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Plante Playoff Preview: Parry Sound vs. El Dorado

In EDH, PAR, Special Features on April 2, 2019 at 8:45 pm

The series: (2) Parry Sound (52-18-12) vs. (3) El Dorado (48-24-10)

Scoring leaders:
Parry Sound: Pastrnak (82, 38-65-103), McDavid (82, 42-54-96), Dadonov (74, 35-51-86), Kuznetsov (79, 30-44-74), Rakell (77, 30-34-64)
El Dorado: O’Reilly (81, 28-62-90), Granlund (76, 30-57-87), Ovechkin (82, 43-35-78), Petry (82, 16-54-70), Keller (82, 23-37-60)

Goalies:
Parry Sound: Rinne (57gp, 39-12-6, 2.38, .928, 6so)
El Dorado: Rask (49gp, 32-10-6, 2.39, .923, 7so)

Players to watch:
Parry Sound: Overshadowed somewhat by the team’s star centres, David Pastrnak put up a marvelous season, breaking the 100-point barrier and leading the entire league in assists with 65.
El Dorado: Jeff Petry finished second among defensemen with 70 points, an offensive explosion the team hopes will continue into the postseason.

The Parry Sound Orrsmen finished second overall with two fewer wins than it managed in ’17-’18. But a stunning loss in five games to Salem in the conference finals should have the Orrsmen hungry for a decisive opening round this year. Unlike the previous season, Parry Sound relied heavily on a single goaltender, offseason acquisition Pekka Rinne, and he was magnificent during the regular season. Some consistency in goal may be just what the doctor ordered this time around.

But it won’t be easy. After three seasons of missing the playoffs, the El Dorado Lynx are back and should make for a very tough opponent for the Orrsmen. The team didn’t make as many splashy acquisitions as its counterpart, but the biggest — centre Ryan O’Reilly — paid off in spades, as he skated to an eye-opening 90 points, with good defensive play to boot. Nobody in the league can match Parry Sound’s McDavid-Matthews-Kuznetsov trio down the middle, but O’Reilly gives the Lynx a chance of shutting one or two of them down. And the Lynx have a red-hot Finnish goalie of their own in Tuukka Rask. It’s going to be a hell of a series.

Head-to-head regular season record:
Tied 3-3-2. This should dispel any notion that this isn’t a closely matched series, as these teams fought each other to a .500 head-to-head record on both El Dorado and Parry Sound ice.

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Season Preview: Plante West

In BAL, CHA, EDH, GLP, PAR, Special Features on October 8, 2018 at 2:56 pm

Welcome to part 2 of our season previews: a look at the Plante’s West division, which includes not one but two bonafide cup contenders. You can read our preview of the Plante East here.


Baltimore Crab
Last Season’s Finish: 47-29-6 (3rd in conference); lost in 1st round
Notable Arrivals: F Sidney Crosby, D Kevan Miller
Notable Departures: F Jonathan Drouin

After being stunned in the first round, the 2017 champs must have known they needed something to keep up with the Joneses. And they did it in a big way, flipping three draft picks and young forward Jonathan Drouin for Sidney Crosby. Already a powerhouse up front, Crosby instantly becomes the Crab’s best player and will likely centre a first line with Vladimir Tarasenko and one of Filip Forsberg or Jaden Schwartz on his wings. No team scored more in 2017-18, and the goals should flow freely again this season. Add to that a strong top-4 D, headlined by Brent Burns and Ryan McDonagh, and you have a contending recipe. The only wild card is in goal, where Roberto Luongo and Philipp Grubauer will duke it out for the starting role. Can either of them be the go-to guy over a long season and playoffs?

Verdict: Contender


Charleston Chiefs
Last Season’s Finish: 29-45-8 (8th in conference); missed playoffs
Notable Arrivals: D Haydn Fleury, D Andreas Borgman
Notable Departures: F Anze Kopitar, F Cody Eakin, F Chris Kunitz, D Luke Schenn, G Kari Lehtonen

The Chiefs’ promising season was totally undone by injuries to Jonathan Quick and Steven Stamkos. But with both vets back in the saddle, fans’ expectations may have been high — until the team unloaded Anze Kopitar. Talented prospects Casey Mittelstadt and Dylan Sikura aren’t quite ready to make the jump, outside of Viktor Arvidsson there isn’t much to get excited about on the wings, and the blueline is a bit thin after Marc-Edouard Vlasic and Morgan Rielly. Even with Stamkos and Brayden Point still patrolling the middle, the Kopitar deal took the Chiefs from a bubble team to a rebuilder.

