North American Juniors

CHL Playoffs Game Night: 4-9-10

QMJHL

No.4 Rouyn-Noranda Huskies 5 @ No.5 Moncton Wildcats 4 (2OT)
Quarterfinals, Game 4. Moncton leads Best of 7 Series 3-1
D Mark Barberio, MCT: 0-2-2, +1, 4 PIM, 2 SOG
Series Totals: 4 GP, 2-4-6, +3, 6 PIM
Playoff Totals: 9 GP, 3-8-11, +6, 8 PIM
Season Totals: 65 GP, 17-43-60, +39, 72 PIM

The Wildcats had a chance to finish a sweep of the Huskies, but former Rimouski Oceanic Phillipe Cornet (Oilers 5/08) scored in the second overtime to extend the series for Rouyn-Noranda. Moncton outshot the Huskies 20-14 in the extra sessions and 50-47 overall, but were unable to complete the sweep. Barberio had two primary assists on the night, including one with under 30 seconds to play that forced overtime on a goal by Kelsey Tessier (Avalanche 4/08). Barberio has six points in the series so far (two goals), which will see it's next game Saturday in Moncton. No.1 St. John, No.2 Drummondville, and No.6 Victoriaville (swept No.3 Quebec) have already advanced to the semifinals.

Draft Watch
Moncton’s Brandon Gormley, a defenseman expected to go in the 3-8 range this summer, was scoreless and minus-2 in the game. He has nine assists in nine playoff games, to go with a plus-6 rating. Gormley had 43 points (nine goals) in 58 regular season games for the Wildcats and was plus-31.

WHL

Portland Winterhawks 3 @ Vancouver Giants 5
Conference Semifinals, Game 4. Vancouver leads Best of 7 Series 3-1
C/W/D James Wright, VAN: 2-0-2, -1, 0 PIM, *First Star*
Series Totals: 4 GP, 6-3-9, +2, 2 PIM
Playoff Totals: 8 GP, 6-5-11, +4, 4 PIM
Season Totals: 21 GP, 6-13-19, -3, 17 PIM
With Tampa Bay: 43 GP, 2-3-5, -9, 18 PIM

Wright (pictured) had two goals for the second straight game, giving him six goals this series, as the Giants took a … well … giant step forward toward eliminating the Winterhawks with a 5-3 win Friday. They now lead the series 3-1 and can close it out Saturday night at home.

Draft Watch
Portland winger Nino Niederreiter, expected to go in the top-10 this summer, scored Portland’s third goal to cut Vancouver’s lead to 5-3 late in the third. El Nino is 5-7-12 in 11 playoff games.

CHL Playoffs Game Night: 4-7-10

OHL

East-1 Barrie Colts 5 @ East-5 Brampton Battalion 2
Conference Semifinals, Game 4. Barrie wins Best of 7 Series 4-0
LW/C Alex Hutchings, BAR: Did not play.
Playoff Totals: 4 GP, 1-5-6, +6, 8 PIM
Season Totals: 68 GP, 47-34-81, +44, 58 PIM

Barrie swept their second straight series after easily handling Brampton 5-2 in Game 4. Hutchings, who is reportedly back practicing with the team, missed his fourth consecutive game with a groin injury. Barrie will now face either Ottawa or Mississauga in the East Finals. That series is tied at two games apiece. The loss by Brampton means the junior career of Canucks super-prospect Cody Hodgson comes to an end. Hodgson missed most of the season with a back injury. He’ll likely push for a Canucks job next season if he’s healthy. As for Hutchings, one would think with extended time off before the East Finals, he’ll be back healthy the next time the Colts take the ice.

Draft Watch
Windsor Spitfires 3 @ Plymouth Whalers 2 (OT)
Western Conference Semifinals, Game 4. Windsor wins series 4-0

The defending Memorial Cup champs disposed of the Whalers in four games, thus ending the head-to-head match-up between CSS No.1 Tyler Seguin (Plymouth) and CSS No.2 Taylor Hall (Windsor). Hall finished the series at 3-3-6, +6; Seguin, who doesn’t have a lot of help around him, was scoreless and -6 in the four games. For the playoffs, Hall is 9-7-16, +12 in 8 games; Seguin is still over a point-per-game at 5-5-10 in 9 games. Both tied for the OHL lead with 106 regular season points. With the Maple Leafs’ loss Wednesday night, the Lightning would have to win next Tuesday’s draft lottery to have a chance at one of these two prospects. The Lightning will likely end up picking third or fourth, which means Windsor defenseman Cam Fowler (CSS No.5) will be on their short list of choices. Fowler had an assist in Game 4 against Plymouth, giving him three for the series. He has six assists and no goals in eight playoff games this year. The Michigan native had 55 points (eight goals) in 55 regular season games.

