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I'll be doing maintenance on the BP site today (March 25). If you access, the site may not behave properly. I'll repost when all is well again.

Polushin Back in the Superleague (And Russia Update)

Just a quick note on talented former 2001 second round pick Alexander Polushin: It appears the Cold War between he and Coach Bykov may finally be thawing. After spending much of the season relegated to the First/Farm League, Polushin has suited up for the last three games for CSKA. The move might've been a last desperate effort my Bykov to make the playoffs as CSKA was all but eliminated from contention Saturday at the hands of Nikolai Khabibulin and Vincent Lecavalier's Ak Bars Kazan 5-2. CSKA sits in 10th place behind 8th place Nizhnekamsk with just three games left to go in the regular season. The Russian Superleague tabulates their standings by awarding 3 points for a win. Polushin now has 3 goals and 7 points in 15 games at the Superleague level. At last check, he also had 13 goals and 23 points in 21 games in the First League as well.

Pelicans A Strike Back!

After a sour start to the Junior A playoffs that saw [url=http://www.sm-liiga.fi/finhockey2/sjl_tulospalvelu_popup.asp?ottelu_id=33339&TID=1451&ilman=true]Karri Ramo drop the first game of the series 7-2[/url], Ramo and Pelicans A struck back today to tie the series at 1-1. Buoyed by a [url=http://www.sm-liiga.fi/finhockey2/sjl_tulospalvelu_popup.asp?ottelu_id=33343&TID=1451&ilman=true]first star performance that saw Ramo stop 31 of 32 shots, Pelicans A beat TPS A 2-1 today to even the best of five.[/url] Game Three is slated for tomorrow, March 7th. Ramo's resiliance in staking his team to a very important 2-1 win was undeniable today. Many young goaltenders' confidence and focus might have been shattered after seeing a shutout streak of 194:51 dissolve into a horrendous 4 goal third period like the one Ramo faced in Game One against TPS A. However, just as Ramo has already proven he has the advanced maturity to compete at the SM-liiga level this season, he proved today he also has the maturity to put aside a bad loss and once again elevate his game when the chips are down. Now with the series knotted up the Cinderella Pelicans A have shortened their series against second seed TPS A into a best of three where anything can happen.

Ramo Carries Pelicans A Into Playoffs

February had been a tough month for Karri Ramo. Despite his [url=http://www.boltprospects.com/node/116]solid performance at the Five Nations U-19 tournament for Finland[/url], playing behind the worst team in the SM-liiga finally began to take its toll. For the entire month of January the 18 year old netminder from Asikkala gave the pittiful Pelicans a chance to win every night out. But as the days of February began to wane, so too did Karri Ramo's stats. By the end, [url=http://www.sm-liiga.fi/tilasto.asp?otsake1=Kausi+2004%] Ramo had slipped to 27th in the league in save percentage posting a .898 mark with a 3.98 GAA.[/url] Meanwhile down in Junior A a death struggle for playoff position was on as Tapparra A, Pelicans A, Jokerit A and Lukko A all battled to claim the final two spots on the table and the right to move on to the Junior A postseason. With Lahti's SM-liiga season long since doomed and Ramo's confidence fading, the Pelicans decided to send their prized young goaltender back to junior to save the junior team's sagging playoff fortunes. Ramo did not disappoint.
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