This week on Inside The Cru, Tyler Yaremchuk chats with newly drafted goaltender Carter Gylander about the draft process, his first development camp, and his goals for next season!
This week on #InsideTheCru Tyler Yaremchuk is joined by Crusaders defenseman Mike Benning to discuss putting on the Hockey Canada sweater at the u18 Selection Camp & growing up in a hockey family.
This week on #InsideTheCru Tyler Yaremchuk chats with the AJHL’s Vice President of Hockey Operations about the changes coming to the league this summer!
This week on #InsideTheCru Tyler Yaremchuk chats with Brayden Hyland about his season with the Crusaders & his decision to join the Grant MacEwan Griffins!
A sixth member of the 2018/19 Bonnyville Pontiacs has committed to an NCAA program. Sean Thomson is heading south of the border to start his colliegate career as he commits to the Hamilton College Continentals. The Continentals are an NCAA Division III school who play in the New England Small College Athletic Conference.
The Brooks Bandits announced on Saturday evening their 16th collegiate commitment of the 2018/19 season. Carter Wolski is heading to the ACAC to play for Red Deer College King becoming the second Bandit in franchise history joining the program following in the footsteps of Ty Mappin.
Photo via Calgary Mustangs
After two and a half seasons, the Calgary Mustangs are in search of a new head coach and general manager. The former man in charge, Tyler Drader has accepted the position of new head coach of the SAIT Trojans of the ACAC starting in the 2019-20 season. During his tenure with the organization, no team in the AJHL has turned it around more than Drader’s Mustangs.
Which second-round matchup in the west has been most exciting for you?
cheap lasik surgery in dubai IAN SHEPPARD: For me, we haven’t seen the same sort of excitement that came with the round one upsets but for me, the series I’m most interested in has been the Blues Stars series. With the series tied at 2-2, each game so far has been one or two goal games. Not to mention the exciting finish to Game 3 with Patrick Maroon scoring late to win it, and Dallas bouncing back in Game 4 to tie the series.
This Series has been the closest with a total of 24 goals through four games. This series will almost definitely go to seven games with the back and forth action we’ve seen so far.
buy clomid overnight delivery WYATT ZIEGER: In the West, it has to be the Av’s and Sharks.
TYLER YAREMCHUK: I’ll break the tie here and go with the Blues and Stars series. There’s been thrilling finishes, games with lots of goals, games with great goaltending. It’s had a bit of everything. I also think the winner of this series will go to the Stanley Cup Finals so I’m really keeping a close eye on this one.
Which second-round matchup in the east has been most exciting for you?
IAN SHEPPARD: This one is a pretty easy one. The Islanders/Canes series has been really one-sided so far with the 3-0 series lead for Carolina, so I’ll have to go with Columbus and Boston. No one expected the Jackets to make it past Tampa, let alone sweep them. I for one didn’t think they’d have a chance to make it out of the second round after the first round upset.
They have found themselves in prime position to compete with Boston and potentially make a splash into the ECF and I’ll be tuning in all series long to see if they can do it! Excluding all of that, two games so far have gone into OT with three games being decided by one goal, and each team exchanging wins resulting in a 2-2 series tie. Talk about an exciting series.
WYATT ZIEGER: The East is an easy answer, Bruins/Jackets. Carolina has runaway on the Islanders but the other East matchup has been tighter than the lid on a pickle jar. Columbus has approximately 6 more wins than most would of thought to date and the Bruins who remain the most “obvious” cup pick haven’t pulled away at all.
This has all the makings of a seven-game series in what has been a sub-par 2nd round. I’m still excited to see how Carolina and New York plays out but I wouldn’t hold my breath Islanders fans.
TYLER YAREMCHUK: It’s definitely Boston and Columbus. It’s fast and it’s hard hitting. Both of these teams have goaltending capable of stealing a game yet they’re both capable of giving up five or six goals on any given night. I love that element of unpredictability. Like the Dallas/St. Louis series, I believe the winner of this one is going to the Cup Final, so I got my eyes glued to this series.
Who’s been the MVP of the playoffs thus far?
