Two Prospects Advance, One Faces Possible Suspension
It was almost the perfect night for the New York Ranger prospects as four prospects saw action and four prospects saw their teams earn wins. The only thing that threw a bit of a damper on the evening was a match penalty that was handed out but more on that in a bit
Brandon Halverson (2014 second) and his Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds are headed to the OHL’s Western Conference Finals after the Greyhounds defeated the Guelph Storm 3-2 and eliminated the Storm in four games. Halverson stopped 28 out of 30 shots faced to earn his eighth straight win of the playoffs.
Halverson stopped all nine shots that he faced in the first period, eight out of nine in the second and 11 out of 12 in the third period to remain undefeated in the playoffs. Halverson in addition to his 8-0 record improved his goals against to 2.05 and raised his save percentage to 0.920. His goals against is second best among OHL goalies in the playoffs but his 8-0 record is best.
The Greyhounds advance to take on fellow Ranger prospect Troy Donnay’s (2013 UFA) Erie Otters in the Western Conference Finals after Donnay’s Otters defeated the London Knights 5-2 to also earn a four game sweep. Donnay’s third point of the playoffs was the primary assist on what proved to be the series winning goal.
Donnay’s assist came at 16:13 of the third period breaking a 2-2 tie and guarantying that a Ranger prospect will get to play for the OHL conference championship.
In Niagara, Ryan Mantha’s (2014 fourth) Niagara IceDogs earned a 7-3 win in game three of their OHL Eastern Conference semifinal series with the Oshawa Generals. The win gave the IceDogs their first win of the series and cut the General’s lead in the series to 2-1.
Mantha had a primary as well as a secondary assist in this game for his first two points of the series and his fourth and fifth points overall. Mantha’s primary assist came on the IceDogs fifth goal of the game, a power play goal that came at 1:37 of the third period. Mantha’s second assist came on the IceDogs sixth goal of the game, an even strength marker coming at 11:49.
Game four will take place on Thursday in Niagara.
Ryan Grave’s (2013 fourth) Quebec Remparts defeated the Charlottetown Islanders 5-2 in game three of their QMJHL quarterfinals series. The win gives the Remparts a commanding 3-0 lead in the series but Graves might not be getting to play anymore in this series. Graves was rightfully given a match penalty for cross-checking in the second period and this one is hard to excuse. Graves was being used as a screen on a Remparts power play and had taken a cross-check in the back from the Islander’s captain Ryan MacKinnon.
Graves turned around and cross-checked MacKinnon in the face drawing the match penalty. While one understands that nobody likes getting a two-hander in the back at the same time, Graves caught him in the face which the QMJHL penalizes heavy for.
This will also be Grave’s second offense so the best case for Graves would be five games or less for this. That way he serves the suspension while the Remparts are still playing in the QMJHL playoffs. Any higher and Graves might wind up missing part of or all of the Memorial Cup.