Niagara IceDogs

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Niagara IceDogs
NiagaraIceDogs.PNG
City St. Catharines, Ontario
League Ontario Hockey League
Conference Eastern
Division Central
Founded 1998 (1998)–99
Home arena Meridian Centre
Colours Red, black, white
              
General manager Marty Williamson
Head coach Marty Williamson
Affiliate(s) St. Catharines Falcons

Website
www.niagaraicedogs.net
Franchise history
1998–2007 Mississauga IceDogs
2007–present Niagara IceDogs

The Niagara IceDogs are a major junior ice hockey team in the Ontario Hockey League based in St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada. The franchise was originally known as the Mississauga IceDogs and founded in 1996. The team was relocated to St. Catharines and played its inaugural season in the Niagara region during the 2007–08 OHL season after spending 9 seasons in Mississauga. The team is owned by Bill and Denise Burke.

History[edit]

Niagara IceDogs in action at home versus Barrie Colts.

Early Years, 1998-2007[edit]

The Mississauga IceDogs inaugural season began in 1998-99, and the team struggled, winning only 4 of 68 games. In their first three seasons, the IceDogs won a total of 16 games, in 204 games played. The nine season tenure in Mississauga saw the IceDogs finish with a .301 win percentage in 612 regular season games and win one Central Division and Eastern Conference Championship.

Relocation[edit]

On July 12, 2006, Eugene Melnyk, who owned the Toronto St. Michael's Majors, bought the Mississauga IceDogs. After the 2006–07 season, Melnyk sold the IceDogs, and moved the Majors to the Hershey Centre in Mississauga. The team approached the City of St. Catharines about moving the team into Jack Gatecliff Arena. St. Catharines City Council voted on a leasing arrangement on April 23, 2007, which passed. The OHL Board of Governors approved the deal on June 5, 2007.[1][2]

Jack Gatecliff Arena Era[edit]

The Niagara IceDogs spent their first seven seasons in St. Catharines in the Jack Gatecliff arena. In six of the seven years at the Jack Gatecliff arena, the IceDogs led the OHL as the best attended team based on capacity percentage. During this time, the IceDogs qualified for the playoffs in every year, making it to the Eastern Conference finals twice. The IceDogs most successful year was in 2011-12 when they won both the Emms Trophy and Bobby Orr Trophy as Central Division and Eastern Conference Champions. They would ultimately fall in the finals, however, to the London Knights in five games. While playing at the Jack Gatecliff arena, Niagara’s line-ups featured a number of eventual high NHL draft picks and NHL alumni. First round draft picks included Alex Pietrangelo, Mark Visentin, Ryan Strome, Dougie Hamilton, and Brendan Perlini. Other notable players to lace-up for the IceDogs at the Jack Gatecliff are Stefan Legein, Luca Caputi, Andrew Agozzino, Brett Ritchie, Jamie Oleksiak, Freddie Hamilton, and Andrew Shaw, who was the first Niagara IceDogs alumni to win the Stanley Cup.

Meridian Centre Era[edit]

The IceDogs entered a new era when they relocated to the brand new Meridian Centre in St. Catharines. On Thursday October 16th, 2014, the IceDogs won their first game at the Meridian Centre by a score of 7-4 against the visiting Belleville Bulls. The first goal at the new Meridian Centre was scored by Mikkel Aagaard from Denmark.

Championships[edit]

Emms Trophy
Central Division Champions

  • 2011-12

Bobby Orr Trophy
Eastern Conference Champions

  • 2011-12

Coaches[edit]

Mario Cicchillo was promoted from assistant coach in 2006–07 for Mississauga, to become the first coach of the Niagara IceDogs after it was announced that head coach Mike Kelly resigned to accept a senior advisory position with the team.[3] In August 2009, Cicchillo was fired and assistant coach Mike McCourt was named interim head coach. In early May 2010, the IceDogs announced that the team would not be renewing the contracts McCourt and his assistants. Former Barrie Colts coach/general manager Marty Williamson was named coach and general manager of the IceDogs in late May 2010.

  • 2007-2009 Mario Cicchillo
  • 2009-2010 Mike McCourt (Interim)
  • 2010–present Marty Williamson

Players[edit]

NHL Alumni[edit]

NHL Draft Picks[edit]

Award Winners[edit]

Ontario Hockey League[edit]

Bobby Smith Trophy
Scholastic Player of the Year

Dave Pinkney Trophy
Lowest Team G.A.A.

