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PROUD TO ANNOUNCE THAT U-18 TORONTO TITANS AAA FORWARD - HAS SIGNED WITH THE OHL'S FLINT FIREBIRDS
We are proud to announce that Amadeus Lomabardi has signed with the OHL's Flint Firebirds. This past season, Amadeus played for the Toronto Titans Under-18 hockey club. The Titans have become one of the top Major Midget programs in the GTHL, as well as in Ontario (Ranked No. 2 in My Hockey Rankings). The Toronto Titans U-18 program has continued to help develop and promote over 30 players onto the OHL, OJHL, GOJHL and NCAA over the past 4 seasons.
Amadeus joins a list of players that includes former U-18 Titans defenceman, Drew Warrow, of the Soo Greyhounds, (drafted in the 7th round in 2017 by Sudbury ) as another Toronto Titans U-18 player who signed with their respective OHL team after playing a season of Major Midget.
Playing Major Midget in the 2019-20 season afforded Amadeus the proper environment to continue his development. Despite being a late OHL draft pick, a 13th round pick in 2019, Amadeus was able to get bigger and stronger, develop a more well-rounded two way game, all while continuing to showcase his offensive abilities by finishing in the top three of the GTHL scoring leaders. This is another example of how a player can benefit from playing a year of Major Midget hockey (for a solid Under-18 program), giving them the tools and confidence to reach the next level. Congratulations Amadeus!
May 1, 2020 - OFFICIAL RELEASE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Forward Amadeus Lombardi commits to Firebirds
Flint, Mich. - The Flint Firebirds announced today that forward Amadeus Lombardi (pronounced am-uh-day-uhs, lum-bar-dee) has committed to an Ontario Hockey League (OHL) Standard Player Agreement and education package with the Firebirds. “We are excited to have Amadeus and his family committed to the Flint Firebirds’ organization,” said Flint Firebirds Vice President of Hockey Operations and General Manager Barclay Branch. “Amadeus brings speed, skill and a strong work ethic to our lineup. He will play a significant role with our club moving forward.”
Lombardi, a native of Aurora, Ont., recorded an impressive 95 points (36G, 59A) in 72 games this season with the Toronto Titans Midget AAA Hockey Club in the Greater Toronto Hockey League (GTHL). He played a key role in leading the Titans to a 24-7-2 first-place finish and the GTHL Regular Season Championship, now known as the Pro Hockey Life Cup. Additionally,
Lombardi helped the Titans capture the 5th-Annual Vaughan Kings Classic, finishing first among all skaters in the tournament with 12 points (5G, 7A) in just nine games. “It’s an amazing feeling to be a Firebird,” said Lombardi. “Ever since I was drafted by Flint, it has
been my goal to sign with the Firebirds. It’s such a great organization there that I’m really
excited to play for. They have a great staff. When I went to both camps, everyone was so nice and welcoming and they treat their players top notch. I’m really happy.”
The 5-foot-10, 155-pound skater played in six Junior A games this past season with the Toronto Jr. Canadiens in the Ontario Junior Hockey League (OJHL). Lombardi was also awarded the OJHL’s ‘All-Star Affiliates’ game’ Most Valuable Player (MVP), after recording four points (1G, 3A) in one contest.
He was originally selected by the Firebirds in the 13th-round (244th overall) of the 2019 OHL Priority Selection, after tallying 48 points (19G, 29A) in 58 games with the Toronto Titans Minor Midget AAA Hockey Club (GTHL).
Lombardi will wear number 93 for the Firebirds.
Canadian minor hockey faces uncertain start, shorter season in face of COVID-19
MARCH 24, 2020
There was not enough time for Jason Nobili to read the whole note before the game, so he skimmed it on his way to the bench. He read it more thoroughly at intermission, which is when it became clear he was coaching in one of the last minor hockey games that would be played anywhere in Canada.
The coaches told the team captain, who suggested they not tell the rest of the players. It was a playoff game between two under-18 teams in the Greater Toronto Hockey League, and it was the day Hockey Canada cancelled all sanctioned activities — every practice, every game — because of COVID-19.
