Buzzing The Net

  • Brown was originally a 13th-round choice out of minor hockey (OHL Images)

    Connor Brown and Matt Finn's hockey paths, which once diverged, have crossed again to create a diversion for Leafs fans.

    Finn bounced back from a season-ending knee injury last season (OHL Images)The two captains in the Western Conference final that many believe to be the true Ontario Hockey League final had a deep bond long before both heard their names called by the Toronto Maple Leafs at the 2012 NHL draft. Brown, the Erie Otters captain who won the league scoring title, and Finn, the Guelph Storm's leader who posted the OHL's best plus-minus, also wore in blue and white throughout their formative years with the Marlboros minor hockey program. They'll likely see a lot of each other over the next two weeks, with the winner moving one step closer to the OHL title.

    "Even when we play against each other now, it's pretty cool," Brown says. "Sometimes you catch a bit of eye contact and you smile. You lose focus for a half-second there. It's awesome to see Matt have the success that he did. He didn't have many doubters. At the same time, nothing was given to him. He works hard day in, day out. It's going to be an interesting series, and who knows, we might even be matched up together.

    "Me and Matt had a conversation earlier in the week," added Brown, who had to wait until his likely final year of junior to experience the OHL playoffs. "We said that our friendship's going to be on hold while this series is going on. You get one shot at this. We're never going to hold back on each other."

    Read More »from Toronto Maple Leafs picks Connor Brown, Matt Finn rivals in Erie Otters-Guelph Storm showdown
  • A move from Kitchener to Oshawa revitalized Sterk's NHL draft prospects (OHL Images)

    Calling his coach's bluff, in a matter of speaking, led to the Oshawa Generals' Josh Sterk making the change that should lead to him landing in a NHL organization this summer.

    Aside from a select few, young players who put up points at will in minor hockey have to adapt in junior. After an up-and-down sophomore season with the Kitchener Rangers, Sterk capitalized on an opportunity to be the No. 2 centre with the Generals after coming east in a preseason trade. As the season went along, though, coach D.J. Smith, as a former pro defenceman, challenged Sterk to be more vigilant behind his own blueline. The message was received, eventually.

    "He pretty much told me that if I didn't start playing defence I wouldn't be playing," says Sterk, whose Gens begin the OHL Eastern Conference final vs. North Bay on Friday. "At first I didn't think he was serious and I saw my time going down and down with every game. When I started getting frustrated, that's when I started bearing down and now my numbers are up to 20, 25 minutes a game. I can't thank him enough for making him the player I am.

    "I wouldn't have had my breakout year if I didn't get that trade," adds Sterk, a 5-foot-11, 175-pound centre who is ranked No. 84 among North American skaters by NHL Central Scouting. "Obviously [Generals GM] Jeff Twohey did a good job to get me. As for the opportunity I got in Oshawa, I worked hard this summer, but the OHL is all about opportunity. D.J. Smith put me on the second line with [surefire NHL first-rounder] Michael Dal Colle and Hunter Smith at the beginning of the year and I started off hot. Then they put me in more of a shutdown role in the second half because we knew we would need that coming into playoff time. He switched me over to over to Dal Colle and Cole Cassels."

    Read More »from NHL draft tracker: Josh Sterk, Oshawa Generals
  • Combing all corners of the country and the blogosphere for your junior hockey headlines ...


    The Kootenay-Medicine Hat Game 7 will be the first the Tigers have hosted since the 2007 WHL final, and I think we all know how that turned out. (Medicine Hat News)

    Kootenay's Sam Reinhart is on top of at least one draft ranking. (Hockey's Future)

    The prospect neither Kelowna's nor Portland's scoring aces, Myles Bell and Nic Petan, will be ready for the Western final is very high. (Kelowna Capital News, Portland Tribune, The Oregonian)

    Colorado Avalanche defenceman Nick Holden is a pro without an old junior hockey haunt, since there was very little carryover from the Chilliwack Bruins to the Victoria Royals. (Vancouver Province)

    Portland rookie Tyson Predinchuk gave up being a Millionaire to join one of the Dub's mint franchises. (Regina Leader-Post)


    Aaron Ekblad, on the possibility that Sunday was his final game in Barrie Colts navy and gold: “I hate to think about it and I love to think about it at the same time, because the future is pretty fun to look at." (Barrie Examiner)

