North American Juniors

North American Juniors Game Night: 5/15/11

QMJHL Finals

No.1 St. John Sea Dogs 3 @ No.5 Gatineau Olympiques 2 (OT)
St. John leads best of seven series 3-2

D Adam Janosik, GAT: 1-0-1, +1, 0 PIM, 4 SOG, 1 Hit
Season Totals: 60 GP, 7-25-32, +17, 37 PIM
Playoff Totals: 24 GP, 5-4-9, -3, 12 PIM

With just under a minute to go in regulation it looked like Lightning prospect Adam Janosik’s fifth goal of the playoffs, scored with just under five minutes to play, would be the game winner in Game 6 and send the QMJHL finals series to seven games, but likely 2011 top-five pick Jonathan Huberdeau scored for St. John with 23 seconds left to send the game to overtime. In the extra session winger Alexandre Beauregard (undrafted) scored his first of the playoffs to give the Sea Dogs the President’s Trophy and a trip to the Memorial Cup in Mississauga.

Janosik’s season comes to an end with the loss. He finished 11th in scoring among defensemen in the playoffs, and tied for second in goals among rearguards. He didn’t match last year’s point total in the regular season, but set a new career high for playoff points with nine and tied last year’s postseason total for goals at five. The catch is he played in only 10 playoff games last year. All indications are Janosik will return to the Q for another year as he’s not eligible to play in the AHL or ECHL for another year. He won’t turn 20 until September 2012.

OHL

OHL Finals

West No.1 Owen Sound Attack 3 @ East No.1 Mississauga St. Michael’s Majors 2 (OT)
Owen Sound wins best of seven series 4-3

D Geoffrey Schemitsch, OS: 0-0-0, +1, 0 PIM
Season Totals: 45 GP, 1-19-20, +17, 14 PIM
Playoff Totals: 20 GP, 1-10-11, +5, 2 PIM
G Michael Zador, OS: Did not play (backup)
Season Totals: 31 GP, 19-5-1-1, 3.23 GAA, .888 sv%, 0 SO
Playoff Totals: 6 GP, 4-0-0, 1.80 GAA, .940 sv%, 1 SO

Rookie Jarrod Maidens scored at 3:27 of overtime in Game 7 to give the Attack the OHL championship. Goals don’t get any bigger than that. Lightning prospect Geoffrey Schemitsch was on the ice for Owen Sound with the championship winning goal was scored. He had left the game early in the third period due to an apparent injury, but was back on the ice shortly after and nearly created an earlier game winning goal late in the third period by pinching in from his point position and centering the puck into a crowd. The puck got caught in Avalanche first rounder Joey Hishon’s feet and he was unable to slide it into the open side of the net. Michael Zador sat backup to Jordan Binnington (2011) for Owen Sound, who will enter the Memorial Cup tournament as OHL champions. The Attack will play WHL champion Kootenay on May 21 in their tournament opener. Mississauga will play St. John from the QMJHL the night before to begin the tournament. (OHL photo)

North American Juniors Game Night: 5/13/11

QMJHL Finals

No.5 Gatineau Olympiques 3 @ No.1 St. John Sea Dogs 2
St. John leads best of seven series 3-2

D Adam Janosik, GAT: 1-0-1, -1, 0 PIM, 1 SOG, 0 Hits
Season Totals: 60 GP, 7-25-32, +17, 37 PIM
Playoff Totals: 23 GP, 4-4-8, -4, 12 PIM

Janosik’s fourth goal of the playoffs gave the Olympiques a 2-0 lead in the first period, but by the end of the second it was all knotted up at 2-2. Despite being outshot 14-5 in the final frame, Gatineau rode the goaltending of Maxime Clermont (Devils) and a goal by Jean-Gabriel Pageau (2011) to win Game 5 3-2 and stave off elimination against the Sea Dogs. St. John leads the series 3-2 with Game 6 Sunday in Gatineau.

