With the playoff round of the 2018 IIHF World Junior Championships beginning Tuesday, we’re going to hold off on touching on the U-20 tournament until it’s over.
Four Flyers prospects are participating, with three — Carter Hart (Canada), German Rubtsov (Russia) and Linus Högberg (Sweden) — still in play to medal.
Maksim Sushko starred for Belarus but will be part of the relegation round. Belarus failed to win a game in the preliminary round.
Here is the playoff round TV schedule.
Let’s kick off the new year with our weekly check-in on the Flyers’ prospects playing in the AHL, overseas and at the junior and college levels.
Morgan Frost, C, 18, 5-11/172, Sault Ste. Marie (OHL)
It was another week of pure dominance for Frost and his Greyhounds, who won three more games and extended their winning streak to 23 games. Frost had another monster week, collecting two multi-point games and lengthening his point streak to 14 games, during which he has 10 goals and 22 assists. He now leads the OHL with 60 points, is tied for the league lead in assists with 39 and leads the league with a plus-46 rating.
Oskar Lindblom, LW, 21, 6-1/192, Lehigh Valley (AHL)
Lindblom added two more goals to his résumé last week, and the 21-year-old winger now is creeping into the AHL leaders in points. Lindblom had an effective game during the Phantoms’ 3-1 win Friday over Charlotte, potting his third power-play goal of the year. Then in Saturday’s 4-2 loss to the Checkers, Lindblom added a late tally. With 25 points, Lindblom is now tied for sixth in the AHL in rookie scoring.
Alex Lyon, G, 25, 6-1/200, Lehigh Valley (AHL)
While Lyon may have been the most disappointing prospect before the Christmas break, the second-year goaltender had a solid rebound last week after returning to the AHL. Lyon served as the Flyers’ backup for three weeks on an emergency basis as Michal Neuvirth healed from a lower-body injury.
Lyon made his first start Friday night since Dec. 1 and lost his shutout bid with 9:07 left in Lehigh Valley’s 3-1 win over Charlotte. The 25-year-old turned away 28 shots in the first game of a back-to-back set with the Checkers. Then on Saturday, Lyon was solid again for the Phantoms, stopping 39 shots in a 4-2 loss.
Still, an encouraging sign for Lyon. Perhaps the time spent with the Flyers served Lyon well. Let’s see if he can carry the momentum forward.
Philippe Myers, D, 20, 6-5/209, Lehigh Valley (AHL)
One concern surrounding Myers coming into this season was his health. He battled a concussion and a whiplash in his final season of junior, but when he was healthy, his stock skyrocketed. In his first pro season, Myers has dealt with a lower-body injury, believed to be a groin, and has missed 17 games. He returned on Dec. 23 and picked up two assists in three games last week. In four games back, he has two assists with a minus-1 rating. Myers remains a high-end prospect, but injuries have slowed the hype.
• Wade Allison picked up his 15th goal of the season Thursday in No. 12 Western Michigan’s 5-2 win over Bowling Green. Allison leads the NCAA with 28 points.
• Ohio State’s Tanner Laczynski extended his point streak to four games, with a goal Friday and an assist Saturday. Laczynski leads OSU with 16 assists and 25 points.
• Phantoms injury hits: Samuel Morin and Mikhail Vorobyev remain out. Both haven’t played since Dec. 12.
• Matthew Strome stayed hot for Hamilton, extending his point streak to eight games. Strome now has 21 goals and 40 points in 35 games this season.
• Mike Vecchione picked up a goal and an assist in three games last week after sitting out since Dec. 9. He has eight goals and 23 points in 29 games with the Phantoms.
• Pascal Laberge made his Quebec debut Saturday in a 4-1 loss to Baie-Comeau, finishing as a minus-2. In his second game Sunday, he was also pointless.
• Isaac Ratcliffe, of the Guelph Storm, had back-to-back two-goal games over the weekend. He was pointless Sunday but now has 18 goals in 35 games this season.
• Kitchener’s Connor Bunnaman extended his point streak to seven games with a two-point game Thursday and a goal Friday. He has 10 points during this point streak.