AHL Game Night 3/28: Monarchs at Admirals

Jonathan Quick shuts out the Admirals.

MAN-4
NOR-0

Jonathan Boutin allowed 4 goals on 36 shots for the loss.

First Period
MCH Boyle, (27) (Likens, Purcell), 11:58 (PP)
MCH Moulson, (27) (Kidd, Ryan), 19:14

Second Period
MCH Cliche, (8) (Parse, Bagnall), 3:14

Third Period
MCH Murray, (8) (Purcell), 12:53

Box score from TheAHL.com.

Norfolk Signs Plymouth Captain

According to M-Live...

Quote:
The Norfolk Admirals have announced the signing of Plymouth Whalers captain Andrew Fournier to a standard Amateur Tryout Contract. Fournier - who played from 2003-04 through this past season for the Whalers - is expected to make his AHL debut tonight in Norfolk as the Admirals host the Manchester Monarchs.

Fournier was never selected in the National Hockey League Entry Draft and was a free agent, available to sign with any professional team.

"We're very happy for Andrew," said Plymouth head coach Greg Stefan. "He worked very hard while in Plymouth and deserves a chance to move on to a higher level of the game."

Fournier scored 35 goals and 40 assists for 75 points in 64 games this season for Plymouth. He completes his Plymouth career 19th on the team's all-time scoring list with 85 goals and 83 assists for 168 points over 226 games. Fournier's 85 career goals ranks him 12th on the Whalers all-time list (tied with David Legwand) and his 226 games played is 14th on Plymouth's all-time list (tied with Cole Jarrett).

Fournier was an integral part of the Whalers' championship team in 2007.

Note: According to theahl.com, Fournier is indeed in the Ads lineup tonight and is wearing No.21.

CHL Playoffs Game Night: 3/27

WHL FIRST ROUND -- WESTERN CONFERENCE

Game 5: (5) Kelowna Rockets 2 @ (4) Seattle Thunderbirds 6
Seattle leads Best of 7 series 3-2

G Torrie Jung, KEL:
Game: No decision, 17 saves on 20 shots in relief
Series: 1 GP, 0-0, 3.82 GAA, .850 sv%

G Riku Helenius, SEA:
Game: Win, 25 saves on 27 shots
Series: 4 GP, 2-2, 3.01 GAA, .900 sv%

Helenius reclaimed the No.1 spot for Seattle and though he gave up a goal 22 seconds into the game on the Rockets' first shot, he shut down Kelowna the rest of the way to give the T-Birds a 3-2 lead in the series. As for Jung, he came into the game mid-way through the first period after Kristofer Westblom, who had a shaky Game 4, gave up 3 goals on 8 shots. Jung may be the favorite to start Game 6 for the Rockets Saturday night in Kelowna. Seattle has won 3 in a row in the series.

The game ended on an ugly note when Kelowna’s James McEwan, a former T-Bird, blatantly tackled Helenius after the final horn resulting in both teams getting involved in a shoving match.

According to the Seattle Times, Helenius, who was uninjured, tried to laugh it off.

"Their guys were chirping at me all series," Helenius told the newspaper. "So it was a little surprising, but I don't care that much."

Kelowna’s coach, Ryan Huska, responded to he incident by praising McEwan’s fiery nature: “That’s why he’s our leader.”

Ah, the WHL.

Just in case the McEwan tackle wasn’t dirty enough, Doyle Potenteau of the Kelowna Daily Courier reports seeing this sign in the stands in Seattle regarding one of Kelowna’s defensemen:

Colin Joe illegally downloads.

Now that's just cold.

NHL Game Night 3/27: Capitals at Lightning

Oh brother! What a way to give up that second point.

WAS-4
TB-3 (OT)

Karri Ramo allowed 4 goals on 32 shots for the overtime loss. Key play of the game: Dan Boyle gets clipped in the face (UPDATE: Erik Erlendsson blogs Boyle took a skate in the lower throat that left a flesh wound on the play) and stops playing with the play behind his net. While Boyle is not paying attention a centering feed squirts off his skate to Ramo's left. Ramo aggresively dives out to try and cover the puck (probably shouldn't have), misses, and while down and out the Caps score the winner.

