North American Juniors

CHL Playoffs Game Night: 4-24-18

Quebec Major Junior Hockey League

#1 Blainville-Boisbriand Armada 2 @ #9 Charlottetown Islanders 3 (OT) (Game 3)
Semifinals
Armada leads series 2-1

C Alex Barré-Boulet , BLB: 0-0-0, +1, 2 PIM, 7 SOG, 6/16 FO
Playoff Totals: 9 GP, 8-6-14, +13, 10 PIM
Season Totals: 65 GP, 53-66-116, +28, 67 PIM
’16-’17 Totals: 65 GP, 29-52-81, +10, 42 PIM

Sixteen-year-old Brett Budgell (2019 draft eligible) scored 1:14 into overtime to give Charlottetown the Game 3 victory in front of 3400+ fans at EastLink Centre, taking their first game of the series. The Armada played catch-up the whole game, falling behind by a goal twice before Drake Batherson (OTT, 2017 4th round pick) scored with a scant 55 seconds left in regulation to force the extra session. Islanders netminder Matthew Welsh (2018 draft eligible) stopped 37 of 39 Armada shots, as he continues to stymie the potent Armada offense. The series continues in Charlottetown Wednesday night with Game 4.

CHL Playoffs Game Night: 4-23-18

Ontario Hockey League

#1 Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds 0 @ #2 Kitchener Rangers 3 (Game 3)
Western Conference Finals
Soo lead series 2-1

W Boris Katchouk, SSM: 0-0-0, -2, 0 PIM, 2 SOG
Playoff Totals: 14 GP, 13-10-23, +12, 8 PIM
Season Totals: 58 GP, 42-43-85, +53, 30 PIM
’16-’17 Season: 66 GP, 35-29-64, +18, 46 PIM

W Taylor Raddysh, SSM: 0-0-0, -2, 0 PIM, 3 SOG, 0/4 FO
Playoff Totals: 14 GP, 9-12-21, +4, 10 PIM
Season Totals (SSM): 28 GP, 18-21-39, +14, 14 PIM
Season Totals (ER): 30 GP, 15-29-44, +10, 16 PIM
Season Totals: 58 GP, 33-50-83, +24, 30 PIM
‘16-‘17 Totals: 58 GP, 42-67-109, +67, 37 PIM

With the series shifting to Kitchener and the Rangers down two games nil, Kitchener goalie Mario Culina (undrafted) pitched a 24-shot shutout in front of 6500+ home fans at Kitchener Memorial Auditorium. Sixteen-year-old blueliner Michael Vukojevic (2019 draft eligible) assisted on all three Ranger goals. These two teams combat once again Wednesday night in Kitchener for Game 4.

CHL Playoffs Game Night: 4-21-18

Quebec Major Junior Hockey League

#9 Charlottetown Islanders 0 @ #1 Blainville-Boisbriand Armada 1 (Game 2)
Semifinals
Armada leads series 2-0

C Alex Barré-Boulet , BLB: 0-1-1, E, 0 PIM, 5 SOG, 2/4 FO
Playoff Totals: 8 GP, 8-6-14, +12, 8 PIM
Season Totals: 65 GP, 53-66-116, +28, 67 PIM
’16-’17 Totals: 65 GP, 29-52-81, +10, 42 PIM

Barre-Boulet set up Alexandre Alain (undrafted) for a power play goal 5:02 in the 2nd period, and it stood as the game-winner behind a 28-shot shutout by Emile Samson (2018 draft eligible). The Armada win both home games to start this series, which has the storyline of a being a goaltender’s duel this far. Islanders netminder Matthew Welsh (2018 draft eligible) has stopped 49 of 53 Armada shots. The series shifts to PEI for Game 3 on Tuesday.