They told the players in the third period. They spoke with the other team’s coaching staff. For some of the players, that night in Mississauga, Ont., would be the final game of their minor hockey careers. So the two teams, filled with students in Grade 11 and Grade 12, hatched an unusual postgame plan.
“This is kind of a surreal moment here: Let’s do a big group picture,” Nobili said with a chuckle. “All the boys were climbing around each other at centre ice. We took pictures. Sort of made the best of it.”
Arenas across the country have shuttered in reaction to a pandemic that has gripped the world, and the organizations in charge are not sure when they might re-open. They are developing contingency plans, determining the fate of postseason banquets and high-performance camps, new try-out schedules and the financial fallout from an unfolding global catastrophe.
At this point, it is not clear whether next season will begin on time.
“It’s really, really difficult to say, ‘This is what we’re going to do, and this is when we’re going to do it,’” said Glen McCurdie, senior vice-president, insurance and risk management at Hockey Canada. “Because the reality is: We have no idea.”
The most optimistic estimates begin at eight weeks. Others go deeper into the summer and beyond.
“We’re the same as everybody else,” McCurdie said. “It’s really tough to put a contingency in place when you don’t know when it’s going to start.”
Hockey Canada has been holding three calls a week with its members — on Monday, Wednesday and Friday — to exchange real-time information about the challenges at the grassroots level. (Questions at the national level will also have to be answered, with the possibility of delaying annual camps.)
Scott Oakman is executive director at the GTHL, the largest minor hockey league in the world, with an enrollment of more than 40,000 players. For now, he suggested the ideal plan would be for things to be up and running again by mid-to-late August.
“Even with that, I think it would require us to do some season modification,” he said. “Maybe a shorter season — not significantly shorter, but we’re trying to map that out now.”
Spring tryouts have been cancelled in Ontario, which means the entire, cascading system would have to be moved to the fall. The change in the rhythm of hockey’s schedule will likely be felt before then, with clubs and associations not able to collect registration fees like they normally would in the spring.
Many of those organizations have to place deposits on ice for the fall, Oakman said, and without those registration fees, some may experience serious cash flow issues. He said the GTHL would look at ways it might be able to help ease some of those challenges.
In the meantime, the GTHL has closed its offices, with all staff working from home.
“I’ve said to people along the way: Hopefully people judge this as over-reacting,” Oakman said. “Because that will determine the steps we took had an impact on how this played out, and I’d rather be guilty of that in this day and age, in what we’re facing.”
The NHL announced it was suspending play the same day the GTHL held its final games. But unlike its minor hockey counterpart, the NHL announced it was merely placing its games on “pause,” with hopes of restarting once the worst of the pandemic had passed.
“The word ‘pause’ is one we were thinking of using,” said Ken Wolff, a member of the GTHL’s board of directors. “That was where we went at the very beginning.”
He said it did not make sense for long, though. Hockey Canada cancelled the season the same day the provincial government in Ontario announced all public schools would remain closed for another two weeks after March Break.
If the children were not in school, it did not make sense to think they should be inside a hockey rink.
“It’s kind of hard to describe, because sitting here today with what’s happening around the world, it seems like it should have been straightforward,” said Wolff. “If you look back on it, ‘Well, of course you shouldn’t be gathering in groups of people.’
“It looks now like, ‘Why didn’t you think about it immediately?’ But it certainly was harder at that moment to try to figure out what we should do.”
It was the right decision, he said, adding the GTHL received minimal protest.
Nobili did not protest, either. He is the coach of the AAA Toronto Titans, the U18 team that was en route to a 4-1 win over the Toronto Young Nationals the night the season reached its sudden finale.
It had been a good series with the Young Nationals. Too good to end with a simple handshake. Before social distancing became a part of everyday life, they gathered together in a common embrace at centre ice for a picture.
“It just felt right,” Nobili said. “The boys, they just sort of inter-mixed among each other. They seemed to have a little fun with it, too.”
Sean Fitz-Gerald - The Athletic - Toronto
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