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Western Hockey League -- Kal Tire Western Conference Semi-Finals
Prince George (31-30-3-5) vs. Everett (54-15-1-2)
Lightning prospects and defensemen Vladimir Mihalik (Prince George) and Dane Crowley (Everett) will meet in the Kal Tire Western Conference Semi-Finals starting this Friday. The two are the only Lightning CHL prospects remaining in the WHL or OHL playoffs (The Lightning does not have a prospect in the QMJHL).
Mihalik and Prince George swept Kamloops in the first round and haven't played since March 28. Crowley and Everett won their last two games against Spokane to take their opening round series 4-2. Prince George is the lowest seed of the remaining 4 teams in the Western Conference: Everett, Vancouver, Seattle, Prince George.
Everett won the season series against Prince George 3-2 with one win coming in overtime and another coming in a shootout. Mihalik had 2 assists, an even rating, and 14 PIM in 5 games against Everett. Crowley, with both Swift Current and Everett, had 4 assists, an even rating, and 2 PIM in 4 games vs. Prince George.
Series schedule (all times Pacific):
#1 - Prince George @ Everett; Friday, April 6 (7:35 p.m.)
#2 - Prince George @ Everett; Saturday, April 7 (7:05 p.m.)
#3 - Everett @ Prince George; Tuesday, April 10 (7:00 p.m.)
#4 - Everett @ Prince George; Wednesday, April 11 (7:00 p.m.)
#5 - Prince George @ Everett; Saturday, April 14 (7:05 p.m.) if necessary
#6 - Everett @ Prince George; Monday, April 16 (7:00 p.m.) if necessary
#7 - Prince George @ Everett; Wednesday, April 18 (7:05 p.m.) if necessary
Kamloops 3 @ Prince George 4 (overtime)
Prince George wins best-of-7 series 4-0
Break out the brooms. Vladimir Mihalik and Prince George used a two-goal third period to tie Kamloops, then got a goal from Sharks first rounder Devin Setoguchi on their first shot of overtime to defeat the Blazers 4-3 and sweep their first round series. Two of the games (1, 4) went into overtime and games 2 and 3 were decided by just one goal. Kamloops held home-ice advantage to start the series. Mihalik did not register a point in Game 4, but was plus-1 with 2 PIM. For the series, Mihalik was scoreless and minus-3 with 6 PIM.
Everett 1 @ Spokane 3
Best-of-7 series tied at 2
Top-seeded Everett lost their 1-0 lead in the game and 2-1 lead in the series when Spokane scored 3 third period goals (1 empty net) to take a 3-1 home win over the Silvertips. Dane Crowley was scoreless and minus-1 for Everett. Game 5 is Friday night in Everett.
Owen Sound 3 @ London 6
London leads best-of-7 series 3-0
Sergei Kostitsyn (Montreal) had a hattrick to put Owen Sound on the brink of elimination as London defeated Marek Bartanus and the Owen Sound Attack 6-3. The Attack outshot the Knights by double-digits for the third time. Bartanus was scoreless and even in the game. Game 4 is in Owen Sound on Thursday.
Mississauga 1 @ Sudbury 3
Sudbury leads best-of-7 series 2-1
Upset-minded Sudbury posted a 3-1 home win to take a 2-1 series lead over Mississauga, the Eastern Conference's second best team. Chris Lawrence was scoreless and even for the IceDogs after scoring 2 goals on Sunday in Game 2. Game 4 will be Thursday in Sudbury.
Kamloops 3 @ Prince George 4
Prince George leads best-of-7 series 3-0
The Cougars got two third period goals for a 4-3 comeback win over Kamloops at home on Tuesday night. The win puts Prince George in the driver's seat with a 3-0 series lead over the Blazers. All three games have been decided by one goal. Game 4 is Wednesday night in Prince George. Vladimir Mihalik was scoreless, had a minor penalty, and was minus-2 for Prince George, and has zero points and a minus-4 rating for the series.
Everett 2 @ Spokane 3
Everett leads best-of-7 series 2-1
Despite a late Silvertips comeback attempt, it wasn't enough to prevent the Chiefs from getting a much-needed win and narrowing the series to 2-1. Game 4 is Wednesday in Spokane. Dane Crowley had an assist and was even for Everett in the game.
