Lightning Europe Playoff Extravaganza!!!:
After a sour start to the Junior A playoffs that saw Karri Ramo drop the first game of the series 7-2, Ramo and Pelicans A struck back today to tie the series at 1-1. Buoyed by a 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. 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.
Ahhhhh, my first European Hockey Update away from the third world dictatorship that HF has become. Lets begin:
All in all, the beat goes on in Europe for the Lightning's prospects. They have some excellent overage properties like Somervuori, But and Norrena but have yet to see the explosion from youngsters like Polushin and Kazionov they might've hoped for. The exception to the rule is 2004 entry draft 6th rounder Karri Ramo, who is emerging as one of the two best young goalies in all of Finland after having a remarkable performance at Traverse City.