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CHL Playoffs Game Night: 4-12-15

Quebec Major Junior Hockey League
Quarterfinals

QMJHL-9 Charlottetown Islanders 3 @ QMJHL-4 Quebec Remparts 4 (OT)
Quebec leads best-of-7 series, 2-0

W Adam Erne, QUE: 2-0-2, -1, 0 PIM, 6 SOG, 7/16 FO, 2 Hits, *First Star*
Playoff totals: 9 GP, 10-2-12, +1, 6 PIM
Season totals: 60 GP, 41-45-86, +21, 102 PIM
2013-2014 Season: 48 GP, 21-41-62, -3, 65 PIM

Adam Erne scored two goals for the fourth straight game with one of the goals being the game-winner in overtime to give the Remparts a 2-0 series lead over Charlottetown. The Islanders had tied the game with just over a minute remaining in regulation. Erne, who scored at 16:19 of the extra session, has been first star in both games of the series. Game 3 is Tuesday on PEI.

Ontario Hockey League
Western Conference Semifinals

West-1 Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds 6 @ West-4 Guelph Storm 1
Sault Ste. Marie leads best-of-7 series, 3-0

D Anthony DeAngelo, SOO: 0-2-2, +1, 0 PIM, *Third Star*
Playoff Totals: 7 GP, 0-14-14, +11, 10 PIM
With SSM: 26 GP, 15-36-51, +33, 51 PIM
With Sarnia: 29 GP, 10-28-38, +1, 64 PIM
Season totals: 55 GP, 25-64-89, +34, 115 PIM
2013-14 totals: 51 GP, 15-56-71, -34, 90 PIM

Guelph isn’t coming close to the Greyhounds on the scoreboard this series, including falling 6-1 on Sunday. The Soo has a plus-14 goal differential in the series after three games. They can eliminate the Storm in Guelph on Tuesday in Game 4.

Western Hockey League
Eastern Conference Quarterfinals

East-2 Medicine Hat Tigers 3 @ East-3 Calgary Hitmen 2 (OT)
Best-of-7 series tied, 1-1

D Ben Thomas, CAL: 0-0-0, -1, 0 PIM
Playoff totals: 9 GP, 0-3-3, E, 2 PIM
Season totals: 60 GP, 7-24-31, +16, 28 PIM
2013-14 totals: 72 GP, 7-24-31, +11, 39 PIM

Medicine Hat needed overtime to beat Calgary on Sunday, winning Game 2 to tie the series at one. The Tigers got the game-winner with just over three minutes left in the first overtime. They scored on their 50th shot. Game 3 is Monday in Medicine Hat. The series is following a 1-1-1-1-1-1-1 format.

AHL Game Night: 4-12-15 Crunch at Comets

Tight, costly loss.

SYR-1
UTI-2

Kristers Gudlevskis allowed 2 goals on 26 shots for the hard luck loss, as Syracuse continues to struggle to manufacture any goal support.

First Period
SYR Lynch, (3) (Point), 7:55

Second Period
UTI Shinkaruk, (16) (O'Reilly, Sanguinetti), 4:45 (PP)
UTI Conacher, (10) (O'Reilly, Shinkaruk), 15:21 (PP)

Third Period
NO SCORING

Stabbed in the back by ex Bolt Prospect Cory Conacher. Say it ain't so.

With Hartford winning again today, the Wolf Pack have tied Syracuse for the division lead in points, pushing the Crunch down to the 5th seed (hopefully temporarily). Presumably, the team will start to get some roster stability starting this week once the Lightning start returning to full strength for the playoffs. That may just mean that Witkowski gets returned to Syracuse, but hopefully it means no more shuttling of players back and forth for a little while and the offense can begin to rebuild some continuity.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

Frozen Four Game Night: 4-11-15

Providence Friars 4 vs Boston University Terriers 3
National Championship

D John MacLeod, BU: 0-0-0, E, 4 PIM, 1 SOG
Season totals: 37 GP, 2-7-9, +19, 58 PIM
2013-2014 totals (USHL): 19 GP, 1-4-5, +1, 36 PIM

Providence won its first national championship with a 4-3 win over John MacLeod and the Terriers in the final of the Frozen Four Saturday. The Friars were down 2-1 and 3-2 in the game before coming back to win, aided by an odd goal where BU goaltender Matt O’Conner dropped the puck between his legs and accidentally kicked it into his net. MacLeod took an interference penalty with the Terriers up 2-1 and Providence scored with a few seconds remaining in the power play to tie the game at 2. MacLeod finishes a fine freshman season with nine points and a plus-19 rating. He’ll be a big part of BU moving ahead, likely without project No. 2 overall pick Jack Eichel.