London 2 @ Owen Sound 1 (Overtime)
London leads best-of-7 series 2-0
One night after outshooting the OHL's top club 48-24, Owen Sound peppered London's goalie Steve Mason (Columbus) with 62 shots to the Knights' 26, but the Attack again came up on the short end. Though the team is filled with stars, London got a goal from center Matt Clarke, who had just 5 goals all season, with 4:41 left in the first overtime to take a commanding 2 games to 1 lead in their first round series. Marek Bartanus had a first period primary assist and was plus-1 in the game for Owen Sound. Game 3 is Tuesday night in London.
Prince George 5 @ Kamloops 4 (Overtime)
Prince George leads best-of-7 series 2-0
San Jose Sharks first rounder Devin Setoguchi scored at 4:17 of the first overtime to give the Prince George Cougars a 5-4 win and a commanding 2 games to 0 lead over Kamloops heading back to Prince George.Vladimir Mihalik was scoreless and minus-1 for the Cougars. Game 3 is Tuesday.
Spokane 2 @ Everett 3 (Overtime)
Everett leads best-of-7 series 2-0
Dane Crowley set up the WHL's Bob Clarke Trophy winner for being the league's leading scorer Zach Hamill (2007 draft eligible) at 7:06 of the first overtime enabling top-seeded Everett to escape with a 3-2 win. The Silvertips now lead the series, which turns to Spokane on Tuesday. Crowley was also plus-1 in the game.
Sudbury 5 @ Mississauga 4
Sudbury leads best-of-7 series 1-0
The Sudbury Wolves stole home ice advantage from the IceDogs tonight getting a lead early and holding on for a 5-4 win. Chris Lawrence did not perform up to expectations in his first playoff game since the 2005 playoffs. Lawrence was scoreless with a minus-2 rating for Mississagua. He also had a penalty for checking-to-the-head with just over a minute to go and his team down by one. Game 2 is Sunday in Mississauga (2-2-1-1-1 format).
Owen Sound 3 @ London 6
London leads best-of-7 series 1-0
Owen Sound outshot heavily-favored London 2-1 (48-24) but London got 4 goals and an assist from Illinois-native and former Yale University Bulldog David Meckler (LA Kings) to defeat the Attack 6-3. Marek Bartanus was scoreless and even for Owen Sound. Game 2 is Saturday night in Owen Sound (1-1-1-1-1-1-1 format).
Prince George 3 @ Kamloops 2 (Overtime)
Prince George leads best-of-7 series 1-0
The Prince George Cougars got a goal at 4:38 of the first overtime from Nick Drazenovic (STL Blues) to take away home ice advantage from Kamloops and give Prince George a 1-0 lead in their opening round series. Vladimir Mihalik, playing in his first WHL playoff game, was scoreless and minus-1. Game 2 is Saturday in Kamloops (2-2-1-1-1 format).
Spokane 2 @ Everett 4
Everett leads best-of-7 series 1-0
The Silvertips built a 4-0 lead before Spokane got two back in a penalty-filled third period. Everett leads the series 1-0. Dane Crowley was scoreless and plus-1 with 2 PIM for Everett. Game 2 is tonight in Everett (2-2-1-1-1 format).
Four Lightning CHL prospects are in playoff action starting tonight in the OHL and WHL. A look at the matchups:
Ontario Hockey League â€“ Eastern Conference
3 â€“ Mississauga (43-21-0-4) vs. 6 â€“ Sudbury (29-30-3-6)
Chris Lawrence and the IceDogs had the second best record in the Eastern Conference this year, but will have the No. 3 seed as East Division Champion Belleville automatically gets the No. 2. Mississauga and Sudbury split in 6 games this year, with one of Sudburyâ€™s 3 wins coming in a shootout. Lawrence led all IceDogs in scoring against the Wolves this year with 4-3-7 in the 6 games. The series begins tonight in Mississauga. Lawrence and IceDogs did not make the playoffs last season.
