with the second overall pick of the 2014 NHL Draft, Reinhart has recorded 140 points (65+75) in 249 career NHL contests. The West Vancouver, British Columbia native represented Canada at the 2014 and 2015 IIHF World Junior Championships and won a gold medal at the 2015 tournament, where he was named to the All-Star Team after tying for the tournament lead in scoring. He also helped Canada capture gold at the 2016 IIHF World Championship.
“Another slow start, We cannot keep spotting the opposition a and early goal or two and expect to win games. On the positive side the team battles to the end.” stated General Manager John Evoy on the Regals 4-1 loss at the hands of the Pelham Panthers.
Once again the Lockport Regals came out flat in the first period allowing two goals and being outscored 16-5. The team came on in the second period and registered the lone tally off the stick of Alex Stinis on the powerplay. Pelham added 2 more in the 3rd and skated away with a 4-1 victory. The Regals are now 0-3 in league play and Pelham remains undefeated at 2-0.
The same two teams meet again Wednesday night at the Cornerstone Arena in Lockport with a 7pm face-off. “It is a very competitive league” stated Head Coach Jamie Bird. “The boys continue to battle hard and once we overcome our slow start we will raise some eyebrows in this league” .
BUFFALO, N.Y. — The Ontario Junior Hockey League Governors’ Showcase returns to Harborcenter for the fourth straight year Monday, Sept. 24 through Wednesday, Sept. 26. All 22 OJHL teams will make their way to downtown Buffalo and compete in two games over the course of the event. Full-day general admission passes are available to fans for $20 for each of the days of the showcase. OJHL Showcase games take place on both KeyBank Rink 1 and New Wave Energy Rink 2.
2018 Ontario Junior Hockey League Governors’ Showcase at Harborcenter
Monday, September 24
11:30 AM – Lindsay Muskies vs. Brantford 99ers
12:15 PM – Whitby Fury vs. Georgetown Raiders
2:30 PM – Mississauga Chargers vs. Aurora Tigers
3:15 PM – St. Michaels Buzzers vs. Buffalo Jr. Sabres
5:30 PM – Wellington Dukes vs. Burlington Cougars
6:15 PM – Markham Royals vs. Kingston Voyageurs
8:30 PM – Newmarket Hurricanes vs. Toronto Jr. Canadians
For Day 1 General Admission Passes, CLICK HERE.
Tuesday, September 25
10:30 AM – Oakville Blades vs. Lindsay Muskies
11:30 AM – Stouffville Spirit vs. Whitby Fury
1:30 PM – Aurora Tigers vs. Wellington Dukes
2:30 PM – Pickering Panthers vs. Kingston Voyageurs
4:30 PM – Brantford 99ers vs. Toronto Patriots
5:30 PM – Georgetown Raiders vs. North York Rangers
7:30 PM – Brampton Admirals vs. Trenton Golden Hawks
8:30 PM – Buffalo Jr. Sabres vs. Cobourg Cougars
For Day 2 General Admission Passes, CLICK HERE.
Wednesday, September 26
9:30 AM – Burlington Cougars vs. Mississauga Chargers
12:00 PM – Toronto Patriots vs. Oakville Blades
12:30 PM – North York Rangers vs. Stouffville Spirit
3:00 PM – Trenton Golden Hawks vs. Newmarket Hurricanes
3:30 PM – Toronto Jr. Canadians vs. Brampton Admirals
6:00 PM – St. Michaels Buzzers vs. Markham Royals
6:30 PM – Cobourg Cougars vs. Pickering Panthers
For Day 3 General Admission Passes, CLICK HERE.
The Ontario Junior Hockey League is the largest Junior ‘A’ league operating under the auspices of the Canadian Junior Hockey League, with 22 member clubs. The OJHL had more than 135 commitments in 2017-18, including 65 NCAA Division I scholarships. Last year’s event in Buffalo attracted more than 200 scouts from various levels of the game, including the NHL, NCAA, CHL and U Sports.
