The major junior ranks are wayyyy ahead, with the CHL's leagues already playing their respective finals in preparation for the Memorial Cup. We start out west in the Dub, where two #3 seeds have gone all the way to the Ed Chynoweth Cup.
Calgary Hitmen 4, Moose Jaw Warriors 2
Player of the Series: T.J. Galiardi, LW (Calgary)
Make that player of the playoffs. Avs 2007 2nd rounder T.J. Galiardi had a monster playoffs, starting with a blistering 13 points in the first round alone. Never pointless in his six first round games, the lanky winger had multiple point games in all but one contest. Galiardi had 24 points in 16 games in total before the Lethbridge Hurricanes finally ousted his Hitmen in the West Finals.
Swift Current Broncos 4, Regina Pats 2
Player of the Series: Geordie Wudrick, LW (Swift Current)
It's tough to knock Jordan Eberle here. The recipient of some big hype in this column and on our boards, Eberle was again Regina's only consistent source of offensive output, scoring or assisting on a third of his team's goals. But it was another '08 eligible that stole the show. Criticized during the regular season for being too much of a passenger and not the force his 6'2 body could be, Geordie Wudrick was anything but in the first round. After a cool first three games, the power winger scored two goals to force OT in a Game 4 win. After getting the insurance empty-netter in Game 5, Wudrick finished the Pats off with the winner in Game 6. However, this would be it from Wudrick. He was shut down into obscurity in Round 2, collecting a measly one point.
Lethbridge Hurricanes 4, Brandon Wheat Kings 2
Player of the Series: Zach Boychuk
It's never a bad thing to start off the playoffs with a five-game goal-scoring streak. That's exactly what '08 eligible and probable top twelve pick Zach Boychuk did in Round 1. The diminutive pivot's five goals paced all players in the first round, a sign of things to come. Boychuk leads all playoff scorers with an incredible 11 goals, and will undoubtedly add to that total in the Dub Finals.