Spotlight On: Nate Condon
Nate Condon has enjoyed quite the senior campaign. His Minnesota Gophers have been ranked No. 1 for most of the season and just locked up a spot in the NCAA Frozen Four in Philadelphia. His play this past weekend in the first two rounds of the NCAA Tournament played a huge part in securing that spot.
The-6-foot, 180-pound center put in two goals for the Gophers in Saturday’s 7-3 win over Robert Morris, including one coast-to-coast beauty. The Gophers’ co-captain went on to contribute two assists on Sunday in Minnesota's 4-0 win over St. Cloud State to push his season point total to 24 (nine goals and 15 assists).
Over his four-year career at Minnesota, he has played in 157 games and amassed 102 points (40 goals and 62 assists) and 59 penalty minutes.
Condon was the 200th pick in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft, taken in the seventh round by the Avalanche. Scouts have touted his “excellent passing skills” and ability to “stickhandle in and out of traffic well.” He was put in all game situations in his amateur career and has some “good upside”
His college career will wind down in the next few weeks, but before it ends he will first look to capture an elusive national title. The Gophers will play North Dakota in the national semifinals on April 10. If they win, Minnesota would play the winner of Boston College-Union (N.Y.) in he championship game.
The Gophers are looking for their fifth men's hockey championship and their third since 2002.
Lake Erie Monsters
Lake Erie was able to keep its point streak alive in Chicago last Wednesday with a 6-5 loss in a shootout. David Van Der Gulik was able to score two goals in the opening period for the Monsters and push his season tally total to 10. Sami Aittokallio was in net for the Monsters and stopped 28 of 33 shots.
Aittokallio was back in net for Lake Erie on Friday in Milwaukee. The reigning CCM/AHL Player of the Week was not good enough as the Monsters were defeated 4-3 with Aittokallio stopping 27 of 31 shots. Andrew Agozzino led the Monsters offensively with a goal and an assist.
The Monsters closed their weekend in Chicago, and while they had four unanswered goals from Mark Olver, Van Der Gulik, Troy Bourke and Michael Schumacher, it was not enough to secure a victory. The Wolves would rally back to force overtime and win 5-4 in a shootout. Despite the loss, Calvin Pickard was strong in net for the Monsters. He stopped 45 of 49 shots and four of six skaters in the shootout to give his team a chance.
April 1 at San Antonio
April 4 at Texas
April 5 at San Antonio
Kent Patterson was strong in net for the Cutthroats, stopping 48 of 50 shots, in their 3-2 win over Allen on Friday. He had a rough go of it in Saturday’s rematch with the Americans, playing 40 minutes and stopping 28 of 33 shots in a 6-1 loss for Denver. He would get the day off on Sunday, and the Cutthroats would take home a 2-0 victory over Tulsa in the season finale.
Denver will begin the CHL playoffs this weekend with a first-round matchup with Tulsa. Despite being the No. 2 overall seed, the Cutthroats will start the series at the Oilers due to scheduling issues with Tulsa's arena.
April 4 at Tulsa (Game 1)
April 5 at Tulsa (Game 2)
April 9 vs. Tulsa (Game 3)
April 11 vs. Tulsa (Game 4)
Kieran Millan (Wheeling Nailers): Millan was not in net for the Nailers this week. They would win both of their games, picking up a 5-3 victory over Toledo on Friday and a 5-1 victory over Elmira on Sunday. Millan has appeared in three games for the Nailers this season going 2-1 with a 1.67 goals-against average.
Chris Bigras (Owen Sound Attack): Bigras and the Attack were unable to garner another win in their opening-round series with Sault Ste. Marie. They were defeated 2-0 on Wednesday and 6-1 on Friday in a do-or-die Game 5. Bigras picked up an assist on Owen Sound’s lone goal in the elimination game. He appeared in 55 games for the Attack and had 26 points (four goals and 22 assists) during the regular season. He was voted the Best Defensive Defenseman in the OHL's Western Conference by league coaches.
Joseph Blandisi (Barrie Colts): The Colts defeated Sudbury 6-4 on Tuesday to go up 3-0 in their first-round matchup. With a sweep lined up, Barrie lost 2-1 on Thursday before winning in 7-0 in Game 5 on Friday. The Colts will play North Bay in the next round, beginning on Friday night. Blandisi appeared in 47 games this season with Ottawa and Barrie. He has 50 points on 24 goals and 26 assists.
Michael Clarke (Peterborough Petes): The Petes were on the brink of elimination after losing 4-2 in Game 3 last Tuesday to Kingston. They fought back to force a Game 7 by winning 3-1 on Thursday, 6-5 on Friday and 5-4 on Sunday. Peterborough completed the comeback by winning 2-1 in overtime on Tuesday. Clarke was not in the lineup for the four victories after being handed an eight-game suspension for a crosscheck in Game 3. The Petes will play Oshawa on Friday when the next round begins. Clarke has appeared in 65 regular-season games for the Petes this season, tallying 48 points on 21 goals and 27 assists.