(Photo: Lopez on right) — For the second time in as many games, a slow start has cost the Lockport Regals as they fall to the Thorold Blackhawks 4-2 Thursday night in Thorold, Ontario.
Thorold stormed quickly out of the gate scoring twice in the first 6 minutes of play. A goal late in the period put the Blackhawks up by 3. The Regals were outshot 12-5 in the opening period. The Regals made a contest of it in the second with back and forth play. The only goal of the period came off the stick of Lockport forward Tim Lopez on a Penalty Shot. In the third, Thorold struck first at 8:08 to go up by 3 but Tim Lopez found the back of the net 5 minutes later with his second tally of the night. The game was even the rest of the way as Thorold skated off with a 4-2 win.
“We had a bit of a slow start, but weathered the storm in the second. All in all, a pretty good effort, but the push back was a little too late” stated Assistant Coach Geoff Peters. Head Coach Jamie Bird added “there were a lot of positives to build off; the team is going in the right direction it is just going to take a little time”.
Next up are the Pelham Panthers this Sunday in Pelham, Ontario. The Panthers come into the game having won their season opener against Hamilton 2-0. In the pre-season, the Panthers led the league with a 7-1 record, having outscored their opponents 22-9. Leading the way for Pelham were Noah Caperchione, Zach Thompson and Matt Ruigrok with 7 points each. Pelham will be hosting their inaugural game in their brand new arena. Puck drops at 2:30pm.
Following this game, both teams will meet again Wednesday, September 19 at the Cornerstone Arena in Lockport. Warm up is at 6:30 and the puck drops at 7pm.
The Lockport Regals of the Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League began a new era at their new home in Lockport, NY last evening as they hosted the first ever GOJHL game at the Cornerstone Arena. The visiting Hamilton Kilty B’s rode into town, still stinging from a home opening shutout loss at the hands of the Pelham Panthers and seeking redemption. When asked before the game how the Regals looks, Head Coach Jamie Peters stated “The boys are a bit nervous but they are anxious to play”.
Nerves may have gotten the best of the team however as Hamilton would snuff out plans for an opening night victory as the Regals went down in a 7-2 loss.
Hamilton came out strong in the first period and registered all 3 goals in the period. The Regals did mount a valiant comeback midway through the second period as Alex Stinis and Tim Lopez scored within a minute apart and just like that it was 3-2. Hamilton came back late with another goal and the period ended 4-2. It was all Hamilton in the 3rd period as they lit the lamp 3 more times and skated off with a 7-2 victory.
“We have to work smarter without the puck, especially in our zone” stated Coach Bird. “We played well at times but we have to work hard all 3 periods in this league; It’s a great league”. Assistant Coach Geoff Peters added “the boys worked hard but we have to play smarter in our zone. The give aways make a difference”.
The Regals get a chance for redemption of their own as they travel to Thorold, Ontario this evening with the thought of spoiling the Blackhawks season opener in a 7:07pm start. Thorold comes off the preseason at 1-5 having been outscored 20-14. Leading the way for the Blackhawks were Brendan Charlton and Cam Lightfoot with 7 points each.
It was a fine opening night crowd of 150 and the fans of Lockport seemed to enjoy this particular brand of Canadian Junior Hockey.
After this evenings game the Regals face league leading Pelham Panthers on Sunday in Pelham and then return home next Wednesday to face the Panthers once again in a 7pm start.
For more information about the Lockport Regals visit us on line at www.lockportregals.com
Photo credit: Janet Schultz
Canisius hockey head coach Trevor Large has announced senior Ian Edmondson has been named captain for the 2018-19 season.
In addition, fellow seniors Cameron Heath, Dylan McLaughlin and Jimmy Mazza have been chosen to serve as assistant captains for the upcoming campaign.
“This year, our leadership group is special,” Large said. “Each of them possesses a belief in what it means to be a Griff. I believe in who they are as people and I know they will drive our team success. Ian will lead the way as captain and he will lean on the rest of the team to lead when they are called upon. Protecting our culture is everything and I know our captains will be positive, competitive and team-first.”
