Prospect Merkley leads Team to OHL Gold Cup
By Ryan Drury, blackburnnews.com
The OHL Gold Cup wrapped up for another year on Sunday, and a familiar team came out on top.
For the second year in a row, team GTHL Blue won the Cup, defeating Alliance Hockey in a rematch of last year’s final, by a score of 6-1. GTHL Blue went 5-0 in the tournament and never trailed at any point, and at the center of their success was 2016 OHL 1st overall pick Ryan Merkley, a future member of the Guelph Storm.
Merkley tied for 3rd in tournament scoring with 8 points (1 goal, 7 assists), and was a monster on the man advantage, helping a deadly GTHL Blue squad run over most of their opponents. The team featured 6 1st round pick in this year’s OHL draft, including Danill Antropov, whom Merkley consistently worked with on the man advantage and penalty kill. Despite concerns over his size, weighing just 156 pounds, Merkley took plenty of punishment and dished it right back, and led his team to the championship. He spoke about winning it all, and how playing in the tournament will help him prep for the OHL.