Welcome back to the 19th bi-weekly installment of the Flyers Junior Hockey Prospect Report.
What a fun time to be a fan of the Philadelphia Flyers.
The Orange and Black have won 9 games in a row and have vaulted themselves firmly into home ice advantage as the Stanley Cup Playoffs loom just about a month away. With an assist from the Buffalo Sabres last night, the Washington Capitals were held to a solitary point and are now only 1 point ahead of the Flyers with the Capitals playing an extra game. That means that with a victory of any sort tonight against the Boston Bruins, the Flyers would catapult into first place in the Metropolitan Division. Who would have thought that such a vast turnaround was in the cards?
All the credit of course has to go to GM Chuck Fletcher. His deft moves in the offseason correctly addressed the needs of the roster with pinpoint accuracy. Kevin Hayes has been a presence on and off the ice and has been a revelation on the penalty kill, Braun has eaten up difficult minutes on the back end and has been effectively paired with Robert Hagg, and Matt Niskanen has returned to his top pair form and has helped bring Ivan Provorov’s game along to the level where it needs to be. All three have injected a fresh dynamic into this lineup while coincidentally have allowed them to become elder statesmen and mentors to the younger members of the team.
But perhaps the shrewdest move of all was Fletcher’s hire of Alain Vigneault as the new bench boss. In the last two to three weeks, Vigneault’s impact on this team has finally started to get recognition from outside Philadelphia and has thereby vaulted him into the conversation for being a finalist for the Jack Adams Award for NHL Coach of the Year. The Vigneault effect has been seen by fans since the early stages of the season, but the propulsion of this team into an almost certain playoff position at this point in the season has been nothing short of miraculous.
As the Flyers continue marching towards the Stanley Cup Playoffs, I will conclude this discussion with how I began it: What a fun time to be a fan of the Philadelphia Flyers.
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:
Jay O’Brien and the Penticton Vees begin Round 1 of the BCHL Playoffs against the West Kelowna Warriors. How will O’Brien play with the increased pressure of playoff hockey?
Can Wyatte Wylie and the Everett Silvertips continue to keep pace with the Portland Winterhawks for the division lead?
Will the Victoriaville Tigres and the Seattle Thunderbirds join all of the other teams that have Flyers prospects and clinch a postseason birth?
This edition covers the week that was in the CHL and the BCHL from Tuesday February 25th – Monday March 9th.
WHL (Western Hockey League)
Wyatte Wylie #29 (D) – Everett Silvertips (WHL)
- Wednesday night (Feb. 25) had the Everett Silvertips visit the Tri-City Americans. This game ended up being an absolutely dominating performance by the Silvertips, as they did not allow the Americans to have more than 6 shots on goal in any period and outshot them 45-14. In the first period, Jalen Price got things started for Everett with his 4th goal of the season at 4:11. On that goal, Wyatte Wylie got an assist as he fired a shot from the right point that deflected off a skate, was stopped by the goaltender with the rebound slammed home by Price. After Everett made it 2-0, the Americans scored with only 3 seconds remaining in the period to cut the lead to 2-1. That was as close as Tri-City would get in the game. The second period saw Everett score twice to extend their lead to 4-1. In the third, the Silvertips extinguished any hope of a comeback by scoring four times in the period. With a goal to his name already, Jake Christiansen tallied 2 goals in the final period (his 19th and 20th) to get the hat trick as Wylie assisted on both goals (one powerplay and one even strength) to end the scoring for Everett in an 8-1 victory. Wylie finished the game with 3 assists, a +5 rating, and 5 shots on goal.
- On Friday night (Feb. 28), the Everett Silvertips played their first game of three consecutive nights as they visited the Kelowna Rockets. Everett got on the board first through Gage Goncalves’ 32nd goal of the season at 2:55 to lead the game 1-0. That score remained into the second period as the Rockets tied the game at 12:24 before the Silvertips retook the lead at 17:32 through Justyn Gurney’s 6th goal to lead 2-1. In the third period, Michal Gut scored his 13th goal of the season for the Silvertips to make the lead 3-1 but the Rockets responded by scoring twice in the final half of the period to tie that game 3-3 and force overtime. In overtime, Everett was awarded a powerplay and converted as Wyatte Wylie shot the puck on goal from the left circle that hit the goaltender’s pad and went to Bryce Kindopp who roofed the puck for the overtime winner and his 37th goal of the season as the Silvertips won the game 4-3. Wylie finished the game with 1 assist, an even rating, and 7 shots on goal.
