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CHL Playoffs Game Night: 4-30-17

Quebec Major Junior Hockey League

Saint John Sea Dogs 6 @ Chicoutimi Sagueneens 5
QMJHL Semifinals
Saint John wins best-of-7 series, 4-2

W Bokondji Imama, SJ: 1-1-2, +1, 2 PIM, 1 SOG, 1 Hit
Playoff Totals: 14 GP, 7-6-13, +15, 20 PIM
Season Totals: 65 GP, 40-14-54, +10, 103 PIM

W Mathieu Joseph, SJ: 0-2-2, +2, 0 PIM, 4 SOG, 0 Hits
Playoff Totals: 14 GP, 11-11-22, +17, 14 PIM
Season Totals: 54 GP, 36-44-80, +37, 57 PIM

Down 5-3 early in the third period, Saint John mounted a comeback to tie the game, then win it on Boko Imama’s seventh goal of the playoffs with just over five minutes remaining. Joseph had the primary assist on the game-winner. The win by the Sea Dogs puts them in the QMJHL Finals against fifth-seeded Blainville-Boisbriand, who beat Charlottetown, 4-1, in the other semifinal. Cedric Paquette and Daniel Walcott both played for the Armada. Saint John is the top seed.

Ontario Hockey League

Erie Otters 7 @ Owen Sound Attack 2
Western Conference Finals
Erie wins best-of-7 series, 4-2

D Erik Cernak, Erie: 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 0 SOG
Playoff Totals: 17 GP, 1-7-8, +14, 4 PIM
2015-2016 Season: 41 GP, 4-11-15, +7, 35 PIM

C Anthony Cirelli, Erie: 3-1-4, +1, 0 PIM, 4 SOG, 6/15 FO, *First Star*
Playoff Totals: 17 GP, 13-10-23, +16, 4 PIM
Season Totals: 51 GP, 25-39-64, +36, 12 PIM

W Taylor Raddysh, Erie: 0-0-0, +1, 0 PIM, 4 SOG
Playoff Totals: 17 GP, 9-17-26, +14, 12 PIM
Season Totals: 58 GP, 42-66-108, +67, 37 PIM

Erie won its third in a row after being down 2-1 in the series, eliminating the Attack in six games. Anthony Cirelli had a hat trick and four points in the series-clincher, including one shorthanded goal and one on the power play. He’s second in the OHL in playoff goals, one behind the Steelheads’ Spencer Watson (Kings). Dylan Strome (Coyotes) scored twice Sunday for the Otters, who will face Mississauga for the OHL championship and right to go to the Memorial Cup in Windsor.

Crunch Top IceCaps in OT, Advance to North Division Finals


By Jeremy Houghtaling

A former member of the IceCaps came back to haunt the team.

Gabriel Dumont scored 2:18 into overtime to lift the Syracuse Crunch to a 2-1 overtime win over St. John’s in Game 4 of the North Division Semifinals at the Onondaga County War Memorial Friday.

The Crunch take the series 3-1 and advance to the North Division Finals, while the IceCaps’ franchise is set to move to Laval next season.

“There was two guys in front, so I didn’t really see it go in. I just heard the puck hit the middle post and the goal light go on,” Dumont said. “I was pretty excited and I didn’t know what to do.”

CHL Playoffs Game Night: 4-28-17

Quebec Major Junior Hockey League

@ Chicoutimi Sagueneens 0 @ Saint John Sea Dogs 4
QMJHL Semifinals
Saint John leads best-of-7 series, 3-2

W Bokondji Imama, SJ: 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 3 SOG, 3 Hits
Playoff Totals: 13 GP, 6-5-11, +14, 18 PIM
Season Totals: 65 GP, 40-14-54, +10, 103 PIM

W Mathieu Joseph, SJ: 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 4 SOG, 2 Hits
Playoff Totals: 13 GP, 11-9-20, +15, 14 PIM
Season Totals: 54 GP, 36-44-80, +37, 57 PIM

Callum Booth (Hurricanes) stopped 23 shots as Saint John rebounded from a Game 4 loss to take a pivotal Game 5, 4-0. Joseph had at least a point in every playoff game until Friday. The Sea Dogs can advance to the finals with a Game 6 win Sunday.

