Helenius, Riku

European Game Day: 3-15-12

SM-liiga (Finland):
JYP 4 @ Karpat 1
Riku Helenius, JYP, DNP
Season totals: 33 GP, 21-9-1, 7 SO, 1.64 GAA, .936 sv%

With nothing on the line, JYP started backup Joni Myllykoski in their regular season ending 4-1 win over Karpat. JYP finishes the regular season 4th on the SM-liiga table. Karpat, which would've finished in the top-6 of the league with a win, instead finishes 7th and will now have to play in the opening play-in round. JYP already knows who their Semifinal Round opponent will be: 5th seed Assat. The Semifinals will begin next Thursday, the 22nd.

MHL Western Conference Quarterfinals (Russia Jr.)
CSKA Jr. 2 @ St. Petersburg Jr. 5
St. Petersburg Jr. Leads the Series 1-0
Nikita Kucherov, CSKA Jr., 0-1-1, -2, 0 PIM, 2 SOG
Playoff totals (MHL): 1 GP, 0-1-1, -2, 0 PIM
Regular Season totals (MHL): 23 GP, 24-19-43, +16, 40 PIM
Regular Season totals (KHL): 18 GP, 1-3-4, -1, 4 PIM

Nikita Kucherov assisted on Nikita Gusev's game opening power play goal, but it was all downhill from there for CSKA Jr. in their Game One loss to St. Petersburg Jr. Ex-Blue Jackets first rounder Nikita Filatov scored CSKA Jr.'s other goal. Game Two is Friday.

SM-liiga Game Day: 3-13-12

SM-liiga (Finland):
Jokerit @ @ JYP 3 (OT)
Riku Helenius, JYP, Win, 30/32, 1.98 GAA, .938 sv%
Season totals: 33 GP, 21-9-1, 7 SO, 1.64 GAA, .936 sv%

Sami Vatanen's goal at 0:45 of overtime propelled JYP to a 3-2 win over Jokerit and clinched a first round bye in the postseason for his club. Lightning prospect Riku Helenius stopped 30 shots in the game and was named the second star. JYP's final game of the regular season will come against a hungry Karpat club on Thursday. Karpat is tied with Jokerit at 99 points for the 6th spot on the SM-liiga table, which is the last spot in the standings that will receive a first round bye. JYP will finish no worse than 5th.

Will Riku Helenius, second in the league in save percentage and first in GAA and shutouts, win the coveted Urpo Ylonen Trophy as the league's best netminder? Past winners of the award have included Niklas Backstrom, Karri Lehtonen, Pasi Nurminen, Miikka Kiprusoff, and Tim Thomas, all of whom went on to become starting goaltenders in the NHL. Can Bolt Prospects simultaneously sustain a campaign to win the Urpo Ylonen for Helenius and AHL Coach of the Year for Jon Cooper?

Give Rik the Urpo!

European Game Day: 3-10-12

SM-liiga (Finland):
JYP 3 @ KalPa 0
Riku Helenius, JYP, Win, SO, 18/18, 0.00 GAA, 1.000 sv%
Season totals: 32 GP, 20-9-1, 7 SO, 1.62 GAA, .936 sv%

Riku Helenius and JYP dominated the league's top team, KalPa, 3-0, to move themselves within an eyelash of clinching a first round playoff bye. Helenius posted his 7th shutout of the season and was named third star of the game. He is now second in the league in save percentage, first in GAA, and first in shutouts. His shutout mark is particularly impressive given he was in a tandem starter situation for much of the first half of the season. With 2 games remaining in the regular season, JYP's magic number is 1 point: 1 point gained or 1 point lost by 7th place Karpat, to clinch the opening round bye. They face Jokerit next on Tuesday.

KHL Playoff (Russia):
It's been all chalk so far in the KHL playoffs as all higher seeds have won in the Quarterfinal round, thus far. Novgorod knocked off Dynamo Riga 2-0 today in Game Seven to finalize the combatants in the Semis in the West. In the East, Magnitogorsk and Astana go in Game Seven tomorrow, after which we'll know who top seed Chelyabinsk will face in the Semis.

