European Leagues

Kval till Elitserien Game Day: 3-27-10

Kval till Elitserien
Almtuna 1 @ Sodertalje 3
Riku Helenius, Sodertalje, Win, 22/23, 1.00 GAA, .957 sv%
Season totals: 9 GP, 4-2-2, 0 SO, 2.42 GAA, .923 sv%
Kval till Elitserien totals: 4 GP, 4-0-0, 1 SO, 1.50 GAA, .941 sv%

Things continue to run as smooth as silk for Sodertalje in Sweden's promotion/relegation tournament. The club got a pair of goals today from defenseman and ex-Panthers draft pick Topi Jaakola en route to a 3-1 win over Allsvenskan side Almtuna. Sodertalje leads the series by five points over the other Elitserien team in the series, Rogle, and by six points over the third place side, Leksands. The top two teams in the six game series with the most points after the ten game series is complete will earn their spots in the Elitserien next season. So, with another couple of wins, Helenius and Sodertalje should be close to clinching. As a reminder: wins count for three points in the standings in Sweden.

KHL Playoff Game Day: 3-26-10

Eastern Conference Semifinals
(2)Magnitogorsk 1 @ (3)Kazan 3
Kazan Leads the Series 3-2
Dmitri Kazionov, Kazan, 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 2 SOG
Season totals: 52 GP, 18-9-27, +7, 18 PIM
Playoff totals: 8 GP, 1-1-2, +4, 4 PIM

Vasily Koshechkin, Magnitogorsk, Loss, 21/24, 4.50 GAA, .875 sv%
Season totals: 49 GP, 25-16-8, 8 SO, 1.96 GAA, .927 sv%
Playoff totals: 8 GP, 5-3, 1 SO, 1.90 GAA, .935 sv%

Vasily Koshechkin was chased after 40 minutes as Kazan seized a 3-2 series lead over Magnitogorsk by defeating Metallurg 3-1. Lightning prospect Dmitri Kazionov played 17:31 in the match. Jarkko Immonen had 1 goal and 2 assists in the match for Kazan. Game Six is on Sunday.

Elsewhere, Yulaev defeated Nizhnekamsk 2-1 in overtime to take a 3-2 Eastern Conference Semifinal lead in their series. Tomorrow, Yaroslavl will attempt to close out Spartak Moscow in Game Six of their Western Conference Semifinal series.

European Game Day: 3-25-10

KHL (Russia) Western Conference Semifinals
(2)KHK MVD 3 @ (8)Dynamo Riga 2 (OT)
KHK MVD Wins the Series 4-1
Martins Karsums, Dynamo Riga, 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 3 SOG
Season totals: 12 GP, 4-4-8, +6, 16 PIM
Playoff totals: 9 GP, 2-1-3, -1, 4 PIM

Happy trails to Martins Karsums and Dynamo Riga. Alexei Ugarov scored a goal for KHK MVD 3:38 into the second overtime to topple Riga in Game Five and clinch a 4-1 semifinal series win. Karsums played 23:50 in the match. KHK MVD is the first team in the KHL playoffs to advance to their conference's finals.

Elsewhere today, Yaroslavl defeated Spartak Moscow 2-1 to take a 3-2 series lead in their Western Conference Semifinal. Tomorrow will feature a pair of pivotal Game Five matchups in the Eastern Conference, including Magnitogorsk at Kazan.

Kval till Elitserien (Sweden)
Sodertalje 3 @ Leksands 2
Riku Helenius, Sodertalje, Win, 22/24, 2.00 GAA, .917 sv%
Season totals: 9 GP, 4-2-2, 0 SO, 2.42 GAA, .923 sv%
Playoff totals: 3 GP, 3-0-0, 1 SO, 1.67 GAA, .937 sv%

Sodertalje overcame 1 goal and 1 assist by Coyotes first rounder Olivier Ekman-Larsson to stay undefeated in the Kval till Elitserien. Lightning prospect Riku Helenius ran his record to 3-0-0 in the promotion/relegation series with the win. Sodertalje faces Allsvenskan side Almtuna on Saturday in their fourth game of the ten game series.