- The Everett Silvertips were back in action with their second game in three consecutive nights on Saturday night (Feb. 29) as they hosted the Kelowna Rockets in the second half of a home and home. Everett dominated the play in all three periods allowing only 13 total shots by the Rockets while putting up 50 shots of their own. Against the run of play, Kelowna scored the first goal of the game at the 14 minute mark but Everett responded through Bryce Kindopp’s 38th goal of the season 39 seconds later. With the game tied 1-1 in the second period, the Silvertips scored two quick goals as Jackson Berezowski notched his 18th of the season at 1:24, and Wyatte Wylie forced a takeaway and fed Ethan Regnier for his 13th goal at 2:52 to make it 3-1. It remained 3-1 until the dying seconds of the game as Ethan Regnier scored his second goal of the game at 19:33 of the third period as Wylie picked up his second assist of the night to help Everett to a 4-1 win. Wylie finished the game with 2 assists, a +2 rating, and 6 shots on goal.
- Playing in their third game in three nights on Sunday evening (Mar. 1), the Everett Silvertips hosted the league leading Portland Winterhawks. With only 7 shots in the first period, the Silvertips managed to score first as Wyatte Wylie picked up a powerplay assist on Cole Fonstad’s 14th goal of the season. Dawson Butt added a second goal with his 9th and gave the Silvertips a 2-0 lead heading into the first intermission. In the second period, Everett took advantage of the man advantage once again as Kasper Puutio notched his 5th goal at 11:08 to give the Silvertips a 3-0 lead. Portland would get a goal back at 13:33 to make it 3-1, but Everett got a late Ty Kolle goal (his 20th) at 19:16 to regain the three goal advantage. Silvertips netminder Dustin Wolf was perfect in the third period stopping all 16 shots that he faced as Everett got a massive 4-1 win over their division rivals. Wylie finished the game with 1 assist, a +1 rating, and 3 shots on goal.
- Everett was back in action on Friday evening (Mar. 6) as the Silvertips hosted the visiting Tri-City Americans. This game turned out to be a smothering performance by the Silvertips as they dominated the shots on goal in this game by a whopping 59-16 margin. Cole Fonstad got the scoring started with his 15th to give Everett a 1-0 lead at 15:29 of the first period. The Silvertips broke the game open in the second period with a four goal burst to take a 5-0 lead courtesy of goals by Brendan Lee (8th), Bryce Kindopp (39th), and two goals from defenceman Jake Christiansen (21st and 22nd). Wyatte Wylie closed the scoring at 19:55 of the third period with his 14th goal of the season as the Everett Silvertips went on to win 6-0. Silvertips backup goaltender Braden Holt stopped all 16 shots that he faced for the shutout. Wylie finished the game with 1 goal, a +1 rating, and 8 shots on goal.
- Saturday night (Mar. 7) had the Everett Silvertips host the Seattle Thunderbirds in the opening game of a home and home set. Everett would be stymied in the opening period despite outshooting Seattle 14-7. The Silvertips got on the board first in the second period as Ty Kolle scored his 21st of the season in which Wyatte Wylie got an assist. The tide in the game turned thereafter as the Seattle Thunderbirds scored 5 consecutive goals to lead the game 5-1 in the third period. Brendan Lee scored his 9th goal of the season but it was not nearly enough as Seattle goaltender Roddy Ross had a strong game despite giving up a weak first goal as the Everett lost the game 5-2. Wylie finished the game with 1 assist, a -1 rating, and 4 shots on goal.
- The return match of the home and home series had the Everett Silvertips visit the Seattle Thunderbirds for their third game in three nights on Sunday evening (Mar. 8). Bryce Kindopp got the Silvertips on the board first with his 40th goal of the season at 14:44 of the first period. Kindopp proved opportunistic as he pounced on a rebound off a good stop by Ross on a Gage Goncalves breakaway to give Everett a 1-0 lead. In the second period, Seattle would tie the game 1-1 with a powerplay goal at 2:23 but the Silvertips would score twice in the remainder of the period through Gage Goncalves’ 33rd and Ty Kolle’s 22nd goal of the season to put Everett up 3-1. In the third period, Seattle pulled to within a goal by converting another powerplay opportunity but ultimately could not pull even as Dustin Wolf shut the door and the Everett Silvertips won the game by a 3-2 score. Wyatte Wylie did not dress in this game.
The Everett Silvertips continue to chase the Portland Winterhawks for the division lead. Everett remains in 2nd place in the U.S. Division with 96 points from 63 games. They are only 1 point behind the Winterhawks with the same amount of games played. Everett has clinched a spot in the WHL playoffs.
