North American Juniors

CHL Playoffs Game Night: 4-6-18

Friday night's results...

Quebec Major Junior Hockey League

#14 Moncton Wildcats 1 @ #1 Blainville-Boisbriand Armada 6 (Game 1)
Quarterfinals
Armada leads series 1-0

C Alex Barré-Boulet , BLB: 2-0-2, +2, 0 PIM, 4 SOG, 7/15 FO, *First Star*
Playoff Totals: 3 GP, 4-2-6, +7, 4 PIM
Season Totals: 65 GP, 53-66-116, +28, 67 PIM
’16-’17 Totals: 65 GP, 29-52-81, +10, 42 PIM

Barre-Boulet retuned to the Armada and claimed First Star honors, scoring twice including a power play marker and the game-winner. The outmatched Wildcats scored first, but the Armada reeled off six straight. Game #2 of the series is scheduled for Sunday

#9 Charlottetown Islanders 4 @ #4 Halifax Mooseheads 3 (OT) (Game 1)
Quarterfinals
Islanders leads series 1-0

C/W Otto Somppi, HAL: Injury Scratch
Playoff Totals: 1 GP, 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM
Season Totals: 59 GP, 28-55-83, +39, 28 PIM
’16-’17 Totals: 60 GP, 17-24-41, -7, 28 PIM

Somppi remained out of the Halifax lineup as the Islanders rallied to take Game 1 on the road in overtime. After the Mooseheads took a 1-0 lead, Charlottetown scored twice to open a 2-1 that evaporated to two Halifax goals to re-take the lead at 3-2. Keith Getson (2018 draft eligible) scored the equalizer for the Islanders, his second of the game, to force overtime, and then Pascal Aquin (undrafted) netted the OT game-winner. Both teams fired 40+ shots. These two team are back at it Saturday for Game #2.

Ontario Hockey League

#4 Owen Sound Attack 4 @ #1 Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds 5 (OT) (Game 2)
Western Conference Semifinals
Series tie at 1-1

W Boris Katchouk, SSM: 0-0-0, +2, 2 PIM, 3 SOG, 1/2 FO
Playoff Totals: 6 GP, 7-3-10, +5, 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: 1-1-2, +1, 2 PIM, 6 SOG, 2/4 FO
Playoff Totals: 6 GP, 5-3-8, E, 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

Raddysh scored a power play marker and added an assist as the Soo knotted the series with a Game 2 overtime win against the Attack. Recent Canadiens free agent signee Hayden Verbeek opened the scoring with a pair of 1st period goals. Owen Sound rallied with a pair of goals early in the 2nd period to knot the score before Raddysh’s power play goal reinstated the Greyhounds lead. The Attack equalized the score twice more in the 3rd period, ending with Golden Knight prospect Nick Suzuki tying the game once more with a power play goal with just 85 seconds left in regulation, but the Soo would prevail in overtime. Game #3 shifts back to Owen Sound on Monday night.

Western Hockey League

#2 Swift Current Broncos 3 @ #1 Moose Jaw Warriors 5 (Game 1)
Eastern Conference Semifinals
Warriors lead series 1-0

D Oleg Sosunov, MJ: 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 1 SOG
Playoff Totals: 8 GP, 0-0-0, -3, 2 PIM
Season Totals: 71 GP, 7-19-26, +35, 62 PIM
’16-‘17 Totals (MHL-Russia): 32 GP, 0-0-0, +1, 79 PIM

Moose Jaw lept out to a 3-0 lead that the Broncos could just never overcome, as the Warrior took Game #1 behind a pair of goals from recent Predator free agent signee Tanner Jeannot. The line of former Blues prospect and now Flames free agent signee Glenn Gawdin, Aleksi Heponiemi (FLA, 2017 2nd round pick), and Tyler Steenbergen (ARI, 2017 5th round pick) scored in the 3rd to draw the Broncos within a goal, but Jeannot potted an empty with nine seconds left to preserve the Warrior victory. The series resumes Saturday night with Game #2 in Moose Jaw.

Juniors Game Night: 4-3-18

Somehow I missed this Sioux City game from Tuesday night...

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.

