Dallas Stars forward prospect Nick Caamano is heading to the 2018 Memorial Cup. Caamano and the Hamilton Bulldogs won the Ontario Hockey League championship Sunday, defeating Sault Ste. Marie, 5-4, to take the best-of-seven championship series in six games.
Caamano's empty-net goal that gave Hamilton a 5-3 lead with 1:58 remaining proved to be the game-winner on Sunday. And it was a hard-earned empty-net goal. Caamano raced for a loose puck, battled a Sault Ste. Marie defender and then dived to put the puck into the net.
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That tally gave Caamano goals in four straight games in the championship series. The 19-year-old forward, a fifth-round pick (146th overall) in 2016, recorded 22 points (10 goals, 12 assists) in 21 playoff games for the Bulldogs, tying for 10th in both goals and points in the OHL postseason.
Hamilton acquired Caamano from Flint in a major OHL deal in late November to add some scoring punch to its lineup, and Caamano delivered with 36 points (13 goals, 23 assists) in 41 games. For the season, he had 57 points (25 goals, 32 assists) in 64 games with both Hamilton and Flint.
Up next for Caamano and Hamilton is the Memorial Cup, which will also feature the Western Hockey League champion Swift Current Broncos, Quebec Major Junior Hockey League champion Acadie-Bathurst Titan, and the WHL's Regina Pats, who are the host team.
The Memorial Cup begins Friday with Hamilton taking on Regina.
Vala, Everett fall in WHL Championship Series
Stars defense prospect Ondrej Vala and the Everett Silvertips fell in the Western Hockey League's Championship Series Sunday night, losing 3-0 to Swift Current which took the best-of-seven series in six games.
Vala, a free agent signing in 2016, recorded 11 points (one goal, 10 assists) in 22 playoff games and ranked third in the WHL postseason with a plus-17 rating. The 20-year-old native of Czech Republic had 28 points (seven goals, 21 assists) and a plus-17 rating in 59 regular season games.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Hockey League or Dallas Stars Hockey Club.
Mark Stepneski is an independent writer whose posts on DallasStars.com reflect his own opinions and do not represent official statements from the Dallas Stars. Follow him on Twitter @StarsInsideEdge.