My apologies to those visiting over the past week for the lack of updates. After serving an unintentional five-day misconduct, let's jump back in with a capsule of the week's action that leaves just two players competing for the Memorial Cup. In Tuesday WHL play, Tyler Myers (-1) had a goal and two assists as Kelowna rolled over Tri-City, 7-2. The win put the Rockets behind 2-1 in their best-of-seven. The following night, Myers forced overtime with a power play goal then drew an assist on Jamie Benn's game winner as Kelowna evened the series with a 4-3 win. In Friday's game five, Myers (+1) had an assist as the Rockets defeated the Americans, 5-2. Myers has four goals and eight assists while pointing in seven of the Rockets' nine postseason games. With their #1 rearguard logging monster minutes, Kelowna will look to complete the comeback on Sunday. While Myers was helping dig the Rockets out of a 2-0 series hole, left wing Tyler Ennis and the Medicine Hat Tigers were getting dominated by an offensive-minded Brandon Wheat Kings in their quarterfinal match-up. On Wednesday, Ennis was -2 as the Tigers were blown-out by the Wheaties, 6-1. Brayden Schenn, 17, had a goal and an assist for the winners, and looks like a pivot that teams will trade up for come June. Facing a 3-0 series deficit, Ennis was -3 as the Tigers season came to an end on Friday with a 6-2 loss in Brandon. Ennis ends the playoff year as the second leading scorer, potting eight goals and 11 assists in 11 games. With many Tigers dealing with flu bugs and other dings, Ennis was rumored to be nursing an injury throughout the second round. It's now time to get the contract talks going as Ennis is done as a junior. ****** In the QMJHL this week, two prospects saw their junior careers end, while one other remains in the mix to advance in the final round. On Tuesday, J.S. Allard was -1 in Quebec's 3-2 win over Cape Breton. The Remparts halved the Screaming Eagles lead in the series to 2-1 with the W. The 6'2 forward posted two shots on goal as the Rems evened things up with a 5-2 victory on Wednesday. On Friday, Allard was -1 as the Remparts dropped a 3-2 decision to the Screaming Eagles. After pointing in every game of round one, the Alma, QC native has failed to hit the scoresheet while racking up a cumulative -5 in the series. Allard and the Rems will look to stave off elimination and force a game seven on Monday. With Allard's junior hopes still alive, two other Sabres prospects saw their seasons end over the course of the week. Hot in the first round, T.J. Brennan finished -3 on Tuesday as over-matched Montreal got pounded by Drummondville, 6-1. The win put the Volts comfortably ahead 3-0 in the series. On Wednesday, Brennan would go on to notch an assist in the Juniors 5-3 loss as the Volts earned the sweep. Entering the week locked in a 1-1 series tie, Paul Byron and Gatineau lost three straight games to see their season close in a quarterfinal loss to Shawinigan. On Tuesday, Byron had a goal and an assist as the 'Piques fell to the Cataractes, 6-3. The points extended the right wing's playoff scoring streak to eight games, and a total of 15 dating back to the final regular season contests. Wednesday saw the Ottawa native's streak end as the 5'9 Byron finished -2 in a 4-2 loss in Shawinigan. Byron came back on Friday to pot an assist, but Gatineau was overwhelmed in a 5-2 loss. A year after leading the QMJHL playoffs in goals (21) en route to a Memorial Cup appearance, the speedster ends his two-round postseason with two goals and 14 assists. ****** In the OHL, a pair of Sabres hopefuls concluded their 2008-09 campaigns as their respective clubs were bounced in the quarterfinal round. On Tuesday, Nick Crawford had an assist in Saginaw's 5-2 loss to London. The Knights dominated the Spirit to earn an easy sweep, forcing Crawford and his fellow blueliners into a hesitant posture throughout the four games. Heading back to the O in 2009-10, Crawford ends his postseason at -1 with a goal and four assists in eight contests. Also on Tuesday, Drew Schiestel was -2 as Niagara lost a 5-2 decision to Belleville on home ice. With the win, the Bulls skated away with a 3-1 series lead. On Thursday, Schiestel (-2) earned in an assist in what should be his final junior hockey game as the Dogs fell to the Bulls, 5-2. With the 4-1 series loss, Schiestel finished the playoffs with two goals and six assists and now awaits a contract. ****** On Thursday at the NCAA Frozen Four in Washington, DC, Drew MacKenzie scored his first collegiate goal as Vermont lost to Boston University 5-4 in the National Semifinal. Playing well defensively throughout, the Connecticut native pumped home a screen shot at 9:40 of the third period, but saw the game-tying goal bounce off him and into the Catamount net just three-and-half minutes later as victory started to slip out of UVM's hands. For more on the ups and downs of MacKenzie's night, check out this USCHO article.
The freshman defenseman was in line to be the hero for a Catamounts’ come-from-behind victory under the bright lights of college hockey’s biggest stage. His first collegiate goal, scored with just over a half a period remaining in the third, put Vermont ahead in a see-saw affair. However, things turned against him a short time later when he redirected a rebound past his own goaltender, igniting a BU rally that put the Terriers in the title game and had the Catamounts packing their locker room. “It went from being a high point to . . letting that one go in off my stick, obviously I’m disappointed, but there’s nothing I can do about it now,” MacKenzie said. “If I could take back that goal, I would. But it happened, so you can’t do anything.”