Four Lightning CHL prospects are in playoff action starting tonight in the OHL and WHL. A look at the matchups:
Ontario Hockey League â€“ Eastern Conference
3 â€“ Mississauga (43-21-0-4) vs. 6 â€“ Sudbury (29-30-3-6)
Chris Lawrence and the IceDogs had the second best record in the Eastern Conference this year, but will have the No. 3 seed as East Division Champion Belleville automatically gets the No. 2. Mississauga and Sudbury split in 6 games this year, with one of Sudburyâ€™s 3 wins coming in a shootout. Lawrence led all IceDogs in scoring against the Wolves this year with 4-3-7 in the 6 games. The series begins tonight in Mississauga. Lawrence and IceDogs did not make the playoffs last season.
London 6 @ Erie 4
Kevin Beech did indeed get the Otters' final start of the season and it will be the last start of Beech's junior career as he is an overager. Beech gave up 7 goals on 39 shots last night in 2 periods. Tonight, Beech gave up 6 on 33 shots for the game. Usually outshot by a large margin night in and night out, the lowly Otters had 60 shots in their favor. Erie finishes the year with a record of 15-50-1-2.
Beech's season stat line (Sudbury, Erie): 19-29-2-4, 3.92 GAA, .891 sv%, 1 shutout.
Kingston 3 @ Mississauga 4
Chris Lawrence had an assist as the IceDogs finished their regular season with a win over the Frontenacs. He had an even rating for the game. Mississauga will play either Sudbury or Ottawa in the first round.
Lawrence's season stat line: 64 GP, 47-41-88, +29, 113 PIM.
Guelph 5 @ Owen Sound 4
Marek Bartanus was scoreless and even with a fight as the Attack lost at home to the Storm. Owen Sound will get the "honor" of playing top seeded London in the first round of the playoffs.
Bartanus's season stat line: 57 GP, 6-14-20, -9, 56 PIM.
Vancouver 0 @ Everett 2
Dane Crowley was scoreless as the Silvertips finished out their regular season with a home win over the Giants. Crowley was scoreless and even. Everett will play Spokane in the first round of the WHL playoffs.
Crowley's season stat line (Swift Current, Everett): 62 GP, 8-28-36, +1, 124 PIM.
Prince George 2 @ Kelowna 3
Vladimir Mihalik had an assist and a fight in the Cougar's final game of the season - a 3-2 loss to Kelowna. Prince George plays Kamloops in the first round.
Mihalik's season stat line: 53 GP, 7-19-26, +2, 91 PIM.
Peterborough 3 @ Mississauga 9
Chris Lawrence had a hat trick to keep pace with Lightning center Vincent Lecavalier for the organizational lead in goal scoring. Lawrence scored his 45th, 46th, and 47th goals for the IceDogs, while adding 2 assists for a 5 point night. Lecavalier scored his 47th and 48th in a loss to Buffalo tonight. Lawrence was also plus-5 as the top line of Jadran Beljo (2+4), Michael Swift (2+4), and Lawrence (3+2) combined for 17 points and a plus-15 rating. The line also swept the three stars, with the center, Swift (undrafted), getting first, Lawrence second and Beljo (undrafted) third.
Erie 3 @ London 9
Kevin Beech may have played his last junior game tonight. Unfortunately, it's one he'll likely want to forget. Beech, an overager, started for the Otters and allowed 7 goals on 39 shots through two periods before being pulled. Erie plays their last game of a forgettable season tomorrow night at home to the OHL leading Knights. If you thought Lawrence and his linemates had a good night, likely 2007 top-2 pick Patrick Kane had 4 goals and 3 assists for London in the game.
Owen Sound 2 @ Kitchener 4
Marek Bartanus was scoreless and even in the Attack's 4-2 loss in Kitchener.
Prince George 0 @ Vancouver 2
This was a meaningless game for the Cougars, but they could have at least given an effort. Prince George only put up 14 shots in the shutout loss. Vladimir Mihalik was scoreless and had 4 PIM (checking-from-behind, hooking).
Everett 1 @ Tri-City 3
Another meaningless game for Everett, who has clinched home ice throughout the playoffs. This is the Silvertips third loss in a row, but they remain resting their stars for the postseason. Dane Crowley was back from his one-game vacation and was scoreless, even, and had 2 PIM (delay of game).
