North American Juniors

CHL Playoffs Game Night: 4-16-18

Western Hockey League

#2 Swift Current Broncos 6 @ #1 Moose Jaw Warriors 0 (Game 7)
Eastern Conference Semifinals
Broncos win series 4-3

D Oleg Sosunov, MJ: 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 1 SOG
Playoff Totals: 14 GP, 0-0-0, -6, 4 PIM
Season Totals: 71 GP, 7-19-26, +35, 62 PIM
’16-‘17 Totals (MHL-Russia): 32 GP, 0-0-0, +1, 79 PIM

Stuart Skinner (EDM, 2017 3rd round pick) turned away 25 Moose Jaw shots, pitching a Game 7 shutout. Former Blues prospect and now Flames free agent signee Glenn Gawdin scored twice and added two assists, as the Swift Current Broncos punched their ticket to the WHL Eastern Conference finals against the Lethbridge Hurricanes. The Broncos had their backs against the wall after Game 5, down 3-2 in the series, and then preceded to outscore the potent Warriors offense 13-1 in elimination games 6 and 7. Devils free agent signee Colby Sissons, Tyler Steenbergen (ARI, 2017 5th round pick), an Aleksi Heponiemi (FLA, 2017 2nd round pick) all had multi-point games.

For Bolt prospect Oleg Sosunov, he could join the Syracuse Crunch for their Calder Cup Playoff run, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the organization allows him to close out his season. After scoring 7 goals and 26 points in a breakout campaign in his first year in North America, Sosunov hit a wall down the stretch statistically for the Warriors. He was never scratched, even on a loaded Moose Jaw blueline, but the offense dried up in the last 15-20 games of the regular season and the playoffs. There’s certainly something to be said for never having too much depth for the Syracuse playoff run, but one gets the sense that Sosunov kind of ran out of the gas. Unlike the watch on Otto Sompii, Sosunov does already have an NHL contract with the Lightning.

CHL Playoffs Game Night: 4-15-18

Ontario Hockey League

#1 Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds 1 @ #4 Owen Sound Attack 7 (Game 6)
Western Conference Semifinals
Series tied at 3-3

W Boris Katchouk, SSM: 0-1-1, -2, 0 PIM, 2 SOG, 0/1 FO
Playoff Totals: 10 GP, 8-7-15, +6, 8 PIM
Season Totals: 58 GP, 42-43-85, +53, 30 PIM
’16-’17 Season: 66 GP, 35-29-64, +18, 46 PIM

W Taylor Raddysh, SSM: 0-1-1, -1, 0 PIM, 3 SOG, 1/3 FO
Playoff Totals: 10 GP, 7-6-13, -1, 6 PIM
Season Totals (SSM): 28 GP, 18-21-39, +14, 14 PIM
Season Totals (ER): 30 GP, 15-29-44, +10, 16 PIM
Season Totals: 58 GP, 33-50-83, +24, 30 PIM
‘16-‘17 Totals: 58 GP, 42-67-109, +67, 37 PIM

Katchouk and Raddysh set up top prospect Barrett Hayton (2018 draft eligible) for the game-opening goal at 14:41 of the 1st period, but the Attack responded 38 seconds later to knot the score 1-1 at the end of the 1st period, with the Soo also holding an 11-8 advantage on shots. But Owen Sound turned on the afterburners in front of 3000+ fans at the Harry Lumley Bayshore Community Centre, peppering Soo netminders Matthew Villalta (LAK, 2017 3rd round pick) and Tyler Johnson (undrafted) with 38 shots in the 2nd and 3rd periods. In all, seven different Attack skaters scored, and five notched multi-point games. Owen Sound was facing elimination, down 3-2, and their win forces a Game 7 Tuesday night back in Sault Ste. Marie.

The winner of Tuesday night’s Game 7 will face off against the Kitchener Rangers in the OHL Western Conference finals, who eliminated the Sarnia Sting in six games. The Eastern Conference finals is set with the Hamilton Bulldogs squaring off against the Kingston Frontenacs.

