BCHL Coastal Conference Semifinals
Game 2: No.5 Victoria Grizzlies 3 @ No.2 Langley Chiefs 2 (OT)
Victoria leads Best of 7 Series 2-0
W Justin Courtnall, VIC:
Game: 0-0-0, 2 PIM (high sticking)
Series: 2 GP, 0-0-0, 6 PIM
Playoffs: 7 GP, 2-0-2, 10 PIM
Victoria, who will return home with a 2-0 series lead, was playing their sixth game in March, having only Sunday and Thursday off since playing last Saturday. They are 5-1 in those games. Courtnall had 51 points in 60 regular season games to finish second on the team in scoring, but has been quiet statistically in the playoffs.
Waterloo Black Hawks 6 @ Chicago Steel 0
W/C Luca Cunti, CHI: 0-0-0, -2, 0 PIM, 3 shots on goal
Lethbridge Hurricanes 5 @ Red Deer Rebels 1
C Mitch Fadden, LET: 1-3-4, +2, 0 PIM, *First Star*
Everett Silvertips 0 @ Vancouver Giants 1
D Dane Crowley, EVT: 0-0-0, E, 2 PIM (hooking)
Kamloops Blazers 1 @ Prince George Cougars 0
C/W Dana Tyrell, PG: 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM
Tri-City Americans 2 @ Kelowna Rockets 0
G Torrie Jung, KEL: Did not play
Seattle Thunderbirds 3 @ Portland Winter Hawks 4
G Riku Helenius, SEA: Did not play
It's over! Portland ended their 22 game losing streak with the win.
The Lightning manage to pull out another hard fought victory in the Steve Stamkos sweepstakes.
Mike Smith allowed 4 goals on 24 shots for the loss.
Columbus 11:29, David Vyborny 6 (Rick Nash, Kris Russell)
Tampa Bay 14:14, Jeff Halpern 13 (Mathieu Darche, Michel Ouellet)
Columbus 19:18, Derek MacKenzie 1 (Gilbert Brule, Dan Fritsche)
Columbus 16:16, Jason Chimera 14 (Nikolai Zherdev, Dick Tarnstrom)
Columbus 19:00, Jiri Novotny 8 (empty net) (Manny Malhotra, Rick Nash)
Today was the final round of the Elitserien regular season:
Johan Harju was scoreless in Lulea's 4-2 win over Timra.
Andreas Holmqvist had an assist in Frolunda's 3-1 win over Sodertalje.
Frolunda finishes the season 6th on the Elitserien table. Lulea finishes 10th, clipping Mora via a tiebreaker on the final day.
Final 2007-2008 Eliserien Statistics
Johan Harju, Lulea (SWE), 51 GP, 20-8-28, 55 PIM, -1
Andreas Holmqvist, Frolunda (SWE), 49 GP, 3-23-26, 40 PIM, +2
Harju finshes the season tied for 10th in the league in goals. Holmqvist finishes the regular season tied for 5th among all Elitserien defensemen in scoring.
BCHL Coastal Conference Semifinals
Game 1: No.5 Victoria Grizzlies 3 @ No.2 Langley Chiefs 2
Victoria leads Best of 7 Series 1-0
W Justin Courtnall, VIC:
Game: 0-0-0, 4 PIM (roughing, roughing after whistle)
Series: 1 GP, 0-0-0, 4 PIM
Playoffs: 6 GP, 2-0-2, 8 PIM
Victoria wins Game 1 on the road, stealing home ice advantage from Langley.
Chicago Steel 2 @ Lincoln Stars 5
W/C Luca Cunti, CHI: 0-0-0, -3, 6 PIM (interference, delay of game, roughing), 3 shots on goal
St. Johnâ€™s Fog Devils 2 @ Lewiston MAINEiacs 1
D Michael Ward, LEW: 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 2 shots on goal
Prince George Cougars 6 @ Kamloops Blazers 3
C/W Dana Tyrell, PG: 1-3-4, +2, 0 PIM, *First Star*
Swift Current Broncos 5 @ Lethbridge Hurricanes 3
C Mitch Fadden, LET: 0-1-1, E, 2 PIM (roughing)
Everett Silvertips 2 @ Portland Winter Hawks 1
D Dane Crowley, EVT: 0-1-1, +1, 0 PIM, *Third Star*
Seattle Thunderbirds 5 @ Vancouver Giants 2
G Riku Helenius, SEA: Win, stopped 28 of 30 shots
Another quality start by the kid wasted.
Karri Ramo stopped 31 of 33 shots in the overtime loss.
New Jersey 12:16, Zach Parise 28 (Patrik Elias, Brian Gionta)
New Jersey 4:02, Patrik Elias 18 (Sheldon Brookbank)
That's three straight quality starts by Ramo, even despite the fact he's had some long layoffs between starts. Ramo now has 15 decisions on the season, and looking through his starts this year there were only about three games where he didn't play well enough to give the Lightning a chance to win games. Ramo is part of the reason I'm optimistic about next season if the Lightning can get Steve Stamkos in the draft or another quality second line center. At just 21 years old Ramo is showing he can consistently give this team quality starts. Mike Smith, at 25 years old, also shows he can give this team quality starts. I feel like this tandem gives the Lightning the most stability they have had, by far, between the pipes since 2003-2004. I also still believe Ramo needs to get more starts. I have a pretty good idea what Mike Smith is and what he's going to do for this organization, but Ramo is just a pup and every start you get him now gives him more experience toward reaching his monster potential.
Alexandre Picard continues to get big minutes in his extended debut for the organization: 28:59 tonight.
Home sweet home.
Marc Denis stopped 42 of 44 shots faced for the win, and is playing really well of late.
NOR Segal, (6) (Kearns, Smolenak), 6:17
NOR Henrich, (11) (Wanvig, Keller), 13:11 (PP)
NOR Jones, (13) , 4:37
PHI Matsumoto, (17) (Laliberte, Gauthier), 8:23 (PP)
NOR Smolenak, (10) (Jones, Scalzo), 3:18 (PP)
PHI Laliberte, (3) (Matsumoto, Powe), 14:34
Tonight was the Ads' first game back at The Scope after the annual marathon known as the circus road trip. The road trip was modestly successful, considering the team lost 2/3 of its top line to a call up and an injury. Still, there's no doubt that the Admirals are a much better team at home and the team put a really good first period together tonight to jump out to a 2-0 lead and Denis helped make it stick. Denis pulled his save percentage for the AHL season up above .900 tonight, which is a welcome sign.
A night like tonight also gives you a lot of hope that the youngsters on this team are starting to get it. Jones and Smolenak each chipped in 1 goal and 1 assist, Adam Henrich potted a goal, and Justin Keller added a helper. With Junior Lessard in Tampa and Paul Szczechura on the shelf injured it would be easy for the Ads to pack it in right now. But, the kids are stepping up a little here and taking more reponsibility on their shoulders. Good.
Don't look now, but Vladimir Mihalik is sitting on a +7 rating, which is somewhat phenomenal for a guy who plays 20 minutes a night on a team that's 11 games under .500 and has been outscored by 38 goals this season. This young man is going to be a beast in two or three years.
Box score from TheAHL.com.
Another tough late loss.
Philadelphia 18:06, Jeff Carter 25 (Sami Kapanen, Kimmo Timonen)
Jussi Jokinen had 1 goal and 1 assist in the game and Michel Ouellet continued his streak of good production of late with a goal. That's the good news. If the Lightning can get that one more bluechip offensive player (Stamkos please), these complimentary pieces are looking like they might be ready to step up and chip in offensively.