Martin St. Louis had a hat trick and an assist to boot as Team Canada destroyed Hungary 9-0. St. Louis led the Canadians, who outshot Hungary 51-16 in the match, with 11 shots on goal, followed by fellow Lightning star Steven Stamkos who was scoreless despite registering 8 shots on goal in the game. You get the feeling St. Louis, who is wearing an assitant captain's "A" for Canada, along with Stamkos are approaching this tournament aggressively as a springboard for next season.
Johan Harju had a goal and an assist and was +3 as Sweden smoked Austria 7-1. Harju also had 3 shots on goal in 15:29 of ice time for the Swedes. Harju's lifelong teammate Linus Omark, an Edmonton property who will join Harju in Russia's KHL next season, had 5 (count 'em) 5 assists and was +5 in the match.
Elsewhere, Karri Ramo watched from the bench as Nashville's Pekka Rinne notched a 30 save shutout in Finland's 5-0 blanking of Norway.
Many apologies to Martins Karsums, who had a goal and was +1 in 15:35 with 3 shots on goal in Latvia's 4-2 loss to Team USA.
N.A. Juniors Playoff Game Night: 4/23
WHL Playoffs â€“ Conference Finals
Vancouver Giants 0 @ Kelowna Rockets 3
Best of 7 series tied 2-2
C James Wright, VAN: 0-0-0, -1, 0 PIM
Playoff totals: 15 GP, 3-7-10, +1, 6 PIM
Season totals: 71 GP, 21-26-47, +26, 54 PIM
Vancouver had 8 shots on goal in a scoreless first period, then managed just 6 (4, 2) the rest of the game for 14 total. Thatâ€™s not the effort you want when you can sweep a team on the road and bring a 3-1 lead back home to potentially close out the series. As it was, Minnesota native Mark Guggenberger (undrafted) stopped those 14 shots for a shutout and Jamie Benn (Stars) had a goal and an assist to lead the Rockets to a 34-14 shot advantage and a 3-0 win. Game 5 is Saturday in Vancouver.
Helenius lost Game Two, allowing 6 goals on 38 shots in a 6-5 defeat. He has spent the rest of the series backing up Michael Teslak.
Quick joined the club for a 5-0 shutout win in Game Three after finishing up the regular season with the Lightning in Atlanta. Quick is scoreless in 5 games with a -3 rating.
Elmira now moves on to face Cincinnati in the second round of the playoffs, beginning Friday night. The Cyclones survived a 7 game encounter with Wheeling in their opening round playoff series. They were the top team in the ECHL's North Division during the regular season.
A current Lightning player, a prospect, and a recent prospect will be suiting up for their respective countries at the upcoming World Championships in Switzerland.