Windsor 4 @ Owen Sound 9
At the end of the first period, Owen Sound was down 4-1 to the league's second-worst team. Whatever Owen Sound's coach, Mike Stothers, said in the lockerroom worked as the Attack scored eight unanswered goals in the final two periods to beat the Spitfires 9-4. Marek Bartanus had a goal for Owen Sound, his sixth of the year. He was also plus-3.
Saginaw 5 @ Erie 2
Kevin Beech was back in the nets tonight for Erie after sitting for two-plus games, and allowed 4 goals on 42 shots before watching as Saginaw scored an empty net goal to end the game.
Kamloops 2 @ Prince George 4
Prince George erased a 2-0 deficit with 4 straight goals to beat Kamloops for the second consecutive night on home ice. Vladimir Mihalik was scoreless and plus-1.
Everett 3 @ Tri-City 5
Dane Crowley had an assist and was minus-2 for Everett in their loss in Tri-City. Everett only managed 20 shots on goal.
Stats for Lightning prospects in the Canadian Hockey League as of March 5, 2007:
SLU = Since Last Update (January 29)
*= Team leader in that category
Skaters: Goals-Assists-Points, Plus/Minus Rating, Penalties in Minutes
Goalies: Wins-Losses-Overtime/Shootout Losses, Goals Against Average, Save Percentage, Shutouts
Ontario Hockey League
Left Wing, Owen Sound Attack (30-28-6; 4th of 5 in Midwest Division; Clinched playoff berth)
6-4, 220 lbs.
Drafted: 2005 â€“ 4th Round
SLU: 15 Games Played; 1-2-3, -3, 8 PIM
2006-07: 53 Games Played; 5-14-19, -12, 49 PIM
2005-06: 49 Games Played; 7-12-19, -14, 47 PIM
Goaltender, Erie Otters (15-45-3; 5th of 5 in Midwest Division; Last in OHL)
6-4, 180 lbs.
Drafted: 2005 â€“ 6th Round
2006-07 (Erie): 20 Games Played; 4-12-1, 5.08 GAA, .888 sv%, 0 S.O.
2006-07 (Sudbury): 36 Games Played; 15-14-5, 3.16 GAA, .898 sv%, 1 S.O.
2006-07 (totals): 56 Games Played; 19-26-6, 3.79 GAA, .894 sv%, 1 S.O.
2005-06 (Sudbury): 63 Games Played; 33-25-4, 2.94 GAA, .906 sv%, 0 S.O.
Right Wing/Center, Mississauga IceDogs (38-21-3; 2nd of 5 in Central Division; Clinched playoff berth)
6-4, 217 lbs.
Drafted: 2005 â€“ 3rd Round
SLU: 14 Games Played; 7-8-15, +4, 23 PIM
2006-07: 58 Games Played; 42*-38-80, +29, 111 PIM
2005-06: 67 Games Played; 23-30-53, -20, 91 PIM (with SSM/Miss.)
Current OHL Rankings: 5th in goals, 18th in points
Western Hockey League
Defense, Everett Silvertips (51-12-3; 1st of 5 in American Division; 1st in WHL; Clinched playoff berth)
6-3, 208 lbs.
Drafted: 2006 â€“ 6th Round
SLU: 17 Games Played; 1-5-6, +2, 24 PIM
2006-07 (Everett): 24 Games Played; 4-9-13, +14, 26 PIM
2006-07 (Sw.Ct.): 33 Games Played; 4-15-19, -2, 96 PIM
2006-07 (Totals): 57 Games Played; 8-24-32, +12, 122 PIM
2005-06 (SK/SC): 71 Games Played; 1-20-21, -15, 149 PIM
Defense, Prince George Cougars (30-28-8; 3rd of 5 in B.C. Division; Clinched playoff berth)
6-8, 241 lbs.
Drafted: 2005 â€“ 1st Round
SLU: 18 Games Played; 2-9-11, +1, 31 PIM
2006-07: 47 Games Played; 7-18-25, -1, 80 PIM
2005-06: 62 Games Played; 3-9-12, -12, 86 PIM (with Red Deer)