The strength of the Lightning organization remains at the forward positions, where the team still boasts an impressive mix of star veterans like Martin St. Louis, Vincent Lecavalier, and Ryan Malone, and the game's best young star, Steven Stamkos. The team will spend some of its offseason tweaking its third line, and they made overtures to Swiss star Damien Brunner to try to improve their scoring depth on the wings. But, ultimately, the team should feel pretty solid offensively. Keeping the puck out of the back of their own net has always been the bigger challenge.
Yale Bulldogs 2 @ Harvard Crimson 8
ECAC quarterfinals: Harvard wins best-of-3 series 2-1
F Alex Killorn, HAR: 2-2-4, +4, 0 PIM, 7 SOG
Season totals: 32GP, 20-22-42, +10, 47 PIMs
After games one and two had three overtimes between them, 3-seed Harvard blew out their hated rivals in Game 3, 8-2. Killorn factored in on four of Harvardâ€™s first five goals after getting down 1-0 early to the Bulldogs. Game stars havenâ€™t been posted yet, but Killornâ€™s a sure bet to be at least second star. David Valek (undrafted) had a hat trick for Harvard, who advances to the ECAC semifinals in Atlantic City. Killorn will matchup against fellow Lightning prospect Kirill Gotovets and second-seeded Cornell.
Quinnipiac Bobcats 0 @ Colgate Raiders 4
ECAC Quarterfinals: Colgate wins best-of-3 series 2-1
F Matthew Peca, QU: 0-0-0, -1, 0 PIM, 4 SOG
Season totals: 39 GP, 8-31-39, E, 12 PIM
Colgate didnâ€™t leave much doubt when eliminating Quinnipiac in Game 3 on Sunday. The Raiders took a 3-0 lead into the third period and Eric Mihalik (undrafted) made 13 of his 21 saves in the third period to help Colgate advance to the ECAC semifinals to play Union. Pecaâ€™s seven-game point streak came to an end. With the loss, Quinnipiac's season is complete. Congratulations to the Bobcats for a fine year and to Peca, who was outstanding in his first collegiate season.
Dartmouth Big Green 1 @ No. 13 Cornell Big Red 3
ECAC Quarterfinals: Cornell wins best-of-3 series 2-0
D Kirill Gotovets, COR: 0-0-0, , 0 PIM, 2 SOG
Season totals: 20 GP, 1-6-7, +13, 12 PIM
Cornell scored three times in the first period and made the score hold up the rest of the way to advance to the ECAC semifinals in Atlantic City.
Yale Bulldogs 3 @ Harvard Crimson 4 (2OT)
ECAC quarterfinals: Best-of-3 series tied 1-1
F Alex Killorn, HAR: 0-2-2, E, 2 PIM (hitting after the whistle), 9 SOG
Season totals: 31GP, 18-20-38, +6, 47 PIMs
For the second straight game Harvard and Yale went to overtime, but this time it was the Crimson who prevailed. Alex Killorn had a team-leading nine shots on goal on Saturday after only registering one on Friday night. Defenseman Dan Ford (undrafted) scored the double overtime winner for Harvard â€“ his second goal of the season. The series-deciding Game 3 will be played Sunday at Harvard.
No.15 Michigan State Spartans 1 @ No. 11 Miami RedHawks 4
CCHA Quarterfinals: Miami wins best-of-3 series 2-0
F Jimmy Mullin, MIA: 0-1-1, E, 0 PIM, 0 SOG
Season totals: 33 GP, 11-15-26, +16, 10 PIM
Mullin assisted on the gameâ€™s first goal and for the second night in a row Miami had a huge second period as they eliminated Michigan State from the CCHA playoff race with a 4-1 victory. The RedHawks scored three times in the second period to blow open a 1-1 game. Miami advances to the ECAC semifinals at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit.
Note: Brendan Oâ€™Donnell (North Dakota) is out for the season after undergoing shoulder surgery this week.
