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.

ECHL Game Night 3/30: Storm at Chiefs

All of a sudden, with Special K as the spark, the playoff math is starting to favor the Chiefs.

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Ryan Munce made 24 stops for the win. The former Kings draft pick has won 3 of his last 4 starts. Radek Smolenak posted a 1 goal and 3 assist night to pace the Chiefs. Marek Kvapil added 3 assists and Gus Katsuras chipped in a pair of goals. Zbynek Hrdel had 1 goal and 1 assist and PJ Atherton had 2 assists to complete the list of 5 Chiefs players who posted multi-point nights. Defensemen John Adams and Ian MacLean had the team's other goals. Maxime Boisclair and Andrew Martens added individual helpers. Smolenak, Katsuras and Kvapil were named the game's three stars.

And just like that Johnstown is just 1 point out of a playoff spot with 2 games in hand on the Reading Royals.

First Period
JHN Katsuras, (8) (Boisclair, Hrdel), 2:10
TOL Martin, (11) (Walsh, Blight), 6:40
JHN Hrdel, (11) (Kvapil, Smolenak), 14:46 (PP)
JHN Adams, (3) (Kvapil, Smolenak), 18:22 (PP)

Second Period
JHN MacLean, (3) (Smolenak, Kvapil), 5:07
JHN Smolenak, (15) (Atherton, Martens), 8:20
JHN Katsuras, (9) (Atherton), 19:10 (PP)

Third Period
NO SCORING

Game sheet from ECHL.com.

ECHL Game Day 3/27: Chiefs at Cyclones

In a bizarre 10:30 AM start in Cincinatti, Special K strikes.

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Ryan Munce allowed 1 goal on 26 shots for the win. Marek Kvapil had 2 goals and 1 assist in his first game down with the Chiefs. Zbynek Hrdel had the other Chiefs goal and Radek Smolenak added an individual assist. Kvapil, Munce and Hrdel were named the game's three stars.

Johnstown is now 3 points behind Reading for the final North Division playoff spot with 2 games in hand.

First Period
NO SCORING

Second Period
NO SCORING

Third Period
JHN Hrdel, (10) (Kvapil, Smolenak), 2:18 (PP)
CIN Lisabeth, (18) (Ehgoetz, Gleed), 12:09
JHN Kvapil, (1) , 13:37
JHN Kvapil, (2) , 19:05 (EN)

Game sheet from ECHL.com.

ECHL Game Night 2/24: Chiefs at Bombers

Big win. They're all big at this point.

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DAY-2 (SO)

Ryan Munce stopped 45 shots in regulation and overtime before stopping all six Dayton attempts he faced in the shootout. Maxime Boisclair and Radek Smolenak had the Johnstown goals while Gus Katsuras, Geoff Waugh, Rob Lehtinen and Eric Przepiorka added assists. Zbynek Hrdel scored the lone goal of the shootout session. Hrdel and Smolenak were named first and third stars of the game.

Johnstown's win temporarily moved them within 5 points of a playoff spot, pending the final outcome of Reading's game which is in overtime. Johnstown will hold 3 games in hand on the Royals at night's end.

Game sheet from ECHL.com.

ECHL Game Night 3/21: Chiefs at Titans

Johnstown shows a flicker of hope.

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Morgan Cey stopped 34 of 37 shots faced for the win. Gus Katsuras led the way offensively with 1 goal and 2 assists while fellow rookie Maxime Boisclair had 1 goal and 1 assist. Dimitri Tarabrin and Zbynek Hrdel had the other Johnstown goals with Doug Andress, Jean Desrochers and Andrew Martens adding individual helpers.

The win moves Johnstown six points behind Reading for the final North Division playoff spot with three games in hand. And, with Radek Smolenak and PJ Atherton back in the fold, maybe the Chiefs aren't quite ready to die just yet. Every game is a must win from here on out.

First Period
JHN Hrdel, (9) (Katsuras, Andress), 1:02
JHN Boisclair, (15) (Katsuras), 12:02
TREN Mondou, (20) (Pandolfo), 17:07 (PP)

Second Period
TREN Haggett, (19) (Pandolfo, Mondou), 7:02
JHN Katsuras, (7) (Boisclair, Martens), 17:42

Third Period
JHN Tarabrin, (16) (Desrochers), 8:04
TREN Bertoli, (22) (Zancanaro, Haggett), 14:39

Game sheet from ECHL.com.

Atherton, Smolenak Return to Johnstown

According to ECHL.com, the Tampa Bay Lightning have reassigned rookie left wing Radek Smolenak and the Springfield Falcons of the American Hockey League have reassigned rookie defenseman P.J. Atherton to Johnstown.

Smolenak has 25 points (13g-12a) and 31 penalty minutes in 32 games with Johnstown and one assist and eight penalty minutes in 20 games with Springfield.

Atherton has 26 points (4g-22a) and 46 penalty minutes in 49 games with Johnstown and two points (1g-1a) and two penalty minutes in seven games with Springfield.

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