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NA Juniors Playoffs Game Night: 4-19-14

Quebec Major Junior Hockey League

Val-d’Or Foreurs 4 @ Halifax Mooseheads 2
Foreurs lead best-of-7 semifinal series, 2-0

C/W Jonathan Drouin, HAL: 1-0-1, E, 2 PIM, 1 Hit, 7 SOG, 10/22 FO
Playoff totals: 11 GP, 10-19-20, +7, 12 PIM
Season totals: 46 GP, 29-70-108, +49, 43 PIM
2011-2012 Season: 49 GP, 41-64-105, +48, 32 PIM

Like the Lightning with Montreal, Halifax finds themselves in a 2-0 hole after losing their first two games of the series at home. On Saturday night, Val-d’Or skated out to a 3-0 lead before the midway point of the first period, and held on for a 4-2 win. Drouin scored on the power play for Halifax to extend his point streak to 24 games. Anthony Mantha had an assist for the Foreurs. He has 1+2 in the series to Drouin’s 1+1. Neither QMJHL superstar has been an overwhelming factor thus far in the series. Game 3 is Tuesday in Val-d’Or.

AHL Game Night: 4-19-14 Crunch at Bulldogs

Young Bolts defeat Baby Habs. It's an omen!

SYR-3
HAM-1

Cedrick Desjardins allowed 1 goal on 23 shots for the win in possibly his last game in the Lightning organization.

First Period
HAM Beaulieu, (7) (Blunden, Tokarski), 8:14 (PP)

Second Period
SYR Rankin, (16) (Namestnikov), 15:07
SYR Witkowski, (2) (Paradis, Desjardins), 16:17

Third Period
SYR Marchessault, (23) , 14:27

Jonathan Marchessault and Desjardins were the game's first and third stars.

Syracuse finished the season 1 game under .500, but it's important to note the team did earn points in 10 of its last 13 games. Those expecting an instant reload after seeing 9 prospects under 24 move up to Tampa Bay this season are probably overly optimistic, but the performance of players like Marchessault down the stretch do give hope that Syracuse can get into the postseason again next year.

In the meantime, several Crunch players should join the Lightning and if the team can extend their series against the Habs, could possibly provide some depth options for Jon Cooper.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

Crunch Wrap-up: Syracuse’s Late Surge Can’t Overcome Midseason Spiral


By Jeremy Houghtaling

The Syracuse Crunch’s 2013-2014 season was defined by hills and valleys.

The proverbial wheels fell off after a fast start, and by the time the Crunch recovered it was too late for a playoff push, leaving lofty pre-season expectations unfulfilled.

The Tampa Bay Lightning’s 2012 American Hockey League affiliate, Norfolk, hoisted the Calder Cup, and the Crunch won the Eastern Conference championship in 2013 but fell in Game 6 of the Calder Cup Finals last June.

“You have to keep the bar that high,” said Syracuse coach Rob Zettler. “As soon as you lower the bar or lower the standard, everybody takes their foot off the gas. That standard has been set here the past couple years. But more than that is the process, the effort, and the commitment level that it took to get to those places – those are the standards you have to keep in place and the winning takes care of itself.”

Lightning Sign Dotchin to ELC

The Tampa Bay Lightning signed defenseman Jake Dotchin to an entry-level contract today, vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman announced.

Dotchin, 20, skated in 63 games with the Barrie Colts of the Ontario Hockey League during the 2013-14 regular season, posting 11 goals and 36 points. He led the Colts for penalty minutes with 121 and was third with a plus-22 rating. He ranked second among defensemen on Barrie for power-play goals with six and first for shorthanded goals with two. The Cambridge, Ontario native has also appeared in 11 playoff games for the Colts, recording three goals and five points.

The 6-foot-3, 209-pound defenseman has played in 193 career OHL games over his three year junior career, collecting 18 goals and 77 points to go along with 279 penalty minutes. Dotchin set career-highs in 2013-14 for goals (11), assists (25) and points (36).

Dotchin was selected by the Lightning in the sixth round, 161st overall, at the 2012 NHL Draft.

BP Commentary:

NA Juniors Playoffs Game Night: 4-18-14

Quebec Major Junior Hockey League

Val-d’Or Foreurs 5 @ Halifax Mooseheads 2
Foreurs lead best-of-7 semifinal series, 1-0

C/W Jonathan Drouin, HAL: 0-1-1, E, 2 PIM, 0 Hits, 8 SOG, 12/19 FO
Playoff totals: 10 GP, 9-19-28, +7, 10 PIM
Season totals: 46 GP, 29-70-108, +49, 43 PIM
2011-2012 Season: 49 GP, 41-64-105, +48, 32 PIM

Third-seeded Val-d’Or handed second-seeded Halifax its first home loss and second loss overall in the playoffs, winning 5-2 in Game 1 of their QMJHL semifinal series against the Mooseheads. Drouin registered a late assist when Halifax cut the Foreurs’ lead to 4-2, extending his point streak to 23 games. His multipoint game streak ended at 12 and his game-star streak ended at 11. The match-up to watch in this series is Drouin vs QMJHL MVP Anthony Mantha (Red Wings), who won the league scoring title. Mantha had the Foreurs’ empty net goal and an assist in Game 1. Game 2 is Saturday in Halifax.

Ontario Hockey League

North Bay Battalion 1 @ Oshawa Generals 0
Battalion lead best-of-7 Eastern Conference Finals, 1-0

D Dylan Blujus, NB: 0-0-0, E, 2 PIM
Playoff totals: 14 GP, 3-1-4, +2, 16 PIM
Season totals: 55 GP, 4-26-30, +12, 56 PIM
2012-13 totals: 68 GP, 2-27-29, -8, 57 PIM

North Bay stole home ice advantage away from the top-seeded Gens as they shut out Oshawa in Game 1, 1-0. Blujus and the Battalion defense limited Oshawa to 24 shots on goal and North Bay peppered Gens goalie Daniel Altshuller (Hurricanes) with 54 shots. Jake Smith had his third shutout of the playoffs for North Bay. Game 2 is Sunday in Oshawa.

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