Verdict: Rebuilding


El Dorado Lynx
Last Season’s Finish: 37-34-11 (6th in conference); missed playoffs
Notable Arrivals: F Ryan O’Reilly, F Darren Helm, D Jonas Brodin, D Alexander Edler
Notable Departures: F Teuvo Teravainen, F Torrey Mitchell, D Johnny Oduya, D Dennis Seidenberg

The Lynx have been living life on the bubble for what seems like forever now. Shrewd drafting has stocked the forward ranks with a host of exciting talent around Alexander Ovechkin: Clayton Keller, Kyle Connor, Mikael Granlund… the list goes on. It’s one of the most exciting winger groups in the league. And the Lynx can usually count on one of Tuukka Rask or Carey Price to have an “on” year. Most notably, El Dorado went out and addressed its two biggest weaknesses through trades, grabbing a top-line centre to step in for injury-plagued Ryan Kesler (Ryan O’Reilly) and acquiring Alex Edler and Jonas Brodin to fill out a less-than-stellar defense corps. The Lynx still don’t have a star puck-mover on the back end and that may cost them, but now have the pieces to make a serious run. This is squarely a playoff-bound team.

Verdict: Playoffs


Great Lakes Pilots
Last Season’s Finish: 28-49-5 (9th in conference); missed playoffs
Notable Arrivals: F Jonathan Drouin, F Nolan Patrick, F Jason Pominville, D Madison Bowey
Notable Departures: F Sidney Crosby, F Ryan Getzlaf, F Jussi Jokinen, F Brian Gionta, F Nail Yakupov

The writing was on the wall for the Pilots after a very disappointing season: It’s rebuild time. They jettisoned Crosby for Drouin and picks, then parted ways with Ryan Getzlaf too, and grabbed highly touted Nolan Patrick in the first round. It’s a promising, if painful, start. But progress will be slow. While the Pilots’ D, led by Jacob Trouba, Jake Gardiner, and Erik Johnson, is pretty solid, and the team expects Andrei Vasilevskiy to be a high-end starter for years to come, much of the team’s young talent — Patrick, Ryan Donato, Jesse Puljujarvi, Tyson Jost — is at least a season or two away from contributing to a competitive top 6. Led by Tomas Hertl, Vladislav Namestnikov, and Drouin, the Pilots will find goals and wins hard to come by in 2018-19. Especially in this division.

Verdict: Rebuilding


Parry Sound Orrsmen
Last Season’s Finish: 52-24-4 (1st in conference); lost in 2nd round
Notable Arrivals: F Evgeni Dadonov, F Blake Comeau, F Brandon Dubinsky D John Moore, D Thomas Hickey, G Pekka Rinne, G Curtis McElhinney
Notable Departures: F T.J. Oshie, D Braydon Coburn, D Ben Lovejoy, G Jimmy Howard

The league’s best team during the regular season was left reeling after being bumped in the conference finals by Salem. One reason may have been a distracting goalie platoon. The Orrsmen nipped that in the bud early in the offseason when they acquired veteran Pekka Rinne from Vancouver to take sole possession of the starter’s job, and then signed veteran backup Curtis McElhinney. Parry Sound still has the best top 9 in the entire league, led by Connor McDavid, Evgeni Kuznetsov, and Auston Matthews down the middle, and David Pastrnak‘s emergence as a top sniper makes it a truly deadly group. The Orrsmen went big at the Free Agent Draft, picking up several roleplayers who should contribute to a cup run. The defense is still lacking oomph, especially if rumours of health issues for Kevin Shattenkirk are true. But that won’t be enough to stop this powerhouse. This team wants the cup.