Ontario Hockey League

Owen Sound Attack 2 @ Erie Otters 4
Western Conference Finals
Erie leads best-of-7 series, 3-2

D Erik Cernak, Erie: 0-1-1, +1, 0 PIM, 4 SOG
Playoff Totals: 16 GP, 1-7-8, +14, 4 PIM
2015-2016 Season: 41 GP, 4-11-15, +7, 35 PIM

C Anthony Cirelli, Erie: 0-2-2, +1, 0 PIM, 2 SOG, 10/20 FO
Playoff Totals: 16 GP, 10-9-19, +15, 4 PIM
Season Totals: 51 GP, 25-39-64, +36, 12 PIM

W Taylor Raddysh, Erie: 1-0-1, E, 0 PIM, 5 SOG
Playoff Totals: 16 GP, 9-17-26, +13, 12 PIM
Season Totals: 58 GP, 42-66-108, +67, 37 PIM

Erie won its second in a row against the Attack, going up 3-2 in the series with a 4-2 Game 5 win at home Friday. Anthony Cirelli had two assists, Taylor Raddysh had an empty net goal, and Erik Cernak got his first point of the series. Owen Sound was up 2-1 in the game before Erie’s two second period goals. Erie can advance to the finals against Mississauga with a win Sunday.

AHL Playoff Game Night: 4-28-17 IceCaps at Crunch

Crunchning Death Star moves on to its next target.

STJ-1
SYR-2 (OT)

Syracuse Wins the Series 3-1

Mike McKenna allowed 1 goal on 27 shots for the victory. After an uneven close to his regular season after the trade deadline, McKenna's upped his game for the postseason.

First Period
16:41 SYR Condra (2), (McGinn, Peca)(PP)

Second Period
NO SCORING

Third Period
14:27 STJ Matteau (3), (Audette, de la Rose)(PP)

Overtime
2:18 SYR Dumont (1), (Froese, Erne)

McKenna, Gabriel Dumont, and Erik Condra were the game's three stars as the veterans continue to drive the bus for the Crunch.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

CHL Playoffs Game Night: 4-26-17

Quebec Major Junior Hockey League

Saint John Sea Dogs 3 @ Chicoutimi Sagueneens 4
QMJHL Semifinals
Best-of-7 series tied, 2-2

W Bokondji Imama, SJ: 1-0-1, E, 2 PIM, 4 SOG, 4 Hits
Playoff Totals: 12 GP, 6-5-11, +14, 18 PIM
Season Totals: 65 GP, 40-14-54, +10, 103 PIM

W Mathieu Joseph, SJ: 2-0-2, +2, 0 PIM, 3 SOG, 0 Hits
Playoff Totals: 12 GP, 11-9-20, +15, 14 PIM
Season Totals: 54 GP, 36-44-80, +37, 57 PIM

Joseph’s second goal of the game – a shorthanded marker – tied the game at 3 in the third period, but Joey Ratelle (undrafted) scored with 14 seconds remaining in regulation to steal the win for the Sags. Boko Imama scored his third goal of the series. Game 5 is back in Saint John Friday.

Ontario Hockey League

Peterborough Petes 0 @ Mississauga Steelheads 7
Eastern Conference Finals
Mississauga wins best-of-7 series, 4-0

W/C Christopher Paquette, PBO: 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 2 SOG, 1/2 FO
Playoff Totals: 12 GP, 3-3-6, +5, 15 PIM
Season Totals: 66 GP, 19-29-48, +1, 28 PIM

D Matt Spencer, PBO: 0-0-0, -3, 0 PIM, 2 SOG
Playoff Totals: 12 GP, 1-6-7, +9, 6 PIM
Season Totals: 60 GP, 7-22-29, +9, 58 PIM

W Jonne Tammela, PBO: Did not play
Season Totals: 2 GP, 1-0-1, +1, 2 PIM
2015-2016 (Finland): 37 GP, 5-8-13, +10, 16 PIM

Matthew Mancina (undrafted) stopped all 24 shots he faced as the Steelheads secured a berth in the OHL Finals with a 7-0 drubbing of the top-seeded Petes in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals. Peterborough’s season ends as its most successful in years, though they probably wish the made things a little more difficult on Mississauga. For the Lightning prospects, Chris Paquette was scoreless and minus-2 in the Steelheads series. He will return to Peterborough next year after coming over from Niagara at the trade deadline. He had a breakout year for the IceDogs and Petes. Matt Spencer had seven points in eight games in the first two rounds, leading the league in plus/minus, but went scoreless against Mississauga, finishing minus-7 in the series. He was signed last year by the Lightning and will start his professional career next season. The former No. 3 overall pick in the OHL could join AHL Syracuse’s Black Aces shortly.

Erie Otters 4 @ Owen Sound Attack 3
Western Conference Finals
Best-of-7 series tied, 2-2

D Erik Cernak, Erie: 0-0-0, +2, 0 PIM, 0 SOG
Playoff Totals: 15 GP, 1-6-7, +13, 4 PIM
2015-2016 Season: 41 GP, 4-11-15, +7, 35 PIM

C Anthony Cirelli, Erie: 1-1-2, +3, 0 PIM, 1 SOG, 6/16 FO, *First Star*
Playoff Totals: 15 GP, 10-7-17, +14, 4 PIM
Season Totals: 51 GP, 25-39-64, +36, 12 PIM

W Taylor Raddysh, Erie: 0-1-1, +2, 0 PIM, 3 SOG
Playoff Totals: 15 GP, 8-17-25, +13, 12 PIM
Season Totals: 58 GP, 42-66-108, +67, 37 PIM

Erie evened its series with Owen Sound after blowing a 3-1 lead. Warren Foegele, who scored in overtime of Game 7 against London, scored shorthanded midway through the third period to lift the Otters to a 4-3 Game 4 win. Anthony Cirelli was first star, scoring once and being credited with another before a scoring change. Game 5 is back in Pennsylvania Friday.

