March 28-April 3 Prospect Week in Review/Frozen Four Preview
Hello All time again for the prospect week in review, the Springfield Falcons are the only team in the organization thats still playing games that count in the standings even though like there parent team the Blue Jackets the team was eliminated from playoff contention awhile ago. Above is fresh out of college goalie prospect Allen York(thanks to @katyloveshockey for the pic), the Falcons went 2-0 last week getting a lot of help from freshly signed college players. The Falcons took care of business in the 3rd out scoring there opponents 8-2 in the final frame, leading the team last week was rookie defenseman David Savard(I think someone heard about Jan Hejda’s suspension) with a whopping 5 points including his first 2 goal game since mid-February also adding 3 assists. Second in scoring was Cam Atkinson picking up 4 points in his first 2 games out of BC, Atkinson assisted on the game tying goal then scoring the game winner in his debut. Denny Kearney a player on a amateur tryout out of Yale had a goal and 2 assists in his first 2 professional games, while Zach Bogosian’s big brother Aaron scored his second goal with the Falcons. Allen York was pushed into duty when David LeNeveu was called up by the Jackets and Paul Dainton was out with the flu, York only had to make 14 saves to earn his first pro victory and then stopped 28 out of 30 to get his second in as many night. York finished the weekend 2-0 with a .913 save percentage and a 2.01 GAA stopping 42 of 46. The Falcons finish the season with 4 games next week, 2 at home and 2 on the road.
Now for the team’s prospects taking part in the playoffs, last week I said how the Ft. Wayne Komets finished strong despite getting off to a horrendous start well that continued in the playoffs. The Komets are off to a 2-0 lead on the Bloomington Prairie Thunder. In 2 games Jacket’s prospect Michael Ratchuk has no points and is even with no penalty minutes, the Komets look to close it out on Wednesday in Ft Wayne(first 2 rounds of the CHL playoffs are best of 5).
In the other CHL(Canadian Hockey League not Central like above), the Ottawa 67′s were stunned by the Sudbury Wolves losing all 3 games this week giving the Wolves a sweep over the East Division Champs. Dalton Smith had 2 goals in game 4 while being named 2nd star he also added a assist in game 2. Smith ended the playoffs with 2 goals and 2 assists in the 4 games picking up 12 penalty minutes. While the OHL’s Eastern Conference was almost all sweeps, the Western Conference was if I may use a 40 year old tv show title The Wild Wild West. All 4 series went to at least 6 games including 2 game 7′s. The Saginaw Spirit’s series with the Guelph Strom took 6 games with the Spirit winning the last 3 to clinch its spot in the sceond round. Dalton Prout was the only Jackets prospect to pick up a point in the series scoring a goal in the series clinching game off a blast just above the faceoff dot also being a +5 in the game. (Game 6 Highlight video fast forward to about 3:45 to see Prout’s goal) Brandon Archibald only played in 4 of the games because of being injured in game 4 when he suffered a upper body injury. The Guelph player was given a 5 minute major and a game misconduct for boarding. Now I know I should be a homer but after watching the hit, ok a penalty maybe but a misconduct and a 2 game suspension might of been a little much.(Sorry Brandon) Saginaw begins the second round of the playoffs on Friday but doesnt know who it will play yet depending on who wins game 7 tonight in the Kitchener-Plymouth series.
In the QMJHL 2 of the 3 Blue Jacket’s prospects moved on with Petr Straka and the Rimouski Oceanic being the only team eliminated. Straka was 3rd on the team in scoring with 4 points and his even rating was second on the team. Straka and Smith the Blue Jacket’s 2010 2nd round picks both suffered through disappointing seasons with both dropping in point totals, Straka mainly due to injuries. The Saint John Sea Dogs completely demolished the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles outscoring them 26-2 in there 4 game series including 2 shutouts. After sitting him through games 1-3 coach Gerard Gallant finally decided to throw Jacket’s prospect Mathieu Corbeil a bone(Sea Dogs get it! boooo moving on), Corbeil started game 4 for his first ever start in the playoffs. Corbeil decided to make it tough on Turk pitching a 15 save shutout also the first of his QMJHL career. Now the Sea Dogs will play the Victoriaville Tigres, the 11 seed Tigres shocked the 6 seed Acadie-Bathurst Titan picking up a 4 game sweep. Michael Chaput had the best 1st round of a Blue Jackets prospect not named Ryan Johansen. Chaput had a goal and a assist in 3 of the MAINEiacs 5 games being named 3rd star in the team’s game 5 win a game that he won 14 of the 18 faceoffs he took. Chaput leads the Q in faceoff wins with 76 and won 64% of the draws he took. The MAINEiacs now face a tall order as they face off against the 2 seed Montreal Junior a team the MAINEiacs went 0-4 against this season, in 4 games this season Chaput had 4 assists.
Ryan Johansen continued his strong play of the last 2 months, the Johan has points in 15 straight including scoring at least a point in every game in March. Johansen had a goal and a assist last week in 2 games as the Winterhawks swept the Everett Silvertips. Johansen has 7 points in the 4 games which puts him 21st in the WHL playoffs scoring race but tied for 4th among players that have only played 4 games. Johansen and the Winterhawks now moves on to play the Kelowna Rockets and there green lizard logo(?) In 4 games against Kelowna this season Johansen had 3 goals and 4 assists and was named 3rd star twice going 3-1 on the year.
The Frozen Four kicks off Thursday with the National Semi Finals taking place, 3 Blue Jackets prospects will be taking part in it. Drew Olson and Minnesota-Duluth should have a home rink advantage with campus being only 3 hours away. Duluth opens up against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish at 5pm, the game is being shown on ESPN2. Olson is a defenseman and wears number 8. Inthe other semi final Matt Rust, Kevin Lynch and the Michigan Wolverines have the tougher road they have to go through the top ranked North Dakota Fighting Sioux. North Dakota hasnt lost since January 28th and has Hobey Baker finalist Matt Frattin leading the way. The game starts at 8:30 also on the “deuce”. Lynch and Rust are both centers, Lynch is number 11 and Rust is number 19 and is a assistant captain. Now as much as I want a all Blue Jackets prospect championship game a Michigan-Notre Dame final makes things awkward inside the Rust house as Matt’s little brother Bryan plays for the Irish. If there’s a Blue Jackets prospect in the championship game ill send out a tweet to let you all know, face off for the Championship game is 7pm on ESPN. As always thank you for reading and ill see you next week.