You know, the fact these two young netminders are athletic and can handle the puck is a good thing, but they don't necessarily have the maturity in their decision making yet. I am all for investing in a post and a chain to keep Ramo and Smith tethered to their cage until they develop that maturity, because it seems like these two must've given up a half dozen bad goals between them straying from their cages. Mind you, I thought Ramo played well again with the exception of that play, so it's not an indictment of Karri's overall play. But jeez. These kind of goals take years off a coach's life.

Matt Smaby was even in 12:48 with 2 blocked shots. He would've been +1, but was on the ice for the Semin goal which was a clean faceoff win by Fedorov and a bang-bang shot. I like the minutes. I think Matt needs to get the coaches comfortable enough to be up around 14-15 minutes by the end of the season to have a realistic shot of making the team next season. Earning that trust is the biggest hurdle.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

CHL Playoffs Game Night: 3/26

Results from Lewiston, Everett, Lethbridge and a quick look around the CHL, including a Stamkos update.

AHL Game Night 3/26: Bears at Admirals

Admirals had no answers in the third period.

HER-4
NOR-1

Jonathan Boutin allowed 4 goals on 35 shots for the loss.

First Period
HER Wilson, (24) (Gordon, Bourque), 4:53 (PP)

Second Period
NOR Smolenak, (14) (Kearns), 16:30
HER Joudrey, (10) (Pinizzotto, Robitaille), 17:09

Third Period
HER Wilson, (25) (Lepisto, Gordon), 8:17 (PP)
HER Paiement, (4) , 9:57 (PP)

Radek Smolenak keeps chugging away.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

CHL Playoffs Game Night: 3/25

Results posted for Lewiston, Lethbridge (another star for Fadden), and Kelowna/Seattle (Helenius back in net).

Munce Reassigned to Norfolk

No real surprise here. With Jonathan Boutin on emergency recall to Tampa and Marc Denis on re-entry waivers following the knee injury to Mike Smith, Our Sports Central is reporting that Admirals General Manager Claude Loiselle has announced that goaltender Ryan Munce has been reassigned to the Admirals from the ECHL's Mississippi Sea Wolves.

Elitserien Playoff Scores

Thursday
Frolunda scored three third period goals in a come-from-behind 5-4 win over Farjestads in Game Six of their opening round playoff series. Andreas Holmqvist was scoreless in the match.

Saturday
Holmqvist was scoreless in Frolunda's 3-1 Game Seven loss to Farjestads. Frolunda is eliminated from the playoffs.

Musical Backups

Due to a knee injury to Mike Smith, you might've noticed Jonathan Boutin was an emergency callup for tonight's game against the Panthers. According to Erik Erlendsson's blog, Boutin will be sent back to Norfolk after the game once Marc Denis clears re-entry waivers and Denis will be back with the club. Don't spend that game check all in one place, Jonathan.

Erlendsson also quotes John Tortorella from the morning press conference claiming both Karri Ramo and Mike Lundin should start next season in the minor leagues; Ramo to get more starts and Lundin to gain more strength. He also, apparently, demanded more physical play from Matt Smaby.

Regarding Ramo: Coach is wrong. Period. This organization blew making the correct hockey decision at the start of this season not keeping Karri in Tampa even though it was obvious in camp he was already Holmqvist and Denis' equal. Compounding it by starting Ramo in Norfolk next season would be an equally foolish mistake. Mike Smith has proven nothing as a starter in the NHL. Heck, he was still considered a prospect by this website's criteria just a few weeks ago. Better to have a young lion like Ramo nipping at his heels keeping him honest than to have some old nag like Denis giving Smith no reason to look over his shoulder and push himself. Not only should Ramo not be in Norfolk to start next season, he should be getting 40% of the starts in Tampa and by season's end I wouldn't be surprised at all if he has Smith's #1 job.

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