Egor Zamula #9 (D) – Calgary Hitmen (WHL)
- Thursday evening (Feb. 27) had the Calgary Hitmen host the visiting Winnipeg Ice. Winnipeg had the run of play with a 15-10 shot advantage in the first period, but found themselves behind 2-1 thanks to goals from Kyle Olson (his 12th) and Mark Kastelic (his 34th). In the second period, Calgary began to outshoot and out chance the Ice, but neither side could score. Calgary continued to pour on the pressure in the third period and got a quick goal from Carson Focht (his 31st) only 51 seconds in to extend the lead to 3-1. Calgary secured the win at 18:25 with Kyle Olson’s second goal of the game to finish the game 4-1.
- On Friday night (Feb. 28) the Calgary Hitmen hosted the Brandon Wheat Kings. The Wheat Kings opened the scoring while shorthanded at 9:52 to take a 1-0 lead into the intermission. In the second period, Brandon’s Cole Reinhardt scored twice in a span of 13 seconds to put the Wheat Kings up 3-0. The Hitmen would respond with a shorthanded goal of their own as Mark Kastelic scored his 35th of the season at 9:24 to make it 3-1. In the third period, Riley Stotts scored another shorthanded goal to make it a one goal game with his 24th but the Hitmen would get no closer as Brandon won the game 3-2. Calgary will be disappointed in the result as they outshot Brandon in every period of the game for a grand total of 37-19.
- Sunday evening (Mar. 1) had the Calgary Hitmen host the visiting Lethbridge Hurricanes. The Hurricanes got the only goals in the first 40 minutes, scoring once in each period to lead 2-0. In the third period, Calgary’s Orca Wiesblatt scored his 19th goal of the season only 1:19 in to cut the deficit to 2-1. The Hitmen would tie the game 2-2 at 5:24 while on the man advantage as Riley Stotts put home his 25th of the season. Momentum appeared to have swung in favor of Calgary after a delay of game penalty put the Hitmen on the powerplay once again, but it was Lethbridge that scored the game winning goal only 11 seconds after Calgary tied the game with a shorthanded goal to hand the Hitmen a 3-2 loss.
- Tuesday night (Mar. 3) had the Calgary Hitmen visit the Prince Albert Raiders. The Raiders came out and had a great first period, putting 19 pucks on goal and scoring 4 goals to go up 4-0 by the intermission. In the second period, Calgary got on the board with Cael Zimmerman scoring his 4th goal of the season at 5:16, and Mark Kastelic scoring his 34th only 12 seconds later to make it 4-2. But Prince Albert responded with a powerplay goal and an even strength marker to restore the four goal lead. With the score 6-2 in the third period, the Raiders scored twice more to extend their lead to 8-2 before Cael Zimmerman closed out the scoring for Calgary as the Raiders won this game by a score of 8-3.
- The Calgary Hitmen were back in action on Wednesday night (Mar. 4) as they visited the Saskatoon Blades. The Blades opened the scoring at 2:56 to take a 1-0 lead, but Cael Zimmerman scored his third goal in 2 games (6th overall) to tie the game at 6:55. Both teams traded goals once again in the second period as Mark Kastelic scored his 37th of the season to put the Hitmen up 2-1, but Saskatoon tied the game 2-2 at 18:36. With the game up for grabs entering the third period, it was Calgary that took the lead as Carson Focht scored his 32nd as 5:52 and Dakota Krebs added an insurance marker for his 3rd of the season at 8:59 to make it a 4-2 game. Krebs’ goal would be an important one as the Blades got a goal back at 18:48, but their comeback attempt would fall short as Calgary won the game by a score of 4-3.
- On Friday night (Mar. 6) the Calgary Hitmen visited the Medicine Hat Tigers. This game was not close as the Tigers outshot the Hitmen to the tune of 45-29 in the game and won the shot battle in every period. Medicine Hat opened the scoring 4:00 into the first period while on the powerplay, and added a second goal at 11:44 to head into the intermission up 2-0. In the second period, Medicine Hat extended their lead to 3-0 with an even strength goal at 4:10. The Hitmen got a goal back via the powerplay as Kyle Olson scored his 14th goal of the season at 6:06 to make it 3-1. From there on out though, the rest of the scoring was done by the Tigers. Medicine Hat made it 4-1 before the end of the second period with another goal at 15:32. In the third period, Medicine Hat added another goal on the powerplay and another at five on five to win the game convincingly by a score of 6-1.
