Welcome back to the Thursday ramblings; let us get up to date on the recent playoff action in the CHL leagues!
The finals are set as it will be a matchup of the Ottawa 67s and the Guelph Storm. The Ottawa 67s are in beast mode and have not lost a game yet sweeping (in order) Hamilton, Sudbury and Oshawa, and outscored Oshawa 20-9 with the final game a 2-1 overtime win. Guelph on the other hand, besides sweeping the first round match against Kitchener, have played two seven-game series against London and, most recently, Saginaw.
The final game against Saginaw saw the game (and series) end 3-2 for Guelph as Alexey Toropchenko (STL) scored the second goal which was holding up as the game winner, even after Nick Suzuki (MTL) scored an empty-net goal, but Damien Giroux (MIN) added his second goal of the game with over a minute left to make it a nail biter finish.
Guelph’s last game was April 29 and Ottawa’s last game was April 24. They will face off May 2nd. It will be Suzuki 18GP – 13-18-31 (leads the OHL), Isaac Ratcliffe (PHI) 18GP – 9-12-21, Dmitri Samorukov (EDM) 18GP – 8-13-21, and Sean Durzi (LA) 18GP – 3-16-19 VS Tye Felhaber (DAL) 12GP – 11-10-21, Lucas Chiodo (Free Agent) 12GP – 7-14-21, Sasha Chmelevski (SJ) 12GP, 6-15-21, and Kyle Maksimovich (Free Agent) 10GP – 6-13-19.
For the WHL it is a BC vs SASK matchup as the Vancouver Giants will take on the Prince Albert Raiders. This series is much more evenly matched as Vancouver has won its series 4-2, 4-0, and 4-1 respectively. While on the other side Prince Albert has won its series 4-0, 4-2, and 4-2 in that order.
Vancouver’s final game came against the Spokane Chiefs on April 26th with a final score of 3-2. Vancouver went up 2-0 in the first off of goals from Bowen Byram (2019) and Justin Sourdif (2020) and then Jaret Anderson-Dolan scored (LA) early in the third only to have Brayden Watts (FA) score 21 seconds later. Spokane would add a goal with just under two minutes remaining by Ethan McIndoe (2018 non-draftee) to make the time remaining interesting.
Prince Alberta finished up its series versus the Edmonton Oil Kings on April 28 by a score of 4-2. Trey Fix-Wolansky (CBJ) scored both goals for Edmonton bringing the scores to 1-0 and then later 3-2, but a hat-trick by Aliaksei Protas (2019) to end the second period, and a game winner from Noah Gregor (SJ), saw Prince Alberta hold out for the third to win the game.
The teams will play May 3rd and it will be Byram 15GP = 7-11-18 and Davis Koch () 15GP – 2-15-17, who lead the WHL in playoff scoring, going up against three to six scorers Gregor 16GP – 7-9-16, Brett Leason (2019) 15GP – 5-11-16, Protas 16GP – 11-4-15, and Dante Hannoun (FA) 16GP – 9-6-15 from Prince Albert.
The finals will see the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies go up against the Halifax Mooseheads. The Huskies had its first series go 4-2, before sweeping the next two, with the final sweep coming up against the Rimouski Oceanic. Halifax won its first series in seven games, then swept round two, and won the next series in six games.
The Huskies outplayed Rimouski defeating them in four games outscoring them by a total of 20-9, winning the final game 6-3. The teams played to a 2-2 score in the first with Jacob Neveu (FA) and Patrik Hrehorcak (Can be drafted in 2019) scoring for the Huskies and Alexis Lafreniere (2020) and Carson MacKinnon (Can be drafted in 2019) for Rimouski. Then Jeffrey Durocher (FA) scored for Rimouski and Felix Bibeau (2019) for the Huskies to make it 3-3 going in to the third. The Huskies then ran away with it by scoring three unanswered goals from Joel Teasdale (MTL), Bibeau, and Justin Bergeron (2019).
In game six Halifax defeated the Drummondville Voltigeurs 2-1 in overtime. It was a tight series as each team scored a total of 17 goals. Xavier Parent (2019) won the game in overtime for Halifax as Gregor MacLeod (Grand Rapids Griffins – ATO) and Arnaud Durandeau (NYI) made it a 1-1 game midway through th