Spencer Martin (Mississauga Steelheads): Martin was extremely busy in net for the Steelheads during Tuesday’s 6-5 double-overtime loss in Game 3. The Generals were able to put 64 shots on net in the contest with Martin stopping 58. The Steelheads were eliminated on Thursday after dropping another close overtime game, 4-3, in Game 4. Martin stopped 37 of 41 shots in the series’ final game. Martin was named the best puck-handling and second-best shootout goalie in the Eastern Conference by OHL coaches.
Troy Bourke (Prince George Cougars): Bourke's junior team's season is over after Prince George failed to qualify for the WHL playoffs. Bourke closed his season by appearing in 69 games for the Cougars and finishing with 85 points on 29 goals and 56 assists. He signed an amateur tryout contract with Lake Erie after Prince George's season.
Cody Corbett (Edmonton Oil Kings): Edmonton advanced to the second round of the WHL playoffs after sweeping Prince Albert in four games. The Oil Kings were able to win 4-3 in Game 3 on Tuesday. Corbett would carry the team in Game 4 on Wednesday, scoring two goals and three assists. His five-point night was an integral part of a 6-2 win for Edmonton. The Oil Kings begin the next round on Thursday against Brandon.
Corbett signed a three-year entry-level deal with the Avalanche on March 5. The Edmonton defenseman appeared in 65 regular-season games for the Oil Kings this season, totaling 61 points (17 goals and 44 assists.)
Mason Geertsen (Vancouver Giants): Geertsen and the Giants were swept by Portland in the first round of the WHL playoffs after losing 6-3 in Game 3 on Tuesday and 6-1 in Game 4 on Wednesday. Geertsen had 12 penalty minutes in the series finale. He signed an amateur tryout contract with the Lake Erie Monsters on Monday and will look to join the team soon after. He appeared in 66 regular-season games for the Giants and had 23 points and 126 penalty minutes.
Will Butcher (University of Denver): Butcher and the Pioneers’ season came to a conclusion as they were eliminated by Boston College on Saturday, losing 6-2 in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament. Butcher appeared in 37 games for the University of Denver during his freshman season and contributed 16 points (eight goals and eight assists.)
Nate Condon (University of Minnesota): Condon and the No. 1 ranked Gophers bounced back after a tough Big Ten Conference Tournament to open their NCAA Regional with a 7-3 win over Robert Morris on Saturday. Condon tallied two goals for Minnesota in the winning effort. He would also get two assists in Minnesota's 4-0 win over St. Cloud State on Sunday to secure their spot in the Frozen Four. They will play North Dakota in the semifinals on April 10.
Luke Moffatt (University of Michigan): Moffatt finished his senior season by appearing in 34 games and tallying 25 points (13 goals and 12 assists). After wrapping up his college career with the Wolverines, Moffatt signed an amateur tryout contract with the Lake Erie Monsters on Monday.
Ben Storm (St. Cloud State): Storm and St. Cloud State were eliminated from the NCAA Tournament by Minnesota after a 4-0 loss in the second round on Sunday. The Huskies had earned their spot in the Regional Final after defeating Notre Dame 4-3 in overtime on Saturday.
Gus Young (Yale University): Young appeared in 33 games for Yale this season and had a plus-9 rating. The senior finished the regular season with 18 points, tallying seven goals and 11 assists. His college career is over as the Bulldogs failed to earn an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament.
Jonas Holos (Lokomotiv Yaroslavl): Holos and Lokomotiv were able to take command of their series with SKA after winning 3-2 in Game 5 on Wednesday. Holos would pitch in with an assist in the victory. Lokomotiv advanced to the KHL West Final with a 2-0 win in Game 6 on Friday. They will play Lev in the next round. Holos appeared in 52 regular-season games for Lokomotiv, picking up 14 points (six goals and eight assists) and 12 penalty minutes.
Denis Parshin (Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod): Torpedo's season ended after it lost to Salavat Yulaev in the first round of the KHL playoffs. Parshin did have an assist in Game 7 and appeared in 46 regular-season games for Torpedo. He had 33 points (15 goals and 18 assists) this year.
Tomas Vincour (Ak Bars Kazan): Ak Bars’ season is finished after they lost their first-round playoff series, 4-2, to Sibir. Vincour picked up an assist in both games 4 and 6 of the series. He appeared in 39 games this season for Ak Bars and scored six goals to go along with five assists.
Luke Walker (Medvescak Zagreb): Walker and Medvescak were eliminated in the first round of the KHL playoffs, losing in four games to Lev. Walker played 36 games this season with Medvescak and had three points (one goal, two assists), a minus-11 rating and 20 penalty minutes.
Wilhelm Westlund (Farjestads BK): Westlund is currently playing with the J20 team for Farjestads. They advanced into the semifinals after sweeping their opening-round opponent, AIK, in two games. Farjestads won 4-2 on March 19 and 7-3 on March 21. Farjestads will play Brynasgatan in the semifinals, beginning on Saturday. Westlund has three assists during the postseason with the J20 squad.