N.A. Juniors Game Night: 3/14

Capitals force Game 7 ... DeCoste and Wright score in season finales ... Spokane vs. Tri-City postponed due to food poisoning ... Jung and Edmonton lose, but get help from Saskatoon.

BCHL Playoffs – Island Division Finals – Game 6
Victoria Grizzlies 1 @ Cowichan Valley Capitals 3
Best of 7 series tied 3-3
W Justin Courtnall, VIC: 0-0-0, 0 PIM
Playoff totals: 6 GP, 0-3-3, 10 PIM
Season totals: 60 GP, 22-41-63, 98 PIM

Top seeded Victoria again fails to end the series – and now faces an elimination game at home on Tuesday.

Fargo Force 3 @ Waterloo Black Hawks 4 (OT)
D Luke Witkowski, FGO: 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 2 SOG
Season totals: 48 GP, 5-14-19, +30, 108 PIM

The USHL regular season ends April 5. Fargo sits in second in the West Division, six points back of Lincoln, who has clinched a playoff spot.

London Knights 6 @ Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds 1
W Kyle DeCoste, SSM: 1-0-1, -1, 0 PIM
Season totals: 63 GP, 15-13-28, -28, 76 PIM
With SSM: 26 GP, 7-7-14, -15, 25 PIM

The Soo finishes the regular season with the league’s worst record at 19-45-2-2. DeCoste showed promise down the stretch, notching points in 7 of his last 9 games as a first liner. He will welcome the OHL’s No.1 pick in the priority draft next year to the team. John Tavares did not play in Saturday’s game.

Coming soon: Season recap for DeCoste.

Tri-City Americans vs. Spokane Chiefs - postponed
Due to as many as 11 Chiefs suffering from what was reported as a severe case of food poisoning, the WHL has postponed two Spokane games. Apparently there was a team meeting and meal Thursday night, 24 hours before Spokane’s 5-2 win over Tri-City Friday night. Players were getting sick during the game and afterward is when it got out of hand. Tokarski was not included among those mentioned as being sick. Their Saturday match-up vs. Tri-City was moved to Tuesday, and Sunday’s game vs. Kelowna was moved to Monday. Kelowna, which beat Kamloops 7-1 at home Saturday, is now 3 points up on Spokane for the West’s 3rd seed. The Chiefs have the game against TC in hand on Kelowna.

Edmonton Oil Kings 2 @ Red Deer Rebels 3
G Torrie Jung, EDM: Loss, 28 saves on 31 shots
Season totals: 47 GP, 20-19-3-5, 2.58 GAA, .911 sv%, 3 shutouts

Edmonton failed to clinch their first-ever playoff spot when they blew a 1-0 lead and lost to last-place Red Deer 3-2 in Red Deer. Prince Albert, who is tied with Edmonton for the 8th seed in the East, lost 5-4 in Saskatoon. Jung was reportedly “brilliant” for the majority of the game, but gave up 3 goals in the second period. Red Deer overage defenseman Luke Egener (undrafted), brother of former Lightning prospect Mike Egener, was the game’s first star. Edmonton hosts Red Deer Sunday and can clinch a playoff birth with a point. Their reward is getting Calgary in the first round. The Hitmen have clinched the league’s best record at 58-9-3-1.

Prince George Cougars 0 @ Vancouver Giants 6
C James Wright, VAN: 1-1-2, +2, 2 PIM (high sticking)
Season totals: 71 GP, 21-26-47, +26, 54 PIM

The Giants whipped the Cougars in Vancouver. The teams will begin their first round series against each other later this week. There were three fighting majors in the game. Wright finishes the regular season with 21 goals and 48 points in 71 games, compared to 36 points (13 goals) in 60 games last year. Evander Kane scored his 48th and the likely top-5 pick in this summer’s draft finishes the year at 48-48-96 in 61 games.

*Some information for this report taken from the WHL blog “Taking Note,” by Gregg Drinnan of the Kamloops Daily News.