Maine 4 - UMass 1
East Region Final
Mike Lundin and Maine will return to the Frozen Four for the fourth time in the last six years. The trip will be the third for Lundin, a senior who was one of four Black Bears named to the All East Regional Team. He also played in the 2006 and 2004 Frozen Fours. Neither Lundin or Lightning prospect John Wessbecker (UMass) found the scoresheet for their respective clubs in the regional championships. Maine scored their goals 4 on 4, on the power play, and an insurance goal on a 5 on 3. UMass also scored on the power play to cut the Black Bears' lead to 2-1, but could never get the equalizer.
Boston College 4 - Miami 0
Northeast Region Final
BC defeated Dan Boyle's alma mater, Miami of Ohio, 4-0 on the back of Canucks first rounder Cory Schneider to earn a trip to the Frozen Four. Goaltender and Lightning prospect Joe Pearce serves as Schneider's backup.
Maine will face Michigan State, who punched their ticket to St. Louis on Saturday. North Dakota beat WCHA rival Minnesota 3-2 in overtime when Chris Porter (Blackhawks 9th rounder in 2003) scored in overtime on an innocent looking wraparound. Gophers goalie Jeff Frazee (NJ 2nd rounder in 2005) left his stick away from his body and Porter, who took over as UND captain when Matt Smaby left school, banked the puck off the stick and between Frazee's legs. UND will play Boston College for the second year in a row in the semi-finals. BC won last year 6-5.
London 2 @ Owen Sound 1 (Overtime)
London leads best-of-7 series 2-0
One night after outshooting the OHL's top club 48-24, Owen Sound peppered London's goalie Steve Mason (Columbus) with 62 shots to the Knights' 26, but the Attack again came up on the short end. Though the team is filled with stars, London got a goal from center Matt Clarke, who had just 5 goals all season, with 4:41 left in the first overtime to take a commanding 2 games to 1 lead in their first round series. Marek Bartanus had a first period primary assist and was plus-1 in the game for Owen Sound. Game 3 is Tuesday night in London.
Prince George 5 @ Kamloops 4 (Overtime)
Prince George leads best-of-7 series 2-0
San Jose Sharks first rounder Devin Setoguchi scored at 4:17 of the first overtime to give the Prince George Cougars a 5-4 win and a commanding 2 games to 0 lead over Kamloops heading back to Prince George.Vladimir Mihalik was scoreless and minus-1 for the Cougars. Game 3 is Tuesday.
Spokane 2 @ Everett 3 (Overtime)
Everett leads best-of-7 series 2-0
Dane Crowley set up the WHL's Bob Clarke Trophy winner for being the league's leading scorer Zach Hamill (2007 draft eligible) at 7:06 of the first overtime enabling top-seeded Everett to escape with a 3-2 win. The Silvertips now lead the series, which turns to Spokane on Tuesday. Crowley was also plus-1 in the game.
Big win. They're all big at this point.
Ryan Munce stopped 45 shots in regulation and overtime before stopping all six Dayton attempts he faced in the shootout. Maxime Boisclair and Radek Smolenak had the Johnstown goals while Gus Katsuras, Geoff Waugh, Rob Lehtinen and Eric Przepiorka added assists. Zbynek Hrdel scored the lone goal of the shootout session. Hrdel and Smolenak were named first and third stars of the game.
Johnstown's win temporarily moved them within 5 points of a playoff spot, pending the final outcome of Reading's game which is in overtime. Johnstown will hold 3 games in hand on the Royals at night's end.
Game sheet from ECHL.com.
That's not the response I expected tonight.
Marc Denis allowed 5 goals on 23 points in the loss before being spelled by Karri Ramo who allowed 2 goals on 5 shots the rest of the way. Just a bad spot for the kid to get into. Dan Boyle had both Lightning goals and Vincent Lecavalier had a pair of assists. Vaclav Prospal and Martin St. Louis added individual helpers.
The Lightning squandered an opportunity to climb to even with the Thrashers with the loss after having watched Atlanta lose an afternoon game to Pittsburgh. With just six games left to go in the season, the Lightning remain two points back with one head-to-head matchup left in the finale of the regular season.
Game sheet from NHL.com.
Khimik defeated Kazan in a shootout 3-2 in Game Three of their quarterfinal playoff series. Kazan's lead in the series now slips to 2 games to 1. Dimitri Kazionov was scoreless in the match for Ak Bars.
Omsk shut out Yaroslavl 2-0 to take a 2-1 lead in their quarterfinal playoff series. Evgeny Artyukhin did not play for the Lokomotive.
Maine 4 - St. Cloud State 1
East Regional Semi-final
Maine welcomed back goaltender Ben Bishop and played one of their best games of the season to knock off St. Cloud State in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament. Mike Lundin picked up an assist on Michel Leveille's first period goal on the powerplay.
