WHL &QMJHL Finals Recaps + Memorial Cup
- Updated: May 19, 2011
We’re coming to the end of the line folks, I started this season keeping track of the Blue Jackets 2 minor league affiliates, 8 prospects playing in the Canadian Hockey League and 11 playing collegiate hockey also adding 1 at the NHL trade deadline. Teams that had a prospect included 4 division champs in the CHL and 3 schools that won there league or conference tournament(1 winning both). Now we’re down to 1 prospect left and it’s not the one everyone thought it would be.
Ryan Johansen and the Portland Winterhawks entered the WHL Finals as U.S. Division and Western Conference Champs facing off against the Eastern Conference Champions the Koootenay Ice. Portland was making it’s first appearence in the Finals since the 00-01 season when they lost to eventual Memorial Cup Champ Red Deer(featuring CBJ draft pick Shane Bendera). Portland was loaded featuring 8 players selected in the 2010 NHL draft and 3 more are rated in the top 20 for this year’s draft. But Kootenay has been almost unbeatable in the playoffs winning 11 straight including 2 sweeps before losing game 1 to Portland.(also i said last update that Kootenay played Prince Albert in the 1st round I was wrong it was Moose Jaw Sorry) As I said Portland won game 1 but then it was all Ice as Kootenay won 4 straight to win the Ed Chynoweth Trophy(named after the Kootenay coach’s father actually). It was a close series with games 2 through 4 being 1 goal games, game 3 was 7-5 but the 7th goal was a empty netter. Ryan Johansen picked up 2 assists in games 1 and 2 then scored 2 goals in game 4 for 6 points in the 5 games, he ended up leading the WHL playoffs in scoring with 28 points in 21 games. Johansen’s 13 goals were good for 3rd and his 15 assists were 5th among players in the playoffs. So overall this season in 91 games this year(WHL, WJC and WHL Playoffs) he scored 56 goals and added 73 assists for 129 points and was a +55. In my opinion of the prospects I’ve been keeping track of not counting anyone on the Falcons Johansen is the only one that could make the Jackets next year.
Mathieu Corbeil made what could only be what called a cameo in the QMJHL Finals because Head Coach Gerard Gallant threw Corbeil into game 6 for a whopping 26 seconds mainly to give his players a break without using his timeout. Saint John defeated Gatineau in 6 games to win the franchise’s first ever President’s Cup, the Sea Dogs went 10-0 on the road in the QMJHL playoffs. In the playoffs Corbeil made it into 6 games(mostly in the semifinal against Lewiston) and went 4-0 with a .936 save percentage and a 1.54 GAA with his 1st career QMJHL shutout in the 1st round. Corbeil would of led the Q in both GAA and save percentage but he didnt play the minimum of 228 minutes played, he was 6th in wins and tied for 2nd in shutouts. What a difference a trade can make, in Halifax Corbeil played 25 games going 7-15-0-1 with a .867 save percentage and 3.76 GAA after his trade to the powerhouse Sea Dogs he went 17-1-1 with a .913 save percentage and 2.06 GAA with a shutout in 21 games in the regular season and playoffs. So Saint John is off to Mississauga to take part in the Memorial Cup facing off against OHL champ Owen Sound, host Mississauga and as mentioned above the WHL champ Kootenay. Saint John opens the tournament on Friday in the first game of the tournament against the host Majors. Corbeil is the 21st draft pick of the Jackets to play in the Memorial Cup including current Jackets Matt Calvert, Kris Russell, Derek Dorsett and Jared Boll. Now everytime I’ve said this im wrong but here goes I bet Gallant goes with Jacob DeSerres throughout the tournament since he played in last year’s Cup with the Wheat Kings. One other matter today I found that Mathieu Corbeil is on twitter and you can follow him @mathieutcorbeil. I don’t know if the NHL network is going to show the Memorial Cup this year hopefully they do because it’s a great thing to watch.
Since were talking about the Memorial Cup your moment of zen…
I thank you for reading as always and will have a Memorial Cup recap plus an awards post and after that this will possibly go quiet until after the draft when ill try and do a meet the new prospects post like I did with Chaput earlier this year for the new prospects.