Welcome back to the thirteenth weekly installment of the Flyers Junior Hockey Prospect Recap.
Before catching up with the prospects, some news items from the past week need to be addressed.
The Philadelphia Flyers organization and fans were rocked to their core with the heartbreaking news that Oskar Lindblom has been diagnosed with Ewings Sarcoma – a rare form of bone cancer. He is not expected to play again this season. As the news broke on Friday, the hockey world has rallied to show support and love for Lindblom as the hockey world prepares to fight against cancer yet again. Well wishes, tributes, encouragement, and support has come from all over the hockey world as we are reminded yet again how this terrible disease can effect people of all backgrounds and ages from all walks of life. This battle goes beyond the ice and reinforces the fact that health is truly a gift that is not to be taken for granted. As with the vast majority of cancers, medical treatments are most effective when the cancer is still in it’s beginning stages. I want to add my voice to the millions of hockey fans out there wishing Oskar well as he embarks on his arduous journey of treatment, healing, and recovery. Lindblom has beaten the odds to become an NHL regular and I believe he will do so again to become cancer free. Kick cancer’s ass Oskar!
Back in prospect news, some of the Flyers related storylines from the Junior Hockey universe that are that we will be following up on in this week’s edition include:
Will Jay O’Brien get back into the lineup after missing the last 2 games for the Penticton Vees due to a lower body injury?
Can Egor Serdyuk get back to his goal scoring ways from earlier in the season and help the Victoriaville Tigres get closer to a playoff spot?
Will Mason Millman be suspended after delivering a check to the head of an opposing player in last week’s game between the Saginaw Spirit and the Sarnia Sting?
This weeks edition covers the week that was in the CHL and the BCHL from Tuesday December 10th – Sunday December 15th.
WHL (Western Hockey League)
Wyatte Wylie #29 (D) – Everett Silvertips (WHL)
- Friday night saw the Everett Silvertips travelled to Portland to face the Winterhawks in a top of the U.S. Division clash. Everett had a 2-0 lead by the midway point of the game, but Portland converted in the second and third periods to tie the game 2-2 by the end of regulation. In overtime, Reece Newkirk scored his 11th goal of the season to win the game for Portland. Portland outshot Everett to the tune of 36-26. Wyatte Wylie did not register a point in this contest and finished the game with a -2 rating and 2 shots on goal.
- Saturday night had the Everett Silvertips host the visiting Vancouver Giants. Wyatte Wylie assisted on the game winning goal while Everett was on the powerplay at 12:57 of the third period. That goal put the Silvertips ahead by a score of 3-1; a lead which they would not give up as they won the game by a score of 3-2. Wylie finished the game with 1 assist, a -1 rating, and 1 shot on goal.
- On Sunday the Everett Silvertips hosted the Spokane Chiefs. Wyatte Wylie notched a powerplay assist to give Everett the lead 3-2, but Spokane struck at 16:32 of the third period to tie the game 3-3. Regulation time expired and overtime failed to resolve the score. In the shootout, Gage Goncalves of the Silvertips scored a magnificent goal to win the game and make the highlight reels. Wylie had 1 assist to go along with a -1 rating and 2 shots on goal in the game.
Here is the link to see Gage Goncalves’ shootout manouver: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OnbCZQhBSdw
The Everett Silvertips continue to be on top of the U.S. Division with 47 points from 31 games.
Egor Zamula #9 (D) – Calgary Hitmen (WHL)
- Saturday night saw the Calgary Hitmen travel to Lethbridge to play the Hurricanes for the first of a home and home set. Egor Zamula did not accompany the team on the trip as he was participating in the training camp for the Russian World Junior squad. Calgary could have used his services against a Lethbridge team that was missing top scorer Dylan Cozens from their lineup as the Hitmen offense could not get a goal in a 3-0 shutout loss. All three Hurricanes goals were scored in the third period.
- On Sunday night, the Calgary Hitmen returned home to host the Lethbridge Hurricanes in the second half of the back to back meetings this weekend. Without Egor Zamula, the Hitmen dominated the shots on goal by a 38-17 spread and won the game handily by a score of 5-2. It is also important to note that Lethbridge centre Dylan Cozens was also unavailable to play due to being called for duty for the Canadian World Junior squad.
The Calgary Hitmen have 36 points from 30 games played. They continue to hold the first playoff wildcard spot and are in 4th place in the Central Division.
