UHS-COACH NYE TALKS JUNIOR HOCKEY
As we see from the post directly from the OHL besides the playoffs going on, the OHL just had their OHL Priority Selection Draft this past Saturday and really no surpirses who went Number 1 but none other Travis Konecny from a small town west of London, Ontario called Mt. Brydges. Travis played for the Elgin Middlesex Chiefs AAA minor midget team. This a crafty centerman who isn’t big at 5′ 9″ and 162lbs but going to Ottawa he will be the starting building block for the ’67′s. The number 4th pick was Sean Day out of Rochester Mi. who I spoke about a couple of weeks ago wondering if he was to young to be playing in Junior Sean Day – To Young To Play I guess we will find out soon enough. Here’s the 15th round wrap up of who was drafted. 2013 OHL Priority Selection
OHL Playoffs – From the OHL
By Paul Krotz/CHL
Tyson Baillie scored all three goals for the Kelowna Rockets in a thrilling 3-2 Game 7 overtime victory to complete the dramatic comeback win over the Seattle Thunderbirds late Wednesday night to officially put an end to the first round of the CHL Playoffs
The second place Rockets and seventh place Thunderbirds were separated by 50 points in the WHL’s Western Conference regular season standings, yet five games of the series required extra time with a total of six one-goal games easily making this the toughest first round battle across the entire CHL.
“It’s unbelievable,” Baillie told the Kelowna Capital News after the game. “Being down 3-0 in the series, we came back and won three hard games. Of course, this one had to go to overtime. We had the character to pull it off.”
The Rockets became just the second team in WHL history to win a series after trailing 3-0 and advance to the second round where they will face the Kamloops Blazers.
1996 was the last time a WHL team came back from trailing 3-0 in a series when the Spokane Chiefs defeated the Portland Winterhawks. Coincidentally, the U.S Division rival Chiefs and Winterhawks are playoff opponents again this season to round out the Western Conference Semi-Final matchups.
In the WHL’s Eastern Conference, things went according to plan for all but the 2013 MasterCard Memorial Cup host Saskatoon Blades who fell in four straight games to the seventh place Medicine Hat Tigers.
The Tigers received timely goaltending from Cam Lanigan who allowed just four goals the entire series and posted a league-high save percentage of .976 in the first round.
“My goal coming in was to be better than (Blades goalie Andrey) Makarov,” Lanigan told the Medicine Hat News. “He is an elite goaltender in this league and playing on a world stage. He was one of the better goalies that we were going to face all year.”
The Tigers will continue to face tough goaltending as they prepare for the defending champion Edmonton Oil Kings who feature Laurent Brossoit between the pipes who also allowed just four goals in the first round against the Kootenay Ice spread out over five games.
The third place Calgary Hitmen will host the fourth place Red Deer Rebels in the other Eastern Conference Semi-Final.
Shifting east to the OHL, goaltending is also the focus as the top ranked London Knights get set to open their second round series against the Kitchener Rangers who feature World Junior MVP John Gibson between the pipes.
“We saw what he did at Christmas against the best players in the world,” Rangers Head Coach Steve Spott told the Kitchener Record. “When he came back from the world juniors, he was dealing with some pain. Now that he’s had that extended time off, he’s healthy and his mental mindset is real good. John is a very competitive person and I think he thrives under pressure.”
Seven of the top eight OHL teams advanced to the second round of the playoffs including the second place Plymouth Whalers and the third place Owen Sound Attack in the other Western Conference Semi-Final.
The Eastern Conference features the first place Belleville Bulls against the fifth place Sudbury Wolves who eliminated the Brampton Battalion in the OHL’s only first round upset.
The second place Barrie Colts faceoff against the third place Oshawa Generals in a series that started Wednesday night and required overtime before Zach Hall scored his second goal of the game to give the Colts a 1-0 series lead.
Heading over to the QMJHL, lets see how those rounds are going.
Game 1 goes to the Mooseheads.
