The Flyers Junior Hockey Prospect Report (Feb. 12 – Feb. 24)

Welcome back to the 18th bi-weekly installment of the Flyers Junior Hockey Prospect Report.

After a huge last two weeks that saw the Flyers jump into 3rd place in the Metropolitan Division, the playoff picture is starting to look a little bit more secure for the Orange and Black.  Two victories over both the Florida Panthers and the Columbus Blue Jackets have given a little bit of breathing room into a race that is by no means over and will undoubtedly go down to the wire.  Still, it is looking more likely than not that the Flyers will participate in the 2019-2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs; it just remains to be seen what position in the standings they will finish and who their opponent will be.

With the cap and the outrageous prices being paid during this year’s trade deadline in comparison to the level of talent available, the Flyers really were not willing to sacrifice early round draft picks or prospects in their bid to improve.  While other teams in the Eastern Conference made more significant deals and were willing to pay heightened prices, the Flyers addressed their forward depth by acquiring Derek Grant and Nate Thompson.    

With the playoff picture coming into view in Junior Hockey, the games will increase in intensity as they are becoming more and more important down the stretch.  It is worth noting that of all the prospects selected by the Flyers only Roddy Ross (Seattle Thunderbirds) and Egor Serdyuk (Victoriaville Tigres) have not clinched a spot in the postseason; although both teams are currently in playoff position. 

As always, all playoff series which involve prospects of the Flyers will be covered in this space.  Stay in the loop with the Flyers Junior Hockey Prospect Report and more Philadelphia Flyers coverage at www.brotherlypuck.com.   

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 and the Penticton Vees continue to play well at the end the season with a playoff spot having already been secured some time ago?

Can the Calgary Hitmen continue their elevated play and continue to ascend in the standings without the injured Egor Zamula?

This edition covers the week that was in the CHL and the BCHL from Wednesday February 12th – Monday February 24th.

WHL (Western Hockey League)

Wyatte Wylie #29 (D) – Everett Silvertips (WHL)

