3/12 Recap: Sundher rolls; McNabb closing strong

Kevin Sundher scored two goals and added an assist Saturday as Chilliwack clinched a playoff spot with a 8-5 win over Vancouver. Sundher, who earned the game's #3 star, saw all three points come in the opening 20-minutes to reach the 70-point mark for the first time in his WHL career. It was the 20th multi-point game of the season for the Surrey, BC native. Sundher has accumulated a line of 22-49-71 in 66 games with 24 of those points coming in his last 17 games. The Bruins (32-30-3-3) will face Kelowna on Sunday.

Brayden McNabb (+2) scored a goal and an assist for his 21st multi-point effort of the year as Kootenay lost via the shootout to Spokane, 4-3. The big defenseman notched his 21st goal of the season, his seventh point in his last three games, with 1:40 left in regulation to force overtime in one of the most entertaining games to watch this year. McNabb, whose shootout attempt was stopped to end the game, now has 69 points on the year - three short of tying PEI's Marc-Andre Gragnani (72) for most points by a Sabres defensive prospect in the last decade. However, he likely won't be catching Ottawa's Brian Campbell (87, 1998-99) or Calgary's Matt Kinch (84, 2000-01) for most single-season points for a defenseman drafted under the Darcy Regier administration. The Ice (42-21-1-4) return to action Tuesday against Central Division foes Medicine Hat.

In the QMJHL, Jerome Gauthier-Leduc (+1) extended his point streak to six games with an assist as Rimouski was hammered by Rouyn-Noranda, 6-2. Gauthier-Leduc remains 5th among QMJHL defender with 49 points (12+37). Rimouski (29-31-1-3), who will finish no lower than the 13th playoff position, will play it back with the Huskies on Sunday.

Cedrick Henley (+2) picked up a pair of assists as Val-d'Or posted a 4-0 shutout win over Chicoutimi. Henley has netted six points in his last five games for the Foreurs (25-33-4-4), who have cliched the 14th QMJHL playoff spot.

Elsewhere, Mark Pysyk finished -1 as Edmonton was shut out by high-powered Saskatoon, 4-0. Despite the loss, the Oil Kings (30-32-3-5) were still able to clinch a playoff spot thanks to Lethbridge and Prince Albert losses. Edmonton returns to action Tuesday for tilt with the Hurricanes.

Riley Boychuk (+1) assisted on the game winning goal as Portland edged Everett, 2-1. The bruising power forward now has career highs in goals (15) and assists (17). The Winterhawks (47-18-0-3), who dealt the Tips their seventh straight defeat, will host Vancouver on Wednesday.

Corey Fienhage played even as Kamloops lost in a shootout to Kelowna, 1-0. The Blazers (29-36-3-2) have lost five games in a row, and will look to keep their playoff hopes alive Friday against Prince George.

Justin Jokinen was even with a shot on goal as Minnesota State surrendered a third period lead for the second straight night to end their year with a 3-2 overtime loss to #6 Denver. The 11th seeded Mavericks (14-18-4) played tough but were ultimately outworked by the more talented, #2 seed Pioneers. Jokinen, who finishes his junior season with nine goals and 17 points, saw most of his production come early as he scored just one goal and two assists in his 15 games including a seven-game pointless streak to end the year.

Drew MacKenzie drew an assist as Vermont saw their season end with a 4-3 loss to #10 New Hampshire. The junior defenseman's backhand pass towards the net was knocked in for the game's first goal at 3:49 of the second period. MacKenzie, who is expected to return to Burlington for his senior year, ends the season fourth on the Catamounts in scoring with five goals and 17 points. Vermont finishes their disappointing campaign 8-20-8.

Connor Knapp made 14 saves as #7 Miami earned the sweep of Alaska-Fairbanks, 4-1. The 6'5 stopper moves to 8-5-4 on the year with a 2.03 GAA and .909 save percentage. With the win, the RedHawks (21-9-6) advance to the CCHA semifinals next weekend to face one of Notre Dame, Western Michigan, or Ferris State.

Nick Eno did not start but did play out the final minutes as Bowling Green saw their season come to an end with a 4-1 loss at #5 Michigan. After UM took a three-goal lead late, a class move by Falcons coach Chris Bergeron saw Eno come over the boards for the final 8:54 before taking over his BGSU sweater for the last time. The 6'3 netminder ends his senior year at 4-10-1 with a 3.12 GAA and .885 save percentage, while the Falcons shut it down at 10-27-4.

Brad Eidsness served as backup as #1 North Dakota earned the WCHA first-round sweep with a 3-1 win over Michigan Tech. The McNaughton Cup winning Sioux (28-8-3) advance to the WCHA Final Five where they'll face one of UAA or Colorado College/Wisconsin next Friday.
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