- Saturday night (Mar. 7) had the Calgary Hitmen hosted the Spokane Chiefs. In the first period, the Chiefs got things started with goals only 22 seconds apart to lead 2-0. The Hitmen got back into the game in the second period with three consecutive goals in the opening 8:08 to turn the tide and take a 3-2 lead. Calgary got their goals at even strength from Orca Wiesblatt (20th), Cael Zimmerman (7th), and Rory Neill (1st). Unfortunately, Spokane scored twice in a span of 30 seconds in the remainder of the second to retake the lead 4-3. The Chiefs continued their momentum in the third period adding an even strength goal and a powerplay goal to win the game 6-3.
The Calgary Hitmen have 75 points from 64 games played. They have clinched a playoff birth and continue to hold the first playoff wildcard spot. They are ahead of the Saskatoon Blades by only 4 points in the Wildcard and Saskatoon has 2 games in hand..
Roddy Ross #1 (G) – Seattle Thunderbirds (WHL)
- On Friday night (Feb. 28) the Seattle Thunderbirds visited the Spokane Chiefs. Blake Lyda got the start in net for the Thunderbirds and allowed 4 goals on 16 shots. Seattle managed to get a goal after the score was 2-0 with Payton Mount’s 13th goal of the season, but the damage had been done as Seattle trailed 4-1 after 20 minutes. In the second period, Spokane did not let up and scored twice more, chasing Lyda from the game with the score 6-1. Roddy Ross entered the game at 12:10 of the second period and shut the door to get to the second intermission. In the third period, Ross allowed 3 consecutive goals to Spokane on 15 shots before Seattle scored a consolation goal through Andrej Kukuca’s 24th of the season as Spokane won the game by a score of 9-2. Ross did not get tagged with the loss and he allowed 3 goals on 16 shots.
- Saturday night (Feb. 29) had the Seattle Thunderbirds return to action as they hosted the league leading Portland Winterhawks. The Thunderbirds went right back to giving Blake Lyda the start in goal to see if he could rebound from getting pulled in Seattle’s loss to the Spokane Chiefs. Portland struck first through potential NHL 1st round selection Seth Jarvis who scored his 38th goal of the season at 13:17. The Winterhawks would add another before the end of the first period to lead 2-0. In the second period, Ryan Gottfried got the Thunderbirds on the board with his 3rd goal of the season at 3:32, but Portland would score again through Jarvis’ second goal of the game and Lane Gilliss while on the powerplay to give the Winterhawks a 4-1 lead. Seattle would make things interesting in the third period by scoring twice in the opening 14 minutes, but the Winterhawks would prove to be too much as Jarvis completed the hat-trick into an empty net with his 40th goal as Portland defeated Seattle 6-3. Lyda allowed 5 goals on 30 shots in the loss.
- The Seattle Thunderbirds began their first of three games in three days as they visited the Kelowna Rockets. Roddy Ross got the start in goal for the Thunderbirds, but it would be one to forget for Ross as Kelowna got on the board first with a goal that should have been a routine save as the puck careened off his pad and squeaked into the goal. Seattle found themselves down 2-0 by the end of the period as Ethan Ernst was able to pick the puck up from behind the net and walk out completely unmolested to pick the corner on Ross who had no help from his teammates. Things did not get better in the second period as the Rockets scored three goals in the frame to make it 5-0 and chase Ross from the goal at 14:18. Blake Lyda came on in relief and allowed one goal on 8 shots for the remainder of the game as the Thunderbirds fell to the Kelowna Rockets in a 6-0 shutout loss. Ross was credited with the loss as he allowed 5 goals on only 14 shots (9 saves).
- Looking for a quick response, the Seattle Thunderbirds went right back to Roddy Ross as they traveled to face the Everett Silvertips. Ross was tested early and often in the opening period, but he managed to turn aside all 14 Silvertips shots that he faced. In the second period Everett got on the board to take a 1-0 lead off a weak goal that Ross would want back, but Seattle responded with three consecutive goals to head into the intermission up 3-1. In the third period, Seattle scored twice more to make it five consecutive goals in the game (including Andrej Kukuca’s 26th of the season and second of the game) as the Thunderbirds took a commanding 5-1 lead. Although Everett would score a late goal at 18:05, Ross rebounded well as he picked up the victory in a 5-2 Seattle win. Ross allowed 2 goals on 34 shots and made 32 saves to be named the game’s Second Star.