IAN SHEPPARD: It’s tough to argue with what Logan Couture has done so far in helping his team make it past the first round and into a 2-2 series tie with Colorado while leading the playoffs with 9 goals. But for me, it’s Nathan MacKinnon. MacKinnon leads the playoffs in points with 13 and has been a one-man wrecking crew all playoffs.
His six goals are second in the postseason only behind Couture’s nine, but he almost singlehandedly took down the Calgary Flames in round one and has so far scored three goals in each round. He continues to be a playmaker and a leader for his team, one that much like Columbus has over excelled the expectations that were laid upon them.
WYATT ZIEGER: There are a few deserving players as of today; MacKinnon, Bobrovsky, Couture, but it has been Jacob Slavin who has impressed me most.
TYLER YAREMCHUK: I really like the way Logan Couture has stepped up with Joe Pavelski out of the lineup. He’s been the heartbeat of that Sharks team and that video of him yelling “that’s one” at the Sharks bench during their comeback against Vegas will be iconic in San Jose if they go all the way this year. He leads the playoffs in goals with nine like Ian mentioned so not only has he brought energy and leadership, he’s brought the offense to back it up.
WHO’S YOUR NEW FAVOURITE TO COME OUT OF THE WEST?
TYLER YAREMCHUK: I used logic and numbers to predict the first round… I went zero-for-eight. So now Im throwing logic out the window. Are the Avalanche a one-line team? YUP! Do they rely on their powerplay? YUP! Is their goaltender proven? HARDLY!
I’m taking the Avalanche to come out of the west! Book it!
WYATT ZIEGER: In the west, it’s a bit more complicated, St.Louis and San Jose have the deepest rosters but the Avalanche have the best player left in these playoffs (MacKinnon). I’m going to go with St.Louis though. They have a strong D core, only 2nd to SJS but they have a balanced offence and solid goaltending.
IAN SHEPPARD: The Sharks. They’re easily the most talented team left in the West for starters with a nice mix of younger aged players to savvy veterans with the experience to win. Goaltending has been an issue for them with Martin Jones having a very shaky playoff so far. Even after the magnificent comeback in Game seven, Vegas was able to tie the game in the dying seconds, so there is a weakness there for San Jose.
But ultimately what puts me behind them is the momentum I think they’ll carry the rest of the way. Storming back to win that Game seven the way they did is something very few if any team can do. For me, that boasts a team with confidence. They were playing for their captain that night and I think this is something they can rally behind to give themselves an edge.
WHO’S YOUR NEW FAVOURITE TO COME OUT OF THE EAST?
TYLER YAREMCHUK: I really don’t trust this Islanders team, but I also don’t trust the Hurricanes. I think that series could be a snooze-fest. So I will go to the other series and take the Columbus Blue Jackets. They have four strong forward lines, a strong and speedy d-core that can move the puck like crazy, and a goaltender who can be the best in the world when he’s on his game. CBJ to the Cup Final!
WYATT ZIEGER: I hate to give the boring answer but how could you not say the Bruins?
IAN SHEPPARD: The Islanders. I said it coming into the playoffs and I’m sticking with it now! I’m all aboard the Trotz train! Barry Trotz has his team playing as just that, a team. They have the firepower to put up points and they’re getting an outstanding performance from their goaltender. Robin Lehner has led the playoffs with a 1.47 GAA and a .956 SV% while being the backbone of his team.
I can see them moving past the Hurricanes in five or six games and I think the Isle would hold up well against either Boston or Columbus. With teams like Tampa and Washington now out of the playoffs, I could see a team like New York pave a way to the cup final.
OUTSIDE OF TB LOSING, WHICH FIRST ROUND RESULT WAS THE MOST SURPRISING?
TYLER YAREMCHUK: The Islanders SWEEPING the Penguins stunned me. Straight up. I thought the Penguins would find a way to handle the Islanders, but the magic of Barry Trotz proved to be too much. That was the one series I was VERY wrong on. It’s a shame because I like watching Sidney Crosby play in meaningful hockey games.
WYATT ZIEGER: The most surprising for me is a tie between Carolina and NYI. This is the first time since 2007 that neither the Caps or Penguins will be in the 2nd round.