Ivan Tennant Memorial Award
Top High School Academic Player

Leo Lalonde Memorial Trophy
Overage Player of the Year

Max Kaminsky Trophy
Most Outstanding Defenceman

Mickey Renaud Captain's Trophy
Captain of the Year

  • 2011-12 – Andrew Agozzino

OHL Executive of the Year

  • 2007-08 – Denise Burke

Canadian Hockey League[edit]

CHL Defenceman of the Year

CHL Scholastic Player of the Year

Current Roster[edit]

Goaltenders
Number Player Catches Position Birth year Place of birth Acquired NHL Status
1 United States Brandon Hope L G 1994 Canton, Michigan Trade OS (2014) Free Agent
30 United States Stephen Dhillon L G 1998 Buffalo, New York 3rd round (2014) Eligible 2016
31 Canada Brent Moran L G 1996 Orleans, Ontario 2nd round (2012) 4th round DAL (2014)
Defencemen
Number Player Shoots Position Birth year Place of birth Acquired NHL Status
3 Canada Brian Brosnan R D 1995 Ilderton, Ontario 15th round (2011) Free Agent
4 Canada Vince Dunn L D 1996 Peterborough, Ontario 6th round (2012) 2nd round STL (2015)
5 United States Blake Siebenaler R D 1996 Fort Wayne, Indiana 15th round (2012) 3rd round CBL (2014)
6 Canada Luke Mercer R D 1994 Toronto, Ontario 1st round (2010) Free Agent
20 United States Zach Wilkie L D 1997 Villa Park, Illinois 2nd round (2013) Free Agent
22 United States Ryan Mantha R D 1996 Clarkston, Michigan Trade SSM (2014) 4th round NYR (2014)
28 United States Aaron Haydon R D 1996 Plymouth, Michigan 1st round (2012) 6th round DAL (2014)
29 Russia Aleksandar Mikulovich L D 1996 Chelyabinsk, Russia 2nd round - Import (2013) Free Agent
Forwards
Number Player Shoots Position Birth year Place of birth Acquired NHL Status
7 Denmark Mikkel Aagaard L LW 1995 Frederikshavn,Denmark 1st round - Import (2014) Free Agent
8 Canada Billy Jenkins R LW 1994 Ottawa, Ontario Trade KIN (2013) Free Agent
9 Canada Jordan Maletta R RW 1995 St. Catharines, Ontario Trade WIN (2013) Free Agent
10 Canada Anthony DiFruscia L LW 1995 Thorold, Ontario 2nd round (2011) Free Agent
11 Canada Brendan Perlini L LW 1996 Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario Trade BAR (2013) 1st round ARZ (2014)
13 Canada Graham Knott L LW 1997 Holland Landing, Ontario 3rd round (2013) 2nd round CHI (2015)
14 Canada Christopher Paquette R C 1998 Kingston, Ontario 2nd round (2014) Eligible 2016
15 Canada Matt Gillard L LW 1996 Welland, Ontario 4th round (2012) Free Agent
16 Canada Mitchell Fitzmorris L LW 1995 Ingersoll, Ontario Trade KIN (2013) Free Agent
19 United States Cody Payne R RW 1994 Weston, Florida Trade SAG (2014) 5th round BOS (2012)
21 Canada Carter Verhaeghe L C 1995 Waterdown, Ontario 2nd round (2011) 3rd round TOR (2013)
23 Canada Johnny Corneil L C 1997 Lindsay, Ontario 4th round (2013) Free Agent
26 Canada Josh Ho-Sang R RW 1996 Thornhill, Ontario Trade WIN (2014) 1st round NYI (2014)

Team records[edit]

Single season records[edit]

Career scoring and goalie leaders[edit]

These are the top-ten point-scorers in regular season franchise history. Figures are updated after each completed OHL regular season.

Player GP G A Pts Seasons
Andrew Agozzino 318 159 147 306 2007–08 to 2011–12
Ryan Strome 191 100 181 281 2009–10 to 2012–13
Freddie Hamilton 258 108 144 252 2008–09 to 2011–12
Alex Friesen 292 91 153 244 2007–08 to 2011–12
Carter Verhaeghe 262 83 141 224 2011–12 to 2014-15
Dougie Hamilton 213 40 147 187 2009–10 to 2012–13
Steven Shipley 194 72 94 166 2010–11 to 2012–13
Brendan Perlini 128 67 74 141 2012–13 to 2014–15
Anthony DiFruscia 203 65 68 133 2012–13 to 2014–15
David Pacan 133 49 77 126 2010–11 to 2011–12

These are the top-five goalies (ranked by wins) in regular season franchise history. Figures are updated after each completed OHL regular season.

