KHL Playoff Game Day: 4-5-14

KHL Western Conference Finals
(1)Magnitogorsk 3 vs. (4)Ufa 2 (2OT)
Magnitogorsk Leads the Series 2-0
Vasily Koshechkin, Magnitogorsk, Win, 42/44, 1.48 GAA, .955 sv%
Regular season totals: 51 GP, 30-12-8, 9 SO, 1.88 GAA, .940 sv%
Playoff totals: 11 GP, 10-1-0, 0 SO, 1.86 GAA, .937 sv%

Andrey Vasilevskiy, Ufa, Loss, 26/29, 2.23 GAA, .897 sv%
Regular season totals: 28 GP, 14-8-5, 3 SO, 2.21 GAA, .923 sv%
Playoff totals: 15 GP, 8-7-0, 0 SO, 2.24 GAA, .926 sv%

Veteran Vasily Koshechkin shined with a 42 save performance that allowed Metallurg to overcome a 44-29 shot deficit to defeat Ufa in Game Two of their Western Conference Finals series 3-2. Ex-Blue Jackets draft pick Sergei Mozyakin again administered the game winning goal for Metallurg, as he and Koshechkin both are setting themselves up for possible playoff MVP honors. Former Red Wings farmhand Francis Pare had the game tying goal 9:10 into the Third Period to force the game past regulation for Magnitogorsk. Game Three is Monday.

AHL Game Night: 4-4-14 Devils at Crunch

20 goals and counting for the Dump Truck.

ALB-1
SYR-2

Kristers Gudlevskis had a light workload, stopping 16 of 17 for the victory to get back on track.

First Period
NO SCORING

Second Period
ALB Pesonen, (13) (Urbom, Wedgewood), 11:30 (PP)
SYR Paquette, (20) (Erne, Gourde), 17:58

Third Period
SYR Rankin, (14) (Sergeev), 8:21

Evan Rankin, Cedric Paquette, and Dmitry Korobov were the game's three stars. Tonight's goal puts Dump Truck at 20 in his rookie campaign. To put that accomplishment in perspective, here's three recent Lightning prospects who didn't make it to 20 goals as a rookie at the AHL level: Ondrej Palat, Richard Panik, and J.T. Brown. So, ponder that for a moment, and be impressed at what Paquette has accomplished in his first year of professional hockey.

Also, Adam Erne and Joel Vermin made their AHL debuts tonight with Erne getting his first point in the league by assisting on Paquette's goal.

Syracuse climbs back to 2 games under .500 for the season. I still contend a solid goal for the Crunch should be to get over .500 for the year, which will set the tone for a solid season next year.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

NA Juniors Playoffs Game Night: 4-4-14

Quebec Major Junior Hockey League

Gatineau Olympiques 1 @ Halifax Mooseheads 4
Mooseheads lead best-of-7 second round series, 1-0

C/W Jonathan Drouin, HAL: 0-2-2, +1, 0 PIM, 0 Hits, 1 SOG, 13/26 FO, *Third Star*
Playoff totals: 5 GP, 6-9-15, +7, 4 PIM
Season totals: 46 GP, 29-70-108, +49, 43 PIM
2011-2012 Season: 49 GP, 41-64-105, +48, 32 PIM

Halifax took a 1-0 series lead on Gatineau with an impressive 4-1 win on Friday night. Jonathan Drouin had two assists, giving him more than one point in eight straight games. One of his assists on Friday came shorthanded and the other was on the power play. Game 2 is Saturday.

Ontario Hockey League

Barrie Colts 0 @ North Bay Battalion 1
Battalion lead best-of-7 Eastern Conference Semifinals, 1-0

D Jake Dotchin, BAR: 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM
Playoff totals: 6 GP: 2-2-4, +2, 6 PIM
Season totals: 63 GP, 11-25-36, +22, 121 PIM
2012-13 totals: 66 GP, 4-18-22, E, 81 PIM

D Dylan Blujus, NB: 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM
Playoff totals: 8 GP, 2-0-2, -1, 8 PIM
Season totals: 55 GP, 4-26-30, +12, 56 PIM
2012-13 totals: 68 GP, 2-27-29, -8, 57 PIM

North Bay struck first in its second round series with Barrie, scoring a 1-0 win. Jake Smith (2014) stopped 21 shots for the Battalion, who got a the game-winning goal from Alex Henriksson (2014) with four and a half minutes left in regulation. Game 2 is Sunday.

Erne, Vermin Make Debuts in Crunch Win


By Jeremy Houghtaling

Two new faces were in the Syracuse Crunch's starting lineup Friday.

Centered by Cedric Paquette, wingers Adam Erne and Joel Vermin were able to get the first-game jitters out of the way during the opening puck drop. Once they got their feet underneath them, they showed how effective they could be.

"It's always good to get the butterflies out of the way early and get going with the game," Erne said.

Vermin created multiple scoring opportunities in his Crunch debut and Adam Erne registered an assist in his first professional game, as Syracuse topped the Albany Devils, 2-1, at the Onondaga County War Memorial.

NHL Game Night: 4-3-14 Flames at Lightning

Classic letdown.

CGY-4
TB-1

Ben Bishop allowed 3 goals on 24 shots for the loss including one goal directly resulting from a major puckhandling error on Bishop's part. Just a poor, flat effort on the entire team's part, including Bishop's.

First Period
10:20 CGY Cammalleri (25), (unassisted)
10:35 CGY Westgarth (4), (Breen)

Second Period
15:56 TB Palat (20), (Carle, Callahan)

Third Period
18:04 CGY Glencross (11), (Cammalleri, Russell)(PP)
19:44 CGY Glencross (12), (unassisted)(EN)

Matt Carle was the game's third star. I'm thinking that was some kind of belated April Fool's joke.

