North American Juniors

North American Juniors Game Night: 3/9/11

BCHL

BCHL Interior Conference Semifinals – Game 2

Salmon Arm Silverbacks 3 @ Penticton Vees 2
Silverbacks lead Best of 7 series 2-0

C Brendan O’Donnell, PEN: 1-1-2, 0 PIM
Season totals: 58 GP, 29-43-72, 28 PIM
Playoff totals: 3 GP, 1-3-4, 5 PIM

O’Donnell had a goal and an assist, but the story of the game and the series thus far was undrafted goaltender Kris Moore of Salmon Arm. For the second straight game the Vees outshot the Silverbacks by nearly a 2-to-1 margin, but Moore, who lists former Lightning goaltender Corey Schwab as his greatest hockey influence in his player profile, made 40 saves and stole Game 2 for the underdogs. The series now heads the Silverbacks’ barn with the Vees in a big hole.

USHL

Sioux Falls Stampede 7 @ Fargo Force 2
C Jimmy Mullin, FGO: 1-0-1, -2, 0 PIM, 8 SOG
Season totals: 42 GP, 19-29-48, +23, 24 PIM

Mullin broke a two game scoreless streak, but the Force was hammered at home in an important game, 7-2 by Sioux Falls. The teams entered the game tied for third in the Western Conference at 60 points with Sioux Falls holding a game in hand. Fargo now sits alone in fourth, one point behind Omaha.

WHL

Tri-City Americans 1 @ Kelowna Rockets 3
RW Carter Ashton, TC: 1-0-1, E, 4 PIM (high sticking, hooking)
With Tri-City: 27 GP, 13-25-38, +8, 47 PIM
With Regina: 29 GP, 16-11-27, -12, 44 PIM
Season Totals: 56 GP, 29-36-65, -4, 91 PIM

Ashton’s streak of four games with at least two points came to an end, but he did manage his 29th goal of the season to put him within one of his career high of 30 – again. He thought he had his 29th goal two games ago, but a late scoring change took it away. Ashton’s goal Wednesday tied the game at one in Kelowna, but that’s all TC could manage. Rockets captain Tyson Barrie, son of former Lightning owner Len Barrie and once thought to be a certain draft target of the Barrie/Koules Bolts, had an assist in the game for Kelowna. The Avalanche draft pick has 54 points (10 goals) in 49 games this year.

Saskatoon Blades 5 @ Brandon Wheat Kings 3
D Teigan Zahn, SAS: 0-1-1, +3, 2 PIM (holding)
Season totals: 67 GP, 3-19-22, +33, 133 PIM

Zahn has quietly established a career high for points in a season at 22. His plus-33 rating is “just” 28 better than his previous career high in that category. The overager and captain of the WHL’s top team is hoping for a contract at the end of the season from the Lightning. He has five points in his last three games and is plus-11 in those three games.

North American Juniors Game Night: 3/8/11

BCHL

BCHL Interior Conference Semifinals – Game 1

Salmon Arm Silverbacks 3 @ Penticton Vees 1
Silverbacks lead Best of 7 series 1-0

C Brendan O’Donnell, PEN: 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM
Season totals: 58 GP, 29-43-72, 28 PIM
Playoff totals: 2 GP, 0-2-2, 5 PIM

O’Donnell returned after missing games 2-4 of the Vees’ first round series with Quesnel, but Penticton was shocked at home in Game 1 vs. Salmon Arm, 3-1. Penticton outshot the Silverbacks 41-22, but was stymied by goaltender Kris Moore (undrafted). Game 2 is tonight (Wednesday) in Penticton.

WHL

Tri-City Americans 5 @ Kamloops Blazers 4
RW Carter Ashton, TC: 0-2-2, +3, 0 PIM
With Tri-City: 26 GP, 12-25-37, +8, 43 PIM
With Regina: 29 GP, 16-11-27, -12, 44 PIM
Season Totals: 55 GP, 28-36-64, -4, 87 PIM

Ashton had two assists in the first period to help TC to an early 2-0 lead, but the Ams had to fight back with three third period goals, including one in the last minute, to win the game. Ashton has a four game multipoint streak going in which he’s scored 10 total points. He has 13 points in his last seven games. He was originally listed with two goals and an assist in his last game against Vancouver, but that has been changed to one goal and three assists. Ashton’s career high for goals in a season in 30.

Red Deer Rebels 7 @ Prince George Cougars 0
RW Brett Connolly, PG: 0-0-0, -4, 0 PIM
Season totals: 54 GP, 40-23-63, -7, 26 PIM

Ouch. While Red Deer is second overall in the league, losing on home ice 7-0 is embarrassing any way you cut it. The Cougars, who were once comfortably in the playoff picture, are now tied for the eighth and final spot in the West at 62 points. They do have a game in hand on Kamloops, with whom they are tied, but Seattle is at 59 points and has a game in hand on Prince George. The Cougars are 1-8-0-1 in their last 10 games and need to turn things around. As captain of his home town team, there’s no doubt Connolly doesn’t want to go out like this. Likely 2011 top-3 pick Ryan Nugent-Hopkins had a goal and three assists Tuesday for Red Deer.

Lightning Announce Johnson Signing

Confirming reports out of eastern Washington this weekend, the Tampa Bay Lightning announced the signing of Spokane Chiefs center Tyler Johnson today.

Johnson signed a standard three-year entry-level contract.

