Where NCAA prospects faltered, the CHL prospects picked up the slack. Also, for the sake of Cale Makar’s success this season, this weekend’s was the first and last UMass game I will watch this season.
Ontario Hockey League
#17 - Brandon Saigeon (C)
Oshawa Generals (44-20-4)
Round 1 vs. Peterborough: lead series 2-1
Saigeon was recognized for his impressive OHL career last week:
It was quite a week for Saigeon, who had a goal and five assists in three games. Here’s the goal he scored in Game 1:
And a couple of his nice assists:
The Generals will look to take a 3-1 series lead in Game 4 tomorrow in Peterborough.
Western Hockey League
#21 - Nick Henry (RW)
Lethbridge Hurricanes (40-18-10)
Round 1 vs. Calgary: lead series 2-1
Henry had two goals and an assists in three games this past week.
This was his first goal of the playoffs in Game 1:
And this was his second goal, in Game 2:
Here’s his assist from last night:
Cozens has ✌️ and the Hurricanes are within a goal late in the third. pic.twitter.com/ukAhfAFiNB— The WHL (@TheWHL) March 27, 2019
The Hurricanes dropped Game 3 after taking a 2-0 series lead, and will try to get back on the winning side on Thursday.
#16 - Cale Makar (D)
UMass Minutemen (26-8-0)
vs. Boston College: lost 3-0
No, I don’t know what happened to UMass in this game, but they cannot repeat that disaster of a performance against Harvard on Friday. Thanks to their stellar regular season, UMass was still awarded the fourth seed in the NCAA playoff seeding, including the top seed within its regional. From here on out, they can’t make anymore mistakes — because we all want to see Cale hoist another trophy.
Makar was named a top ten finalist for the Hobey Baker last week. On top of that, he was also unanimously named Hockey East’s player of the year:
We know how incredible he is, but good to see EVERYONE agrees@Cmakar16 - your UNANIMOUS @hockey_east Player of the Year!— UMass Hockey (@UMassHockey) March 21, 2019
(PS - While we have your attention, VOTE ➡️ https://t.co/ZKjF0gokdr ) #NewMass | #Flagship pic.twitter.com/t4kKC6cXPz
He was also a conference first-team all-star:
The 2019 Hockey East First Team All-Stars pic.twitter.com/CGZhWr2QME— Hockey East (@hockey_east) March 21, 2019
He was also the only current NCAA player named to the conference’s 35th anniversary all-star team, because he’s a boss:
With all the talent to come through @hockey_east over the years, what an honor for @Cmakar16 to be the ONLY active player to make this list #HobeyNeedsMoreCale— UMass Athletics (@UMassAthletics) March 21, 2019
VOTE DAILY https://t.co/ZsgLxjUZs7#Flagship https://t.co/1TebJQ2t5z
The Hockey News named him their best NHL prospect:
Oh hey....we know that guy who’s front and center on the cover of @TheHockeyNews Future Watch— UMass Hockey (@UMassHockey) March 25, 2019
Also, please go vote for him for @HobeyBakerAward daily ⤵️https://t.co/ZKjF0gokdr#HobeyNeedsMoreCale #NewMass | #Flagship pic.twitter.com/3XcYxU9qcI
And ESPN wrote about how he helped turn UMass’ hockey program around:
”I think it was a shock [to others] that he came back,” Carvel says. “I wasn’t shocked. He is very aware, and it’s a huge quality to have [in player development]. He knew he wasn’t ready.”
With Makar in tow and a quality recruiting class that included USHL Defenseman of the Year Marc Del Gaizo and skilled graduate transfer Pritchard, #NewMass wasn’t just a clever hashtag. It was a warning to the rest of Hockey East -- and the country -- not to take the Minutemen lightly. [ESPN]
UMass is off to the NCAA Northeast Regionals! From there on out, it’s do-or-die. And I’m sure we’d all love to see Makar hoist another trophy before joining the Avalanche full-time.
#15 - Shane Bowers (C)
Boston University Terriers (14-16-4)
vs. Northeastern: lost 2-1 (OT)
Boston’s season came to an end with an overtime loss to Northeastern in the Hockey East semi-final. Bowers went pointless in the game, but he did almost get on the board:
Unfortunately, hockey is a game of inches. A whole bunch of Bowers’ teammates are expected to turn pro soon (if they haven’t already), so should he return for his junior season next fall, he’ll have an even larger role.
#26 - Cam Morrison (LW), #4 - Nick Leivermann (D), #2 - Nate Clurman (D)
Notre Dame Fighting Irish (18-13-3)
vs. Penn State: won 3-2 — BIG TEN CHAMPIONS
Regardless of this game’s result, I think Avs fans would have been content. But it shouldn’t have come a surprise to anyone that it was Cam Morrison who scored the championship-winning goal:
It was Morrison’s second straight Big Ten title-clinching goal — he scored the overtime winner for Notre Dame last year:
Morrison was named to the Big Ten tournament team:
Nate Clurman (zero points) played in this game, but Nick Leivermann was once again a healthy scratch. Notre Dame advanced to the NCAA playoffs for the fourth straight year:
Notre Dame landed the third seed in the Northeast Regional, the same regional that Makar’s Minutemen are in. There’s a very strong chance those two teams will meet this weekend. But before that, the Fighting Irish will take on the Clarkson Golden Knights on Friday.
#58 - Sampo Ranta (RW) - ELIMINATED
Minnesota Golden Gophers (14-15-4)
#25 - Denis Smirnov (RW) — ELIMINATED
Penn State Nittany Lions (19-13-2)
vs. Notre Dame: lost 3-2
Damn. I was kind of hoping for an upset. Smirnov went pointless in this game, but he wasn’t a non-factor:
Smirnov with a great chance, but Morris with the pad save and the Russian then has his stick slashed out of his hand, Penn State will head to the power-play at 9:49 of the first period!! #WeAre #HockeyValley pic.twitter.com/6CCo2escCf— Penn State Men’s Hockey (@PennStateMHKY) March 24, 2019
Smirnov was one of 14 teammates to be recognized as Academic All-Big Ten honorees (and was the only Big Ten Avs prospect to achieve that):
Congrats to our 1⃣4⃣ Academic All-Big Ten honorees this season tying for the second-most in all of #B1GHockey!! We now have 9⃣9⃣ total in the six seasons of the Big Ten Hockey Conference!! #StudentAthletes pic.twitter.com/vuNOZskV0P— Penn State Men’s Hockey (@PennStateMHKY) March 20, 2019
#40 - Tyler Weiss (LW) — ELIMINATED
Nebraska Omaha Mavericks (9-22-3)
#51 - Nikolai Kovalenko (RW) - ELIMINATED
KHL - Lokomotiv Yaroslavl (40-16-6)
vs. St. Petersburg: lost series 4-1
Well, Lokomotiv lost Game 5 in overtime last Thursday, which effectively ended Kovalenko’s season. He didn’t register a point in his final game, finishing the playoffs with two assists in seven games.
#2 - Danila Zhuravlyov (D) — ELIMINATED
VHL - Bars Kazan (27-22-7)
#19 - Gustav Olhaver (RW) — ELIMINATED
Allsvenskan (SWE) - Tingsryds AIF (19-25-8)