Crunch Win Game 3, Push IceCaps to Brink of Elimination


By Jeremy Houghtaling

Despite letting an early two-goal lead slip away, the Syracuse Crunch found a way to pull out a win.

Byron Froese scored with 3:55 left in the second period and the Crunch held the IceCaps off the board the rest of the way, as Syracuse beat St. Johns, 3-2, in the North Division Semifinals at the Onondaga County War Memorial Wednesday. Syracuse leads the series 2-1 and hosts Game 4 of the best-of-five series on Friday.

Crunch head coach Benoit Groulx knew the series would be a physical back-and-forth battle.

“It’s been like that since day one and we don’t expect anything different Friday,” he said. “It’s a hard-fought battle and we found a way to win, so it’s good.”

AHL Playoff Game Night: 4-26-17 IceCaps at Crunch

Crunchning Death Star on the cusp of advancing.

STJ-2
SYR-3

Syracuse Leads the Series 2-1

Mike McKenna allowed 2 goals on 28 shots for the pivotal Game Three victory.

First Period
11:30 SYR Vermin (1), (Howden, Ikonen)
13:28 SYR Condra (1), (McGinn, Taormina)

Second Period
12:17 STJ Redmond (1), (Hudon, Scherbak)(PP)
12:45 STJ Matteau (2), (Friberg, Lernout)
16:05 SYR Froese (1), (unassisted)

Third Period
NO SCORING

Mike McKenna, Byron Froese, and Erik Condra were the game's three stars, as the vets continue to lead the way. That said, it should be noted that Brett Howden continues to be a contributor for the club since coming on board late in the regular season.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

ECHL Playoff Game Night: 4-25-17

Kalamazoo Wings 1 at Toledo Walleye 3
Toledo wins series 4-3

F Brian Hart, KAL, 0-0-0, E, 0 PIMS, 1 SOG
Playoff Totals: 7 GP, 4-1-5, -3, 5 PIMS, 20 SOG
Season Totals (ECHL): 33 GP, 6-5-11, -7, 6 PIMs, 71 SOG
Season Totals (AHL): 33 GP, 3-4-7, E, 26 PIMs, 50 SOG

F Cameron Darcy, KAL, 0-0-0, -1, 0 PIMS, 5 SOG
Playoff Totals: 7 GP, 3-7-10, +1, 2 PIMS, 24 SOG
Season Totals (ECHL): 20 GP, 5-20-25, +11, 10 PIMs, 51 SOG
Season Totals (AHL): 34 GP, 3-4-7, -3, 14 PIMs, 40 SOG

Other Notables
G Nic Riopel, KAL, did not play (backup)
Playoff Totals: 4 GP, 2-2-0-0, 4.01 GAA, 0.849 SV%
Season Totals (ECHL): 32 GP, 18-12-0-1, 3.13 GAA, 0.899 SV%, 1 SO

Thirty-six seconds. That was the difference in this game, in this series. Former Syracuse Crunch forward Evan Rankin broke loose at 8:29 into a 1-1 tied 3rd period, and buries the eventual game winner past Kalamzaoo netminder Joel Martin. Thirty-six seconds later, Zach Nastasiuk takes advantage of a bad K-Wings change and blows in alone and stuffs another past Martin for the 3-1 Toledo lead and eventual win. The Walleye advance to play the Fort Wayne Komets in the Central Division finals. Toledo, under ECHL Coach of the Year Dan Watson, won an ECHL record 51 regular season games, but Kalamazoo gave them everything they could handle in this series. The K-Wings could just never break through to take that necessary road win, as the home team won each game in the series. Brian Hart didn't get credit for the K-Wings goal in the 1st period, but the replay sure looked like he deflected Charlie Vasaturo's point shot from the top of the crease in front of Toledo backup netminder Jeff Lerg. Walleye goalie Jake Paterson left the game in the first with an undisclosed injury, and you have to hand it to Lerg making 13 saves on 14 shots coming in cold in a Game 7. Kalamazoo can hold their heads high despite the outcome, as it was a great run down the stretch for a team that really seemed to turn the corner in the last third of the season.

