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CHL Playoffs Game Night: 3-28-18

Quebec Major Junior Hockey League

#1 Blainville-Boisbriand Armada 4 @ #16 Val-d’Or Foreurs 1 (Game 4)
Round of 16
Armada wins series 4-0

C Alex Barré-Boulet , BLB: Did not play
Playoff Totals: 2 GP, 2-2-4, +6, 4 PIM
Season Totals: 65 GP, 53-66-116, +28, 67 PIM
’16-’17 Totals: 65 GP, 29-52-81, +10, 42 PIM

Barre-Boulet missed his second straight game, but the Armada didn’t miss a beat behind a goal and three points from Alexander Katerinakis (2018 draft eligible). After a scoreless 1st period, the two teams traded 2nd period goals before Drake Batherson (OTT, 2017 4th round pick) scored just past the midpoint of the 3rd for what would be the game and series winner. Katerinakis scored and assisted on two empty netters late in the game as Val-d’Or threw everything at the Armada to keep the series alive. The Armada are the first to punch their ticket to the quarterfinals. The QMJHL playoff bracket is re-seeded after the first round, so it may be later in the weekend before Blainville-Boisbraind’s next opponent is named.

#1 Blainville-Boisbriand Armada 4 @ #16 Val-d’Or Foreurs 2 (Game 3)

On Tuesday night, the series shifted to Val-d’Or for Game 3, giving a spark to the Foreurs who twice led 1-0 and 2-1 in the 2nd period after a scoreless 1st period. But the Armada scored three straight down the stretch to take a 3-0 series lead. Barre-Boulet was scratched with an apparent injury.

#4 Halifax Mooseheads 8 @ #13 Baie-Comeau Drakkar 1 (Game 4)
Round of 16
Mooseheads leads series 3-1

C/W Otto Somppi, HAL: Injury Scratch
Playoff Totals: 1 GP, 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM
Season Totals: 59 GP, 28-55-83, +39, 28 PIM
’16-’17 Totals: 60 GP, 17-24-41, -7, 28 PIM

A night after losing Game 3 in Baie-Comeau, the Mooseheads came out firing on all cylinders, running up a snowman on the scoreboard and splitting the games on Drakkar home ice. Blue Jackets free agent signee Maxime Fortier scored twice and Xavier Parent (2019 draft eligible) notched three assists to pace Halifax to the win. Somppi missed this third straight game. Both teams take a night off before coming back in Baie-Comeau for Game 5 on Friday night.

#4 Halifax Mooseheads 2 @ #13 Baie-Comeau Drakkar 4 (Game 3)
#13 Baie-Comeau Drakkar 3 @ #4 Halifax Mooseheads 5 (Game 2)

After getting injured in Game 1, Somppi was an injury scratch for Game 2 on Saturday night, but the Mooseheads powered through without Otto to take a 2-0 series lead. Halifax got goals from five players and Joel Bishop (undrafted) led the way with a goal and three points. The Drakkar twice tied the game, before Benoit Olivier-Groulx (2018 draft eligible) and Xavier Parent (2019 draft eligible) scored goals in the 3rd period to deliver a Halifax win.

On Tuesday night, the series shifted to Baie-Comeau and the Drakkar did not disappoint the 1800+ fans at the Centre Henry-Leonard, delivering a 4-2 win behind two goals from Gabriel Fortier (2018 draft eligible). The Mooseheads got off to a 1st period 2-0 lead, but the Drakkar scored four unanswered. Somppi was an injury scratch for the second straight playoff game.

Ontario Hockey League

#1 Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds 5 @ #8 Saginaw Spirit 3 (Game 4)
Western Conference Quarterfinals
Greyhounds wins series 4-0

W Boris Katchouk, SSM: 3-0-3, +1, 0 PIM, 4 SOG, *First Star*
Playoff Totals: 4 GP, 6-3-9, +5, 4 PIM
Season Totals: 58 GP, 42-43-85, +53, 30 PIM
’16-’17 Season: 66 GP, 35-29-64, +18, 46 PIM

W Taylor Raddysh, SSM: 0-0-0, -1, 2 PIM, 2 SOG, 0/5 FO
Playoff Totals: 4 GP, 4-2-6, +1, 4 PIM
Season Totals (SSM): 28 GP, 18-21-39, +14, 14 PIM
Season Totals (ER): 30 GP, 15-29-44, +10, 16 PIM
Season Totals: 58 GP, 33-50-83, +24, 30 PIM
‘16-‘17 Totals: 58 GP, 42-67-109, +67, 37 PIM

The Soo punched their ticket to the Western Conference semifinals behind an empty net hat trick by Lightning prospect Boris Katchouk, who now leads the OHL playoffs in goals and points. Katchouk earned the First Star after knotting the score 1-1 with his first goal, and then a power play goals later before getting the hat trick with empty net insurance marker with 71 seconds remaining with the Spirit pulling out all stops in hopes of extending the series. The OHL reseeds the bracket after each round, so it will be later in the weekend before the Soo’s next opponent is determined.