Verdict: Contender

Lynx Add Centre, Defense Depth

In EDH, SSR, Transactions, VAN on September 10, 2018 at 1:34 pm

In a pair of moves, the El Dorado Lynx have signalled that they’re going all-in on the upcoming season. First, the Lynx acquired veteran rearguard Alex Edler from the Vancouver Night Train, along with a 4th round pick (70th overall), for El Dorado’s 2nd round rookie pick in 2018 (29th overall). Edler leaves as the third highest-scoring defenseman in Vancouver franchise history.

Then, the Lynx swung an even bigger move, sending their 1st round pick in 2018 (9th overall) and forward Teuvo Teravainen to the rebuilding South Side Renegades for centre Ryan O’Reilly, defenseman Jonas Brodin, and South Side’s 2nd round pick (21st overall). The move simultaneously solidifies El Dorado’s shaky blueline but also provides a top-line centre to fill in for injury-plagued Ryan Kesler.

A Stick-Tap for Selanne

In EDH, News on October 14, 2015 at 8:55 am

With retirement on the way and his rights on the verge of being relinquished for good, we bid adieu to one of the GWMHL’s all-time greats.

The El Dorado Lynx‘s Teemu Selanne was unquestionably one of the best offensive players in league history. After 21 seasons, all with the same franchise, Selanne is 1st all-time in both goals and points, and 4th in assists. Those records may fall in the next season or three — Jarome Iginla is 69 goals behind while the ageless Jaromir Jagr trails Selanne by just 38 points — but none of that matters today. Selanne, who began his GWMHL career as the first overall pick in the league’s first ever draft, retires a legend.

Selanne now passes the mantle to Jagr, who is now the only remaining active player from the inaugural GWMHL season.

Selanne’s legacy in a nutshell:

  • – 17 seasons with 20 or more goals, with 5 breaking 50
  • – 4 100-point campaigns
  • – 4 league championships

Check out our first retrospective about the Finnish Flash right here.

Year	Name                    GP   G	  A	PTS	+/-	PIM
93-94	Rochester Chenes Royale	84   73	  39	112	-25	55
94-95	Rochester Chenes Royale	42   26	  19	45	-1	26
95-96	Rochester Chenes Royale	74   27	  29	56	8	12
96-97	Rochester Chenes Royale	79   20	  34	54	8	22
97-98	Morgan Hill Lynx	80   59	  42	101	17	56
98-99	Morgan Hill Lynx	75   50	  33	83	19	50
99-00	Morgan Hill Lynx	75   55	  40	95	30	38
00-01	Morgan Hill Lynx	79   40	  34	74	29	20
01-02	Morgan Hill Lynx	73   31	  47	78	45	44
02-03	Morgan Hill Lynx	82   35	  30	65	19	66
03-04	Morgan Hill Lynx	82   24	  28	52	28	38
04-06	El Dorado Lynx		78   11	  8	19	-22	44
06-07	El Dorado Lynx		80   48	  64	112	16	76
07-08	El Dorado Lynx		82   57	  55	112	32	12
08-09	El Dorado Lynx		26   12	  19	31	7	18
09-10	El Dorado Lynx		69   29	  35	64	-11	56
10-11	El Dorado Lynx		54   26	  34	60	21	16
11-12	El Dorado Lynx		73   32	  54	86	11	37
12-13	El Dorado Lynx		82   25	  52	77	18	64
13-14	El Dorado Lynx		46   14	  17	31	2	24
14-15	El Dorado Lynx		59   3	  7	10	-4	10
Totals			     1,474  697	 720	1,417	247	896

Lynx Send Andrei Kostitsyn Packing

In DEN, EDH, News, Transactions on April 26, 2013 at 2:18 pm

The El Dorado Lynx have sent winger Andrei Kostitsyn to conference rivals, the Denver Spurs. In return, the Lynx pick up journeyman forward Chris Thorburn and a 4th round pick.

Just one point separates the Spurs (24-14-2) from the Lynx (23-14-3) in the Plante. Will Kostitsyn have an impact on a squad that’s thin on the wing? Time will tell.

Teams Load Up at 2012-13 Rookie Draft

In BOS, DEL, EDH, GLP, IHS, News, SFS, Transactions on January 26, 2013 at 2:26 pm

There were few big surprises on draft day in terms of players selected, but several GWMHL teams still managed to make ripples with some bold trades.