A native of Toronto, Edmondson served as an assistant captain during the 2017-18 season, helping guide the Golden Griffins to a 19-17-2 overall mark and a 17-11-0 ledger in league play.
The veteran defenseman recorded one goal and nine assists in 36 games played while also contributing 38 blocked shots.
Heath garnered All-Atlantic Hockey First Team honors last season after pacing Canisius’ defensemen in goals (7), assists (14) and points (21). The Troy, Mich., product was one of five skaters to appear in all 38 games for the Griffs in 2017-18 and finished the season second on the squad in plus/minus rating (+11) and fourth in blocked shots (46).
The 2017-18 Atlantic Hockey Player of the Year and a Hobey Baker Top 10 Finalist, McLaughlin paced Canisius in goals (17), assists (31) and points (48) last season as he finished the 2017-18 campaign ranked in among the top 10 players nationally in total assists (31/T-8th), assists per game (0.84/8th) and points per game (1.30/7th).
The Lancaster, N.Y., native was also an All-AHC First Team selection as he claimed the league’s scoring trophy after pacing Atlantic Hockey in points (38) and assists (25) during the regular season.
Mazza finished the 2017-18 season tied for the team lead among defensemen in assists (14) and ranked second among Canisius’ blueliners in both goals (5) and points (19). A native of Kings Park, N.Y., Mazza was one of five skaters to take part in all 38 games last season and finished the season third on the squad with 48 blocked shots.
(Photo of Edmondson provided by Canisius College)
WICHITA, Kan. – The Wichita Thunder, ECHL affiliate of the NHL’s Edmonton Oilers, announced Tuesday the signing of Niagara University graduate Kevin Patterson (’17) for the 2018-19 season.
Patterson joined the Thunder late last season after starting the year with the Peoria Rivermen of the Southern Professional Hockey League. The blueliner played in 27 contests for the Rivermen, then tallied seven points (1 G, 6 A) in 19 games with the Thunder.
As a Purple Eagle, Patterson played in 124 career games in four seasons, registering 27 points (9 G, 18 A) in that time. Before coming to Monteagle Ridge, played junior hockey in Kansas for the North American Hockey League’s Topeka Roadrunners. In two seasons in Topeka, he racked up 31 points (8 G, 23 A) in 101 games.
In the 2017-18 season, the Thunder finished fourth in the ECHL’s Mountain Division with a record of 34-30-6-2 and clinched a spot in the postseason. They took the division-winning Colorado Eagles to six games before bowing out in the first round of the Kelly Cup playoffs.
BY RANDY SCHULTZ – (Photo: Emily Janiga center) – Emily Janiga thought she had accomplished everything she could do in ice hockey. The East Aurora, NY native had a successful hockey career in high school while attending Nichols School in Buffalo.
From there it was on to Erie, PA and Mercyhurst College where success seem to follow her with four outstanding seasons with the Lakers. She topped that by being drafted by the Buffalo Beauts of the National Women’s Hockey League (NWHL) and helping them win the Isobel Cup in 2017.
What more could there be for Janiga to prove? The answer came in the summer of 2017 when the 24 year-old forward accepted the opportunity to serve as a sport ambassador to Team China, a women’s development program for hockey aimed at the 2022 Winter Olympics to be held in Beijing, China.
While it may have looked like a relatively easy decision to make, Janiga had to think about it for a short period of time. And for a good reason.
“Growing up in the little community I did, I really hadn’t been to far from there my whole life,” said Janiga, the daughter of Leonard and Mabel Janiga. “Sure, I had gone to Mercyhurst which was just a couple of hours from my house.
“And I had been to Mexico once for my sister-in-laws bachelorette party. But it wasn’t for an extended period of time. I had been back and forth to Canada for hockey games. But this trip to China was going to be for several months.
“I really felt I had to leave that comfort zone and always being near to home. So I accepted the opportunity.”
Janiga will be the first one to also tell you that a second thought about her decision went through her mind following her 14 hour flight to China.
