Cam Charron

  • Like

Cam Charron is a blogger for Yahoo! Sports

  • Madison Bowey is key to the Kelowna defence (Marissa Baecker:Getty)


    Back in February, it was theorized that the NFC title game between West Coast rivals Seattle and San Francisco was the real Super Bowl, that it was the game played by the two top teams in the league. By that point in the season, was there any doubt that the Kelowna Rockets and the Portland Winterhawks were the top two teams in the Western Hockey League, if not all of major junior?

    This has been a matchup circled on calendars for months. Kelowna were tops in the BMO CHL Top 10 Rankings at the conclusion of the season, with Portland placing third. The Winterhawks led major junior hockey in RPI to top Buzzing the Net's Dynamic Dozen, with the Rockets placing second.

    The 4-0 mark in the season series by Kelowna is somewhat deceiving — Portland couldn't buy a save in their first two meetings with one another, and iced something well short of a full roster when Kelowna visited the Rose City back during world junior season.

    Still, our mathematical odds are surprisingly slanted in favour of Portland. Who really knows what to expect out of this matchup? When the teams first played each other in late November, the Rockets were short overage Marek Tvrdon and the Winterhawks had yet to make a move for Mat Dumba. Since those additions, both teams have cleared through the rest of the Western Conference like a warm knife through lactose-free butter. The series prediction may have come down to a coin flip. — Charron

    Read More »from Portland-Kelowna series too close to call: WHL Western Conference final preview
  • As was the theme throughout their second round series, the Victoria Royals had no answer to the Portland Winterhawks in the Rose City. Portland went 2-for-6 on the powerplay in the fifth game of their Western Conference semifinal series and wound up with a 5-1 victory to clinch the series 4-1, outscoring the Royals by a 19-6 count on home ice.

    Bigger than the game, which was no longer in doubt about midway through the third period, was a series of fights between the teams' skilled players that caused the game to run long into the night. Right at the end of the second period, as shown in the video above, Portland defenceman Derrick Pouliot clocked Victoria defenceman Joe Hicketts with a vicious right-handed haymaker that felled the draft-eligible prospect.

    Later, after taking a hard crosscheck into the boards from Brandon Magee, Winnipeg Jets prospect and Winterhawks' leading scorer Nic Petan found enough energy in him to drop the mitts with Ryan Gagnon.

    Referees Jeff Ingram and Derek Zalaski had their work cut out for them, doling out 151 minutes in penalties between the two teams in all, and it could have been more had Royals coach Dave Lowry not pleaded with his bench to cut out the rough stuff as the seconds on the clock ticked down.

    Read More »from Portland, Victoria brawl as Winterhawks close out Western Conference series in five games
  • Guelph forward Kerby Rychel (Terry Wilson:OHL Images)

    No. 1 Star - Kerby Rychel, Guelph Storm (OHL)

    The Guelph-London shootout continued Tuesday night, with the Storm reclaiming home-ice advantage with a 4-2 win in the third game of the set to take a 2-1 series lead. Robby Fabbri broke out offensively for his first time since his return from his injury sustained in the first round, scoring twice in the third period, first on the powerplay and again at even strength, but it was Columbus Blue Jackets first rounder Kerby Rychel who was the catalyst on both plays.

    With the score at 2-1 London midway through the third, Rychel cut to the net and, while he lost control, the puck found its way onto the stick of Fabbri who was able to go short-side on London goalie Jake "two Ts" Patterson. Just over two minutes later, Rychel shook off a check from defenceman Dakota Mermis and found a wide-open Fabbri in front. That was Kerby's third assist on the night, having also recorded the lone assist on a Phil Baltisberger goal in the second to tie the game at 1.

    No. 2 Star - Brendan Leipsic, Portland Winterhawks (WHL)

    The Winterhawks have teased the Victoria Royals twice this series, giving the underdogs leads in the second and fourth games of the series before taking over on the ice. In Game 4, the Royals had leads of 1-0 and early in the third, had a 3-2 advantage, but less than 90 seconds after Steven Hodges scored the early go-ahead goal, it was the Nashville Predators prospect Leipsic who tucked home a rebound from a Derrick Pouliot point shot to tie the score. It was his second goal of the game, his first coming by way of the man advantage in the second period, again mucking it up in the crease and celebrating without his helmet.