NHL Game Night: 4-11-15 Bruins at Lightning

A brief moment of sweet schadenfreude before the bullets fly for real next week.

TB-3
BOS-2 (SO)

Ben Bishop allowed 2 goals on 38 shots and stopped all 3 shooters in the penalty shot session for the SO victory. He was sharp as a samurai sword tonight. That's good to see heading into the playoffs.

First Period
NO SCORING

Second Period
5:08 TB Marchessault (1), (unassisted)
6:00 BOS Eriksson (22), (Kelly, Seidenberg)

Third Period
5:12 TB Nesterov (3), (Carle, Marchessault)
18:54 BOS Marchand (24), (Krug, Krejci)

Overtime
NO SCORING

Shootout
BOS- NONE
TB- Hedman

Jonathan Marchessault, Bishop, and Nikita Nesterov were the game's three stars.

Boston played the bulk of this game very desperate and very hungry, and the Lightning held back a lot of their injured players to rest with a view toward the playoffs starting next week. The shot deficit (38-25) and possession advantage Boston had reflects that they were the team that had more to play for (up until halfway through the Third Period when Pittsburgh put the last shovel-full of dirt on their graves). With that said, I give credit to the Lightning for matching Boston's intensity level and physicality, even though they didn't have the same urgency stalking them. They hustled. They scrapped. They got sticks and bodies in passing and shooting lanes. They manufactured a win. They'll have to do that a few times when they don't have their A-game in the playoffs coming up.

Tampa Bay gets Detroit in the First Round. I'm not scared of the matchup. If the Lightning play their game, they can beat Detroit. Handily. Time to start burying the memories of last April.

Marchessault had 1 goal and 1 assist and was +2 with 2 shots and 3 hits in 11:20. His goal was a beauty of a shot from the RW faceoff circle, and he was dangerous offensively in his TOI. He had at least one issue hanging in physically to get a puck out at his own blueline, but more good than bad. He's in a rough spot given how deep this organization is, but he's definitely knocking on the door of being an NHLer.

Luke Witkowski was -1 with 2 penalty minutes, 1 shot, 8 hits, and 1 blocked shot in 18:14. He was one of the tone setters physically, and he darn near sawed McQuaid in half on one hit in this game. He even had a pretty fancy rush late in the game to nearly get the winner. Thought we were looking at Luke Witk-Orr for a minute. I suspect he'll head back to Syracuse now with Marchessault and bolster the Crunch's division title and playoff hopes.

Nesterov had a goal and was +1 with 2 penalty minutes, 3 shots, 1 hit, and 1 blocked shot in 19:39. NBCSN's broadcasters gushed about Nesterov's offensive assertiveness all game, and rightfully so. He's a classic pace-pushing offensive defenseman who comes out ahead on the ledger because he helps create way more chances than he surrenders. Yes, he got beat physically out of the corner by Marchand on one play in the First Period and had to take a minor. Yes, there's a turnover here and there. But, he comes out way ahead on the ledger, overall. Garrison, Sustr, and Coburn are all slated to return at some point in the opening round against Detroit. I'm not sure Nesterov sits, though. I think he may have earned a look-see in playoff action, a la Paquette last year, and maybe a guy like Barberio or Sustr sits instead.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

P.S. Kick rocks, Jack Edwards.

Wilcox Debuts, Crunch Comeback Falls Short Against Falcons


By Jeremy Houghtaling

One night after a come-from-behind win, the Syracuse Crunch just didn't have the same third period magic.

The Crunch, who scored three unanswered goals to top the Sound Tigers in overtime Friday, controlled play throughout most of the first period but went into the intermission trailing by one. Springfield turned the tables in the second and Syracuse's comeback fell short, as the Crunch lost to the Falcons, 3-1, at the Onondaga County War Memorial Saturday.

"I thought we started the game really well," said Crunch head coach Rob Zettler. "I thought we were skating and generating a lot of chances in the first. In the second, they flipped it on us, and they had most of the momentum and were creating chances. In the third, we held play in their end but weren't generating any chances. For whatever reason there were opportunities but they didn't turn into good scoring chances for us."

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