Ontario Hockey League

#2 Kitchener Rangers 2 @ #1 Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds 4 (Game 2)
Western Conference Finals
Soo lead series 2-0

W Boris Katchouk, SSM: 2-1-3, +3, 0 PIM, 8 SOG, *First Star*
Playoff Totals: 13 GP, 13-10-23, +14, 8 PIM
Season Totals: 58 GP, 42-43-85, +53, 30 PIM
’16-’17 Season: 66 GP, 35-29-64, +18, 46 PIM

W Taylor Raddysh, SSM: 1-2-3, +1, 0 PIM, 5 SOG, 2/5 FO, *Third Star*
Playoff Totals: 13 GP, 9-12-21, +6, 10 PIM
Season Totals (SSM): 28 GP, 18-21-39, +14, 14 PIM
Season Totals (ER): 30 GP, 15-29-44, +10, 16 PIM
Season Totals: 58 GP, 33-50-83, +24, 30 PIM
‘16-‘17 Totals: 58 GP, 42-67-109, +67, 37 PIM

Katchouk (pictured) and Raddysh both notched three-point games to lead the Soo to a Game 2 win over the Rangers. Katchouk earned First Star honors for a pair of goals and an assist, while Raddysh earned the Third Star for a goal and two assists. After Adam Mascherin (FLA, 2016 2nd round pick) opened the scoring for Kitchener just 1:44 in the game, the Greyhounds reeled off three straight to put the game away. Katchouk and Raddysh combined to set up linemate Morgan Frost (PHI, 2017 1st round pick) for the equalizer just past the midpoint of the game. With the score knotted 1-1 in the 3rd period, Raddysh set up Katchouk for the first of this two goals to give the Soo its first lead. Katchouk scored his second goal with the Rangers goalie pulled and Kitchener on the power play with just 72 seconds remaining – a short-handed marker that would eventually be the game-winner. Logan Stanley (WPG, 2016 1st round pick) would raise the tension in Essar Centre when he scored for the Rangers with 27 seconds remaining to draw Kitchener to within one at 3-2, but Raddysh would seal the game with an empty netter with 8 seconds left. The series travels to Kitchener for Game 3 Monday night.

CHL Playoffs Game Night: 4-20-18

Quebec Major Junior Hockey League

#9 Charlottetown Islanders 1 @ #1 Blainville-Boisbriand Armada 3 (Game 1)
Semifinals
Armada leads series 1-0

C Alex Barré-Boulet , BLB: 0-0-0, E, 2 PIM, 3 SOG, 3/10 FO
Playoff Totals: 7 GP, 8-5-13, +12, 8 PIM
Season Totals: 65 GP, 53-66-116, +28, 67 PIM
’16-’17 Totals: 65 GP, 29-52-81, +10, 42 PIM

Emile Samson (2018 draft eligible) stopped 19 of 20 Islanders shots to lead the Armada to a Game 1 victory in the QMJHL semifinals. Bolt prospect Alex Barré-Boulet returned to the Armada lineup after sitting out Game 5 of the quarterfinal series against Moncton after suffering an injury in Game 4. The Armada got goals from three skaters, the first of which a Joel Teasdale (2018 draft eligible) marker just 1:35 into the game. After a late 2nd period equalizer by Charlottetown’s Derek Gentile (2018 draft eligible), the Armada got goals from Alexander Katerinakis (2018 draft eligible) and Alexandre Alain (undrafted) in the 3rd period to pull away. The teams are right back at it Saturday for Game 2 in Boisbriand.

Ontario Hockey League

#2 Kitchener Rangers 2 @ #1 Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds 3 (Game 1)
Western Conference Finals
Soo lead series 1-0

W Boris Katchouk, SSM: 0-1-1, +2, 0 PIM, 3 SOG
Playoff Totals: 12 GP, 11-9-20, +11, 8 PIM
Season Totals: 58 GP, 42-43-85, +53, 30 PIM
’16-’17 Season: 66 GP, 35-29-64, +18, 46 PIM

W Taylor Raddysh, SSM: 0-1-1, +2, 0 PIM, 2 SOG, 3/3 FO
Playoff Totals: 12 GP, 8-10-18, +5, 10 PIM
Season Totals (SSM): 28 GP, 18-21-39, +14, 14 PIM
Season Totals (ER): 30 GP, 15-29-44, +10, 16 PIM
Season Totals: 58 GP, 33-50-83, +24, 30 PIM
‘16-‘17 Totals: 58 GP, 42-67-109, +67, 37 PIM

