Team History

2017/2018 Season

68GP – 35W – 23L – 7OTL – 3SOL – 80 points

2nd in the Central Division – 4th in the Eastern Conference

Year in Review:

In the 2017/2018 season, the Niagara IceDogs were hungry for more, after an early playoff exit the previous season. Despite losing leaders Mantha, Haydon and Brack, the core of younger players returned with valuable experience from the last season. The IceDogs were led behind the bench by first year Head Coach Billy Burke. The IceDogs experienced many ups and some downs throughout the season, but by the end of the season, the team was considered to be among the best in the Eastern Conference. After acquiring Sam Miletic from London at the OA Trade Deadline, the IceDogs became a force to be reckoned with, especially in the final month of the season. The IceDogs clinched a playoff position early in March.

The IceDogs took care of the Generals handedly in 5 games, before facing off against QEW rivals, and top seed in the Eastern Conference, the Hamilton Bulldogs. The Bulldogs won the series in 5 games, with 3 games being decided in overtime.

Following the end of their playoffs, the IceDogs said goodbye to 3 overage players, including Adrian Carbonara and Johnny Corneil, who was the final roster player to have played for the IceDogs at the Jack. Sam Miletic graduated from the OHL and joined the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, the Pittsburgh Penguins’ AHL affiliate, for the AHL Playoffs.

Heading into the summer following the 2017/2018 season, Akil Thomas was highly touted and was in the conversation to be a first round pick in the NHL Draft.


Goals – Sam Miletic (36)

Assists – Akil Thomas (56)

Points – Sam Miletic (92)

Save Percentage – Stephen Dhillon (.899)

GAA – Stephen Dhillon (3.34)

2016/2017 Season

68GP – 23W – 35L – 6OTL – 4SOL – 56 points

3rd in the Central Division – 8th in the Eastern Conference

Year in Review:

In the 2016/2017 season, the Niagara IceDogs were the youngest team to hit in the ice in the CHL. After experiencing great success the season before, this season was to be a learning year, with 14 rookies donning an IceDogs sweater over the course of the season. Despite icing a young, and relatively inexperienced team, the IceDogs surprised many, especially heading down the stretch to push for a 10th consecutive playoff appearance. Rookie forward, Akil Thomas, set franchise records collecting 48 points in his first season in the league. The IceDogs captured the final playoff position on the last day of the regular season, to ensure a first-round series against the top team in the East, the Peterborough Petes.

The playoffs was short lived for this young team, but its young, returning players garnered valuable experience

The IceDogs bid farewell to 3 overage players, including defenceman Aaron Haydon, who played all 5 years in his OHL career in Niagara. 2016/2017 Captain Ryan Mantha signed a contract with the NHL’s Edmonton Oilers prior to the beginning of the post season. Upon the completion of his OA year, Mantha went on to play for the Bakersfield Condors, the Oilers AHL affiliate. OA Trade Deadline acquisition Justin Brack committed to Brock University to play both Lacrosse and Hockey for the Badgers.

The summer following the 2016/2017 season, Kirill Maksimov was drafted into the NHL by the Edmonton Oilers. Ben Jones was drafted to the newest NHL team, Vegas Golden Knights.


Goals – Johnny Corneil (31)

Assists – Ryan Mantha (41)

Points – Johnny Corneil (62)

Save Percentage – Stephen Dhillon (.914)

GAA – Stephen Dhillon (3.46)

2015/2016 SEASON

68GP – 35W – 26L – 4OTL – 3SOL – 74 points

3rd in the Central Division – 4th in the Eastern Conference

Year in Review:

The 2015/2016 Niagara IceDogs were viewed by many to be one of the best teams in the Ontario Hockey League, on paper. The season got off to a slower start for a team with as many veterans as the IceDogs had on their roster, but when it mattered most, experience prevailed. The IceDogs finished in 3rd in the Central Division, ahead of the Mississauga Steelheads by 6 points, and 4th in the Eastern Conference.

In the 1st round of the playoffs, the IceDogs sailed past the Ottawa 67s in 5 games. In the 2nd round, they swept a star-studded Kingston Frontenacs team. In the Eastern Conference Final, the IceDogs completed the sweep against the Barrie Colts to take home the Bobby Orr Trophy as Eastern Conference Playoff Champions, for the 2nd time in 4 years. The IceDogs would lose in the OHL Final to the eventual 2016 Memorial Cup Champions, the London Knights.