    After falling one win shy of the 2013 final, Vancouver Canucks prospect Brendan Gaunce is a pivotal figure in the Erie-Guelph showdown. (Erie Times-News)

    Former Kitchener teammates Ben Thomson and Josh Sterk will renew acquaintances in the North Bay-Oshawa series. (Waterloo Region Record)

    Read More »from Rimouski, Medicine Hat hosting Game 7s: the coast-to-coast
  • Hawryluk is ranked 37th by NHL CSS. (

    Following in the footsteps of Columbus Blue Jackets winger Matt Calvert and Dallas Stars first-rounder Scott Glennie, Jayce Hawryluk is the Brandon Wheat Kings’ latest highly-touted NHL draft prospect to hail from Manitoba.

    “I do feel fortunate (to stay in my home province),” says Hawryluk, who’s a native of Roblin, Man. “It’s nice to not have to move far away and get to be around family here. Some guys have to move far away from their homes, so I was happy when I got the chance to play in Brandon.”

    Hawryluk came into his sophomore season feeling some pressure on his shoulders. Besides the obvious pressure that comes with a draft year, the 18-year-old knew the rebuilding Wheat Kings were counting on him to help lead the offense after his 43-point rookie season.

    “I did feel a little bit of pressure,” says Hawryluk. “I knew we didn’t have a first-round pick or anything in our forward group, so guys like me would be expected to produce. But I have tried not to think about that and just

    Read More »from NHL draft tracker: Jayce Hawryluk, Brandon Wheat Kings
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    Winnipeg Jets prospect Nic Petan has yet to practise for Portland since being cross-checked in the head last Thursday. (The Oregonian)

    Epic gets used way too loosely, but for a Portland-Kelowna matchup, it's permissible. (Castanet)

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    Amazing story if Medicine Hat comes back to beat Kootenay after losing Hunter Shinkaruk halfway through the season. (Medicine Hat News)

    Brandon's young group made huge strides over the season, and its core could still have two more seasons together. (Brandon Sun)

    Showing he could handle centre at the junior level helped Regina's Chandler Stephenson earn a contract with the Washington Capitals. (Russian Machine Never Breaks)


    Sudbury coach Paul Fixter isn't acknowledging that the team's midseason moves altered the dressing room chemistry: "I think it's a cop out. Mathew Campagna's production went down because we added a good player? Makes no sense." (Sudbury Star)

    It was a very quiet Sunday in London on what could have been Game 6 against Guelph. (Metro London, London Free Press)

    Which forward will Toronto Maple Leafs fans imbue with completely unrealistic expectations and not pay $25 to watch in the OHL? Niagara's Brendan Perlini? Peterborough's Nick Ritchie? (Toronto Star)

    Read More »from Petan not practising for Portland: the coast-to-coast
  • Devils pick Ben Thomson scored 2 goals in North Bay's clincher (OHL Images)

    New Jersey Devils pick Ben Thomson's short-hander midway through the third created just enough separation for North Bay to exorcise the ghosts of playoffs past against Barrie. The Battalion's 3-2 win wrapped up a six-game Eastern semifinal triumph and the second round of the OHL playoffs.

    Erie-Guelph will begin Thursday and North Bay-Oshawa commences the following night, with Generals star Scott Laughton slated to miss the opener due to the final game of a butt-ending suspension. On with the post-game questions:

    Read More »from North Bay Battalion bounce Barrie, reach Eastern Conference final: OHL post-game questions
  • Medicine Hat's Cole Sanford (Marissa Baecker, Getty Images)No. 1 star: Cole Sanford, Medicine Hat Tigers (WHL)

    Now that's a reversal of future: Sanford (4G-2A, +4) pulled a Sam Reinhart, or a Jaedon Deschaneau if you need your reference to be obscure, by scoring six points during Medicine Hat's series-extending 9-2 win over the Kootenay Ice on Saturday. The 18-year-old Vernon, B.C., native who had 33 goals in the regular season had been flummoxed by Ice goalies during the Tigers' two losses in Kootenay that put it one loss from elimination. But everything Sanford and Trevor Cox (1G-3A, +4) sent toward the goal "just seemed to be going into the net" as the Tigers went from trailing 2-1 at the game's midpoint to winning by a touchdown.

