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OMHA Year in Review

By Ontario Minor Hockey Association, 05/11/17, 1:45PM EDT

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Looking back on all the great moments from this season

The AGM that is taking place on June 9-10 marks the official end of the 2016-17 season and kicks off the 2017-18 season. With the season now over, we can look back at many of the exciting and incredible moments from this past year.

August 2016

The OMHA Development Seminar unofficially begins efforts in the field, and OMHA personnel are gathered to share best practices, update on the newest sport technical information available, and depart the event energized to support our Membership.

The OMHA delivered over 175 clinics for over 8,000 Coaches and Referees this past season who were seeking to certify or re-certify their credentials. 12,500 Coaches, trainers and referees continue to certify or re-certify their credentials in the off-season.

In partnership with CCM and Hockey Development Centre for Ontario, the OMHA delivered 90 sets of goalie equipment across the province through the Goalie Assist Program to break down some of the barriers of the position.

September 2016

Referee Schools in Windsor, Guelph and Trenton provided new officials with an opportunity to acquire officiating skills and rule knowledge while completing OMHA and Hockey Canada certification requirements.

The OMHA Events Team Presented by National Sports and Pro Hockey Life hit the road to begin their 25,000km journey across the OMHA, attending 43 special events.

Continuing off the success of last year, the Breakaway Podcast returned for another season. Featuring guests from all over the sports world, the series remains one of the only minor hockey podcasts.

October 2016

One of the most exciting times of the year as the OMHA regular season officially gets underway. 6,751 teams in Ontario kick off their seasons to begin another great year of hockey.

The OMHA proudly launched Home Ice powered by Under Armour, a new video series. The behind the scenes documentary followed the Whitby Wildcats Minor Midget AAA team throughout the season, navigating their balance between school, hockey and life.

November 2016

The third annual OMHA Essay Contest presented by Respect in Sport was launched with this year’s theme being “My hockey coach teaches me…” Out of 250 entries, Sheldon Bolton of Norwood Minor Hockey was selected as the winner.

December 2016

The OMHA Minor Midget Showcase powered by Under Armour featured 13 teams from the Eastern AAA League. 10 South Central AAA teams competed in a similar event later in January.

In conjunction with the World Juniors tournament and Hockey Canada, the OMHA provided members the opportunity to participate in World Juniors Development Programs. There were a number of different programs available for both players and coaches.

The York-Simcoe Express Minor Bantam AAA and Oshawa Minor Generals Minor Bantam AE teams won their brackets in the Under Armour Storm the Centre contest, securing an action-packed day at the Air Canada Centre that included a tour of the Toronto Maple Leafs dressing room and a scrimmage on the ice.

January 2017

The OMHA Players Club remained a popular program, encouraging players to improve their skills through three at-home challenges. Over 300 players submitted their completed tracking sheets over the season.

February 2017

A number of associations in the OMHA were outfitted with a full set of Bauer hockey equipment through The First Shift program. The learn-to-play program teaches basic skills while focusing on the fun of sports.

Through the World Juniors legacy fund from Hockey Canada, the OMHA assisted in hosting a number of Try Hockey programs. Designed to introduce new players to the sport, the two-part sessions include Floorball and an on-ice skating opportunity.

March 2017

All across the province Playdowns series wrapped up. A total of 88 champions were crowned, earning #RedHats along the way.

Announced as a mandate for the upcoming season, Hockey Canada is implementing a new policy that mandates cross-ice/half-ice hockey for players at the Initiation age level.

April 2017

The OMHA Hockey Festival Presented by Froster Active Kids took place in Whitby. This tournament featured 65 House and Local league teams in the Tyke, Novice, Atom and Peewee age groups.

The Ontario Hockey Federation produced Champions at the A/AA/AAA levels of Atom, Peewee, Bantam, Midget, and Juvenile divisions. Four OMHA teams left the championships with a gold medal: Oakville Rangers (Peewee A), Northumberalnd Nighthawks (Peewee AA), Bradford Bulldogs (Midget A), Ajax Knights (Juvenile).

The annual Ontario Hockey League draft saw 83 players from the OMHA selected including six in the first round. New this year was the inaugural OHL Under-18 Priority Selection for Midget-aged players. This draft had Hamilton Jr. Bulldogs defenceman Victor Hadfield become the first ever first overall selection, landing with the Barrie Colts.

May 2017

The OMHA was well represented in the OHL Gold Cup tournament, icing two competitive teams. The eight-team tournament brings together the best minor midget players from across the province to compete.

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