Off to College: Two More Prospects Done
N.A. Juniors Playoff Game Night: 5/8
Fargo watches Indiana celebrate ... Victoria loses another close one ... Cunti and Rimouski know one Memorial Cup opponent, two more are close.
USHL â€“ Clark Cup Finals
Indiana Ice 5 @ Fargo Force 1
Indiana wins Best of 5 series 3-1
D Luke Witkowski, FGO: 0-0-0, -1, 15 PIM (fighting, intent to injure - disqualified), 1 SOG
Playoff totals: 10 GP, 2-1-3, +1, 29 PIM
Season totals: 55 GP, 6-16-22, +30, 118 PIM
Indiana scored five unanswered goals to erase a 1-0 first period deficit to claim the 2009 Clark Cup on Fargoâ€™s home ice. Thus ends the junior career of Fargo captain Luke Witkowski, who didnâ€™t exactly go out on good terms. Not only did his team lose on its home ice, but Witkowski wasnâ€™t around to see it. He took a fighting major and intent to injure and was kicked out of the game with just under two minutes to play in the third period.
Fargo was the first USHL expansion franchise to reach the Clark Cup finals, and they were the leagueâ€™s youngest team. Witkowskiâ€™s leadership in this, his second USHL season, went a long way toward contributing to his teamâ€™s success. The defenseman will next suit up for the Western Michigan University Broncos in CCHA play next season.
2009 RBC Cup â€“ Semifinals
Victoria Grizzlies 2 vs. Humboldt Broncos 3 (OT)
W Justin Courtnall, VIC: 1-0-1, 0 PIM
RBC Cup totals: 5 GP, 3-4-7, 12 PIM
BCHL playoff totals: 14 GP, 2-4-6, 24 PIM
Season totals: 60 GP, 22-41-63, 98 PIM
Courtnall scored early in the third period to give the Grizzlies a brief 2-1 lead, but they couldnâ€™t hold it and eventually lost when Humboldt (Saskatchewan) scored with just over 2 seconds left in the first overtime. Humboldt, the RBC Western representative, will move on to the RBC Cup finals to play Vernon (B.C.), the Pacific representative.
This was the third game Victoria lost late, including an earlier contest to Humboldt when the Broncos scored shorthanded to win with just over a second left in the third period. They also blew a 2 goal third period lead against Vernon before losing in overtime.
Courtnallâ€™s three year BCHL career comes to an end, and aside from a lackluster statistical showing in the BCHL playoffs, he had an exceptional year. Next year he will join the defending national champion Boston University Terriers as they try to defend their title.
With the ouster of Witkowksi and Courtnall, there is just one Lightning junior prospect still playing (or yet to play again). Luca Cunti and the Rimouski Oceanic are awaiting two more league champions to join them and the Windsor Spitfires (OHL) at the 2009 Memorial Cup. Rimouski is the host team and the Spits disposed of Matt Duchene and Brampton in 5 games. In the Q, Drummondville was up 3-1 on Shawinigan until losing Game 5 at home, but has two more chances to earn a trip to Rimouski. In the WHL, underdog Kelowna shocked Calgary to the tune of a 3-0 series lead, but is now hanging on up 3-2 after two Hitmen wins.
5/9 Results: Kelowna beat Calgary 3-2 in OT to complete the upset series win. Torrie Jung's initial team this year has earned a trip to Rimouski over the mighty Hitmen.