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North American Juniors

North American Juniors Game Night: 3/17/11

QMJHL

Rimouski Oceanic 2 @ Montreal Juniors 4
D Charles Landry, MTL: 0-0-0, +1, 0 PIM, 0 SOG, 0 Hits
Season Totals: 56 GP, 11-28-39, +25, 30 PIM

Landry is 18th in the league in scoring among defensemen heading into the final weekend of the season. The Juniors have a four point lead on Quebec for the second seed in the Q with two games remaining.

North American Juniors Game Night: 3/16/11

OHL

Kitchener Rangers 3 @ Guelph Storm 4
C/W Richard Panik, GUE: Did not play (injured – sprained ankle)
With Guelph: 22 GP, 12-12-24, -6, 34 PIM
With Belleville: 27 GP, 14-17-31, E, 33 PIM
Season totals: 49 GP, 26-29-55, -6, 67 PIM

Panik remains out with a sprained ankle. He is reportedly skating and recently returned home to Slovakia to take a high school equivalency exam. At 73 points and in seventh in the West, Guelph could still technically catch Plymouth (76) for sixth or be caught by London (69) and fall to eighth. London has a game in hand. Guelph will likely play Saginaw in the first round.

Plymouth Whalers 3 @ Owen Sound Attack 4 (OT)
D Geoffrey Schemitsch, OS: Did not play (injured - broken arm)
Season totals: 45 GP, 1-19-20, +17, 14 PIM
G Michael Zador, OS: Win, 30 saves on 33 shots
With Attack: 13 GP, 9-2-0-0, 3.06 GAA, .900 sv%, 0 SO
With Oshawa: 18 GP, 10-3-1-1, 3.36 GAA, .879 sv%, 1 SO
Season Totals: 31 GP, 19-5-1-1, 3.23 GAA, .888 sv%, 1 SO

Zador (pictured) earned a second straight start for his First Star effort against London and won again, this time beating Plymouth in overtime. Zador, who is approaching 20 wins on the season, will likely see more time in net as Owen Sound has already clinched the West’s top seed. They’ll likely play London in the first round. Schemitsch is expected back for the playoffs.

WHL

Everett Silvertips 2 @ Tri-City Americans 1
RW Carter Ashton, TC: 0-0-0, E, 4 PIM (goaltender interference, tripping)
With Tri-City: 30 GP, 15-26-41, +8, 60 PIM
With Regina: 29 GP, 16-11-27, -12, 44 PIM
Season Totals: 59 GP, 31-37-68, -4, 104 PIM

Ashton has 14 points (6 goals) in March. He has 17 PIM in his last four games. TC is basically locked in as the West’s 4-seed. They’ll likely play either Chilliwack or Vancouver.

Chilliwack Bruins 1 @ Spokane Chiefs 2 (SO)
C Tyler Johnson, SPO: 0-0-0, -1, 4 PIM (high sticking, hooking)
Season Totals: 68 GP, 51-60-111, +26, 48 PIM

Johnson didn’t find the scoresheet in regulation or overtime Wednesday, but scored in the shootout to help the Chiefs defeat Chilliwack. The Chiefs, who will be the 3-seed in the West, will likely play Vancouver or Chilliwack in the first round.

Moose Jaw Warriors 2 @ Saskatoon Blades 3 (SO)
D Teigan Zahn, SAS: 0-0-0, +2, 0 PIM
Season totals: 70 GP, 3-20-23, +38, 133 PIM

Saskatoon, who has already clinched the league’s best record, won the shootout 2-0. Zahn has been at least plus-1 in his last six games. He is plus-16 in that span.

North American Juniors Game Night: 3/14/11

BCHL

BCHL Interior Conference Semifinals – Game 5

Salmon Arm Silverbacks 4 @ Penticton Vees 2
Silverbacks win Best of 7 series 4-1

C Brendan O’Donnell, PEN: 0-1-1, 0 PIM
Season totals: 58 GP, 29-43-72, 28 PIM
Playoff totals: 6 GP, 1-4-5, 9 PIM

Penticton’s season came to an end Monday when they lost their third game at home in their second round series to upstart goalie Kris Moore and Salmon Arm. O’Donnell had an assist on the Vees’ final goal, which was scored at the four minute mark of the third period to cut the Silverbacks’ lead to 4-2. Salmon Arm scored twice in 14 seconds early in the third period to go up 4-1. Penticton finished two points ahead of Salmon Arm in the regular season. The Silverbacks are now 8-1 in the playoffs.