SEASONGPGAPTS+/-SPIM
2019-2020    56134154+2017835
  • Friday night (Feb. 14) had the Everett Silvertips host the visiting Seattle Thunderbirds on Valentine’s Day.  Everett got on the board first as Wyatte Wylie cleared the puck up the right side to find Jackson Berezowski, who in turn found a streaking Ty Kolle for his 17th of the season only 1:08 in.  With a 1-0 score in the second period, Seattle tied the game 1-1 off a massive scramble in front of Dustin Wolf at 10:53.  Before the end of the second period, Everett would retake the lead as Bryce Kindopp fired a one timer past Roddy Ross for his 33rd of the season at 19:01.  Kindopp’s goal ended up being the game winner, as Ross and Wolf stopped all 25 shots in the third period and the Everett Silvertips came away with a 2-1 win.  Wylie finished the game with 1 assist, a +1 rating, 2 shots on goal, and was assessed 2 PIMs for roughing during a skirmish at the end of the game.
  • On Saturday night (Feb. 15) the Everett Silvertips hosted the U.S. Division leading Portland Winterhawks.  The Silvertips got the home crowd going with the game’s opening goal as Dawson Butt converted his 6th of the season at 3:19 of the first period.  The Winterhawks responded and drew level at 8:23 to tie the game 1-1.  With a 14-8 shots advantage in the second period, the Everett Silvertips took full advantage of their opportunities by going 2 for 2 with the man advantage and scoring 3 goals in the frame to take a 4-1 lead.  Wyatte Wylie got himself an assist on the powerplay as Gage Goncalves scored his 28th goal of the season to give Everett a three goal lead.  Dustin Wolf was perfect in the third period and stopped all 12 Portland shots that he faced as the Silvertips defeated the Winterhawks by a score of 4-1.  Wylie finished the game with 1 assist, a +1 rating, and no shots on goal.
  • Wednesday night (Feb. 19) had the Everett Silvertips host the visiting Moose Jaw Warriors.  Everett came out in dominating fashion with a 15-1 shots advantage in the opening period, and the Silvertips were rewarded with 3 goals to take a 3-0 lead.  In the second period, Wyatte Wylie scored his 13th goal of the season off a wrist shot from the point after only 26 seconds to extend Everett’s lead to 4-0.  In the third period, Everett once again dominated the play with an 18-4 shots on goal advantage.  At 2:30, Ty Kolle scored his 19th goal off by tapping in rebound off a point shot by Wylie that was originally stopped to make it 5-0 for the Silvertips.  Everett would add another at 8:00 of the third period and Dustin Wolf preserved the shutout by stopping all 10 shots he faced in the entire game as Everett cruised to an easy 6-0 victory.  Wylie finished the game with 1 goal and 1 assist for 2 points, a +4 rating, and 4 shots on goal.
  • The Everett Silvertips were back in action on Friday night (Feb. 21) for their first game of three nights in a row as they hosted the Prince George Cougars.  The Silvertips struck first in the opening period as Michal Gut scored his 11th of the season on the powerplay at 18:03 to take a 1-0 lead.  In the second period, Prince George found the tying goal at 16:14 to go into the third period tied 1-1.  In the third period, the Silvertips retook the lead after only 8 seconds as Ethan Regnier scored his 11th of the season.  The Cougars once again tied the game as they took advantage of a powerplay opportunity at 5:37, but Dawson Butt’s 8th goal of the season less than a minute later ended up being the game winner as the Silvertips added an empty netter to win the game by a score of 4-2.  Wyatte Wylie did not get a point in this game and finished with an even rating and 3 shots on goal.
  • On Saturday night (Feb. 22) the Everett Silvertips played in their second game in three consecutive nights as they hosted the Vancouver Giants.  Vancouver opened the scoring while on the powerplay as Milos Roman scored his 22nd goal of the season at 19:08 to give the Giants a 1-0 lead.  In the second period, Everett tied the game as Bryce Kindopp scored his 34th goal of the season at 16:02 to go into the third period tied 1-1.  In the third period, Everett dominated the play with a 17-2 shots on goal advantage and were rewarded as Gage Goncalves scored the game winning goal at 15:19 while on the powerplay.  Goncalves’ goal was his 29th goal of the season with Wyatte Wylie getting credited with an assist on the play after doing a great job of keeping the puck in the zone during the leadup to the goal.  The Silvertips won the game 2-1 after dominating the shots on goal by a 35-16 margin.  Wylie finished the game with 1 assist, an even rating, 2 shots on goal, and he received 2 PIMs after being sent to the box for cross checking at 10:45 of the second period.
  • Sunday evening (Feb. 23) had the Everett Silvertips complete their three games in three nights with a road game against the first place Portland Winterhawks.  Everett started quickly with a goal only 25 seconds in thanks to Gage Goncalves who banked his 30th goal of the season.  After Wyatte Wylie nearly got credited with an assist on the Silvertips second goal of the period, he did notch an assist on their third as his point shot on the powerplay took a deflection in front and bounced straight to Bryce Kindopp for his 35th of the season to make it 3-0.  In the second period, the Silvertips added to their lead with a shorthanded goal at 11:47 to make it 4-0.  While the Winterhawks did manage to break the goose egg in the third period, Everett added two more goals (one even strength and one on the powerplay) to put the game out of reach.  Portland scored a powerplay goal at 15:37, but Everett goaltender Dustin Wolf stopped 35 of 37 shots to secure a 6-2 win.  Wylie finished the game with 1 assist, an even rating, 7 shots on goal, and added 2 PIMs with a holding call at 14:41 of the third period.       

The Everett Silvertips remain in 2nd place in the U.S. Division behind the league leading Portland Winterhawks.  Everett has 84 points from 56 games and are now only 3 points behind the Winterhawks with a game in hand.  Everett has clinched a spot in the WHL playoffs. 

Egor Zamula #9 (D) – Calgary Hitmen (WHL)

