– As teams wrangle for playoff positions, U.S. fans will get a taste of Canadian Hockey League (CHL) action in the month leading up to the league's pinnacle tournament -- the Memorial Cup. The NHL Network U.S. today announced it will carry three regular-season CHL games during the month of March -- highlighted by a Windsor-London clash on March 12. Windsor's roster includes two of the top three rated prospects for the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, LW Taylor Hall and D Cam Fowler
The CHL has been the training grounds for more than half of all NHL players. It is also home to the Home Hardware CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game, where every year top-ranked NHL prospects showcase their talent for NHL scouts and management. NHL stars that have participated in the game include John Tavares
, Chris Phillips
, Joe Thornton
, Vincent Lecavalier
, Rick Nash
, Marc-Andre Fleury
, Patrick Kane
, Steven Stamkos
and this year's top ranked player at the mid-term, Hall of the Windsor Spitfires.
CHL games on NHL Network U.S. will begin this Sunday with a match-up of Western Hockey League rivals. Led by Los Angeles Kings
2009 draft pick RW Brandon Kozun
(94 points), the Eastern Conference-leading Calgary Hitmen will play host to the third-place Saskatoon Blades at 7:00 p.m. ET at the Pengrowth Saddledome.
The next featured game, an OHL clash for first place, features the Western Conference leader and 2009 Memorial Cup champion Windsor Spitfires against the second-place London Knights at 7:00 p.m. ET on March 12. Spitfires Hall and Fowler, the first- and third-ranked North American skaters in the NHL's mid-term rankings for the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, led Team Canada and Team USA, respectively, to the thrilling gold-medal game of the 2010 World Junior Championship in January that was won in overtime by the Americans.
NHL Network U.S. takes viewers to the east coast and the QMJHL on March 14, when the top-ranked Saint John Sea Dogs, led by C Mike Hoffman (drafted 130th overall by the Ottawa Senators
in 2009), visit the Moncton Wildcats with top-ranked QMJHL prospect D Brandon Gormley
at 7:00 p.m. ET.
The Memorial Cup tournament, which will take place May 14-23 in Brandon, Manitoba, will also be telecast live on NHL Network U.S. Broadcast details and times will be available at a later date.
CHL on NHL Network U.S. Broadcast Schedule
|Sunday, March 7
||Saskatoon Blades at Calgary Hitmen
||7:00 pm ET
|Friday, March 12
||Windsor Spitfires at London Knights
||7:00 pm ET
|Sunday, March 14
||Saint John Sea Dogs at Moncton Wildcats
||7:00 pm ET