Wright, James

CHL Playoffs Game Night: 4-17-10

OHL

Mississauga St. Michael’s Majors 1 @ Barrie Colts 3
Conference Finals, Game 3. Barrie leads Best of 7 Series 2-1
LW/C Alex Hutchings, BAR: 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM
Playoff Totals: 7 GP, 1-7-8, +7, 8 PIM
Season Totals: 68 GP, 47-34-81, +44, 58 PIM

Hutchings saw his point streak (going back to the regular season) end at 10 games, but Barrie took the lead in the Eastern Conference Finals, 2-1. Luke Pither (undrafted) scored two goals for the Colts to erase a 1-0 Majors lead and help Barrie to victory. Game 4 is Monday in Mississauga. On the other side, Kitchener defeated Windsor 5-2 in Game 2 to take a 2-0 series lead over the defending Memorial Cup champs.

WHL

Vancouver Giants 0 @ Tri-City Americans 4
Western Conference Finals, Game 2. Best of 7 Series tied 1-1
C/W/D James Wright, VAN: 0-0-0, -1, 0 PIM
Playoff Totals: 12 GP, 6-6-12, +4, 4 PIM
Season Totals: 21 GP, 6-13-19, -3, 17 PIM
With Tampa Bay: 43 GP, 2-3-5, -9, 18 PIM

Top-seeded Tri-City came back strong in Game 2, scoring once in the first period and twice in the second to help secure the win and tie the series. Diminutive 5’-8” netminder Drew Owsley (undrafted) earned First Star honors for the Americans. Game 3 is Tuesday in Vancouver. On the other side, No.1 Calgary defeated Memorial Cup host Brandon 3-2 to tie their series at one.

CHL Playoffs Game Night: 4-16-10

QMJHL

No.5 Moncton Wildcats 5 @ No.2 Drummondville Voltigeurs 3
Semifinals, Game 1. Moncton leads Best of 7 Series 1-0
D Mark Barberio, MCT: 0-0-0, +1, 2 PIM, 1 SOG
Playoff Totals: 11 GP, 3-9-12, +7, 10 PIM
Season Totals: 65 GP, 17-43-60, +39, 72 PIM

The Wildcats struck first in their QMJHL semifinal series, beating the Volts on the road, 5-3. Drummondville had won 17 straight home games. Barberio didn’t score in the game, but reportedly made one of its most important defensive plays when he batted a shot destined for the back of the net out of mid-air as it was crossing the goal line. Game 2 is Sunday night in Drummondville.

Draft Watch
Moncton defenseman Brandon Gormley was minus-1 with three shots on goal. Gormley is regarded as one of the best defenseman in the upcoming draft and could fall to the Lightning at No.6. Gormley playoff totals: 11 GP, 0-11-11, +7, 0 PIM.

OHL

Barrie Colts 2 @ Mississauga St. Michael’s Majors 5
Eastern Conference Finals, Game 2. Best of 7 Series tied 1-1
LW/C Alex Hutchings, BAR: 0-1-1, E, 0 PIM
Playoff Totals: 6 GP, 1-7-8, +7, 8 PIM
Season Totals: 68 GP, 47-34-81, +44, 58 PIM

The Colts lost their first game of the playoffs after nine contests, falling 5-2 on the road to the Majors. Hutchings extended his point streak to 10 games going back to the regular season. He’s registered a point in all six of his playoff games. He missed four due to an injury. Game 2 is Saturday.

WHL

Vancouver Giants 4 @ Tri-City Americans 2
Western Conference Finals, Game 1. Vancouver leads Best of 7 Series 1-0
C/W/D James Wright, VAN: 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM
Playoff Totals: 11 GP, 6-6-12, +4, 4 PIM
Season Totals: 21 GP, 6-13-19, -3, 17 PIM
With Tampa Bay: 43 GP, 2-3-5, -9, 18 PIM

Vancouver stole home ice advantage from the Americans, beating Tri-City in their barn in Game 1, 4-2. Wright was scoreless in the match. The Giants were down 2-1 in the game before mounting a comeback win. Game 2 is Saturday.

