Game Two goes according to plan.
Syracuse Leads the Best-of-Five Series 2-0
Cedrick Desjardins allowed 2 goals on 20 shots for the victory. He looked much more solid tonight in net. The team needs him to play like that moving forward if they want to reach their ultimate goal.
SYR Palat, (1) (Johnson, Taormina), 9:33
SYR Brown, (1) (Angelidis, Wyman), 10:41
SYR Johnson, (2) (Palat), 0:49 (SH)
SYR Connolly, (1) (Sexton, Devos), 14:36
POR Gormley, (1) (Shinnimin, Johnson), 16:50
POR Johnson, (1) (Lessio, Gormley), 9:40
I continue to be extremely impressed by Palat. He's been the complete package through 2 games in this series. Just like last season, good things happen when the man has the puck. I was also impressed with Vladislav Namestnikov, who got a lot more ice time with Richard Panik getting kicked out after a secondary altercation. Portland tried targeting Namestnikov, and Vladdy rose to the challenge. He was feisty and he landed some good hits in the Third Period, to go along with his usual puckhandling and playmaking.
Game Three is Thursday in Portland. This is where Zettler's going to earn his big boy coaching pants. Portland's going to throw everything they have left at Syracuse in the First Period, and if Syracuse is complacent, bad things will happen. Playoffs are about attrition as much as anything, and if you have a chance to finish an opponent off, you do it. Anything that extends a series is another set of shifts where one of your key players can get hurt, so you have to finish the drill ASAP, and with Providence falling behind 2-0 in their series and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton up 2-0 in theirs, it's looking like a very good Pens team is lurking on the horizon. Syracuse wants to be healthy and rested for that potential opponent.
Box score from TheAHL.com.
(4)Florida Everblades 4 vs. (1)Reading Royals 5 (OT)
Quarterfinals: Reading leads the best-of-seven series 3-2
D Charles Landry, FLA: 0-0-0, +1, 1 SOG, 2 PIM (hooking)
Playoff totals: 11 GP, 0-1-1, -2, 11 PIM
Season totals: 51 GP, 4-12-16, +7, 33 PIM
Florida stormed back from a two-goal first period deficit to stake a 4-2 past the midpoint of the final frame but Reading scored power play goals just minutes apart with regulation play winding down to force the match into overtime before finishing the Everblades for the second consecutive night. Brady Hjelle made his first start in net for the home squad, stopping 25 of 29 shots in defeat. Charles Landry's hooking minor with under three minutes remaining led to the game-tying Royals goal. With its fate hanging in the balance, Florida now heads back to Reading. The Everblades will get their crack at the Royals on Tuesday night in order to try and force a Game 7 come Wednesday.
Quebec Major Junior Hockey League
(2)Baie-Comeau Drakkar 4 @ (3)Blainville-Boisbriand Armada 0
Drakkar wins Best-of-7 Semifinals, 4-2
C Cedric Paquette, BLB: 0-0-0, -2, 2 PIM, 2 SOG, 1 Hit
Playoff totals: 15 GP, 7-5-12, +3, 31 PIM
Season totals: 63 GP, 27-56-83, +29, 103 PIM
The Drakkar eliminated the Armada four games to two with a 4-0 shutout win on Sunday. Cedric Paquette finished his junior career scoreless in seven straight games after starting the playoffs on fire. He could be signed and assigned to AHL Syracuse to practice with the Crunch for the duration of the AHL playoffs, though unlike Nikita Kucherov, Paquette isn’t already signed. He is expected to be signed at some time in the offseason and the agitator should spend some time with AHL Syracuse next year.
The Drakkar will play powerhouse Halifax in the QMJHL Finals. If Tampa Bay remains in the third draft slot after Monday's lottery, we will follow Nathan MacKinnon and Jonathan Drouin for the rest of Halifax's playoff and Memorial Cup run. Seth Jones is expected to go first or second, pushing one of the Mooseheads to the Lightning.
The last North American junior prospect remaining for the Lightning is Jake Dotchin of Barrie, who plays Game 7 against Belleville on Monday night.
After two potential game-winning goals were waved off in overtime, Richard Panik provided one that left little doubt.
The Syracuse Crunch forward accepted the pass from Ondrej Palat, spun to the left across the crease, and put the puck over Portland Pirates goalie Chad Johnson. No stranger to overtime goals, Panik was nonchalant about the play.
"Just a good move I guess," he said with a smile.
The goal capped a come-from-behind 4-3 overtime win for the No. 3 Crunch over the No. 6 Portland Pirates in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals at the Onondaga County War Memorial Saturday. Syracuse hosts Game 2 Sunday.
Ontario Hockey League
(E1)Belleville Bulls 3 @ (E2)Barrie Colts 1
Best-of-7 Eastern Conference Finals tied, 3-3
D Jake Dotchin, BAR: 0-0-0, +1, 4 PIM
Playoff totals: 14 GP, 1-4-5, +6, 25 PIM
Season totals: 66 GP, 4-18-22, E, 81 PIM
With Barrie: 28 GP, 2-6-8, -1, 42 PIM
With Owen Sound: 38 GP, 2-12-14, +1, 39 PIM
The Colts held a 3-1 lead in the series but twice have failed to close out the Bulls, this time falling 3-1 at home. Bruins first rounder Malcolm Subban stopped 32 of 33 shots for second star honors. Canucks first rounder Brendan Gaunce had two goals for Belleville. Game 7 is in Belleville on Monday.