O’Donnell finished second on the Vees in scoring during the regular season and represented Canada West at the World Junior A Challenge. While he missed three playoff games due to an injury sustained in a fight, he was nearly a point-per-gamer for the postseason. He’ll be donning the green of the University of North Dakota the next time we see him.

North American Juniors Game Night: 3/13/11

QMJHL

Gatineau Olympiques 8 @ Lewiston MAINEiacs 5
D Adam Janosik, GAT: 0-2-2, +3, 2 PIM (cross-checking), 3 SOG, 0 Hits
Season Totals: 58 GP, 7-24-31, +16, 35 PIM

Janosik has three points in his last two games. Gatineau looks like they’ll be locked into the fifth seed in the league under the new playoff format, meaning they’d play the 12 seed, which right now is Chicoutimi. Teams are re-seeded after each round.

Baie-Comeau Drakkar 0 @ Montreal Juniors 7
D Charles Landry, MTL: 0-1-1, +2, 2 PIM (roughing), 1 SOG, 0 Hits
Season Totals: 55 GP, 11-28-39, +24, 30 PIM

The Drakkar would have squeaked this one out – if they counted B-C's shots (13) vs. Montreal’s goals (7). Montreal scored five times in the first period on 16 shots. The Juniors are now up three points on Drummondville for the TELUS West Division title, with Montreal having a game in hand. Division winners get the first three seeds of the 16 teams that make the playoffs in the Q. Teams 4-16 are then seeded by total points.

WHL

Prince George Cougars 3 @ Tri-City Americans 6
RW Brett Connolly, PG: 1-0-1, E, 0 PIM
Season totals: 57 GP, 43-25-68, -5, 26 PIM
RW Carter Ashton, TC: 2-1-3, E, 4 PIM (high sticking, roughing), *First Star*
With Tri-City: 29 GP, 15-26-41, +8, 56 PIM
With Regina: 29 GP, 16-11-27, -12, 44 PIM
Season Totals: 58 GP, 31-37-68, -4, 100 PIM

In a match-up of probable future linemates with the Lightning, Carter Ashton got the better of Brett Connolly in goals, points, and the win column. Ashton set a new career high with his 30th and 31st goals of the season. He also tied Connolly in points for the season and hit the 100 penalty minute mark. Not a bad night for the big guy. Connolly, meanwhile, scored his 43rd goal of the season. Connolly broke his previous career high for goals in a year 12 goals ago.

North American Juniors Game Night: 3/12/11

BCHL

BCHL Interior Conference Semifinals – Game 4

Penticton Vees 4 @ Salmon Arm Silverbacks 3
Silverbacks lead Best of 7 series 3-1

C Brendan O’Donnell, PEN: 0-0-0, 0 PIM
Season totals: 58 GP, 29-43-72, 28 PIM
Playoff totals: 5 GP, 1-3-4, 9 PIM

Penticton staved off elimination by finally beating Silverbacks goaltender Kris Moore twice in both the first period and twice again in the second. The Vees allowed two third period goals to make a dramatic last 10 minutes of the game. After badly outshooting Salmon Arm in Games 1-3, Penticton was outshot by one in Game 4. The series now shifts to Penticton for Game 5 Monday.

USHL

Lincoln Stars 4 @ Fargo Force 7
C Jimmy Mullin, FGO: 0-2-2, +1, 0 PIM, 8 SOG
Season totals: 44 GP, 19-31-50, +24, 24 PIM

Fargo got some revenge on Lincoln for shutting the Force out in their last game. Mullin’s eight shots led the team. Fargo is back in a tie for third in the West, though Sioux Falls has two games in hand on them.

