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.

Omsk/Kazan Game One

Today was the opening of the Russian Superleague finals between Avangard Omsk and Ak Bars Kazan. Avangard was crushed 6-1 by Kazan who jumped out to the early 1-0 series lead in the best-of-five matchup. Nikita Alexeev was scoreless in the game.

CHL Playoffs Tonight: 4/11

[b]QMJHL[/b] Despite a 2 goal third period comeback by Chicoutimi, Gatineau defeated the Sangueneens 4-3 to take a 2-1 series lead. [url=stanislav-lascek]Stanislav Lascek[/url] had his 4th goal of the playoffs but was -1 and on the ice for the Olympiques' winning marker. [b]OHL[/b] Sudbury didn't go down without a fight. Despite trailing 3-0 in the series the Wolves took Peterborough to overtime tonight before falling 4-3. Kevin Beech stopped 25 of 29 shots faced. Sudbury is eliminated by virtue of the Petes' 4-0 sweep of the series. [b]WHL[/b] Moose Jaw defeated Calgary 4-2. [url=blair-jones]Blair Jones[/url] had 3 assists and was +3 earning first star of the game honors. Moose Jaw now leads the series 2-1. Everett defeated Kelowna 2-0. [url=justin-keller]Justin Keller[/url] was -1 with 4 penalty minutes. Everett leads the series 2-1.

Game Night 4/11: Thrashers at Lightning

Ugly. Ugly. Ugly. ATL-6 TB-2 Sean Burke allowed 5 goals on 14 shots before being replaced by John Grahame who allowed 1 goal on 10 shots faced. [url=ryan-craig]Ryan Craig[/url] recorded his 12th assist of the season on Dimitry Afanasenkov's game opening goal. It was all downhill from there. [url=paul-ranger]Paul Ranger[/url] was -2 in 18:37 with 1 blocked shot. Craig was +1 in 13:20 with 1 shot and 2 hits. [url=evgeny-artyukhin]Evgeny Artyukhin[/url] was -1 in 8:22 with 2 shots, 4 hits and 1 blocked shot. Post mortem at [url=http://www.nhl.com/scores/htmlreports/20052006/GS021174.HTM]NHL.com.[/url]

Playoff Game Night 4/11: Chiefs at Titans

Pure heart keys the comeback and the finishing of a two game sweep in the three game play-in series. JHN-4 TRE-3 [url=jonathan-boutin]Jonathan Boutin[/url] was in net tonight for Johnstown and midway through the game the Chiefs found themselves down 3-0. Boutin would not allow another goal the rest of the way, stopping 37 of 40 shots faced, and the Chiefs poured in four unanswered goal, including three in the final frame, to topple the Titans. [url=andre-deveaux]Andre Deveaux[/url] started the comeback with a goal from [url=adam-henrich]Adam Henrich[/url] late in the second period. Randy Rowe continued the comeback with an unassisted talley at 4:01 of the third which was followed by [url=zbynek-hrdel]Zbynek Hrdel's[/url] first goal of the playoffs with 4 minutes left to play off an assist by Henrich. Jean Desrochers then booked the Chiefs for the next round of the playoffs scoring the game winner with just 7 seconds left in regulation. Game sheet from [url=http://www.echl.com/cgi-bin/ppublic.cgi?action=box&id=3163]ECHL.com.[/url]

HPK/HIFK Game Four

Miika Wiikman was back in net today for HPK in their game four matchup with HIFK. Wiikman was second star of the game after shutting out HIFK 4-0. The goaltender stopped all 22 shots he faced in helping his club tie the series at 2-2. Lightning prospect [url=karri-ramo]Karri Ramo[/url] did not play after losing in overtime to HIFK 5-4 in game three.

Falcons Sign Dartmouth Captain Mike Ouellette, UMass Goalie Gabe Winer to ATOs

The Springfield Falcons announced today that they have signed two ex-collegiate players to Amateur Tryout Agreements (ATO). First, in response to the club sending Jonathan Boutin to ECHL Johnstown for the Chiefs' playoff run, the Falcons signed former Chief and University of Massachusetts-Amherst goaltender Gabe Winer to an ATO. The 5-foot-10, 190-pound Stoughton, Massachusetts native posted a 2.48 goals against average and a .920 save percetange in 23 games this year with UMass, finishing with a 9-11-1 record. Since finishing the season with UMass, Winer has played in seven games with the Chiefs, earning a 3.66 goals against average and a .910 save percentage. He went 2-2-1 with Johnstown.
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