Bulldogs linemates share special bond on and off the ice
By Joelle Wood/OHL
Selected by the Hamilton Bulldogs in the 2018 OHL Priority Selection, Logan Morrison and Avery Hayes are more than just teammates. Spending four years playing together on the same line, Morrison and Hayes’ connection presents itself on and off the ice.
“Being here the longest in the organization, we’ve known each other and played together for so long now. We definitely know each other very well and we’re great friends”, said Morrison.
“We’re both pretty similar personality wise. We like to joke around, but when it’s time to play, we both flip a switch and get serious”, added Hayes.
Each recording over two points per game in the 2022 OHL Playoffs, the Bulldogs’ top post-season scorers use their chemistry to create opportunities for the squad.
“We’re both really smart players, we each see the little things that we can do to help each other out”, said Morrison. “On that Game 7 goal he told me where I could find him off the draw and it worked out, we feed off of each other for sure. I know I can find him in good spots and he has a great goal scoring ability”.
Leading the Bulldogs in playoff points, Morrison (17-22-39) was awarded this year’s Wayne Gretzky 99 Award, earning the League’s MVP honours.
“It’s cool to see Logan starting to get noticed for the type of player he is, but I’ve been seeing it for the past couple of years now. His hockey IQ, his shot and his ability to see the ice and make plays shows that he can do it all. He’s a great player”, said Hayes.
That being said, this highly-successful line would not be complete without left-winger Ryan Humphrey. Spending the playoff run alongside Morrison and Hayes, Humphrey’s work-ethic has proven to be a key factor.
“Ryan brings a great work ethic to the trio. He always finds the puck and he’s not scared to go in the corners, he’s a fearless player. He can get the puck back to me and make strong plays, he’s a perfect third player on that line”, said Morrison. “Humphrey has a lot of skill and he’s super hard working, it makes it easy to play with him”, added Hayes.
Another familiar relationship, the Michigan grown pair of Hayes and Humphrey was acquainted with each long before their days in the Hammer.
“We always played on HoneyBaked Hockey Club growing up in Michigan so I saw Avery at the rink, summer tournaments and training. I always knew he was a great player and it’s pretty special to be able to play with him here in Hamilton too,” said Humphrey.
As a younger player on the squad, Humphrey has had the privilege to watch Morrison and Hayes flourish on and off the ice as both individuals and teammates.
“They work unbelievably well on the ice together and they’re best friends off the ice too. It’s awesome to see them grow together since they both started here at the same time. It’s great as a younger guy watching them put in work together as friends and teammates”, said Humphrey.
With the Memorial Cup in sight, Hamilton looks to carry over that same momentum as they prepare for their first game on Monday night.
“I wouldn’t want to do it with anyone else and obviously we’re not done yet”, said Hayes.
The Bulldogs open up the tournament against host Saint John Sea Dogs at 6:00pm EDT on TSN.