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Ontario Hockey Association (OHA) Annual General Meeting (AGM) and Awards Celebration

CAMBRIDGE, Ont. – The 133nd Ontario Hockey Association (OHA) Annual General Meeting (AGM) and Awards Celebration was held on June 18, 2022 at Ontario Tech University in Oshawa, Ontario.

The business portion of the meeting was run by Parliamentarian Jason Robinson and the meeting was opened by OHA Chair of the Board of Directors Trevor Tinney.

The AGM included representation from the governing body’s Board of Directors, League Representatives, Team Delegates and Ontario Hockey Federation (OHF) member partners that were able to attend.

Here are the important results coming out of the meeting:

2022–2023 OHA Board of Directors:

Chair            (New) Marc Mercier

Director        Trevor Tinney

Director        Don Robertson

Director        Paul Duarte

Director        Andy Tonner

Director        Scott McCrory

Director        (New) Mark Tuck

Director        (New) David Arsenault

Membership approved the OHA budget for the 2022–2023 season

The OHA has relocated the office space to a new address at 1600 Industrial Rd., Unit #A1 in Cambridge.

OHA Awards Celebration

The OHA hardware was handed out at the event. Here is a summary of the award winners:

Jenn Vaicunas of the Aurora Tigers was honoured as OHA Trainer of the Year.

An OJHL trainer for 22 years, in Newmarket and Aurora, Vaicunas was named OJHL Trainer of the Year in April.

Vaicunas, Aurora Head Coach Greg Johnston and Collingwood Blues trainer Lindsey O’Neil made headlines in February after they helped save a man who suffered a heart attack while playing shinny before an OJHL game in Collingwood.

Referees Josh Schein and Korey Bannerman were named OHA Officials of the Year. Both were selected to officiate in the league’s 2022 Nutrafarms Championship Series after working the U SPORTS National Championships in Nova Scotia.

Schein, who has been an official since 2006, officiated the OJHL Buckland Cup championships in 2016, 2017 and 2018, the World Jr. A Challenge in Dawson Creek, BC in 2019, and this year’s OUA Queen’s Cup hosted by Brock University.

Bannerman has officiated for 26 years. His father, who is a Level 6 Hockey Canada official, was his inspiration to get into officiating. He has officiated three (3) Queen’s Cups (the most recent with Schein), as well as three U SPORTS National Championships.

Rob Pearson, who led the Pickering Panthers to the 2022 OJHL championship and the Centennial Cup final, was named OHA Coach of the Year.

The former NHLer had already been crowned OJHL Canadian Junior Hockey League coach of the year.

Pearson, who also serves as Pickering’s general manager, led the Panthers to a 39-11-0-4 regular season record to capture their second straight Ontario Junior Hockey League North Division regular season title and finish a mere one point out of first overall in the 21-team OJHL. He has spent the past four seasons behind the bench in the OJHL.

Michael Patrick of the PJHL’s Port Hope Panthers won the Donald Sanderson Award, which is presented annually to the OHA player that meets the criteria as set out by the Sanderson Family: Dedication, Discipline, Desire, and Deportment; traits that Donald was well known for. The award also provides a $1,000 bursary from the OHA.

The Donald Sanderson Memorial Award is dedicated to the memory of the late Donald Sanderson, who incurred a serious head injury in an OHA game on December 12, 2008 as a member of the Whitby Dunlops; and after a courageous battle, died on January 2, 2009.

Patrick, a forward from Codrington, Ontario had a really good first year of junior averaging just shy of a point-per-game. Outside of the rink, Patrick is even more impressive. He is taking Grade 12 University level courses and has an average of 99%. In addition, he has volunteered his time making his community a better place with the following endeavors: Buddies and Mentors Program, Port Hope, Quinte West Gardens Growing Community, Tammy’s Jammies donating PJs to children in need and volunteering at the Port Hope Santa Claus parade.

George Fegaras of the OJHL’s North York Rangers received the B.J. Monro Award, which is presented annually to the OHA player who is highest ranked, according to the NHL Central Scouting, for the current season.

Fegaras, a defenceman from Richmond Hill, is ranked 82nd among North American skaters for the NHL Draft, which will be held July 7 and 8 at the Bell Centre in Montreal. He is committed to NCAA Division I Cornell.

The award was donated to the OHA by the Monro family in memory of their late son who was a member of the Cobourg Cougars. B.J. died in a car accident during the 1994 playoffs.

