Smolenak, Radek

Johnstown is In

Ryan Munce and Marek Kvapil save Johnstown's season by the barest of margins.

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Ryan Munce made a remarkable 49 saves on 52 shots in hostile territory on the road in an elimination game on the last day of the season. Have mercy. He took some guff from some of the BP users after being traded from the Kings organization, but you can't do anything but applaud what he's done in the last couple of weeks. Jean Desrochers potted a critical hat trick to lead the way offensively for the Chiefs. Gus Katsuras and Zbynek Hrdel added 1 goal and 1 assist while the other J-town goal came from Andrew Martens. Marek Kvapil, Johnstown's other savior, had 2 assists and Radek Smolenak and Ben Wallace had individual assists.

Wow. Johnstown was outshot 52-30 in the game but it didn't matter. Johnstown at 72 points finishes the season at .500 at 33-33-7 just 1 point ahead of Reading for the final North Division playoff spot. Johnstown now will face 4th place Trenton in an abbreviated first round series. Desrochers and Munce were named 1st and 2nd stars of the game.

First Period
REA Roussin, (8) (LaLonde), 1:31
JHN Desrochers, (15) (Wallace, Kvapil), 7:47
JHN Martens, (6) (Katsuras), 9:07
JHN Desrochers, (16) (Smolenak, Kvapil), 12:07 (PP)
JHN Katsuras, (12) (Hrdel), 13:28

Second Period
REA Zappala, (22) (Hogeboom, Werner), 4:02 (PP)
REA Zappala, (23) (Smith), 9:49

Third Period
JHN Desrochers, (17) , 18:30 (EN)
JHN Hrdel, (13) , 18:46

Game sheet from ECHL.com.

Bolt Prospects Prospect of the Month: March

Choosing this month's award winner was admittedly the most difficult of the season. A handful of prospects had good months, but none stepped up and seized the award by the throat leaving Bolt Prospects to have to spend some time thinking over the selection. In Springfield, Eric Healey paced the Falcons offensively (12 GP, 4-9-13, 2 PIM, -4) while Norm Milley played several inspired games (12 GP, 4-4-8, 14 PIM, -9). However, given Springfield's difficulty in winning hockey games we were hard pressed to give the award to a Falcon. For similar reasons, Chris Lawrence (9 GP, 6-4-10, 10 PIM, +2 and 4 GP, 3-0-3, 8 PIM, -6 in the playoffs) was eliminated from contention after his Mississauga Ice Dogs were unceremoniously upset in the first round of the OHL playoffs. So, this months winner was narrowed down to...

ECHL Game Night 4/6: Royals at Chiefs

Johnstown's season finale in Reading will be with a playoff spot on the line.

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Morgan Cey allowed 4 goals on 32 shots in the loss. Gus Katsuras had 1 goal and 1 assist for the Chiefs while Marek Kvapil and PJ Atherton added third period goals during a failed comeback bid. Maxime Boisclair, Dimitri Tarabrin, Bryan Nathe, Grant Jacobsen and Radek Smolenak added individual assists.

Wheeling's loss to Trenton tonight eliminates them from the playoffs. Reading leapfrogs Johnstown into the final North Division playoff spot with the win tonight with the Royals sitting at 71 points and the Chiefs at 70 points. Both teams are tied with 32 wins in the win column. So it comes down to tomorrow at 7:05 pm in Reading. Winner moves on. Loser hits the links.

First Period
REA Hogeboom, (30) (Zappala, Smith), 1:56
JHN Katsuras, (11) (Boisclair, Tarabrin), 16:53 (PP)

Second Period
REA Becker, (10) (Werner, Hogeboom), 5:49 (PP)
REA Collymore, (15) (Zappala, Hogeboom), 10:31
REA Collymore, (16) (Saurette, Bala), 13:30

Third Period
JHN Kvapil, (3) (Katsuras, Nathe), 10:13
JHN Atherton, (5) (Jacobsen, Smolenak), 18:54 (PP)

Game sheet from ECHL.com.

Bolt Prospects Prospect of the Week: 3/26-4/1

One of the Lightning's youngest guns helps to bring Johnstown's playoff hopes back from the dead. And no, I don't mean Radek Smolenak (4GP, 1-6-7). And, of course, there was Ryan Munce and his 3-0-0 record with a 1.00 GAA, 1 shutout and a .960 save percentage. But, this week's winner set it all in motion on a Tuesday morning somewhere in Southern Ohio.

ECHL Game Night 3/31: Bombers at Chiefs

If the playoffs started tonight, Johnstown would be in.

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Morgan Cey stopped 35 of 35 shots faced for the shutout. ATO Rob Lehtinen led the way with 1 goal and 1 assist while red hot Radek Smolenak had a pair of assists. John Adams had the other Chiefs goal and Marek Kvapil also stayed hot with an assist. Cey, Lehtinen and Adams were the game's three stars.

The win moves Johnstown back to .500 for the season at 31-31-6 and moves one point ahead of Reading into the final playoff spot in the ECHL North Division while still holding a game in hand. With Wheeling losing tonight to Cincinnati, Johnstown should have a 2 point lead on the Nailers as well at night's end. Johnstown controls their destiny and is now riding a three game winning streak in which they have beaten Cincinatti (#2 in the North Division), Toledo (#3 in the North Division) and Dayton (#1 in the North Division). Kvapil= season changer.

First Period
NO SCORING

Second Period
NO SCORING

Third Period
JHN Adams, (4) (Lehtinen, Smolenak), 4:14 (PP)
JHN Lehtinen, (2) (Kvapil, Smolenak), 8:34

Game sheet from ECHL.com.

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