    Read More »from Kerby Rychel’s Big Tuesday gives Guelph series lead in London – Tuesday’s 3 Stars
  • Winnipeg Jets prospect and Guelph Storm forward Scott Kosmachuk (Terry Wilson:OHL Images)

    No. 1 Star - Scott Kosmachuk, Guelph Storm (OHL)

    Junior hockey fans tuning into Friday Night Hockey were treated to an excellent Game 1 between Guelph and London. The Storm pulled out ahead to a 4-0 lead, with the Winnipeg Jets prospect Scott Kosmachuk getting the fourth. It looked like the Storm had all but clinched the game at that point, but a furious rally from the Knights led by Max Domi and his two goals saw the game tied midway through the third.

    Late in the game, Kosmachuk made an excellent keep in at the attacking blue line, allowing Jason Dickinson to set up Justin Auger for his second of the playoffs the go-ahead goal with 2:06 to go in the contest. Kosmachuk earned just the goal and the assist and wasn't named a star in the building, but the Storm don't take the game without his aggressive play late to extend the Storm's time in the offensive end.

    Oddly, the winning goal for the Storm in their 6-4 win (Kerby Rychel added an empty-net goal) was the only five-on-five tally in the game. Maybe it's a bit of a stretch to give Kosmachuk credit for this, but the Storm's first two goals of the game came shorthanded killing a penalty—in the box for Guelph was Kosmachuk, off for slashing.

    No. 2 Star - Jerome Verrier, Drummondville Voltigeurs (QMJHL)

    The sixth-seeded Volts got off to a strong start in their playoff series beginning in Val-d'Or Friday. Like the Storm, Drummondville got out to an early lead and had a two-goal advantage after two periods, 3-1. The Foreurs came back however, with Anthony Mantha striking twice including the tying goal with just 34 seconds to go to send the game to Overtime.

    Read More »from Late goals prevent disaster for Guelph, Drummondville in OHL and QMJHL series openers – Friday’s 3 Stars
  • Marek Tvrdon scored four times for Kelowna in Round One (Marissa Baecker:Getty)


    The second round continues, with eight wins standing in the way of the dream Western Conference championship series of Portland and Kelowna, though both teams face opponents who gave them a lot of competition in their respective regular season series'.

    SHAW TV subscribers can catch every game of the Portland and Victoria series.

    (1) Kelowna Rockets (57-11-0-4, 118 pts) vs. (4) Seattle Thunderbirds (41-25-2-4, 88 pts)

    Season series: Tied 2-0-0-2 Odds favour: Kelowna 86% Most mathematically-likely outcome: Kelowna in 5. Prediction: Kelowna in 7.

    Why the Rockets should win: This is a rematch of last year's first round series when Kelowna came back from a 3-0 series deficit to win it in seven games. The Rockets have a similar roster, but their key players from last year's series such as Myles Bell, Damon Severson and Tyson Baillie are still around while midseason addition Marek Tvrdon, rookies Nick Merkley and Justin Kirkland have been added to the core along with the 17-year-old Rourke Chartier after a breakout season.

    Read More »from Favourites Kelowna, Portland face challenge: WHL Western Conference second-round preview
  • Now out of the hospital, Tim Bozon was the subject of a goosebumps-inducing moment Saturday night, as he came out to drop the ceremonial puck prior to Game 6 of his Kootenay Ice teammates' first round series.

    Bozon was admitted to a Saskatoon hospital back on March 3. It turned out he had contracted a rare form of bacterial meningitis and was placed in a medically-induced coma until his release from hospital on Friday.

    Saturday, Bozon, whose season is over as he will be returning to Switzerland, returned to Cranbrook, B.C., to say goodbye to his teammates, who closed out their first round series against Calgary with a wild 5-3 win, winning 4-2 and advancing to the second round of the playoffs.