KHL Playoff Game Day: 3-24-10

KHL Eastern Conference Semifinals
(3)Kazan 1 @ (2)Magnitogorsk 2
The Series is Tied 2-2
Vasily Koshechkin, Magnitogorsk, Win, 23/24, 1.00 GAA, .958 sv%
Season totals: 49 GP, 25-16-8, 8 SO, 1.96 GAA, .927 sv%
Playoff totals: 7 GP, 5-2, 1 SO, 1.66 GAA, .942 sv%

Dmitri Kazionov, Kazan, 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 3 SOG
Season totals: 52 GP, 18-9-27, +7, 18 PIM
Playoff totals: 7 GP, 1-1-2, +4, 4 PIM

It's all square now. Ex-Rangers draft pick Jan Marek had both goals for Magnitogorsk in a 2-1 Game Four win over Ak Bars Kazan. Magnitogorsk was outshot 24-20 in the match, but Magnitogorsk has Koshechkin, who now sports a monsterous .942 playoff save percentage. The other Lightning prospect in the game, Dmitri Kazionov, played 17:13 in the match.

Tomorrow, the Western Conference series' will be back in action with Game Five contests. With the exception of the Dynamo Riga/KHK MVD series, which Riga trails 3-1, all of the other playoff series are now knotted at 2-2 a piece.

European Game Day: 3-23-10

KHL (Russa) Playoffs
Eastern Conference Semifinals
(3)Kazan 0 @ (2)Magnitogorsk 1 (OT)
Kazan Leads the Series 2-1
Vasily Koshechkin, Magnitogorsk, Win, 37/37, SO, 0.00 GAA, 1.000 sv%
Season totals: 49 GP, 25-16-8, 8 SO, 1.96 GAA, .927 sv%
Playoff totals: 6 GP, 4-2, 1 SO, 1.76 GAA, .940 sv%

Dmitri Kazionov, Kazan, 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 3 SOG
Season totals: 52 GP, 18-9-27, +7, 18 PIM
Playoff totals: 6 GP, 1-1-2, +4, 4 PIM

Wow. Facing the prospect of falling into a 3-0 hole in the series, Vasily Koshechkin pitched a 37 save shutout to help Magnitogorsk pull off a 1-0 overtime victory in Game Three. Petri Kontiola scored off a Stan Chistov assist with just 5 seconds remaining in the first overtime session to seal the deal. Dmitri Kazionov played a scoreless 24:50 in the match for Kazan. Can we please get some of what was in Koshechkin's water bottle for Tokarski for the two big games the Admirals have coming up against Wilkes-Barre/Scranton this week?

Game Four tomorrow.

(8)Dynamo Riga 4 @ (2)KHK MVD 5 (OT)
KHK MVD Leads the Series 3-1
Martins Karsums, Dynamo Riga, 1-0-1, E, 2 PIM, 3 SOG
Season totals: 12 GP, 4-4-8, +6, 16 PIM
Playoff totals: 8 GP, 2-1-3, -1, 4 PIM

Ex-NHLer and KHL goal scoring champion Marcel Hossa scored a tying goal with less than 1 minute remaining in regulation, but Evgeni Fedorov scored a goal 2:33 into the second overtime to help KHK MVD win 5-4. The win puts Cindarella Riga on the brink of elimination. Lightning prospect Martins Karsums scored a goal early in the 2nd period and took a second period elbowing minor in 23:42 of ice time.

Kval till Elitserien (Sweden)
AIK 3 @ Sodertalje 4
Riku Helenius, Sodertalje, Win, 24/27, 3.00 GAA, .889 sv%
Season totals: 9 GP, 4-2-2, 0 SO, 2.42 GAA, .923 sv%
Playoff totals: 2 GP, 2-0-0, 1 SO, 1.50 GAA, .946 sv%

So far, so good for Sodertalje in the Swedish relegation/promotion series. The club got 1 goal and 1 assist from ex-Kings prospect Yanick Lehoux and 2 assists from ex-Avs draft pick Linus Videll in today's match to defeat Allsvenskan team AIK. Next up for Sodertalje: Leksands, which was briefly promoted to the Elitserien for the 2005-2006 season, but has been relegated to the Allsvenskan ever since. That match will take place Thursday.

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