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.