#8 Saginaw Spirit 0 @ #1 Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds 8 (Game 2)
#1 Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds 7 @ #8 Saginaw Spirit 3 (Game 3)

In Game 2 on Sunday afternoon, the Soo pasted a snowman on the scoreboard and Matthew Villalta (LAK, 2017 3rd round pick) pitched a 21-save shutout. Morgan Frost (PHI, 2017 1st round pick) and Jack Kopacka (ANA, 2016 4th round pick) each scored a pair of goals, and Katchouk scored a goal and an assist, both on the power play.

On Monday night, the series shifted to Saginaw for Game 3 and the Soo continuing to light the lamp, scoring seven goals to take a 3-0 stranglehold on the series. The Wonder Twins, Bolt prospects Taylor Raddysh and Boris Katchouk, earned First and Second Stars respectively, with both players notching a pair of goals and Raddysh three points on the night. With the scored tied 2-2 after two periods, Katchouk and Hayden Verbeek scored 13 seconds apart to break open the game, with the Soo going on to scored three more times in the 3rd. Verbeek, nephew of Lightning AGM, and Director of Player Personnel Pat Verbeek, signed a free agent three-year entry level contract late last week with the Montreal Canadiens. Both of Raddysh’s goals were on the power play.

Western Hockey League

#3 Kelowna Rockets 3 @ #7 Tri-City Americans 5 (Game 3)
Western Conference Quarterfinals
Americans lead series 3-0

D Cal Foote, KEL: 0-0-0, -1, 1 PIM, 1 SOG
Playoffs Totals: 3 GP, 1-3-4, -4, 2 PIM
Season Totals: 60 GP, 19-51-70, +31, 46 PIM
‘15-‘16 Totals: 71 GP, 6-51-57, +39, 41 PIM

After sweeping the Rockets 2-0 in Kelowna, the series shifted to the Toyota Center in Kennewick, Washington, but Morgan Geekie (CAR, 2017 3rd round pick) kept it rolling scoring his 5th and 6th goals of the series and 2017 #9 overall Red Wings pick Michael Rasmussen scored and notched a three-point night. The Americans now have a shocking 3-0 stranglehold on the series and can clinch a spot in the Western Conference semifinals with a sweep on Thursday night.

#7 Tri-City Americans 9 @ #3 Kelowna Rockets 7 (Game 2)

Game 2 last Saturday night in Kelowna was a wild affair, with the teams combining for sixteen goals. Bolt prospect Cal Foote earned First Star honors in a losing effort with a goal and three assists, and Kole Lind (VAN, 2017 2nd round pick) scored twice and also had a four point night for the Rockets. But the Nolan Yaremko (undrafted) would lead the Americans with an empty hat trick and Morgan Geekie (CAR, 2017 3rd round pick), Michael Rasmussen (DET, 2017 1st round pick), and Isaac Johnson (2018 draft eligible) would all score twice and notch four points each

#1 Moose Jaw Warriors 2 @ #8 Prince Albert Raiders 0 (Game 4)
Eastern Conference Quarterfinals
Warriors lead series 3-1

D Oleg Sosunov, MJ: 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 1 SOG
Playoff Totals: 4 GP, 0-0-0, -1, 0 PIM
Season Totals: 71 GP, 7-19-26, +35, 62 PIM
’16-‘17 Totals (MHL-Russia): 32 GP, 0-0-0, +1, 79 PIM

Brody Willms pitched a 32-save shutout for the Warriors, as Moose Jaw takes a 3-1 lead in the series. Game 5 shifts back to the Mosaic Place Saturday night, with the Raiders facing elimination.

#8 Prince Albert Raiders 2 @ #1 Moose Jaw Warriors 3 (OT) (Game 2)
#1 Moose Jaw Warriors 5 @ #8 Prince Albert Raiders 4 (Game 4)

In Game 2 last Saturday night, former Lighting prospect Brett Howden who was traded to the Rangers organization at the deadline in the McDonagh and Miller trade, scored twice for the Warriors to help secure Moose Jaw’s first win of the series.

