The Stouffville Spirit are chalking up victories and preparing a young, enthusiastic squad for seasons to come in the Ontario Junior Hockey League (OJHL).
The Spirit are led this season by captain and Stouffville native Connor May, the nephew of former NHLer Brad May.
Star forward Kosta Manikis is committed to an NCAA scholarship at Clarkson University in Potsdam, NY. The Richmond Hill resident is one of just four players in the 22-team OJHL on the NHL Draft watch list. The draft is scheduled for June at Vancouver.
Rookie defenceman Ian Lemieux recently committed to the Saginaw Spirit of the Ontario Hockey League. The Midland product will split the remainder of this season between the two Spirits.
Spirit’s general manager is Kenny Burrows. Head coach Rob Acton is assisted by ex-pro and NCAA player Chris Porter and Brian Perrin. Ex-NHLer Keith Acton – Rob’s dad – is the director of player development. All are Whitchurch-Stouffville residents.
“We have a young team that is now playing with confidence, maturity and enthusiasm,” Burrows said. “We think the community will enjoy their style of play and commitment.”
Remaining home games at the Stouffville Arena this season include: Dec. 13, 16, 22, 31; Jan. 6, 9, 19, 24, 31; and Feb. 2, 7, 16, 18. Fans are encouraged to take part in game-day chuck-a-puck and 50/50 contests. The arena snack bar is open during all games. Admission tickets include reduced rates for children and seniors.
The annual Family Day matinee game, on Feb. 18, will be preceded by an alumni game, which will feature some of the best players in the Jr. A team’s 23-year history in Stouffville.
Visit stouffvillespirit.pointstreaksites.com for more information.
Photo: The Spirit are led this season by captain and Stouffville native Connor May (27). Ray MacAloney/OJHL Images photo