It’s the beginning of May so it’s the beginning of the end.
Wait that’s far too dramatic, but the junior hockey season is wrapping up, and three Tampa Bay Lightning prospects are suiting up to play in the OHL and QMJHL finals.
In the QMJHL Alex Barré-Boulet and the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada have survived a rough ride through the Maritimes and are heading to the President’s Cup final for the second year in a row, hoping for a better result than a sweep that they had last season.
After sweeping Val d’Or in round one, and beating Moncton in five games, the Armada faced their first real challenge in the semi-finals where the Charlottetown Islanders took a 3-2 series lead before falling to the Armada in game seven. The series was a close one with three overtime games before BB won the series in a 6-1 blowout.
Their opponent, the Acadie-Bathurst Titan needed six games in round one to get past the Chicoutimi Sagueens, but after a game four loss the Titan have gone 10-0 in the playoffs, sweeping both the Sherbrooke Phoenix and the Victoriaville Tigres on their way to their first final since 2002 and hoping for their first Presidents Cup win since 1999.
In the playoffs Barré-Boulet has been scoring at a great rate, third on the Armada and in the QMJHL with 11 goals and 12 assists in 13 games.
You can watch the games via QMJHL Live for $25.99 (Make sure to select Acadie-Bathrust as your team if you want an English feed), and the schedule is below:
May 4th: Acadie-Bathurst @ Blainville-Boisbriand
May 5th: Acadie-Bathurst @ Blainville-Boisbriand
May 8th: Blainville-Boisbriand @ Acadie-Bathurst
May 9th: Blainville-Boisbriand @ Acadie-Bathurst
May 11th: Acadie-Bathurst @ Blainville-Boisbriand
May 13th: Blainville-Boisbriand @ Acadie-Bathurst
May 15th: Acadie-Bathurst @ Blainville-Boisbriand
Start times have not yet been announced, but most likely games will be at 7PM Eastern when in Blainville and 8PM Eastern (7PM Atlantic) when in Acadie-Bathurst.
In the OHL Taylor Raddysh and Boris Katchouk are looking to help the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds to finally get the elusive J. Ross Robertson Trophy that has been kept out of their reach by powerhouse teams from recent years like the Mitch Marner London Knights and Connor McDavid Erie Otters.
Raddysh is looking forward to what could be his final shot at the Memorial Cup, after losing in the finals last year with the Erie Otters, and making a solid case for himself to skip his overage year in the OHL next season. Both he and Katchouk were the OHL’s top playoff producers, with Boris scoring 28 points (15G, 13A) in 18 games and Taylor taking 27 points (12G, 15A) in 18 games.
The Greyhounds are coming out of a long and hard fought trip to the finals. After a sweep of the Saginaw Spirit, they needed 14 games to get past the next two rounds, defeating the Owen Sound Attack and Kitchener Rangers in seven game series, with game seven against Kitchener going to double overtime to decide the Western Conference champion.
Up against the Greyhounds is a Hamilton Bulldogs team making it past the first round for the first time since moving from Belleville three years ago. The Bulldogs had an easier path to the finals, defeating the Ottawa 67’s, Niagara IceDogs, and Kingston Frontenacs in five games each.
If you want to watch Raddysh and Katchouk, you can purchase the series on OHL Live for $29.99, and the schedule is below:
May 3rd: Hamilton Bulldogs @ Sault Ste. Marie - 7:07PM
May 5th: Hamilton Bulldogs @ Sault Ste. Marie - 7:07PM
May 7th: Sault Ste. Marie @ Hamilton Bulldogs - 7:00PM
Mat 9th: Sault Ste. Marie @ Hamilton Bulldogs - 7:00PM
May 11th: Hamilton Bulldogs @ Sault Ste. Marie - 7:07PM
Mat 13th: Sault Ste. Marie @ Hamilton Bulldogs - 2:00PM
May 15th: Hamilton Bulldogs @ Sault Ste. Marie - 7:07PM
With the Memorial Cup scheduled to start a week after the game sevens, we’ll have the chance to see multiple Bolts prospects playing in the tournament again this year, after last years (almost) all Bolts tournament.