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Bolts in the pipeline: Round two begins

It was a great playoff round for the prospects in the OHL, with all of them moving on to their second round. In the Q only one team of Bolts prospects — the Saint John Sea Dogs — are moving on to round two, and all of the WHL prospects are out of the playoffs.

The CHL’s loss is Syracuse’s gain as almost all of the eliminated prospects are now with the Crunch.

Round two begins tonight, so let’s get to the summaries.

Ontario Hockey League

Matthew Spencer (D)  / Christopher Paquette (F) / Jonne Tammela (F)
0G, 2A, +5 / 0G, 1A, +1 / Did Not Play
Peterborough Petes
Petes sweep series vs Niagara IceDogs 4-0

March 28th – Away
W 4-3 OT – 0G, 0A, +1 / No Points / Did Not Play
March 30th – Away
W 6-2 – 0G, 2A, +4 / 0G, 1A, +1 / Did Not Play

The Peterborough Petes swept the Niagara IceDogs in round one. They will host the Kingston Frontenacs in round two. The Fronts upset the young Hamilton Bulldogs, so they could be a bigger challenge than expected for the Petes. The odds are still in the top Eastern team’s favour though and they should move on to the conference finals.

Mitchell Stephens (F) – 2G, 0A, +1
London Knights defeat Windsor Spitfires: 4-3

March 28th – Away
L 3-1 – No Points
March 30th – Away
L 3-2 OT – 0G, 0A, -1
March 31st – Home
W 2-1 – 1G, 0A, +2
April 2nd – Away
W 5-3 – 1G, 0A, +1
April 4th – Home
W 3-2 – 0G, 0A, -1

The defending OHL Champions eliminated the Memorial Cup host Windsor Spitfires after coming back from a 3-1 series deficit. They’ll have an even bigger challenge now: the unstoppable, record breaking Erie Otters.

Taylor Raddysh (F) / Anthony Cirelli (F)  / Eric Cernak (D)
1G, 5A, +3 / 1G, 0A, +2 / 0G, 2A, +2
Erie Otters sweep series vs  Sarnia Sting 4-0

March 27th – Away
W 5-3 – 0G, 1A, +1 / 0G, 0A, +1 / 0G, 1A, +1
March 29th – Home
W 9-3 – 1G, 4A, +2 / 1G, 0A, +1 / 0G, 1A, +1

The Erie Otters swept the Sarnia Sting and will play the London Knights in round two. The Knights will be more of a challenge than the Sting were, I doubt we see any games where the Otters score nine goals. A challenge is just what these kids need because the road to the Memorial Cup won’t be easy.

Boris Katchouk (F)
Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds
Win series vs Flint Firebirds: 4-1

March 27th – Away
W 3-1 – 1G, 0A
March 29th – Away
W 5-2 – 1G, 0A, +2
March 31st – Home
W 6-1 – 1G, 1A, +1

The Greyhounds have their second round set: the Owen Sound Attack eliminated the Kitchener Rangers, and they will face the Greyhounds in round two. This is becoming the most talked-about series in OHL circles, the quiet powerhouse Greyhounds taking on the fast, and powerful Attack. If you can, make sure to watch this series closely.

Quebec Major Junior Hockey League

Otto Somppi (F)  – 0G, 1A, -4
Halifax Mooseheads lose series vs Rouyn-Noranda Huskies 4-2

March 28th – Home
L 2-0 – 0G, 0A, -2
March 29th – Home
W 3-1 – No Points
March 31st – Home
L 6-5 3OT – 0G, 1A, -2
April 2nd – Away
L 5-2 – No Points

The Moosehead weren’t favourites in this series — the Huskies are the reigning QMJHL Champions, and lost the 2016 Memorial Cup in overtime — but they held on and proved their worth against the top-ranked team, even taking them to triple overtime. It was all for naught as the Huskies came through and will move on.

Dennis Yan (F)  – 3G, 1A
Shawinigan Cataractes lose series vs Val d’Or Foreurs: 4-2

March 28th – Away
W 6-3 – 3G, 0A, +1
March 29th – Away
L 3-2 – 0G, 1A
March 31st – Home
L 3-1 – No Points
April 2nd – Away
L 5-1 – 0G, 0A, -1

The biggest upset of round one saw the third-seed Cataractes fall to the thirteenth-seed Foreurs. Shawinigan was hoping to improve on their long playoff run last year, and the upstart Val ‘Or team wanted nothing more than to be giant killers.

Mathieu Joseph (F) / Bokondji Imama (F)
0G, 5A, +3 / 2G, 1A, +4
Saint John Sea Dogs defeat Rimouski Oceanic 4-0

March 28th – Away
W 5-2 – 0G, 3A, +3 / 2G, 1A, +3
March 29th – Away
W 4-3 – 0G, 2A / 0G, 0A, +1

An easy sweep for the Q favourites takes the Sea Dogs to round two. They play the Foreurs, who upset Shawinigan and are looking to do it again.

Western Hockey League

Brett Howden (F)  – 2G, 1A, -2
Moose Jaw Warriors lose series to Swift Current Broncos 4-2

March 28th – Away
W 4-3 – 0G, 0A, +1
March 29th – Away
L 5-2 – 1G, 0A, -1
March 31st – Home
L – 2-1 – 1G, 0A, -2
April 1st – Away
W 3-2 – No Points
April 3rd – Home
L 3-2 – 0G, 1A

Losing a close first-round series is never fun, especially doing so on home ice. That was the fate for the Warriors this year.

Connor Ingram (G) – 148sv, 154sh, 0.961sv%
Kamloops Blazers lose series vs Kelowna Rockets 4-2

March 28th – Home
W 4-1 – 37sv, 38sh, 0.974sv%
March 29th – Home
L 1-0 – 48sv, 49sh, 0.980sv%
March 31st – Away
W 4-1 – 32sv, 33sh, 0.970sv%
April 2nd – Home
L 4-2 – 31sv, 34sh, 0.912sv%

Probably the player eliminated who deserved to move on the most, Connor Ingram played lights-out every game for the Blazers. Always keep his team in it, and posting ridiculous numbers, Ingram will now practice and train with the Crunch, and with his newly signed contract, he’s the hope for the Lighting’s future in goal.

Completed Seasons:

Otto Somppi (F) – Halifax Mooseheads
Somppi will rest and recover from injuries accumulated over the season now.

Brett Howden (F) – Moose Jaw Warriors
Connor Ingram (G) – Kamloops Blazers
Denis Yan (F) – Shawinigan Cataractes
Libor Hajek (D) – Saskatoon Blades

All are now playing with the Syracuse Crunch.

Kris Oldham (G)  – U. Nebraska-Omaha Mavericks
Ross Colton (F) – U. Vermont Catamounts
Ryan Lohin (F)  – U. Mass-Lowell River Hawks
Johnathan MacLeod (D) – Boston U. Terriers
Ryan Zuhlsdorf (D) – U. Minnesota Golden Gophers

All NCAA players will return to school in the fall.

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