Player Mins W L OTL SOL GAA SVP SO Seasons
Mark Visentin 9429 89 55 4 12 2.75 .911 14 2008–09 to 2011–12
Christopher Festarini 5412 42 40 3 4 3.08 .895 5 2011–12 to 2014-14
Brent Moran 5484 39 47 3 2 3.77 .888 1 2012–13 to 2014-15
Sebastian Dahm 1517 20 6 0 0 2.53 .917 2 2007–08
Brandon Hope 1801 19 7 1 2 2.93 .905 1 2014-15

Season-by-season results[edit]

Regular season[edit]

Legend: OTL = Overtime loss, SL = Shootout loss

Season Games Won Lost OTL SL Points Pct % Goals
For
Goals
Against
Standing
2007–08 68 42 25 0 1 85 .625 272 214 2nd Central
2008–09 68 26 31 5 6 63 .463 213 264 4th Central
2009–10 68 26 34 2 6 60 .441 191 233 4th Central
2010–11 68 45 17 2 4 96 .706 273 197 2nd Central
2011–12 68 47 18 0 3 97 .713 291 169 1st Central
2012–13 68 30 34 2 2 64 .471 227 250 4th Central
2013–14 68 24 35 3 6 57 .419 223 284 4th Central
2014–15 68 37 27 2 2 78 .574 274 237 3rd Central

Playoffs[edit]

Season 1st round 2nd round 3rd round Finals
2007–08 W, 4–0, Mississauga Majors L, 4–2, Oshawa Generals
2008–09 W, 4–3, Ottawa 67s L, 4–1, Belleville Bulls
2009–10 L, 4–1, Ottawa 67s
2010–11 W, 4–0, Brampton Battalion W, 4–1, Oshawa Generals L, 4–1, Mississauga Majors
2011–12 W, 4–2, Oshawa Generals W, 4–0, Brampton Battalion W, 4–1, Ottawa 67s L, 4–1, London Knights
2012–13 L, 4–1, Oshawa Generals
2013–14 L, 4–3, North Bay Battalion
2014–15 W, 4–2, Ottawa 67's L, 4–1, Oshawa Generals

Uniforms and logos[edit]

The IceDogs colours are red, black and white. The home jersey is black with red, black and white sleeves with two crossed dog bones on each shoulder. The away jersey is white with red, black and white sleeves with two crossed dog bones on each shoulder. The Niagara logo is a Bull Terrier (modelled after former team part-owner Don Cherry's famous dog, "Blue") playing hockey in hockey gear. The team wears red and black CCM gloves and CCM helmets (black or white, depending upon their jersey colour).

Arena[edit]

Meridian Centre[edit]

The IceDogs moved into the Meridian Centre on October 16, 2014. Located at 1 Ice Dogs Way in St. Catharines, the Meridian Centre features a combination of 5,300 permanent and retractable seats.

Jack Gatecliff Arena[edit]

The Gatorade Garden City Complex, formerly known as the Garden City Arena and the Jack Gatecliff Arena, is a publicly owned and operated facility in St. Catharines. It is located at 8 Gale Crescent and features two ice surfaces (the Rex Stimers Arena and the Jack Gatecliff Arena). The IceDogs played in the Jack Gatecliff Arena of the complex for 7 seasons. The arena's capacity is 3,145 including standing room, making it smaller than most CHL arenas. With an ice surface of 190 x 85 feet, its dimensions are also smaller than the typical CHL ice surface. It is commonly referred to by fans as 'the Jack'.

The original arena was built in 1932 and became the oldest arena currently used in the CHL following the Windsor Spitfires move to the WFCU Centre in 2008–09. It was previously used by the St. Catharines Teepees, St. Catharines Black Hawks, St. Catharines Fincups and the St. Catharines Saints. Renovated in 1996, it was named after local sportswriter Jack Gatecliff.

Niagara Falls Memorial Arena[edit]

On March 1, 2009, the Niagara IceDogs hosted a home game at Niagara Falls Memorial Arena in nearby Niagara Falls, Ontario. The arena, slated to close in 2010, was the former home to both the Niagara Falls Flyers and the Niagara Falls Thunder. The game was billed as the last OHL game in the arena. The announced crowd of 3,167 was the largest home crowd in franchise history.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]