WHL

Portland Winterhawks 3 @ Vancouver Giants 2
Conference Semifinals, Game 3. Vancouver leads Best of 7 Series 2-1
C/W/D James Wright, VAN: 2-0-2, E, 0 PIM, *Third Star*
Playoff Totals: 7 GP, 4-5-9, +5, 4 PIM
Season Totals: 21 GP, 6-13-19, -3, 17 PIM
With Tampa Bay: 43 GP, 2-3-5, -9, 18 PIM

Luca Sbisa, who began the season with the Philadelphia Flyers, scored on the power play at 2:20 of the third period to give the Winterhawks a 3-1 lead and helped them hang on for the win despite the other former NHLer in this series – former Bolt James Wright – scoring his second goal of the game with three minutes remaining. Portland is now firmly back into the series, which sees its next two games played in Vancouver this week. Wright has seven points (four goals) in the three games against Portland so far. Game 4 is Friday.

CHL Playoffs Game Night: 4-6-10

QMJHL

No.4 Rouyn-Noranda Huskies 2 @ No.5 Moncton Wildcats 7
Quarterfinals, Game 3 Moncton leads Best of 7 Series 3-0
D Mark Barberio, MCT: 1-1-2, +1, 2 PIM, 3 SOG
Playoff Totals: 8 GP, 3-6-9, +5, 4 PIM
Season Totals: 65 GP, 17-43-60, +39, 72 PIM

The Wildcats put a strangle-hold on the Huskies in the series by crushing them in Moncton in Game 3, 7-2. Barberio scored Moncton’s second goal and later added a power play assist. He has four points in the series so far. Gabriel Bourque (Predators 5/09) had four goals for Moncton to tie the team record for goals in a playoff game. He had 16 goals in 55 regular season games split between Baie-Comeau and Moncton. Meanwhile, Brandon Gormley, a defenseman for Moncton who’s likely to go in the top-5 or so of this summer’s draft (right where the Lightning will be picking), picked up Second Star honors for his three-assist night. The PEI native had 54 points (nine goals) in 58 regular season games and has nine assists after eight playoff games. Game 4 of the series is Friday.

CHL Playoffs Game Night: 4-5-10

OHL

East-5 Brampton Battalion 1 @ East-1 Barrie Colts 5
Conference Semifinals, Game 3. Barrie leads Best of 7 Series 3-0
LW/C Alex Hutchings, BAR: Did not play.
Playoff Totals: 4 GP, 1-5-6, +6, 8 PIM
Season Totals: 68 GP, 47-34-81, +44, 58 PIM

Barrie improved to 7-0 in the playoffs despite missing Alex Hutchings for the third straight game. Hutchings, who reportedly may be able to play if the Colts were in danger of losing the series, remains out with a groin injury. With Barrie now on the verge of a sweep, speculation is Hutchings will be given additional time to heal before Barrie faces the winner of Ottawa and Mississauga (2-1 Ottawa). In Game 3, Barrie had a 4-0 lead after two as the outcome was never really in doubt. Alexander Burmistrov, a forward for Barrie who will likely be picked in the top-10 this summer, had a goal for the Colts. He has 13 points (7 goals) in seven playoff games so far. The Russian had 65 points (22 goals) in 62 regular season games. This was his first season in North America. In the West, Taylor Hall is winning the battle of the 2010 top prospects as he had Windsor are up 3-0 on Tyler Seguin and Plymouth. One of those two will be an Edmonton Oiler this time next year, barring a trade.

CHL Playoffs Game Night: 4-4-10

OHL

Barrie Colts 3 @ Brampton Battalion 2 (OT)
Conference Semifinals, Game 2. Barrie leads Best of 7 Series 2-0
LW/C Alex Hutchings, BAR: Did not play.
Playoff Totals: 4 GP, 1-5-6, +6, 8 PIM
Season Totals: 68 GP, 47-34-81, +44, 58 PIM

Hutchings missed his second consecutive game because of a groin injury he suffered late in the Sudbury series. According to the Barrie Examiner, he’s listed as day-to-day and it’s likely he’d return if the Colts faced a deficit in the series. The latest report said his status for Game 3 (Tuesday in Barrie) is unknown. In Game 2, Luke Pither (’89), an undrafted, 6-foot, 194- pound center who accumulated 94 points this season, scored his fourth of the playoffs at 3:32 of overtime to give the Colts a big two games to none lead in the series. Barrie is 6-0 in the playoffs.

WHL

Vancouver Giants 7 @ Portland Winterhawks 4
Conference Semifinals, Game 2. Vancouver leads Best of 7 Series 2-0
C/W/D James Wright, VAN: 1-1-2, +2, 0 PIM
Playoff Totals: 6 GP, 2-5-7, +5, 4 PIM
Season Totals: 21 GP, 6-13-19, -3, 17 PIM
With Tampa Bay: 43 GP, 2-3-5, -9, 18 PIM

The Giants remained undefeated in the playoffs by scoring four times in the first period en route to a 7-4 road win over Portland. Vancouver swept the Winterhawks in Oregon, averaging a snowman per game on the scoreboard. Wright now has five points in the series after scoring the Giants’ first goal, which tied the game a one halfway through the first. He added an assist on their empty net goal in the closing minute. Nino Niederreiter of Portland, a possible draft target of the Lightning this summer, had two assists in the game. The winger has 11 points (4-7-11) in nine playoff games so far. Portland now goes to Vancouver for the series’ next three games starting Wednesday.

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