SEASONGPGAPTS+/-SPIM
2019-2020    2872128+197414
  • Wednesday evening (Feb. 12) the Calgary Hitmen hosted the visiting Regina Pats.  All of the scoring in this game was done in the first two periods, as Calgary smothered the Pats with a 38-14 shots on goal advantage in the game.  The Hitmen scored 4 goals in the opening 10 minutes of the first period to lead 4-0.  Mark Kastelic scored just 10 seconds in, and added a second at 3:12 which would end up being the game winner and completed the natural hat trick for his 29th goal of the season.  The second period added to the misery for Regina as the Hitmen extended their lead to 7-0 with 3 more goals (including yet another from Kastelic) before the Pats finally got on the board to break the shutout at 18:03.  The Hitmen would close out the scoring in this one only 45 seconds later, with Carson Focht’s goal ensuring the Calgary victory by a final score of 8-1.
  • On Saturday night (Feb. 15) the Calgary Hitmen visited the Prince George Cougars.  Calgary wasted no time getting on the board as Carson Focht scored his 28th goal of the season only 1:21 into the game.  The Hitmen would add a second goal exactly 6 minutes later at 7:21 to take a 2-0 lead into the first intermission.  In the second period, Calgary again struck quickly with Riley Fiddler-Schultz scoring his 7th at the 1:13 mark.  The Hitmen would make it 4-0 42 seconds later to add some insurance to their lead and the Cougars would get one back before the end of the period to make it 4-1 entering the third period.  The match was never really in doubt at this point even though the Cougars scored the only goal of the third period, as Calgary took the road victory by a final score of 4-2.
  • Monday’s Family Day matinee (Feb. 17) had the Calgary Hitmen face off against the host Kelowna Rockets.  This game was a wild one.  It started normally enough with a scoreless first period and Kelowna holding an 8-7 shots on goal advantage.  In the second period, both sides had 14 shots apiece and the Rockets got on the board at 10:13 and added a second goal only 1:11 later to lead 2-0.  The Hitmen got a goal back as Riley Fiddler-Schultz scored his 8th of the season at 14:16 to make it a 2-1 game.  In the remainder of the second period, Kelowna scored 3 goals in the final 5 minutes to ensure that Brayden Peters was chased from the game as Kelowna led 5-1.  The third period saw a complete role reversal as Calgary dominated the shots on goal 16-4.  Calgary got on the board at 3:56, and scored a powerplay goal through Carson Focht at 8:49 to make it 5-3.  Calgary struck again at 14:08, and completed the comeback to tie the game 5-5 through Focht’s second goal of the game (30th of the season) to force overtime.  In the extra frame, the Hitmen lived up to their name and completed the miraculous comeback as Josh Prokop scored his 15th goal of the season to secure two points for Calgary in a memorable 6-5 win.
  • The Calgary Hitmen were back in action on Wednesday night (Feb. 19) as they visited the Victoria Royals.  The first period didn’t have much to separate the two sides as the shots were 12-11 in favor of the Hitmen, but both teams scored to make it a 1-1 game.  Mark Kastelic scored his 31st of the season at 4:07 for Calgary’s opening goal of the game.  The Royals tied the game 1-1 as Kaid Oliver converted a penalty shot while the Royals were shorthanded as he was hooked excessively from behind while on a breakaway.  Although Calgary started to get the better of the play in the second period, it was the Royals that scored the only goal of the frame to take a 2-1 lead into the third period.  In the third, Mark Kastelic scored his second goal of the game (32nd overall) to tie the game 2-2 at 3:49.  No other scoring would take place in regulation, nor would anyone score in overtime.  In the shootout, both sides were deadlocked with two goals apiece and the result was decided after six shooters with Orca Wiesblatt winning the game for Calgary and securing the extra point in a 3-2 victory.
  • On Friday night (Feb. 21) the Calgary Hitmen travelled to Vancouver to face the Giants.  The first period was explosive as the Hitmen erupted for the opening 3 goals of the game in 7:41.  With the score 3-0, Vancouver got back into the game with a powerplay goal and added another at even strength to go into the intermission down 3-2.  In the second period, Calgary extended their lead to 5-2 courtesy of goals by Luke Prokop and Orca Wiesblatt.  Although the shots on goal were 10 apiece in the third period, it was Vancouver’s turn to erupt in a period as they scored 4 goals on those 10 shots to win the game 6-5.  Calgary will feel like they let this game slip away and will look to get back into the win column in the second half of their back to back on Saturday.
  • Saturday night (Feb. 22) had the Calgary Hitmen visit the Kamloops Blazers.  After a scoreless first period in which each team had 11 shots on goal, the second period saw the Blazers take over the run of play as they opened up a 18-6 shots advantage.  With only 6 shots total in the period, it was the Hitmen that opened the scoring on their first shot as Cael Zimmerman nothed his 3rd goal of the season only 25 seconds in.  Amazingly, Calgary extended their lead at 5:59 as Luke Prokop scored his 4th.  Kamloops would get a goal back before the end of the period capitalizing on a powerplay opportunity to make the game 2-1.  In the third period, both teams combined for 7 goals and Kamloops had a dominant 21-5 shots on goal advantage but somehow the Calgary Hitmen walked away with the victory.  Calgary scored 4 goals on 5 shots while Kamloops managed to get 3 goals in the frame, as the Hitmen won the game by a score of 6-4.    

The Calgary Hitmen have 71 points from 57 games played.  They continue to hold the first playoff wildcard spot and are in 4th place in the Central Division.  They are ahead of the Saskatoon Blades by 6 points in the Wildcard and have closed the gap for third in the division by trailing the Medicine Hat Tigers by only 2 points with the same number of games played. 

