Josh Nicholls (undrafted UFA) of the Saskatoon Blades scored three goals and added an assist in Saskatoon’s first two games of the Mastercard Memorial Cup round robin play. In the first contest –a 3-2 loss to the OHL champion London Knights– Nicholls notched both goals for the Blades and finished with a +1 rating. In the second game –a 5-2 win over the QMJHL champion Halifax Mooseheads– Nicholls notched a goal and an assist with 2 PIMs.
Shane McColgan (5th, 2011), also with Saskatoon, notched an assist and a +1 rating in the game against Halifax. McColgan was held scoreless in the first game. Saskatoon is hosting the Memorial Cup this season, which guaranteed their entry to the tournament, despite their first round loss in the WHL playoffs.
Michael St. Croix (4th, 2011) and the Edmonton Oil Kings fell in Game Six to the Portland Winterhawks by a score of 5-1. The loss gave Portland the WHL Championship and a trip to the Mastercard Memorial Cup. St. Croix had an assist and was a -1 in the finale.
The Mastercard Memorial Cup is a four team tournament that comprises each of the CHL champions (WHL – Portland, QMJHL - Halifax, OHL – TBD) and the host city’s team (Saskatoon Blades). Because Saskatoon is hosting the tournament, the Rangers will have two prospects participating: Shane McColgan (5th, 2011), and Josh Nicholls (undrafted UFA). The tournament begins on May 17.
On Friday night, Michael St. Croix (4th, 2011) kept his Edmonton Oil Kings career going for at least one more game, scoring two goals –including the overtime winner– in Game Five against the Portland Winterhawks. St. Croix’s goals (his 12th and 13th of the postseason) gave the Oil Kings a chance to tie the series in Game Six, which will be today at 4pm.
Meanwhile, Sam Noreau (6th, 2011) and his Baie-Comeau Drakkar lost 5-1 in Game Five of the QMJHL Finals, and lost the series 4-1 to the Halifax Mooseheads. Noreau was a -2 in the series. There is no shame in losing to the Mooseheads, who have two of the top three picks in this year’s draft (Nathan MacKinnon, Jonathan Drouin) and one of the top goaltending prospects (Zachary Fucale).
Noreau has until June 1 to sign with the Rangers, or he will re-enter the draft. I’d venture a guess to say the club will sign him, as they are very thin on defensive prospects at the AHL level.
Michael St. Croix (4th 2011) and Sam Noreau (6th 2011) were pushed to the brink of elimination in the WHL Finals and QMJHL Finals, respectively. St. Croix’s Edmonton Oil Kings dropped Game Four to the Portland Winterhawks 2-1, and now trail in the series 3-1. Noreau’s Baie-Comeau Drakkar were routed 7-4 by the Halifax Mooseheads in Game Four of the QMJHL Finals, and now trail the series 3-1. Below are the scoring lines for both St. Croix and Noreau.
- Michael St. Croix: 0 G, 0 A, +1, 2 PIM
- Sam Noreau: 1 G, 0 A, -1, 0 PIM
Michael St. Croix scored the only goal for the Edmonton Oil Kings in their 3-1 Game Three loss to the Portland Winterhawks. The Oil Kings now trail the Winterhawks 2-1 in the WHL Finals.
Meanwhile in the QMJHL, Sam Noreau and the Baie-Comeau Drakkar finally took a game from the Halifax Mooseheads in the QMJHL Finals. Baie-Comeau now trails Halifax 2-1 after their 3-1 Game Three victory. Noreau was held without a point in the contest, but registered two hits.
Michael St. Croix (4th, 2011) of the Edmonton Oil Kings in the WHL and Sam Noreau (6th, 2011) of the Baie-Comeau Drakkar of the QMJHL both dropped their Game Two’s in their respective league finals. St. Croix was held off the score sheet with a -1 rating and 2 PIMs in Edmonton’s 3-0 loss to the Portland Winterhawks (Series tied 1-1). Noreau was also held off the score sheet with 2 PIMs in BAC’s loss to Halifax (Halifax leads series 2-0). Both clubs will be heading home for Games Three and Four.
Michael St. Croix (4th, 2011) and the Edmonton Oil Kings took Game One from the Portland Winterhawks by a score of 4-1. St. Croix was held off the scoresheet in the victory. Game Two is tonight in Portland at 7pm.
On the other end of the continent, Sam Noreau (6th, 2011) and the Baie-Comeau Drakkar did not fair so well in their Game One, losing to Halifax 4-0. Noreau was a -1 in the contest with 2 PIMs. Considering his assignments and the fact that he has to deal with Jonathan Drouin and Nate MacKinnon, that’s really not that bad. Neither Drouin nor MacKinnon registered goals.
Michael St. Croix (4th, 2011) scored the only two goals in Game 7 of the WHL Eastern Conference Finals to propel the Edmonton Oil Kings to the WHL Finals against the Portland Winterhawks. St. Croix’s ninth of the playoffs came at 14:05 of the first period, and his tenth of the postseason came at 4:33 of the second. The young winger also finished with a +2 rating. In 16 games this postseason, St. Croix has a line of 10-12-22.
St. Croix and the Oil Kings move on to the Finals to face Portland, a team absolutely loaded with NHL talent (Seth Jones, Derek Poulliot, Brendan Leipsic, Ty Rattie). The winner of this series will join Shane McColgan, Josh Nicholls, and the Saskatoon Blades (hosting team) in the Mastercard Memorial Cup.
St. Croix is the second Ranger prospect to advance to the Finals of his respective league, as Sam Noreau and the Baie-Comeau Drakkar advanced to the QMJHL finals this weekend). If both Edmonton and Baie-Comeau win their leagues, then the Rangers will have a whopping four prospects participating in the Memorial Cup.
Sam Noreau and the Baie-Comeau Drakkar advanced to the QMJHL Finals shutting out Blainville-Boisbriand in Game Six of the Semi-Finals 4-0 and taking the series 4-2. Noreau was a +1 in the clincher. Baie-Comeau will face a loaded Halifax team that boasts two of the top three picks in this year’s draft in the Finals, with Game 1 starting on Friday.
Meanwhile in the WHL, the Calgary Hitmen won Game Six of the WHL Eastern Conference Finals in dramatic fashion, needing overtime to push Michael St. Croix and the Edmonton Oil Kings to a Game 7 tomorrow night. Michael St. Croix notched an assist and an even rating in the loss.
Michael St. Croix netted his 8th goal and 19th point of the WHL playoffs last night as the Edmonton Oil Kings took a 3-2 series lead over the Calgary Hitmen in the WHL Eastern Conference Finals. The winner of this series will play the Portland Winterhawks in the WHL Finals.
In the QMJHL, Sam Noreau and the Baie-Comeau Drakkar beat Blainville-Boisbriand in overtime in Game Five to take a 3-2 series lead in the QMJHL Semi Finals. Noreau was held off the score sheet in the victory. The winner of this series will face a loaded Halifax team that boasts two of the top three projected picks (Nathan MacKinnon, Jonathan Drouin) in this year’s draft.