OHL

London Knights 2 @ Owen Sound Attack 5
D Geoffrey Schemitsch, OS: Did not play (injured - broken arm)
Season totals: 45 GP, 1-19-20, +17, 14 PIM
G Michael Zador, OS: Win, 29 saves on 31 shots, *First Star*
With Attack: 12 GP, 8-2-0-0, 3.08 GAA, .899 sv%, 0 SO
With Oshawa: 18 GP, 10-3-1-1, 3.36 GAA, .879 sv%, 1 SO
Season Totals: 30 GP, 18-5-1-1, 3.25 GAA, .887 sv%, 1 SO

In his first game in nearly a month, Zador was named First Star for the Attack in a win over London. Zador, who normally sits backup in Owen Sound, suffered a concussion in warm-ups vs. London a few weeks ago. Schemitsch is reportedly skating again and should be back by the playoffs.

WHL

Prince George Cougars 5 @ Seattle Thunderbirds 1
RW Brett Connolly, PG: 1-1-2, +1, 0 PIM, *First Star*
Season totals: 56 GP, 42-25-67, -5, 26 PIM

The Cougars earned their second big win a row, defeated Seattle 5-1 Saturday night in Washington. Prince George beat Vancouver 8-0 on Friday night. Connolly had a goal and an assist in both games. The Cougars are up to seventh in the West, and more importantly three points up on ninth-place Kamloops with a game in hand.

Kootenay Ice 3 @ Spokane Chiefs 4 (SO)
C Tyler Johnson, SPO: 1-1-2, -1, 0 PIM
Season Totals: 67 GP, 51-60-111, +27, 44 PIM

Johnson has goals in four of his last five games after picking up his league-leading 51st of the year Saturday night. He hit the 60 assist and 110 point markers during the game, too. He also pulled within three points of Linden Vey for the league lead in points. Spokane let a two goal lead evaporate late and needed the shootout to win. Johnson was the first shooter for the Chiefs, but failed to convert his attempt. Spokane has clinched at least the third seed in the West.

Edmonton Oil Kings 0 @ Saskatoon Blades 4
D Teigan Zahn, SAS: 0-1-1, +2, 0 PIM
Season totals: 69 GP, 3-20-23, +36, 133 PIM

Zahn has at least one assist in four of his last five games.

North American Juniors Game Night: 3/10/11

OHL

Guelph Storm 2 @ Sarnia Sting 5
C/W Richard Panik, GUE: Did not play (injured – sprained ankle)
With Guelph: 22 GP, 12-12-24, -6, 34 PIM
With Belleville: 27 GP, 14-17-31, E, 33 PIM
Season totals: 49 GP, 26-29-55, -6, 67 PIM

Panik remains out with a sprained ankle. He was expected to return this week.

Owen Sound Attack 3 @ Windsor Spitfires 4 (SO)
D Geoffrey Schemitsch, OS: Did not play (injured - broken arm)
Season totals: 45 GP, 1-19-20, +17, 14 PIM
G Michael Zador, OS: Did not play (backup)
With Attack: 11 GP, 7-2-0-0, 3.19 GAA, .895 sv%, 0 SO
With Oshawa: 18 GP, 10-3-1-1, 3.36 GAA, .879 sv%, 1 SO
Season Totals: 29 GP, 17-5-1-1, 3.29 GAA, .885 sv%, 1 SO

Zador (pictured) was back on the Attack bench after missing a few games due to a concussion sustained when he took a shot to the head in warm-ups.

North American Juniors Game Night: 3/9/11

BCHL

BCHL Interior Conference Semifinals – Game 2

Salmon Arm Silverbacks 3 @ Penticton Vees 2
Silverbacks lead Best of 7 series 2-0

C Brendan O’Donnell, PEN: 1-1-2, 0 PIM
Season totals: 58 GP, 29-43-72, 28 PIM
Playoff totals: 3 GP, 1-3-4, 5 PIM

O’Donnell had a goal and an assist, but the story of the game and the series thus far was undrafted goaltender Kris Moore of Salmon Arm. For the second straight game the Vees outshot the Silverbacks by nearly a 2-to-1 margin, but Moore, who lists former Lightning goaltender Corey Schwab as his greatest hockey influence in his player profile, made 40 saves and stole Game 2 for the underdogs. The series now heads the Silverbacks’ barn with the Vees in a big hole.

