Regular season officially wrapped up this weekend with its first award winners being announced.
OJHL Regular Season Champion – Kingston Voyageurs
OJHL Top Scorer – Taylor Best, Whitby Fury
OJHL Top Goaltender – Kevin Entmaa, Aurora Tigers
The Aurora Tigers, Buffalo Jr. Sabres, Kingston Voyageurs and Toronto Lakeshore Patriots were champions of their respective divisions, while the Kingston Voyageurs brought home the regular season crown for only the second time in franchise history and the first time since winning the OJAHL title in 2009-10. The Vees captured their fifth Division title since making the jump to Junior 'A' on the strength of a 39-11-3 record for 81 points and a .764 winning percentage, clinching the number one seed for the duration of their playoff run, while becoming the second consecutive East Division club to take top spot. Runner-up to Trenton was the Aurora Tigers, who clinched top spot in the North Division for the second straight season, as well as the second seed in the North-West Conference. The Toronto Lakeshore Patriots captured the first Conference and Division crown in franchise history, winning the South-West Conference with a record of 35-12-6 for 76 points.
Taylor Best of the Whitby Fury takes home the OJHL Top Scorer title, leading the league with both 53 assists and 90 points in 48 regular season games played. The veteran forward, who also led the OJHL with 29 power play assists, becomes the first member of the franchise to win the scoring title since the Fury made the jump to Junior 'A' as the Oshawa Legionaires in 1991-92. This marks the first time since 2007-08 that the leading scorer has had less than 100 points and the lowest total to lead the league since Jim Duignan recorded 87 points for Ajax Knob Hill Farms in 1975-76. Steve Hladin of the Georgetown Raiders was runner-up in the scoring race with 83 points.
After kicking off the season with a hot start, St. Michael's Buzzers forward David Italiano won the OJHL goal scoring race with 39 goals, followed closely by Hladin who fired home 38 goals on the season. This marks the first time since 2008-09 that someone has not reached the 50 goal milestone and is the lowest total to lead the league since 1975-76.
NHL Draft prospect Michael Prapavessis of the Toronto Lakeshore Patriots led all OJHL defencemen in scoring with 54 points, including 49 assists, which tied for the second best total among all players in the league. Nick Desimone of the Buffalo Jr. Sabres finished as runner-up to Prapavessis with 51 points.
Aurora Tigers netminder Kevin Entmaa takes home Top Goaltender honours by leading the OJHL with a 2.16 goals against average in 36 games played this season. Entmaa becomes the first Tiger to lead the league in GAA since Chris Whitley accomplished the feat in 2003-04 with a 1.64 average en route to capturing a national championship. Entmaa was followed closely by Nathan Perry of the Cobourg Cougars who posted a 2.28 goals against average to finish as runner-up.
(Nathan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)