Sioux City Musketeers 3 @ Waterloo Black Hawks 4 (Tuesday)

F Sammy Walker, SC: 0-0-0, -1, 0 PIM, 1 SOG
Season Totals (USHL): 12 GP, 1-6-7, -4, 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

Walker was held pointless in Tuesday night’s road game in Waterloo, as the Black Hawks rallied from a 3-1 deficit in the last half of the match with three unanswered goals. Micah Miller, future teammate of Nick Perbix at St. Cloud State, scored twice for the Musketeers to help build that 3-1 lead, but Czech 17 year old Matej Blumel (Connecticut commit) paced Waterloo with a goal and two assists, including the primary on Waterloo local boy Hunter Lellig’s (uncommitted) game-winner midway through the 3rd period.

CHL Playoffs Game Night: 4-3-18

Western Hockey League

#8 Prince Albert Raiders 4 @ #1 Moose Jaw Warriors 5 (Game 7)
Eastern Conference Quarterfinals
Warriors win series 4-3

D Oleg Sosunov, MJ: 0-0-0, -2, 0 PIM, 0 SOG
Playoff Totals: 7 GP, 0-0-0, -3, 2 PIM
Season Totals: 71 GP, 7-19-26, +35, 62 PIM
’16-‘17 Totals (MHL-Russia): 32 GP, 0-0-0, +1, 79 PIM

Game 7 of this tightly fought series lived up to all expectations as both clubs held leads and both clubs rallied in this see-saw affair. The Raiders jumped out to an early 2-0 lead, scoring twice in the first six minutes of the contest before Shark’s free agent signee Jayden Halbgewachs and Ryan Peckford (2018 draft eligible) scored within a span of 25 seconds to knot the score at 2-2. Senators free agent signee Parker Kelly responded with his second goal of the period to restore Prince Albert’s lead before the teams broke for the first intermission. Coyote’s free agent signee Brayden Burke and Kale Clague (LAK, 2016 2nd round pick) set up Justin Almeida (2018 draft eligible) for a pair of power play goals in the 2nd and 3rd periods to give Moose Jaw its first lead at 4-3. The Raiders received some heroics from tough guy blueliner Brayden Pachal (undrafted), who scored short-handed to knot the score at 4-4, but those heroics were short-lived as Clague and former Lightning prospect Brett Howden setup Burke for the game-winning power play marker just 30 seconds after Pachal’s shortie. Clague paced Moose Jaw with four assists, Burke tallied three points, and Almeida scored twice as the Warriors’ best players showed up to help clinch the series win.

Moose Jaw advances to Round 2, the WHL’s Eastern Conference semifinals, against a very tough Swift Current Broncos team that features former Blues prospect and now Flames free agent signee Glenn Gawdin, Aleksi Heponiemi (FLA, 2017 2nd round pick), and Tyler Steenbergen (ARI, 2017 5th round pick). Along with Moose Jaw’s Halbgewachs, Burke, and Almeida, these are six of the WHL’s Top 10 regular season point leaders. Game 1 starts Friday night at Mosaic Place in Moose Jaw.

Elsewhere in the CHL, the 2nd round brackets for all leagues are finally set. The Blainville-Boisbriand Armada and the hopeful return to the lineup of Alex Barré-Boulet takes on the Moncton Wildcats in Game 1 on Friday. Likewise, the hopeful return of Otto Somppi to the Halifax lineup as the Mooseheads begin their series with the Charlottetown Islanders also on Friday night as the QMJHL quarterfinals get underway. In the OHL, the Western Conference semifinals get underway Thursday night with Lightning prospects Boris Katchouk and Taylor Raddysh and Flyer 2017 1st rounder Morgan Frost lead the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds in Game 1 against the Owen Sound Attack that features Vegas 2017 #13 overall pick Nick Suzuki.

CHL Playoffs Game Night: 4-1-18

Western Hockey League

#1 Moose Jaw Warriors 4 @ #8 Prince Albert Raiders 5 (Game 6)
Eastern Conference Quarterfinals
Series tied at 3-3

D Oleg Sosunov, MJ: 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 1 SOG
Playoff Totals: 6 GP, 0-0-0, -1, 2 PIM
Season Totals: 71 GP, 7-19-26, +35, 62 PIM
’16-‘17 Totals (MHL-Russia): 32 GP, 0-0-0, +1, 79 PIM

The series returned to the Art Hauser Centre and Prince Albert rallied and forced a game seven behind a pair of goals from Cole Fonstad (2018 draft eligible) and four-points from the captain Curtis Miske (undrafted). Brayden Burke and Jayden Halbgewachs led the Warriors to a 3-2 lead but Sean Montgomery (undrafted) scored just before the end of the 2nd to knot the score. After the Raiders scored a power play goal early in the 3rd, Brett Howden knotted the game with a power play goal of his own before Fonstad scored his second of the game, the game-winner and forces game seven Tuesday night back in Moose jaw.

