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Playoffs Roll on for Islanders Prospects Lee, Nelson, Gregoire, Nino

Nino and the Winterhawks roll on.
Nino and the Winterhawks roll on.

With New Hampshire's 2-1 loss yesterday in the Northeast regional final and Denver's 6-1 loss to North Dakota, defensemen Blake Kessel (UNH) and Matt Donovan (DU) became the latest Islanders' prospects to see their postseasons end. But each loss was another prospect's gain, as Anders Lee advances to the NCAA Frozen Four with Notre Dame, while Jason Gregoire and Brock Nelson (who not only returned yesterday, but scored a third-period goal in the rout of Denver) advance with North Dakota.

Those are updates since WebBard's weekly Bridgeport/prospect roundup yesterday. (Would you believe redoing the ice after the NCAA regional ended up postponing the Sound Tigers game yesterday? Fornabaio with the details.)

There are more links at the official site. What follows is a little more on the Islanders prospects still playing in NCAA and juniors as April beckons...

Frozen Four

For Nelson and Gregoire (who tallied another assist yesterday), their North Dakota team takes on Michigan in the semifinal April 7 in St. Paul, Minn.

For freshman Anders Lee (who notched the OT winner Saturday), his Notre Dame team will face Minnesota-Duluth in the other semifinal April 7, in the Irish's second ever Frozen Four appearance.


Canadian Major Juniors

Calvin de Haan and Tony DeHart: Their Oshawa team rolls on with another win over Kingston (DeHart with two assists), giving the Generals a 3-0 series lead.

Casey Cizikas: Cizikas is still out with his hand injury, but his powerhouse Mississauga team motors on with a 2-0 win over Belleville, giving them a 3-0 series lead.

Both of those OHL series resume Tuesday on the road.

Nino Niederreiter: Out West, Nino's top seeded Portland Winterhawks built a 2-0 series lead with another rout of Everett, with Nino notching two more goals in the 7-2 win -- the first goal coming just 38 seconds in. That series resumes Wednesday as Nino's team goes on the road.

David Toews: Former North Dakota Sioux and current WHL overager Toews is in the playoffs with Brandon, whose 1-1 series with Medicine Hat resumes tonight in Winnipeg's MTS Centre, where the Wheat Kings are playing their home playoff games.

Kirill Kabanov: Kabanov's Lewiston team tied their series with Moncton at 1-1 yesterday, but Kabanov didn't score and picked up two consecutive minor penalties (high sticking and goalie interference). That series resumes Tuesday in Moncton.


So of that list of college prospects we ran a few weeks ago, Aaron Ness has signed a contract, while the rest outside of Lee, Gregoire and Nelson have now seen their seasons end. Those three won't play this weekend, as the NCAAs get a weekend off before the Frozen Four.