    Sanford redirected a shot into the net for his second of the night to level 2-2 with 6:31 left in the second period. That caused the Ice to sag and Medicine Hat scored just 97 seconds later to take lead. In the third period, Sanford threw the floodgate open with a power-play goal 5:43 into the frame. The rest was cake.

    Game 6 of the series is on Monday, back in Cranbrook, B.C.

    Read More »from Medicine Hat’s Cole Sanford gets 6 points to force Game 6: weekend 3 Stars
  • Brett Pollock is the Oil Kings' top ranked draft prospect by Central Scouting (

    Edmonton Oil Kings forward Brett Pollock wasn’t exactly on many NHL scouts’ radars at the beginning of the year. He was coming off a 44-game rookie season where he only scored two goals and four points on a limited fourth-line role.

    As his sophomore season has progressed, though, Pollock has continued to make headway in draft rankings. The proof is in the pudding in how the 18-year-old jumped to 34th among North American skaters on NHL Central Scouting Service’s final ranking; he hurled over 37 prospect from his previous 71st mid-term ranking.

    The 6-foot-2, 183-pound Pollock's breakout year, which entailed notching 25 goals and 55 points in 71 contests, came together largely because his role with the Oil Kings significantly changed. He went from playing sparingly to being a key offensive contributor in their top six. This opportunity did come about for Pollock because Edmonton lost several key forwards in the offseason to the pros, but he also earned it by showing up to camp in good

    Read More »from NHL draft tracker: Brett Pollock, Edmonton Oil Kings
  • Bertuzzi and the Storm begin the OHL semifinal vs. Erie on Thursday (OHL Images)

    Only one series remains in Round 2, between North and Barrie. Meantime, as you might have heard, the London Knights are in "competitive hibernation" until the start of the Memorial Cup on May 16, leaving them lots of time to catch up on all those PVR'd episodes of Quest For The Cup. On with the post-game questions!

    Read More »from Storm’s defensive soundness an X factor in ouster of Knights: OHL post-game questions
  • Mantha's hat trick included a short-handed goal (CP)

    No. 1 star: Anthony Mantha, Val-d'Or Foreurs (QMJHL)

    The Quebec League MVP had the hat trick plus an apple as he put Val-d'Or on his broad back in a 5-2 home-ice Game 5 win that opened a 3-2 series lead on the Drummondville Voltigeurs. Right off the hop, the Detroit Red Wings first-round pick and two-time 50-goal scorer established a tone. First, Mantha wired in a goal 1:15 into the contest, just 12 seconds into a Foreurs power play.

    The Longueuil, Que., native struck again just past the nine-minute mark, putting Val-d'Or in good stead with a 2-0 lead. The margin was still at two late in the second when Mantha went into beast mode, stealing the puck and scoring a short-handed unassisted goal to give Val-d'Or a 4-1 lead. Just for good measure, Mantha got a helper on Louick Marcotte's insurance goal 2:59 into the third that put the game out of reach.

    Mantha's five goals and 15 points over nine games is the most by any Quebec league player who's not Jonathan Drouin, or who doesn't regularly share the ice with Jonathan Drouin.

    Read More »from Anthony Mantha’s hat trick puts Val-d’Or one win from QMJHL semifinal: Friday’s 3 Stars
  • Playing hurt, Max Domi set up a crucial goal to keep London in Friday's game (OHL Images)

    The number on goalie Jake Patterson's back was hugely symbolic. Thirty-five. As in the number of days before the London Knights' next game — the opener of the Memorial Cup on May 16.

    For the sixth season in a row, the Cup hosts will enter through the much-maligned, oft-loathed 'back door' after the Knights' 5-4 loss Friday to the high-octane, healthier Guelph Storm, whose five-game Western Conference semifinal win assured the OHL of a new champion this spring. Some might try to make a case that the long stretch since a Cup host actually won its league title embodies a problem for the Canadian Hockey League, but if the CHL doesn't mind while it's wading in its deeper revenue stream, then well, life's too short to inveigh against the trend.

