#12 Maine 3 - Merrimack 0
Mike Lundin was scoreless and even in the game. The defensemen recorded 4 shots in the game.
#18 Massachuetts 2 - Northeastern 0
Defensemen John Wessbecker finished scoreless and even in the game.
#9 Miami 4 - Northern Michigan 1
Center Dusty Collins was scoreless and a minus-2 for the game. The Wildcats conclude their regular season tomorrow night against the Redhawks.
Marc Denis stopped just 5 of 7 shots faced before being lifted for Johan Holmqvist who was even more horrid allowing 4 goals on 16 shots faced. Dan Boyle and Filip Kuba had the Lightning goals. Brad Richards, Vincent Lecavalier and Eric Perrin recorded assists. Positives? Not many. Kuba getting back on the scoreboard after a prolonged drought is nice. Getting Blair Jones some development time in the third period after playing just 2 (albeit long) shifts last night in Atlanta is also nice. Jones had 1 shot in 10:13 of ice time tonight.
Ball this one up and throw it in the trash can. The Lightning really left it all on the ice last night in Atlanta and had little in the tank to deal with Boston, especially considering what a poor goaltending effort they got tonight. Boston was laying in wait in Tampa soaking up the sun. Rested and ready they pounced. That's just the way the situation unfolded. Certainly, it stinks to burn the team's game in hand on Atlanta this way, but I don't believe this is foreshadowing of things to come.
Boston 1:46, Marco Sturm 20 (Phil Kessel, Brandon Bochenski)
Tampa Bay 5:29, Dan Boyle 14 (power play) (Brad Richards, Vincent Lecavalier)
Boston 9:41, Brad Boyes 10 (Bobby Allen, Marc Savard)
Boston 3:58, Brad Boyes 11 (Marc Savard, P.J. Axelsson)
Boston 12:41, Phil Kessel 8 (Brandon Bochenski, Marco Sturm)
Boston 4:30, Brandon Bochenski 8 (power play) (Marc Savard, P.J. Axelsson)
Boston 9:31, Stanislav Chistov 5 (Zdeno Chara, Mark Mowers)
Tampa Bay 14:29, Filip Kuba 9 (Eric Perrin)
Game sheet from NHL.com.
Zbynek Hrdel shows a pulse.
Morgan Cey stopped 19 of 20 shots faced for the win. Bryan Nathe, Ben Wallace and Gus Katsuras each had 2 assists for the Chiefs. Johnstown's goals came from Zbynek Hrdel (power play), Radek Smolenak, Dimitri Tarabrin and Jean Desrochers (shorthanded). Hrdel extended his point streak now to 3 games after going the previous 10 games without a point. Maxime Boisclair and Stanislav Lascek had individual helpers in the game. Smolenak, Hrdel and Nathe were named the game's three stars.
WHE Hellemeyer, (3) (Bissonnette, Sonnenberg), 7:46
JHN Hrdel, (6) (Katsuras, Boisclair), 9:04 (PP)
JHN Smolenak, (13) (Lascek, Nathe), 16:00
JHN Tarabrin, (12) (Katsuras, Wallace), 17:16
JHN Desrochers, (12) (Wallace, Nathe), 18:59 (SH)
Game sheet from ECHL.com.
Word on the street is that there are some nefarious characters who are calling folks in Johnstown claiming to represent an organization called "Save the Chiefs". These scumbags, and from what I've read there's no more accurate name I can give to them, are attempting to extract people's personal information like credit card and Social Security numbers under the guise of a donation drive to try and keep the team in Johnstown. My understanding is that these jokers have no connection to the Chiefs or the Chiefs Booster Club. DO NOT give them any information. DO NOT even give them the time of day. If you're approached by these people, hang up promptly, take their number down off your caller ID and report them to the appropriate authorities.
I've never seen anything lower in my life than con artists who would actually prey on a minor league team's fanbase at a time when there's uncertainty about the club's future and I hope these dirtbags are found and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
Marc Denis steals Olli Jokinen's lunch money. It's a beautiful thing, made even more beautiful by the fact Denis Potvin's inner child was trampled by the game outcome at the end of the night.
First, I want to thank BP member Chelya for getting the explanation as to why the (former) official statistics site of the Superleague went down. Apparently the league chose not to renew with Global-Sport so they folded their website. With that in mind, here are the updates from a little over three tours worth of action in the last week:
That's the pride of a champion right there.