Quinnipiac Bobcats 4 @ Colgate Raiders 2
ECAC Quarterfinals: Best-of-3 series tied 1-1
F Matthew Peca, QU: 0-3-3, +2, 0 PIM, 3 SOG
Season totals: 38 GP, 8-31-39, +1, 12 PIM
Quinnipiac staved off elimination in the ECAC tournament with a 4-2 win over the Raiders. Matt Peca extended his point streak to seven games with a three-point night. He is now over a point-per-game. Game 3 is Sunday at Colgate.
No.20 Lake Superior State Lakers 2 @ No. 16 Western Michigan Broncos 5
CCHA Quarterfinals: WMU wins best-of-3 series 2-0[/b]
[i]D Luke Witkowski, WMU: 1-0-1, +1, 2 PIM (cross-checking), 3 SOG
Season totals: 37 GP, 2-10-12, +7, 47 PIM
Witkowski (pictured) scored his second goal of the season to open the scoring and WMU built a 5-0 lead on their way to a win, sweep of LSSU, and a trip to Detroit for the CCHA semifinals for the second year in a row â€“ a first for Bronco hockey. Free agent defenseman Dan DeKeyser had two helpers in the game.
*USCHO poll used
Brown Bears 2 @ Quinnipiac Bobcats 4
ECAC First Round: Quinnipiac wins best of 3 series, 2-1
F Matthew Peca, QU: 0-1-1, E, 0 PIM, 3 SOG
Season totals: 37 GP, 8-27-35, +2, 12 PIM
It took longer than expected, but the fifth-seeded Bobcats finally eliminated last place Brown. The Bears, who upset Quinnipiac on Friday to take a 1-0 lead in their opening round series of the ECAC playoffs, went down 3-0 on Sunday after two periods in the decisive Game 3, only to come roaring back to make it 3-2 four minutes into the third period. Quinnipiac held on and eventually added an empty netter with 15 seconds left in the game. Lightning prospect Matt Peca had the primary assist on his teamâ€™s first goal, which made it 11 straight Bobcat goals he either scored or assisted on. That streak stopped with the Bobcatsâ€™ second goal of the game. Quinnipiac advances to play Colgate starting next Friday.
Vermont Catamounts 0 @ No. 1 Boston College Eagles 4
F Matt Marshall, UVM: Did not play (injured)
Season totals: 2 GP, 0-0-0, E, 2 PIM
And thatâ€™s that. Vermontâ€™s season ended with a lopsided loss to the nationâ€™s top team. Marshall (pictured), a fifth round pick of the Bolts in 2007, will graduate this spring. Where his hockey career goes from here â€“ if anywhere â€“ is up in the air. The speedy winger known for his forechecking finishes his collegiate career with five goals and 14 points in 86 games. His career at Vermont was marred by injuries and frequent scratches. He was honored at senior night last weekend by the Catamounts, but was unable to play due to recovery from surgery.
Brown Bears 0 @ Quinnipiac Bobcats 3
ECAC First Round: Best of 3 series tied 1-1
F Matthew Peca, QU: 1-2-3, +1, 0 PIM, 8 SOG, *Third Star*
Season totals: 36 GP, 8-26-34, +2, 12 PIM
Friday night Brown came into Connecticut determined to show that just because they finished the season last in the conference didnâ€™t mean they had to lie down in the playoffs. Peca admitted to the media that his team was flat and looked tired. He did his part Saturday to remedy that as he led the team with eight shots on goal and tied for the team lead with three points as QU tied the best of three series 1-1. The Bobcats outshot the Bears 42-16. Game 3 is Sunday. Peca has now factored in on every Quinnipiac goal for the last four games â€“ 10 goals (1-9-10). According to the Quinnipiac Chronicle, Peca's 26 assists are the third most for a Quinnipiac freshman in program history, while his 34 points are good for fourth all-time.