The IceDogs bid farewell to 12 players following the 2015/2016 season, with 8 players graduating to professional leagues – including offensive leaders Jordan Maletta (Columbus Blue Jackets), and Josh Ho-Sang (New York Islanders). The IceDogs also lost goaltender Alex Nedeljkovic (Carolina Hurricanes), who was absolutely dominant in the playoffs. He was one of their key pieces in their long run last postseason, posting a save percentage of .903, and a goals against average of 2.81.

The summer following the 2015/2016 season, Christopher Paquette, a forward with the IceDogs, was drafted into the National Hockey League by the Tampa Bay Lightning.


Goals – Jordan Maletta (34)

Assists – Josh Ho-Sang (63)

Points – Josh Ho-Sang (82)

Save Percentage – Stephen Dhillon (.908)

GAA – Stephen Dhillon (2.69)



2014/2015 SEASON

68 GP – 37 W – 27 L – 2 OTL – 2 SOL – 78 points

3rd in the Central Division – 5th in Eastern Conference

Year in Review:

The Niagara IceDogs entered the 2014/15 season with high expectations as they iced a more experienced, yet familiar group. This year marked the inaugural season of the IceDogs in their new home, the Meridian Centre. The ‘Dogs responded accordingly, finishing 3rd in the Central Division and 5th in the Eastern Conference with 78 points, improving from last year’s 57 points.

Perhaps the most important move made by Head Coach and General Manager Marty Williamson was the acquisition of forward Josh Ho-Sang from the Windsor Spitfires in exchange for Hayden McCool and second round picks in 2016, ’17, and ’19. Ho-Sang fit right in with the IceDogs, scoring 62 points in just 49 games with the team.

Leading the IceDogs in scoring this season was forward Carter Verhaeghe with 33 goals and 49 assists for 82 points in 68 games.

The IceDogs took a step forward in the postseason this year, defeating the Ottawa 67’s in 6 games in the first round before falling to the Oshawa Generals in 5 games in the second round. The Generals went on to win the Memorial Cup.


Goals: Carter Verhaeghe (33)

Assists: Josh Ho-Sang (64)

Points: Carter Verhaeghe (82)

Save Percentage: Brandon Hope (.909)

GAA: Brandon Hope (2.86)



2013/2014 SEASON

68 GP – 24 W – 35 L – 3 OTL – 6 SOL
4th in the Central Division – 7th in the Eastern Conference

Year In Review:
The 2013/2014 season was a pleasant surprise for the IceDogs. Despite it being a rebuilding year and icing the youngest roster in the entire Canadian Hockey League, they were able to finish 4th in the Central Division and 7th in the Eastern Conference to qualify for a playoff spot. The IceDogs faced the North Bay Battalion in the first round of the OHL playoffs and were able to jump out to a 3-1 series lead, before eventually losing the series in seven games. The Battalion eventually made it to the OHL Finals before losing to the Guelph Storm.

The IceDogs were led offensively by Carter Verhaeghe, who led the team in points with 82. Brendan Perlini, eligible for the summer’s NHL Entry Draft, wasn’t far behind with 71.

The 2013/2014 season would be the team’s last at The Jack Gatecliff Arena. The team will be moving into the brand-new Meridian Centre for next season. The Jack is home to many IceDogs memories and it was tough to say goodbye.

Goals – Brendan Perlini (34)
Assists – Carter Verhaeghe (54)
Points – Carter Verhaeghe (82)
GAA – Brent Moran (3.85)



2012/2013 SEASON

68 GP- 30 W- 34 L- 2 OTL- 2 SOL
4th in the Central Division- 6th in the Eastern Conference

Year In Review:
The 2012/2013 season was a season of rebuilding for the IceDogs, with a number of draft picks leaving to join their respective AHL affiliates. Sophmore players such as Luke Mercer and Jesse Graham took on a bigger leadership role on defence with the departure of Dougie Hamilton, while newly named captain Ryan Strome took up the slack up front left by the departure of Andrew Agozzino. Mack Lemmon, who the IceDogs acquired from Belleville and Thorold native Anthony DiFruscia are both fan favourites due to their physical style of play. The IceDogs made it into the playoffs, but were eventually beat by the Oshawa Generals in the first round, 4 games to 1.

The IceDogs finished 4th in the Central Division and 6th in the Eastern Conference. Going into their last year at the Jack Gatecliff Arena, the IceDogs hope to have a long successful playoff run as a good send off to The Jack.