For Game 3, the series moved to Prince Albert Tuesday night and saw Arizona Coyote free agent signee Brayden Burke score twice and Howden adding a goal and an assist to pace the Warriors to a 2-1 series lead.

Crunch Beat Devils, Extend Win Streak to Six Games


By Jeremy Houghtaling

The Syracuse Crunch were opportunistic early.

The Crunch netted three goals in the first period and cruised to a 5-1 win over the Binghamton Devils at the Onondaga County War Memorial Wednesday. Syracuse has won six straight and has points in 15 of the last 16 games.

“We had a very slow start in the first period, but we were very opportunistic,” Crunch head coach Benoit Groulx said. “(Goalie) Connor Ingram was obviously very ready to play. He had to make some stops early in the game. … We did some good things, but I don’t think we were consistent enough.”

NHL Game Night: 3-26-18 Coyotes at Lightning

Upstart Coyotes humiliate Lightning.

AZ-4
TB-1

Louis Domingue allowed 3 goals on 34 shots for the loss.

First Period
NO SCORING

Second Period
10:45 AZ Murphy (1), (Martinook, Cousins)
17:22 AZ Chychrun (3), (Panik, Keller)(PP)

Third Period
10:28 AZ Perlini (17), (Strome, Connauton)
14:37 TB Kucherov (38), (Miller, Hedman)(PP)
19:52 AZ Keller (23), (Goligoski)(EN)

The Lightning got outshot 35-20 in their own barn by a young team that had nothing to play for but pride. 35-20? Hard work beats talent when talent doesn't work hard. Yeah, I guess Stamkos out day-to-day hurts the continuity, but c'mon. 35-20?

Now the scene turns to a high-stakes battle for control of the division against Boston on Thursday with the Lightning looking extremely mortal over the past couple of weeks. Put up or shut up time is fast approaching.

Slater Koekkoek had 2 shots and 2 hits in 7:37.

Anthony Cirelli was 47% on 17 draws in 17:53.

Adam Erne had 1 shot in 3:52.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

Stephens, Ingram Lift Crunch Over Comets


By Jeremy Houghtaling

For the Crunch and Comets, it felt like the playoffs came early.

The two teams battled for 50 scoreless minutes before Mitchell Stephens crashed the net to put Syracuse on the board, as the Crunch topped the Utica Comets, 2-0, at the Onondaga County War Memorial Saturday.

Syracuse has won five straight games, and has points in 13 of its last 14 contests.

“The way that this series has been against Utica throughout the year, it’s becoming more and more like playoff hockey. Tonight was a classic example of playoff hockey,” Stephens said. “It was 0-0 going into the third. For us to bear down and come away with that win. … It goes to show we’re working for 60 minutes.”

NHL Game Night: 3-24-18 Lightning at Devils

Gritty Devils outlast Lightning.

TB-1
NJ-2

Andrei Vasilevskiy allowed 2 goals on 31 shots for the loss. I thought he dropped a pretty bad rebound in his crease on the first goal allowed and that ultimately was the margin in this one.

First Period
17:51 NJ Hischier (18), (Butcher, Mueller)

Second Period
10:59 NJ Palmieri (21), (Zacha, Hall)

Third Period
4:22 TB Palat (9), (Sergachev, Point)(PP)

New Jersey played last night so this game, on paper, should've been a schedule loss on paper for them. But they're trying to hang onto playoff position and they played a really high intensity, gritty game that the Lightning didn't match up to for 40 minutes. Between that and the fact Kincaid outplayed Vasilevskiy, the Lightning ended up on the wrong side of this one despite outshooting, outchancing, and outpossessing New Jersey for several stretches, especially in the Third Period.

Anthony Cirelli had 2 shots and 1 hit and was 54% on 13 draws in 14:04.

Adam Erne had 1 shot, 1 hit, and 2 blocked shots in 9:43.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

AHL Game Night: 3-24-18 Comets at Crunch

Ingram blanks Comets in goaltending duel.

UTI-0
SYR-2

Connor Ingram stopped all 23 shots he faced for the SO victory. The performance raised his save percentage up for the season to the .910 plateau.