USHL

Sioux Falls Stampede 7 @ Fargo Force 2
C Jimmy Mullin, FGO: 1-0-1, -2, 0 PIM, 8 SOG
Season totals: 42 GP, 19-29-48, +23, 24 PIM

Mullin broke a two game scoreless streak, but the Force was hammered at home in an important game, 7-2 by Sioux Falls. The teams entered the game tied for third in the Western Conference at 60 points with Sioux Falls holding a game in hand. Fargo now sits alone in fourth, one point behind Omaha.

WHL

Tri-City Americans 1 @ Kelowna Rockets 3
RW Carter Ashton, TC: 1-0-1, E, 4 PIM (high sticking, hooking)
With Tri-City: 27 GP, 13-25-38, +8, 47 PIM
With Regina: 29 GP, 16-11-27, -12, 44 PIM
Season Totals: 56 GP, 29-36-65, -4, 91 PIM

Ashton’s streak of four games with at least two points came to an end, but he did manage his 29th goal of the season to put him within one of his career high of 30 – again. He thought he had his 29th goal two games ago, but a late scoring change took it away. Ashton’s goal Wednesday tied the game at one in Kelowna, but that’s all TC could manage. Rockets captain Tyson Barrie, son of former Lightning owner Len Barrie and once thought to be a certain draft target of the Barrie/Koules Bolts, had an assist in the game for Kelowna. The Avalanche draft pick has 54 points (10 goals) in 49 games this year.

Saskatoon Blades 5 @ Brandon Wheat Kings 3
D Teigan Zahn, SAS: 0-1-1, +3, 2 PIM (holding)
Season totals: 67 GP, 3-19-22, +33, 133 PIM

Zahn has quietly established a career high for points in a season at 22. His plus-33 rating is “just” 28 better than his previous career high in that category. The overager and captain of the WHL’s top team is hoping for a contract at the end of the season from the Lightning. He has five points in his last three games and is plus-11 in those three games.

North American Juniors Game Night: 3/8/11

BCHL

BCHL Interior Conference Semifinals – Game 1

Salmon Arm Silverbacks 3 @ Penticton Vees 1
Silverbacks lead Best of 7 series 1-0

C Brendan O’Donnell, PEN: 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM
Season totals: 58 GP, 29-43-72, 28 PIM
Playoff totals: 2 GP, 0-2-2, 5 PIM

O’Donnell returned after missing games 2-4 of the Vees’ first round series with Quesnel, but Penticton was shocked at home in Game 1 vs. Salmon Arm, 3-1. Penticton outshot the Silverbacks 41-22, but was stymied by goaltender Kris Moore (undrafted). Game 2 is tonight (Wednesday) in Penticton.

WHL

Tri-City Americans 5 @ Kamloops Blazers 4
RW Carter Ashton, TC: 0-2-2, +3, 0 PIM
With Tri-City: 26 GP, 12-25-37, +8, 43 PIM
With Regina: 29 GP, 16-11-27, -12, 44 PIM
Season Totals: 55 GP, 28-36-64, -4, 87 PIM

Ashton had two assists in the first period to help TC to an early 2-0 lead, but the Ams had to fight back with three third period goals, including one in the last minute, to win the game. Ashton has a four game multipoint streak going in which he’s scored 10 total points. He has 13 points in his last seven games. He was originally listed with two goals and an assist in his last game against Vancouver, but that has been changed to one goal and three assists. Ashton’s career high for goals in a season in 30.

Red Deer Rebels 7 @ Prince George Cougars 0
RW Brett Connolly, PG: 0-0-0, -4, 0 PIM
Season totals: 54 GP, 40-23-63, -7, 26 PIM

Ouch. While Red Deer is second overall in the league, losing on home ice 7-0 is embarrassing any way you cut it. The Cougars, who were once comfortably in the playoff picture, are now tied for the eighth and final spot in the West at 62 points. They do have a game in hand on Kamloops, with whom they are tied, but Seattle is at 59 points and has a game in hand on Prince George. The Cougars are 1-8-0-1 in their last 10 games and need to turn things around. As captain of his home town team, there’s no doubt Connolly doesn’t want to go out like this. Likely 2011 top-3 pick Ryan Nugent-Hopkins had a goal and three assists Tuesday for Red Deer.

