North American Juniors

CHL Playoffs Game Night: 4-14-10

OHL

Mississauga St. Michael’s Majors 0 @ Barrie Colts 3
Conference Finals, Game 1. Barrie leads Best of 7 Series 1-0
LW/C Alex Hutchings, BAR: 0-1-1, +1, 0 PIM
Playoff Totals: 5 GP, 1-6-7, +7, 8 PIM
Season Totals: 68 GP, 47-34-81, +44, 58 PIM

Hutchings returned to the Colts lineup after missing the Brampton series with a groin injury. He promptly earned an assist on the game’s opening goal on the power play, giving him a point in each game he’s played this post-season. Going back to the regular season, Hutchings has a nine-game point streak and points in 21 of his last 22 games. Barrie back-up goalie Mavric Parks (undrafted), named after Tom Cruise’s character in Top Gun, picked up his first shutout of the playoffs and First Star honors. He’s filling in for Barrie’s top netminder, Peter Di Salvo, who was knocked out indefinitely with cartilage damage to his knee four games ago. Parks has a sparkling .962 save percentage and 1.25 GAA in four playoff games so far this year. Game 2 is Friday. Kitchener is playing Windsor in the Western Conference finals.

CHL Playoffs Game Night: 4-13-10

WHL

Vancouver Giants 3 @ Portland Winterhawks 1
Conference Semifinals, Game 6. Vancouver wins Best of 7 Series 4-2
C/W/D James Wright, VAN: 0-1-1, E, 0 PIM
Playoff Totals: 10 GP, 6-6-12, +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 set up the eventual game winning goal by Tomas Vincour (Stars 5/09) on the power play in the second period to help the Giants go 3-0 in Portland and take the Conference Semifinal series 4-2. Wright finished the series with 10 points (six goals) in the six games. Vancouver will now play the West’s top seed, Tri-City, who defeated Chilliwack 4-2 in Round 1 and Kelowna 4-1 in the second round. No.1 Calgary faces Memorial Cup host Brandon in the Eastern Finals.

Draft Watch
Portland winger Nino Niederreiter, a prime candidate for the Lightning to pick at No.6 in this summer’s draft, scored the lone Winterhawk goal in Game 6 and was named Second Star. He finished the playoffs with eight goals and eight assists for 16 points in 13 games. He had 35-24-60 in 65 games in the regular season, and missed time with Portland when he was excelling for Switzerland at the World Junior Championships (7 GP, 6-4-10).

CHL Playoffs Game Night: 4-10-10

QMJHL

No.4 Rouyn-Noranda Huskies 1 @ No.5 Moncton Wildcats 3
Quarterfinals, Game 5. Moncton wins Best of 7 Series 4-1
D Mark Barberio, MCT: 0-1-1, E, 0 PIM, 4 SOG
Playoff Totals: 10 GP, 3-9-12, +6, 8 PIM
Season Totals: 65 GP, 17-43-60, +39, 72 PIM

The Wildcats finished off the Huskies in five games by winning 3-1 at home Saturday. Barberio had an assist to give him two goals and five assists in the series. He had at least a point in all five games. No.5 Moncton will now face second-seeded Drummondville in the semifinals. No.1 St. John will play No.6 Victoriaville in the other.

Draft Watch - Possible Lightning First Round Targets
Moncton defenseman Brandon Gormley had two assists in Game 5 and was named the game’s Third Star. Playoff totals: 10 GP, 0-11-11, +8, 0 PIM.

WHL

Portland Winterhawks 5 @ Vancouver Giants 4
Conference Semifinals, Game 5. Vancouver leads Best of 7 Series 3-2
C/W/D James Wright, VAN: 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM
Series Totals: 5 GP, 6-3-9, +2, 2 PIM
Playoff Totals: 9 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

Possible Lightning draft target Nino Niederreiter had two goals and an assist for First Star honors to lead Portland to a 5-4 Game 5 road win and send the series back to Portland for Games 6 and 7. Wright saw his five-game point streak and four game goal streak come to an end. Game 6 is Tuesday night.

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.

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