Goals- Brett Ritchie (41)
Assists- Ryan Strome (60)
Points- Ryan Strome (94)
GAA- Christopher Festarini (3.27)



2011/2012 SEASON

68 GP- 47 W- 18 L- 0 OTL- 3 SOL
1st in the Central Division- 1st in the Eastern Conference

Year In Review:
The 2011/ 2012 season was a very successful year for the Niagara IceDogs. The team boasted 10 NHL draft picks as well as a goaltending duo in Mark Visentin and Chris Festarini who won the Dave Pinkney Trophy for fewest goals against in the regular season. It was also the season that Dougie Hamilton won the award for OHL Defenceman of the Year. It was the rookie year for Carter Verhaeghe who was acquired in the 2nd round of the 2011 OHL Priority Selection. Playing alongside the veteran and Overage Player of the Year Andrew Agozzino. In 2011 the IceDogs also sent Mark Visentin, Freddie Hamilton, Ryan Strome, and Dougie Hamilton to the 2011 under-20 World Junior Hockey Championships, where they took home the bronze medal.

The IceDogs finished 1st in the Central Division and 1st in the Eastern Conference to take the Bobby Orr Trophy as the 2011/2012 Eastern Conference Champions. The IceDogs goal is to return next season stronger then ever with the hopes of winning the Bobby Orr Trophy for the second year in a row.

Goals- Andrew Agozzino (40)
Assists- Dougie Hamilton (55)
Points- Andrew Agozzino (88)
GAA- Mark Visentin (1.99)



2010/2011 SEASON

68 GP – 45 W – 17 L – 2 OTL – 4 SOL
2nd in the Central Division – 3rd in the Eastern Conference

Year In Review:
The 2010/2011 season was a successful year for the Niagara IceDogs, especially for one of the youngest teams in the league. The team was strong and successfully pushed for an early spot in the playoffs. This could not have been done without the goaltending by Mark Visentin who was also named goaltender for the 2011 Canadian World Junior team and OHL Goaltender of the Year. IceDog sophomore forward Ryan Strome continued his success with the team by leading overall in points and finished third in league scoring.

The IceDogs swept the Brampton Battalion in the first round of the OHL playoffs.  They followed the sweep by defeating the Oshawa Generals in the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals with a 4-1 series victory.  For the first time since arriving in Niagara the IceDogs advanced to the Conference Finals and took on the Mississauga St. Michael’s Majors. It was an exciting series for the IceDogs, having sold out crowds and the chance to advance to the OHL Championship series. Unfortunately the Majors eliminated the IceDogs take the series 4-1.

The IceDogs finished 2nd in the Central Division and 3rd in the Eastern Conference. The IceDogs plan to return stronger than ever with the goal of competing for the 2012 OHL Championship.

Goals – Andrew Agozzino (43)
Assists – Ryan Strome (73)
Points – Ryan Strome (106)
GAA – Mark Vistentin (2.52)



2009/2010 SEASON

68 GP – 26 W – 34 L – 2 OTL – 6 SOL
4th in the Central Division – Lost Conference Quarterfinals vs Ottawa (4-1)

Year In Review:

The 2010 season provided its ups and downs for the IceDogs. The team struggled at points throughout the year, but made a strong push to secure a playoff spot late in the season led by the stellar goaltending of Mark Visentin. Midway through the season the St. Louis Blues assigned Alex Pietrangelo back to the Ontario Hockey League and he was then traded to Barrie along with winger Chris DeSousa and import goaltender Petteri Simila for forward  Ryan Strome, defenceman Simon Gronvaldt, two 2nd round picks, a 3rd round pick and a 9th round pick. Strome was originally the 8th overall pick in the 2009 OHL Priority Selection.

The IceDogs finished 7th in the East and found themselves up against the 2nd seeded Ottawa 67’s in the first round of the playoffs. After some very close games, the 67’s topped the IceDogs in 5 games, ending a season that was full of growth for one of the youngest teams in the league.

GoalsAndrew Agozzino (37)
Assists – Alex Friesen (37)
Points –  Andrew Agozzino (66)
GAA – Mark Visentin (2.53)



2008/2009 SEASON

68 GP- 26 W- 31 L – 5 OTL – 6 SOL
4th in the Central Division – Won Conference Quarterfinals vs Ottawa (4-3) – Lost Conference Semifinals vs Belleville (4-1)

Year In Review:
The IceDogs began the 2008–09 season considerably younger than they ended the previous season. Veteran defensemen Josh Day and Scott Fletcher began the year at AHL training camps, but quickly were released and rejoined the IceDogs for the start of the season, overager Jason Bergeron was cut in training camp, and overager Mike MacIsaac was released a few games into the season. The core of the roster was made up of 16, 17, and 18 year olds.