- The Thunderbirds played their third game in three nights on Sunday evening (Mar. 8) as they went back home to Seattle for the back end of their home and home series with the Everett Silvertips. Roddy Ross returned between the pipes to get the start once again looking to build on his good game from the night before. Everett opened the scoring as Ross stopped Gage Goncalves on a partial breakaway with a very good save only to see Bryce Kindopp score his 40th of the season to put the Silvertips up 1-0. In the second period, Seattle would tie the game 1-1 with the man advantage as Keltie Jeri-Leon scored his 23rd at 2:23. The Silvertips responded before the end of the period with goals by Gage Goncalves (33rd) at 11:12 and Ty Kolle (22nd) at 17:15 to give Everett a 3-1 advantage heading into the third period. Payton Mount scored his 15th of the season while Seattle was on the powerplay to make it a 3-2 game, but the Thunderbirds could get no closer as they fell in this game by a score of 3-2. Ross took the loss but played a good game overall only allowing 3 goals on 30 shots (27 saves).
The Seattle Thunderbirds remain in the second and final wildcard spot in the Western Conference. With 55 points in 63 games, Seattle has not yet clinched a playoff spot and now lead the Prince George Cougars by 7 points with one extra game played..
OHL (Ontario Hockey League)
Mason Millman #12 (D) – Saginaw Spirit (OHL)
|2019-2020 Saginaw Spirit||58||13||31||44||+31||122||61|
- On Friday night (Feb. 28) the Saginaw Spirit hosted the visiting Kingston Frontenacs. The Spirit struck first in the opening period, taking a 1-0 lead through Dalton Duhart’s 13th goal of the season. With the 1-0 lead in the second period, Saginaw added to their lead through newcomer Bode Wilde’s 2nd of the season and Damien Giroux’s 40th to lead 3-0. Kingston got a goal back at 15:36 to make it a 3-1 game heading into the final period, but Saginaw scored twice in the third period as Damien Giroux struck for his second goal of the game and Cole Perfetti tallied his 36th of the season. Kingston would score a consolation goal, but the Spirit cruised to victory with a final score of 5-2. Mason Millman did not score any points in the game and finished with a +1 rating and 2 PIMs courtesy of a roughing call at 13:30 of the third period.
- The Saginaw Spirit were back in action on Saturday night (Feb. 29) as they hosted the Hamilton Bulldogs. It took only 57 seconds for Saginaw to take the lead through DJ Busdeker’s 19th of the season. Busdeker would add a second goal 23 seconds later and complete the natural hat-trick at 18:18 to give Saginaw a 3-0 lead. In the second period, Hamilton got on the board but Busdeker was in on the action again as he took a pass from Mason Millman to feed Blake Jenkins for a powerplay goal to restore the three goal cushion. Ryan Suzuki then took the spotlight by scoring two consecutive goals for his 17th and 18th of the season in the second and third periods respectively to give the Spirit a 6-1 lead. In the third period, Millman went to work on the powerplay and added 2 more assists including one on Busdeker’s fourth goal of the game as the Saginaw Spirit pounded the Bulldogs 8-2. Millman finished the game with 3 assists, an even rating, and 1 shot on goal.
- On Thursday night (Mar. 5) the Saginaw Spirit visited the Mississauga Steelheads. Saginaw got on the board first as Damien Giroux scored his 42nd goal of the season while the Spirit were on the powerplay to give Saginaw a 1-0 lead. In the second period, Blade Jenkins scored his 15th only 1:19 in and Camaryn Baber added his 9th as the Spirit took a 3-0 lead. Mississauga got a goal back to make it 3-1 at the end of 40 minutes. In the third period, Saginaw extended their lead with goals by Blade Jenkins (16th) and Danny Katic (12th) to make it a 5-1 advantage. Mississauga scored a powerplay goal at 14:16, but the game ended with a 6-2 Saginaw victory as Cole Coskey scored his 32nd of the season at 19:13. Mason Millman did not get any points in this game and finished with a +3 rating and 2 shots on goal.
- Saturday night (Mar. 7) had the Saginaw Spirit visit the Hamilton Bulldogs. The first period was a goal fest as both sides combined for seven goals in the frame. Saginaw led after the first period by a score of 4-3 thanks to two goals by Ilya Solovyov with singles by Dalton Duhart and Damien Giroux. Mason Millman had an impactful period as he assisted on both goals by Solovyov at even strength. By comparison, the second period was much tamer with only five goals scored. Danny Katic got the ball rolling for the Spirit with his 13th of the year to make it 5-3 at 3:37. The Bulldogs would bring the deficit back to one goal, but Bode Wilde scored his 3rd and 4th goals of the season only 2:18 apart to help Saginaw end the period with a 7-5 advantage. In the third period, both teams traded goals as Cole Coskey put in his 33rd of the year on the powerplay with yet another assist for Millman as the Spirit took this game by a score of 8-6. Millman finished the game with 3 assists, a +2 rating, and 2 shots on goal.