The Soo rallied from a 2-1 deficit behind a pair of goals from Conor Timmins (COL, 2017 2nd round pick), including a dramatic game-winning shortie with 1 second left in regulation. It was a heartbreaking loss for Kitchener as the Greyhounds snatched a victory in Game 1 of the OHL Western Conference finals. Bolt prospect Taylor Raddysh (pictured) earned the primary assist on the heroic Timmins short-handed game-winner, and fellow Bolt prospect Boris Katchouk earned an assist on Timmins’ equalizer earlier in the 3rd period. The Rangers jumped out to a 1-0 lead midway through the 1st period with Blue Jacket prospect Kole Sherwood and Adam Mascherin (FLA, 2016 2nd round pick) set up a Connor Bunnamen (PHI, 2016 4th round pick) power play goal. After Jack Kopacka (ANA, 2016 4th round pick) knotted the score at 1-1 with a power play goal of his own for the Soo, Sherwood and Mascherin would once again set up a Kitchener power play marker, this time from the stick of Givani Smith (DET, 2016 2nd round pick) to give the Rangers the 2-1 lead. The Soo and Rangers square off for Game 2 Saturday in Sault Ste. Marie.

Lightning Inks F Otto Somppi to Entry Level Deal

TAMPA BAY – The Tampa Bay Lightning have signed forward Otto Somppi to a three-year, entry-level contract, vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman announced today.

Somppi, 20, skated in 59 games with the Halifax Mooseheads of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League this season, recording 28 goals and 83 points to go along with 28 penalty minutes. He led the Mooseheads for assists (55), points and plus/minus (plus-39). Somppi’s 55 assists ranked sixth overall in the league. The Helsinki, Finland native has also appeared in two QMJHL playoff games, posting one assist. During the 2017-18 season, he served as an assistant captain for Halifax.

The 6-foot-2, 188-pound forward has skated in 178 career QMJHL games, all with the Mooseheads over the past three seasons, collecting 58 goals and 170 points to go along with 83 penalty minutes. Somppi represented Finland at the 2017 World Jr. Championships, skating in five games and registering one goal.

Somppi was drafted by the Lightning in the seventh round, 206th overall, at the 2016 NHL Draft.

CHL Playoffs Game Night: 4-17-18

Ontario Hockey League

#4 Owen Sound Attack 7 @ #1 Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds 9 (Game 7)
Western Conference Semifinals
Soo win series 4-3

W Boris Katchouk, SSM: 3-1-4, +3, 0 PIM, 5 SOG, 1/2 FO, *First Star*
Playoff Totals: 11 GP, 11-8-19, +9, 8 PIM
Season Totals: 58 GP, 42-43-85, +53, 30 PIM
’16-’17 Season: 66 GP, 35-29-64, +18, 46 PIM

W Taylor Raddysh, SSM: 1-3-4, +4, 4 PIM, 5 SOG, 5/8 FO
Playoff Totals: 11 GP, 8-9-17, +3, 10 PIM
Season Totals (SSM): 28 GP, 18-21-39, +14, 14 PIM
Season Totals (ER): 30 GP, 15-29-44, +10, 16 PIM
Season Totals: 58 GP, 33-50-83, +24, 30 PIM
‘16-‘17 Totals: 58 GP, 42-67-109, +67, 37 PIM

Katchouk notched a hat trick and four points to lead the Soo in a wild 16-goal Game 7 victory, earning a berth in the Western Conference finals against the Kitchener Rangers. Katchouk capped off a five-goal 1st period with a short-handed marker with just 12-seconds left to give the Soo a 4-1 lead at the first intermission. He added an even strength goal in the 2nd to extend the Greyhound lead to 5-1, and the teams exchanged goals with the Soo taking a 6-2 lead into the second intermission. The Attack would mount a furious comeback, scoring five 3rd period goals, but Katchouk would score a power play marker that would eventually be the game winner to complete his hat trick. Raddysh would scratch out an empty netter late in the game to preserve the Soo victory, his only goal of the game. Raddysh would muster three assists on the night, for a four-point game of his own. Noah Carroll (CAR, 2016 6th round pick) would also score a pair of goals for the Greyhounds. Right-handed blueliner Sean Durzi (2018 draft eligible) starred for Owen Sound, scoring a pair of goals and ringing up a game-high five points.

The Soo and Rangers square off Friday and Saturday for Game 1 and 2 in Sault Ste. Marie. Katchouk is tied for 1st in OHL playoff goals and sits third in points.