At 5-foot-9, 175 pounds, he has appeared in 259 career games with the Spokane Chiefs of the Western Hockey League during the previous four seasons, amassing 123 goals and 273 points. This season he has established career highs in goals with 48, assists with 58 and points 106 in 64 games. Johnson currently leads the Chiefs in goals, assists, power play goals (15) and shorthanded goals (6) while also ranking third on the squad with a plus-27 ranking. He has also skated in 40 career postseason games, all with Spokane, registering 13 goals and 24 points.

A native of Spokane, Washington, Johnson’s goal total is tied for the WHL lead, while he ranks fourth in assists and second in points among all WHL skaters. He also is seventh in power-play goals with 15 and second in power-play assists with 34. Johnson most recently led all WHL players in scoring through the month of February, picking up points in 10 of his 13 games played, all of which were multi-point nights, including four three-point games. He has also excelled in international competition, helping Team USA to the Gold Medal at the 2010 World Junior Championships in Canada, recording three goals and five points with a plus-4 rating in seven games.

Johnson went undrafted in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft.
--Tampa Bay Lightning

North American Juniors Game Night: 3/6/11

USHL

Fargo Force 2 @ Team USA 1
C Jimmy Mullin, FGO: 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 2 SOG
Season totals: 41 GP, 18-29-47, +25, 24 PIM

Mullin was scoreless for the second straight game, but the Force got the win against the USA development team. At 60 points, Fargo is tied for third in the Western Conference with Sioux Falls, who has a game in hand on Fargo. The Force is one point out of second and five points out of first, but the teams in front of them, Omaha and Dubuque, have games in hand on Fargo. The Force have 11 games left in the season.

QMJHL

Montreal Juniors 2 @ Val-d’Or Foreurs 3 (SO)
D Charles Landry, MTL: 0-0-0, E, 2 PIM, 1 SOG, 0 Hits
Season Totals: 53 GP, 11-27-38, +23, 28 PIM

Landry did not participate in the shootout, which was won 3-2 by the Foreurs. The Juniors have a four point lead on Drummondville for first in the TELUS West Division with five games to go.

OHL

Guelph Storm 3 @ Windsor Spitfires 4 (SO)
C/W Richard Panik, GUE: Did not play (injured – sprained ankle)
With Guelph: 22 GP, 12-12-24, -6, 34 PIM
With Belleville: 27 GP, 14-17-31, E, 33 PIM
Season totals: 49 GP, 26-29-55, -6, 67 PIM

Panik remains out with a sprained ankle. He is expected to return this week. Guelph has clinched a playoff spot and is tied with London for seventh. The key will be to avoid top-seeded Owen Sound or Kitchener in the first round. The Storm has five games left.

WHL

Tri-City Americans 5 @ Vancouver Giants 1
RW Carter Ashton, TC: 2-1-3, +2, 0 PIM, *Second Star*
With Tri-City: 25 GP, 13-21-34, +5, 43 PIM
With Regina: 29 GP, 16-11-27, -12, 44 PIM
Season Totals: 54 GP, 29-32-61, -7, 87 PIM

Ashton is now within one goal of his career high for a season, set two years ago with Lethbridge in 70 games. He has already set career highs for assists and points. Sunday night Ashton scored once in the first period and again on the power play late in the third to give the Ams a big win in one of the WHL’s toughest barns. TC is clinched a playoff spot and currently sit in fourth in the West, comfortably ahead of Vancouver in fifth and well behind Spokane in third. TC has eight games left.

North American Juniors Game Night: 3/5/11

QMJHL

Gatineau Olympiques 3 @ Val-d'Or Foyeurs 2 (SO)
D Adam Janosik, GAT: 0-0-0, Even, 1 SOG, 0 PIM
Season totals: Season Totals: 56 GP, 7-21-28, +12, 30 PIM

Gatineau won the shootout 2-1 over Val-d'Or for the win.

Montréal Juniors 1 @ Rouyn-Noranda Huskies 5
D Charles Landry, MTL: 0-0-0, Even, 0 PIM, 3 SOG
Season totals: 52 GP, 11-27-38, +23, 26 PIM

Montreal out shot Rouyn-Noranda 50-27 in the game. Huskies goaltender Robin Gusse made 49 saves for the win.

OHL

Peterborough Petes 1 @ Owen Sound Attack 4
D Geoffrey Schmitsch, OS: Did not play (injured - broken arm)
Season totals: 45 GP, 1-19-20, +17, 14 PIM

G Michael Zador, OS: Did not dress
With Attack: 11 GP, 7-2-0-0, 3.19 GAA, .895 sv%, 0 SO
With Oshawa: 18 GP, 10-3-1-1, 3.36 GAA, .879 sv%, 1 SO
Season totals: 29 GP, 17-5-1-1, 3.29 GAA, .889 sv%, 1 SO

Owen Sound winger Mike Halmo had three assists as the Attack picked up the win over Peterborough.

WHL

Spokane Chiefs 4 @ Prince George Cougars 2
RW Brett Connolly, PG: 0-0-0, Even, 0 PIM
Season totals: 53 GP, 40-23-63, -3, 26 PIM

Connolly was held scoreless as Prince George dropped their second straight to Spokane in as many nights. Possible future Lightning prospect Tyler Johnson of Spokane, who has been reported to be signing a contract with the Lightning in the next day or two, had a goal Saturday for the Chiefs, his league-leading 48th.

Moose Jaw Warriors 2 @ Saskatoon Blades 7
D Teigan Zahn, SAS:0-1-1, +6, 0 PIM
Season totals: 66 GP, 3-17-20, +30, 131 PIM

Zahn had a huge night on the scoresheet in the plus/minus category finishing with a +6 for the game. Zahn now has a career high in points with 20, surpassing the 19 he recorded in 2007-2008.

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