Two Ontario Hockey League grads spent their first year with the Odense Bulldogs in Denmark’s Metal Ligaen during the 2014-15 season. The team liked what they saw and have signed both Ryan McDonough and Dale Mitchell to one year extensions, through 2015-16. Odense finished fourth of ten during the regular season and were bounced in the quarter-finals. Both McDonough and Mitchell placed among the top ten scorers in the Metal Ligaen.
McDonough played four years in the OHL from 2004-05 to 2007-08. His first year was with the Sudbury Wolves and his final three were with the Saginaw Spirit. Ryan was the fourth overall pick by the Wolves at the 2004 OHL Priority Selection.
Over his three years with Saginaw, McDonough scored more than 30 goals in each season. In 2007-08, his 45 goals tied him for fourth in the OHL with Taylor Hall of the Windsor Spitfires. Over his career, Ryan scored 133 and assisted on 151 for 284 points over 258 regular season games. In 26 playoff games, he added eleven points.
Undrafted to the National Hockey League, McDonough has played pro hockey since 2008-09 in Austria’s EBEL, Germany’s DEL2, Italy’s LIHG, the ECHL and the Metal Ligaen. This past season with Odense, Ryan scored 24 and assisted on 22 for 46 points over 33 games. He placed eighth in the league for points and sixth in the league for goals. He signed a one year extension with the Bulldogs on March 12 that sees him with the club through 2015-16.
Mitchell played five years in the Ontario Hockey League from 2005-06 to 2009-10 with the Oshawa Generals and Windsor Spitfires. He was a third round pick by the Generals at the 2005 OHL Priority Selection, 41st overall.
Over 293 regular season OHL games, Dale scored 136 and assisted on 158 for 294 points. Over a whopping 63 playoff games, he added 67 points. Mitchell helped the Spitfires to a Robertson Cup and Memorial Cup championship in both 2008-09 and 2009-10.
The Toronto Maple Leafs took Dale in the third round of the 2007 NHL Entry Draft, 74th overall. His first pro action came in 2007-08 when he appeared in two AHL Calder Cup playoff games with the Toronto Marlies after the Generals were eliminated from the post season. Mitchell started the 2009-10 season with the Marlies but was sent down to Windsor after nine games.
Since 2010-11, Dale has played in the AHL, ECHL, Austria’s EBEL and the Metal Ligaen. In 2014-15, Mitchell scored 19 and assisted on 25 for 44 points over 35 games for Odense. He led the league in game winning goals, finished ninth in the league for points and placed third in the league with 162 penalty minutes. Like McDonough, Mitchell signed a one year extension on March 12, through the 2015-16 season.
The team finished 2014-15 in fourth place in the ten team Metal Ligaen over a 36 game schedule. In the playoffs, the Bulldogs lost in the opening round to fifth seed Esbjerg.
The club plays home games at Bryggeriet Vestfyen Arena in Odense, Denmark, a 3,280 seat venue that opened in 1999. The team has not won a championship since being promoted to the elite league for the 1991-92 season. Odense has reached the finals three times over that period, in 2001-02, 2002-03 and 2011-12.