Falcons Announce Award Winners

The Falcons annual award winners [url=http://www.falconsahl.com/detpages/pressbox2987.shtml]were named this weekend.[/url] The mood of the franchise is no doubt somber after a disappointing season and the dismissal of Coach Graham and Coach Russell, but the following players can take some pride in the honors they've earned: Unsung Hero (Flo Kurdziel) Award: Norm Milley Good Sportsmanship (Kay MacDonald) Award: Ryan Vesce Best Defensive Player (Fred Cowell) Award: Dan Cavanaugh Courage, Determination and Work Ethic (Dick Casey) Award: [url=darren-reid]Darren Reid[/url] Good Guy (Jim Denver) Award: Mitch Fritz Player's Player (Roland Brault) Award: Mitch Fritz Winger of the Year: [url=marek-kvapil]Marek Kvapil[/url] Fan Favorite (Furmano’s Foods) Award: Jason Jaspers Most Valuable Player (Ross Lowe Memorial) Award: Jason Jaspers

Graham/Russell Dismissed

Springfield Falcons head coach Dirk Graham [url=http://www.tbo.com/sports/lightning/MGBP9DDX4ME.html]has been relieved of his duties by the Tampa Bay Lightning[/url] according to the Tampa Tribune. In addition, the club will not renew the contract of assistant coach Phil Russell. Graham has been given the option of taking another job in the organization.

CHL Playoffs Tonight: 4/16

[b]OHL[/b] There are no Lightning prospects remaining who are active in the OHL playoffs after Owen Sound's loss last night to London. There are also no remaining Lightning prospects who are active in the QMJHL playoffs. [b]WHL[/b] Led by a goal and an assist in the third period by [url=blair-jones]Blair Jones[/url], Moose Jaw rallied from a 1-0 deficit after 40 minutes to defeat Calgary 3-1. Jones was named the game's second star. The Warriors force a game seven now after tying the series at 3-3. [url=justin-keller]Justin Keller's[/url] season, and likely his junior career, are over. Kelowna was eliminated tonight after being pasted 6-2 in game six of their series. Keller was scoreless and -2 in the game. He should sign a pro contract with the Lightning this summer.

Omsk/Kazan Game Three

Ak Bars Kazan defeated Avangard Omsk 3-1 today to complete a three game series sweep and capture the Russian Superleague championship. Nikita Alexeev finished the playoffs scoreless and -2 with 2 penalty minutes.

CHL Playoffs Tonight: 4/15

[b]QMJHL[/b] The Lightning have no prospects remaining who are active in the QMJHL playoffs. [b]OHL[/b] London defeated Owen Sound 5-2 today to eliminate the Attack from the OHL playoffs in six games. Marek Bartanus had a power play assist late in the game and was even. He finishes his season with 2 goals and 6 points in 10 postseason games. [b]WHL[/b] There were no games scheduled in the WHL tonight.

Playoff Game Night: 4/15: Chiefs at Storm

Johnstown now trails their best-of-five series with Toledo 2-0. JHN-1 TOL-4 [url=jonathan-boutin]Jonathan Boutin[/url] allowed 3 goals in the third period after the Chiefs had battled Toledo to a 1-1 tied through 40 minutes. He stopped 30 of 34 shots faced in the game. Randy Rowe scored the Chiefs' lone goal on an assist from [url=adam-henrich]Adam Henrich.[/url] Game sheet from [url=http://www.echl.com/cgi-bin/ppublic.cgi?action=box&id=3182]ECHL.com.[/url]

Game Night: 4/15 Pirates at Falcons

The Springfield Falcons finished the season today 28-43-3-6 with 65 points, *good* for 6th in the Atlantic Division. POR-6 SPR-4 [url=gerald-coleman]Gerald Coleman[/url] was run from the game after allowing 4 goals 12 shots faced in the first period. Rookie Gabe Winer went the rest of the way stopping 17 of 19 shots faced. Ryan Vesce led the way with 2 assists for the Falcons to finish first on the team in scoring. Goals were scored by [url=darren-reid]Darren Reid[/url], his 8th of the season, Zdenek Blatny, Kevin Croxton and Norm Milley. [url=nick-tarnasky]Nick Tarnasky[/url] had an assist in the game while Mike Ouelette also had a helper which was his first professional point. Bolt Prospects will do a more comprehensive write up on the Falcons season soon. Game sheet from [url=http://ahl.leaguestat.com/stats/game-summary.php?game_id=1002105]TheAHL.com.[/url]

Game Night 4/15: Hurricanes at Lightning

The magic number is one. CAR-2 TB-3 (OT) My girlfriend would like to thank Martin St. Louis for the temporary case of deafness she currently has in her left ear suffered while sitting next to me at the moment of that game winning overtime goal. John Grahame stopped 25 of 27 shots faced in the victory. I will not defend the year Grahame has had nor do I think he has much more time left in this organization, but Lightning fans should forever respect the game he played tonight. His stop on Cory Stillman's third period breakaway may have saved this season, to make no mention his save on Mark Recchi's tip late in regulation. [url=paul-ranger]Paul Ranger[/url] was a man tonight. I lost count of how many goal saving poke checks and how many two on ones he broke up in this game. The fact that this is the tip of the iceberg for this young man is one reason to be very optimistic about the future of this team's blueline. Ranger led all Lightning rookies with 19:06 of ice time and was +1 with 1 shot, 2 hits and 3 blocked shots. [url=ryan-craig]Ryan Craig[/url] had 15:51 of ice time with 2 shots and 1 hit. [url=evgeny artyukhin]Evgeny Artyukhin[/url] played his customary 4th line minutes with 4:38 and 2 hits. With the win the Lightning's magic number falls to 1 with just Tuesday's home game against the Washington Capitals remaining. Martin St. Louis' overtime winning goal gave the Lightning the point they needed to eliminate Toronto from the postseason. Two things: the Lightning CANNOT relax. They MUST assume that the Trashers will win their two remaining games. They also MUST not adapt the disasterous mindset of playing for one point on Tuesday if the situation does indeed put us in the situation of having to get a point to get in the playoffs. John Tortorella must get his team in the mindset that Tuesday is THE must win game of the season. The Lightning survived a war in back-to-back games against a club that will be no worse than the #2 seed in the East. The conditions are ripe for a letdown against a Capitals team that, however lowly, has two game changers in Ovechkin and Kolzig. If the Lightning don't approach Tuesday's game with the same fear and desperation they showed these last two night's against Carolina, they WILL be golfing by weeks end. Game sheet from [url=http://www.nhl.com/scores/htmlreports/20052006/GS021206.HTM]NHL.com.[/url]

HPK/Assat Game One

Miika Wiikman's incredible playoff run continued today as he knocked off Assat 1-0 in game one of the SM-liiga championship series. Wiikman stopped all 25 shots he faced and was named the game's first star. That likely means [url=karri-ramo]Karri Ramo[/url] will again be on the bench for game two.

Playoff Game Night 4/14: Chiefs at Storm

Johnstown now trails the series 1-0. JHN-2 TOL-3 [url=morgan-cey]Morgan Cey[/url] took the loss for Johnstown stopping 43 of 46 shots faced. Dimitri Tarabrin and Brett Peterson had the goals for the Chiefs. Game sheet from [url=http://www.echl.com/cgi-bin/ppublic.cgi?action=box&id=3176]ECHL.com.[/url]
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