While the Panthers ultimately did not attain their goal of reaching the playoffs this year, several of the Panthers prospects are seeing action in their league’s second season.
Floridapanthers.com will being keeping tabs on the Baby Cats as they look to win that trophy given out at the end of the year for winning their respective league’s championship.
The Florida Everblades (the Panthers ECHL affiliate) will be playing for the Kelly Cup when they open up the playoffs on April 9th as they host either the Charlotte Checkers or the Columbia Inferno in the first round. The Blades, the fourth seed in the South Division, will host the first two games of the five-game series on the 9th and 11th at Germain Arena in Estero, and then Game Five if necessary. Forwards Kenndal McArdle and Adam Taylor, defensemen Peter Aston, Franklin MacDonald and Jordan Henry and goaltender David Shantz will all be looking to help the ‘Blades to the next round.
Both Matt Rust (University of Michigan) and Derrick LaPoint (University of North Dakota) will be playing in the NCAA Frozen Four starting on April 10th. Michigan takes on Notre Dame in one semi-final while North Dakota battles Boston College in the other.
The Ontario Hockey League is already to the Conference Semi-Finals and four Panthers prospects are still playing. Shawn Matthias
’ Belleville Bulls play the Barrie Colts with Belleville winning the first game 7-2 last night while Michael Caruso
and Corey Syvret of the Guelph Storm battle the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds start their series today and Mike Duco of the Kitchener Rangers take on the Sarnia Sting (April 4th). Even though Matthias is out of the mactchup with the Colts as he is battling what appears to be a case of mononucleosis, we will still be keeping up-to-dates on the Bulls’ play.
Michael Frolik’s Rimouski Oceanic has already pulled off an upset to start the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League playoffs as 7th seed Rimouski beat the 2nd seed Baie-Comeau Drakkar 4-1 in the best-of-seven series. They now face the top-seeded Rouyn-Noranda Huskies in the Telus Division in the Conference Semi-Finals.
The Vancouver Giants and Michal Repik
are looking to go deep in their Western Hockey League tournament as they play the Spokane Chiefs in a best-of-seven series in the Kai Tire Western Conference Semis. Vancouver swept their first round matchup with the Chilliwack Bruins. The Giants are also the defending Memorial Cup Champs, a tournament for the winner of the WHL, OHL, and QMJHL playoffs and the host team.
Last, but not least, defenseman John Lee
and his Waterloo Black Hawks will start their quest for the Clark Cup in the United State Hockey League playoffs soon against a yet-to-be-determined opponent.