First Period
NO SCORING

Second Period
NO SCORING

Third Period
12:21 SYR Stephens (19), (Dumont, Masin)
19:57 SYR Cernak (5), (Peca, Condra)(EN)

Ingram and Mitchell Stephens were the game's first and second stars. Stephens with the gritty GWG to break a 12 game goalless drought and put him just one shy of the 20 goal mark for this rookie campaign.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

CHL Playoffs Game Night: 3-23-18

Quebec Major Junior Hockey League

#16 Val-d’Or Foreurs 1 @ #1 Blainville-Boisbriand Armada 5
Round of 16
Armada leads series 2-0

C Alex Barré-Boulet , BLB: 1-1-2, +3, 2 PIM, 11 SOG, 7/14 FO
Season Totals: 65 GP, 53-66-116, +28, 67 PIM
Playoff Totals: 2 GP, 2-2-4, +6, 4 PIM
’16-’17 Totals: 65 GP, 29-52-81, +10, 42 PIM

Barre-Boulet assisted on linemate Alexandre Alain’s (undrafted) goal just 10 seconds into Game #2 and Alain would score again on the power just 74 seconds before the end of the 1st as the Armada jumped to an early 2-0 lead. Alain earned First Star honors for the second straight game and already has 4 goals in the playoffs. Barre-Boulet would later score a goal of his own in the 2nd and Drake Batherson (OTT, 2017 4th round pick) would notch a goal and two assists as the Armada dug a two-loss series hole for the Foreurs. The series shifts to the Centre Air Creebec in Val-d’Or for Game #3 on Tuesday night.

#13 Baie-Comeau Drakkar 2 @ #4 Halifax Mooseheads 5
Round of 16
Mooseheads lead series 1-0

C/W Otto Somppi, HAL: 0-0-0, E, 0 PIMs, 0 SOG, 2/5 FO
Season Totals: 59 GP, 28-55-83, +39, 28 PIM
Playoff Totals: 1 GP, 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM
’16-’17 Totals: 60 GP, 17-24-41, -7, 28 PIM

The kickoff of the 2018 QMJHL playoffs continued Friday with Game #1 of the series between #13 seed Baie-Comeau Drakkar against #4 seed Halifax Mooseheads. Halifax finished second in the Maritimes Division, just a scant three points back from division winner Acadie-Bathurst Titan.

Bolt prospect Otto Somppi left the game in the 2nd period with an apparent upper body injury after a taking a Drakkar hit and will be evaluated on Saturday. Blue Jackets free agent signee and Moosehead captain Maxime Fortier led Halifax with two goals and Alexis Gravel, one of the top 2018 draft eligible goalies, made 36 saves as the Mooseheads gutted out a win in a penalty-filled affair. Game #2 is Saturday night right back at the Scotiabank Centre in Halifax.
.

Ontario Hockey League

#8 Saginaw Spirit 2 @ #1 Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds 5
Western Conference Quarterfinals
Greyhounds lead series 1-0

W Boris Katchouk, SSM: 0-2-2, +2, 0 PIM, 4 SOG, *Third Star*
Season Totals: 58 GP, 42-43-85, +53, 30 PIM
Playoff Totals: 1 GP, 0-2-2, +2, 0 PIM
’16-’17 Season: 66 GP, 35-29-64, +18, 46 PIM

W Taylor Raddysh, SSM: 2-0-2, +2, 0 PIM, 6 SOG, 5/9 FO, *First Star*
Season Totals (SSM): 28 GP, 18-21-39, +14, 14 PIM
Season Totals (ER): 30 GP, 15-29-44, +10, 16 PIM
Season Totals: 58 GP, 33-50-83, +24, 30 PIM
Playoff Totals: 1 GP, 2-0-2, +2, 0 PIM
‘16-‘17 Totals: 58 GP, 42-67-109, +67, 37 PIM

The kickoff of the 2018 OHL playoffs continued Friday with Game #1 of the Western Conference quarterfinals series between #8 seed Saginaw Spirit against #1 seed and winner of the OHL best regular season record of 55-7-3-3 Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds

Bolt prospect Taylor Raddysh broke open a 1-1 game in the 2nd period with a pair of back-to-back late in the period to give the Soo a 3-1 lead heading to 2nd intermission. Fellow Bolt prospect Boris Katchouk assisted on both of Raddysh’s goals, with Raddysh earning First Star honors and Katchouk named as the Third Star. Right-hand blueliner Mac Hollowell (2018 draft eligible) scored once for the Soo and contributed a pair of assists. Game #2 is scheduled for Sunday afternoon back at the Essar Centre.

