(Midwest-3) St. Cloud State Huskies 1 vs (East-1) Quinnipiac Bobcats 4
F Matthew Peca, QU: 0-0-0, +1, 2 PIM, 2 SOG
Season totals: 38 GP, 15-15-30, +17, 36 PIM
Peca and his line with the twins, Conner and Kellen Jones, were flying all night but only scored one goal – a wrist shot by Kellen Moore from the slot. It didn’t matter as QU jumped out to an early 3-0 lead and coasted to a 4-1 win and a berth in the national championship game against conference and state rival Yale. That game will be played on Saturday night on ESPN. Peca received constant compliments from the ESPN 2 crew throughout the game as he showed off his speed and stickwork, creating multiple scoring chances. John Buccigross and former Lightning coach Barry Melrose called Peca’s line one of the best in the country this year.
We continue our Prospect of the Week award, an honor (virtually) given to one Tampa Bay Lightning prospect for their recent contributions on and off the ice.
The Prospect of the Week for April 3 is … Matthew Peca, W, Quinnipiac (NCAA – USA).
Matt Peca made sure his Quinnipiac Bobcats would advance to the Frozen Four in their first national tournament last week.
TAMPA BAY – The Tampa Bay Lightning have acquired left wing Philippe Paradis (pair-ah-DEE) from the Chicago Blackhawks in exchange for defenseman Kirill Gotovets today, vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman announced. He will be assigned to the Syracuse Crunch of the AHL.
Paradis, 6-foot-2, 205 pounds, has played in 36 games with the Rockford IceHogs of the American Hockey League this season, recording a goal and eight points with 100 penalty minutes. He ranks fourth on the team for penalty minutes. Paradis has also played in five games with the Toledo Walleye of the ECHL.
A native of Dolbeau, Quebec, Paradis has played in 102 career AHL games with the IceHogs and the Toronto Marlies, recording seven goals and 27 points. He recorded a career-best five goals and 16 points in 58 games last season. Paradis made his professional debut with the Marlies on April 2, 2010.
Paradis was drafted by the Carolina Hurricanes in the first round, 27th overall, of the 2009 NHL Entry Draft.
TAMPA BAY – The Tampa Bay Lightning have signed defenseman Luke Witkowski to a two-year contract today, vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman announced.
Witkowski, 6-foot-2, 200 pounds, appeared in 38 games as a captain with the Western Michigan University Broncos in 2012-13, recording two goals and 10 points to go along with 46 penalty minutes while being named Second-Team All-CCHA. He led the Broncos with 53 blocked shots and ranked second for penalty minutes. Witkowski also added two power-play tallies.
A native of Holland, Michigan, Witkowski played in 152 games during his four-year career at Western Michigan. He accumulated seven goals and 38 points with 235 penalty minutes. He won the 2010-11 Bill Saunders Plus/Minus Award for finishing with the Broncos’ best plus/minus rating at plus-13.
Prior to attending Western Michigan, Wikowski played for the Fargo Force and the Ohio Junior Blue Jackets of the USHL. He amassed nine goals and 26 assists in two USHL seasons. Witkowski was named to the 2009 USHL All-Star Team.
Witkowski was drafted by the Lightning in the sixth round, 160th overall, of the 2008 NHL Entry Draft. Since being drafted he has attended four Lightning Development Camps.
(Midwest-4) St. Cloud State Huskies 4 vs (Midwest-2) Miami RedHawks 1
Midwest Region Finals
F Jimmy Mullin, MIA: Did not play
Season totals: 38 GP, 6-8-14, E, 14 PIM
Jimmy Mullin missed the game after injuring his knee in the regional semifinals against Minnesota State. His Miami teammates could not advance to the Frozen Four, losing to the Huskies, 4-1. Mullin finishes his sophomore season with 14 points, 12 fewer than his freshman totals. He is expected to return to the RedHawks for his junior season.
(East-3) Union Dutchmen 1 @ (East-1) Quinnipiac Bobcats 5
East Region Finals
F Matthew Peca, QU: 3-1-4, +4, 2 PIM, 3 SOG, *First Star*
Season totals: 37 GP, 15-15-30, +16, 34 PIM
Lightning prospect Matt Peca had a natural hat trick in the first period and was named first star as the Bobcats advanced to their first Frozen Four on Sunday. Peca has nearly doubled his goal output as a freshman (8) and is chasing his career high for points (39). Quinnipiac, the top ranked team in the country, will play WCHA regular season champ St. Cloud State on April 11 in Pittsburgh for the right to advance to the national championship game. Yale and UMass-Lowell will play in the other national semifinal.