IAN SHEPPARD: The Avalanche eliminating the Flames. I wasn’t shocked to see Calgary lose the round even though I predicted to win it. But I really didn’t see them losing in five games. This was the best team in the West record wise and I thought they could make it past an Avalanche team with a thinner lineup. I was shocked by the lack of production from a few bigger name stars on the roster, like Johnny Gaudreau, and I did not expect Colorado to dominate the way they did through most of that series.
The series shifts to the Ice District in Edmonton as the Oil Kings will be the hosts for Games 3 and 4 of the Eastern Conference Championship. Edmonton was able to get the split on the road in Prince Albert which can only be seen as a huge win since Prince Albert only lost 4 times at home during the entire regular season. Dylan Myskiw and Ian Scott would get the starts in Game 3 as we expect those two will get the nod the entire series.
No love lost between these two teams, a very physical first half of the first period. No penalties either as it looks like the refs are going to let them play, a couple of interference penalties that probably could have been called but alas. We are letting them play. Edmonton has had the majority of the good chances in the first half as they’ve controlled the play and have tested Ian Scott. Haven’t been able to find the back of the net yet as Scott has been up to the challenge. Edmonton would control much of the second half of the period as well as they would end up outshooting the Raiders 9-5 in the first period. Very good home period for the good guys, sadly not much to recap, however.
Edmonton starts the second period all over the Raiders. Andrew Fyten literally looks like he got shot out of a cannon, throwing huge hits on the forecheck and beating everybody to the puck. A couple of shifts later the Oil Kings get rewarded as Vince Loschiavo walks in all alone and puts it past Ian Scott giving the Oil Kings a 1-0 lead. Quinn Benjafield and Trey Fix-Wolansky would get the apples. This would be the Oil Kings first lead of the series surprisingly.
Good things would keep happening for the Oil Kings as they would go on the powerplay after a Cole Fonstad holding penalty. The first penalty of the evening. Edmonton would get a couple of good shots on net but Scott would stand strong, killing off the penalty.
Seemed like killing off the penalty gave the Raiders some momentum as they would control the next 5 minutes of play, testing Myskiw. Myskiw would turn them away. That momentum would go away quickly those as Conner McDonald would rip it top shelf over Scott’s should after a slick cross-ice feed from Trey Fix-Wolansky, Vince Loschiavo would get the second assist. 2-0 Oil Kings, 10 minutes into the second period.
Vince Loschiavo would pile onto the lead 5 minutes later on the powerplay. Just watching this game, Trey Fix-Wolansky is by far the best player on the ice, he’s feeding everybody perfectly this evening. He would pick up his third assist of the night. Quinn Benjafield would pick up the second one as this goal would mirror the first one exactly. Huge period by the Oil Kings.
Matthew Robertson would keep the train rolling with a snipe from the slot going upstairs on Scott with 1:06 left in the second period. Andrei Pavlenko and Vladimir Alistrov would get the apples on this one as everybody is chipping in tonight.
Edmonton would literally get penalized 6 seconds later, a chance for the Raiders to gain some momentum going into the third period. They would do just that, however, it would have some controversy. Sean Montgomery would score with 0.2 seconds left on the clock, it would be reviewed but it would count. Raiders gain a bit of hope going into the third.
As expected the Raiders come out of the intermission putting all the pressure on the Oil Kings. It’s almost as if they are playing like a team down by three goals. Edmonton basically didn’t leave their zone for the first 8 minutes of the period. Both teams would trade powerplays but neither team would be successful. A very “boring” period of hockey as both teams seem to be playing for the clock to hit zeroes. Edmonton would get the crowd out of their seats though with a Josh Williams goal assisted by Jake Neighbours and Andrew Fyten. 5-1 Edmonton. Nice picture of the boys celebrating the goal taken by Spencer Love who had to take my spot at the game.
The Oil Kings would obviously hold on and defeat the Raiders 5-1 taking a 2-1 series lead in the Eastern Conference Championship, putting them 2 wins away from the WHL Finals. We’ll see you in Game 4, get your tickets at www.oilkings.ca and cheer on the boys from the Ice District!
Three Stars of the Game:
3rd – Quinn Benjafield
2nd – Trey Fix-Wolansky
1st – Vince Loschiavo