Marc Denis stopped 24 of 28 shots in regulation and overtime but still managed to get the win as the Lightning overcame a pair of 2 goal deficits in the second period and a 1 goal deficit in the 3rd period to take the division lead free and clear. Martin St. Louis and Brad Richards each had 1 goal and 2 assists with Marty potting the deciding game winning goal. Dan Boyle had 2 assists while the other Lightning goals came from Eric Perrin, Vincent Lecavalier and the Doomsday Device, Andre Roy. For Lecavalier, it was his league leading 40th goal of the campaign; the first 40 goal season of his career. Vaclav Prospal and Paul Ranger had individual assists.
The Lightning took the Thrashers' best punch in this game and still came out on top in an amazing display of character and resiliency. Coming out in the first period this team had zero jump and, indeed, looked like they were skating in quicksand as the Thrashers jumped all over them to eventually stake a 2-0 lead on a Marc Denis Charminy soft short side goal. The Lightning then struck with Brad Richards' goal but were quickly answered by a shot that went in off of Eric Boulton's shoulder and arm. Lesser teams would've folded up with the bounces going against them like that. The Lightning just rose to the challenge. I feel like I just watched one of those great 15+ round heavyweight fights from the 60's and 70's, and in the end the Lightning played the role of Ali and the Thrashers played the part of sucker on the canvas.
The win moves the Lightning clear of the Thrashers into sole posession of the Southeast Division lead at 73 points, maintaining a 4 point lead on third place Carolina. More importantly, I think, the Lightning sent a deep psychological message to the Thrashers tonight. No matter what the Thrashers throw at the Lightning, when the chips are down, the Lightning win. That's one of those intangibles that make sports such great drama. The pride of a champion doesn't show up on paper, but it damn sure showed up on the scoreboard tonight.
Atlanta 2:38, Steve McCarthy 4 (power play) (Scott Mellanby, Marian Hossa)
Atlanta 7:50, Eric Belanger 10 (Slava Kozlov, Andy Sutton)
Tampa Bay 11:24, Brad Richards 21 (Martin St. Louis, Vaclav Prospal)
Atlanta 13:08, Eric Boulton 3 (Bobby Holik, Steve McCarthy)
Tampa Bay 13:38, Eric Perrin 11 (Martin St. Louis)
Tampa Bay 15:43, Vincent Lecavalier 40 (power play) (Brad Richards, Dan Boyle)
Atlanta 0:30, Marian Hossa 35 (Eric Belanger)
Tampa Bay 2:28, Andre Roy 1 (Paul Ranger, Dan Boyle)
Tampa Bay 3:44, Martin St. Louis 37 (Brad Richards)
Game sheet from NHL.com.
Barrie 1 @ Owen Sound 5
Marek Bartanus did not register a point and had an even rating in the Attack's 5-1 home win over the Colts Wednesday night.
Prince George 3 @ Spokane 5
Spokane got two late goals to beat Vladimir Mihalik and Prince George 5-3 in Washington. Mihalik had no points and an even rating for the game.
Good effort. They just can't score goals to save their lives.
Karri Ramo stopped 31 of 33 shots faced in the loss. David Spina had the only Falcons goal (shorthanded) off assists from Dan Cavanaugh and Matt Smaby. At this point of the season, many of these non-contract players are playing for jobs and Spina, in his last 24 games, has 6 goals and 18 points. In my opinion, he's a guy that the organization needs to keep around on an AHL contract next season. Smaby, quietly, has posted 4 assists over the last 5 games. Ramo was named second star of the game.
Springfield outshot the Admirals 35 to 33 in the game. That's no small feat considering that the Admirals hold the best record in the Eastern Conference. It seems clear that the Falcons have picked up their play of late. What they really need now is one of the youngsters like Justin Keller or Marek Kvapil to start putting the puck in the net. Each were held to just 1 shot on goal tonight.
NOR Bolland, (11) (Parenteau, Hendry), 4:34
SPR Spina, (8) (Cavanaugh, Smaby), 19:44 (SH)
NOR Richmond, (10) (Versteeg, Corazzini), 2:59 (PP)
Game sheet from TheAHL.com.