    The Storm, which pulled out of bidding to host once it became apparent London with its 9,046-seat arena was a slam-dunk preferred destination, went ahead for good late in the second period after Winnipeg Jets prospect Scott Kosmachuk banked a shot in off Patterson. That was just the last in a series of unfortunate events that encumbered London in the series. The combo of a stacked Midwest Division all playing in the same division and the league's playoff format meant a pair of the OHL's three 100-points teams met in the second round instead of, say, the conference final or championship. London also had star Max Domi playing hurt, goalie Anthony Stolarz suspended for stick-swinging and its two most seasoned defenceman out of action (Zach Bell with a broken fibula, Brady Austin with mononucleosis). Concurrently, though, the Storm persevered despite the fact its nominee for the OHL most outstanding player award, Brock McGinn, was also suspended.

    Those are the extenuating circumstances, but some schadenfreude should be indulged. The Knights, on some level, probably know that is the cross to bear for being a dominant franchise. Being off for five weeks might not even be a fail; it's a credit to the Storm and a mark against the league's playoff format.

    Guelph will face Erie in the Western Conference final, beginning April 17.

    Read More »from London Knights’ long layoff before Memorial Cup: how does it stack up in recent CHL history?
  • Kelly Summers is committed to Clarkson University for next season (Mike Carroccetto for Yahoo! Canada Sports)Kelly Summers' long-term thinking is putting Carleton Place and his Ottawa Valley hometown of Golden Lake on the hockey map.

    Possessed of a big-time shot and innate hockey sense, the redheaded rearguard from the Ottawa Valley has helped the Carleton Place Canadians take the Central Canada Hockey League by storm, racking up a record 54 wins and 110 points across 62 games. Summers, who's committed to play next season at Clarkson University where his cousin Mike Sullivan was a standout in the mid-2000s, averaged more than a point per game during the regular season. He's built off that to help the fifth-year Canadians franchise make its first CCHL final. On Tuesday, NHL Central Scouting ranked Summers No. 73 on its final ranking of North American skaters.

    "Being put on the first [NHL Central Scouting] list [in January] was just a big surprise, then a couple days ago, I checked it out and I was 73rd," says Summers, who was No. 155 on the CSS list on the midterm before more and more scouts began making a point to check out Canadians' games. "It's a good honour ... It was [a sense of] finally just knowing it could come true, As a kid you always think about it and it just seems out of reach. Now, just making the list, it seems possible to make it there."

    Central Scouting has only two Canadian Junior A players ranked above Summers, who tallied 17 goals and 60 points over 56 games. Those are exceptional numbers for any defender, let alone one who's only 17 years old.

    "He's a special player — he'll be a top-four guy in the NHL at some point for sure," Canadians coach Jason Clarke says. "Kelly's work ethic and Kelly's attention to detail and just overall maturity level has really just come to fruition ever since Christmastime. He's really taken the next step to becoming an elite player.

    "I think the big thing for Kelly is it's just him getting bigger, stronger, faster, His talent that he has, his hockey sense is just a God-given talent and he just has to move forward with some real hard work."

    Read More »from NHL draft tracker: Kelly Summers, Carleton Place Canadians
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    New York Islanders first-rounder Ryan Pulock has shown a new physical dimension during the Brandon-Edmonton series. (Luber's Lounge)

    Shaun Clouston's surmise of what went wrong in Moose Jaw's come-from-ahead collapse against Kootenay, which now has a 3-1 lead: "Some of the guys were just a little bit out in front of themselves." (Medicine Hat News,

    An 1,100-km bus ride? The Edmonton Oil Kings would prefer to finish off Brandon on Friday, just for that reason alone. (Edmonton Journal)

    Victoria didn't go out without several fights against Portland. (The Oregonian, Voice of the Victoria Royals, Victoria Times-Colonist)

    The Portland-Kelowna conference final to end all conference finals will start with back-to-back games in the Okanagan on April 18-19. (Global News)

    Kelowna won the season series 4-0 by an aggregate score of 28-10, but the last meeting was Jan. 2, before Mathew Dumba joined the Winterhawks. "We've never had our full team," Portland coach-GM Mike Johnston says. "It's a factor, but I'm not saying it's why." (Portland Tribune)

    Yes, Red Deer Rebels' NHL draft hopeful Haydn Fleury was once babysat by long-time NHLer Brenden Morrow. (

    Where's the scoring going to come from next season in Regina? (Regina Leader-Post)

    Admit it, you want Lethbridge D-man Lanny Hackman to make it big either in hockey or as a Catskills comedian. (Airdrie City View)