Lightning Announce Johnson Signing

Confirming reports out of eastern Washington this weekend, the Tampa Bay Lightning announced the signing of Spokane Chiefs center Tyler Johnson today.

Johnson signed a standard three-year entry-level contract.

At 5-foot-9, 175 pounds, he has appeared in 259 career games with the Spokane Chiefs of the Western Hockey League during the previous four seasons, amassing 123 goals and 273 points. This season he has established career highs in goals with 48, assists with 58 and points 106 in 64 games. Johnson currently leads the Chiefs in goals, assists, power play goals (15) and shorthanded goals (6) while also ranking third on the squad with a plus-27 ranking. He has also skated in 40 career postseason games, all with Spokane, registering 13 goals and 24 points.

A native of Spokane, Washington, Johnson’s goal total is tied for the WHL lead, while he ranks fourth in assists and second in points among all WHL skaters. He also is seventh in power-play goals with 15 and second in power-play assists with 34. Johnson most recently led all WHL players in scoring through the month of February, picking up points in 10 of his 13 games played, all of which were multi-point nights, including four three-point games. He has also excelled in international competition, helping Team USA to the Gold Medal at the 2010 World Junior Championships in Canada, recording three goals and five points with a plus-4 rating in seven games.

Johnson went undrafted in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft.
--Tampa Bay Lightning

North American Juniors Game Night: 3/6/11

USHL

Fargo Force 2 @ Team USA 1
C Jimmy Mullin, FGO: 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 2 SOG
Season totals: 41 GP, 18-29-47, +25, 24 PIM

Mullin was scoreless for the second straight game, but the Force got the win against the USA development team. At 60 points, Fargo is tied for third in the Western Conference with Sioux Falls, who has a game in hand on Fargo. The Force is one point out of second and five points out of first, but the teams in front of them, Omaha and Dubuque, have games in hand on Fargo. The Force have 11 games left in the season.

QMJHL

Montreal Juniors 2 @ Val-d’Or Foreurs 3 (SO)
D Charles Landry, MTL: 0-0-0, E, 2 PIM, 1 SOG, 0 Hits
Season Totals: 53 GP, 11-27-38, +23, 28 PIM

Landry did not participate in the shootout, which was won 3-2 by the Foreurs. The Juniors have a four point lead on Drummondville for first in the TELUS West Division with five games to go.

OHL

Guelph Storm 3 @ Windsor Spitfires 4 (SO)
C/W Richard Panik, GUE: Did not play (injured – sprained ankle)
With Guelph: 22 GP, 12-12-24, -6, 34 PIM
With Belleville: 27 GP, 14-17-31, E, 33 PIM
Season totals: 49 GP, 26-29-55, -6, 67 PIM

Panik remains out with a sprained ankle. He is expected to return this week. Guelph has clinched a playoff spot and is tied with London for seventh. The key will be to avoid top-seeded Owen Sound or Kitchener in the first round. The Storm has five games left.

WHL

Tri-City Americans 5 @ Vancouver Giants 1
RW Carter Ashton, TC: 2-1-3, +2, 0 PIM, *Second Star*
With Tri-City: 25 GP, 13-21-34, +5, 43 PIM
With Regina: 29 GP, 16-11-27, -12, 44 PIM
Season Totals: 54 GP, 29-32-61, -7, 87 PIM

Ashton is now within one goal of his career high for a season, set two years ago with Lethbridge in 70 games. He has already set career highs for assists and points. Sunday night Ashton scored once in the first period and again on the power play late in the third to give the Ams a big win in one of the WHL’s toughest barns. TC is clinched a playoff spot and currently sit in fourth in the West, comfortably ahead of Vancouver in fifth and well behind Spokane in third. TC has eight games left.

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