North American Juniors Game Night: 3/19/11

USHL

Tri-City Storm 3 @ Fargo Force 4 (SO)
C Jimmy Mullin, FGO: 0-2-2, E, 0 PIM, 4 SOG
Season totals: 46 GP, 20-34-54, +26, 24 PIM

Mullin had two helpers in regulation then scored in the shootout to help Fargo to a win at home. Both of Mullin’s assists came in the third period – the last shorthanded – as Fargo mounted a comeback on the Storm. The Force improved to 13-10-3 at home; they’re 18-9-1 on the road. They remain tied for third in the West, one point behind Omaha. Tri-City is in the Western Conference cellar.

OHL

Guelph Storm 4 @ Plymouth Whalers 3
C/W Richard Panik, GUE: 1-0-1, +2, 6 PIM (boarding double minor, high sticking)
With Guelph: 24 GP, 13-12-25, -6, 42 PIM
With Belleville: 27 GP, 14-17-31, E, 33 PIM
Season totals: 51 GP, 27-29-56, -6, 75 PIM

Panik scored his first goal since returning Friday from a sprained ankle. Guelph, who is now done for the regular season, clinched the Western Conference’s seventh seed and avoided playing top-ranked Owen Sound in the first round. They’ll face Saginaw, who won the West Division. Panik set career highs for goals, assists, points, and PIM.

London Knights 3 @ Owen Sound Attack 6
D Geoffrey Schemitsch, OS: Did not play (injured - broken arm)
Season totals: 45 GP, 1-19-20, +17, 14 PIM
G Michael Zador, OS: Did not play (backup)
With Attack: 13 GP, 9-2-0-0, 3.06 GAA, .900 sv%, 0 SO
With Oshawa: 18 GP, 10-3-1-1, 3.36 GAA, .879 sv%, 1 SO
Season Totals: 31 GP, 19-5-1-1, 3.23 GAA, .888 sv%, 1 SO

Zador sat out as Jordan Binnington got his second straight start as top-seeded Owen Sound wanted to get their No.1 going again before the playoffs. With the Attack’s regular season over, it’s unlikely Zador will see much - if any - ice time in the post-season. Schemitsch is could be back when Owen Sound faces London in the first round.

WHL

Chilliwack Bruins 4 @ Tri-City Americans 6
C Tyler Johnson, SPO: 1-1-2, E, 0 PIM
Season Totals: 70 GP, 52-61-113, +26, 48 PIM
RW Carter Ashton, TC: 1-1-2, E, 0 PIM
With Tri-City: 32 GP, 17-27-44, +8, 62 PIM
With Regina: 29 GP, 16-11-27, -12, 44 PIM
Season Totals: 61 GP, 33-38-71, -4, 106 PIM

TC finally got the better of Spokane after the Chiefs had beat the Americans five straight times. They also broke the Chiefs' 10 game win streak. Johnson broke a personal two game scoreless streak with his 112th and 113th points of the year. His 52nd goal of the year put him one ahead of Chilliwack’s Ryan Howse (Flames) for the league goal scoring title. Howse is out of games and Johnson’s lead on everyone else is secure. He has one game left and is two points behind Medicine Hat’s Linden Vey (Kings) for the league scoring title and Bob Clarke Trophy. Spokane plays at Portland Sunday; Vey is out of games. Spokane has clinched the three seed. Ashton, meanwhile, scored his 33rd goal of the year Saturday night. He has 17 points in his last 10 games. The Americans, who have clinched the four seed, will play either Chilliwack or Vancouver in the first round depending if the Giants win Sunday.

Kamloops Blazers 1 @ Prince George Cougars 5
RW Brett Connolly, PG: 1-2-3, E, 0 PIM
Season totals: 59 GP, 46-27-73, -5, 26 PIM

Connolly extended his point streak to five games with a three point night in the final game of Prince George’s regular season. He has 10 points in those five games. The Cougars will play second-seeded Kelowna, the B.C. Division champion, in the first round. By winning Saturday PG avoided the eighth seed and playing powerhouse Portland. Kelowna had the fourth most points in the conference. After all the talk about Connolly’s durability he played under a microscope of sorts during the season. And while he did miss two weeks with a knee sprain (he was expected to miss a month), he proved to be every bit the offensive weapon he was expected to be when the Lightning chose him sixth overall last summer. His other games missed were due to his inclusion on the Canadian WJC squad. He set career highs for goals and points this year.

Regina Pats 2 @ Saskatoon Blades 4
D Teigan Zahn, SAS: 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM
Season totals: 72 GP, 3-20-23, +39, 133 PIM

Saskatoon completed their regular season with a win over Regina. Zahn set career highs for games, assists, points, and plus/minus. The Blades captain hopes to raise the Ed Chynoweth Cup at the end of the playoffs as Saskatoon is the clear favorites going into the post-season as the league points champion.