Odaro Ewere leads the Stouffville Spirit in points in his third and final season with the Jr. A team. (Photo: Ed McPherson / OJHL Images)
So far, so good.
But there’s more to be done.
That’s the view of Stouffville Spirit Head Coach TJ Hill, 22 games into his team’s 2023-24 Ontario Junior Hockey League schedule.
“While we are pleased with our start so far we know that we still have a lot of work to do,” said Hill, the longtime OJHL assistant in his first full season at the helm in Spiritville. “Our focus remains on doing everything we can to get better every day.”
The Spirit are 11-8-0-3 and in the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. The regular season runs into early March.
The Spirit have also played the fewest number of games of all 24 teams in the Jr. A league that has franchises across Southern Ontario and one in Western New York. Other East teams have played as many as seven more games than the Spirit.
That dry spell continues this week, with only one game on the schedule: Sunday, Nov. 26, in Milton.
Next home game is Thursday, Nov. 30, with the Pickering Panthers visiting the Stouffville Arena.
Spirit captain Odaro Ewere leads the team in scoring with 28 points (9 goals/19 assists).
His linemate of three years, Peter Kioussis, is next with 27, including a team-leading 17 goals. They have two game-winning goals each, the same as the third member of the line, Lachlan Wells.
Rookie Anodoni Fimis, who recently committed to NCAA Division I Vermont, leads all defencemen with 14 points.
Ewere, Cam Kosurko and Nathan Twohey are the only 20-year-old players in their final year of junior eligibility on the Spirit roster.
Ethan Werek is continuing his hockey career in Slovakia this season. The Stouffville-area native signed with HC Slovan Bratislava earlier this month. He has a goal and an assist in three games. Founded in 1921, the team averages almost 10,000 fans at home games.
Werek, 32, had 70 points (29 goals/41 assists) as a 16-year-old during his sole season with the Spirit. A second-round selection of the New York Rangers in the 2009 NHL draft, Werek played three seasons with Kingston of the Ontario Hockey League before launching his professional career in 2011. He played six seasons in the American Hockey League and four more in the KHL. Werek represented China at the 2022 Olympics in Beijing.
- Youth hockey players wearing their team jerseys will be admitted to the Nov. 30 game free of charge.
- Teams in the Whitchurch-Stouffville Minor Hockey Association and Stouffville-Markham Stars Girls Hockey Association are invited to attend Spirit games as guests of the team. For more information or to book the game you want to attend email firstname.lastname@example.org
Spirit This Week is sponsored by Farmer Jack’s in Stouffville and Sharon.