London 6 @ Erie 4
Kevin Beech did indeed get the Otters' final start of the season and it will be the last start of Beech's junior career as he is an overager. Beech gave up 7 goals on 39 shots last night in 2 periods. Tonight, Beech gave up 6 on 33 shots for the game. Usually outshot by a large margin night in and night out, the lowly Otters had 60 shots in their favor. Erie finishes the year with a record of 15-50-1-2.
Beech's season stat line (Sudbury, Erie): 19-29-2-4, 3.92 GAA, .891 sv%, 1 shutout.
Kingston 3 @ Mississauga 4
Chris Lawrence had an assist as the IceDogs finished their regular season with a win over the Frontenacs. He had an even rating for the game. Mississauga will play either Sudbury or Ottawa in the first round.
Lawrence's season stat line: 64 GP, 47-41-88, +29, 113 PIM.
Guelph 5 @ Owen Sound 4
Marek Bartanus was scoreless and even with a fight as the Attack lost at home to the Storm. Owen Sound will get the "honor" of playing top seeded London in the first round of the playoffs.
Bartanus's season stat line: 57 GP, 6-14-20, -9, 56 PIM.
Vancouver 0 @ Everett 2
Dane Crowley was scoreless as the Silvertips finished out their regular season with a home win over the Giants. Crowley was scoreless and even. Everett will play Spokane in the first round of the WHL playoffs.
Crowley's season stat line (Swift Current, Everett): 62 GP, 8-28-36, +1, 124 PIM.
Prince George 2 @ Kelowna 3
Vladimir Mihalik had an assist and a fight in the Cougar's final game of the season - a 3-2 loss to Kelowna. Prince George plays Kamloops in the first round.
Mihalik's season stat line: 53 GP, 7-19-26, +2, 91 PIM.
Peterborough 3 @ Mississauga 9
Chris Lawrence had a hat trick to keep pace with Lightning center Vincent Lecavalier for the organizational lead in goal scoring. Lawrence scored his 45th, 46th, and 47th goals for the IceDogs, while adding 2 assists for a 5 point night. Lecavalier scored his 47th and 48th in a loss to Buffalo tonight. Lawrence was also plus-5 as the top line of Jadran Beljo (2+4), Michael Swift (2+4), and Lawrence (3+2) combined for 17 points and a plus-15 rating. The line also swept the three stars, with the center, Swift (undrafted), getting first, Lawrence second and Beljo (undrafted) third.
Erie 3 @ London 9
Kevin Beech may have played his last junior game tonight. Unfortunately, it's one he'll likely want to forget. Beech, an overager, started for the Otters and allowed 7 goals on 39 shots through two periods before being pulled. Erie plays their last game of a forgettable season tomorrow night at home to the OHL leading Knights. If you thought Lawrence and his linemates had a good night, likely 2007 top-2 pick Patrick Kane had 4 goals and 3 assists for London in the game.
Owen Sound 2 @ Kitchener 4
Marek Bartanus was scoreless and even in the Attack's 4-2 loss in Kitchener.
Prince George 0 @ Vancouver 2
This was a meaningless game for the Cougars, but they could have at least given an effort. Prince George only put up 14 shots in the shutout loss. Vladimir Mihalik was scoreless and had 4 PIM (checking-from-behind, hooking).
Everett 1 @ Tri-City 3
Another meaningless game for Everett, who has clinched home ice throughout the playoffs. This is the Silvertips third loss in a row, but they remain resting their stars for the postseason. Dane Crowley was back from his one-game vacation and was scoreless, even, and had 2 PIM (delay of game).
Prince George 3 @ Everett 1
In what was basically an exhibition game, the Prince George Cougars got a win in Everett Wednesday night. Both teams, having already secured playoff positioning, sat several of their more prominent players. Vladimir Mihalik played for Prince George and was scoreless and even with a minor hooking penalty. Dane Crowley did not dress for Everett. Crowley was named Star of the Week this week for the Silvertips by the Seattle Times. Crowely had two assists during the two games the team played last week and was strong defensively. The loss by Everett last night marked the first time all season the CHL's No.1 ranked team lost two games in a row. Everett and Crowley will play Spokane in the first round of the WHL playoffs.