The QMJHL’s top ranked Halifax Mooseheads cruised to a 4-0 series win over the defending champion Saint John Sea Dogs and are set to battle the number 13 seed Gatineau Olympiques who pulled off a stunning six games series win over the Rimouski Oceanic who appeared in the BMO CHL Top-10 Rankings the last two months of the season.
“They’re a hard working team, they play hard, they play hard on both sides of the ice,” Mooseheads’ Head Coach Dominique Ducharme told Halifax Metro News. “They played with commitment that first round. They deserved to win.”
The Olympiques upset victory was not the only surprise in the QMJHL’s first round of playoffs according to the standings. The number 11 ranked Victoriaville Tigres defeated the number six Moncton Wildcats in a close five game series that had three games go to overtime including the final. The number 10 ranked Val-d’Or Foreurs lost twice in overtime to the number seven ranked PEI Rocket but emerged victorious in six games of the series fittingly clinching the final victory in triple overtime.
The Tigres will now face the second ranked Baie-Comeau Drakkar while the Foreurs will face the number three ranked Blainville-Boisbriand Armada. The fifth place Quebec Remparts will host the eighth place Rouyn-Noranda Huskies to round out the QMJHL Quarter-Final matchups which all get underway on Friday.
OIL KINGS TAME TIGERS IN GAME ONE – Edgars Kulda scored and set up two more as the Edmonton Oil Kings downed the visiting Medicine Hat Tigers 4-1 in the opening game of their Husky WHL Eastern Conference semi-final series in WHL playoff action on FridayStephane Legault, Mitch Moroz and Travis Ewanyk also scored for Edmonton, which tallied the game’s first three goals while collecting its fourth straight win. Laurent Brossoit stopped 21 of 22 shots to record his 21st win in 28 playoff appearances.
Stephane Legault, Mitch Moroz and Travis Ewanyk also scored for Edmonton, which tallied the game’s first three goals while collecting its fourth straight win. Laurent Brossoit stopped 21 of 22 shots to record his 21st win in 28 playoff appearances.
Kyle Becker – with his second of the playoffs – scored the only goal for the Tigers, who were outshot 33-22 as they suffer their first loss in the 2013 WHL playoffs. Cam Lanigan made 29 saves in the loss versus the team with which he started his WHL career.
Edmonton leads best-of-seven series 1-0
HITMEN 2, REBELS 1
Victor Rask’s goal 16:43 into the second period lifted the Calgary Hitmen to a 2-1 win over the visiting Red Deer Rebels in Game 2 of their Husky WHL Eastern Conference semi-final series on Friday.
Elliott Peterson opened the scoring just 47 seconds into the game for the Hitmen, who outshot the Rebels 31-18 over the first two periods of play as they post their second straight win to start the series. Chris Driedger made 29 saves to backstop the Hitmen to their fourth consecutive playoff victory.
Jordan DePape netted his first goal of the post-season for the Rebels, who held Calgary scoreless on six power play chances but failed to convert five of their own man advantage chances. Patrik Bartosak made 40 saves in the setback.
Calgary leads best-of-seven series 2-0
KAL TIRE WHL WESTERN CONFERENCE
WINTERHAWKS 7, CHIEFS 2
Ty Rattie scored a natural hat trick in the third period and Mac Carruth made 38 saves to lead the Portland Winterhawks to a 7-2 triumph over the visiting Spokane Chiefs in Game 1 of their Kal Tire WHL Western Conference semi-final series on Friday.
Oliver Bjorkstrand scored two goals and set up another and Derrick Pouliot had a goal and three assists for the Winterhawks, who scored the game’s last five goals to come away with the series-opening win. Taylor Leier also counted for the Winterhawks.
Mike Aviani and Todd Fiddler had the goals for the Chiefs, who went 0-for-3 on the power play while giving up two goals on eight Winterhawks’ power play chances. Eric Williams made 32 saves in a losing effort.
Portland leads best-of-seven series 1-0
Thanks from the WHL for their contributions to the round up!
Great action all around the CHL this past week, we can’t wait to see what happens in week 2 – stay tuned!
Until next time.
See you after the game,