CHL Playoffs Game Night: 4-13-10

WHL

Vancouver Giants 3 @ Portland Winterhawks 1
Conference Semifinals, Game 6. Vancouver wins Best of 7 Series 4-2
C/W/D James Wright, VAN: 0-1-1, E, 0 PIM
Playoff Totals: 10 GP, 6-6-12, +4, 4 PIM
Season Totals: 21 GP, 6-13-19, -3, 17 PIM
With Tampa Bay: 43 GP, 2-3-5, -9, 18 PIM

Wright set up the eventual game winning goal by Tomas Vincour (Stars 5/09) on the power play in the second period to help the Giants go 3-0 in Portland and take the Conference Semifinal series 4-2. Wright finished the series with 10 points (six goals) in the six games. Vancouver will now play the West’s top seed, Tri-City, who defeated Chilliwack 4-2 in Round 1 and Kelowna 4-1 in the second round. No.1 Calgary faces Memorial Cup host Brandon in the Eastern Finals.

Draft Watch
Portland winger Nino Niederreiter, a prime candidate for the Lightning to pick at No.6 in this summer’s draft, scored the lone Winterhawk goal in Game 6 and was named Second Star. He finished the playoffs with eight goals and eight assists for 16 points in 13 games. He had 35-24-60 in 65 games in the regular season, and missed time with Portland when he was excelling for Switzerland at the World Junior Championships (7 GP, 6-4-10).

CHL Playoffs Game Night: 4-9-10

QMJHL

No.4 Rouyn-Noranda Huskies 5 @ No.5 Moncton Wildcats 4 (2OT)
Quarterfinals, Game 4. Moncton leads Best of 7 Series 3-1
D Mark Barberio, MCT: 0-2-2, +1, 4 PIM, 2 SOG
Series Totals: 4 GP, 2-4-6, +3, 6 PIM
Playoff Totals: 9 GP, 3-8-11, +6, 8 PIM
Season Totals: 65 GP, 17-43-60, +39, 72 PIM

The Wildcats had a chance to finish a sweep of the Huskies, but former Rimouski Oceanic Phillipe Cornet (Oilers 5/08) scored in the second overtime to extend the series for Rouyn-Noranda. Moncton outshot the Huskies 20-14 in the extra sessions and 50-47 overall, but were unable to complete the sweep. Barberio had two primary assists on the night, including one with under 30 seconds to play that forced overtime on a goal by Kelsey Tessier (Avalanche 4/08). Barberio has six points in the series so far (two goals), which will see it's next game Saturday in Moncton. No.1 St. John, No.2 Drummondville, and No.6 Victoriaville (swept No.3 Quebec) have already advanced to the semifinals.

Draft Watch
Moncton’s Brandon Gormley, a defenseman expected to go in the 3-8 range this summer, was scoreless and minus-2 in the game. He has nine assists in nine playoff games, to go with a plus-6 rating. Gormley had 43 points (nine goals) in 58 regular season games for the Wildcats and was plus-31.

WHL

Portland Winterhawks 3 @ Vancouver Giants 5
Conference Semifinals, Game 4. Vancouver leads Best of 7 Series 3-1
C/W/D James Wright, VAN: 2-0-2, -1, 0 PIM, *First Star*
Series Totals: 4 GP, 6-3-9, +2, 2 PIM
Playoff Totals: 8 GP, 6-5-11, +4, 4 PIM
Season Totals: 21 GP, 6-13-19, -3, 17 PIM
With Tampa Bay: 43 GP, 2-3-5, -9, 18 PIM

Wright (pictured) had two goals for the second straight game, giving him six goals this series, as the Giants took a … well … giant step forward toward eliminating the Winterhawks with a 5-3 win Friday. They now lead the series 3-1 and can close it out Saturday night at home.

Draft Watch
Portland winger Nino Niederreiter, expected to go in the top-10 this summer, scored Portland’s third goal to cut Vancouver’s lead to 5-3 late in the third. El Nino is 5-7-12 in 11 playoff games.

CHL Playoffs Game Night: 4-7-10

OHL

East-1 Barrie Colts 5 @ East-5 Brampton Battalion 2
Conference Semifinals, Game 4. Barrie wins Best of 7 Series 4-0
LW/C Alex Hutchings, BAR: Did not play.
Playoff Totals: 4 GP, 1-5-6, +6, 8 PIM
Season Totals: 68 GP, 47-34-81, +44, 58 PIM

Barrie swept their second straight series after easily handling Brampton 5-2 in Game 4. Hutchings, who is reportedly back practicing with the team, missed his fourth consecutive game with a groin injury. Barrie will now face either Ottawa or Mississauga in the East Finals. That series is tied at two games apiece. The loss by Brampton means the junior career of Canucks super-prospect Cody Hodgson comes to an end. Hodgson missed most of the season with a back injury. He’ll likely push for a Canucks job next season if he’s healthy. As for Hutchings, one would think with extended time off before the East Finals, he’ll be back healthy the next time the Colts take the ice.

