After a couple of game seven match-ups to finish up the first round almost all the San Jose Sharks prospects made it to the second round of the CHL Playoffs although we did lose Alex Schoenborn and the injured Jeremy Roy along the way. Unfortunately, by the end of the second round, we will lose another as two prospects will go head to head in the QMJHL Playoffs.
#1 Rouyn-Noranda Huskies vs. #13 Blainville-Boisbriand Armada
Sharks top prospect had a very good first round of the playoffs as the he scored seven goals and six assists as the Huskies made quick work of the Voltigeurs outscoring them 33 to 4 in a first-round sweep. As much as I enjoy seeing Meier rack up the points I’d like to see him do it against tougher competition. They could get that challenge from the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada who upset the Val-d’Or Foreurs in a six-game series. I think the Huskies should still make their way through to the third round I don’t think the Armada will roll over nearly as easily as the Voltigeurs. The series starts on Friday night in Rouyan-Noranda.
#2 Shawinigan Cataractes vs. #9 Charlottetown Islanders
We will lose a friend along the way on this one as Cavan Fitzgerald or Alexis Vanier will advance sending the other home. The Cataractes escaped their first round series over the Sherbrooke Phoenix in five games although most of the games were close. Fitzgerald has seven points in the first round. The Charlottetown Islanders needed six games to upset the defending QMJHL champions the Rimouski Oceanic, Alexis Vanier also had seven points in his first round series although I’m not sure he has done enough this year to get that entry level contract from the Sharks. The series starts Thursday in Shawinigan.
Eastern Conference Semi-Finals
#2 Barrie Colts vs. #3 North Bay Batallion
The Barrie Colts survived a scare in the first round of the playoffs beating the Mississauga Steelheads in seven games. Sharks prospect Kevin Labanc lead the way with 12 points (4 goals, 8 assists) in the opening round and undrafted overage forward Justin Scott who had only 28 goals during the regular season scored 10 goals including a hat trick in a 5 unanswered goal 3rd period in their 5-1 game seven win. The 3rd seeded Batallion also survived a seven-game series with the Peterborough Petes and should give the Colts a good and likely long series. A lot of the Colts success will depend on the health of starting goaltender Mackenzie Blackwood who had been battling injury since game three of the first round. This series starts Friday night in Barrie.
Eastern Conference – East Divison Finals
#2 Red Deer Rebels vs. WC1 Regina Pats
The Red Deer Rebels will continue their path to enter the MemorialCup Tournament as WHL Champions as they face the Regina Pats who upset the first-seeded Lethbridge Hurricanes in the first round. Adam Helewka had some big games so far for the Rebels with 5 goals and 2 assists that have generally come at key times in their four games to one first round series with the Calgary Hitmen. Although I like their odds against the Pats this is a team that the Rebels should not take lightly after their first round upset. The Rebels will also have to find an answer for Adam Brooks who leads all WHL playoff scorers in points with 14. This series will start on Saturday night in Red Deer.
Western Conference – BC Division Finals
#1 Victoria Royals vs. #2 Kelowna Rockets
You have to give the Kelowna Rockets a lot of praise after they defeated the Kamloops Blazers in seven games and were the only team from last year’s Memorial Cup Tournament to escape the first round of this years playoffs. Despite missing starting goaltender Jackson Whistle and top offensive weapon in Nick Merkley. Rourke Chartier has done his part with 2 goals and 3 assists on a Rockets team that is getting their offense by committee as there has been no real standout player for the Rockets thus far. I’m not confident they will pass the second round though as I think the Royals will be too much for them to handle especially if the Rockets can’t find an answer for Royals forwards Tyler Soy and Jack Walker who have scored nine points each. This series starts Thursday night in Victoria.
Sharks Prospect Playoff Point Totals
|Player Name||Team||League||Games Played||Goals||Assists||Points||+/-||PIM|
|Timo Meier||Rouyn-Noranda Huskies||QMJHL||4||7||6||13||3||2|
|Cavan Fitzgerald||Shawinigan Cataractes||QMJHL||5||2||5||7||5||0|
|Alexis Vanier||Charlottetown Islanders||QMJHL||6||5||2||7||-1||4|
|Jeremy Roy||Sherbrooke Phoenix*||QMJHL||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|Dylan Sadowy||Barrie Colts||OHL||6||2||1||3||1||11|
|Kevin Labanc||Barrie Colts||OHL||7||4||8||12||8||10|
|Adam Helewka||Red Deer Rebels||WHL||5||5||2||7||1||4|
|Rourke Chartier||Kelowna Rockets||WHL||7||2||3||5||-2||5|
|Alex Schoenborn||Portland Winterhawks*||WHL||4||1||0||1||-3||8|
* = Team eliminated from playoffs.