Prospect Report: Gaunce and Bulls keep rollin'
Brendan Gaunce and the Belleville Bulls knocked off the Sudbury Wolves in their second-round best-of-seven series, winning Game 4 by a score of 5-0 to sweep the series, a series that was never close at all. The Bulls won each game by at least three goals, outscoring the Wolves 19-4 in the series.
Gaunce was his usual self in Round 2, posting seven points (2-5-7) in the four games, while also contributing physically and in the defensive zone. At times the Markham, Ontario native looked like Seattle Seahawks running back, Marshawn Lynch on his “Beast Mode” run against New Orleans in the 2010 NFL Playoffs. Especially in the third period of Game 3 where the Canucks first-round selection in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft literally took the Bulls by the horns. With the Bulls up 2-0, Gaunce, who already had an assist in the game, turned on the jets and blew past a Wolves defender, cut to the net and deked backhand to make it 3-0. Two minutes later, the 6-foot-2, 215-pounder was at it again, taking the pass on a two-on-one and wiring a rocket of a shot off the cross bar and in.
The Bulls captain has registered an impressive 16 points (5-11-16) in 10 post-season games, good for third in the OHL. Now Belleville will meet the Barrie Colts in the Eastern Conference Finals. The Colts finished only four points back of the Bulls in the regular-season standings and boost the league’s top record at home. Game 1 of the series goes on Friday, March 19 in Belleville.
Out in the Western Conference, it didn’t go as well for a pair of Canucks prospects as Frank Corrado, Evan McEneny and their Kitchener Rangers were ousted in five games by the top-ranked London Knights. Game 5 marked what should be the final game of Corrado’s stellar junior hockey career, which saw the Canucks fifth-round selection in 2011 register 110 points (15-95-110) and 310 penalty-minutes in 259 games, 231 of those games coming with the Sudbury Wolves.
Shortly after his OHL season came to an end, Corrado headed on down to the Windy City to join the Chicago Wolves for the remainder of the season. The Woodbridge, Ontario native picked up one assist and was plus-one in his AHL season-debut in Tuesday night’s 3-2 loss to Milwaukee. Corrado appeared in six games last season with Chicago, including two post-season games.
Meanwhile, McEneny will return to Kitchener next season and will be expected to lead a revamped defensive corps that will lose Corrado and Carolina Hurricanes prospect, Ryan Murphy.Ty-Bits
A big congrats goes out to Canucks prospect Matt Beattie and his Yale University Bulldogs on winning the NCAA men’s hockey championship after defeating the Quinnipiac Bobcats on Saturday night by a score of 4-0. Beattie was the Canucks seventh-round selection, 207th overall in last June’s NHL Entry Draft.