The postseason at the junior and collegiate hockey levels are in full swing, and a number of Hurricanes prospects are still alive and doing quite well. Here’s a quick summation of where things stand right now. For complete statistics, check out our in the system page
- In the WHL, Drayson Bowman and Justin McCrae have both advanced to the second round of the playoffs by virtue of the 4-1 series win over Seattle. Both were productive offensively, as Bowman posted seven points (5g, 2a) to lead his team and rank 10th in WHL playoff scoring. McCrae, despite being known more for his solid two-way play than his offensive output, also had a nice first-round with two goals and two assists.
Spokane, the Western Conference’s fourth seed, will face the No. 1 seeded Vancouver Giants in the second round, starting Friday, as they aim to repeat as Memorial Cup champions. Staying in the western league, Zach Boychuk’s Lethbridge Hurricanes, the east’s seventh seed, are preparing to play Game 7 of their first-round series with Saskatoon. Boychuk is doing everything he can to help his team advance with eight points (6g, 2a), including a four-point performance (3g, 1a) in Game 2. Carolina’s first-round pick in 2008 ranks fifth in WHL playoff scoring.
If Lethbridge loses the deciding game of the series on Wednesday, Boychuk could join Albany of the AHL on a professional tryout contract for the remainder of the season. Although not yet 20 years of age, Boychuk could play for the River Rats under such an agreement. After Wednesday, the Rats have six regular season games remaining.
In the Ontario Hockey League, Chris Terry, Michal Jordan and Brett Bellemore of the fourth-seeded Plymouth Whalers advanced to the second round by way of a 4-1 series victory over Sarnia. Terry led the way with 10 points (5g, 5a) to rank fourth in OHL playoff scoring. Terry was named the league’s player of the week for his efforts.
Defenseman Jordan chipped in two assists and was a +3, while Bellemore, earlier named the Western Conference’s best defensive defenseman, was a +4. Plymouth takes on the rival Windsor Spitfires starting Thursday.
Goaltender Mike Murphy of the Eastern Conference’s No.1 seeded Belleville Bulls has continued to put up solid numbers for his team as they dispatched Sudbury 4-2 in the first round. He ranks third in the OHL playoffs with a 1.83 goals-against average, while his .934 save percentage ranks fifth.
Belleville is awaiting the results of other first-round series to determine their next opponent. In what has been a wild NCAA Tournament (I won’t pretend to be a college hockey expert, but I’m fairly certain Bemidji State wasn’t supposed to make the Frozen Four), each of the Hurricanes’ three participants have been eliminated.
In the single-elimination tournament, Zac Dalpe’s Ohio State team lost to Boston University, while Kyle Lawson’s Notre Dame squad was upset by the aforementioned Bemidji State Beavers. Although Justin Krueger of Cornell advanced to the second round, he too fell victim to Bemidji State. Neither player registered a point.