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Avalanche Farm Report: May 3

by Aaron Lopez / Colorado Avalanche

After jumping out to a 3-1 series lead over the Windsor Spitfires in the OHL Western Conference Finals, Joey Hishon and the Owen Sound Attack have advanced to the 2011 Rogers OHL Championship Series for the first time in franchise history.

Hishon scored an unassisted goal and also added a helper in the clinching contest, a 10-4 Owen Sound victory in Game 5 on Wednesday.

As a result of earning the Wayne Gretzky Trophy as Western Conference Champions, Owen Sound also earned a berth in the 2011 MasterCard Memorial Cup. The Attack’s opponent in the best-of-seven OHL Championship Series, the Mississauga St. Michael’s Majors, are the host club for this year’s Memorial Cup. As the host team, the Majors have an automatic bid into the event.

Each of the three leagues from the CHL (OHL, QMJHL and WHL) are represented in the four-team Memorial Cup tournament along with the host club. If the host team (in this case, Mississauga) ends up earning a bid by winning their league tournament, the runner-up from that league also earns a berth as the fourth team.

Because of that, Owen Sound will be playing in the Memorial Cup regardless of how the OHL Championship Series with Mississauga plays out. The best-of-seven series between the Attack and the Majors begins on Tuesday night.

Hishon finished the Western Conference Finals with nine points (3g/6a) in five games, and has registered 16 points (4g/12a) in 15 postseason contests overall.

In case you missed it, Hishon was also named to the OHL First All-Star Team on Monday, recognition that came after the forward finished the regular season with 87 points (37g/50a) in just 50 games.

-Troy Rutkowski and the Portland Winterhawks were crowned 2011 WHL Western Conference Champions on Monday night following a 6-3 win over the Spokane Chiefs in Game 6 of their playoff series.

Portland will now take on the WHL Eastern Conference Champion Kootenay Ice for a berth in the 2011 MasterCard Memorial Cup.

Portland came into the week tied 1-1 with Spokane in the series, and won Game 3 last Wednesday by a 3-2 score in overtime. However, Spokane came back to take a convincing 8-3 decision in Game 4 on Friday night. Rutkowski provided an assist for the Winterhawks in the loss.

Portland bounced back to take a 3-2 series led with a 3-2 victory on Saturday and then advanced with a 6-3 triumph on Monday. Rutkowski scored his third goal of the playoffs during the series-clinching victory, a tally that ended up standing as the game-winning goal.
Rutkowski ranks second among team defensemen in postseason scoring with nine points (3g/6a) in 16 playoff contests.
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