“It was culture shock,” responded Janiga, the 2015 College Hockey America (CHA) Player of the Year. “That’s the only way I can describe it.
“I remember getting off that plane in Hong Cong and seeing nothing but people. Everywhere! It was just overwhelming.”
In addition to her role as a sport ambassador, Janiga also signed a contract to play pro hockey with the Vanke Rays, one of China’s two pro hockey expansion teams that began play in the Canadian Women’s Hockey League for the 2017-18 campaign.
“It was a great opportunity for me,” said the 2014 and 2015 All-CHA First Team member. “I could continue playing the sport I love while teaching it to players just being introduced to the game for the first time.”
But Janiga admitted that it wasn’t as easy as one would think when she first arrived in China.
“There was a big difference in food and language,” commented Janiga. “That was quite an adjustment to make. Going out to get groceries was an experience. And the city I lived in, Shenzhen, has something like 12 million people living in it. For someone who grew up where I did in a town that has less than 7000 people that was a big adjustment to get used to.”
But there was always one thing that kept Janiga calm.
“Hockey,” stated Janiga, with a smile.
“Hockey is hockey, no matter where you play it,” she continued. “And being able to develop the sport and helping it grow in another country like China, is a great opportunity.
“Working with Chinese players that had good skills, was a good experience. It was a great feeling to watch these players grow as players every day. It was a lot of hard work, but I really didn’t mind that.”
Hard work is something Janiga is quite used to. Having grown up on a 1000-acre farm, with the main crop being sweet corn, the hockey forward knew what early hours were like both on the farm and playing hockey.
Janiga recently signed a contract with the Beauts to play for them again for the 2018-19 season. She admits that she is a bit of a different person coming back to her roots.
“I really think I grew as a person with the time I spent in China,” concluded Janiga. “It was a great experience to help grow the game in another country. It was also a chance to raise the awareness of women’s hockey.
“In the end it was an awesome experience for me. I know I will have a different feeling for the Chinese when it comes time for the 2022 Winter Olympics, especially with hockey. While I’ll still be pulling for Team USA, it will be interesting to see how China does. And I know I will have had a small part in their success. That’s a great feeling.
“I think I’ve also become a better person. I have a different outlook on life. I stepped outside my comfort zone.
“It was an awesome experience.”
(Photo by Janet Schultz Photography)
BY RANDY SCHULTZ—(Photo, Emery on left and Sirena on right Fitzery) – One of the more prestigious hockey awards presented to high school-aged hockey players in the Western New York area is the Tyler Putnam Award. The award was originally presented to players from the Rochester, NY area.
But for the first time this year a player was chosen from the Buffalo, NY area. That player was Sirena Fitzery, who played for the New York State Girls High School Champion FLOP (Frontier/Lakeshore/Orchard Park) hockey team.
The award came as a total surprise to Fitzery.
“It was pretty amazing,” commented Fitzery, who is attending Utica College where she will be playing hockey. “To hear all about the hard work and what Tyler accomplished, it has a special place in my heart. I didn’t think I would be nominated for this award and to see that I have contributed to my team what Tyler did for his teams, that is special.”
What did Sirena think about being the first player from Buffalo to win the award?
“I think it was crazy,” responded Fitzery, who will be majoring in Child Psychology at Utica. “I had no idea what this award was all about. Now I do. So to be the first one from Buffalo is quite an honor.
“It’s a great way to finish off this season as well as my high school career. To win the championships we did and now this award, it’s just amazing.”
Putnam’s dream was to play for his high school team, the Irondequoit Eagles, then junior hockey, Division I hockey and ultimately professional hockey. He was able to realize the first two parts of that dream.
In July 2011 Tyler’s hockey dreams ended tragically when died of an illness called “Meningococcemia,” an infection that affects the bloodstream. The Tyler Putnam Award, which is symbolized by a hard hat, a symbol of Tyler’s hard work and dedication to the game that he loved.
Sirena is just another great example of what the award stands for.
“It’s something that I will never forget,” concluded Sirena.
(Photo of Fitzery sisters by Janet Schultz Photography)