Roddy Ross #1 (G) – Seattle Thunderbirds (WHL)
- On Tuesday night the Seattle Thunderbirds hosted the visiting Spokane Chiefs. Roddy Ross got the start for the Thunderbirds and was looking to get a strong start in to get back on track after a pedestrian week last week. Seattle started the game well by opening the scoring, but Spokane scored just over three minutes later to head to the first intermission tied 1-1. The Chiefs dominated the second period and outshot the Thunderbirds 14-3, but Ross kept his team alive making two breakaway saves (one with a nice glove save) to give Seattle the chance to regroup. Unfortunately, the Chiefs struck on the powerplay and at even strength at the end of the second period to take a 3-1 lead. Although Seattle would get a goal back while on a powerplay of their own, Spokane iced the game with Ross pulled late in the third with an empty netter to win the game 4-2. Ross took the loss but played well and kept his team in the game. None of Spokane’s goals were directly attributable to Ross who ended up allowing 3 goals on 31 shots (28 saves).
- Friday night saw the Seattle Thunderbirds host the visiting Tri-City Americans. In what was the most dominant game of the season for the Thunderbirds, Seattle at least doubled the Americans shot totals in every period with a total of 57-22. Roddy Ross only allowed one goal on 22 shots, and his 21 saves helped Seattle win the game by a score of 5-1. The only goal to beat Ross on the evening was a powerplay marker at 18:42 of the second period. Prior to the Tri-City goal, Seattle had erupted for four unanswered goals to give Ross the goal support that was needed in order to secure the victory.
- On Saturday night, the Seattle Thunderbirds looked to continue their momentum from their best game of the season at the expense of the visiting Spokane Chiefs. Backup goaltender Blake Lyda got the start in goal, giving Roddy Ross the night off. Special teams played a key role in this game as the Thunderbirds went 0 for 4 on the powerplay while Spokane converted 3 times on 4 attempts to win the game 5-2. Lyda allowed 4 goals on 34 shots in the loss.
- Sunday had the Seattle Thunderbirds travel to Portland to play the Winterhawks. Roddy Ross returned to the Seattle net as the Thunderbirds looked to pick up a positive result against a Winterhawks team that is among the best in the WHL. Seattle opened the scoring in the first period and led 1-0 heading into the second period. Portland was very undisciplined in this game, giving the Thunderbirds a total of seven powerplays. Unfortunately, Seattle did not convert on any of those chances to convincingly pull ahead in this contest and as a result left the game tied 3-3 at the end of regulation. Overtime solved nothing and in the shootout, Ross stopped all three Winterhawks shooters that he faced as Seattle won the game by a final score of 4-3. In the win, Ross allowed 3 goals on 33 shots (30 saves).
The Seattle Thunderbirds gained some ground in their fight for the final wildcard spot. With 25 points in 31 games, Seattle now trails the Tri-City Americans by only 2 points with Tri-City having two games in hand.
OHL (Ontario Hockey League)
Mason Millman #12 (D) – Saginaw Spirit (OHL)
|2019-2020 Saginaw Spirit||28||6||9||15||+2||49||30|
- On Thursday night, the Saginaw Spirit travelled to Windsor to face off against the Spitfires. Mason Millman did not play as he and the Spirit awaited word on what will most likely be a suspension for the hit that he threw in the Sarnia Sting game last week. Both teams traded goals in the opening period and headed to the dressing room in the first intermission tied 2-2. The second period again saw each team hit the score sheet, and the third period did not see a goal to end regulation time with the game tied 3-3. Overtime saw a rare occurrence: a penalty shot game winning goal was scored by Josh Bloom at 4:29 to win the game for the Saginaw Spirit 4-3.
- Friday night saw the Saginaw Spirit travel to Flint to play against the Firebirds in the Battle of Michigan. Mason Millman missed his third straight game as word came down from the OHL that he has been suspended for 4 games for a high hit against the Sarnia Sting last week. Saginaw outshot Flint in all three periods to the tune of 46-31 as Saginaw won the game 5-4. With the win, Saginaw moved into first place in the West Division.
- On Saturday night the Saginaw Spirit hosted the Flint Firebirds in a return match from earlier in the week. While Flint looked to avenge their loss from earlier in the week, the Saginaw Spirit once again were victorious as Cole Perfetti scored twice in the 5-3 win. Perfetti was named the game’s First Star only one day after finding out that he had been cut from the Canadian team heading to the World Junior Hockey Championship. Mason Millman missed his fourth straight game and will be available to play next week as his 4 game suspension has now been served.
