Ontario Hockey League
Erie Otters 7 @ Windsor Spitfires 4
W Cristiano DiGiacinto, WSR: 0-0-0, -4, 0 PIM
Season totals: 61 GP, 21-23-44, -13, 100 PIM
2013-14 totals: 50 GP, 17-11-28, +8, 101 PIM
Likely 2015 top-5 picks Connor McDavid (3 assists) and Dylan Strome (1+3) combined for seven points in front of a sellout crowd in Windsor, leading the Otters to a 7-4 win. Windsor has been eliminated from playoff contention, which makes DiGiacinto available for AHL Syracuse or ECHL Florida should the Lightning want him to keep playing.
Western Hockey League
Red Deer Rebels 2 @ Calgary Hitmen 3 (OT)
D Ben Thomas, CAL: 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM
Season totals: 58 GP, 7-24-31, +15, 26 PIM
2013-14 totals: 72 GP, 7-24-31, +11, 39 PIM
Calgary is one point ahead of Medicine Hat for the division title with both teams still to play twice. Medicine Hat has last place Saskatoon for two and Calgary has seventh place Kootenay.
KHL Eastern Conference Semifinals
(2)Novosibirsk 3 vs. (3)Magnitogorsk 1
Novosibirsk Wins the Series 4-1
Vasily Koshechkin, Magnitogorsk, Loss, 22/24, 2.05 GAA, .917 sv%
Playoff totals: 10 GP, 5-5-0, 1 SO, 2.02 GAA, .931 sv%
Regular season totals: 51 GP, 32-10-6, 5 SO, 1.86 GAA, .934 sv%
There will not be a repeat champion in the KHL this season after Novosibirsk toppled Magnitogorsk 3-1 in Game Five to clinch a 4-1 series victory. Ex-Blue Jackets pick Sergei Mozyakin had Magnitka's only goal in the match. 24 year old Stepan Sannikov led the way for Sibir with 1 goal and 1 assist.
With Magnitogorsk's loss, Jaroslav Janus is the only remaining active prospect in a European elite league, with his club, Sparta Praha, advancing to the Czech Extraliga Semifinal round.
We continue our Bolt Prospect of the Week award, an honor (virtually) given to one Tampa Bay Lightning prospect for his recent contributions on and off the ice.
The Bolt Prospect of the Week for March 18, 2015 is … Slater Koekkoek, D, Syracuse Crunch (AHL – USA).
Slater Koekkoek made a key adjustment, and now the points are starting to flow.
A mobile defenseman used to rushing the puck himself in junior hockey, the Syracuse Crunch rookie has learned to make a quick pass and then follow the play to look for offensive opportunities. Koekkoek’s transition has begun to pay dividends, as the Tampa Bay Lightning’s 2012 first-rounder recorded eight points and is a plus-6 in his last 10 games.
Western Hockey League
Swift Current Broncos 2 @ Moose Jaw Warriors 6
C Brayden Point, MJ: 1-0-1, E, 2 PIM
Season totals: 58 GP, 36-45-81, +8, 46 PIM
2013-14 totals: 72 GP, 36-55-91, -27, 53 PIM
Moose Jaw scored a huge win in an elimination game against Swift Current, winning 6-2. Point left the game injured, but later returned and scored Moose Jaw’s third goal on an adept re-direct of a slap-pass from the point. The Warriors pulled within two points of the Broncos for the last playoff spot in the division. Both teams have two games remaining; however, while the Broncos have 11th place Lethbridge twice, Moose Jaw has first place Brandon twice. It would take a minor miracle for Moose Jaw to get in. In the event of a tie, the team with the most victories takes the spot (currently 32-31 Broncos). If that is tied, it goes to most points earned in head-to-head, which finished 6-6 in points (3-3 with no OTL or SOL). It would then go to goals-for/against differential, and Swift Current has about an eight goal lead there. The first question will be if Brandon is resting its stars or not, giving Moose Jaw a chance.