Lake Erie Monsters
Spotlight On: Garrett Meurs
The first round of playoffs came at the perfect time for Garrett Meurs and the Plymouth Whalers.
Meurs has picked up points in all seven games this month and is on an eight-game point streak that stretches back to Feb. 28. He has collected eight goals and six assists (14 points) in that span. During the Whalers’ March 10 game against Saginaw, Meurs had a season-high four points with three goals and an assist.
His March streak has been a remarkable feat but his scoring success has extended longer than just March as he has recorded 17 points (seven goals and 10 assists) in 12 of his last 13 games.
The Wingham, Ontario native has been an important contributor for the Whalers (42-17-5-4) of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL), who just ended the regular season second in the Western Conference. The Whalers ended the season similarly to Meurs’ individual success: on an eight-game win streak. Plymouth faces the Sarnia Sting in the first round of the OHL playoffs.
Meurs played in all 68 games this season and finished with 65 points (32 goals and 33 assists). He has totaled 193 points in four seasons with Plymouth (265 regular season games), scoring 78 goals and dishing out 115 assists.
The Colorado Avalanche selected Meurs in the fifth round (123rd pick) of the 2011 Entry Draft.
The Monsters could not outlast the Toronto Marlies on Sunday, losing 5-3. It was their second-straight loss to Toronto this week after they fell 2-1 on Wednesday. The Monsters have now lost four games in a row and will look to pull out a victory on Tuesday when they face Toronto for the third time in a week.
Geoff Walker scored Lake Erie’s lone goal, his fourth of the season, in the 2-1 loss on Wednesday. Walker also recorded an assist in Sunday’s game, bringing his point total on the year to 15 (4g/11a).
Tyson Barrie, who was reassigned to the Monsters on March 12, added a goal and an assist in Sunday’s tough loss. Barrie has 29 points (7g/22a) in 38 games this season, which is tied for most among defensemen on Lake Erie.
Michael Sgarbossa and Mike Connolly also dished out assists in Sunday’s game. Sgarbossa is second on the team in scoring with 42 points (17g/25a) while Connolly has contributed 20 points (7g/13a) this year.
Lake Erie is currently in fourth-place in the North Division with 63 points (27-27-2-7) but is only four points out of a playoff spot as of Tuesday.
Mar. 19 vs. Toronto
Mar. 22 at Grand Rapids
Mar. 23 at Grand Rapids
Denver is one point away from clinching a playoff spot and is now tied for sixth in the Central Hockey League with Quad City.
The Cutthroats (29-26-8) had a busy schedule last week, playing four games in five days, including three games in three days last weekend.
Denver fell 6-4 to Missouri on Wednesday and 4-2 on Friday. In the first game between the teams, Joel Chouinard recorded a goal and an assist.
Rookie netminders Kent Patterson and Kieran Millan split games with Patterson collecting 28 saves on Wednesday and Millan stopping 27 shots on Friday.
Denver lost to Bloomington 5-2 on Saturday before bouncing back with a 7-1 victory the following day. Patterson earned his 14th win of the season with 41 saves. Chouinard also had an assist in the win.
Patterson is 14-10-4 with a .911 save percentage and a 3.06 goals-against average. Millan is 14-15-4 this season with a .914 save percentage and a 2.85 goals-against average.
The Cutthroats will play Quad City on Tuesday before finishing up the regular season in Rapid City this weekend.
Mar. 19 at Quad City
Mar. 22 at Rapid City
Mar. 23 at Rapid City
Colin Smith (Kamloops Blazers) finished tied for fourth in the WHL scoring race with a team-high 106 points (41g/65a). Smith recorded three assists in his last two games. The Blazers face Victoria in the first round of WHL playoffs.
Troy Bourke (Prince George Cougars) was awarded the Cougars’ Most Valuable Player award as Prince George’s season has come to an end. Bourke led the team in goals (35) and finished second in points (50).
Duncan Siemens (Saskatoon Blades) ended the regular season with 32 points (3g/29a) and a plus-31 rating. The Blades are the WHL East Division champions and will face Medicine Hat in the playoffs.
Joseph Blandisi (Ottawa 67’s) recorded three assists on Friday night against Oshawa. He finishes the season with 26 points (8g/18a) in 26 games for Ottawa. Overall, Blandisi recorded 15 goals and 36 assists (51 points) this season after he spent 37 games at the start of the year with Owen Sound.
Michael Clarke (Peterborough Petes) finishes this season with 13 points (7g/6a) for the Petes.
Garrett Meurs (Plymouth Whalers) has 17 points (7g/10a) in 12 of his last 13 games. Meurs finished the regular season with 65 points (32g/33a) for the OHL West Division champion Whalers.
Mitchell Heard (Plymouth Whalers) tallied a season-high four points (3g/1a) in last Wednesday’s game against Sault Ste. Marie. His 12-game point streak, which began on Feb. 16, ended on Sunday. Heard collected 20 points (11g/9a) in 12-game span.
Dillon Donnelly (Quebec Remparts) finished the regular season with a goal, an assist and 59 penalty minutes in 28 games with Quebec. The Remparts finished third in the TELUS East Division. Quebec plays Chicoutimi in the first round of the QMJHL Playoffs.
Nathan Condon (University of Minnesota) helped the Gophers advance to the WCHA Final Five after sweeping their first round series against Bemidji State. Condon had a goal in Minnesota’s 4-3 series-clinching win on Saturday.
Luke Moffatt (University of Michigan) dished out three assists in a 5-1 win over Western Michigan on Saturday. The Wolverines swept the series and are now in the CCHA Semifinals.
Gus Young (Yale University) had an assist Friday night for Yale. The Bulldogs beat St. Lawrence University in the quarterfinals to move on to the ECAC Semifinals.
Denis Parshin (Salavat Yulaev Ufa) played in 29 games for Salavat, recording 12 points (5g/7a). His team is in the conference semifinals against Ak Bars.
Joachim Nermark (Linkoping HC) finished with four points (1g/3a) on the season for Linkoping. Linkoping is in the league’s quarterfinals against HV71.