After four games in the first round of the CHL playoffs, four Blackhawks prospects remain in the hunt for a league title and a trip to the Memorial Cup later this spring, while three others were eliminated.
Ontario Hockey League
Sudbury lost Game 4 against Brampton last night, crashing out of the OHL playoffs. Goaltending prospect Johan Mattsson did not play in the game, which went to double overtime before the Battalion potted the game-winner to send the the fifth-seeded Wolves away hungry. Mattsson ended his first North American playoff series with an 0-3 record, giving up 12 goals on 85 shots for an .859 save percentage.
The Sarnia vs. Saginaw series in the Western Conference of the OHL is shaping up to be a first-round classic, after the Spirit defeated the Sting 4-3 in overtime last night to tie their series at 2-2. Both Blackhawks prospects saw plenty of action and contributed to the scoresheet. Game 5 will be played at Sarnia on March 30, with a quick return to Saginaw for Game 6 the next night.
- Brandon Saad recorded two goals and an assist in Game 4, tallying the equalizer in the third period and providing an assist on the game-winner at 1:48 of the first overtime period. The Spirit captain finished the game with a +2 plus/minus rating and paces his team with eight points (4G, 4A) in eight games.
- Ludwig Rensfeldt logged two helpers last night and finished the game with a +1 rating. The Swedish winger is tied for second on the Sting with four points (2G, 2A) through four games.
Western Hockey League
Mac Carruth and the Portland Winterhawks sit in good shape in their first-round matchup against Kelowna, bearing a 3-0 series lead with the chance to sweep the Rockets tonight. Carruth has allowed six goals in three games so far, and posted a shutout in Game 2.
On the flip side, Everett’s season ended with a 4-3 overtime loss to Tri-City on March 28. Goalie prospect Kent Simpson made 35 saves on 39 shots through 78:24 and ended the playoffs with 15 goals allowed on 128 shots and an .883 save percentage.
Quebec Major Junior Hockey League
The Victoriaville Tigres fought back from a 3-1 deficit to go up 4-3 on Baie-Comeau in the third period of Game 4 last night, but couldn’t preserve the lead and fell 5-4 in overtime to the Drakkar, ending their playoff run.
Team captain Phillip Danault registered two assists, both part of the third-period surge and won 19 of 39 faceoffs in the contest. Danault, one of Chicago’s 2011 first-round draft picks, finished with three helpers in four games and went 53.7 percent at the dot.
Acadie-Bathurst fell to 3-1 in their series against Chicoutimi after a 4-2 loss to the Saguenéens last night. Forward prospect Mirko Hoefflin was held pointless but won five of eight faceoffs. The Titan hit the road once more as they try to win Game 5 on March 30 and keep their series alive.