Despite the Devils being out of things in the NHL, there is other playoff hockey going on around North America. From the American Hockey League, where the Albany Devils are gearing up for a run at the Calder Cup, to the Canadian Hockey League, which will be finishing up with the Memorial Cup in May, to the NCAA Frozen Four, there is still plenty of meaningful hockey to be played. Some Devils prospects will be involved with most of them, so we will take a look at some of them from time to time over the next few months as they play out.
The Ontario Hockey League’s Mississauga Steelheads kicked off their first round playoff series this week with the Ottawa 67’s. The game took place March 24 at the Hershey Centre in Mississauga, Ontario. The Steelheads have two Devils prospects on the roster, Mikey McLeod and Nathan Bastian. Each had a pretty good outing in their team’s 6-2 victory in game one.
McLeod had the opening goal for the Steelheads to tie things at one after Sasha Chmelevski gave Ottawa a 1-0 lead. Bastian then had the primary assist on the go-ahead goal (scored by Owen Tippett) as well as the secondary assist on the game-winning power play goal scored by Vili Saarijarvi. All of those goals came in the first period.
Bastian then scored a goal of his own at 3:32 of the second period to put things out of reach for Ottawa. McLeod then had the secondary assist on an empty netter scored by Trent Fox late in the third period.
In all, McLeod had a goal and an assist for two points while Bastian had a goal and two assists for three points.
Game two takes place at the Hershey Centre on Sunday.
In other news, former Devils beat writer Tom Gulitti, who now works for NHL.com, tweeted out yesterday that Boston University played North Dakota in the NCAA men’s hockey tournament and it had an interesting Devils connection.
Bobo Carpenter scored for Boston University while Christian Wolanin scored for North Dakota in the contest. While neither is a Devils prospect, they do have a Devils connection. Bobo’s father, Bob and Christian’s father, Craig, both played for New Jersey with Bob Carpenter winning a pair of Stanley Cups with the team as a player and a coach.