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The CHL playoffs kick off tonight.

Terry Wilson / OHL Images

The first round of the NCAA playoffs has ended, and the CHL playoffs begin this weekend.

Ontario Hockey League

Alexei Lipanov (F)
Kitchener Rangers

Round 1 vs Guelph Storm
Game 1 - Away: Fri. March 22nd @ 7:30PM
Game 2 - Away: Sun. March 24th @ 2:30PM
Game 3 - Home: Tues. March 26th @ 7:00PM
Game 4 - Home: Thurs. March 28th @ 7:00PM
Game 5 - Away: Fri. March 29th @ 7:30PM
Game 6 - Home: Sun. March 31st @ 6:00PM
Game 7 - Away: Tues. April 2nd @ 7:00PM

You can stream the games via OHL Live

The Kitchener Rangers haven’t been a hot team in the OHL this season, but when it comes to facing off against their neighbors, they’re experts at beating them. The two teams each won four games in their eight game season series, with Kitchener winning the final game on March 10th 5-2.

With just 15 miles between the two arenas, it’s not much of a trip for either team. This is easily the best series in the OHL for a chance at an upset as the away team won’t get travel lagged.

Quebec Major Junior Hockey League

All games should be available on QMJHL Live

#9 - Gabriel Fortier (F)
Baie-Comeau Drakkar

Round 1 vs Moncton WIldcats

Game 1 - Home: Fri. March 22nd @ 7:30PM
Game 2 - Home: Sat. March 23rd @ 4:00PM
Game 3 - Away: Tues. March 26th @ 6:00PM
Game 4 - Away: Wed. March 27th @ 6:00PM
Game 5 - Away: Fri. March 29th @ 6:00PM
Game 6 - Home: Mon. April 1st @ 7:30PM
Game 7 - Home: Tues. April 2nd @ 7:30PM

The Drakkar finished the season as the second seed in the Eastern Conference, tied with #1 Halifax Mooseheads in points (102) and record (49-15-2-2). Halifax had one more Regulation/Overtime Win, so they got the top spot.

The Drakkar’s opponent is the Moncton Wildcats. They finished 27 points and 11 wins back, and shouldn’t put up too much of a fuss. With the travel being 730 miles between the two cities - mostly due to the fact that the nearest bridge across the St. Lawrence River is 257 miles south in Quebec City - the series is 2-3-2, with three away games in a row in Moncton.

This shouldn’t be a long series, I can see it wrapping up in Moncton. Both teams will be motivated to not go through that drive again, and the Drakkar are just a much more powerful team.

Radim Salda (D) / Jimmy Huntington (F)
Rimouski Oceanic

Round 1 vs Chicoutimi Sagueens

Game 1 - Home: Fri. March 22nd @ 7:30PM
Game 2 - Home: Sat. March 23rd @ 4:00PM
Game 3 - Away: Tues. March 26th @ 7:30PM
Game 4 - Away: Wed. March 27th @ 7:30PM
Game 5 - Home: Fri. March 29th @ 7:30PM
Game 6 - Away: Sun. March 31st @ 4:00PM
Game 7 - Home: Tues. April 2nd @ 7:30PM

Rimouski is the third seed in the Eastern Conference, and finished five wins and seven points ahead of their opponent, the Chicoutimi Sagueens. Rimouski is a much more offensively-powered team, scoring almost 60 more goals than their opponent (272 vs 218). They are also better defensively, allowing 40 fewer goals (173 vs 205). Yes, their goal differential was +99.

The team that gave us Sidney Crosby and Brad Richards should easily move on to the second round of the playoffs, where their opponents will be more their speed. It will most likely be the other Q team we want to win, the Baie-Comeau Drakkar.


NCAA

Ryan Lohin (F)
U. Mass-Lowell River Hawks

Eliminated from Hockey East Quarter-Finals by Boston University.

Game 1: L 3-0 -
Game 2: W 6-4
Game 3: L 4-1

The Riverhawks were eliminated from the Hockey East tournament by the #5 seed, and will have to wait for the NCAA bracket seedings to see if they’ll squeak into the best on best tournament.

Sadly, Ryan Lolinh managed only one assists in the three games played last weekend.

#20 - Ryan Zuhlsdorf (D) / #26 - Sammy Walker (F)
U. Minnesota Golden Gophers

Eliminated from Big10 semi-finals by Notre Dame in a 2-1 overtime loss.

A close game gave the Gohpers the heave-ho from the chance at a Big10 title. Sammy Walker assisted on the lone Minnesota goal.

#19 - Cole Guttman (F)
U. Denver PIoneers

Defeated North Dakota in NCHC Quarter-finals.

Game 1: W 2-0
Game 2: W 4-2

The Pioneers played a great series against the Fighting Hawks, and Cole Guttman had one goal and one assist in game two.

This weekend is the NCHC finals, and Denver will take the on University of Minnesota-Duluth tonight at 5:08PM ET. You can stream the game at the CBS Sports Network.

If they win tonight, they will play either Colorado College or St. Cloud State in the final on Saturday night, then move on to the NCAA bracket.

#14 - Nicklaus Perbix (D)
St. Cloud State Huskies

Defeated University of Miami (Ohio) in NCHC Quarter-Finals.

Game 1: W 5-2
Game 2: W 6-3

Perbix went pointless in the series, but came out a +2 on defense. The Huskies are in the opposite bracket as Denver, and will play Colorado College in the semifinals tonight at 8:38PM ET, then, hopefully play Denver in the finals so we can have an all-Lightning final.

Alex Green (D)
Cornell Big Red

Defeated Union College in ECAC Quarter-Finals 2-1

Ga7me 1: Fri March 15th - L 3-2
Game 2: Sat March 16th - W 4-0
Game 3: Sun March 17th - W 4-2

After dropping game one, Cornell went on to win the ECAC quarter-finals. Alex Green scored once in game two to help seal the win.

Tonight they’ll play surprise #8 seed Brown University at 4:00PM in the semi-finals, with the championship game Saturday night at 7:30PM against either Clarkson or Harvard.

Cole Koepke (F)
U. Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs

Defeated Omaha in NCHC Quarter-finals 2-0.
Game 1: W 2-1
Game 2: W 4-1

The Bulldogs will play the Pioneers in the NCHC semi-finals after an easy victory over Omaha. The game is at 5:08PM ET and you can stream the game at the CBS Sports Network.

If they win tonight, they will play either Colorado College or St. Cloud State in the final on Saturday night, then move on to the NCAA bracket.

Ty Taylor (G)
U. New Hampshire Wildcats

Lost Hockey East quarter-finals vs U. Massachusetts 2-0.

Game 1: L 5-4 2OT
Game 2: L 6-0

After a double overtime barn burner, the Wildcats had no more gas in the tank and dropped a giant shutout loss to Massachusetts.

Taylor played his final 45:23 of the season in game two. He came in after starter Mike Robinson let in four goals on five shots.

His season is over, but he’ll be back next season with hopefully more starts.


This is a big weekend for the college kids, and we may see more seasons come to an end. I’ll get a results post up after the NCAA bracket is released.