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Prospects ready for Gold Cup

NORTH BAY, Ont. — Nine North Bay Battalion prospects are among 128 Ontario Hockey League players named to OHL Gold Cup rosters for the eight-team tournament May 2-5 at the Activa Sportsplex at Kitchener.

Centre Liam Arnsby, North Bay’s first-round pick, ninth overall, in the OHL Priority Selection on April 6, leads the Battalion contingent along with twins Paul and Alex Christopoulos, a defenceman and right winger respectively who were taken in the second and third rounds. All three former Don Mills Flyers minor midgets will play for the Greater Toronto Hockey League’s Red team.

Left winger Justin Ertel, another third-round selection from the Toronto Red Wings minor midgets, is to play for GTHL Blue with Aidan Shepard, a defenceman who was taken in the 11th round from the Toronto Marlboros minor midgets.

Defenceman Ty Hollett, the Battalion’s fourth-round choice from the Navan Grads midgets, will compete for Hockey Eastern Ontario, while centre Steven LaForme, the first of three fifth-round picks, will play for the Minor Hockey Alliance of Ontario after skating last season with the Brantford 99ers minor midgets.

Centre Joshua Ziliotto, also a fifth-rounder, is to suit up for the Ontario Minor Hockey Association’s White entry after playing for the Burlington Eagles minor midgets, and left winger Devon Savignac, selected in the ninth round from the Sudbury Wolves minor midgets, will play for the Northern Ontario Hockey Association team.

The Battalion is tied with the Kingston Frontenacs for second in the OHL in the number of players selected to the under-16 event, after the Ottawa 67’s, who have 11 prospects in the competition and lead in representatives for a second straight year.

As part of Hockey Canada’s Program of Excellence, select players from the seventh annual tournament will be invited to the national under-17 selection camp to vie with other top Canadian talent for a spot at the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge.

OHL Gold Cup players will receive development opportunities and training directly from Hockey Canada instructors. Players will participate in three off-ice education sessions, dedicated position-specific practices and a full-team game-day skate.

Players will compete in three pool games and one crossover game on the final day, with the tournament champion being the winner of the crossover game between the first-place teams from each group. All games are open to the public.

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