    Guelph's Sleeman Centre shall henceforth be known as the Max Domi House of Boos, writes Ryan Pyette. Will that be for only one more game this spring, though? Domi might have got away with a spear on Thursday. (London Free Press, Guelph Mercury)

    Read More »from Drouin, Mooseheads look to finish off series, so too do Storm and Oil Kings: the coast-to-coast
  • 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
  • Philp and the Ice lead Medicine Hat 3-1 (Larry MacDougal, The Canadian Press)No. 1 star: Luke Philp, Kootenay Ice (WHL)

    Philp (1G-3A, +2), Jaedon Descheneau (3G, +2) and Sam Reinhart (3A, +1) did the legwork offensively to help Kootenay turn the tables on Medicine Hat for a 7-4 Game 4 win and 3-1 series lead in the Eastern Conference semifinal.

    The Tigers scored three goals in as many minutes to open a 4-1 edge in the second period. At that point, Ice coach Ryan McGill decided to stanch the bleeding by changing goalies, putting in Wyatt Hoflin to relieve the hard-done-by Mackenzie Skapski. Eighteen seconds after play resumed, a Tigers turnover deep in its own territory came to Philip, who wired in a shot to get the Ice within striking distance.

    The two-goal spread lasted until inside of the eight-minute mark of the third. The 18-year-old Philp got the primary assist on a Rinat Valiev tally with 7:44 to go. With 4:15 left, Philp's touch pass into the middle of the offensive zone created a skew of space for Descheneau to bury the tying goal. Descheneau came right back, deking Marek Langhamer with 2:06 left for the winner.

    The Ice's first chance to advance is Saturday in Medicine Hat.

    Read More »from Luke Philp’s 4 points helps Kootenay roar back to top Tigers, go up 3-1: Thursday’s 3 Stars
  • Jets pick Scott Kosmachuk (OHL Images)

    Winnipeg Jets pick Scott Kosmachuk and Minnesota Wild singing Zack Mitchell each potted a pair, and Guelph has Memorial Cup host London one loss away from a long respite before the tournament. Meantime, Barrie's power play went from drought to deluge in a series-tying win over North Bay and Oshawa ousted Peterborough. On to the post-game questions!

    Read More »from Guelph puts London in 3-1 hole, Colts score six unanswered: OHL post-game questions
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    Sure, Portland is 35-2 over its past 37 games, but Victoria accounts one of the two losses. So the Royals have that going for him heading into the do-or-done Game 5. (Victoria Times-Colonist)

    Giving the puck away to Sam Reinhart? Never a good idea. As a result, Kootenay's up 2-1 on Medicine Hat. (Medicine Hat News)

    All draft rankings are "media-driven," says Edmonton coach Derek Laxdal, but hey, look at the jump the Oil Kings' Edgars Kulda and Brett Pollock have made. (Edmonton Sun)

    The Moose Jaw Warriors' defence of their "totally insensitive" throwback jersey constructed around the fact it will be used on a "LIMITED" basis, notes Chris Creamer. They used ALLCAPS, people. (

    Coach Steve Konowalchuk's summation of a 41-win Seattle Thunderbirds that ended with being swept by Kelowna: "As proud as I am, I'm disappointed right now." (ESPN 710)

    Everett Silvertips graduating captain Matt Pufahl is getting a look-see with the Colorado Avalanche's AHL farm team, while Swift Current grad Graham Black has an audition with the New Jersey Devils' affiliate. (Mile High Hockey, Regina Leader-Post)

    How much longer until Portland's long-time super-scout, assistant GM Matt Bardsley, becomes a GM with another franchise? (Portland Tribune)


    London has outscored Guelph through three games, but the goals have been in the wrong place, at the wrong time. Meantime, look at Erie sitting there with its feet up. (London Free Press)

    Darnell Nurse is the best prospect in the Edmonton Oilers system? Damn right. (The Hockey Writers)

    Niagara IceDogs play-by-player Steve Clark talks about the 15-game suspension to Josh Ho-Sang: "It's contact. It's contact you probably see in a game hundreds of times of year ... to use the heavy hand on Josh Ho-Sang and penalize a guy 15 games for what was called holding? ... it's punishing the end result and not the intent." (AM 900 CHML)

    Read More »from Winterhawks look to clinch, Rockets sweep by: the coast-to-coast
  • Jordan Papirny has stood on his head in the Wheat Kings' blue paint (

    No. 1 star: Jordan Papirny, Brandon Wheat Kings (WHL)

    The Wheat Kings will live to see another day thanks to Papirny’s outstanding play in the blue paint. The rookie goalie, who turns 18 tomorrow (April 10), turned aside 49 of 51 rubber bullets against the Edmonton Oil Kings in the 5-2 affair to force a Game 5. As the Oil Kings fired on all cylinders, he held the Wheaties in the game in the first 40 minutes by stopping 38 of 40 shots. The Edmonton native went on to get in front of all 11 pucks that came his way in the third period.