Hopefully, lesson learned. The team was fat and happy after the big win against Montreal and clinching a playoff berth. A soft goal and two Calgary greasy goals later, they were done for. Games aren't played on paper, and the other team gets paid to play too. If you don't come prepared to play, you can fall behind and lose a game pretty easily against anyone in the NHL.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

KHL Playoff Game Day: 4-3-14

KHL Eastern Conference Finals
(1)Magnitogorsk 3 vs. (4)Ufa 2
Magnitogorsk Leads the Series 1-0
Vasily Koshechkin, Magnitogorsk, Win, 25/27, 2.00 GAA, .926 sv%
Regular season totals: 51 GP, 30-12-8, 9 SO, 1.88 GAA, .940 sv%
Playoff totals: 10 GP, 9-1-0, 0 SO, 1.91 GAA, .934 sv%

Andrey Vasilevskiy, Ufa, Loss, 23/26, 3.10 GAA, .885 sv%
Regular season totals: 28 GP, 14-8-5, 3 SO, 2.21 GAA, .923 sv%
Playoff totals: 14 GP, 8-6-0, 0 SO, 2.24 GAA, .928 sv%

Ex-Blue Jackets draft pick Sergei Mozyakin's Second Period goal stood up as the game winner in Magnitogorsk's 3-2 Game One win over Ufa. Game Two is Saturday.

Marchessault Looks to Prove Himself With Crunch


By Jeremy Houghtaling

Jonathan Marchessault still believes he has to prove himself every day.

The Crunch forward already has a contract for next season, is a two-time American Hockey League All-Star, and after coming to the Tampa Bay organization in a deadline trade, leads Syracuse with 48 points. The Crunch may be a longshot to make the playoffs, but Marchessault has no plans to mail in the rest of the season.

“As a professional, you always have to be ready for any game,” the 23-year-old said. “Every game is important, so you’ve always got to be able to show what you have and what you've got.”

AHL Game Night: 4-2-14 Crunch at Americans

Points streak goes up in flames in Rochester.

SYR-2
RCH-5

Kristers Gudlevskis allowed 4 goals on 13 shots for the loss before giving way to Cedrick Desjardins, who allowed 1 on 11 shots the rest of the way. In Gudlevskis' defense, Syracuse's defense was not sharp tonight.

First Period
RCH Irwin, (4) (Varone, Petrecki), 2:48
RCH Catenacci, (8) (Porter, Armia), 15:43
RCH Irwin, (5) , 17:02

Second Period
RCH Catenacci, (9) (Armia, Makarov), 3:17
SYR Paquette, (19) (Nesterov, Connolly), 19:53 (PP)

Third Period
RCH Roy, (7) (Grigorenko, Sundher), 3:32
SYR Korobov, (3) (Paradis), 16:36

Fortunately, Syracuse is about to enter ATO season with Joel Vermin and Adam Erne already in the fold (although they have yet to make their debuts) and Henri Ikonen likely on the way. Vermin and Ikonen, in particular, will be counted on to help turn things around for the Crunch next season.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

Vermin Begins Adjustment to North American Game


By Jeremy Houghtaling

The transition to the North American style of hockey has begun for Joel Vermin.

After a nine-hour trip from Switzerland on Sunday, the forward joined the Syracuse Crunch for practice this week. The Tampa Bay Lightning’s seventh-round selection in the 2013 draft will spend the next few weeks getting acclimated to the American Hockey League.

“Everything is new for me -- small ice rink, new team -- but I’m getting used to it,” said Vermin, who is expected to make his Crunch debut this weekend. “I’m feeling pretty good.”

Vermin signed a three-year deal with Tampa Bay in September, but was assigned to Bern of the Swiss A-League instead of coming over to North America. He will likely play in the Lightning organization in America next season.

NA Juniors Playoffs Game Night: 4-1-14

Ontario Hockey League

Niagara IceDogs 1 @ North Bay Battalion 2
Battalion win best-of-7 Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, 4-3

D Dylan Blujus, NB: 0-0-0, +2, 0 PIM
Playoff totals: 7 GP, 2-0-2, -1, 8 PIM
Season totals: 55 GP, 4-26-30, +12, 56 PIM
2012-13 totals: 68 GP, 2-27-29, -8, 57 PIM

Comeback complete – twice. North Bay erased a 1-0 deficit in the third period of Game 7 to win the game, 2-1, and the series, 4-3. The Battalion were down 3-1 in the series before starting their climb. They will face Lightning prospect Jake Dotchin and Barrie in the Eastern Conference Semifinals.

Peterborough Petes 2 @ Kingston Frontenacs 1 (OT)
Petes win best-of-7 Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, 4-3

W Henri Ikonen, KGN: 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM
Playoff totals: 7 GP, 1-5-6, +2, 8 PIM
Season totals: 54 GP, 25-45-70, +17, 49 PIM
2012-13 totals: 61 GP, 22-29-51, +2, 30 PIM

Kingston blew a 3-1 series lead, losing twice at home in the final three games, including Game 7 in overtime. Nick Ritchie (2014) scored for Peterborough on the first shot of overtime. This ends the junior career of Lightning prospect Henri Ikonen, who will likely join the Syracuse Crunch of the AHL on a tryout agreement. He’s a near lock for a Lightning contract after an impressive training camp last fall and a solid year. He’s an energetic, complimentary winger who can chip in offensively.

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