Cam Charron

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Cam Charron is a blogger for Yahoo! Sports

  • Marek Tvrdon scored four times for Kelowna in Round One (Marissa Baecker:Getty)

    -BY CAM CHARRON AND SCOTT SEPICH

    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)

    —BY CAM CHARRON AND SCOTT SEPICH

    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 Mayoclinic.org 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
  • Tim Bozon of the Kootenay Ice (CP Images - Larry MacDougal)

    A dangerous situation is developing in a Saskatoon hospital.

    After scoring his 33rd goal on the season against the Blades on Friday night, Kootenay Ice forward Tim Bozon was held out of the lineup for the team's Saturday night contest in Prince Albert. News surfaced Monday that Bozon had been returned to a Saskatoon hospital where he was being treated for meningitis, and remains there today, according to Guillaume Lefrançois of Radio-Canada. Dominick Saillant, the director of communications for the Montreal Canadiens, confirmed to Radio-Canada that the NHL team's doctors had been in contact with the medical staff in Kootenay.

    The 19-year-old Bozon was a third round pick of the Habs in 2012. The Swiss-born winger was traded to the Ice from Kamloops earlier this season, and has picked up 62 points in 50 games thus far.

    Via the Mayo Clinic's website, the cause of meningitis, an "inflammation of the membrances surrounding the brain and spinal cord", determines the severity. Viral infections tend to go away on their own, but the rarer bacterial and fungal infections require immediate medical treatment. The Ice are refusing to comment on the situation, which can feed speculation that the situation is serious.

    Read More »from Habs prospect Tim Bozon in Saskatoon hospital being treated for meningitis
  • Nikolaj Ehlers (CP Images)

    No. 1 Star - Connor Gay, Regina Pats (WHL)

    Friday's Regina-Swift Current contest was probably the most important played in Canada in terms of postseason implications. The Pats came into the game with a six-point lead over the Broncos with eight games to play (nine for Swift Current) for the lead in the Western Hockey League's East Division. With so many teams jamming the league's Central Division, the difference between winning the East and coming second will mean the difference between a 2-seed and a 6-seed come playoff time.

    The Pats cemented control of the division with a big home win. The game featured a couple of lead changes and ended up being won by 95-born Connor Gay late in the overtime frame for his 15th goal on the season, on a pass from Dyson Stevenson, who also had a one-goal, one-assist game. Gay had also scored early in the third period to tie the contest at 2s, so both of his goals were of the timely variety. The Pats got to exit the game with a seven-point lead over Swift Current instead of a four-point lead, a near-insurmountable gap at this stage in the season.

    No. 2 Star: Nikolaj Ehlers, Halifax Mooseheads (QMJHL)

    Stop me if you've heard this one before: a draft-eligible player on the Halifax Mooseheads scored a natural hat-trick and recorded four points in his team's 6-0 win over Acadie-Bathurst. Sometimes les Trois Étoiles on Buzzing the Net are reserved for players that produce in key situations in close games, but there weren't an awful lot of close affairs in the Q Friday, and it's tough to discount a three-goal performance from a draft-eligible player. In Friday's case, it was the Danish Ehlers (good name for a band) recording the trick.

    Ehlers' three consecutive goals came within a 7:14 span in the second period, scoring twice in the first minute and adding a shortie for his 40th of the season. Teammate Jonathan Drouin recorded a pair of assists, and defenceman Austyn Hardie had a rare three-point night, bringing his season points total to 17. He was also a +6 in the 6-0 game. To most teams that's an excellent night from a defenceman, but to the Mooseheads it's an indication that the team's powerplay needs to shape up after going 0-for-4 in Acadie-Bathurst.

    No. 3 Star: Sam Bennett, Kingston Frontenacs (OHL)

    This game also wasn't close, but the prospective No. 1 pick in the upcoming National Hockey League draft scored a hat-trick of his own in Kingston's dominant 10-2 win over Belleville. After going down 1-0 early in the first, the Fronts rallied and took a commanding 5-1 lead into the break, with Bennett factoring in on two goals. First, he drew the primary assist on Spencer Watson's 33rd of the year before scoring his own 39 seconds later, and then tacking on another in the final minute of the frame.

