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Thread: Toronto

  1. #1
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    Toronto

    I'm going to be in Toronto in November for a couple of days. I've a free day on Sunday 10th November and I was hoping to go and see a game. Cant really decide which game to go to so I wondered if anyone who knows more about Canadian hockey than I do could offer any advice.

    The games that I'm considering are

    Hamilton-Utica (AHL)
    Mississauga-Sarnia (OHL)
    Oshawa-Belleville (OHL)
    Brampton-Allen (CHL)

    I dont know if they are any other games on nearby that I've overlooked? I know there's a Hall of Fame game on in Toronto but I would rather watch a 'proper game'.

    I think I am probably thinking of either Hamilton or Oshawa (though I would be interested in seeing the new team in Brampton play in the CHL) but I wondered if any of the games looked particularly appealing? I guess I am thinking in terms of atmosphere/fan culture and if there are any top prospects who would likely to be playing in any of the games?

    Any advice would be great.

  2. #2
    IHF Member Ref72's Avatar
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    If you only have that 1 day, I would recommend the Sarnia vs Mississauga OHL game in Mississauga. Its part of the Greater Toronto Area so close proximity. You won't have any problems getting tickets because the games rarely sell out during the regular season (Toronto does not support Junior hockey like it used to but thats another discussion). Prices are very reasonable ranging from 15 to 22 Canadian dollars. And you'll see a bunch of good players all hoping to meet their NHL dreams. Game starts at 2:00 pm. Hope this helps.

  3. #3
    IHF Staff Graham's Avatar
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    If you want atmosphere/fan culture, I'd avoid Mississauga and Brampton is only marginally better. Oshawa on the other hand was one of my favourite OHL rinks when I did a Toronto-based tour three years ago.

    Graham.
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  4. #4
    IHF Member Ref72's Avatar
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    I agree with the atmosphere comment. Although you don't have Brampton as an option any longer - their OHL team has moved to North Bay. The only caution for Oshawa might be ticket availability. They are well supported unlike Mississauga so tickets in Oshawa might be tougher to come by

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    Thanks for the advice, guys. Thats really helpful. The Brampton game I was considering was Brampton Beast-Allen Americans in the Central Hockey League. I think that they are a new professional team thats been founded after the Battalion left for North Bay.

    Looks like Oshawa would be best for atmosphere but Mississauga would be easier. Has anyone been to see Hamilton Bulldogs? How does the AHL compare with the OHL?

  6. #6
    IHF Staff Graham's Avatar
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    To be fair, I was making assumptions on Brampton. It was an OHL game that I went to, but I was working on the assumption that their CHL team won't be any better.

    I would agree with tickets for Oshawa. We did turn up for the New Year game and managed to get tickets at the door. But, if it wasn't a capacity game, it wasn't far short. I'd certainly advise to turn up as early as you can so that you are at the head of the "walk-ups". The hall of fame at Oshawa is very good and I found them, along with Belleville, to be the friendliest of the OHL teams that we went to on that trip. Obviously, this is Canada, so friendly starts at a high base level anyway. If the calendar allows it, we actually managed to do both Oshawa and Belleville on the same day. That was a good day... :-)

    I haven't seen the Bulldogs, but I did go watch a Marlies game whilst there. Was a very good game. Personally, I prefer OHL, but I'd never dismiss the chance to go watch an AHL game.

    Graham.
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    IHF Staff Marc Brunengraber's Avatar
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    If you want to focus on the highest possible level of play, then it is no contest......go to the Hamilton-Utica game.

    If you want the best atmosphere & sense of traditional Canadian hockey culture, then go to the Oshawa-Belleville game. Oshawa is one of the long standing, "classic" Canadian Major Junior teams.

    Major Junior hockey is a very, very good level of play........honestly, OHL teams would play very well against EIHL clubs, despite their young age, and I'd pick a top-end OHL team in such a matchup most of the time. Top OHL guys go directly to the NHL or the AHL. Then again, you'll have some smallish 16 year olds on each OHL team that, while very, very skilled, would get physically crushed playing against professional men and aren't so skilled that they are going pro one day in any North American league. So it's a mixed bag in that each team has both types of guys, plus guys who are in between the two extremes in both size/physical development and playing ability.

    Major Junior is much better, and passionately, supported in Canada than minor pro.

    As for Brampton, no idea how or if that town will end up supporting lower end minor pro hockey, although the Central League is, level wise, very similar to the EIHL.

    Canada tends to care about the NHL and Major Junior. A few might care about select Junior A teams/leagues. But for the most part, it's the aforementioned two, with minor pro, Canadian university hockey and junior levels below Major Junior being ignored in comparison.

