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THREE STARS: Memorial Cup knockout round begins

All three Blackhawks prospects advanced into the final weekend of the tournament

by Austin Siegel /

Every Thursday throughout the 2018-19 season and playoffs, will highlight prospects who have stood out for their junior, college or professional team in the previous week's action.

Here are this week's Three Stars.

G Alexis Gravel (Halifax)
THE NUMBERS: 49 GP, 2.49 GAA, .913 Save Pct.

Alexis Gravel and the Mooseheads may have automatically qualified for the Memorial Cup as hosts of the tournament, but their spot in the tournament final is no fluke. The QMJHL runner-ups took 2 of 3 games in group stage play, with Gravel posting a 1.50 GAA, the best of any netminder in the tournament. Despite a 4-3 loss to Rouyn-Noranda on Wednesday, the Mooseheads advanced straight to the Memorial Cup Final on goal differential, thanks in large part to 36 saves from Gravel in the loss. They will face the winner of Guelph vs. Rouyn-Noranda on Friday night.  

RW MacKenzie Entwistle (Guelph)
THE NUMBERS: 57 GP, 30 G, 27 A

Playing in his second-straight Memorial Cup, MacKenzie Entwistle and Guelph will face a tough test in the semifinals of the tournament as they battle the QMJHL Champs in Rouyn-Noranda. It won't be anything new for Guelph, who battled all the way to an OHL championship as a #4 seed in the postseason. Friday night's semifinal will also be a chance for Entwistle to shine in what could be his final CHL game. The Blackhawks prospect has 3 points (1 G, 2 A) through round robin play in the 2019 Memorial Cup and will be key to the Storm's hope of bringing a title back to Guelph. 

D Jake Ryczek (Halifax)
THE NUMBERS: 51 GP, 9 G, 24 A

A seventh-round pick in the 2016 NHL Draft, Jake Ryczek picked a great time to score his first goal of the postseason, firing home an insurance goal for Halifax in their first game of the Memorial Cup against Prince Albert. Ryczek has jumpstarted the Halifax attack throughout the QMJHL playoffs and Memorial Cup, with 13 assists in the Mooseheads run to the President's Cup Final. 


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