    Bennett completed the hat-trick 5:38 into the second on a pass from Samuel Schutt, the second of Schutt's two assists on the night. Head coach Todd Gill gave started Matt Mahalak the night off, giving Lucas Peressini the pipes to stop 37-of-39 shots on goal. Draft-eligible Roland McKeown recorded an assist and was also a +4.

    Honourable Mention: The Sudbury Wolves (OHL) - The Wolves strung together a comeback against one of the league's best teams Friday night. Despite being down 5-0 with a little over 7 minutes to go in the second period, Sudbury rallied in front of the home fans, getting goals from Jacob Harris and Radek Faksa before the period was out, before going into Beast Mode in the third. Trevor CarrickNathan Pancel and Ray Huether all scored in the final minutes of the period to tie the score (Faksa, Carrick, and Pancel's goals were all on the powerplay) before Nick Baptiste blew the roof off the Sudbury Community Arena to give the Wolves a 6-5 lead with 2:17 on the clock. The Wolves hung on for the win, and do London and Erie a huge favour in the process.

    Read More »from Gay scores OT winner, Wolves rally, big night for draft eligibles Ehlers and Bennett in Friday’s 3 Stars
  • Guelph newcomers Nick Ebert (10) and Justin Nichols (39) - Terry Wilson:OHL Images

    The Canadian Hockey League's much-awaited Dynamic Dozen returns after taking a week off. The theme so far in 2014 is the dogfight at the top of the rankings between Kelowna, Guelph and Portland, but two of those teams pulled a little further ahead over the two-week period.

    You'll note how Guelph and Portland are separated by just a single point of RPI. They are, objectively, as close as close can be at this point although both teams face tough tasks in their own conference before we can pencil them in to face off on the final Sunday of the Memorial Cup tournament in London.

    1. Guelph Storm, OHL (.586 RPI, +2.3 SRS, +1) — The Storm have won six consecutive games, enough to push them back up to first place. Only the Kitchener Rangers, a distant 41st in RPI rankings, have a more difficult strength of schedule among OHL teams, and it's still incredible that they haven't already created a giant gap in the standings between themselves and rivals Erie and London.

    New challenge, could the Storm score more goals against the Norwegian, Austrian, Finnish and Latvian national teams than a team of Canadian NHL all-stars?* The Storm are most recently coming off a game they scored nine against Plymouth, during which Nick Ebert became the third Storm defenceman to hit the 40-point mark. A fourth, Steve Trojanovic, is at 37, and the rest of the league combined have just eight. With 280 goals, the Storm are in a class of their own on offence, and it doesn't end there: goaltender Justin Nichols is second in the league in save percentage.

    * - not a serious question

    2. Portland Winterhawks, WHL (.585 RPI, +2.0 SRS, -1) — It's not uncommon for major junior teams to enjoy long winning streaks, which is why it's a bit of a shock that Portland's current 17-game win streak is a franchise best. You might think that at some point, they'd have reached that during their four seasons of laying waste to the WHL's Western Conference.

    After a four-game-in-six-days road trip in which he scored ten points, Taylor Leier was named the CHL's Player of the Week, and he's shown during the streak how he can be leaned on offensively by a good hockey team. Mat Dumba is also fitting in to his new team, with 12 points and a +19 rating through 15 games. Dumba added the punch on D the Winterhawks needed, but rookie Garrett Haar has also stepped up with 13 points in his 17 games since 2013 began.

    Read More »from Portland streaking, but Guelph hold onto top spot in Dynamic Dozen rankings
  • Russell Maxwell scored with 26 seconds to go to give the Seattle Thunderbirds a 4-3 win over division rival Tri-City Americans, but the main event was a series of "disagreements" in the third period leading to a massive line brawl.

    As you can see in the video below, Americans forward Devon McAndrews crosschecked the Thunderbirds defenceman in the back following the customary hey-get-away-from-my-goalie shove by Wardley:

    (Headline idea: 'NO LOVE LOST ON VALENTI—')

    Then all hell broke loose. The 3,482 fans in attendance at the ShoWare Center in Kent all seemed to enjoy the sound of teenagers fists cracking on hockey helmet shells, with the sequence resulting in 17 infractions resulting in 84 penalty minutes.

    Read More »from Seattle Thunderbirds score winner with 26 ticks left; participate in line brawl with Tri-City Americans

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