Saturday, March 6, 2010

February Players of the Month

A pair of goaltenders have been named the KIJHL Players of the Month for February. Spokane's Cash Ulrich won for the Kootenay Conference, while Chase's Jordan Bytelaar countered for the Okanagan Conference. To me, Ulrich seemed to bounce back quite nicely in the Castlegar series after being shelled in Game 2, and he's doing the same again against Nelson, as that series is now tied at 2 games apiece after a pair of Braves home wins Thursday and Friday. Game 5 will be tomorrow night (7:00 PM, NDCC) with Game 6 slated for Monday at Eagles Ice-A-Rena.

Bytelaar, an 18 year-old from Kelowna, has his hands full against a tough Revelstoke team that now leads their Okanagan semi-final 3 games to 2 with Game 6 tonight in Chase. The winner of that series will face Princeton in the Okanagan final, after the Posse swept Sicamous.

Fernie is the latest team to move on to Round 3 after they eliminated Creston Valley last night with a 5-2 win. The Ghostriders swept that series and will open the Kootenay Conference final at home against the victor of the Nelson/Spokane series.

Tough to see the Trail Smoke Eaters bounced from the playoffs again in the first round. From the sounds of things, they were dealing with a ton of injuries yet still managed to keep every game close against Westside. I took in Game 4 at Cominco Arena and thought Trail had many quality chances but only got production from their top line. Check Shawn Mullin's blog for all the post-mortem and a look ahead to what could be a great year for the Smokies in 2010-11.

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