The Delta Sturgeons kicked things off by selecting dynamic centre Ryan Nugent-Hopkins first overall, but then the Boston Banshees – who had moved up several spots in the draft lottery – decided to make some noise. Boston dealt the second overall pick to the San Francisco Seals for the Seals’ first rounder (7th overall, Ryan Ellis) and power forward Milan Lucic. To no one’s surprise, the Seals took Gabriel Landeskog with the pick.

Other moves included Delta dealing forward Valtteri Filppula to the El Dorado Lynx for El Dorado’s first rounder (15th, Brendan Smith), Boston flipping a third rounder to the Lynx for steady defender Matt Greene, and the Ice Harbor Storm  trading some picks to the Great Lakes Pilots for a selection next year.

Round 1
1. Delta – F Ryan Nugent-Hopkins
2. San Francisco (from Boston) – F Gabriel Landeskog
3. Charleston – F Sean Couturier
4. Ice Harbor – D Adam Larsson
5. Pittsburgh – D Slava Voynov
6. Baltimore – F Mark Scheifele
7. Boston (from San Francisco) – D Ryan Ellis
8. Winnipeg – F Sven Baertschi
9. Farmington – F Ryan Johansen
10. Great Lakes – D Jake Gardiner
11. Denver – F Carl Hagelin
12. Saint Louis – F Jaden Schwartz
13. South Carolina – F Matt Read
14. Nashville – D Justin Faulk
15. Delta (from El Dorado) – D Brendan Smith
16. Portland – F Brett Connolly
17. West Virginia – F Andrew Shaw
18. Sterling – F Mika Zibanejad
19. Vancouver – F Zack Kassian
20. Salem – F Gustav Nyquist

Round 2
21. Delta – F Marcus Foligno
22. Ice Harbor – D Erik Gudbranson
23. Pittsburgh – D Stefan Elliott
24. Baltimore – F Cam Atkinson
25. San Francisco – F Cory Emmerton
26. Winnipeg – D Jared Cowen
27. Farmington – F Craig Smith
28. Charleston – F Cody Eakin
29. Great Lakes – F Tommy Wingels
30. Denver – D Tim Erixon
31. South Carolina – F Gabriel Bourque
32. Saint Louis – D Simon Despres
33. Boston – D Alexei Emelin
34. Nashville – D Roman Josi
35. El Dorado – F Brandon Saad
36. Portland – D David Rundblad
37. West Virginia – D David Savard
38. Sterling – D Dmitry Orlov
39. Vancouver – F Devante Smith-Pelly
40. Salem – G Allen York

Round 3
41. Delta – G Matt Hackett
42. Ice Harbor – F Peter Holland
43. Pittsburgh – F Reilly Smith
44. Baltimore – F Scott Glennie
45. San Francisco – D Raphael Diaz
46. Winnipeg – G Thomas Greiss
47. Farmington – F David Ullstrom
48. Charleston – D Brayden McNabb
49. Great Lakes – D Erik Gustafsson
50. Great Lakes – (from Denver via Ice Harbor) – F Marcus Kruger
51. South Carolina – F Louis Leblanc
52. Saint Louis – D Alexander Urbom
53. El Dorado (from Boston) – D Mattias Ekholm
54. Nashville – F Tyson Barrie
55. El Dorado – F Dwight King
56. Portland – D Matt Donovan
57. West Virginia – F Roman Horak
58. Sterling – F Carter Ashton
59. Vancouver – F Corey Tropp
60. Salem – D Dylan Olsen

Round 4
61. Delta – D Paul Postma
62. Great Lakes (from Ice Harbor) – F Anton Lander
63. Pittsburgh – F Akim Aliu
64. Baltimore – F Tomas Vincour
65. San Francisco – G Ben Scrivens
66. Winnipeg – D TJ Brennan
67. Farmington – F Carl Klingberg
68. Charleston – G Anders Nilsson
69. Great Lakes – F Joakim Andersson
70. Denver – D Calvin de Haan
71. South Carolina – F Aaron Palushaj
72. Saint Louis – F Nick Johnson
73. Charleston (from Boston) – D Marc-Andre Bourdon
74. Nashville – G Richard Bachman
75. El Dorado – F Jason Zucker
76. Portland – G Anton Khudobin
77. West Virginia – F Kaspars Daugavins
78. Sterling – D Matt Taormina
79. Vancouver – F Jimmy Hayes
80. Salem – D Cade Fairchild

El Dorado Lynx Crowned 2012 Champions!

