CHL Playoffs Tonight: 4/14

There were no Lightning prospects in action in the CHL playoffs last night. [b]QMJHL[/b] [url=stanislav-lascek]Stanislav Lascek[/url] and the Chicoutimi Sangueneens were eliminated tonight as Gatineau triumphed in game five of their series 4-2. Lascek had an assist in what will likely be his last game in junior hockey. The 20 year old winger is likely to sign a pro contract with the Lightning this summer. [b]OHL[/b] London defeared Owen Sound 6-5 in overtime. Marek Bartanus had an assist and was +1 in the game. London now leads the series 3-2. [b]WHL[/b] With less than a minute left in the first overtime period, Calgary defeated Moose Jaw 4-3. [url=blair-jones]Blair Jones[/url] scored the tying goal with 5:02 left in regulation on the power play to send the game to the extra period and was named second star of the game despite compiling a -2 rating. Calgary now leads the series 3-2. Troy Bodie scored a game winning goal 7:50 into double overtime to lift Kelowna to a 3-2 overtime win over Everett. The win keeps Kelowna alive in a series they still trail 3-2. [url=justin-keller]Justin Keller[/url] had an assist in the game and was +1.

Game Night 4/14: Falcons at Pirates

One more game left to go... SPR-1 POR-3 Gabe Winer actually did pretty well in his AHL debut stopping 39 of 42 shots faced. [url=nick-tarnasky]Nick Tarnasky[/url] scored the Falcons' lone goal, his 14th of the season, on the power play. He'll be a member of the Lightning's playoff taxi squad. Positive thinking. Game sheet from [url=http://ahl.leaguestat.com/stats/game-summary.php?game_id=1002090]TheAHL.com.[/url]

Game Night 4/14: Lightning at Hurricanes

The magic number is 3. TB-4 CAR-5 (SO) Sean Burke stopped 17 of 21 before losing in the shootout. [url=paul-ranger]Paul Ranger[/url] had 2 assists in the game including one on a beautiful Martin St. Louis shorthanded goal from Vincent Lecavalier. [url=ryan-craig]Ryan Craig[/url] led all rookies in ice time at 16:55 with 1 shot on goal. Ranger was +2 in 15:38 with 2 shots and 1 blocked shot. [url=evgeny-artyukhin]Evgeny Artyukhin[/url] was an undisciplined mess taking two minor penalties in 3:31 with 4 hits. The Lightning still control their destiny with 2 games left to play. They hold a 3 point lead over 9th place Atlanta and a 4 point lead over 10th place Toronto going into tomorrow night's rematch with Carolina. Both Atlanta and Toronto now hold a game in hand. A win tomorrow night and an Atlanta *tie* or loss would seal a playoff berth. Positive thinking. Game sheet from [url=http://www.nhl.com/scores/htmlreports/20052006/GS021196.HTM]NHL.com.[/url]

Omsk/Kazan Game Two

Kazan defeated Omsk today 2-0 to take a commanding 2-0 lead in their best of 5 championship series. Nikita Alexeev was scoreless in the game.

Game Night 4/13: River Rats at Falcons

Shame. ALB-5 SPR-3 [url=gerald-coleman]Gerald Coleman[/url] stopped 22 of 27 shots faced in the loss. The shame of this game is that the Falcons actually outplayed Albany and got nothing for their efforts. I watched the final two periods on B2 Networks. Read my thoughts after the flip. Game sheet from [url=http://ahl.leaguestat.com/stats/game-summary.php?game_id=1002083]TheAHL.com[/url]

HPK/HIFK Game Five

Miika Wiikman intensified his stranglehold on HPK's starting job today throwing a materful 30 save shutout to usher HPK into the championship game with a 1-0 win over HIFK. Wiikman was named the game's first star. HPK will advance to play Pori Assat, who upset #1 seed and defending champion Karpat, in the championship round. Assat was the #5 seed entering the playoffs while HPK was the #3. That means [url=karri-ramo]Karri Ramo[/url] could add an SM-liiga championship to his resume within the next couple of weeks.

Lightning Sign Smaby

The University of North Dakota (UND) Athletics web site is reporting Matt Smaby has been signed by the Tampa Bay Lightning. Smaby told UND that he will forgo his senior year at the university to join the Lightning this summer. He plans to finish the spring semester at UND, thus ending speculation that he would join Johnstown for the ECHL playoffs. Smaby, a second round pick in 2003, played in 129 games over three seasons for UND, scoring six goals and recording 23 assists for 29 points. The defenseman had a career-best 19 points (four goals, 15 assists) this past season. The UND captain is the first prospect signed by the Lightning during the spring signing period.

Grand Forks Herald: Smaby Close to Signing

The Grand Forks Herald [url=http://www.grandforks.com/mld/grandforks/sports/14330235.htm]is reporting that Matt Smaby is close to signing a deal with the Lightning.[/url] This comes on the heels of earlier rumors that 1440 The Fan in Grand Forks, ND was also reporting Smaby's signing as imminent.

NHL Draft Combine/Draft Date and Time Set

The NHL today [url=http://www.nhl.com/news/2006/04/268346.html]released its list of 115 invitees to the NHL Combine which will be held May 30th to June 6th in New York.[/url] The Lightning will be picking roughly around the 15th spot in this year's draft. Some players who might be of interest to the Lightning who were invited include C Derick Brassard of Drummondville (QMJHL), C Bryan Little of Barrie (OHL) and RW Chris Stewart of Kingston (OHL). The 2006 NHL Entry Draft will take place at 6 pm Eastern on OLN on June 24th.

CHL Playoffs Tonight: 9/12

[b]QMJHL[/b] Michael Stinziani scored an overtime winning goal 10:51 into overtime as Gatineau defeated Chicoutimi 1-0. [url=stanislav-lascek]Stanislav Lascek[/url] was held without a shot in the game. The Sangueneens are on the brink of elimination now down 3-1 in the series. [b]OHL[/b] Owen Sound appears to have awakened the sleeping giant as London smacked the Attack 5-1 tonight to even their series at 2-2. Marek Bartanus was scoreless and even in the game. [b]WHL[/b] Calgary defeated Moose Jaw 2-0. The series is now tied 2-2. [url=blair-jones]Blair Jones[/url] was scoreless and even in the game. Everett defeated Kelowna 3-2. [url=justin-keller]Justin Keller[/url] had a secondary assist and was +1 in the game. Kelowna now trails in the series 3-1.
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