    Papirny has ultimately solidified himself as a genuine No. 1 goalie in the second-round series. He has been the Wheat Kings’ best player in all four games despite having a 195-shot workload. As the 24th ranked North American goalie by NHL Central Scouting Service, the odds are against him to have his name called at the 2014 draft, but his impressive showing may be enough to earn a rookie camp invite.

    Richard Nejezchleb (2G-1A, +2), John Quenneville (1G-1A,

    Read More »from Jordan Papirny saves the day for Wheat Kings: Wednesday’s 3 Stars
  • Brendan Leipsic (foreground) scored twice in Portland's 4-3 win in Game 4 (photo: Victoria Royals)After failing to make life difficult for the Portland Winterhawks and falling behind 2-0 in the Western Conference semifinals, the Victoria Royals got the defending champs out of their comfort zone in two tight games on Vancouver Island.

    The defending champs found a way to earn a split, though, and take a commanding 3-1 lead back to the mainland for Thursday's Game 5 at the Moda Center in Portland.

    The Hawks imposed their will on the Royals in taking the first two games by 8-2 and 6-3 margins at home, but couldn't get their speed and skill game together as the series shifted to Victoria.

    The Royals finally looked like a 48-win team at home, and they held the Winterhawks off the scoreboard for the first 59:46 in Game 3. A pair of power-play goals in the first period held up as Victoria won 2-1.

    Finding the neutral zone increasingly clogged, and struggling to generate chances off the rush, Portland embraced a grittier style in Game 4. It still looked like it might be the Royals' night again, though, when Steven Hodges scored seven seconds into the third period to put Victoria ahead 3-2. But the Hawks responded with a Brendan Leipsic goal less than 90 seconds later, and Chase De Leo notched the game-winner midway through the period as Portland won 4-3.

    For the Winterhawks, the ability to adapt pushed them over the top. All four of Portland's goals came from driving the net hard and going after loose pucks and rebounds. It's not the usual blueprint for success, but it worked well enough to earn a split and reclaim control of the series.

    It's also the kind of win that's typical of a team littered with players who have dozens of games of WHL postseason experience:

    Read More »from Kelowna and Portland closing in on anticipated showdown: WHL Western Conference playoff roundup
  • Combing all corners of the country and the blogosphere for your junior hockey headlines ...


    Brandon's on the brink against Edmonton. Surprised? (Brandon Sun, Luber's Lounge)

    Victoria Royals coach Dave Lowry, with his team down to its last leg after a one-goal loss to Portland: "We still believe this can be a long series." As an aside, the Royals' Joe Hicketts is not on the NHL Central Scouting final list? The diminutive defenceman might make a great free-agent signing someday. (Victoria Times-Colonist)

    Overage goalie Jordon Cooke betrayed some human-like qualities, but Kelowna still put Seattle into a three-games-to-none corner. (Regan's Rant, Seattle Times)

    Isn't it odd how some old-media outlets only pick up on a story after it's been blogged about in this space? (QMI Agency)


    Guelph coach Scott Walker, on his healthful exchanging of views with OHL officials supervisor Leon Stickle after a Game 3 win in London: "It was self-explanatory if you were at the game." (Guelph Mercury)

    London Knights second-rounder Ben Gleason, who had college interest, is planning on coming to training camp. I know, shocked me too. (London Free Press)

    As the Belleville Bulls' arena soap opera churns ... Bulls majority owner Gord Simmonds says "it’s a bit of red herring to talk about" a facility shutdown leading to the team having to move home games next season. At the same time, the city council has sticker shock about spending $2 million to fix an ice surface at aging Yardmen Arena. (Belleville Intelligencer)

    Read More »from Scott Walker’s issues with OHL officials ‘self-explanatory’: the coast-to-coast