Draft Watch
Windsor Spitfires 3 @ Plymouth Whalers 2 (OT)
Western Conference Semifinals, Game 4. Windsor wins series 4-0

The defending Memorial Cup champs disposed of the Whalers in four games, thus ending the head-to-head match-up between CSS No.1 Tyler Seguin (Plymouth) and CSS No.2 Taylor Hall (Windsor). Hall finished the series at 3-3-6, +6; Seguin, who doesn’t have a lot of help around him, was scoreless and -6 in the four games. For the playoffs, Hall is 9-7-16, +12 in 8 games; Seguin is still over a point-per-game at 5-5-10 in 9 games. Both tied for the OHL lead with 106 regular season points. With the Maple Leafs’ loss Wednesday night, the Lightning would have to win next Tuesday’s draft lottery to have a chance at one of these two prospects. The Lightning will likely end up picking third or fourth, which means Windsor defenseman Cam Fowler (CSS No.5) will be on their short list of choices. Fowler had an assist in Game 4 against Plymouth, giving him three for the series. He has six assists and no goals in eight playoff games this year. The Michigan native had 55 points (eight goals) in 55 regular season games.

WHL

Portland Winterhawks 3 @ Vancouver Giants 2
Conference Semifinals, Game 3. Vancouver leads Best of 7 Series 2-1
C/W/D James Wright, VAN: 2-0-2, E, 0 PIM, *Third Star*
Playoff Totals: 7 GP, 4-5-9, +5, 4 PIM
Season Totals: 21 GP, 6-13-19, -3, 17 PIM
With Tampa Bay: 43 GP, 2-3-5, -9, 18 PIM

Luca Sbisa, who began the season with the Philadelphia Flyers, scored on the power play at 2:20 of the third period to give the Winterhawks a 3-1 lead and helped them hang on for the win despite the other former NHLer in this series – former Bolt James Wright – scoring his second goal of the game with three minutes remaining. Portland is now firmly back into the series, which sees its next two games played in Vancouver this week. Wright has seven points (four goals) in the three games against Portland so far. Game 4 is Friday.

CHL Playoffs Game Night: 4-4-10

OHL

Barrie Colts 3 @ Brampton Battalion 2 (OT)
Conference Semifinals, Game 2. Barrie leads Best of 7 Series 2-0
LW/C Alex Hutchings, BAR: Did not play.
Playoff Totals: 4 GP, 1-5-6, +6, 8 PIM
Season Totals: 68 GP, 47-34-81, +44, 58 PIM

Hutchings missed his second consecutive game because of a groin injury he suffered late in the Sudbury series. According to the Barrie Examiner, he’s listed as day-to-day and it’s likely he’d return if the Colts faced a deficit in the series. The latest report said his status for Game 3 (Tuesday in Barrie) is unknown. In Game 2, Luke Pither (’89), an undrafted, 6-foot, 194- pound center who accumulated 94 points this season, scored his fourth of the playoffs at 3:32 of overtime to give the Colts a big two games to none lead in the series. Barrie is 6-0 in the playoffs.

WHL

Vancouver Giants 7 @ Portland Winterhawks 4
Conference Semifinals, Game 2. Vancouver leads Best of 7 Series 2-0
C/W/D James Wright, VAN: 1-1-2, +2, 0 PIM
Playoff Totals: 6 GP, 2-5-7, +5, 4 PIM
Season Totals: 21 GP, 6-13-19, -3, 17 PIM
With Tampa Bay: 43 GP, 2-3-5, -9, 18 PIM

The Giants remained undefeated in the playoffs by scoring four times in the first period en route to a 7-4 road win over Portland. Vancouver swept the Winterhawks in Oregon, averaging a snowman per game on the scoreboard. Wright now has five points in the series after scoring the Giants’ first goal, which tied the game a one halfway through the first. He added an assist on their empty net goal in the closing minute. Nino Niederreiter of Portland, a possible draft target of the Lightning this summer, had two assists in the game. The winger has 11 points (4-7-11) in nine playoff games so far. Portland now goes to Vancouver for the series’ next three games starting Wednesday.

