CBJ CHL Prospect Review+Ft Wayne and Div. 1 World Championships
Back again all for the prospect review, like last time some of this information may have already been said. Colgate defenseman Thomas Larkin played for Italy in the Division 1 World Championship competing against other hockey powerhouses such as Spain, the Netherlands and Korea. Then in the team’s last game it played against the host nation Hungary, with both teams being undefeated this game ended up being the gold medal game for the tournament with the winner moving up to play in next year’s World Championships against the likes of Sweden, Canada and so on. Italy defeated Hungary 4-3 in overtime. Larkin had a goal in the 4 games and was a +1 scoring a shorthanded goal while being a +2 in the team’s 6-0 crushing of Korea.
In the Central Hockey League the Fort Wayne Komets took on the Rapid City Rush in the conference semifinals after losing games 1 and 2 the Komets decided to make a series out of it. In game 3 the Komets were nice enough to give the Rush a 4-1 lead but then Michael Ratchuk struck with a shorthanded goal starting the Komets comeback that went on to be a 4-3 Komets overtime win. In game 4 it was all Fort Wayne winning 4-1 with Ratchuk having the game winning goal and a assist being named 3rd star, so after the game the Komets and Rush loaded up there respective buses and got to enjoy a 18 hour bus ride(life in the minors). Game 5 was all Rush with the Komets losing 6-1, if the Komets would of completed the comeback they would of just stayed out west instead of coming home as they would of played Colorado in the next round. Ratchuk finished the playoffs with 2 goals and a assist in 8 games all picked up in the series against Rapid City. In the regular season Ratchuk picked up 13 points in 22 games with the Komets also scoring a goal while with Springfield. After the season the Komets hold a auction of their jerseys and other items and Ratchuk’s jersey was bought for $700.
It was a battle of CBJ prospects as Mathieu Corbeil and the Saint John Sea Dogs took on Michael Chaput and the surpising Lewiston MAINEiacs in the QMJHL semifinals, the Sea Dogs made quick work of Lewiston as it swept the MAINEiacs. Michael Chaput only played in the first 2 games before missing the rest of the series with a ”upper body injury”(concussion) picking up 2 assists in game 1. Chaput finished the playoffs with 20 points in 13 games tying team mate Kirill Kabanov, his 20 points(7-13-20) were tied for 4th in the QMJHL when Lewiston was eliminated. Last post I said that Saint John coach Gerard Gallant would stick with Jacob DeSerres for the semifinals and it barely took all of game 1 for him to prove me wrong. With Saint John trailing 4-2 Gallant decided to shake things up by giving Corbeil his first playing time since game 4 of the first round. Corbeil ended playing the rest of the 3rd and overtime making 6 saves. Corbeil was given the start in game 2 and stopped 24 of 25 also setting a new franchise record for playoff shutout streak also being longer than the regular season streak. Corbeil was named 1st star in game 3 making 28 saves on 30 shots in game 3…then game 4 happened. Corbeil only made it 2 minute and 43 seconds into the first period before being pulled stopping neither of the 2 shots he faced. DeSerres came in and backstopped the dogs to the game 4 and series win. Corbeil finished the semifinals with a record of 3-0 in 4 games played with a 2.23 GAA and a .921 save percentage, overall in the playoffs he has a record of 4-0 with a 1.54 GAA and a .936 save percentage and 1 shutout.
Above is the QMJHL’s President Cup, Saint John will face off against the Gatineau Olympiques for the league title and a spot in the Memorial Cup. Saint John finished off Lewiston on April 27th while Gatineau just won its series last night with game 1 being Thursday night in Saint John. The teams from the OHL in the Memorial Cup have already been decided as Eastern Conference Mississauga St. Michaels is the host and gets an automatice bid meaning Western Conference Champ Owen Sound will also play for the Cup.
Here is Ryan Johansen celebrating his game 3 goal that sent the game into overtime that the Hawks ended up winning but i’m getting ahead of myself. Johansen was a beast in the conference final picking up a goal in serie’s first 4 games along with 2 assists in a game 4 loss. Then in game 5 Portland’s coach decided switch Johansen with second line center Craig Cunningham forcing Spokane to decide which 1st round pick they wanted to match top dman Jared Cowen against. Johansen had no points in game 5 but bounced back scoring a goal(Johansen’s goal plus a beauty from Cunningham) and a assist in the series clinching game. Johansen had 5 goals and 3 assists while having a +2 rating with no penalty minutes…. oh wait I forgot one minor detail Johansen’s performance earned him won him the WHL’s Conference Final series MVP. Johansen is tied for 3rd in playoff scoring(11-11-22), technically second as the leading scorer has been eliminated since he played for Medicine Hat.
Now before everyone books a Memorial Cup matchup bewteen Portland and Saint John the Winterhawks have to make it through the Eastern Conference Champions the Kootenay Ice. The Ice haven’t lost a game since the first round against Prince Albert after wheeling off back to back streaks of Saskatoon and Medicine Hat. The winner wins the Ed Chynoweth Cup and a spot in the Memorial Cup.
Thanks for reading and ill be back whenever the series are over and as always follow @cbjprospects for the latest updates.