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Saturday, January 21, 2012

John Reid Memorial Tournament - Day 3

Consolation Round Play
Calgary Bronks 5 - Balgonie 4 SO
Balgonie Prairie Storm sniper Jayden Halbgewachs scores 3 goals and 1 assist in defeat as the Calgary Bronks defeat them 5-4.  Halbgewachs, who we fully expect to be a first round selection in the bantam draft has 8 goals and 2 assists for Balgonie through 4 gp.  The next closest on the team has just 4 points.  Mark Rassel had 1-2-3 for the Bronks and Bryson Traptow had 1-1-2 and also the SO winner.

NSWC 4 - Notre Dame 1
NSWC have won their 2nd straight game against academy teams as they defeated Notre Dame 4-1.  The Hounds in somewhat of an off year are now 0-4-0 and have been out-scored 20-8.  NSWC top 10 ranked Jansen Harkins picked up 3 goals and 1 assist in the game.  Jansen Harkins leads NSWC in tournament scoring, as expected with 6-4-10 in 4 games.  They have also got production from a pair of defenceman in Cal Breber and Mark O'Shaunessy who both picked up 5 points so far.

Calgary Bisons 4 - St. Albert 2
Top 5 ranked '97 born bantam prospect Nick Merkley continues his strong tournament with 2 goals and 1 assist today.  Merkley now has 5-3-8 in 4 GP.  Keillan Olson scored his first two goals of the tournament as well for the Bisons.  St. Albert got goals from Matteo Gennaro, his 3rd and Stephen Cretain, his 2nd.

Lloydminster 6 - SSAC 5
SSAC came out on top of another wild one this afternoon against Lloydminster.  98 born forward Tyler Benson continued his assult on the tournament scoring race with another goal and two assists.  Benson leads the tournament in scoring after 4 games with 9-9-18.  His line-mate and AMBHL scoring ace Giorgio Estephan had 2-3-5 in the game.  Estephan now is 2nd in tournament scoring with 4-12-16 in 4 games played.  98 born D- David Quennville who is on track for a top 10 selection, along with Benson in the 2013 WHL bantam draft, did not play.  For Lloydminster, AMBHL goal scoring leading Andrew Koep led the way with 2-1-3.  Klein and Koep are leading Lloydminster right now in tournament scoring with 8 points each.  Lloydminster held a 31-27 shot advantage.

BWC 5 - Calgary Royals 2 - BWC advance to the Semi - Finals
#1 western Canada ranked BWC were powered by the #1 ranked player Matt Barzal en route to the 5-2 win and a place in the semi - finals.  The game was 2-1 heading to the 3rd period when Barzal scored in the first 30 seconds of play and then salted the game away with 5  minutes to go with  his 3rd of the game.  Nick McBride was strong for BWC stopping 31/33 shots and Royals goalie Zach Sawchenko had one of his only off games of the season stopping just 24/29.

POE 4 - L.A. Selects 3 OT - POE advance to the Semi - Finals
Ethan Williams plays hero as POE comes by from a 3-1 deficit to advance to the semi-finals.  The Selects held a 3-1 lead early in the 3rd period on goals from Rainer, D-Keoni Texeira and Aaron Aragon.  However, the comeback started with Tanner Browne scoring just 20 seconds after the Aragon goal to make it 3-2 in the 3rd period early.  Then with just 4 minutes remaining, Austin Wellsby scored to tie the game and force OT.  In the OT period, Ethan Williams scored his first of the tournament to give POE a berth in the semi's.  Gathercole was busy for POE has he stopped 34/37 shots and his counterpart for the Selects turned aside 44/48 shots.

Semiahmoo 9 - Edmonton CAC 5 - Semiahmoo Advance to Semi's
Just like Cloverdale, Semiahmoo is now also 4-0-0 in the tournament as they advance to the semi-finals with a 9-5 wild one against CAC.  In what was expected to be a high scoring game, was, as both teams are averaging better than 6 GPG in the tournament.  The Semiahmoo attack was led by Cole Plotnikoff with 2-3-5, John Wesley had 2-1-3 and 98 born Michael Regush picked up a pair of goals.  Cole Gammer, Brayden Burke and Matt Dykstra led the way with 3 points each.  Dykstra had 2 goals.

Cloverdale 5 - Sherwood Park 4 - Cloverdale Advance to semi's
The Colts continue to roll as they earned a come from behind 5-4 victory over Sherwood Park in the first of 4  quarter-finals today.  Sherwood Park held a 4-2 lead after the 2nd period powered by a hat-trick from Grayson Pawlenchuk.  Pawlenchuk leads Sherwood Park with 6 goals in 4 games in the tournament.  98 born  Sam Steel picked up 3 assists.  For Cloverdale, it was once again the Seto and Soy show as Chris Seto picked up 3-1-4 and Soy 2-1-3.  They are currently 2nd and 3rd in tournament scoring with 13 points each.  Both players have 7-6-13 in the 4 games.
Maggio stopped 18/22 shots for Cloverdale while Klassen stopped 22/27.

The round robin portion of play is complete at the John Reid Memorial Tournament and the four playoff match-ups are set.  Please see below the match-ups for the playoff rounds.

Cloverdale vs. Sherwood Park
BWC vs. Calgary Royals

POE vs. L.A. Selects
Semiahmoo vs.CAC

It is interesting to note that there was a three way tie with SSAC, Calgary Royals and the Prairie Storm all finishing at 1-2-0.  I got the following note on the procedure of how the tie breaker was in fact decided.

