Fargo Steals Game 1; Rimouski Done ... For Now
N.A. Juniors Playoff Game Night: 4/22
Fargo wins again in Nebraska ... Drummondville bullies the Oceanic ... John Tavares and other CHL notes.
USHL â€“ Division Finals
Fargo Force 4 @ Lincoln Stars 1
Fargo leads Best of 5 series 1-0
D Luke Witkowski, FGO: 0-0-0, +1, 2 PIM (roughing), 0 SOG [i]
Playoff totals: 4 GP, 1-1-2, +5, 6 PIM
Season totals: 55 GP, 6-16-22, +30, 118 PIM
After not playing for a week and a half, the Force - despite their creep mascot (pictured) - picked up where they left off against Omaha, winning their fourth straight playoff game and third on the road. Lincoln is the Westâ€™s top seed and was coming off a 4 game series (out of 5) with Sioux Falls. Fargo swept Omaha, the defending Clark Cup champion. Game 2 in this best of five series is Friday in Lincoln, with Games 3 and 4 (if necessary) in North Dakota and Game 5, if needed, in Nebraska.
QMJHL Playoffs â€“ League Semifinals
Drummondville Voltigeurs 7 @ Rimouski Oceanic 2
Drummondville wins Best of 7 series 4-0
[i]W/C Luca Cunti, RIM: 0-0-0,-3, 0 PIM, 5 SOG
Playoff totals: 13 GP, 4-5-9, -2, 12 PIM
Season totals: 57 GP, 20-25-45, +10, 32 PIM
This one was over quick for Rimouski, as the Volts scored 5 times in the first period and never looked back. Aside from temporary deficits in Game 2, this matchup wasnâ€™t even close. Rimouski will now wait for the Memorial Cup to start, as they play host to the tournament. Cunti has had a good playoff showing, but has been on the ice for 6 of the Volts 13 goals in the last two games. Drummondville is making their fourth ever appearance in the Q finals. They will await the winner of No.3 Quebec and No.5 Shawinigan. Shawinigan holds a 3-1 series lead.
In the OHL, John Tavares and London were eliminated by likely 2011 top pick Taylor Hall and Windsor, 4 games to 1 with a 4-3 Game 5 win in â€“ you guessed it â€“ overtime. This was a wild series, with all 5 games going to overtime. The teams combined for 97 shots in Game 5. These were the top two teams in the league with Windsor finishing with 115 points and London 101. Tavares, who has been criticized for not elevating his game in the playoffs, had a goal and assist in Game 5 and finished with 4-3-7 in the 5 games, but was scoreless in two of them. The Lightning have a very outside chance of coming away with Tavares at the upcoming draft â€“ a scenario that will only happen if the Islanders pass on him with the top pick. Windsor will now face the winner of Brampton and Belleville. Matt Duchene, who jumped Tavares for No.2 behind Victor Hedman in the latest Redline draft rankings, has led Brampton to a 3-1 series lead.
In the WHL, Calgary won their 12th playoff game against no defeats, completing a sweep of Brayden Schenn and Brandon. They await the winner of Vancouver-Kelowna. Game 4 in that series is Thursday night in Kelowna.
Calgary, Drummondville, and Windsor â€“ the top teams in all three leagues â€“ all look like theyâ€™re on a collision course for an excellent Memorial Cup in Rimouski.