Things are different in the adult pool...
Ben Bishop allowed 3 goals on 30 shots for the loss. He gave his team a chance staving off multiple breakaways to keep the game somewhat close, but once the team fell back 2 it looked like curtains, and it was.
8:40 TB Filppula (25), (unassisted)
11:08 DET Andersson (8), (Helm, Alfredsson)
15:24 DET Nyquist (27), (Legwand)
16:36 DET Legwand (13), (Franzen, Kronwall)(PP)
15:31 TB Salo (4), (Kucherov)
The Lightning's points streak gets snapped at 11 games. Good news/bad news. The good news is the team recognized they were playing a playoff caliber team and actually decided to skate hard. That's a welcome sign. The bad news is, you can't turn crisp hockey on and off like a light switch, and while the legs looked like they were there the brains were not. Detroit capitalized for the 2-1 First Period lead and outshot the Lightning 12-6 in the frame and never looked back. Hopefully the loss has some utility in waking the team up and preparing them for the upcoming monster matchup against Montreal.
Mike Kostka had 3 shots in 12:23.
No. 6 Ferris State Bulldogs 1 vs No. 13 North Dakota 2 (2OT)
Midwest Regional Finals
F Brendan O’Donnell, UND: 0-0-0, +1, 0 PIM, 2 SOG
Season totals: 34 GP, 7-11-18, +7, 10 PIM
2012-2013 totals: 29 GP, 2-8-10, E, 20 PIM
Conner Gaarder (undrafted) scored at 2:28 of the second overtime to send North Dakota to the Frozen Four as Midwest Region champs. O’Donnell was on the ice when the game-winner was scored. Ferris State outshot UND 45-26, including 12-2 in the third period and 14-6 in the first overtime, but UND goaltender Zane Gothberg (Bruins) held steady.
Robert Morris Colonials 3 vs No. 2 Minnesota Golden Gophers 7
West Regional Semifinals
G Adam Wilcox, MIN: Win, 22 saves on 25 shots
Season totals: 35 GP, 24-5-6, 1.94 GAA, .932 sv%, 3 SO
2012-2013 totals: 39 GP, 25-8-5, 1.88 GAA, .921 sv%, 3 SO
The Gophers scored the game’s first four goals and never looked back, defeating the Colonials, 7-3, to advance to the West Regional Finals against the winner of St. Cloud State and Notre Dame. The closest RMU got was 4-2 before Minnesota extended their lead.
*USCHO poll used
Despite falling in a shootout, the Syracuse Crunch took plenty of positives out of the past week.
The 4-3 shootout loss to the Binghamton Senators at the Onondaga County War Memorial Saturday snapped the team's three-game win streak, but the Crunch still have points in four straight.
For Syracuse coach Rob Zettler, it was more about the way his team played.
"I thought our team learned how to play this week," he said. "I thought we were in peoples' faces all week, we played hard, we stuck up for each other. We did a lot of really good things -- offensively and defensively. Tonight we just came out on the wrong end of it."
Winning streak snapped. Point streak continues.
Kristers Gudlevskis allowed 3 goals on 28 shots before allowing 1 of 4 to convert in the penalty shot session for the SO loss.
BNG Grant, (8) , 9:13
SYR Marchessault, (17) (Connolly, Sustr), 18:13
SYR Nesterov, (4) (Connolly, Angelidis), 14:39 (PP)
BNG Pageau, (17) (Grant, Wideman), 19:19 (PP)
SYR Walker, (6) (Gourde, Korobov), 9:32 (PP)
BNG Grant, (8) (Puempel, Claesson), 14:46
Cedric Paquette was the game's third star.
Binghamton's the top team in the East Division, and Syracuse gave them all they could handle tonight. That's what I want to see right now. Even if this club won't make the postseason, I want to see them competitive with playoff caliber teams, and they've looked that way over the past 4 games.
Interesting to note: Brett Connolly has had multi-point nights in 5 of his last 11 games, and he has 5 goals and 14 points over that span. He's another guy, like Sustr, who could give Jon Cooper some options once he goes up top to Tampa Bay when Syracuse's season is over. Considering the way the Lightning occasionally have looked like they're running on fumes, they have to at least ponder what someone from Syracuse (or anywhere else, for that matter) could do to inject a little energy into their lineup.
Box score from TheAHL.com.
When wins don't feel like wins...
Ben Bishop allowed 2 goals on 28 shots for the OT win. Wait, what? 2 goals? Yes, because in a freak play Steven Stamkos scored into his own net with Bishop pulled on a delayed penalty. It was that kind of night.
12:20 BUF D'Agostini (5), (Ristolainen, Larsson)
14:07 BUF Hodgson (17), (Ehrhoff)
17:52 TB Killorn (16), (Kucherov, Carle)
19:46 TB Stamkos (22), (Brown, Gudas)
8:14 BUF Conacher (7), (unassisted)(EN)
10:07 TB Callahan (16), (Purcell, Stamkos)(PP)
1:53 TB Stamkos (23), (Filppula, Purcell)(PP)
Steven Stamkos and Ryan Callahan were the game's first and second stars. For my money, J.T. Brown deserved consideration as well, seeing as he was one of the few Lightning players who didn't snooze through about 55 minutes of play tonight.
The Lightning now have 91 points, meaning they're probably just 4-5 points away from what they need to make the postseason. The way things are looking they'll probably get Montreal with the only real question being which of the two clubs gets home ice. That's a wonderful story, given everything that's happened over the last year, and I don't want to diminish it. And, with the win tonight the Lightning have gotten points in each of their last 11 games at a time of the year when points don't come easy in order to put themselves in this position. I don't want to diminish that either. Manufacturing points isn't an easy thing.
However, at some point you keep waiting for the Lightning to show they have an extra gear up from simply manufacturing points to actually proving they're one of the best teams in the Eastern Conference, and that's not how the team has looked lately. Tonight was painful to watch, just like the Islanders game was. Worse, in fact, because I think the Lightning's effort level was even lower tonight than it was against the Isles. Playing against two of the most talent-bereft squads in the NHL the Lightning didn't show up and just barely scratched out 2 wins. Yeah, that'll get you in the playoffs, but let's be honest: play like that in the playoffs and Montreal will embarrass you. Flat out. Embarrass. You. This team does not, in any way shape or form, look ready for the crucible that is postseason hockey. They, at times, look like a team happy just to be near making the playoff treating the experience like a coronation. At other times, they look like a team that peaked way too soon and are now running on fumes near the finish line (Bishop falling mostly into this latter category).
Something's got to change, and I hope with home ice still on the line it doesn't take this team taking a tragic, soul-shattering butt whipping at some point in the next few games for them to realize something's got to change in the effort department.
Mike Kostka was -1 with 1 shot in 15:44.