Roddy Ross #1 (G) – Seattle Thunderbirds (WHL)

SEASONGPWLSOMINSSHSAVGAASAV%
2019-2020    45191902653153013933.100.910
  • On Friday night (Feb. 14) the Seattle Thunderbirds and Roddy Ross visited the Everett Silvertips looking to collect 2 points in a Valentine’s Day matchup.  Ross indeed got the start but he allowed a goal early as the Silvertips scored only 1:08 into the opening period.  Down 1-0, Seattle tied the game when Matthew Rempe scored his 9th goal of the season on a mad scramble in front of the Everett goal.  The Silvertips regained the lead as Bryce Kindopp scored off a one timer in the slot that beat Ross up high at 19:01.  The 2-1 score entering the third period stayed that way as both Ross and Wolf answered the bell and stopped a combined 25 shots in keeping their respective teams in the game.  Although Ross made all of the saves required in the final period, the Thunderbirds could not find a way to tie the game and ended up on the losing side of a 2-1 game.  Roddy Ross was excellent in goal once again for Seattle as he allowed 2 goals on 36 shots in the loss.  Ross was named the game’s Third Star with his 34 save effort.
  • Saturday night (Feb. 15) had the Seattle Thunderbirds host the Vancouver Giants.  Roddy Ross was given the start in goal looking to continue his recent form.  Vancouver started the first period on the right foot, outscoring the Thunderbirds 3-1 on the scoreboard and outshooting Seattle 10-7.  The Giants continued to outshoot the Thunderbirds for the remaining two periods, but both teams traded goals in the second with Matthew Rempe nabbing his 10th of the season at 11:56 to make the score 4-2 in favor of the Giants after 40 minutes.  Vancouver would put the game out of reach and secure the 2 points by scoring twice in the final period and defeated the Thunderbirds by a final score of 6-2.  Ross and the Thunderbirds had a night to forget as Ross allowed 6 goals on 32 shots in the loss.
  • On President’s Day Monday (Family Day in Canada Feb. 17), the Seattle Thunderbirds hit the road to face the Vancouver Giants.  Roddy Ross got the night off as Seattle played the first game of a back to back and gave the start to backup Blake Lyda.  The Giants opened up a 2-0 lead in the first period thanks in large part to Colorado Avalanche defence prospect Bowen Byram who scored a goal and an assist in the frame.  Both teams traded goals in the second period, making the score 3-1 in favor of Vancouver heading into the third period.  In the third, Seattle scored a late goal with under a minute to go in regulation, but could not find the tying goal as Vancouver held on for a 3-2 win.  Lyda got the loss but played admirably enough to be rewarded with the Third Star of the game as the Thunderbirds were outshot 39-25.
  • Tuesday night (Feb. 18) saw the Seattle Thunderbirds return home for their second game of a back to back against the visiting Moose Jaw Warriors.  With Roddy Ross back in the net for this one, it was the Warriors that started quickly by taking a 1-0 lead only 3 minutes into the game.  In the second period, each side got on the scoresheet but it was Seattle that took the lead thanks to Andrej Kukuca’s 20th goal of the season at 18:11.  With the 2-1 lead, Ross shut the door in the third period by stopping all 8 shots that he faced and Seattle scored 3 more goals (2 by Kukuka to complete the hat trick) as the Thunderbirds won the game 5-1.  Ross was not busy in this one, as he allowed 2 goals on only 21 shots in the victory.
  • On Friday night (Feb. 21) the Seattle Thunderbirds played their first game in three consecutive nights as they visited the first place Portland Winterhawks.  Blake Lyda got the start in goal for the game as Roddy Ross served as his backup.  The Thunderbirds started positively as they took a 2-0 lead through goals by Andrej Kukuca (his 23rd) and Conner Roulette (his 19th).  In the second period, Portland scored the only goal of the period as Seth Jarvis scored his 34th goal of the season while the Winterhawks were shorthanded to cut Seattle’s lead to 2-1.  In the third period, the first place Winterhawks reminded everyone why they are in the position that they are in as they scored 4 consecutive goals to break open the game and take a commanding 5-2 lead.  While Seattle did get a goal back at 17:40, the Winterhawks were never in any danger of relinquishing their lead and won the game by a score of 5-3.  Portland outshot Seattle in this game 54-22.
  • The Seattle Thunderbirds were right back at it for their second game in three consecutive nights as they looked for payback as they hosted the Portland Winterhawks.  Roddy Ross got the start in this game after backing up Blake Lyda in Portland the night before.  In the first period, both teams traded goals with Portland striking first at 1:11 and Seattle responding with Matthew Rempe’s 11th goal of the season on the powerplay at 10:19 to finish the period tied 1-1.  In the second period, the teams traded goals once again with the Thunderbirds scoring at 3:13 with Kai Uchacz’s 2nd goal of the season and the Winterhawks Seth Jarvis responding with his 36th goal of the season to head into the third period tied 2-2.  In the third period, Seattle pulled ahead at 16:21 with Brendan Williamson’s first goal of the season and Roddy Ross shut the door for the remainder of the period as the Thunderbirds defeated the first place Winterhawks by a score of 3-2.  Ross allowed 2 goals on 32 shots in the game.  With his 30 saves and the win, Ross was named the game’s Third Star.
  • Sunday night (Feb. 23) had the Seattle Thunderbirds host the Prince George Cougars.  Roddy Ross got the start in goal for the Thunderbirds and repelled all 5 shots that he faced in the first period to go into the intermission tied 0-0.  In the second period, the Cougars got on the board first as Vladislav Mikhalchuk blasted a cross-ice one-timer past Ross while Prince George had the man advantage at 12:13.  The score stayed 1-0 until 14:17 of the third period as Seattle converted with a one-timer powerplay goal of their own through Jared Davidson’s 8th goal of the season to tie the game 1-1.  Both goaltenders made sure that the game would go to overtime, and in the extra period it was Prince George that would come away with the 2 points as Josh Maser squeeked the winner past Ross at the near post to give the Cougars a 2-1 victory.  Other than wanting to have the winning goal back, Ross was excellent in the game and kept the Thunderbirds within striking distance by stopping 30 of 32 shots while only allowing two goals in the loss.  Ross’ performance led him to be named the game’s Third Star.    

