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Daily Dish: Play-Off Palooza - Junior Hockey News

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Published: Monday, 9 Apr 2012
By: Stephen Heisler  |  Web site: JuniorHockey.com

Don't think I didn't notice that NONE of you took me up on the offer to make your own predictions on the first round of the North American Hockey League's Robertson Cup play-offs.

I know, I know, it is hard to put your name on something of such great controversy. In the spirit of yesterday's holiday, you all are bunch of chickens!

Now let's take a look at how bad I really did.


Bismarck (1) vs. Aberdeen (4)

I picked Bismarck to win the series and said it would not be easy.  The series is tied at 1-1 with Aberdeen getting a 5-3 road win on Saturday.

Alexandria (2) vs. Austin (3)

I picked Austin and they got that needed road win in the opener. Series also even at 1-1.


St Louis (1) vs. Coulee Region (4)

I picked St Louis and mentioned the possibility of a sweep. So far so good, St Louis is up 2-0 after stifling the Chill 5-0 and 6-0 at home.

Janesville (2) vs. Springfield (3)

I picked the Blues to upset the Jets and the series resumes this week knotted up at a game each. The Blues can take the series with a home sweep this weekend.


Pt Huron (1) vs. Michigan (4)

I picked Moe Mantha's Warriors over Bill Warren's Falcons because of rookie goalie Trevor Gorsuch. The kid had 41 saves on Friday to get the coveted road win. Pt Huron came out smoking the next night and Gorsuch made 37 saves. Luckily, Warren's team took 42 shots and evened the series at one game each.

Kalamazoo (2) vs. Traverse City (3)

I picked the Kazoo and they smoked the North Stars in the first two games 4-0 and 7-3.


Amarillo (1) vs. Odessa (4)

I picked the Bulls to win but also said that Odessa's Hellebuyck would give them fits. The Jackalopes netminder stopped 49 of 50 shots on Saturday and evened the series 1-1.

Topeka (2) vs. Texas (3)

I know that Topeka bench boss Scott Langer is often lurking on the site but am very surprised to hear that Tony Curtale has been listening to our advice. I picked the RoadRunners to take the series and expect that Curtale and the Tornado will take a little vacation after Thursday night.


Fairbanks (1) vs. Kenai River (4)

I picked the 'Dogs to take the series but did not think the Brownies would make it so easy. Fairbanks can sweep into the Division Championship with a victory in Soldotna on Friday night.

Wenatchee (2) vs. Alaska (3)

I picked Wenatchee to take this series and maybe even the division last week. Although the Wild were able to take game 1 they lost the next two nights in over-time and needs to win both games next weekend in Alaska to advance. I can't help but believe that the news that their own Chris Rumble is in a sudden battle with leukemia has had an effect on the team. How could it not?

Aside from Wenatchee, I feel really good about my picks going into this week.

What do you think?


posted Apr. 9th, 2012 - 6:35am
Randy Russon says:
I think Port Huron and Michigan will split in Flint on Friday and Saturday to set up Game 5 on Sunday in Port Huron.

posted Apr. 9th, 2012 - 12:17pm
Steve Jess says:
You can't really think Tony Curtale is losing on purpose? Your blog is fun for fans to argue/debate on, and I'm sure coach's look at it every once and a while but to say a coach takes advice from it? Not a chance, and if you really think that- you are clueless.

posted Apr. 9th, 2012 - 3:18pm
Stephen Heisler says:
I do have a naturally sarcastic nature. I guess you did not get the memo.

Last week I mentioned that Topeka hosted the finals and ended up playing just about every play-off game before doing so. At the end, they looked tired.

I suggested that the Nado would be better off "mailing this one in" and take advantage of the time off to rest.

Considering how much respect TC has for this site and me, I was surprised to see his team do exactly what I said. I am certain he is livid at my suggestion, and that is exactly why I suggested it.

posted Apr. 10th, 2012 - 7:55pm
alex smith says:
I got the alaska avalanche winning it friday night and the division there getting hot at the right time been following them all year and when they get hot they can't be beat.. they went on a 7 game winning streak sweeping the defending champions ice dogs.. and another 6 game winning streak earlier in the year they look solid and are going to go deep in playoffs

posted Apr. 10th, 2012 - 8:30pm
Stephen Heisler says:
You make a very strong point.

posted Apr. 11th, 2012 - 12:04am
Mark Meyers says:
You make a good point about topeka and texas, however watching a lot of junior hockey and watching the texas and topeka game, I think texas played better just couldn't pull out the W's. I think Texas knows they have their backs against the wall and will come out swinging at home and even it up before game 5 in topeka. after that its fair game. Curtale is a winning coach and wants to win that south title

posted Apr. 13th, 2012 - 10:56am
Stephen Heisler says:
Tony Curtale and the Nado certainly out-played the RoadRunners...

That is why, the Runners carried brooms with them to Texas and a full dust pan back to Kansas.

So far I am 2-0 with eight to go. I am kind of concerned about Wenatchee but very comfortable with the rest of my picks.

posted Apr. 14th, 2012 - 12:36am
Stephen Heisler says:
Some of my picks are on the brink...but overall I am in good shape. My wife says that round is a shape so what is she trying to tell me?

Bismarck (1) vs. Aberdeen (4)
My pick Bizzie leads series 2-1 with the Saturday nighter in Aberdeen.

Alexandria (2) vs. Austin (3)
My pick Austin leads the series 2-1 going into Saturday night game at home.

St Louis (1) vs. Coulee Region (4)
I picked St Louis to sweep the Chill and they did exactly that.

Janesville (2) vs. Springfield (3)
I picked the Blues to upset the Jets and Springy can do exactly that with a win Saturday night at home.

Pt Huron (1) vs. Michigan (4)
I picked the Warriors and am facing my first loser. The fingers are crossed that Mantha is able to get it to 5 games.

Kalamazoo (2) vs. Traverse City (3)
I picked the Kazoo and they dropped Friday night's game three in TC. They can still win the series with a win on Saturday.

Amarillo (1) vs. Odessa (4)
I picked the Bulls and that did exactly that 3-1.

Topeka (2) vs. Texas (3)
Topeka was the pick and they swept the Nado.

Fairbanks (1) vs. Kenai River (4)
I picked the 'Dogs and they got the sweep.

Wenatchee (2) vs. Alaska (3)
I picked Wenatchee and the series is tied at 2-2.

posted Apr. 14th, 2012 - 8:45pm
Stephen Heisler says:
Saturday night updates---

Janesville forces game 5

Pt Huron zaps Michigan
Bruins finish off Alexandria
K-Zoo does the same to TC
Bizzie ends Aberdeen's season
Wenatchee win game 5, faces Fairbanks next

So far I picked eight out of nine first round winners... lets go Springy!

posted Apr. 14th, 2012 - 9:11pm
Maribeth Hayes says:
I would like to thank all our Falcon Fans who made the trip to Flint to cheer on the team. We not only have some of the most dedicated fans in the league but also the loudest and I know the players really appreciated all your support!!! On to round 2!!!

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* Article disclaimer: This site may contain advice, opinions and statements from various authors and information providers. Views expressed in this article reflect the personal opinion of the author, Stephen Heisler, and not necessarily the views of JuniorHockey.com. JuniorHockey.com does not represent or endorse the accuracy or reliability of any advice, opinion, statement or other info provided in the article, or from any other member of this site.

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