"Access pool ended up with three teams finishing at 1-2-0.  So it came down to GF/GF+GA to determine the winner.  Individual games were capped off at 6 goals differential.

2nd place - Calgary Royals .533
3rd place -  SSAC .529
4th place -  Prairie Storm .308

* Tie breaker formula and maximum 6 goals difference was documented in the program rules and coaches meeting prior to the tournament.

Top 5 Happenings through Round Robin
1.  Tyler Benson - We all knew the 98 born was good but did we expect him to be running away with the tournament scoring race?  The scary thing is that he has gotten better and better this tournament as he was shut-out in his first game vs. the Royals, then he put up 5-1-6 against Semiahmoo.  Those 5 goals came in the first 23 minutes of the game.  Then last night, he put up 3-6-9!!  That's right, 9 points!  He won't be able to break Jonathan Toews record of 35 points in 7 games just due to the fact that Benson will only play 5 games. However, if he can put up just 8 more points, he will be the 2nd all-time leading scoring at the tournament.  As it stands now, he is tied with Toews at 5 PPG.

2.  NSWC Elimination - The recent struggles of the NSWC which began to an extent at the Burnaby Christmas Tournament and then continued on to the regular season of the PCAHA, have now carried over to this tournament.  The struggles though are pretty relative as they have beaten the teams they should have in league play but were losing to other top teams, something of a concern entering this tournament.  They opened up the tournament with losses to Sherwood Park (5-3) and the Calgary Bisons (6-2) which eliminated them very early on.  They were able to get some redemption with a 7-3 win over pool winner POE though to close it out.

3.  B.C. Teams Continue to Rule - There are 5 B.C. teams in the tournament and each pool was won by a B.C. team.  POE, BWC, Semiahmoo and Cloverdale each won their respective pools.  Obviously it wasn't possible for all 5 to win a pool so one team had to bow out and that was NSWC.  What  is meant by "continuing to roll" is that at the Medicine Hat Hockey Hounds Tournament, the same thing happened as POE, BWC, Semiahmoo and NSWC won their divisions.  That tournament also had just 5 B.C. teams at it.

4.  DEFENCE!!! - The Calgary Royals as they have all season long, played great defence.  That is the main reason why they are moving on to the playoff round.  They allowed a tournament low 7 goals in the 3 games, 4 of which came to Balgonie.  However, they have scored just 8 goals and will meet up against BWC today in one of the quarter-finals.  BWC is also a defensive minded team who plays with great structure.  We would be surprised to see many goals in that one.

5.  OFFENCE!!! - Several of the top offensive teams didn't disappoint in the tournament so far.  The AMBHL's highest scoring team - SSAC led the entire round robin in goals with 21.  Thanks in large part to Estephan, Benson and Quennville.  Cloverdale as projected have been able to score with the likes of Soy/Seto and Stukel leading the way.  CAC with their top two lines have caused fits for some of the teams.  Same can be said with the offensive depth and the top four forwards on Semiahmoo.

More later


Anonymous said...

You would have thought that Balgonie would have played their good goalie while they still had a chance in the championship round instead of their backup. The goalie who played against SSAC has a GAA of around 8.5 and the other goalie is supposed to be really good. Maybe he was hurt.

Anonymous said...

BC Hockey >>>> others. Impressive

Anonymous said...

BC hockey is very strong. They only invited 5 BC Teams and 4 of them won their pools and as predicted all 4 will be the final 4.

The teams from Alberta that came to BC this year to play even lesser events did not fair well against any of the top ten BC teams. The dominance continues. Speed kills.

Anonymous said...

BC Teams rely much more on puck movement and speed. Alberta teams playing more up and down highly structured hockey and are more physical. Puck possession and passing abilities are more critical in the game right now than physicality. The BC teams have wicked PPs and that seems to be the deciding factor in many games.

Anonymous said...

Its amazing that Notre Dame is doing as good as they are since they have 3 players from yorktons bantam team last year that finished last in the league.

Anonymous said...

You can't even compare B.C. hockey with Alberta. Alberta has much more strict juradiction rules. A player has to play where you live and go to school. B.C hockey is like summer hockey programs, anything goes. There are players from several provinces on one team! Combine two or three teams from the Edmonton area to make one team and then let us see what would happen to the BC powerhouse teams. It would even be a CONTEST..

Anonymous said...

For the 8:06 guy. The 2 teams in the finals are association teams. All the players live within the jurisdiction of Semi and Cloverdale and are not recruited from other provinces

Anonymous said...

Congrats to the BC teams, but I feel the gap is not as huge as one might think due to one small fact BC teams typically carry two less players. This may seem insignificant but any hockey coach knows how limiting it is to find ice time for your two worst players.

Anonymous said...

703 - that's a really interesting observation but nothing's stopping other teams from doing the same - there is a tipping point however where a short bench backfires so that's not such an advantage in a tournament with packed games - as mentioned, PP superiority (which is a reflection of the strength of your top 5 players) probably accounts for a lot of the difference in this tourney

Anonymous said...

What is even more interesting, is even without the 3 guys from Yorkton that went to ND this year, Yorkton has tied the Prairie Storm. I think that was in Melville's tournament. Prairie storm isnt as good as they think they are if we can tie them.

Anonymous said...

The fact is AB is considerably weaker for 97's than BC is. Anyone that has played spring for the past several years has seen that, with top AB teams not able to consistently beat top BC teams like Vipers, Selects, Heat, Giants. Is all a cycle. AB was very strong for 95's and 96's, noew BC's turn. One thing I will say is that most of the top 98's at John Reid were from AB so it will be interesting to see how things tuirn out next year.