Sunday, March 26, 2006

Incoming Freshman: Down the Jr. Homestretch

Some of the UAA incoming freshman are done for the season as their teams have bowed out of the playoffs. Others are still active. Below you'll find an entry for each player and the status of their teams. The playoff numbers are all pretty encouraging. Erik Felde, Josh Lunden and defenseman Trevor Hunt have finished their seasons and after 10 games are all 3 among the top 7 BCHL playoff scorers. Kevin Clark and Ken Selby both played well so far in their playoff series in Manitoba. Ryan Berry and Kane Lafranchise are helping Spruce Grove to a nice playoff run into the league semi-finals. And least mentioned here (as he's been out injured since the 13th game of the season) is Paul Crowder who returned to his team for 4 playoff games and contributed nicely.

Erik Felde
The Vernon Vipers lost the Interior Conference Semi-Final (league quarterfinals) 4 games to 1 against Salmon Arm SilverBacks. Vernon had advanced by defeating Spruce Grove in 5 games. In those 10 games Erik scored 11 goals and added 4 assists. 5 of the goals came on the power play. At this point of the playoffs Erik is listed as the #4 playoff scorer for the league and #2 in goals. For the regular season he scored 32 goals and 49 assists in 61 games for #6 in the league.

Erik has really shined this year in BC. He was selected to play in the first ever CJAHL prospects games which showcased the 40 best players in Canada as selected by the CJAHL in conjunction with NHL Scouting. Erik was named Player of The Game for the West team.

Josh Lunden

The Chilliwack Chiefs lost their Mainland Division Final (league quaterfinal) to the Burnaby Express in game 5 of the best of 7 series. The high scoring line of Lunden, Eppich and Butcher wasn't quite enough against what is proving to be one of the betterCanadian Jr. A teams this year.

In any case, Josh continued his great regular season points performance into the playoffs finishing #7 in the league with 3 goals and 12 assists in 10 games. His regular season numbers placed him 5th in the league with 34 goals and 47 assist for 81 points in 56 games. It's worth a mental note to say that Butcher finished second in the league with 101 points and Eppich finished 8th. That's a line with a whole lotta chemistry. I hope Josh was the catalyst that made that line go.

Trevor Hunt
Another player from Chilliwack, Trevor perfromed at a high level in the playoffs. Through the regular season Trevor averaged 1.0 points per game but in 10 playoff games increased that to 1.5 points per game with 6 goals and 9 assists and is #1 among defenseman in the league playoffs.

That sounds suspiciously like leadership to me. Trevor's regular season numbers were 15 goals and 42 assists in 56 games. Those numbers place him at #36 overall and #3 among defensemen in the league. I hope Trevor plays as hard for UAA as it seems like he did for Chilliwack.

Ken Selby

Ken plays for the Dauphin Kings in the MJHL and currently they are tied 3 games apiece in the Addison Division Final (league semi-final) with the OCN Blizzard. The winner faces the Winnipeg South Blues for the league championship. In 12 playoff fames he has scored 5 goals and added 2 assists. Ken was also one of the 40 invitees to the CJAHL prospects game earlier this season and won the fastest skater contest there.

During the regular season Ken scored 36 goals (#7 in the league) and added 30 assists for 66 points in 62 games (#17 in the league). I'm just looking forward to seeing his speed on the big sheet at the Sully.

Kevin Clark

Winnipeg made its way into the MJHL league final series by defeating the Selkirk Steelers in 4 straight games. For the playoffs Kevin has 7 goals and 6 assists in 9 games. For those of us keeping track Kevin is currently 4th with 4.22 penalty minutes per playoff game. Since two of the other leaders are playing for teams that aren't in the playoffs anymore I'd bet Kevin can nail down #1 or #2 in that race. I kid. Kevin brings a lot of heart and talent to UAA.

His penalty minute stats don't bother me that much. He'll have to adapt to an entirely different level of refereeing and enforcement if he wants to contribute to UAA's success. And honestly his penalty minutes in the MJHL playoffs aren't as high as the 5 minutes per game for his regular season. A regular season that saw him score 40 goals with 36 assists in just 50 games. That ranked him 8th in scoring and 4th in goals for the league.

Paul Crowder

I find it interesting that Paul Crowder was injured during the 13th game of the season with 13 points. I still don't know what sort of injury derailed him for the season but I was pleasantly surprised to find his name amongst the playoff scorers in the BCHL. In 5 playoff games with Burnaby he has 4 goals and 4 assists.

As Burnaby progresses I'll watch his numbers but their website is useless and I find no releases or other information indicating when he came back from the injury. 8 points in 5 playoff games is sweet though.

Ryan Berry

Defenseman Ryan Berry and the Spruce Grove Saints are currently tied 1 game apeice in an AJHL league semi-final series with the Camrose Kodiaks. They swept both of their earlier series 3-0 and 4-0. Ryan has 5 goals and 3 assists in 9 playoff games including the games only goal in their first game on Saturday. In 59 regular season games he scored 9 goals with 21 assists.

Jon Olthuis

Jon played all 10 of the Vernon Vipers playoff games and had a 2.81 GAA with .908 save percentage and is currently ranked #2. For the regular season he finished #8 in the league with 2.68 and .905. Very consistent numbers. Jon played 2893 minutes which placed him second in that category. 48 games played tells me he is durable and consistent. Jon is 6'3" at 187lbs. I don't really have much of an idea about why sort of goalie Jon is but at 6'3" I'd guess he's more like Dryden than Hasek? We'll see.

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