CHL Playoffs Game Night: 4-16-18

Western Hockey League

#2 Swift Current Broncos 6 @ #1 Moose Jaw Warriors 0 (Game 7)
Eastern Conference Semifinals
Broncos win series 4-3

D Oleg Sosunov, MJ: 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 1 SOG
Playoff Totals: 14 GP, 0-0-0, -6, 4 PIM
Season Totals: 71 GP, 7-19-26, +35, 62 PIM
’16-‘17 Totals (MHL-Russia): 32 GP, 0-0-0, +1, 79 PIM

Stuart Skinner (EDM, 2017 3rd round pick) turned away 25 Moose Jaw shots, pitching a Game 7 shutout. Former Blues prospect and now Flames free agent signee Glenn Gawdin scored twice and added two assists, as the Swift Current Broncos punched their ticket to the WHL Eastern Conference finals against the Lethbridge Hurricanes. The Broncos had their backs against the wall after Game 5, down 3-2 in the series, and then preceded to outscore the potent Warriors offense 13-1 in elimination games 6 and 7. Devils free agent signee Colby Sissons, Tyler Steenbergen (ARI, 2017 5th round pick), an Aleksi Heponiemi (FLA, 2017 2nd round pick) all had multi-point games.

For Bolt prospect Oleg Sosunov, he could join the Syracuse Crunch for their Calder Cup Playoff run, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the organization allows him to close out his season. After scoring 7 goals and 26 points in a breakout campaign in his first year in North America, Sosunov hit a wall down the stretch statistically for the Warriors. He was never scratched, even on a loaded Moose Jaw blueline, but the offense dried up in the last 15-20 games of the regular season and the playoffs. There’s certainly something to be said for never having too much depth for the Syracuse playoff run, but one gets the sense that Sosunov kind of ran out of the gas. Unlike the watch on Otto Sompii, Sosunov does already have an NHL contract with the Lightning.

CHL Playoffs Game Night: 4-15-18

Ontario Hockey League

#1 Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds 1 @ #4 Owen Sound Attack 7 (Game 6)
Western Conference Semifinals
Series tied at 3-3

W Boris Katchouk, SSM: 0-1-1, -2, 0 PIM, 2 SOG, 0/1 FO
Playoff Totals: 10 GP, 8-7-15, +6, 8 PIM
Season Totals: 58 GP, 42-43-85, +53, 30 PIM
’16-’17 Season: 66 GP, 35-29-64, +18, 46 PIM

W Taylor Raddysh, SSM: 0-1-1, -1, 0 PIM, 3 SOG, 1/3 FO
Playoff Totals: 10 GP, 7-6-13, -1, 6 PIM
Season Totals (SSM): 28 GP, 18-21-39, +14, 14 PIM
Season Totals (ER): 30 GP, 15-29-44, +10, 16 PIM
Season Totals: 58 GP, 33-50-83, +24, 30 PIM
‘16-‘17 Totals: 58 GP, 42-67-109, +67, 37 PIM

Katchouk and Raddysh set up top prospect Barrett Hayton (2018 draft eligible) for the game-opening goal at 14:41 of the 1st period, but the Attack responded 38 seconds later to knot the score 1-1 at the end of the 1st period, with the Soo also holding an 11-8 advantage on shots. But Owen Sound turned on the afterburners in front of 3000+ fans at the Harry Lumley Bayshore Community Centre, peppering Soo netminders Matthew Villalta (LAK, 2017 3rd round pick) and Tyler Johnson (undrafted) with 38 shots in the 2nd and 3rd periods. In all, seven different Attack skaters scored, and five notched multi-point games. Owen Sound was facing elimination, down 3-2, and their win forces a Game 7 Tuesday night back in Sault Ste. Marie.

The winner of Tuesday night’s Game 7 will face off against the Kitchener Rangers in the OHL Western Conference finals, who eliminated the Sarnia Sting in six games. The Eastern Conference finals is set with the Hamilton Bulldogs squaring off against the Kingston Frontenacs.