The Seattle Thunderbirds remain in the second and final wildcard spot in the Western Conference.  With 53 points in 58 games, Seattle now trails the Kelowna Rockets by 4 points for the first Wildcard spot but have played 1 more game.

OHL (Ontario Hockey League)

Mason Millman #12 (D) – Saginaw Spirit (OHL)

SEASONGPGAPTS+/-SPIM
2019-2020     Saginaw Spirit53132538+2611559
  • On Wednesday night (Feb. 12), the Saginaw Spirit visited Sault St. Marie to face the Soo Greyhounds.  The Spirit jumped out to a 2-0 lead thanks to the line of Perfetti, Coskey, and Suzuki who were all in on both goals, but the Greyhounds tied the game 2-2 by the end of the first period.  In the second period, new addition Bode Wilde scored his first goal for the Spirit on the powerplay, but once again the Greyhounds struck back twice to take a 4-3 lead.  Saginaw would enter the second intermission tied 4-4. As D.J. Busdeker scored his 15th goal at 18:13.  In the third period, Saginaw wasted no time continuing the momentum gained from the late goal in the second period as the Perfetti, Coskey, Suzuki line struck again with Coskey’s 29th goal 43 seconds in.  The Soo would tie the game 5-5, but then Mason Millman notched an assist on the eventual game winning goal by Damien Giroux to put Saginaw up 6-5 at 14:26.  The Spirit would add an empty netter as D.J. Busdeker was hauled down while on a breakaway to automatically get credited with the goal as Saginaw won this game 7-5.  Millman finished the game with 1 assist, an even rating, 0 shots on goal, and 2 minutes in penalties thanks to a roughing penalty at 14:49 of the third period.
  • Friday night (Feb. 14) had a Valentine’s Day tilt between the visiting Flint Firebirds and the host Saginaw Spirit.  Cole Perfetti scored his 31st of the season to open the scoring at 4:10 of the first period, but Flint responded with two quick goals to lead 2-1 after 20 minutes.  In the second period, Cole Perfetti scored his second of the night in between two more Firebirds goals as Flint continued to hold a two goal lead heading into the third period.  With the score 4-2 in the third, Mason Millman scored his 13th goal of the season at 2:29 off a wrist shot from the right circle after skating the puck into the Flint zone.  The Firebirds would make it a 5-3 lead with an empty net goal at 18:53, but Perfetti would not be denied his hat trick as he scored his 33rd at 19:50 to make the final score 5-4 in favor of the Flint Firebirds.  Millman finished the game with 1 goal, a +2 rating, and 3 shots on goal.
  • The Saginaw Spirit were back in action on Saturday night (Feb. 15) as they hosted the Kitchener Rangers.  The game was scoreless in the opening period but then went through a 7 goal explosion in the second period.  Saginaw opened the scoring with Damien Giroux’s 34th goal of the season coming while shorthanded, and then added another at even strength to lead 2-0.  The Rangers would get a goal back to cut the deficit to 2-1, but the Spirit would score 4 consecutive goals to finish the period with a 6-1 lead.  Saginaw extended their lead in the third period with a goal by Blade Jenkins.  While down 7-1, Kitchener pulled a goal back at 5:22 through Serron Noel (his 15th), but Saginaw iced the game with Josh Bloom’s 4th of the season to end the game with a lopsided 8-2 win.  Mason Millman did not get a point in this game and finished with a +1 rating, 2 shots on goal, and 2 PIMs thanks to a high sticking infraction at 5:58 of the second period.
  • Thursday night (Feb. 20) had the Saginaw Spirit go on the road to face the Barrie Colts.  The first period was a wild affair, as the Spirit scored the first two goals of the game to jump out to a 2-0 lead before the Colts responded with three consecutive goals of their own to end the period with a 3-2 lead.  Ryan Suzuki scored his 15th goal of the season only 34 seconds into the second period to tie the game 3-3, and Damien Giroux scored his 35th 2:14 seconds later to give Saginaw a 4-3 lead.  Barrie found the tying goal at 12:06, but Mason Millman drew an assist on a one timer feed on Blade Jenkins goal to put the Spirit up 5-4 after 40 minutes.  Barrie found a way to tie the game once again in the third period, as they scored a shorthanded goal at 9:56 that would eventually force the game into overtime.  In overtime, the Barrie Colts completed their comeback as Ethan Cardwell scored the winner to give the Colts a thrilling 6-5 victory.  Millman finished the game with 1 assist, a +1 rating, and an astounding 7 shots on goal.
  • The Saginaw Spirit were back in action on Friday night (Feb. 21) as they travelled to Sudbury to face the Wolves.  The Spirit were firing on all cylinders to open up the game, putting up 4 goals in the opening 20 minutes for a 4-0 lead.  Mason Millman picked up an assist on the fourth goal as fellow defenceman Ilya Solovyov skated the puck into the slot and fired home his 5th goal of the season.  In the second period, Millman picked up another assist as Danny Katic extended the Spirit lead to 5-0.  The Wolves seemed to really wake up after the fifth goal, and erupted for four consecutive goals to make it a 5-4 game.  Damien Giroux scored his 36th of the season to make it a 6-4 game at 17:29, but the goals continued to come fast and furious as Sudbury brought the game back to a one goal deficit at 18:18, and Saginaw responded once again with a goal 9 seconds later to end the period 7-5.  After a wild period that saw 8 goals, the third period saw 4 more goals (1 by Sudbury and 3 by Saginaw) to give Saginaw a wild 10-6 win.  Mason Millman finished the game with 2 assists, a +2 rating, 2 shots on goal, and a 2 minute minor penalty for tripping at 16:54 of the third period.
  • On Sunday (Feb. 22) the Saginaw Spirit visited the North Bay Battalion.  The opening of the game was all Saginaw as the Spirit scored 3 goals in the opening 6:43 to take a 3-0 lead despite being outshot in the period 11-8.  In the second period, the Spirit continued to take advantage of their opportunities and added another 3 goals to extend their lead to 6-0.  Damien Giroux scored 2 goals in the frame (his 38th and 39th of the season), but North Bay would get on the board at 19:22 to spoil the shutout.  While North Bay ended up scoring twice in the final period, the result of this game was never in doubt at the Spirit defeated the Battalion by a score of 6-3.  Mason Millman was held off the score sheet and finished with 0 points, a +3 rating, and 1 shot on goal.        

