The Springfield Falcons have announced the promotion of defenseman PJ Atherton from Johnstown of the ECHL. In addition, the Falcons demoted right winger Marek Kvapil to Johnstown. Kvapil had been considered a potential NHL callup heading into the 2006-2007 season, but a disasterous year in the AHL has seen Kvapil busted down to Springfield's checking lines. After failing to score in some weeks, Kvapil's demotion is the final thud in an unremarkable campaign.
According to an article in tomorrowâ€™s Virginian Pilot, the Norfolk Admirals will hold a news conference at 2 p.m. Thursday at which they are expected to announce that the Tampa Bay Lightning will be their new NHL affiliate.
The Lightning will fill the void created last Monday when the Chicago Blackhawks, the Admirals' NHL partner for the past seven years, announced a 10-year AHL agreement with Rockford, Ill., beginning with the 2007-08 season.
Tampa Bay and Springfield (Mass.), the Lightning's current AHL affiliate, exercised an "out" clause and mutually agreed to terminate their deal with two years remaining. Springfield promptly agreed to a three-year deal with the Edmonton Oilers.
For more information, see: Admirals Expected to Affiliate with NHLâ€™s Tampa Bay Lightning
Sudbury 3 @ Mississauga 4
Best-of-7 series tied 1-1
Chris Lawrence broke a 3-3 third period tie with his second goal of the game to help the Mississauga IceDogs avert disaster and tie their opening round series with Sudbury at one game apiece. Mississauga was outshot 21-7 in the third, but Lawrence got the period's only goal on the power play. Lawrence was even for the game and was named its No.2 star. Game 3 is in Sudbury Tuesday night.
The Springfield Falcons have announced they have signed defenseman Justin Fletcher to an amateur tryout agreement. Fletcher, who will turn 24 this week, is a 5'11" 202 lbs. blueliner out of St. Cloud State in the WCHA. As a member of the Huskies, Fletcher led all St. Cloud defensemen in scoring during his sophomore, junior and senior campaigns. This year, Fletcher had 5 goals and 23 points in 37 games, one year removed from his career season of 6 goals and 27 points in 40 games as a junior. Prior to his NCAA career, Fletcher spent three seasons with the Sioux City Musketeers of the USHL scoring 12 goals and 43 points in 60 games in his final year of junior.
The Illinois native made his Falcons debut tonight against Manchester playing on the top pairing with Mike Egener. Fletcher was -1 with 1 shot on goal in the game.
Kazan defeated Khimik 2-1 in overtime to win their quarterfinal playoff series 3 games to 1 and move on to the Superleague semifinals. Dimitri Kazionov was scoreless in the match for Ak Bars.
Omsk defeated Yaroslavl 4-3 in overtime to win their quarterfinal playoff series 3 games to 1. Evgeny Artyukhin did not play in the match for the Lokomotive. He finishes the playoffs scoreless in 1 game with a -2 rating.
Dimitri Kazionov is the sole Lightning prospect still active in the Superleague playoffs.
That's a gut punch.
Ryan Munce allowed 3 goals on 30 shots in the loss. Johnstown got a pair of goals from Jean Desrochers and assists from Dimitri Tararbrin and Grant Jacobsen. Desrochers also failed to convert on a penalty shot early in the third period.
Johnstown now is 5 points out of a playoff spot with 2 games in hand on 5th place Reading.
DAY Kelly, (21) (Labenski, Anderson), 2:36 (PP)
DAY Hendrikx, (4) (Cullen, Walton), 7:52
JHN Desrochers, (13) , 19:50
DAY Anderson, (2) (Kelly, Konsorada), 8:23
JHN Desrochers, (14) (Tarabrin, Jacobsen), 16:58
Game sheet from ECHL.com.
Tonight was a make-up for a game that was snowed in a week or two ago.
Jonathan Boutin allowed 2 goals on 5 shots before being pulled for Kevin Beech who allowed 2 goals on 23 shots the rest of the way to take the loss in his first AHL game. Daniel Corso had 2 assists in the game with the Falcons' goals coming from Kyle Wanvig, Norm Milley and Justin Keller. David Spina, Eric Healey and Nick Kuiper added individual helpers. Wanvig was named third star of the game.
MCH Tukonen, (11) (Murray), 1:55
MCH Jackman, (15) (Werner, Moulson), 4:28
MCH Tukonen, (12) (Ryan, Werner), 8:14
SPR Wanvig, (16) (Spina, Healey), 13:32
SPR Milley, (24) (Corso), 16:52 (PP)
MCH Werner, (5) (Murray), 15:14
SPR Keller, (13) (Corso, Kuiper), 10:06
Game sheet from TheAHL.com.
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.