UMass 1 - Clarkson 0 (OT)
East Regional Semi-final
UMass continues its postseason heroics as they knocked off No. 1 seed Clarkson in overtime. John Wessbecker finished scoreless and even in the game while recording 4 shots on net.
Maine and UMass will now meet again in the East Regional final with the winner advancing to the Frozen Four. The two teams have met four times in the last month with UMass winning all four games. The Minutemen swept the final weekend series of the regular season then followed it up with a sweep of the Black Bears in the first round in the HEast tournament. The stakes are higher and Maine will have starting goalie Bishop back who missed both series due to injury.
Darren Reid's revenge.
Jonathan Boutin allowed 6 goals on 34 shots in the game. Springfield got 2 goals and 1 assist from David Spina to go with 1 goal and 2 assists from Kyle Wanvig and a trifecta of helpers from Eric Healey. Stephen Baby had the other Falcons goal and rookie Andy Rogers added an assist as did Boutin. Healey was tapped for third star of the game honors.
Former Lightning prospect/Falcon Darren Reid had 1 goal and 2 assists in the game. Since leaving Springfield, Reid has 16 goals and 27 points in 38 games with the Phantoms and has received a couple of cups of coffee with the Flyers. I think it's fair to say the change of scenery worked for him.
As an aside, I hope the Lightning organization manages to wrap up David Spina's services for Norfolk next season. It's unlikely they'll retain Healey and Cavanaugh, in my opinion, and Milley and Corso may not be holdovers either. Spina, however, is a player the Lightning should try to retain in their minor league organization after spending two years developing him.
SPR Wanvig, (15) (Healey, Spina), 0:58
PHI Reid, (17) (Cullen, Kane), 17:19 (PP)
PHI Cullen, (11) (Kane, Reid), 3:34 (PP)
SPR Spina, (11) (Healey, Wanvig), 12:00
PHI Cullen, (12) (Kane, Davis), 15:23
SPR Baby, (3) (Healey, Wanvig), 17:08 (PP)
PHI Guenin, (3) (Ellison, Timonen), 18:45
PHI Cabana, (3) (Meloche, Zingoni), 6:38
SPR Spina, (12) (Rogers, Boutin), 15:42
PHI Cullen, (13) (Reid, Kane), 18:53
Game sheet from TheAHL.com.
Every game now is a must win, and when you don't they put one more shovel full of dirt on your coffin.
Morgan Cey allowed 4 goals on 33 shots before being replaced by Ryan Munce who stopped all 5 shots he faced the rest of the way. Maxime Boisclair had the only Chiefs goal from Andrew Martens and Zbynek Hrdel. Hrdel now has a three game point streak. Johnstown remains six points out of a playoff spot with three games in hand on Reading.
DAY Cullen, (10) (Walton, Reid), 2:57
JHN Boisclair, (16) (Martens, Hrdel), 9:53 (PP)
DAY Anderson, (1) (Konsorada, Ford), 18:59
DAY Tifu, (26) (Reid), 5:09
DAY LeClair, (5) (Konsorada, Kelly), 10:13 (PP)
Game sheet from ECHL.com.
Sudbury 5 @ Mississauga 4
Sudbury leads best-of-7 series 1-0
The Sudbury Wolves stole home ice advantage from the IceDogs tonight getting a lead early and holding on for a 5-4 win. Chris Lawrence did not perform up to expectations in his first playoff game since the 2005 playoffs. Lawrence was scoreless with a minus-2 rating for Mississagua. He also had a penalty for checking-to-the-head with just over a minute to go and his team down by one. Game 2 is Sunday in Mississauga (2-2-1-1-1 format).
Owen Sound 3 @ London 6
London leads best-of-7 series 1-0
Owen Sound outshot heavily-favored London 2-1 (48-24) but London got 4 goals and an assist from Illinois-native and former Yale University Bulldog David Meckler (LA Kings) to defeat the Attack 6-3. Marek Bartanus was scoreless and even for Owen Sound. Game 2 is Saturday night in Owen Sound (1-1-1-1-1-1-1 format).
Prince George 3 @ Kamloops 2 (Overtime)
Prince George leads best-of-7 series 1-0
The Prince George Cougars got a goal at 4:38 of the first overtime from Nick Drazenovic (STL Blues) to take away home ice advantage from Kamloops and give Prince George a 1-0 lead in their opening round series. Vladimir Mihalik, playing in his first WHL playoff game, was scoreless and minus-1. Game 2 is Saturday in Kamloops (2-2-1-1-1 format).
Spokane 2 @ Everett 4
Everett leads best-of-7 series 1-0
The Silvertips built a 4-0 lead before Spokane got two back in a penalty-filled third period. Everett leads the series 1-0. Dane Crowley was scoreless and plus-1 with 2 PIM for Everett. Game 2 is tonight in Everett (2-2-1-1-1 format).