Juniors Game Night: 3-31-18

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.

Omaha Lancers 3 @ Muskegon Lumberjacks 2

D Nick Perbix , OMA: 1-1-2, +2, 0 PIM, 3 SOG, *Third Star*
Season Totals: 51 GP, 5-21-26, +14, 32 PIM
’16-‘17 Totals (HS): 25 GP, 10-30-40, 6 PIM
Committed to: St. Cloud State University

Perbix broke a 1-1 tie just 35 seconds into the 2nd period with a power play goal, and then assisted on a goal by Mick Kohler in the 3rd to ice the game, earning Third Star honors.

Des Moines Buccaneers 1 @ Sioux City Musketeers 5

F Sammy Walker, SC: 1-0-1, +1, 0 PIM, 3 SOG, *Third Star*
Season Totals (USHL): 11 GP, 1-6-7, -3, 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

Sammy Walker notched his first career USHL goal as that line with Dylan Mills (Niagara commit) and Cole Koepke (Minnesota-Duluth commit) continues to produce for the Musketeers. Finnish University of Wisconsin commit Sampo Ranta (2018 draft eligible) scored twice and added an assist to pace Sioux City and former Wisconsin goalie Matt Jurusik (undrafted) stopped 30 shots. Walker’s goal earned him Third Star honors.

CHL Playoffs Game Night: 3-31-18

Western Hockey League

#8 Prince Albert Raiders 5 @ #1 Moose Jaw Warriors 1 (Game 5)
Eastern Conference Quarterfinals
Warriors lead series 3-2

D Oleg Sosunov, MJ: 0-0-0, E, 2 PIM, 1 SOG
Playoff Totals: 5 GP, 0-0-0, -1, 2 PIM
Season Totals: 71 GP, 7-19-26, +35, 62 PIM
’16-‘17 Totals (MHL-Russia): 32 GP, 0-0-0, +1, 79 PIM

Back at the Mosaic Place in Moose Jaw for Game 5, and the Warriors poised to clinch on home ice. But the Raiders didn’t get the memo, as Prince Albert jumped out to a 3-0 lead and didn’t look back. Sean Montgomery (undrafted) scored twice to pace the Raiders. There is a quick turnaround for Game 6 back in Prince Albert on Easter Sunday evening.

Juniors Game Night: 3-29-18

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.

Omaha Lancers 4 @ Muskegon Lumberjacks 2

D Nick Perbix , OMA: 0-0-0, +2, 0 PIM, 1 SOG
Season Totals: 50 GP, 4-20-24, +12, 32 PIM
’16-‘17 Totals (HS): 25 GP, 10-30-40, 6 PIM
Committed to: St. Cloud State University

Cole Gallant (Western Michigan commit) scored twice for the Lancers, first the equalizer and then the game-winner as Omaha doubled up the Lumberjacks. Zach Driscoll (Bemidji State commit) was inserted into the crease at the 2:34 mark of the 2nd period after Muskegon scored the 2-1 go-ahead goal on 16 year-old starter Christian Sbaraglia (Penn State commit). Driscoll stopped all 24 shots and got the back-door win after Omaha’s second-half rally.

Tri-City Storm 2 @ Sioux City Musketeers 5

F Sammy Walker, SC: 0-1-1, +1, 0 PIM, 0 SOG
Season Totals (USHL): 10 GP, 0-6-6, -4, 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

The Walker-Koepke-Mills line continues to produce for the Musketeers with Walker and Dylan Mills (Niagara commit) setting up Cole Koepke (Minnesota-Duluth commit) for his first goal of the game as part of a Sioux City three-goal 1st period. Mills notched his goal in the first, as well as Finnish University of Wisconsin commit Sampo Ranta (2018 draft eligible) netting the first of his two goals. Koepke would seal the game with an empty netter shortie with 73 seconds remaining. Walker is a point-per-game player in the six games since rejoining Sioux City, but still looking for his first goal.