CHL Playoffs Game Night: 4-14-18

Western Hockey League

#1 Moose Jaw Warriors 3 @ #2 Swift Current Broncos 2 (3OT) (Game 6)
Eastern Conference Semifinals
Series tied at 3-3

D Oleg Sosunov, MJ: 0-0-0, -1, 0 PIM, 3 SOG
Playoff Totals: 13 GP, 0-0-0, -6, 4 PIM
Season Totals: 71 GP, 7-19-26, +35, 62 PIM
’16-‘17 Totals (MHL-Russia): 32 GP, 0-0-0, +1, 79 PIM

Sharks free agent signee Jayden Halbgewachs scored a triple-overtime power play goal at the 101:14 mark to stave off a Warriors elimination and force a Game 7 Monday night back at the Mosaic Place in Moose Jaw. It was an epic goaltenders dual as Moose Jaw netminder Brody Willms (undrafted) turned aside 58 shots and Swift Current goalie Stuart Skinner (EDM, 2017 3rd round pick) turned away 35.

After a scoreless first period, Former Jets prospect Matteo Gennaro scored a power play goal in the 2nd period, followed by a goal from Tyler Steenbergen (ARI, 2017 5th round pick) early in the 3rd to give Swift Current a 2-0 edge. But then former Lightning and now Rangers prospect Brett Howden put the team on his back, first setting up top prospect Jett Woo (2018 draft eligible) for his 2nd goal of the playoffs, and then scoring the equalizer himself to force the extra sessions.

The winner of Monday night’s Game 7 will draw the Lethbridge Hurricanes in the Eastern Conference Finals, who eliminated the Brandon Wheat Kings four games to one.

Juniors Game Night: 4-14-18

United States Hockey League

** Note: Cole Guttman (Dubuque) was placed on injured reserved on December 22nd following the completion of the World Junior A Challenge tournament.

The Dubuque Fighting Saints finished as the #5 seed in the Eastern Conference, but it’s unknown if Guttman will return from injury for the Clark Cup playoffs.

Sioux City Musketeers 2 @ Omaha Lancers 3 (SO)

D Nick Perbix , OMA: 0-0-0, E, 2 PIM, 1 SOG
Season Totals: 56 GP, 4-25-29, +19, 38 PIM
’16-‘17 Totals (HS): 25 GP, 10-30-40, 6 PIM
Committed to: St. Cloud State University

F Sammy Walker, SC: 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 1 SOG
Season Totals (USHL): 17 GP, 2-7-9, -6, 4 PIM
’16-’17 Totals (USHL): 4 GP, 0-0-0, -3, 6 PIM
Season Totals (HS): 31 GP, 35-44-79, 16 PIM
’16-‘17 Totals (HS): 25 GP, 22-24-46, 6 PIM
Committed to: University of Minnesota

With playoff berths and #1 seeds on the line, Sioux City and Omaha closed out their 2017-18 USHL regular season campaign Saturday night. The Musketeers needed two points and a couple other teams to lose in order to sneak into the playoffs, and Lancers were in a battle with Waterloo for the #1 seed in the Western Conference.

The Lancers lit the lamp first, just 1:49 into the game, in front of 3700+ home fans at the Ralston Arena. But Luke Johnson (Providence commit) would set up a pair of Sioux City goals later in the 1st period, including a power play goal with one second left in the first, giving the Musketeers a 2-1 lead at the end of the first frame. Johnson was a former captain of Edina high school and teammate of Sammy Walker. Omaha would bury a power play marker of their own in the 2nd period to knot the score, and after a scoreless 3rd period and overtime session, the post season hopes of both teams would be decided by a skills competition. Both goalies turned aside the first 5 rounds of shooters before a pair of Miami (Ohio) commits squared off, with Ryan Savage (2018 draft eligible) finally solving Musketeer goalie Ben Kraws (2018 draft eligible) for the Lancer win.

One point for the shootout loss was not enough for Sioux City to clinch a playoff berth no matter the outcome of the other teams, and that mean that the 2017-18 hockey campaign for Bolt prospect Sammy Walker is for all intents an purposes over. It was a great season for Walker, the recipient of the prestigious Minnesota Mr. Hockey Award as the best high senior hockey player in the state. His helped lead his Edina, MN high school team to a 3rd place finish in the MN Class AA State championships, and his two goals and nine points for the Musketeers in 13 games after his high school season ended was a preview of what might be in store when he dons the Maroon and Gold for the Minnesota Golden Gophers this Fall.

For Omaha, the shootout win was not enough to clinch the top spot in the Western Conference, with Waterloo also winning their game Saturday night. Bolt prospect Nick Perbix and the Lancers will enter the Clark Cup playoffs as the #2 seed in the West.

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