The Saginaw Spirit have ascended to 1st place in the West Division with 40 points from 32 games played. They are 2 points ahead of the Windsor Spitfires but have four more games played.
QMJHL (Quebec Major Junior Hockey League)
Egor Serdyuk #18 (RW) – Victoriaville Tigres (QMJHL)
|2019-2020 Victoriaville Tigres||22||8||8||16||-11||50||12|
- Wednesday night saw the Victoriaville Tigres host the QMJHL leading Sherbrooke Phoenix. Sherbrooke came out in the first period and capitalized on two powerplay opportunities to lead 3-1. Egor Serdyuk registered an even strength assist on Victoriaville’s second goal of the game at 1:34 of the second period to get the Tigres back into the game. Victoriaville kept it close but Sherbrooke capitalized on the powerplay once again to restore their two goal cushion. Victoriaville scored at 14:35 of the third period, but could not tie the game while outshooting the Phoenix 12-5 and ended up losing the game by a score of 4-3. Victoriaville hung tight in a game that on paper really should not have been close and even outshot the visitors 34-30. The real difference in this game was the powerplay as Sherbrooke was 3 for 3 while Victoriaville was 0 for 3. Serdyuk finished the game with 1 assist, a +1 rating, and 4 shots on goal.
- Friday night saw the Victoriaville Tigres travel on the road to face another stiff test against the Rimouski Oceanic. QMJHL leading scorer and top 2020 NHL Draft prospect Alexis Lafreniere was absent due to being with the Canadian World Junior team as they make their preparations for the WJHC in Prague later this month. Egor Serdyuk did not dress in this contest. Rimouski struck first at the 3:46 mark of the first period, but Victoriaville answered back with five unanswered goals to win the game 5-2. The Tigres victory was all the more impressive as they held on to their lead while being outshot badly in the third period by a margin of 17-3.
- On Saturday night, the Victoriaville Tigres hosted the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada. The Armada jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first period including a shorthanded goal to put the Tigres in regroup mode. The first intermission allowed for the reset to happen, as the Tigres outshot the Armada for the remainder of the game 25-11 and did the remainder of the scoring. Victoriaville scored four unanswered goals over the final two periods as the Tigres defeated the Armada by a score of 4-2. Egor Serdyuk notched a powerplay assist on Victoriaville’s second goal of the contest to tie the game at 2-2 midway through the third period. In total, Serdyuk finished with 1 assist, a -1 rating, and 1 shot on goal.
Even with a successful week against difficult opponents, the Victoriaville Tigres remain in 7th position in the Western Conference with 29 points from 35 games. The Tigres are chasing the Val d’Or Foreurs for the final playoff spot. Val d’Or are 6 points ahead of the Tigres and have two games in hand.
BCHL (British Columbia Hockey League)
Jay O’Brien #9 (RW) – Penticton Vees (BCHL)
|2019-2020 Penticton Vees||33||15||32||47||41|
- Friday night saw the first game of a home and home series between the Penticton Vees and the Vernon Vipers. Jay O’Brien missed his third consecutive game due to a lower body injury. The Vees obviously missed O’Brien in this game, as Penticton could not get a puck past Viper’s goalie James Porter Jr. Even though the Vees outshot the Vipers 42-22, Penticton lost to Vernon 2-0.
- On Saturday night, the Penticton Vees played the back end of their home and home series with the Vernon Vipers looking to avenge the shutout loss from the night before. With Jay O’Brien still out of the lineup for the fourth straight game, the Vees responded in this one with a 4-1 win. The Vees continued to outshoot the Vipers in every period of the game and finished with a 35-21 advantage.
After this week, the Penticton Vees remain on top of the Interior Division with 53 points from 37 games.
After this week, Jay O’Brien remains at 47 points in 33 games for a 1.42 points per game average.
Hope you enjoyed this early December edition of the Flyers Junior Hockey Prospect Recap.
Feel free to leave any comments or feedback via twitter or at www.brotherlypuck.com .
There is a bit of a break in the Junior Hockey schedule due to the holiday break, but that means that there will be content related to the World Junior Hockey Championship. Keep visiting www.brotherlypuck.com for all news and notes related to the tournament.
Until next time from BrotherlyPuck.com,