North American Juniors Game Night: 5/12/11

OHL Finals

East No.1 Mississauga St. Michael’s Majors 2 @ West No.1 Owen Sound Attack 3
Best of seven series tied 3-3

D Geoffrey Schemitsch, OS: 1-0-1, E, 0 PIM
Season Totals: 45 GP, 1-19-20, +17, 14 PIM
Playoff Totals: 18 GP, 1-10-11, +4, 2 PIM
G Michael Zador, OS: Did not play (backup)
Season Totals: 31 GP, 19-5-1-1, 3.23 GAA, .888 sv%, 0 SO
Playoff Totals: 6 GP, 4-0-0, 1.80 GAA, .940 sv%, 1 SO

Lightning prospect Geoffrey Schemitsch scored what turned out to be the game winner on a screened shot from the point on the power play early in the third period and the Attack held off the top-seeded Majors to win 3-2 and tie their OHL Finals series at three games each. It was the first career playoff goal for Schemitsch, who had one goal in the regular season. Michael Zador sat backup to Jordan Binnington in Game 6. Zador had started the last three games, but was pulled in Game 5 after allowing two goals on six shots. Scott Stajcer, who has been the Attack's starter for most of the playoffs, replaced Zador in Game 5, but was in the bleachers for Game 6. Binnington hadn't started a game since March, but was second star Thursday night. Game 7 will be in Mississauga Sunday afternoon. (OHL photo)

Lightning Announce Contract for Prospect Richard Panik

Last night CapGeek.com reported Lightning prospect Richard Panik was signed by Tampa Bay to a standard three year entry contract. The Lightning made the signing official today.

Panik, 20, was surprisingly sent back to the Ontario Hockey League after training camp last fall despite being eligible to play for AHL Norfolk. It was later revealed he was sent back with instructions to play at a higher level, and Panik did just that.

The Slovakian native scored a career high 27 goals (many in highlight-reel fashion) and 56 points in 51 games for Belleville and Guelph. As captain of Slovakia's World Junior Championship entry, he led the team with seven goals and nine points in six games. He had five points (two goals) in seven games at the WJCs in 2009.

He again was eligible to join Norfolk after Guelph was eliminated in the OHL playoffs, but the 2009 second round pick of the Bolts chose to return home in an attempt to make the Slovakian World Championship roster for the second year in a row. Since Slovakia was the tournament host, the team loaded up with veterans and Panik was among the last cut from the team. He had two assists in six games played in the men's tournament a year ago as a teenager.

Panik, when driven, can be an offensive force in pro hockey and could flirt with a possible position on the Lightning next fall. He has NHL size (6'1" 218), skating, hockey sense, and shot. He has to put it all together and do it consistently. His mean streak/arrogance could be his most valuable asset, too. His biggest "weakness" is his inconsistent work ethic, which combined with some perceived character issues was why he fell to the second round in 2009.

With Tampa Bay GM Steve Yzerman's patient approach, one would expect Panik to begin next year in the AHL and work his way into an impact role with the Admirals before being considered for the Lightning.

Here's a few Panik highlights from his junior career:

North American Juniors Game Night: 5/11/11

QMJHL Finals

No.1 St. John Sea Dogs 4 @ No.5 Gatineau Olympiques 3 (2OT)
St. John leads best of seven series 3-1

D Adam Janosik, GAT: 0-0-0, E, 2 PIM (cross-checking), 2 SOG, 0 Hits
Season Totals: 60 GP, 7-25-32, +17, 37 PIM
Playoff Totals: 22 GP, 3-4-7, -3, 12 PIM

St. John peppered Gatineau goalie Maxime Clermont (Devils) with 63 shots before scoring on their 64th to win Game 4 and take a 3-1 series advantage. Rookie Ryan Tesink scored the game winner, his third goal of the playoffs. Clermont was First Star. Gatineau fans littered the ice with horns and debris after the game winner, scored in the last minute of the second overtime. Gatineau had a 2-man advantage in the first overtime, but failed to take advantage of the opportunity. Game 5 is Friday in New Brunswick.

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