Saturday, May 14, 2011

CHL Playoffs: Kootenay Clinches, Olympiques Alive

Friday night was alright for the Ice as they downed Portland 4-1 to win the series in 5 and claim the Ed Chynoweth Cup advancing to the Mastercard Memorial Cup for the 3rd time in franchise history. It must have been an amazing feeling for Kootenay G.M. Jeff Chynoweth to accept the trophy named after his later father and WHL pioneer.

Portland opened the scoring just 2:26 in on a Tyler Wotherspoon goal, but Kootenay controlled most of the game outshooting the Hawks 40-27. For whatever reason the home side came out flat in the 3rd and the Hawks couldn't come back. Nathan Lieuwen was named MVP and for good reason, the undrafted 6.05 goaltender has been spectacular in the playoffs with a 16-3 record, 3 shuts outs, a GAA of 2.24 and a save percentage over .920. The 5 players and 3 draft picks Kootenay gave up for Cody Eakin looks good now, as Eakin got better as the playoffs went on with 20 points in his last 10 games. Ironically he was held pointless tonight, but was very effective. We look forward to hopefully speaking with G.M. Jeff Chynoweth this Tuesday on our Mastercard Memorial Cup preview show.

In the QMJHL Gatineau has lived another day with a 3-2 win over Saint John, in Saint John. The Sea Dogs still lead the series 3-2 with game 6 going Sunday in Gatineau. The Olympique, by the sounds of things, were full marks for their win. Maxime Clermont was excellent with a save on a Stanislav Galiev mini breakaway, and somehow getting a foot on an Eric Gelinas 3rd period chance, where Gelinas was staring at 3/4 of an empty net. Jean-Gabriel Pageau burned around Pierre Durepos later in the 3rd for the game winner.

The OHL final will feature game 7 on Sunday with Mississauga hosting Owen Sound for what should be a very testy affair.

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