- The Spirit were back in action on Sunday evening (Mar. 8) as Saginaw visited the Erie Otters. Erie scored the only goal of the first period as Brendan Sellan scored his 13th on an assist from eligible top draft prospect Jamie Drysdale at 9:47 to lead 1-0. In the second period, Saginaw took advantage of a 17-10 shots advantage to score three goals in the period to take a 3-1 lead. The Spirit’s goals were scored by Cole Coskey (34th), Damien Giroux (44th), and Cole Perfetti (37th). The third period saw the Otters bookend the scoring by tallying the opening goal and closing goal of the period, but Danil Antropov’s 12th of the season at 3:31 was the game winner as Saginaw hung on for a 4-3 victory. Mason Millman was held off the scoresheet and finished the game with a -1 rating and 2 shots on goal.
The Saginaw Spirit remain in 1st place in the West Division with 87 points from 62 games played. The Spirit have clinched a playoff spot and currently sit 2nd in the Western Conference. They are 5 points behind the London Knights for 1st place in the Western Conference.
QMJHL (Quebec Major Junior Hockey League)
Egor Serdyuk #18 (RW) – Victoriaville Tigres (QMJHL)
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- On Friday night (Feb. 28) the Victoriaville Tigres visited the Val-d’Or Foreurs. The Tigres had to play from behind as the Foreurs notched three goals in the opening period to take a 3-0 lead. All three Val-d’Or goals came at even strength, and in the second period they extended their lead to 4-0. Victoriaville got on the board in the third period, scoring three consecutive goals to make it a 4-3 game. The Tigres got goals from Sean Larochelle (his 6th), Anthony Poulin (his 12th), and Brooklyn Kalmikov (his 24th). With the goaltender pulled for an extra attacker to try to tie the game, Val-d’Or scored an empty netter at 19:52 to hand Victoriaville a 5-3 loss. Egor Serdyuk did not get a point in this contest and finished the game with a -3 rating and no shots on goal.
- Saturday night (Feb. 29) had the Victoriaville Tigres return to action as they visited the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies. Egor Serdyuk opened the scoring for the Tigres at 19:27 by firing a quick one time snapshot from the left circle for his 16th goal of the season. With a 1-0 lead, the Victoriaville Tigres were clearly the second best team on the ice in the second period as the Huskies only allowed 3 shots on goal. In addition, the Huskies scored three goals in the frame to open up a 3-1 lead. Both goalies combined to make 18 saves in a scoreless third period as Rouyn-Noranda defeated Victoriaville 3-1. Serdyuk finished the game with 1 goal, a -1 rating, and 1 shot on goal.
- On Wednesday night (Mar. 4) the Victoriaville Tigres travelled to Rimouski to face Alexis Lafreniere and the Oceanic. Although the shots in the opening period were 10-5 in favor of the Oceanic and Rimouski scored the opening goal, it was the Tigres that would go into the intermission with the lead as Jeremy Michaud scored his 1st of the season on the powerplay and Vincent Sevigny notched his 10th to put Victoriaville up 2-1. From the second period onward, Rimouski dominated the match and would never look back. In the second, Alexis Lafreniere scored his 33rd at 2:14 to tie it 2-2 before Mikhail Abramov scored his 35th to restore Victoriaville’s lead to 3-2. Two quick goals at 9:24 and 10:42 would give Rimouski a 4-3 lead, and Lafreniere picked up his second assist of the game to help Rimouski to a 5-3 lead. In the third period, Lafreniere would score only 56 seconds into the period, and later add his 3rd goal of the game (35th overall) to cap off a 5 point night (3 goals and 2 assists) as the Oceanic defeated Victoriaville 7-3. Egor Serdyuk had a night to forget as he was held pointless, had a -3 rating, 0 shots on goal, and a 2 minute minor penalty for embellishment at 12:32 of the third period.
- Friday night (Mar. 6) had the Victoriaville Tigres hosted the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies. In the opening period, both teams traded goals with the Huskies getting on the board first at 6:11 and the Tigres tying it 1-1 with Samy Pare’s 5th goal of the season at 17:36 assisted by Egor Serdyuk. In the second period, Victoriaville took a 2-1 lead as Brooklyn Kalmikov scored his 25th goal by converting off a 2 on 1 break at 11:58 with the Tigres getting outshot 12-8. Victoriaville came to play in the third period as they turned the tables on the Huskies by outshooting them 20-10. The Tigres were rewarded with their persistence as Alex DeGagne scored his 6th of the season at 16:39 to take a 3-1 lead. Victoriaville secured victory with an empty net goal at 19:00 courtesy of Anthony Poulin’s 13th goal as the Tigres defeated the Huskies 4-1. Serdyuk finished the game with 1 assist, a +2 rating, and 4 shots on goal.