Bolt Prospects now turns our attention to prospect forwards Cameron Darcy and Brian Hart. The Syracuse Crunch are still early in the Calder Cup playoffs, but its extremely crowded at the forward position. Perhaps they will be able to join the practice squad, with an outside chance of maybe Darcy getting in a game at some point. He has earned it with his stellar play over the last 26 games in Kalamazoo, but there is a lot of young players with skill getting a look-see and plenty of vets needed to help secure a series win against St. John's, so it would certainly be a long shot. With Connor Ingram with the Crunch, I doubt we see Nick Riopel recalled, unless the practice squad needs a second goalie.

Looking forward to next season with both Darcy and Hart in the final years of their ELCs, the Crunch lineup at forward will be tough to crack. Stephens, Joseph, Cirelli, Yan, Tammela along with Peca, Bournival, Froese, and McGinn, and Erne and Condra as bubble guys will all be in the mix. That's 9-11 forwards without even considering (re)signing of veteran free agents. Darcy and Hart will have their work cut out for them, but Darcy in particular was such a critical piece of the late season success of the K-Wings team, and he deserves more than a hat tip for going down and being one of the team's best players game in and game out.

We'll end the ECHL season coverage at Bolt Prospects will a salute to the Kalamazoo Wings. It was a fun and dramatic series to watch, and like the rest of the organization, it seems like the future is brighter than today is.

CHL Playoffs Game Night: 4-25-17

Quebec Major Junior Hockey League

Saint John Sea Dogs 5 @ Chicoutimi Sagueneens 0
QMJHL Semifinals
Saint John leads best-of-7 series, 2-1

W Bokondji Imama, SJ: 2-0-2, +3, 0 PIM, 7 SOG, 3 Hits, *Second Star*
Playoff Totals: 11 GP, 5-5-10, +14, 16 PIM
Season Totals: 65 GP, 40-14-54, +10, 103 PIM

W Mathieu Joseph, SJ: 1-0-1, +2, 2 PIM, 6 SOG, 0 Hits
Playoff Totals: 11 GP, 9-9-18, +13, 14 PIM
Season Totals: 54 GP, 36-44-80, +37, 57 PIM

Saint John responded to a Game 2 loss – its first of the playoffs – with a 5-0 shutout win Tuesday in Game 3. The shutout by Callum Booth (Hurricanes) gave the Dogs home ice advantage back in their favor. Boko Imama scored for the first time since the first round, then scored again to put Saint John up 2-0 in the third period. They scored four times in the final frame. Game 4 is Wednesday.

CHL Playoffs Game Night: 4-24-17

Ontario Hockey League

Peterborough Petes 1 @ Mississauga Steelheads 2 (2OT)
Eastern Conference Finals
Mississauga leads best-of-7 series, 3-0

W/C Christopher Paquette, PBO: 0-0-0, E, 2 PIM, 3 SOG, 8/17 FO
Playoff Totals: 11 GP, 3-3-6, +5, 15 PIM
Season Totals: 66 GP, 19-29-48, +1, 28 PIM

D Matt Spencer, PBO: 0-0-0, -1, 0 PIM, 0 SOG
Playoff Totals: 11 GP, 1-6-7, +12, 6 PIM
Season Totals: 60 GP, 7-22-29, +9, 58 PIM

W Jonne Tammela, PBO: Did not play
Season Totals: 2 GP, 1-0-1, +1, 2 PIM
2015-2016 (Finland): 37 GP, 5-8-13, +10, 16 PIM

With Lightning GM Steve Yzerman in attendance, Mississauga got a goal from Devils prospect Michael McLeod on a pass from his brother, Ryan, to beat the Petes, 2-1, in double overtime. Yzerman played for Peterborough as a junior. The Petes find themselves in a 3-0 hole heading into Wednesday’s Game 4.

Erie Otters 3 @ Owen Sound Attack 6
Western Conference Finals
Owen Sound leads best-of-7 series, 2-1

D Erik Cernak, Erie: 0-0-0, -1, 0 PIM, 2 SOG
Playoff Totals: 14 GP, 1-6-7, +11, 4 PIM
2015-2016 Season: 41 GP, 4-11-15, +7, 35 PIM

C Anthony Cirelli, Erie: 0-1-1, +1, 0 PIM, 3 SOG, 9/17 FO
Playoff Totals: 14 GP, 9-6-15, +11, 4 PIM
Season Totals: 51 GP, 25-39-64, +36, 12 PIM

W Taylor Raddysh, Erie: 1-1-2, E, 0 PIM, 2 SOG
Playoff Totals: 14 GP, 8-16-24, +11, 12 PIM
Season Totals: 58 GP, 42-66-108, +67, 37 PIM

Owen Sound took Game 3 at home against top-seeded Erie, winning, 6-3. Ethan Szypula (undrafted) had two goals and an assist, and Nick Suzuki (2017) had three assists for the Attack. Taylor Raddysh had a goal and an assist for Erie. Game 4 is Wednesday.

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