On November 13 (21 games into the season) it was announced the St. Louis Blues were returning 4th overall selection Alex Pietrangelo to the Niagara IceDogs for an additional year of development at the junior level.He had played a total of eight games with St. Louis prior to being reassigned. On April 10, 2009, he was assigned to the Blues’ top minor-league affiliate, the Peoria Rivermen in the American Hockey League.

The IceDogs hosted one of two Ontario games in the ADT Canada-Russia Challenge on November 22nd. The Challenge is a six-game series featuring top Canadian and Russian prospects that is televised nationally on SportsNet and seen as an important evaluation for the final selection of rosters for the World Junior (Under-20) tournament.The IceDogs were represented by draft-eligible forward Andrew Agozzino and defenseman Alex Pietrangelo, while Coach Mario Cichillo was selected to serve as the team’s assistant coach. The OHL squad won the game 3-2 in front of a sellout crowd. The winning goal was scored by Andrew Agozzino.

In December, forward Marco Insam represented Italy at the World Junior Championships (‘B’ Pool), while Pietrangelo was named to Canada’s World Junior team, which won a fifth straight gold medal. The IceDogs were once again active at the trade deadline, acquiring Patrick Lee and former World Junior goalie and Nashville draft pick Jeremy Smith from Plymouth for three draft picks. The Dogs had previously traded defenseman Scott Fletcher to Plymouth for a draft pick, which was sent back to Plymouth as a part of the Smith trade. After acquiring Smith, the Dogs shipped goalie John Cullen to the Kingston for a draft pick. In two separate trades with divisional rivals Brampton, Niagara acquired Mike Hasson and two draft picks for Andrew Merrett, Josh Day, and a draft pick.

The IceDogs started the 2009 playoffs facing the Ottawa 67’s in the Conference Quarterfinals. The Dogs came out strong winning the first game 5-3 thanks to outstanding goaltending by Jeremy Smith (GAA- 3.73, SP – 0.915). They battled through the back and forth series. They were finally rewarded with a game 7 win in OT, the winning goal was scored by Andrew Agozzino. In the Conference Semifinals the IceDogs faced the Belleville Bulls. After losing game 1 and 2 in OT the Dogs battled back to win game 3. They eventually lost to the Bulls in 5 games.

GoalsChris DeSousa (33)
Assists – Drew Schiestel (38)
Points –  Andrew Agozzino (56)
Shutouts – Jeremy Smith & John Cullen (1)
GAA – John Cullen (3.61)



2007/2008 SEASON

68 GP- 42 W- 25 L – 0 OTL – 1 SOL
2nd in the Central Division – Won Conference Quarterfinals vs Mississauga (4-0) – Lost Conference Semifinals vs Oshawa (4-2)

Year In Review:
The IceDogs entered their first season in Niagara ranked in the CHL’s top ten. The team played their first regular season home game against the Mississauga St. Michael’s Majors in front of a sellout crowd on September 21, 2007. The IceDogs won the game, defeating the Majors 4-1. Over the course of the season, the IceDogs developed a major rivalry with the Mississauga Majors.

In December, right-winger Stefan Legein represented Team Canada at the 2008 World Junior Ice Hockey Tournament and earned a gold medal in the process.

On January 8, 2008, the IceDogs acquired goaltender Sebastian Dahm from the Sudbury Wolves in exchange for goaltender Andrew Loverock, defenseman Chris van Laren, a 3rd round draft pick in 2009 and a sixth round draft pick in 2010. Dahm finished the season with the IceDogs, earning a record of 20-6-0-0, a GAA of 2.53 and a save percentage of 0.917.

The IceDogs finished the year averaging 2,722 fans and led the league with 15 sellout crowds.

The IceDogs finished the regular season with 82 points, three shy of Brampton for the central division title. Luca Caputi finished the season with 111 points (4th in league scoring) while Michael Swift’s 100 points put him 8th in league scoring. The team led the league in penalty minutes totaling 1463.

The IceDogs entered the post season facing their rivals the Mississuaga St. Michael’s Majors. In the first game they came out strong winning  4-0. They continued to play strong and ended up sweeping the Majors four games to none. The IceDogs were backed by the strong goaltending of Sebastian Dahm who had a GAA of 2.90 and a save percentage of 0.925. In the Conference Semifinals they faced the Oshawa Generals. The IceDogs played strong but lost in game six 5-2, losing the series.

GoalsLuca Caputi (51)
Assists – Michael Swift (62)
Points – Luca Caputi (111)
Shutouts – Sebastian Dahm (2)
GAA – Sebastian Dahm (2.53)