With the CHL season coming to an end today and the NCAA tournament season in full swing, there is plenty to be excited about for a number of Maple Leaf prospects. Travis Dermott and the Erie Otters have clinched the OHL regular season title, Stephen Desrocher and his Frontenacs have grabbed the top seed in the Eastern Conference, Mitch Marner leads the hottest team in the CHL into a first round matchup with the Owen Sound Attack, and oh yeah there are some prospects outside of the OHL as well.
One More Chance For the Bulldogs
The official NCAA team of TLN, the University of Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs lost last night in the finals of the NCAC conference tournament but will get one last chance to make a run as they are in the field of 16 for the NCAA tournament that begins next week. After a huge upset win over the top-seeded University of North Dakota, Leaf prospects Tony Cameranesi, Dominic Toninato and their Bulldog teammates lost 3-1 last night to St. Cloud State. Toninato led the Bulldogs in the semifinal against UND with two goals while Cameranesi added an assist in each of the two games.
UMD’s Dominic Toninato roofs it short side from near the goal line pic.twitter.com/zVRV7F9QbP
— CJ Fogler (@cjzero) March 18, 2016
Here is the complete bracket for the NCAA Tournament:
In other NCAA play, Ohio State lost to the University of Minnesota in the semifinal of the Big 10 Tournament, ending the season of Leafs prospect Dakota Joshua.
Playoff Time in Sweden
Maple Leafs prospect Andreas Johnson had a goal in Frolunda’s opening game of the SHL quarterfinal series. After splitting the first two games with Djurgarden, both teams will look to take control of the series as game three goes today. While a deep playoff run for Frolunda might do well for Johnson’s psyche, the most beneficial outcome for the organization might be for the young Swede to have his team eliminated from the playoffs in time for him to join the Toronto Marlies for a stretch run. With the Marlies roster depleted from all the call-ups, Johnson could fit right into a key role and gain invaluable experience getting acclimatized to the North American game before attempting to make the NHL next fall. Who knows, if things keep going the way they are Johnson might end up suiting up for a couple of games with the Leafs if he heads over from Sweden in the next few weeks.
— SHL Prospect GIFS (@SHLProspectGIFS) March 16, 2016
The End of the CHL Season
The Erie Otters locked up first place after splitting a great home and home series with Mitch Marner and the London Knights over the weekend, as a result, Travis Dermott and his team will have home ice advantage right up until the Memorial Cup.
Here’s a look at the CHL playoff matchups for the Leafs prospects going into the final day of the season:
- Travis Dermott and the Erie Otters will face the Saginaw Spirt who are the eighth seed in the Western Conference.
- Stephen Desrocher will faceoff with his former team as the Eastern Conference winning Kingston Frontenacs will draw the defending Memorial Cup Champion Oshawa Generals.
- The Sarnia Sting and Nikita Korostelev are the second seed in the Western Conference by default as the winner of the West Division. They will face the Soo Greyhounds to open the playoffs.
- The series that most Leaf fans will have their eye on is the London Knights against the Owen Sound Attack. Mitch Marner and JJ Piccinich are hoping to continue the hot streak and get their London team back to the Memorial Cup.
- In the WHL, Andrew Nielsen’s second-seeded Lethbridge Hurricanes will meet the Regina Pats in the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs.
- Dmytro Timashov and Martins Dzierkals have both made the QMJHL playoffs. Dzierkals and the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies finished atop the standings and will face the Drummondville Voltigeurs. While Timashov and Shawinigan will get Sherbrook in the first round.