The following players were named to the OHA Top Prospect Team:

Connor MacPherson, Leamington Flyers. MacPherson, a native of Tecumseh, ON lit the lamp with 27 goals and 30 assists this season for the Flyers and led the team in points for the campaign. Macpherson was also named the GOJHL Southland Insurance award as Rookie with the Most Points. He, along with his twin brother Ryan MacPherson are Ottawa 67’s prospects and have also committed to the University of New Hampshire Wildcats in the NCAA.

Easton Wainwright, Brantford 99ers. The diminutive forward from Mount Hope led the 99ers in scoring this season, tallying a point-per-game (51 in 51). He didn’t turn 17 until Jan. 19. The next highest-scoring Brantford player had 31 points. Wainwright’s 28 goals included eight on the power play, four while shorthanded and three game-winners. Wainwright committed to join the Sarnia Sting of the Ontario Hockey League in December and played for both teams in the second half of the season. He has 10 points in 21 games with the Sting this year. Wainwright was a ninth-round (172nd overall) Sting pick in the 2021 OHL U16 draft.

Lucas Buzziol, Milton Menace. Buzziol was one of four Ontario Junior Hockey League players on NHL Central Scouting’s mid-term rankings for the 2022 NHL Draft released in January. The centre from Mississauga fit right in on the high-flying Menace roster this season, his first in junior hockey. Buzziol, who turns 18 on May 4, scored 20 goals and had 29 assists in 51 OJHL games. He had five game-winning goals. Buzziol was an AP with Milton from the Vaughan Kings U16 team in 2019-20, picking up an assist in his only game. He was picked in the sixth round of the 2020 OHL U16 draft by Mississauga.

Jack Sparkes, St. Michael’s Buzzers. At 6’8” and 231 pounds, the defenceman is the biggest player in the OHA. He committed to Michigan State for 2023 in November. Sparkes scored five goals and assisted on seven others in 37 games this season. The big defenceman was one of four Ontario Junior Hockey League players on NHL Central Scouting’s mid-term rankings for the 2022 NHL Draft released in January. The 18-year-old from Toronto joined the Buzzers from the St. Michael’s College School and Don Mills Flyers U18 teams. He previously played for the Toronto Titans U16 squad. Sparkes was a third-round pick of Barrie in the 2020 OHL U18 draft.

Oliver Bonk, St. Thomas Stars. The Ottawa, ON native had an excellent first season of Junior Hockey. Bonk had a busy season as he was a key contributor to the Stars with 32 points while also playing in 10 games with the London Knights. In addition, he was the winner of the GOJHL CIMCO Refrigeration Award for the Most Outstanding First Year Defenceman and was named to the GOJHL Western Conference All-Rookie Team.

Owen Flores, London Nationals. In between the pipes for the OHA Top Prospects Team is Owen Flores of the London Nationals. Similar to fellow London Knights prospect Oliver Bonk, Flores had a hectic season as he was spectacular in the Nationals crease this year with a 12-2-0 record and a .928 SV% and 2.20 GAA but he also split his time with the London Knights in the latter half of the season when they had a shortage of goaltenders and continued his solid play at both levels. He was also named to the GOJHL Western Conference All-Rookie Team.

Andrew MacLean of the St. Catharines Falcons was named OHA Player of the Year. It was a banner year for the young man from Port Huron, MI. The Falcons leading netminder was a brick wall all year long as he posted a conference-best 1.45 GAA this season with a .943 save % and added 10 shutouts. MacLean saw the ice a lot this year playing 2023 minutes and only allowed 49 goals past him.

In addition, he won Russell Masterson Memorial Award as GOJHL Golden Horseshoe MVP and capped off his year in style when his team captured the Sutherland Cup.

Jack Broadbent of the Picton Pirates was the recipient of the OHA Gold Stick. One of the biggest honours in the OHA went to the long-time Pirates equipment manager. Through his over two-decades of service he has had a huge impact on the organization, its players, and the community.

The Gold Stick is an order of merit in hockey awarded by the OHA for outstanding service to the game other than as a player. Such outstanding service must have been for a period of not less than 10 years continuous duration.

Broadbent joins some pretty well-known names in the sport as recipients of this award, including Conn Smythe, Harold Ballard, Happ Emms, Matt Leyden and former Hockey Canada head Bob Nicholson.

To see the OHA Awards Highlight video click here

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