The Saginaw Spirit remain in 1st place in the West Division with 77 points from 57 games played.  The Spirit have clinched a playoff spot and currently sit 2nd in the Western Conference.  They are 2 points behind the Kitchener Rangers for 1st place in the Western Conference.

QMJHL (Quebec Major Junior Hockey League)

Egor Serdyuk #18 (RW) – Victoriaville Tigres (QMJHL)

SEASONGPGAPTS+/-SPIM
2019-2020     Victoriaville Tigres45152237-510435
  • On Friday night (Feb. 14) the Victoriaville Tigres hosted the visiting Quebec Remparts for a Valentine’s Day match.  Victoriaville scored the first goal of the game at 13:20 of the opening period through Nicolas Daigle’s 5th goal of the season.  The Remparts would tie the game 1-1 on the powerplay at 19:00, but the Tigres went into the intermission with a 2-1 lead thanks to Maxime Pellerin who scored 36 seconds later.  In the second period, both teams traded goals as Victoriaville maintained their one goal advantage with a 3-2 lead heading into the third period.  In the third period, Quebec scored a shorthanded goal and an even strength goal to take a 4-3 lead.  On the shorthanded goal, Egor Serdyuk lost a puck battle with Hunter Holmes and tried to hook him down, but Holmes scored on the resulting two on one break.  Serdyuk would make amends as the Tigres would find an equalizer and force overtime as he received the puck behind the net and fed Alex DeGagne in the slot for his 5th goal of the season at 19:28.  Serdyuk was not done as in overtime he pounced on a rebound in front while the Tigres were on a 4 on 3 powerplay to score his 14th goal of the season to win the game for Victoriaville 5-4.  Serdyuk finished the game with 1 goal and 1 assist for 2 points, a +1 rating, and 3 shots on goal.  With his late game heroics, Serdyuk was named the game’s First Star.