- The Victoriaville Tigres were back in action on Saturday night (Mar. 7) as hosted the visiting Val-d’Or Foreurs. With some solid action in the opening period, the goaltenders for both teams made some key stops to keep the game scoreless as the Tigres outshot the Foreurs 12-10. The floodgates opened up in the second period with five goals being scored on a 15-12 shot advantage for Val-d’Or. Victoriaville opened the scoring 1:03 into the second period as Jerome Gravel sniped his 19th goal by going top shelf while streaking down the left hand boards. The Foreurs would tie the game 1-1 1:09 later with the man advantage, but the Tigres would retake the lead 32 seconds later through Samy Pare’s 6th goal of the season off a feed from Egor Serdyuk. Victoriaville would score in quick succession again as Olivier Pouliot scored his 1st goal of the season at 8:23 to make it 3-1 and Conor Frenette notched his 14th to make it 4-1 at 9:32. The Foreurs got a goal back in the third period, but could not manage to get any closer as Victoriaville picked up another crucial two points with a 4-2 win. Serdyuk finished the game with 1 assist, an even rating, and 1 shot on goal.
The Victoriaville Tigres is now in the 5th position in the Western Conference standings and have 61 points from 63 games. Victoriaville is only 1 point ahead of the Shawinigan Cataractes (both with 63 games played) and are 1 point behind the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies who have a game in hand. Victoriaville has clinched a playoff spot in the QMJHL postseason.
BCHL (British Columbia Hockey League)
Jay O’Brien #9 (RW) – Penticton Vees (BCHL) ***Regular Season
|2019-2020 Penticton Vees (Reg. Season)||46||25||41||66||51|
|2019-2020 Penticton Vees (Playoffs)||5||5||5||10||2|
- Game #1 of the best of seven opening round playoff series pitted the Penticton Vees against the West Kelowna Warriors on Thursday night (Feb. 27). The Warriors opened the scoring at 3:13 of the opening period to take the 1-0 lead, but from there on out the game was decidedly in favor of the Vees. After tying the game 1-1, Tyler Ho scored a shorthanded goal at 17:54 to swing the score to 2-1 for Penticton. Even though the Vees had a 15-8 shot advantage, they were undisciplined as they took 4 minor penalties (including a high-sticking minor on Jay O’Brien) that were not converted. The Warriors would finish 0 for 9 with the man advantage in this game. In the second period, the Vees continued to apply the pressure as Evan McIntyre scored at 2:38, followed by Tyler Ho’s second shorthanded goal of the game at 10:01. Jay O’Brien scored his first playoff goal at 11:26 to make it 5-1 heading into the intermission. In the third, O’Brien added an assist while the Vees were on the powerplay as Danny Weight potted his first goal of the postseason. Unbelievably, the scoring in this game would be capped off by a hat trick as Tyler Ho scored his third shorthanded goal of the game to give Penticton a crushing 7-1 win. Jay O’Brien finished his playoff debut with 1 goal, 1 assist, and 2 PIMs. Penticton leads the best of seven series 1-0.
Click on the link to watch extended highlights of Game #1:
- Game #2 between the Penticton Vees and the West Kelowna Warriors went down on Friday night (Feb. 28). Much like the opening game, it was West Kelowna that got on the board first and took a 1-0 lead at 14:18 of the first period. In the second period, the Vees outshot the Warriors 14-6 but neither side could find a goal and the game went into the third period with the Warriors clinging to a 1-0 lead. In the third period, the Vees scored early and often starting with Danny Weight’s 2nd of the postseason at 1:58. At 6:20, Jay O’Brien picked up a loose puck from the left face off dot and stickhandled his way into the slot and fired home his 2nd goal of the playoffs. O’Brien scored his second goal of the game and 3rd of the playoffs at 10:27 by picking up a rebound in the slot and deking around the sprawling goaltender and tucking it into the short side from behind the net to make it 3-1. Liam Malquist would score his 2nd of the postseason to finish the scoring at 11:00 as the Vees defeated the Warriors 4-1. O’Brien finished the game with 2 goals, had the game winning goal, and was named the game’s First Star. Penticton leads the best of seven series 2-0.
