Home of Champions: Trail products still producing

A number of Greater Trail players are still reaping rewards at various levels of elite hockey.

A number of Greater Trail players are still reaping rewards at various levels of elite hockey.

The Quinnipiac Bobcats recognized Trail native Travis St. Denis with its rookie of the year award last week at the annual Quinnipiac ice-hockey awards banquet in Hamden, Conn.

St. Denis enjoyed a solid all-around first season at Quinnipiac, playing in 41 of Quinnipiac’s 43 games, scoring eight goals and assisting on seven more for 15 points – all of which were highs among the freshman skaters on the Bobcats’ roster.

An RBC Cup winner with the BCHL’s Penticton Vees and former Trail Smoke Eater stand out, St. Denis scored his first collegiate goal in his first game played when he scored a game-tying goal against Maine in a 2-1 win in the Bobcats’ season-opener.

A a four-point weekend with two assists at Clarkson in a 5-2 win and at St. Lawrence in a 6-2 win, earned St. Denis the ECAC Hockey Rookie of the Week honors in November.

St. Denis joined Montrose natives Connor and Kellen Jones on the Bobcats squad, helping them to the final of the Frozen Four NCAA national championship tournament.

Goaltender Eric Hartzell was named the team’s Most Valuable Player, Dan Federico and Clay Harvey  were honoNCred with the Seventh-Player Award while Kevin Bui was given the Coaches’ Award. Zach Davies of Smithers earned this year’s Academic Award.

AHL

Warfield’s Craig Cunningham and the Providence Bruins won the overall regular season title in the American Hockey League, but are on the verge of elimination in the opening round of the playoffs.

The Bruins finished first overall in the AHL, but have lost two straight, 5-2 and 5-4 in OT, to the eighth-seeded Hershey Bears in the best-of-five Eastern Conference quarter final.

Cunningham picked up an assist in the 5-4 overtime loss Sunday after outshooting the Bears 58-29. Leading 4-3 with 90 seconds to play, the Bears tied it to force overtime, where Jon DeSalvatore would net the winner at 3:05 on the power play.

Providence put up a league-best 105 points this season, and Cunningham had a stellar year finishing third in Bruin scoring with 25 goals and 21 assists in his sophomore year.  The Bruins finished the year going 9-1-0 in their last 10 games, while Hershey only qualified for the playoffs in its final regular season game, finishing with 81 points.

Game 3 of the Bruins-Bears quarterfinal tilt goes Saturday in Hershey.

CHL

The Allen Americans dropped their first match of their best-of-seven series against the Wichita Thunder Tuesday night in Central Hockey League action.

Trail native Todd Robinson set up the only Allen goal in the opening of the Presidents Cup championship series, as the Thunder rolled to a 4-1 victory.

Robinson leads the team in playoff scoring and is second overall with three goals and 12 assists in 13 games.

The Americans have now dropped the first game for the third straight series, losing to Denver in Round 1 and Missouri in Round 2.

Game two of the Presidents Cup finals is Thursday night at 7:05 p.m. in Allen.

NHL

Fruitvale native Barrett Jackman had a great opening game of the NHL playoffs for the St. Louis Blues, as the Blues defeated the defending Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings, 2-1, in overtime Tuesday night.

Jackman, with 644 regular season games under his belt, played in just his 22nd career NHL playoff game, and led both teams in blocked shots with six.

Meanwhile former Smoke Eater Dan DeKeyser played his first NHL playoff game with the Detroit Red Wings losing to Anaheim Ducks 3-1.

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