MHL (Russia Jr.):
Chelyabinsk Jr. 1 @ Novokuznetsk Jr. 5
Nikita Nesterov, Chelyabinsk Jr., 0-0-0, -1, 2 PIM, 5 SOG
Regular Season totals (MHL): 41 GP, 11-20-31, +11, 66 PIM
Regular season totals (KHL): 10 GP, 0-0-0, +8, 4 PIM
Playoff totals (KHL): 2 GP, 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM

While the big club awaits for a Semifinal opponent, Nikita Nesterov was back with the junior team today in its 5-1 loss to Novokuznetsk Jr. He took a minor for slashing in the contest. The game was Chelyabinsk Jr.'s final contest of the regular season. The team did not qualify for the playoffs out of the Ural-Siberia Division, finishing 6th of 8 teams. Expect Nesterov to be a Black Ace and spot starter for the KHL side for the remainder of their playoff run.

KHK MVD Jr. 4 @ CSKA Jr. 5 (OT)
Nikita Kucherov, CSKA Jr., DNP
Regular Season totals (MHL): 23 GP, 24-19-43, +16, 40 PIM
Regular Season totals (KHL): 18 GP, 1-3-4, -1, 4 PIM

In the "just not fair" department, CSKA, which was eliminated from the KHL postseason, sent former Blue Jackets first rounder Nikita Filatov down to the MHL today. All he did was post 1-2-3 to lead CSKA Jr. to a 5-4 OT win over KHK MVD Jr. Nikita Kucherov did not appear in the match. CSKA Jr. has qualified for the postseason, finishing 2nd in the Central Division, and will have the opportunity to defend their MHL title in the playoffs. One would think if they're allowed to play Filatov, they might have a really good chance to do just that.

SM-slutspel Quarterfinals (Sweden)
(7) AIK 3 @ (1) Lulea 6
Johan Harju, Lulea, 1-1-2, +1, 0 PIM, 6 SOG
Playoff totals: 1 GP, 1-1-2, +1, 0 PIM
Regular eason totals: 53 GP, 15-10-25, +12, 16 PIM

Johan Harju had a power play goal and even strength assist in Lulea's 6-3 Game One thumping of AIK. Game Two is Monday.

European Game Day: 3-8-12

SM-liiga (Finland):
Lukko 3 @ JYP 4
Riku Helenius, JYP, DNP
Season totals: 31 GP, 19-9-1, 6 SO, 1.68 GAA, .935 sv%

Ex-Lightning forward Eric Perrin's goal with 2:56 left in regulation broke a 3-3 tie and lifted JYP to a key 4-3 win over Lukko. The goal capped a hat trick for Perrin, who was named second star of the game. The victory moved JYP to third on the SM-liiga table, 4 points ahead of 7th place Assat, as the club tries to cling to its first round bye in the playoffs. JYP has three games remaining in the regular season, starting with KalPa on Saturday.

KHL Western Conference Quarterfinals (Russia)
(5) Cherepovets 1 @ (4) Mytischi 2
Mytischi Wins the Series 4-2
Vasily Koshechkin, Cherepovets, Loss, 28/30, 2.05 GAA, .933 sv%
Playoff totals: 6 GP, 2-4-0, 1 SO, 1.32 GAA, .958 sv%
Regular season totals: 33 GP, 16-11-1, 6 SO, 2.37 GAA, .925 sv%

Ex-NHLer Nikolai Zherdev's goal with 5:00 left in regulation capped a 2 goal third period comeback and lifted Mytischi to a 2-1 Game Six win over Cherepovets. Severstal was eliminated from the playoffs in the defeat. Ex-Lightning first rounder Nikita Alexeev had Cherepovets' only goal.

St. Petersburg, Dynamo Moscow, and Mytischi are through to the Semifinals in the West. Novgorod and Riga go on Saturday in a Game Seven matchup to determine who else makes it to the next round.

MHL (Russia Jr.)
KHK MVD Jr. 2 @ CSKA Jr. 4
Nikita Kucherov, CSKA Jr., 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 4 SOG
Season totals (MHL): 23 GP, 24-19-43, +16, 40 PIM
Season totals (KHL): 18 GP, 1-3-4, -1, 4 PIM

In a rare event, Nikita Kucherov was held off the board in CSKA Jr.'s 4-2 win over KHK MVD Jr. The two teams rematch on Saturday.