CHL Playoffs Game Night: 4-3-10

QMJHL

No.5 Moncton Wildcats 4 @ No.4 Rouyn-Noranda Huskies 3 (OT)
Quarterfinals, Game 2. Moncton leads Best of 7 Series 2-0
D Mark Barberio, MCT: 0-1-1, +1, 0 PIM, 1 SOG
Playoff Totals: 7 GP, 2-5-7, +4, 2 PIM
Season Totals: 65 GP, 17-43-60, +39, 72 PIM

Daniel Pettersson (undrafted) scored his third of the playoffs at 2:43 of overtime to give the Wildcats a 4-3 victory and put the Huskies in a big 0-2 hole in the series heading back to Moncton. Barberio maintained his point-per-game average with an assist on the game’s opening goal.

WHL

West-2 Vancouver Giants 9 @ West-5 Portland Winterhawks 6
Conference Semifinals, Game 1. Vancouver leads Best of 7 Series 1-0
C/W/D James Wright, VAN: 1-2-3, +1, 2 PIM (roughing), *Third Star*
Playoff Totals: 5 GP, 1-4-5, +3, 4 PIM
Season Totals: 21 GP, 6-13-19, -3, 17 PIM
With Tampa Bay: 43 GP, 2-3-5, -9, 18 PIM

The Giants improved to 5-0 in the playoffs and drew first blood against Portland with a field-goal-heavy 9-6 win in Oregon. This game turned ugly in the late third as there was somewhat of a line brawl with about four minutes remaining, and more festivities as the final horn sounded. Wright’s first goal of the playoffs turned out to be the game winner as he gave the Giants a 7-5 lead midway through the third period. 5-foot-9 Brendan Gallagher (2011 draft) had four goals for Vancouver. Possible Lightning 2010 first round draft target Nino Niederreiter was scoreless and minus-1 in the game with four penalty minutes.

CHL Playoffs Game Night: 3-24-10

QMJHL

Atlantic-2 Moncton Wildcats 1 @ Atlantic-3 Cape Breton Screaming Eagles 4
First Round, Game 4. Moncton leads Best of 7 Series 3-1
D Mark Barberio, MCT: 0-1-1, E, 0 PIM, 3 SOG
Playoff Totals: 4 GP, 1-4-5, +2, 0 PIM
Season Totals: 65 GP, 17-43-60, +39, 72 PIM

Cape Breton already had a 4-0 lead before Barberio set up rookie Alex Saulnier on the power play late in the game. The series now returns to Moncton, where the Wildcats can dispose of the Screaming Eagles on Saturday. Barberio has a five-game point streak going back to the last game of the regular season.

OHL

East-1 Barrie Colts 6 @ East-8 Sudbury Wolves 3
Conference Quarterfinals, Game 4. Barrie wins Best of 7 Series 4-0
LW/C Alex Hutchings, BAR: 0-1-1, +3, 0 PIM
Playoff Totals: 4 GP, 1-5-6, +6, 8 PIM
Season Totals: 68 GP, 47-34-81, +44, 58 PIM
W Matias Sointu, SBY: 0-0-0, -3, 0 PIM
Playoff Totals: 4 GP, 0-3-3, -3, 0 PIM [/i]
Season Totals (OTT, SBY): 51 GP, 8-21-29, -3, 24 PIM

Although Sudbury scored first in their quest to extend the series, the game was really never close as Barrie struck back for 3-1 and 6-2 leads before the Wolves scored late to give the game its final score. Hutchings earned a point in each game of the series, and has an eight-game point streak going back to the regular season. In fact, he’s earned a point in 20 of his last 21 games. Sointu’s first year in North America is complete, and although it starter rather slowly, his production really took off late in the season when he became a big part of Sudbury’s offense. Sointu was a 2008 seventh round pick. His immediate future is unknown.

WHL

West-2 Vancouver Giants 5 @ West-7 Kamloops Blazers 4
Conference Quarterfinals, Game 4. Vancouver wins Best of 7 Series 4-0
C/W/D James Wright, VAN: 0-1-1, +2, 0 PIM
Playoff Totals: 4 GP, 0-2-2, +2, 2 PIM
Season Totals: 21 GP, 6-13-19, -3, 17 PIM
With Tampa Bay: 43 GP, 2-3-5, -9, 18 PIM

Wright set up the game winning goal when he found Brendan Gallagher (2010 eligible) with a pass with less than five minutes remaining in the third period. Gallagher split the Kamloops defense and potted the winner. The Giants had fallen behind 4-3 half-way through the third period, but battled back for another close win and completed the series sweep. While the 4-0 series win may look like a blowout, two of the games went to overtime and the final game was decided in the closing minutes.

