It wasn't a great few days for future Wolverines. Lindsay Sparks and the Oakville Blades were defeated in the OJHL Championship series 4 games to 2. Sparks ended up fourth on his team in playoff points with an 8-18--26 line in 27 games. He also had 50 PIMs.
Lee Moffie and the Waterloo Blackhawks were swept out of the USHL Playoffs by the regular-season champion Green Bay Gamblers (4-1, 4-3 (ot), 8-2). Moffie didn't have a point and was -3 in the three playoff games.
The USA U-17 team dropped the first game of their second-round series against bastard-souvenir-puck-snaring-goalie Jordan Tibbett* and the Mahoning Valley Phantoms by a 4-1 margin.
Then the USA U-18 team blew 2-0 and 4-3 leads and dropped a 6-5 decision against Russia. Chris Brown had the second goal for the Americans. They outshot Russia 55-26 in the loss.
Due to the loss, the Americans had to take on the Czechs in the quarterfinals, rather than get a bye straight through to the semis. They won 6-2. None of our guys had points, but Jack Campbell played between the pipes and made 21 saves. USA outshot the Czechs by a 58-23 margin.
They'll play the Canadians in the semifinals tomorrow night. It will be realllllly interesting to see who they go with in goal. Since they went with Campbell in an elimination game tonight I have to believe he's the guy the rest of the way. It's quite a story that the U17 goalie is playing for the Americans in the World Under 18 Championships.
Other stuff: Al Montoya and Jack Johnson were named to Team USA for the World Championships in Switzerland. Those games will take place from April 24-May 10.
The new Central Scouting rankings came out. Treais, Moffie, and Mac Bennett rose in the rankings. Kevin Lynch dropped (though I bet the CSS wishes they had a do-over on that one with the way he's played at World U18s) and Brown dropped a slot.
A reader passed along a great article about Brandon Kaleniecki, who is working his butt off in the ECHL. His coach said he thinks he would have made the AHL by now if not for injuries. He was just named an alternate captain for his team in the playoffs.
A commenter pointed out an article that was on the front page of the Fargo newspaper (the U18s are in Fargo) about the NTDP, mainly the guys who are coming to Michigan. Definitely enjoyable if you're a Wolverine fan.
*Tibbett and the rest of his team (I think it was Honeybaked but I don't feel like looking it up) were sitting in front of me at Yost a few years back. A shot came over the glass and was headed directly for me. I've never caught a puck before, I collect hockey pucks, it's something I've always wanted to do (my dad has caught two, including a Bobby Orr slapshot). Anyway, and I swear this is true, Tibbett reached back after the puck was by him and somehow snagged it. I mean that thing was headed right for me. I was pissed. Amazed, because it was a helluva catch. But I was pissed.