The 2003-04 Canadian Hockey League’s regular season has come to
a close. For many Columbus Blue Jacket prospects, this means an earlier
tee time on the golf course. For others, though, the real season is
just starting to get into full swing.
The Columbus Blue Jackets have several players playing in the 2003-04
playoffs in the Western Hockey League. Brandon Wheat King
Konsorada and Ole-Kristian Tollefsen, both draftees in the 2002 NHL
Entry Draft, have represented Brandon in this year’s WHL playoffs.
– Right Wing – Brandon Wheat Kings – Selected in the 6th Round (168th
Overall) in 2002
Captain Konsorada and the re-tooled Brandon Wheat Kings were
successful in making the post season, and began their playoff drive
against the Raiders of Prince Albert. After splitting the first two
games in Prince Albert, the Wheat Kings won both games in Brandon,
taking control of the series, up 3-1. After dropping the next game in
Prince Albert, the Wheat Kings closed out the series, with a convincing
victory on home ice.
In the second round, the Wheat Kings drew the Medicine Hat Tigers, the
regular season champions of the Eastern Conference. Gas City made short
work of Brandon, disposing them in five games, thus ending the season
for the Brandon Wheat Kings.
Konsorada, who managed to play in just 25 regular season games due to
shoulder surgery in September, played in all 11 games for the Wheat
Kings, registering two goals, seven points, and a -12 rating in 11
Tollefsen – Defense – Brandon Wheat Kings – Selected in the 3rd
Round (65th Overall) in 2002
Tollefsen and his Brandon Wheat Kings suffered a second round series
defeat at the hands of the Medicine Hat Tigers. Allowing 21 goals in
five games, the Wheat Kings were overpowered offensively by the top
team in the Eastern Conference.
Tollefsen dressed in each playoff game, registering four points over
the 11 game span. He also recorded 15 minutes in penalties while being
a modest -4.
Tollefsen’s season is far from over, however, as he is set to represent
his native Norway at the upcoming Division 1 (A) World Championships,
taking place April 12th to 18th. This isn’t the first time this season
that Tollefsen has represented his country, captaining his Norway squad
in the World Junior Championships in December.
The Columbus Blue Jackets had a pair of prospects currently playing in
the Ontario Hockey League’s 2003-04 playoffs. Defensemen Marc Methot of
the London Knights
Dan Fritsche of the Sarnia Sting have both seen playoff action thus far.
– Center – Sarnia Sting – Selected in the 2nd Round
(46th Overall) in
Danny Fritsche’s Sarnia Sting were bounced in the first round of
the OHL’s Western Conference Playoffs to the Erie Otters. The series,
which went five games, contained four one-goal games, showcasing how
close this series actually was. Aside from a 7-2 blowout in Erie, the
series was highly competitive, with three of the five games finishing
with a score of 3-2.
Sting forward Danny Fritsche lead his team in points, recording five
assists and six points through the five game series.
Fritsche is still playing hockey this season, however. He was assigned
to the Crunch after finishing his season with the Sarnia Sting, where
he is helping contribute to another playoff drive in Syracuse.
Fritsche, who isn’t reported as being injured, hasn’t played since
being taken heavily into the boards during a recent Crunch game.
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– Defense – London Knights – Selected in the 6th Round (168th Overall)
As the London Knights roll through each opponent they’ve faced so far,
sweeping Windsor and Erie, defenseman Marc Methot picks up where he
finished in the regular season, leading the OHL in plus/minus during
Methot finished the regular season with a +39 rating through 63 games,
good enough for third in the Ontario Hockey League. Through eight games
in the post season, Methot is an impressive +15, first among a top ten
littered with both London Knight and Guelph Storm players.
The Knights, who have outscored opponents 48-15, are currently slated
to play for the Wayne Gretzky Trophy against the Guelph Storm, with the
series set to get under way on April 13th.
The Columbus Blue Jackets have two players currently playing in
the Quebec Major Junior League’s 2003-04 playoffs. Mathieu Gravel,
selected in the eighth
round of the 2003 National Hockey League Entry Draft, as well as
Philippe Dupuis of the Gatineau Olympiques, selected four rounds
earlier in the same draft, have seen playoff action.
Mathieu Gravel – Right Wing – Shawinigan Cataractes – Selected in
the 8th Round (233rd Overall) in 2003
After edging out Drummonville in a series that went to seven games, the
Rimouski Oceanic made short work of the Cataractes in round two,
disposing of Shawinigan in four games for the sweep. Outscored 21-8 in
the series, Shawinigan was dominated from the drop of the puck.
Mathieu Gravel had a disappointing showing in both series, managing to
register a mere goal in ten games played, and was among the lowest
scoring forwards on the Cataractes in their playoff drive.
– Center – Gatineau Olympiques – Selected in the 4th Round (104th
Overall) in 2003
After receiving a bye in the first round of the 2003-04 QMJHL playoffs,
the Gatineau Olympiques were quick to dispose of their second round
counterparts, the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies, in four straight games.
Gatineau, who is still waiting to see who they will play in the
semi-finals, will have played a mere four games in a span of nearly a
month when it comes to step on the ice again.
Dupuis, who tallied 18 goals through 60 games this season, has already
put up three goals in four games for the Olympiques. His three tallies
ties him for the team lead in the post season, with fellow center Maxime Talbot.
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