Junior teams make deadline deals
Stratford beings back Corson Searles as part of playoff push
Local junior hockey teams shuffled their rosters before the Jan. 10 trade deadline.
Stratford reacquired forward Corson Searles in an effort to bolster its offence. Searles, 20, had 18 goals and 40 points with the Warriors in 2017-18 before joining the CCHL’s Navan Grads, where he posted eight goals and 16 points in 40 games this season.
“We need the scoring for sure, so it’ll help us out and give us a little extra up front,” Warriors general manager Glen Childerley said. “We were working on a couple other deals, too, but they didn’t pan out for us. We’re happy we got Corson. He’s a big piece and going to help us down the road.”
Sean Ross and Ryan Cullen have carried the bulk of the Warriors’ offence, which lost several weapons over the summer. Stratford is averaging 3.5 goals per game, down from 4.8 in 2017-18.
“The guys have been doing really well, considering all the scoring we lost in the off-season,” Childerley said, “but we knew they needed a little more support. In Corson I think we’ve got that.”
The Warriors had a roster spot open after dealing Trevor Moore (4G in 19GP) to the Provincial Ontario Junior Hockey League’s Mitchell Hawks.
Listowel added a pair of players, bringing in forward Luke Israel and defenceman Daniel Heelis.
Israel, 20, was acquired from Elmira in exchange for forward Jacob Bloomfield. Israel scored three goals and had 13 points in 29 games. Bloomfield, 17, notched a goal and assist in 19 games.
Heelis, 20, had an assist in eight games with the OJHL’s Toronto Jr. Canadiens. He previously spent time with St. Marys and Brampton in the GOJHL.
Listowel head coach Jason Brooks said the defending Sutherland Cup champs were looking to add experience heading into the playoffs.
“What are the right pieces? At the end of the day that’s for us to decide and the trick for our organization to find the right pieces to make us the best we can be.”
Bloomfield’s stay in Elmira didn’t last long as he was shipped to St. Marys for forward Carson Gebauer. Gebauer, 18, scored twice and tallied eight points in 32 games.
The Lincolns had previous added forward Thomas McLatchie from St. Thomas. The 19-year-old racked up seven goals and 14 points in 23 games with the Stars.
In the PJHL, Mitchell traded goalie Bobby McLachlan (4.19 GAA and .887 save percentage) to Hanover and released forward Taylor Stahlke (1A in 7GP).
Tavistock didn’t make any moves as it inches closer to clinching home ice in the Doherty Division playoffs.
“Kicked a few tires but ultimately we are pretty happy with where we are at,” Braves general manager Jordan Zehr said. co[email protected]media.com
Stratford Warrior Corson Searles reads to students at St. Ambrose Catholic School last year as part of Family Literacy Day. Searles is back with Stratford after a trade deadline move.