CHL Playoffs Game Night: 4-14-18

Western Hockey League

#1 Moose Jaw Warriors 3 @ #2 Swift Current Broncos 2 (3OT) (Game 6)
Eastern Conference Semifinals
Series tied at 3-3

D Oleg Sosunov, MJ: 0-0-0, -1, 0 PIM, 3 SOG
Playoff Totals: 13 GP, 0-0-0, -6, 4 PIM
Season Totals: 71 GP, 7-19-26, +35, 62 PIM
’16-‘17 Totals (MHL-Russia): 32 GP, 0-0-0, +1, 79 PIM

Sharks free agent signee Jayden Halbgewachs scored a triple-overtime power play goal at the 101:14 mark to stave off a Warriors elimination and force a Game 7 Monday night back at the Mosaic Place in Moose Jaw. It was an epic goaltenders dual as Moose Jaw netminder Brody Willms (undrafted) turned aside 58 shots and Swift Current goalie Stuart Skinner (EDM, 2017 3rd round pick) turned away 35.

After a scoreless first period, Former Jets prospect Matteo Gennaro scored a power play goal in the 2nd period, followed by a goal from Tyler Steenbergen (ARI, 2017 5th round pick) early in the 3rd to give Swift Current a 2-0 edge. But then former Lightning and now Rangers prospect Brett Howden put the team on his back, first setting up top prospect Jett Woo (2018 draft eligible) for his 2nd goal of the playoffs, and then scoring the equalizer himself to force the extra sessions.

The winner of Monday night’s Game 7 will draw the Lethbridge Hurricanes in the Eastern Conference Finals, who eliminated the Brandon Wheat Kings four games to one.

Juniors Game Night: 4-14-18

United States Hockey League

** Note: Cole Guttman (Dubuque) was placed on injured reserved on December 22nd following the completion of the World Junior A Challenge tournament.

The Dubuque Fighting Saints finished as the #5 seed in the Eastern Conference, but it’s unknown if Guttman will return from injury for the Clark Cup playoffs.

Sioux City Musketeers 2 @ Omaha Lancers 3 (SO)

D Nick Perbix , OMA: 0-0-0, E, 2 PIM, 1 SOG
Season Totals: 56 GP, 4-25-29, +19, 38 PIM
’16-‘17 Totals (HS): 25 GP, 10-30-40, 6 PIM
Committed to: St. Cloud State University

F Sammy Walker, SC: 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 1 SOG
Season Totals (USHL): 17 GP, 2-7-9, -6, 4 PIM
’16-’17 Totals (USHL): 4 GP, 0-0-0, -3, 6 PIM
Season Totals (HS): 31 GP, 35-44-79, 16 PIM
’16-‘17 Totals (HS): 25 GP, 22-24-46, 6 PIM
Committed to: University of Minnesota

With playoff berths and #1 seeds on the line, Sioux City and Omaha closed out their 2017-18 USHL regular season campaign Saturday night. The Musketeers needed two points and a couple other teams to lose in order to sneak into the playoffs, and Lancers were in a battle with Waterloo for the #1 seed in the Western Conference.

The Lancers lit the lamp first, just 1:49 into the game, in front of 3700+ home fans at the Ralston Arena. But Luke Johnson (Providence commit) would set up a pair of Sioux City goals later in the 1st period, including a power play goal with one second left in the first, giving the Musketeers a 2-1 lead at the end of the first frame. Johnson was a former captain of Edina high school and teammate of Sammy Walker. Omaha would bury a power play marker of their own in the 2nd period to knot the score, and after a scoreless 3rd period and overtime session, the post season hopes of both teams would be decided by a skills competition. Both goalies turned aside the first 5 rounds of shooters before a pair of Miami (Ohio) commits squared off, with Ryan Savage (2018 draft eligible) finally solving Musketeer goalie Ben Kraws (2018 draft eligible) for the Lancer win.

One point for the shootout loss was not enough for Sioux City to clinch a playoff berth no matter the outcome of the other teams, and that mean that the 2017-18 hockey campaign for Bolt prospect Sammy Walker is for all intents an purposes over. It was a great season for Walker, the recipient of the prestigious Minnesota Mr. Hockey Award as the best high senior hockey player in the state. His helped lead his Edina, MN high school team to a 3rd place finish in the MN Class AA State championships, and his two goals and nine points for the Musketeers in 13 games after his high school season ended was a preview of what might be in store when he dons the Maroon and Gold for the Minnesota Golden Gophers this Fall.

For Omaha, the shootout win was not enough to clinch the top spot in the Western Conference, with Waterloo also winning their game Saturday night. Bolt prospect Nick Perbix and the Lancers will enter the Clark Cup playoffs as the #2 seed in the West.

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