    Read More »from VIDEO: Tim Bozon drops puck prior to Ice-Hitmen game in emotional ceremony
  • Kingston's Robert Polsello scored twice Sunday (Terry Wilson - OHL Images)

    No. 1 Star - Robert Polesello, Kingston Frontenacs (OHL)

    There were three series active in the Ontario Hockey League Eastern quarterfinal Sunday, headlined by a wild 5-4 win by Kingston over Peterborough to give the Frontenacs a 2-0 lead in the series before both buses head west down the 401. The Petes had leads of 1-0, 3-2 and 4-3 in this game, but the 1994-born former Vaughan Viper Robert Polesello tied the game twice, including a re-direct with just 49 seconds left in the contest to send the game to overtime.

    In the extra frame, Kingston won on a seeing-eye shot from their 2012 top priority selection pick Roland McKeown, who also assisted Polsello on the 1-1 goal way back in the first period. Sam Bennett, who should be a top-5 selection in the upcoming NHL draft, also tied the game in the third period, converting an excellent passing play set up by Henri Ikonen. The defeat has to sting for the Petes, who must not only have to come back from a 2-0 series deficit, but couldn't get the victory on a night that Fronts goalie Matt Mahalak struggled: the Frontenacs out-shot Peterborough 37-25 through regulation but needed the overtime period to eke out the one-goal win.

    Read More »from Polesello and McKeown’s heroics lead Kingston to 2-0 series lead – Sunday’s 3 Stars
  • Brendan Leipsic has been around for three consecutive Portland conference championships (CP)


    Due to league rules, we can't just skip the first two rounds and head directly to the expected Western Conference showdown between the top team in major junior hockey's official rankings Kelowna and the top team according to Buzzing the Net, Portland.

    While Kelowna and Portland are expected to waltz over their opponents, the other two series' are worth keeping an eye on, especially the 3-6 set between Victoria and Spokane which appears to be a dead heat on paper.

    Read More »from Winterhawks begin quest for fourth straight championship appearance: WHL Western Conference playoff preview
  • Connor McDavid scores pretty goal, gets flipped over against Plymouth

    It was an eventful night for Erie Otters phenom Connor McDavid against Plymouth Wednesday night as far as YouTube highlights go. The Otters broke out offensively for the first time in nearly a month—they hadn't scored more than six goals since February 8 against London, but beat the Whalers by an 11-2 score on home ice. McDavid was a big factor on the scoreboard, scoring a goal and recording three assists.

    His goal, coming midway through the second period, may not be one he'll soon forget. Unfortunately, 1996-born Plymouth defenceman Alex Peters won't soon forget it either. He wears No. 2 and the goat horns in this clip as he gets toyed by an unstoppable McDavid:

    That goal made the score 6-1 for the Otters and was McDavid's 22nd goal on the season. The Whalers exacted some physical revenge a touch later after McDavid was hit by young defenceman Josh Wesley, prompting a minor brawl:

    Peters declined to fight Cody Genovese, but Dane Fox unleashed some awkward agression on Cincent

    Read More »from Connor McDavid scores pretty goal, gets flipped over against Plymouth
  • Tim Bozon of the Kootenay Ice (CP Images - Larry MacDougal)The Western Hockey League has produced a statement on the condition of Kootenay Ice forward Tim Bozon, who was confirmed to be in a Saskatoon hospital as of Monday afternoon with meningitis.

    On Tuesday, the league updated the situation, confirming Bozon has "Neisseria Meningitis", which is a form of acute bacterial meningitis. The disease is described by as "highly contagious" and is vaccinated against in Western countries. The WHL has described Bozon's condition as "critical".

    Tim Bozon was admitted to Royal University Hospital in Saskatoon on Saturday, March 1 and has been diagnosed with Neisseria Meningitis. Tim’s parents, Phillippe and Helene Bozon, have been with him at the hospital in Saskatoon since arriving on Sundayfrom their home in Cureglia, Switzerland. The family has indicated to the WHL that Tim’s condition is critical.

    Public health officials are in the process of reviewing the case to ensure all the necessary precautions are taken and anyone who had direct contact with the player receives appropriate treatment.

    The WHL requests the privacy of the family be respected during this most difficult time.

    Read More »from Kootenay Ice forward and Montreal prospect Tim Bozon in “critical” condition


(254 Stories)