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CHL Playoffs Game Night: 5-1-15

Western Hockey League
Eastern Conference Finals

East-2 Calgary Hitmen 2 @ East-1 Brandon Wheat Kings 8
Brandon wins best-of-7 series, 4-1

D Ben Thomas, CAL: 0-0-0, -1, 0 PIM
Playoff totals: 17 GP, 0-4-4, -5, 2 PIM
Season totals: 60 GP, 7-24-31, +16, 28 PIM
2013-14 totals: 72 GP, 7-24-31, +11, 39 PIM

Brandon scored eight goals for the second straight game, sending the Hitmen to the golf course by winning the series, 4-1. The Wheat Kings will play the winner of Kelowna and Portland in the WHL finals. That series is currently tied at two games apiece. This ends the season of Ben Thomas, who still has another year of juniors to play before being up for contract consideration. He didn’t put up many numbers in the postseason after a solid regular season. He was getting solid minutes for Calgary in their run to the Eastern Conference Finals.

CHL Playoffs Game Night: 4-30-2015

Ontario Hockey League
Western Conference Finals

West-2 Erie Otters 2 @ West-1 Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds 4
Erie leads best-of-7 series, 3-2

D Anthony DeAngelo, SOO: 0-1-1, E, 2 PIM
Playoff Totals: 12 GP, 0-15-15, +14, 14 PIM
With SSM: 26 GP, 15-36-51, +33, 51 PIM
With Sarnia: 29 GP, 10-28-38, +1, 64 PIM
Season totals: 55 GP, 25-64-89, +34, 115 PIM
2013-14 totals: 51 GP, 15-56-71, -34, 90 PIM

The Greyhounds forced a Game 6 with a close-fought, 4-2 win at home Thursday night. The Soo outshot Erie 28-13 through two periods, but the score was 1-1 entering the final frame. The teams traded goals before Bryan Moore scored at 12:55 to give the Soo a 3-2 lead. They added an empty net shorthanded goal with DeAngelo in the box for delay of game in the final minute. DeAngelo had his first assist in his last four games played. Game 6 is Saturday in Erie.

CHL Playoffs Game Night: 4-29-15

Western Hockey League
Eastern Conference Finals

East-1 Brandon Wheat Kings 8 @ East-2 Calgary Hitmen 3
Brandon leads best-of-7 series, 3-1

D Ben Thomas, CAL: 0-0-0, -3, 0 PIM
Playoff totals: 15 GP, 0-4-4, -2, 2 PIM
Season totals: 60 GP, 7-24-31, +16, 28 PIM
2013-14 totals: 72 GP, 7-24-31, +11, 39 PIM

After an overtime loss in Game 3, Brandon made a statement in Game 4, thrashing the Hitmen 8-3. The Wheat Kings can close out the series Friday night.

Crunch Swept By Penguins in First Round


By Jeremy Houghtaling

Down to the final buzzer, the Syracuse Crunch couldn't find a way out of their slump.

The Crunch tied the score late in the first period but the Penguins finished with three power play goals and goalie Matt Murray shut the door with 33 saves, as Wilkes-Barre/Scranton beat Syracuse, 5-2, in Game 3 the Eastern Conference quarterfinals at the Onondaga County War Memorial Wednesday.

The Crunch lost 12 of their final 13 games and was swept 3-0 in the series.

"I thought we had a great run up until the last three weeks of the season," said Crunch head coach Rob Zettler. "I didn't see a lot of ups and downs. I saw a pretty consistent hockey team that won a lot of games and worked extremely hard and played really well."

NHL Playoff Game Night: 4-29-15 Red Wings at Lightning

Bishop rises up.

Eastern Conference Quarterfinals
Game Seven

DET-0
TB-2

Tampa Bay Wins the Series 4-3

Ben Bishop stopped all 31 shots he faced for the shutout win in the clutchest of clutch moments. He was not on his game to start, fighting the puck hard for the first 25 minutes or so of the game. But, the longer it went on, the stronger Bishop got. By the end, Bishop looked sharp as a razor and ready to hand out his brand of U of Maine Justice in the postseason for the very first time. It's appropriate that on the night of Bobby Taylor's last broadcast at color of Sun Sports that his fellow Goalies Union, Local 813 member stole the show.

First Period
NO SCORING

Second Period
NO SCORING

Third Period
3:58 TB Coburn (1), (Callahan, Killorn)
18:42 TB Stralman (1), (Bishop)(EN)

The Lightning pilfered this one. They were incredibly nervous and played about 45 minutes of scared, hot potato hockey. That said, they hustled, they worked hard, and they capitalized on the break when it came to them on Coburn's goal. It wasn't pretty. Cripes, even the anthem singer was playing hurt. But, in the end, figuring out how to pull out a series like this is so critically important for an extremely young team trying to make a transition to becoming an elite franchise. Now that they have that experience, it's going to get easier from here on out because they've lived through a tight series against a difficult, veteran opponent where they had to overcome a lot of adversity. It bodes well for the Montreal series and on into the future.

It also bodes well, in a weird way, that Stamkos and Kucherov still couldn't get a goal. For those two guys to go 7 games without a goal has to be the very definition of, "due." If I were the Canadiens, I'd be pretty terrified because if either of those guys get 1, especially Stamkos, the floodgates are liable to open. Both players had ten bell opportunities they just missed in Game Seven.

Going against hometown Montreal, might we also see Jonathan Drouin again starting Friday? It still seems that Stamkos needs a little more speed/skill on his wing, and Drouin has it. Just sayin'.

Nikita Nesterov had 1 shot in 10:02. For the little he played, he was very assertive and nearly won the game himself with a near end to end rush on one power play. He's forced his way into the lineup and forced Cooper and the staff to play 7 defensemen.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

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