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Looking For Championships

Several Panthers prospects are aiming for league and national championships this spring.

Thursday, 03.24.2011 / 5:29 PM ET / News
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Looking For Championships
By Glenn Odebralski for floridapanthers.com

While the Panthers will ultimately miss the playoffs again this season, numerous Panthers prospects will get or are already getting valuable learning experience as they play in their respective playoffs.

All-in-all, 17 prospects will be in action this week and hopefully the ensuing weeks as they compete for their respective league championships.

Garrett Wilson will try to captain his Owen Sound Attack team to a J. Ross Robertson Cup in the OHL playoffs. (Photo Credit: John Carrick)
In the Ontario Hockey League, Garrett Wilson (Owen Sound; No. 1 Seed in the Western Conference), John McFarland (Saginaw; No. 2 Seed in the Western Conference), David Pacan (Niagara; No. 2 Seed in the Eastern Conference), Erik Gudbranson and Corey Durocher (Kingston; No. 5 Seed in the Eastern Conference) all have a great chance to win the J. Ross Robertson Cup as the OHL champion and a trip to the Memorial Cup. Kingston begins their quest tonight against Oshawa while Niagara (vs Brampton), Owen Sound (vs London) and Saginaw (vs Guelph) will start playoff play Friday.

Out west in the Western Hockey League, Alex Petrovic (Red Deer; No. 2 Seed in the Eastern Conference), Quinton Howden (Moose Jaw; No. 5 Seed in the Eastern Conference) and Josh Birkholz (Everett, No. 8 Seed in the Western Conference) will all fight for the right to hoist the Ed Chynoweth Cup. Red Deer (vs Edmonton) and Moose Jaw (vs Kootenay) start Friday and Everett (vs Portland) begin Saturday.

Recently signed Jonathan Hazen and his Val d-Or team will begin their quest for the President's Cup against Quebec Friday. As the 14th seed going against the 3rd seed, Val d-Or will look for the upset.

In college hockey, seven prospects will look to win their Regionals and make it to the Frozen Four and compete for a National Title.

Unfortunately the bracket makers were not kind in putting North Dakota, Denver and Western Michigan all in the Midwest Region. Corban Knight and Derrick LaPoint look to help their top seeded North Dakota team win their eighth NCAA championship when they play RPI Saturday. Positioned as a second seed, Denver led by Drew Shore, John Lee and freshman netminder Sam Brittain will battle Ryan Watson and third-seed Western Michigan on Saturday.

WEBSITES
 * OHL WEBSITE
 * QMJHL WEBSITE
 * WHL WEBSITE
 * AJHL WEBSITE
 * NCAA WEBSITE
Also in the NCAA tournament, Minnesota-Duluth and Joe Basaraba will take on Union on Friday as the third-seed in the East Region.

One prospect that has already seen playoff action and is still looking for an Alberta Junior Hockey League championship is Ben Gallacher. His Camrose Kodiaks are currently in the South Division Finals as a second seed but are trailing top-seeded Okotoks 3-1. Game five is Friday night. The defenseman is fourth on his team in playoff scoring with eight points (3-5-8) in 13 games.

All these prospects, are looking to improve on strong regular seasons. Wilson (40-46-86; 2nd), Howden (40-39-79; 2nd), Hazen (41-42-83, 1st), Petrovic (7-50-57; 1st among D), Gudbranson (12-22-34, 2nd among D), Shore (22-21-43, 1st) and Knight (13-29-42, 2nd) all led or were near the top of their team in scoring.

Floridapanthers.com will keep tabs on the prospects in the playoffs as they all gun for their respective championship.

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - NYR 82 53 22 7 252 192 113
2 y - MTL 82 50 22 10 221 189 110
3 x - TBL 82 50 24 8 262 211 108
4 x - WSH 82 45 26 11 242 203 101
5 x - NYI 82 47 28 7 252 230 101
6 x - DET 82 43 25 14 235 221 100
7 x - OTT 82 43 26 13 238 215 99
8 x - PIT 82 43 27 12 221 210 98
9 BOS 82 41 27 14 213 211 96
10 FLA 82 38 29 15 206 223 91
11 CBJ 82 42 35 5 236 250 89
12 PHI 82 33 31 18 215 234 84
13 NJD 82 32 36 14 181 216 78
14 CAR 82 30 41 11 188 226 71
15 TOR 82 30 44 8 211 262 68
16 BUF 82 23 51 8 161 274 54

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Huberdeau 79 15 39 10 54
J. Jokinen 81 8 36 -2 44
N. Bjugstad 72 24 19 -7 43
A. Ekblad 81 12 27 12 39
B. Boyes 78 14 24 11 38
A. Barkov 71 16 20 -4 36
J. Hayes 72 19 16 -4 35
B. Campbell 82 3 24 4 27
B. Pirri 49 22 2 6 24
D. Bolland 53 6 17 4 23
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
R. Luongo 28 19 12 .921 2.35
A. Montoya 6 7 2 .892 3.01
 
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