Here are the highlights of Egor Serdyuk’s First Star performance against the Quebec Rempartes:  https://theqmjhl.ca/gamecentre/27940/boxscore

  • Sunday afternoon’s matinee had the Victoriaville Tigres hosting the visiting Baie-Comeau Drakkar.  Baie-Comeau scored at 1:06 for the opening goal of the game and jumped out to a 2-0 lead through a powerplay marker at 5:22.  In the second period, Victoriaville clawed a goal back thanks to Alexander Peresunko’s 9th goal of the season while on the man advantage.  In the third period, the Tigres would tie the game 2-2 through Brooklyn Kalmikov’s 22nd goal of the season with only 1:55 remaining to force overtime for the second consecutive game.  The Tigres dominated the Drakkar with a 48-19 shots advantage and looked as if they may be hard done by in this game as overtime solved nothing and the game went to a shootout.  In the shootout, Egor Serdyuk played the hero once again as he scored the only shootout attempt of the game and led Victoriaville to a 3-2 victory.  Serdyuk did not record a point in the game and finished with the shootout winning goal, an even rating, and 2 shots on goal.  Serdyuk was named the game’s Second Star.    

Here are the game highlights for the Victoriaville vs. Baie-Comeau match including the shootout winner by Egor Serdyuk:  https://theqmjhl.ca/gamecentre/27941/boxscore

  • Thursday night (Feb. 20) had the Victoriaville Tigres host the QMJHL leading Sherbrooke Phoenix.  The Tigres came out slowly in the first period, managing only 3 shots on goal and allowing Sherbrooke to score twice to take a 2-0 lead.  In the second period, Victoriaville wasted no time getting on the board as Anthony Poulin scored his 10th goal of the season only 13 seconds in.  Victoriaville would tie the game 2-2 as Brooklyn Kalmikov notched his 23rd goal as Egor Serdyuk gained the zone and passed the puck to Kamikov for the goal.  Unfortunately, Sherbrooke would retake the lead with a powerplay goal to head into the third period up 3-2.  In the third period, Jerome Gravel notched his 18th of the season to tie the game for the Tigres at 11:58.  However it was the Phoenix that would skate away with the victory as their powerplay clicked once again late in the game to ensure a 4-3 win for Sherbrooke.  Serdyuk finished the game with 1 assist, a +1 rating, 2 shots on goal, and 5 minutes of penalties thanks to a fight at 14:40 of the second period.
  • The Victoriaville Tigres were back in action on Friday night (Feb. 21) as they hosted the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada.  After a scoreless opening 20 minutes, Victoriaville scored the game’s opening goal at 18:22 of the second period as Samy Pare scored his 4th goal of the season.  Both goaltenders continued their fine play well into the third period as the Tigres scored two empty net goals at 17:56 and 19:57 to end a very tight contest with a 3-0 shutout victory.  Fabio Iacobo stopped all 31 shots that he faced, and Armada goaltender Emile Samson only allowed 1 goal on 37 shots in what turned out to be a very entertaining goaltender’s duel.  Egor Serdyuk did not record a point in this contest.  He finished the game with 0 points, a 0 rating, 6 shots on goal, and a 2 minute minor penalty for slashing at 3:30 of the first period.  He also served a too many men on the ice penalty at 6:07 of the second period.
  • On Sunday (Feb. 23) the Victoriaville Tigres travelled to Sherbrooke to face the first place Phoenix for the second time in the last week.  After a scoreless first period, both teams traded goals in the second period with Sherbrooke taking the lead and Victoriaville tying the game 1-1 through Mikhail Abramov’s 34th of the season.  In the third period, the Phoenix restored their lead at 5:35, but the Tigres equalized once again with Egor Serdyuk scoring his 15th of the season to make it 2-2.  The lead was short lived, as Sherbrooke pulled ahead 3-2 at 16:27 and ensured their victory with an empty net goal at 19:57 to defeat Victoriaville by a score of 4-2.  Serdyuk finished the game with 1 goal, a +2 rating, and 3 shots on goal.   

The Victoriaville Tigres rose to 4th position in the Western Conference and have 57 points from 58 games.  Victoriaville is only 2 points ahead of 7th place in what is a very tight race for playoff position.  Victoriaville is 7 points back of the Drummondville Voltigeurs for 3rd place.