Western Hockey League

#8 Prince Albert Raiders 5 @ #1 Moose Jaw Warriors 3
Eastern Conference Quarterfinals
Raiders lead series 1-0

D Oleg Sosunov, MJ: 0-0-0, +1, 0 PIM, 0 SOG
Season Totals: 71 GP, 7-19-26, +35, 62 PIM
Playoff Totals: 1 GP, 0-0-0, +1, 0 PIM
’16-‘17 Totals (MHL-Russia): 32 GP, 0-0-0, +1, 79 PIM

The kickoff of the 2018 WHL playoffs continued Friday with Game #1 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals series between #8 seed Prince Albert Raiders against #1 seed and Eastern Conference-best with a 52-15-2-3 record Moose Jaw Warriors.

Much like Thursday night when the upstart Tri-City Americans rolled into Kelowna and served up some notice, likewise, the Raiders pulled into Mosaic Place serving up the same to the Warriors in the form of a 5-3 win. Jordy Stallard (WPG, 2016 5th round pick) scored twice for Prince Albert in the 1st and Cole Fonstad (2018 draft eligible) scored twice in the 2nd to put the game out of reach for Moose Jaw. These two teams square off for Game #2 Saturday night back at Mosaic Place.

Juniors Game Night: 3-23-18

United States Hockey League

** Note: Cole Guttman (Dubuque) was placed on injured reserved on December 22nd following the completion of the World Junior A Challenge tournament.

Omaha Lancers 2 @ Fargo Force 8

D Nick Perbix , OMA: 0-0-0, E, 16 PIM, 2 SOG
Season Totals: 48 GP, 4-19-23, +9, 32 PIM
’16-‘17 Totals (HS): 25 GP, 10-30-40, 6 PIM
Committed to: St. Cloud State University

What’s worse than losing 7-1 in Fargo? How about losing 8-2 the very next night. Things turned ugly after the Lancers lost back-to-back games by a combined score of 15-3, as the two teams racked up a combined 182 minutes of penalties in this second match. Eight of the game’s ten goals were scored on the power play, including both of Omaha’s and six of Fargo’s eight. Bolt prospect Nick Perbix doubled his season penalty minutes totals with three minors and a game misconduct. Burn the tape of this trip to Fargo.

Sioux City Musketeers 2 @ Des Moines Buccaneers 3 (SO)

F Sammy Walker, SC: 0-1-1, +1, 0 PIM, 5 SOG
Season Totals (USHL): 7 GP, 0-3-3, -3, 4 PIM
’16-’17 Totals (USHL): 4 GP, 0-0-0, -3, 6 PIM
Season Totals (HS): 31 GP, 35-44-79, 16 PIM
’16-‘17 Totals (HS): 25 GP, 22-24-46, 6 PIM
Committed to: University of Minnesota

Walker setup Cole Koepke (Minnesota-Duluth commit) for a 1st period goal to knot the score at 1-1. For those of you not scoring at home, that’s three assists in Walker’s first three games back with the Musketeers. That line of Walker, Koepke and Dylan Mills (Niagara commit) have scored in each of those three games. Sioux City Head Coach Luke Strand threw the trio out as the first three shooters in the shootout, but the Musketeers fell short 3-2 in a six-frame shootout.

AHL Game Night: 3-23-18 Sound Tigers at Crunch

Verhaeghe paces Crunch past Sound Tigers.

BRI-1
SYR-4

Eddie Pasquale allowed just 1 goal on 23 shots for the victory.

First Period
5:00 SYR Verhaeghe (12), (Joseph, Bodie)(PP)

Second Period
2:00 SYR Walcott (4), (Lynch, Volkov)

Third Period
6:28 BRI Bailey (15), (Aho, St. Denis)(PP)
12:27 SYR Verhaeghe (13), (Peca, Spencer)
19:42 SYR Lynch (12), (Volkov)(EN)

Carter Verhaeghe, Daniel Walcott, and Pasquale were the game's three stars.

Syracuse hits the 40 win mark for the season with the victory.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

Verhaeghe Scores Twice in Crunch's Win Over Sound Tigers


By Jeremy Houghtaling

Despite going up against his former team, Carter Verhaeghe tried to treat it like any other game.

The Crunch forward netted a pair of goals against Sound Tigers goalie Kristers Gudlevskis — the player he was traded for — as Syracuse beat Bridgeport, 4-1, at the Onondaga County War Memorial Friday.

The Crunch have won four straight games and have a point in 12 of their last 13 games.

“It’s good seeing a couple familiar faces out there — guys that I’ve played with and are still friends. But I think I just went into it trying to play a hockey game and treat it like any other,” said Verhaeghe, who played his former team on the road earlier this season. “It was a little different going back to Bridgeport, but it made it a little easier being at home here for sure.”

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