CHL Playoffs Game Night: 3-30-18

Quebec Major Junior Hockey League

#4 Halifax Mooseheads 4 @ #13 Baie-Comeau Drakkar 0 (Game 5)
Round of 16
Mooseheads wins series 4-1

C/W Otto Somppi, HAL: Injury Scratch
Playoff Totals: 1 GP, 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM
Season Totals: 59 GP, 28-55-83, +39, 28 PIM
’16-’17 Totals: 60 GP, 17-24-41, -7, 28 PIM

The Mooseheads punched their ticket to the quarterfinals behind a 41-save shutout by Alexis Gravel (2018 draft eligible), the #1 ranked North American goalie prospect. Arnaud Durandeau (NYI, 2017 6th round pick) notched a pair of goals and Benoit Olivier-Groulx tallied three assists to pace Halifax. Somppi remains sidelined with that upper body injury he sustained midway through Game #1.

CHL Playoffs Game Night: 3-29-18

Western Hockey League

#3 Kelowna Rockets 3 @ #7 Tri-City Americans 5 (Game 4)
Western Conference Quarterfinals
Americans win series 4-0

D Cal Foote, KEL: 0-1-1, E, 2 PIM, 2 SOG
Playoffs Totals: 4 GP, 1-4-5, -4, 4 PIM
Season Totals: 60 GP, 19-51-70, +31, 46 PIM
‘15-‘16 Totals: 71 GP, 6-51-57, +39, 41 PIM

Morgan Geekie (CAR, 2017 3rd round pick) notched his second hat trick of the series, leading the Americans in a shocking sweep of Kelowna and advancing to the WHL Western Conference semifinals. Dillon Dube (CGY, 2016 2nd round pick) scored twice for the Rockets, once on the power play in which Foote tallied his fourth assist of the series and his fifth point. Kelowna fought hard to keep the series alive, knotting the game three times at 1-1, 2-2, and 3-3, before Geekie scored two of this three goals in the last minute of the game to give Tri-City the dramatic series sweep in front of 3,000+ fans at the Toyota Center.

The loss all but draws a close to the junior career of the WHL Western Conference Defenseman of the Year and Bolt prospect Cal Foote. He will surely join the Lightning’s AHL affiliate in Syracuse as that team finishes up their regular season and prepares for what would hope to be a deep Calder Cup playoff run. Foote brings the potential of a big minute eater for that team's Top 4 and player that can be the motor to an offense in transition. And with Foote turning 20 on December 13, 2018, he will be eligible to begin AHL play for the 2018-19 season out of camp this fall, so there is really no reason for Foote to return to juniors for an overage season after racking up 70 points and goal shy of 20.

In addition to an ATO contract with Syracuse for the remainder of this season, I’m sure a three-year entry level contract will happen rather quickly now that Foote and the Rockets have been eliminated from Memorial Cup contention. And with the organization lean on right-handed defensemen, Andrej Sustr as a pending UFA at season’s end, and Jake Dotchin perhaps hitting a ceiling in his own development, a spectacular NHL camp this fall could even see Foote make the Lightning squad, especially if Braydon Coburn is dealt at the NHL draft in June. But surely by 2019, with the contracts of Coburn, Girardi, Stralman, and McDonagh expiring, Foote’s time in Syracuse will likely be a short one.

Juniors Game Night: 3-28-18

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.

Tri-City Storm 1 @ Omaha Lancers 2 (OT) (Sunday)

D Nick Perbix , OMA: 0-1-1, +1, 0 PIM, 7 SOG
Season Totals: 48 GP, 4-20-24, +10, 32 PIM
’16-‘17 Totals (HS): 25 GP, 10-30-40, 6 PIM
Committed to: St. Cloud State University

After falling to Fargo in a couple of road stinkers, the Lancers returned home last Sunday and beat the Storm in OT. Perbix notched his 20th assist of the season, setting up the OT game-winner, and fired a game-high seven shots on net.

Fargo Force 3 @ Sioux City Musketeers 1 (Sunday)
Sioux City Musketeers 3 @ Waterloo Black Hawks 6 (Saturday)

F Sammy Walker, SC: 0-0-0, -1, 0 PIM, 1 SOG
Season Totals (USHL): 9 GP, 0-5-5, -5, 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

Walker’s four-game point streak came to an end last Sunday as Fargo put the clamp down on the Musketeers with US World Junior A Challenge goalie Ryan Bischel (Clarkson commit) making 29 saves for the Force.

On Saturday, Walker extended his point streak to four games, assisting on two of Sioux City’s three goals. Waterloo jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the 1st period, but the Musketeers came back, scoring three straight to draw within one before the Black Hawks shut the door in the 3rd. Joey Cassetti (Boston College commit) scored twice for Waterloo to pace the Black Hawks.

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