In EDH, News, WVR on July 14, 2012 at 3:50 pm

The El Dorado Lynx, a franchise that won it all in 2004 only to miss the playoffs for five straight seasons, are your new Gump Cup Champions!

The Lynx beat the defending champs, the West Virginia River Rats, in seven games: a hard-fought back-and-forth series with no shortage of intrigue. For one, the River Rats were missing leading scorer Sidney Crosby since game 4.

The Rats opened the scoring in game 7 with an unassisted tally by Eric Staal, his 10th of the postseason. West Virginia made it 2-0 as the second period was windown down – this time thanks to Corey Perry.

The Lynx wouldn’t get onto the board until early in the third. With El Dorado defenseman Eric Brewer serving a penalty, the Lynx managed to confuse the Rats’ powerplay unit and take advantage, with Vern Fiddler feeding veteran Jamie Langenbrunner for the shorthanded goal.

2-1 was the score until the last minutes of regulation, as Andrei Kostitsyn beat Ryan Miller, assisted by brother Sergei and Fiddler, to tie the game at two.

That set the stage for the most exciting situation in hockey: overtime in game 7. The home team was reeling from El Dorado’s late-game attack. Just three minutes in, Alex Ovechkin fed Christian Ehrhoff, who dished to one-time first overall pick Tuomo Ruutu, acquired by El Dorado in 2010. The winger made no mistake, beating Miller cleanly and earning the right to hoist the Gump Cup.

Read the rest of this entry »

Playoff Preview: Conference Semis

In EDH, NAS, News, PWH, SAL, SCA, Special Features, STE, VAN, WVR on May 5, 2012 at 11:18 pm

Plante Conference Semifinals

#1 Salem Wannabees (54-16-12) vs. #4 South Carolina Fire Ants (34-40-8)

Another year, another Salem powerhouse. Once again, no team was better in the regular season – or even really very close. The Wannabees have it all: scoring, defense, goaltending. That’ll make for a tough slog for a plucky, often-undermanned South Carolina, whose sub-.500 record was still enough to snag the last playoff spot.

Season Series: Salem won 4-1-1

#2 Sterling Eagles (44-24-14) vs. #3 El Dorado Lynx (43-27-12)

This is the Eagles’ first playoff appearance since 2006-2007 and they have goaltending to thank for it. Tim Thomas will lead the way for a team that allowed just 157 goals during the regular season (no other team had fewer than 200). The Lynx, meanwhile, finished just four points back of Sterling, so it’ll be tight — especially if the ageless Teemu Selanne plays the way he did all year. Of note: both teams averaged under 2 goals per game against each other during the regular season, and they even played to a 0-0 tie.

Season Series: Tied 2-2-2

Sawchuk Conference Semifinals

#1 Vancouver Night Train (49-26-7) vs. #4 Nashville Knights (39-32-11)

After finishing with just 72 points last season, the Night Train bounced back and captured the conference crown, narrowly avoiding a first-round series against Portland. The Night Train weren’t exactly dominant all year but found a way to win, largely thanks to Jonathan Toews and a cast of clutch scorers. The question is, can Pekka Rinne get his act together? And will Nashville be able to overcome their paper-thin D, as they did for much of the season?

Season Series: Vancouver won 6-1-1

#2 West Virginia River Rats (46-27-9) vs. #3 Portland Winterhawks (45-29-8)

The two highest-scoring teams of the regular season [check Salem] go head-to-head in the opening round. Can the Winterhawks get their dynasty back on track against the reigning Gump Cup champs? Crosby, Thornton. Staal, Spezza. Perry, Iginla. Vanek, Kovalchuk. This should be fun for everyone but the goaltenders.