BCHL (British Columbia Hockey League)

Jay O’Brien #9 (RW) – Penticton Vees (BCHL)

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2019-2020    Penticton Vees4625416651
  • Friday evening (Feb. 14) saw the Penticton Vees put their 10 game winning streak on the line as they faced the Coquitlam Express in a battle of the top two teams in the BCHL.  There would be no Valentine’s Day cards exchanged in this game as both sides were looking for bragging rights prior to the end of the regular season.  The Express drew first blood by scoring on the powerplay at 9:18 of the first period.  The Vees would draw level less than two minutes later and tie the game 1-1 through Lucas Sillinger’s 20th goal of the season at 10:59.  In the second period, Penticton would convert on a powerplay of their own as Jay O’Brien put the Vees ahead 2-1 with his 24th goal of the season at 5:23.  The lead would be short lived as Coquitlam tied the game at 8:07 while on the powerplay once again to tie the game 2-2 after 40 minutes of play.  Despite a 43-30 shots advantage in the game for Penticton, it was Coquitlam that would find the winning goal at 2:59 of the third period as the first place Express defeated the second place Vees by a score of 3-2.  Jay O’Brien finished the game with the 1 goal with the man advantage as the Vees had their 10 game winning streak snapped..
  • On Saturday night (Feb. 15) the Penticton Vees looked to get back into the win column as they faced the Alberni Valley Bulldogs.  Alberni Valley opened the scoring at 10:26 of the first period while on the powerplay to lead 1-0.  The opening goal with the man advantage would be the only powerplay goal for the Bulldogs that they would get in this game in seven opportunities.  Penticton tied the game in the second period as Jackson Niedermayer scored his 21st goal at 5:16, but Alberni Valley retook the lead only 24 seconds later to take a 2-1 lead into the third period.  Late in the third period, Jay O’Brien assisted on Jackson Niedermayer’s second goal of the game with only 9 seconds left in regulation time to send the game to overtime tied 2-2.  In overtime O’Brien added another helper, this time on Steve Holtz’s 8th goal of the season to help the Vees get back to their winning ways with a 3-2 overtime win.  Jay O’Brien had 2 assists in this game and picked up a 2 minute minor penalty for roughing at 15:21 of the third period.
  • Friday night (Feb. 21) had the Penticton Vees play in their penultimate game of the BCHL season versus the Wenatchee Wild.  The Vees started the game well as they led 2-0 after the first period.  Penticton got goals from Colton Kalezic (shorthanded) and Danny Weight scored his 25th goal of the season at even strength to give the Vees a two goal advantage.  Jay O’Brien picked up his 40th assist of the season on the Weight goal at 19:43 of the first period.  In the second period, Wenatchee got on the board to make it a 2-1 game even though the Vees outshot the Wild by a 15-8 margin.  That was as close as the Wild would get, as the Vees scored two more goals through Tyler Ho and Darwin Lakoduk as Penticton cruised to a 4-1 victory.  Jay O’Brien finished the game with the 1 assist and Penticton has now won two straight games.
  • On Saturday night (Feb. 22) the Penticton Vees played their final regular season game of the BCHL season against the Wenatchee Wild for the second time in back to back nights.  The Wild came out looking to avenge the loss from the night before, and came out swinging with 3 goals in the opening period on 12 shots.  After a scoreless second period, the score remained 3-0 heading into the third period and the Vees looked like they would be heading into the playoffs on a losing note.  Penticton came out with a 13-6  shots advantage in the final period, and were rewarded with 3 goals to tie the game 3-3 and send the game into overtime.  The Vees received goals from Jackson Niedermayer (his 23rd at 6:15) and two goals from Lucas Sillinger (his 21st and 22nd at 7:49 and 19:11) to even up the score.  Jay O’Brien notched his 41st assist of the season on Sillinger’s first goal of the game.  In overtime, the Vees dominated the play and possession with a 6-1 shot advantage and were rewarded with the overtime winner as the aforementioned Jay O’Brien scored his 25th goal of the season to win the game 4-3 and send the Vees into the playoffs with a 3 game winning streak.  Jay O’Brien finished the game with 1 goal (game winner) and 1 assist for 2 points and was named the game’s First Star.

Here are the highlights of the Vees last game of the season with Jay O’Brien’s overtime winner:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SDLQBPS8k8Q  

The Penticton Vees finished the regular season on top of the Interior Division with 90 points from 58 games.  They finished with a record of 44-12-2 and will play the West Kelowna Warriors in the Interior Division Quarter Finals which will be a best of seven series that will begin on Thursday February 27th.

Jay O’Brien finished the season with 25 goals and 41 assists for 66 points in 46 games.  He finished tied for fourth in BCHL scoring, and his 1.43 points per game was good for third in the BCHL.  At the end of season awards ceremony, Jay O’Brien won awards for Best Conditioned Athlete and was recognized as the Vees leading scorer.

***

Hope you enjoyed this February edition of the Flyers Junior Hockey Prospect Report.

As always, feel free to leave any comments or feedback via twitter or at www.brotherlypuck.com.

Until next time from BrotherlyPuck.com,

I remain,

Manny Benevides

@mannybenevides

 

photo credit: globalnews.ca

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