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CHL Opening Week Rewind

Photo Credit: Seattle Thunderbirds (Brian Liesse), Windsor Spitfires (Tim Cornett), Erie Otters (Aaron Bell/OHL Images)

An eventful Opening Week across the Canadian Hockey League has come and gone with a lot happening between Thursday and Sunday. Miss anything? Here’s a quick review of the week’s prominent headlines to get you caught up headed into another fast approaching weekend of CHL action.

 

Champions celebrate 2016-17 accomplishments

The Mastercard Memorial Cup champion Windsor Spitfires, QMJHL champion Saint John Sea Dogs and WHL champion Seattle Thunderbirds all commemmorated tremendous 2016-17 seasons last weekend, with the Sea Dogs and Thunderbirds raising banners to forever document their accomplishments. The Thunderbirds paid a visit to Washington State Governor Jay Inslee who recognized their great achievement. In Windsor, Spitfires captain Aaron Luchuk brought the Memorial Cup out to centre ice to kick-off the season. The Spitfires will raise their championship banner on October 12th at home to the London Knights. The OHL champion Erie Otters won’t be on home ice until this coming weekend, but they did break out a new set of white, blue and gold jerseys bearing the club’s new cursive primary logo.

 

Pats kick-off 100th season in Regina

The hosts of the 100th Mastercard Memorial Cup next spring kicked off their 100th season this past weekend as the Regina Pats held centennial celebrations at the Brandt Centre. After stumbling out of the gate, the Pats rebounded with a 4-3 win in their home opener against the Brandon Wheat Kings as veteran forward Matt Bradley scored twice. The Pats donned specially-themed 100th anniversary sweaters for the matchup as they began their march toward the 2018 Mastercard Memorial Cup.

Top 2018 NHL Draft prospect Zadina scores first goal of 2017-18

After producing the NHL’s top draft selection this past summer, the Halifax Mooseheads have another good European talent on their hands in Czech forward Filip Zadina, who on Thursday scored the first goal of the 2017-18 CHL season. Zadina lit the lamp on the power play 5:23 into the second period with assists going to Maxime Fortier and Raphel Lavoie as the Mooseheads went on to defeat the Sea Dogs 4-1. The 17-year-old Zadina was the 11th overall pick of the 2017 CHL Import Draft.

 

CHL Player of the Week Lind helps Rockets to 2-0 start

Vancouver Canucks prospect Kole Lind has been deemed the CHL’s best of the past week as the Shaunavon, SK, native collected eight points (3-5–8) in a pair of Rockets victories over the rival Kamloops Blazers. The 18-year-old scored the game winning goal and added two assists in Friday’s 6-2 victory before potting two goals and three assists in Saturday’s 5-2 road win.

Spitfires’ DiPietro picks up where he left off

After backstopping the Windsor Spitfires to a Mastercard Memorial Cup title last spring, Michael DiPietro returned from Vancouver Canucks training camp in fine form this past weekend. The 18-year-old went 3-0-0-0 with a 1.00 goals-against average, a .966 save percentage and a 30-save shutout to claim Vaughn CHL Goaltender of the Week honours. His nine career shutouts are the most in Windsor Spitfires franchise history.

Five hat-tricks highlight Opening Week action

A hat-trick quintet headlined Opening Week action with four of those coming out of the Ontario Hockey League.

Oshawa Generals rookie Nick Wong scored three times in his OHL debut before 2018 NHL Draft prospect Serron Noel buried a hat-trick a night later. Ottawa 67’s forward Austen Keating helped his club defeat the defending champion Erie Otters with three goals and an assist on Sunday. North Bay Battalion winger Luke Burghardt helped his club complete an epic comeback as the Troops clawed back from a 5-2 deficit in Sudbury, scoring four times in the final eight minutes to win 6-5. Burghardt’s game winner with four seconds remaining completed the hat-trick.

Additionally, Matthew Phillips had three goals and an assist in a 7-1 Victoria Royals home opening win over the Vancouver Giants on Saturday, marking the first hat-trick in the WHL this season.

 

Great saves from coast-to-coast

Four goaltenders pitched shutouts across the CHL including Western Hockey League netminders Brody Willms of the Moose Jaw Warriors and Michael Bullion of the Medicine Hat Tigers. Aforementioned Windsor Spitfires goaltender Michael DiPietro as also perfect in a blanking of the Guelph Storm while Antoine Samuel of the Baie-Comeau Drakkar provided the lone shutout in the QMJHL.

With a new season upon us, the first edition of #JanesSaves hit sites across the network this week. Check those out below!

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