CHL Playoffs Game Night: 3-23-10

QMJHL

Atlantic-2 Moncton Wildcats 3 @ Atlantic-3 Cape Breton Screaming Eagles 2 (OT)
First Round, Game 3. Moncton leads Best of 7 Series 3-0
D Mark Barberio, MCT: 0-1-1, +1, 0 PIM, 2 SOG
Playoff Totals: 3 GP, 1-3-4, +2, 0 PIM
Season Totals: 65 GP, 17-43-60, +39, 72 PIM

Moncton defenseman David Savard (Blue Jackets 4/09) scored at 14:53 of the first overtime to give the Wildcats a road win and a commanding 3-0 series lead over Cape Breton. Barberio set up Nicolas Deschamps (Ducks 2/08) early in the second period to give Moncton a 2-0 lead they’d relinquish late in the third period.

WHL

West-2 Vancouver Giants 5 @ West-7 Kamloops Blazers 4 (OT)
Conference Quarterfinals, Game 3. Vancouver leads Best of 7 Series 3-0
C/W/D James Wright, VAN: 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, *Third Star*
Playoff Totals: 3 GP, 0-0-0, +1, 2 PIM
Season Totals: 21 GP, 6-13-19, -3, 17 PIM
With Tampa Bay: 43 GP, 2-3-5, -9, 18 PIM

Vancouver took a huge step toward securing their first round series with Kamloops when Brett Breitkreuz (undrafted), acquired earlier in the year from Edmonton, scored at 2:28 of overtime to give the Giants a road win and 3-0 series lead. Wright is still looking for his first point of the playoffs, but was named the Game’s No.3 star – on the road, no less.

CHL Playoffs Game Night: 3-20-10

QMJHL

Atlantic-3 Cape Breton Screaming Eagles 0 @ Atlantic-2 Moncton Wildcats 6
First Round, Game 2. Moncton leads Best of 7 Series 2-0
D Mark Barberio, MCT: 1-0-1, +1, 0 PIM, 2 SOG
Playoff Totals: 2 GP, 1-2-3, +1, 0 PIM
Season Totals: 65 GP, 17-43-60, +39, 72 PIM

Barberio’s power play goal in the third period gave the Wildcats a 5-0 lead. It was his first career playoff goal. Game 3 is Tuesday in Sydney.

OHL

East-1 Barrie Colts 2 @ East-8 Sudbury Wolves 1
Conference Quarterfinals, Game 2. Barrie leads Best of 7 Series 2-0
LW/C Alex Hutchings, BAR: 0-1-1, E, 4 PIM (slashing, slashing)
Playoff Totals: 2 GP, 1-3-4, +4, 4 PIM
Season Totals: 68 GP, 47-34-81, +44, 58 PIM
W Matias Sointu, SBY: 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM
Playoff Totals: 2 GP, 0-3-3, E, 0 PIM [/i]
Season Totals (OTT, SBY): 51 GP, 8-21-29, -3, 24 PIM

Barrie’s Bryan Cameron (Kings 3/07) scored the tie-breaking goal early in the third period and the Colts held on for the win. Game 3 is Sunday in Barrie. Going back to the regular season, Hutchings has points in six consecutive games.

WHL

West-7 Kamloops Blazers 3 @ West-2 Vancouver Giants 6
Conference Quarterfinals, Game 2. Vancouver leads Best of 7 Series 2-0
C/W/D James Wright, VAN: 0-0-0, -1, 0 PIM
Playoff Totals: 2 GP, 0-0-0, +1, 2 PIM
Season Totals: 21 GP, 6-13-19, -3, 17 PIM
With Tampa Bay: 43 GP, 2-3-5, -9, 18 PIM

This was a convincing win for Vancouver, led by Craig Cunningham's (undrafted) two goals and three assists. The 5-9 forward had 97 points during the season and has seven already in two playoff games. Game 3 is Tuesday in Kamloops.

In other WHL news, East No.8 seed Moose Jaw has taken both early games from No.1 Calgary in Calgary.

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