No. 13 North Dakota 1 vs No. 2 Minnesota Golden Gophers 2
F Brendan O’Donnell, UND: 0-0-0, +1, 0 PIM, 1 SOG
Season totals: 35 GP, 7-11-18, +8, 10 PIM
2012-2013 totals: 29 GP, 2-8-10, E, 20 PIM
G Adam Wilcox, MIN: Win, 36 saves on 37 shots
Season totals: 37 GP, 26-5-6, 1.86 GAA, .935 sv%, 4 SO
2012-2013 totals: 39 GP, 25-8-5, 1.88 GAA, .921 sv%, 3 SO
Minnesota scored a shorthanded goal with .6 seconds left in regulation, sending the Gophers to the national championship game at the Frozen Four in Philadelphia. The No. 2 Gophers will face top-ranked Union on Saturday night. O’Donnell was on the ice for UND’s lone goal, scored less than a minute after Minnesota had taken a 1-0 lead in the third period over their longtime rivals. Wilcox stopped 36 shots, including four during UND’s last minute power play. Justin Holl scored the game winner for the Gophers, finding the puck in his skates in front of the UND net and sliding the puck home. Minnesota had just won an own-zone faceoff with 10 seconds left and rushed up the ice hoping to avoid overtime. They did, and now have a chance at a championship.
O’Donnell’s junior season ends with career highs in goals, assists, and points. All signs point to him returning to North Dakota for his senior season next fall.
*USCHO poll used
The sun still rises in Tampa Bay.
Anders Lindback allowed 2 goals on 36 shots for the victory tonight, 1 of which was an own goal tipped in by Palat. Lindback was magnificent, as he was in relief in the last game against Toronto. Is he as athletic and aesthetically pleasing as Ben Bishop between the pipes? No. Is he fully capable of stopping pucks? Yes, and he showed resiliency and mental toughness by not cracking after the Flyers broke through on him. He stayed focus, got a good team effort in front of him (including some street hockey netminding by Gudas) and got the W.
2:00 TB Johnson (24), (Stamkos, Kostka)
18:39 PHI Simmonds (27), (Giroux, Voracek)(PP)
4:33 TB Panik (3), (Hedman, Kostka)
9:43 TB Brewer (2), (Johnson, Palat)
12:22 PHI Couturier (12), (Streit)
14:14 TB Stamkos (25), (Filppula, Hedman)(PP)
Let it not be said that this Lightning team packs it in the second they hit a bump in the road. There was a lot of hand wringing and consternation with the injury to Ben Bishop that will, at a minimum, shut him down for the rest of the regular season. But, much like when Stamkos broke his leg and the captain of the team decided he wanted to go to Broadway, the Lightning circled the wagons. They came out very strong tonight and got a quick goal on Philly, which was great. I thought they took their foot off the gas through to the end of the Second Period, which was not good, but Lindback has something to prove and he played fantastic to keep the Lightning in it until they broke it open in the Third Period, where only a goofy own goal blemished a complete 20 minute team effort. So, the sky didn't fall and, in fact, with Montreal losing tonight the Lightning can get home ice in the first round if they win out in the final 2 games of the regular season.
Throughout the campaign, I've written regularly about segment goals with the team, with an eye on 96 points in 80 games. With the victory tonight, the Lightning nailed down 97 points in 80 games and they got the target number of 12 in the 8th and final segment of the year. In games 81 and 82, if they can get at least 3 of the 4 possible points, they have an opportunity to get to 100 points, which is truly an accomplishment for any team, let alone one this young.
Mike Kostka returned from his concussion with 2 assists, a +3 rating, and 1 blocked shot in 14:18. Win if you can. Survive if Mike Kostka lets you.
Andrej Sustr had 2 penalty minutes and 1 hit in 19:36. It wasn't Andrej's best game, as I've seen him a lot tighter and under control defensively, but it's still pretty good that you can play him 19+ minutes and not worry about him completely wetting the bed. With the appearance tonight, Sustr reaches 41 NHL games played this season, which graduates him from prospect status on the website. Sustr becomes the 10th prospect to graduate this season, finishing out a class the likes of which we may never see again. To put this in perspective, there were only 10 prospects that graduated on the site in the previous 4 seasons combined (I looked it up). Congratulations to Andrej and everyone in the 2013-2014 Bolt Prospects Alumni class.
Adam Erne knows his days with the Syracuse Crunch are numbered.
With six games left in the Crunch’s season, the 18-year-old is soaking in his first professional experience. Next year, if the 2013 second-round pick doesn’t make the Tampa Bay Lightning, he returns to the Quebec Remparts of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, who are hosting the 2015 Memorial Cup tournament.
“I guess it’s more preparation for camp this year in Tampa,” said Erne, who signed an entry level contract with the Lightning and an amateur tryout with the Crunch last week. “I know a lot of these guys are going to be there, and it’s going to be a lot of the same skill set. Obviously, there’s a jump to the NHL, but this is as close as it gets. It’s good preparation for camp.”
Quebec Major Junior Hockey League
Halifax Mooseheads 4 @ Gatineau Olympiques 2
Mooseheads lead best-of-7 second round series, 3-1
C/W Jonathan Drouin, HAL: 0-3-3, +1, 2 PIM, 3 Hits, 3 SOG, 13/28 FO, *Second Star*
Playoff totals: 8 GP, 8-16-24, +7, 8 PIM
Season totals: 46 GP, 29-70-108, +49, 43 PIM
2011-2012 Season: 49 GP, 41-64-105, +48, 32 PIM
Halifax scored three times in the second period, building a 3-0 lead they’d never relinquish. Drouin had primary assists on two of those three goals, and a secondary assist on Halifax’s empty netter at the end of the game. He extended his streak of multi-point games to 11 and his point streak to 21. He was a game star for the 10th consecutive game. Halifax can close out the series at Gatineau on Friday.
KHL Eastern Conference Finals
(4)Ufa 0 vs. (1)Magnitogorsk 1
Magnitogorsk Leads the Series 3-1
Vasily Koshechkin, Magnitogorsk, Win, SO, 39/39, 0.00 GAA, 1.000 sv%
Regular season totals: 51 GP, 30-12-8, 9 SO, 1.88 GAA, .940 sv%
Playoff totals: 13 GP, 11-2-0, 1 SO, 1.78 GAA, .941 sv%
Andrey Vasilevskiy, Ufa, Loss, 26/27, 1.01 GAA, .963 sv%
Regular season totals: 28 GP, 14-8-5, 3 SO, 2.21 GAA, .923 sv%
Playoff totals: 17 GP, 9-8-0, 1 SO, 2.05 GAA, .931 sv%
Mike Keenan's gamble paid off. After giving veteran netminder Vasily Koshechkin the quick hook in Metallurg's 4-0 Game Three loss to Ufa, Koshechkin responded with a 39 save shutout performance in Game Four to put Metallurg on the threshold of the Gagarin Cup Finals. Rookie netminder Andrey Vasilevskiy was splendid in defeat, stopping 26 of 27 shots faced, but defenseman Viktor Antipin's power play goal was all it took for Metallurg to put Ufa on the brink of elimination. Game Five is slated for Friday with Ufa's back squarely against the wall.