Season Series: West Virginia won 4-1-1

Playoff Picture Sharpens as Q3 Ends

In EDH, News, PWH, SAL, STE, VAN, WVR on March 26, 2012 at 1:40 pm

The third quarter is the books. Just 18 games remain in the regular season. The once-blurry playoff picture is starting to come into focus — and the big races have emerged.

Wannabees or the Real Thing?

The Salem Wannabees — last year’s Gump Cup also-rans — continued their ass-kicking play, going 16-2-6 for a healthy lead atop the standings. It’s a good thing, too, because they’re playing in what might be the GWMHL’s toughest divisions. The Sterling Eagles, for example, allowed just 43 goals this quarter, or 1.79 per game.

Lynx Vault into Contention

The El Dorado Lynx’s stellar 16-3-5 quarter separated them from the Pilots and Chiefs in the Plante West for second overall in the entire league.

Crosby Makes a Splash

Sidney Crosby finally saw his season debut for the defending champ West Virginia, and made a huge impression. With 46 points in 24 games, he led all scorers league-wide and propelled the River Rats to a great 15-5-4 record on the quarter.

Can Portland Get Its Groove Back?

Portland struggled on the quarter (10-12-2), giving the Vancouver Night Train an opening to pull away atop the Sawchuk West. In fact, if the playoffs started today, the Winterhawks would be on the outside looking in — they’re a point back of Saint Louis and just two ahead of Nashville.

Biggest Midseason Surprises of 2011-12

In DEN, EDH, IHS, NAS, News, SCA, Special Features, STE on January 30, 2012 at 12:38 pm

We’re halfway through our season. So what’s been raising our eyebrows?

As a Rule, Eagles are Pretty Badass

The Sterling Eagles have missed the playoffs four seasons in a row. But after 40 games, they’re second overall in the entire league with a stellar 23-12-5 record, and even managed to steal five points on the road against division rival Salem. They’re getting help where it counts, like unheralded winger Nikolai Kulemin, who already has 22 goals. Previous career high? Eight.

Backups Earning Their Keep

The Eagles’ Tim Thomas has the numbers (1.88, .939) but backup Johan Hedberg is winning more games. His record is 12-6-0 to Thomas’ 11-6-5. Likewise, the Ice Harbor Storm’s Alex Auld (.914) and Jonathan Bernier (.933) are busy overshadowing the “starting tandem” of Mathieu Garon (.885) and J-S Giguere (.874).

Pick One Already!

The Storm aren’t the only one with a menagerie of netminders in a pen out back. Five goalies have seen action for the Nashville Knights already this season: Sergei Bobrovsky (17 games), Cory Schneider (16), Ray Emery (3), Brian Boucher (3), and Mike Smith (1). That’s two rookies backed up by three vets, and the elevator pitch for an ensemble basic-cable sitcom.

Ovie-Shadowed

Alex Ovechkin is not leading the El Dorado Lynx in points. That’s kind of remarkable. The Lynx are okay – still in good playoff position at the halfway point, actually – thanks largely to the ageless Teemu Selanne, who has 18 goals and 45 points to Ovie’s 20 and 41.

Giddy-Up?

The Denver Spurs offense could use a swift, spiky kick in the rear. They don’t have the lowest GF, but let’s break it down: they’re deep up the middle and shallow on the wings, and that means they’re leaving lots of goals on the table. Mike Richards and Daniel Briere each have just 18 points in 40 games. Joffrey Lupul is their top scorer but has the lowest point total (28) of any team leader league-wide. Oh, also, he’s nursing an injury that could see him miss significant time.

Head of the Class

The top five draft picks (Skinner, Hall, Seguin, Eberle, and Stepan) are all playing pretty well, but they’re trailing in the rookie scoring race to an unlikely gaggle (herd? colony? murder?) of youngsters: South Carolina’s Tyler Ennis, Nashville’s PK Subban, Ice Harbor’s Mikael Backlund, and Baltimore’s Michael Grabner.

Brett Freaking Clark

Subban isn’t just the second highest scoring freshman so far. He also leads all defensemen in goals with 13, which might just make him the leading rookie-of-the-year candidate at this point. But that’s not even the most surprising development on Nashville’s blueline: Brett freaking Clark already has 10 goals, people. That’s just crazy.