Click on the link to watch extended highlights of Game #2:
- Game #3 between the Penticton Vees and the West Kelowna Warriors took place on Sunday night (Mar. 1) with the Vees up 2-0 in the series. In the opening period, the shots were 14-12 in favor of the Vees and Penticton scored the only goal of the frame as Colton Kalezic scored at 9:15 to put the Vees up 1-0. In the second and third periods the floodgates opened and the Vees took complete control of the contest by outshooting West Kelowna 35-14. Jay O’Brien got the scoring started with his 4th goal at 3:15 as Lucas Sillinger from behind the goal line played a nice back and forth passing play with O’Brien who wristed the shot in from the slot. O’Brien then got an assist on Penticton’s next goal at 9:06 as he got his own rebound and slid a pass to Danny Weight for his 3rd goal of the series while the Vees were on the powerplay to put them up 3-0. Danny Weight would score his second goal of the game at even strength 51 seconds later, but West Kelowna would get a goal back to make it a 4-1 game after 40 minutes. The Warriors scored early in the third period to make it a two goal game, but the Vees showed no mercy as they scored 5 consecutive goals to end the game by a 9-2 score. O’Brien scored his 5th goal of the series to put the Vees up 5-2 and added an assist on Penticton’s eight goal. Unbelievably, the ninth goal of the game came courtesy of Tyler Ho who scored his 4th shorthanded goal of the series (albeit on a penalty shot) to add insult to injury to an already outrageous score line. Jay O’Brien finished the game with 2 goals and 2 assists for a 4 point night and was named the First Star of the game for the second straight game. Penticton leads the best of seven series 3-0.
Click on the link to watch extended highlights of Game #3:
- Game #4 of the best of seven series between the Penticton Vees and the West Kelowna Warriors took place on Tuesday night (Mar. 3) with the Vees looking to sweep the series and move on to Round 2. In the first period, Penticton got the first goal of the game late in the period as Lucas Sillinger scored his 1st of the playoffs with Jay O’Brien drawing an assist at 18:45 to give the Vees a 1-0 lead. After a scoreless second period in which both teams had 13 shots on goal, the Vees still clung to the 1-0 lead until West Kelowna tied the game at 4:41 of the third period. With the end of regulation and the score tied 1-1, both sides came out in the overtime period looking for a hero to end the game. With three shots apiece, it was the Warriors who found some life as Tyler Cristall’s 2nd of the postseason won the game for West Kelowna 2-1 and extended the series. Jay O’Brien finished the game with the 1 assist which was his 3rd assist of the series. Penticton leads the best of seven series 3-1.
- Game #5 of the best of seven series had the Penticton Vees return home up 3-1 to face the West Kelowna Warriors on Wednesday night (Mar. 6). In the first period, Penticton drew first blood through Conner Hutchison’s 1st goal at 11:43 while on the powerplay to help the Vees take a 1-0 lead. On the goal, Jay O’Brien registered his 4th assist of the playoffs as he took up his usual spot on the left side near the top of the circle and passed the puck to Hutchison who wired the puck past the Warriors goaltender. The Warriors would tie the game 1-1 very much against the run of play, but Steve Holtz would get his 1st goal of the playoffs only 58 seconds later to ensure that the Vees would go into the intermission with a 2-1 lead. Penticton would have been very disappointed not to have had a greater advantage on the scoreboard as they outshot the Warriors 20-4. In the second period it was West Kelowna that held a 9-7 shots advantage and they managed to convert that advantage into two goals (one shorthanded and one even strength) to lead 3-2 after 40 minutes. The Vees needed to have a strong period if they hoped to close out the series and it started very promisingly as Colton Kalezic scored his 2nd goal of the series to tie the game 3-3 while the Vees were shorthanded. The Warriors would retake the lead at 12:56, but the Vees got a late goal at 18:30 through Jackson Niedermayer’s to tie the game 4-4 and force overtime. In overtime, Penticton would get the series clinching goal as Carson Kosobud was the hero as he took a pass from O’Brien and let a point shot go that went through traffic in finding a way into the back of the net. Penticton won the overtime thriller with a final score of 5-4. Penticton wins the best of seven series 4-1.
Click on the link to watch extended highlights of Game #5:
Jay O’Brien finished the series with 5 goals and 5 assists for 10 points in 5 games. He is currently tied for first in points and has averaged 2.00 points per game.
The Penticton Vees will now face the Vernon Vipers in Round 2. Game #1 will be hosted by the Vees on Friday March 13th.
Hope you enjoyed this late February/early March edition of the Flyers Junior Hockey Prospect Report.
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Until next time from BrotherlyPuck.com,