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    Thanks very much for all the information. I've decided to do Oshawa. Just logged on to their ticketing website and bought a print@home ticket for the game. They charged me a couple of dollars convenience fee but I thought that would be alot easier that trying to buy on the day.

    Thanks again.

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    IHF Staff Marc Brunengraber's Avatar
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    Make sure to give us your thoughts on the game, the atmosphere, comparative level of play, etc.! And most of all, enjoy!

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    IHF Member Ref72's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shefpie View Post
    Thanks very much for all the information. I've decided to do Oshawa. Just logged on to their ticketing website and bought a print@home ticket for the game. They charged me a couple of dollars convenience fee but I thought that would be alot easier that trying to buy on the day.

    Thanks again.
    Good choice, have fun. One last suggestion. Depending on where in Toronto you are staying, if you are travelling by car to Oshawa, the traffic can be extremely heavy (the main highway 401 is congested every day, all day). I suggest you budget at least 90-120 minutes to get to the game. I wouldn't want your one opportunity spoiled by an army of cars in your way.

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    Thanks for the information. I will be backpacking and travelling around using train/bus so wont be going by car. Planning to take a GO Transit train from Toronto to Oshawa and then a local bus to the arena. But I will make sure that I leave Toronto between 2-3pm on the day to make sure I'm there in good time for the 6pm start.

    I'll definitely post my thoughts on the game. I'm hoping to see a few games on my travels so I'll let you know how I get on. Its the first time that I will have been to North America so really looking forward to it all.

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    So, I've started my North American trip. Dont get to Canada until next week. Flew to NewYork last Friday. So far I've been to see the following games

    Islanders-Flyers
    Rangers-Canadiens
    Devils-Lightning
    Penguins-Bruins

    Having a great time. The hockey highlight so far so was probably Jagr rolling back the years scoring the game winning goal for the Devils. Currently in Philadelphia. Planning to see the Flyers-Capitals game tomorrow night.

  13. #13
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    Thanks to everyone who advised me to go to Oshawa. I went to see todays game. Had a great time. Cracking game of hockey which always helps. Oshawa equalised to make it 5-5 with 1.8 seconds to go in the 3rd and then won the shootout. Really good atmosphere and a great game. Who could ask for more? The Hall of Fame there is very nice too.

    It was my 2nd OHL game of the weekend (and the 2nd shootout) as I saw the London-Barrie game on Friday. Very impressed with what I've seen so far in OHL. Exciting, attractive and attacking hockey. Its also been great to be so close to the action-I've been right up against the glass for both games. With the NHL games I've seen so far on this trip I've bought upper bowl tickets and, whilst that's been great, its always so good to see the action right in your face.

    I dont really enough about player development in North America to comment too much on the general standard and on specific prospects but I did see the youngest Subban brother play today and he looked very classy at that level.

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    IHF Member Conesy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shefpie View Post
    I dont really enough about player development in North America to comment too much on the general standard and on specific prospects but I did see the youngest Subban brother play today and he looked very classy at that level.
    The OHL (and the Canadian Hockey League, for that matter) consists of 16-20 year olds, and they play 68 games, excluding playoffs. It's the highest tiered junior hockey league, and it's arguably the feeder league for NHL talent.
    Twitter: @CSmeeth

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    So, I've watched my final game in Canada today. Kitchener Rangers 6 Sault Ste Marie Greyhounds 3. Very good game to finish on. Since last weekend in Oshawa have also been to see other Canadian Hockey League games Ottawa 67s 3 London 5 and Blainville-Boisbriand 0 Quebec Remparts 6 as well as the AHL game Toronto Marlies 4 Charlotte Checkers 1. Went to see the Canadiens, Sens and Leafs in the NHL too so quite a good trip really. Heading down to Niagara Falls and then on to Buffalo tomorrow.

  16. #16
    IHF Staff Trim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shefpie View Post
    Heading down to Niagara Falls and then on to Buffalo tomorrow.
    Views are better from the Canadian side but you get soaked on the American one.
    Bringing ice hockey to Northwest China!

    I'm the hole formerly known as KazakhEagles

  17. #17
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    Thanks for the advice re Niagara. I saw the falls from the Canadian side. Amazing to see. Also amazingly (to me at least) there was hardly anyone there. Only about 20-30 people were at the horseshoe falls when I was there. I know it was off season and mid week but that really suprised me.

    I'm in Boston now. Final night of the trip. Very nice city. Went to Providence for a a daytrip yesterday which was also pretty cool. Have been to see 3 Bruins games (2 Boston and 1 Providence) games in the last 3 days.

    So far I've been to 23 ice hockey games (15 NHL and 8 in other legaues), 1 NFL, 1 MLS and 1 NBA game. Hoping to see another NBA game tomorrow in NY en route to airport.

    Thanks to everyone who's offered advice. It's certainly been an adventure and a half.

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