Dudley-Hewitt Cup team preview: Toronto Patriots (OJHL)



Release Date: Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Dudley-Hewitt Cup team preview: Toronto Patriots (OJHL)

FORT FRANCES, Ont. – The Dudley-Hewitt Cup Central Canada Jr. A Championship in Fort Frances begins today with the first two round robin contests.

The opener Tuesday afternoon at Ice for Kids Arena at 2 p.m. CT features the Dryden GM Ice Dogs of the Superior International Junior Hockey League take on the champions of the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League, the Soo Thunderbirds.

Game 2 of the day features the two-time SIJHL Bill Salonen Cup title-winning Fort Frances Lakers meeting the defending Dudley-Hewitt Cup and back-to-back Ontario Junior Hockey League champion Toronto Patriots.

Th following is a preview on the defending DFC title holders, the Toronto Patriots.



THE PATRIOTS: It’s been over two decades since there has been a repeat winner at the Dudley-Hewitt Cup, but the OJHL champion Toronto Patriots have an opportunity to do just that as they begin play at the Ice For Kids Arena in Fort Frances.

Toronto won last years’ DHC final defeating fellow OJHL member and host Wellington Dukes in the championship game.

The last team to win successive DHC crowns were the Chateauguay Elites of Quebec won back-to-back Dudley-Hewitt Cup titles in 1993 and 1994.

The last Ontario-based club to accomplish the feat was the Thunder Bay Flyers in 1991 and 1992 as part of the record four they went on to win.

Toronto earned their way back to the event after repeating as OJHL Buckland Cup champs winning a hard-fought final over the Kingston Voyageurs in a best-of-seven final that went the distance.

In league quarter-final action the Patriots easily handled the St. Michael’s Buzzers as they swatted them away in four straight games.

Moving on to the conference semifinals, the Patriots took on the Oakville Blades with Toronto winning the series 4-1.

They then met the rival Toronto Jr. Canadiens in the conference final in which the Patriots won in six.

Moving on to the Buckland Cup final, Toronto built up a 3-1 series lead before Kingston rallied to win two straight and force a seventh and deciding game on home ice.

In the decider however the Patriots built an early lead that they would never relinquish enroute to a 6-1 triumph and a repeat as OJHL champions.

THE PLAYERS: Backed by the outstanding efforts of the Brett Ladds OJHL playoff MVP award, Toronto goaltender Mat Robson was stellar throughout the postseason.

Robson was outstanding posting an impressive 16-6 record with three shutouts.

The Patriots netminder also led all OJHL goalkeepers in both average and average at 1.77 and .937 respectively.

Pacing the club offensively was forward Jacob Hayhurst.

In 22 games he picked up 23 points on nine goals and 14 assists.

Right behind him was Mitch Emerson who had 22 points in the playoffs scoring a team-high 15 times while setting up seven others.

Leading all OJHL defencemen in points was Patriots D-man Niko Kovachis.

He amassed 19 points on eight goals and 11 assists.

Emerson, who also spent time with the Whitby Fury and Pickering Panthers before being acquired by Toronto, had the most points in the regular season with 63 in total on 26 markers and 37 helpers.

Hayhurst was next with 55 points, including 23 tallies, while Kovachis was fourth among OJHL blueliners in offensive productions with 49 points on 10 goals and 39 assists.

Robson was 21-12 in the regular season with two shutouts with a 2.50 average and .916 save mark.

Special teams saw the Pats go at 16.96% on the power play during the regular season and 85.19% while on the penalty kill.

In the playoffs the P.P. clicked at 19.19% while the P.K. was at an impressive 92.5%.

Among the NCAA commitments on the Patriots are Hayhurst going to RPI in 2016 while Kovachis will attend Niagara University on scholarship next season.

FASTHOCKEY: Each Dudley-Hewitt Cup contest will be available online via pay-per-view at fasthockey.com.

DUDLEY-HEWITT CUP WEBSITE: More information on the 2015 Dudley-Hewitt Cup, including ticket packages, can be found on the official event website at www.centralcanadianchampionship.com.

Additional news, statistics, schedules and other relevant material is also posted on the website with other relevant information being added leading up to the event.

RBC CUP: The Dudley-Hewitt Cup winner will advance to represent the central region at the 2015 RBC Cup Canadian Jr. A Championship, May 9-17, in Portage la Prairie, Man.

Serving as host will be the Portage Terriers of the Manitoba Junior Hockey League.

Joining the Terriers and Dudley-Hewitt title holders will be the champion and finalist of Crescent Energy Western Canadian Championship as well as the winner of the Fred Page Cup Eastern Canadian Championship.

More information on the RBC Cup can be found at www.hockeycanada.ca/rbccup.

Dudley-Hewitt Cup
April 28 – May 2
Ice for Kids Arena
Fort Frances, Ont.

Competing teams
HOST: Fort Frances Lakers (Bill Salonen Cup champion)
SIJHL: Dryden GM Ice Dogs (Bill Salonen Cup finalist)
NOJHL: Soo Thunderbirds (Copeland Cup – McNamara Trophy champion)
OJHL: Toronto Patriots (Buckland Cup champion)

Schedule (All start times Central Standard Time)
Tuesday, April 28
Soo vs. Dryden 2 p.m.  
Toronto vs. Fort Frances 7:30 p.m.  
Wednesday, April 29
Toronto vs. Dryden 2 p.m.
Fort Frances vs. Soo 7:30 p.m.
Thursday, April 30
Soo vs. Toronto 2 p.m.
Dryden vs. Fort Frances 7:30 p.m.
Friday, May 1
Semifinal: 2nd Round Robin vs. 3rd Round Robin 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, May 2
Final: 1st Round Robin vs. Semifinal Winner 7:30 p.m.

DHC champion advances to RBC Cup May 9-17 in Portage la Prairie, Man.


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