SM-Slutspel (Sweden):
Lulea's opening round series with AIK will begin on Saturday in Lulea. Due to a peculiarity in the Elitserien playoff format, Johan Harju and top seed Lulea get the 7th seed, AIK, instead of the 8th seed, MODO.

European Game Day: 3-5-12 and 3-6-12

3-5-12
KHL Eastern Conference Quarterfinals (Russia)
(8)Khanty-Mansiysk 3 @ (1)Chelyabinsk 6
Chelyabinsk Leads the Series 3-1
Nikita Nesterov, Chelyabinsk, 0-0-0, -1, 0 PIM, 0 SOG
Playoff totals (KHL): 2 GP, 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM
Regular season totals (KHL): 10 GP, 0-0-0, +8, 4 PIM
Regular season totals (MHL): 39 GP, 10-20-30, +13, 64 PIM

Ex-NHLer Stan Chistov had 2 goals and 1 assist in Chelyabinsk's 6-3 win over Yugra. Nikita Nesterov made his second appearance of the postseason after playing 1:54 in Chelyabinsk's wild 7-6 win on Sunday. He played 1:14 in Monday's match. Game Five is Wednesday.

Elsewhere, CSKA was eliminated from the KHL postseason after St. Peterburg clubbed them 5-0 in Game Five. Nikita Kucherov did not appear for CSKA in Game Five.

3-6-12
SM-liiga (Finland):
HIFK 2 @ JYP 1
Riku Helenius, JYP, Loss, 25/27, 2.01 GAA, .926 sv%
Season totals: 31 GP, 19-9-1, 6 SO, 1.68 GAA, .935 sv%

For the first time in a very long time, Riku Helenius has a multi-game losing streak as HIFK defeated JYP 2-1. 3 games remain in the regular season for JYP. They hover a precarious 2 points ahead of 7th place Jokerit in their pursuit of a first round playoff bye, and they'll face Lukko on Thursday.

KHL Western Conference Quarterfinals (Russia)
(4)Mytischi 3 @ (5) Cherepovets 1
Mytischi Leads the Series 3-2
Vasily Koshechkin, Cherepovets, Loss, 32/34, 2.03 GAA, .941 sv%
Playoff totals: 5 GP, 2-3-0, 1 SO, 1.18 GAA, .963 sv%
Regular season totals: 33 GP, 16-11-1, 6 SO, 2.37 GAA, .925 sv%

Ex-NHLer Branko Radivojevic scored a pair of goals to lead Mytischi to a critical Game Five win over Cherepovets. Ex-Blue Jackets first round Nikolai Zherdev had Mytischi's other goal in the match. Game Six is Thursday.

MHL (Russia Jr.):
CSKA Jr. 12 @ Kirov-Chepetsk 3
Nikita Kucherov, CSKA Jr., 3-1-4, +5, 0 PIM, 5 SOG
Season totals (MHL): 22 GP, 24-19-43, +16, 40 PIM
Season totals (KHL): 18 GP, 1-3-4, -1, 4 PIM

Nikita Kucherov returned with a vengeance, notching a hat trick and an assist as CSKA Jr. dismantled Kirov-Chepetsk 12-3. Kucherov's long time linemate Nikita Gusev posted an even more impressive 2 goals and 6 points in the win. CSKA Jr. faces KHK MVD Jr. on Thursday.

Elitserien (Sweden):
Vaxjo 1 @ Lulea 4
Johan Harju, Lulea, 0-1-1, +2, 0 PIM, 1 SOG
Season totals: 53 GP, 15-10-25, +12, 16 PIM

Johan Harju assisted on a third period goal in their 4-1 rout of Vaxjo. For Lulea, the game was their season finale. Lulea finishes out the regular season in the top spot in the Elitserien after going 25-13-17 this year. Lulea will face 8th place MODO in the first round of the playoffs. MODO finished 19-22-14 this year, and is the only postseason participant to have a negative goal differential (-1).

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