Five Flyers prospects began semifinals series in their respective junior team playoffs over the weekend and defensive prospect Sam Morin sits in the best position.
Morin’s Rimouski Oceanic swept the first two games of their series on home ice against Val d’Or to take a 2 games to 0 lead.
Rimouski earned a comeback win in dramatic fashion in Game One by tying the game with an extra attacker with 1:05 left in the third period to force overtime. In the extra session, the Oceanic converted on a power play less than two minutes in to take the opening game of the series. Morin was on the ice for the game-tying and game-winner and finished the game as a +1.
Game Two wasn’t as close on the scoreboard. Rimouski scored three second-period goals to take a 3-0 victory and weekend sweep by allowing just 19 shots on goal throughout the game.
Morin and the Oceanic have the best goal differential (+26) in the QMJHL playoffs, recording 44 goals while allowing just 18 through 11 games.
With victory however comes defeat for another Flyers prospect. Winger Nicolas Aube-Kubel and the Foreurs now face a two-game deficit, but return to home ice for Games Three and Four. The comeback attempt would be nothing new to the club as they faced an 0-3 deficit in the Quarterfinals only to rally and post four consecutive victories to advance to the Semis.
Aube-Kubel recorded one assist over the weekend, making a beautiful play at the blueline to knock down a clearing attempt, weaving through the zone and passing if off to teammate Anthony Richard for an empty-net tip in past the goaltender.
Aube-Kubel is averaging a point per-game in the playoffs with five goals and 10 assists in 15 games.
Out west, Travis Sanheim and Radel Fazleev face the same challenge as Aube-Kubel. The Calgary Hitmen dropped both games to the Brandon Wheat Kings to fall into a 0-2 series hole.
Although he went scoreless in the first two games, Travis Sanheim continues to lead all WHL defensemen in assists (10) and points (15) in 14 playoff games.
Fazleev posted an assist on the game-tying goal in the third period that forced overtime in Game Two and now has nine assists and 12 points in 14 postseason games for Calgary.
In the other series, 2013 third round pick Tyrell Goulbourne and the Kelowna Rockets split their first two games with a pair of 3-2 decisions.
Kelowna fell into an 0-2 deficit in Game One, but posted three unanswered goals in the second period to win the opening game. In Game Two, the Rockets fell into the same 0-2 hole and again fought back to tie the game up, but lost on a goal in the final minute of the second period as the Portland Winterhawks evened the series.
The Hitmen now return home for Games Three and Four beginning Tuesday, while Kelowna will look to steal back home ice advantage when they travel to Portland for games on back-to-back nights on Tuesday and Wednesday.