Miami RedHawks 4 @ No. 4 St. Cloud State Huskies 3
F Jimmy Mullin, MIA: Did not play
Season totals: 19 GP, 1-6-7, +3, 23 PIM
2012-2013 totals: 38 GP, 6-8-14, E, 14 PIM
Mullin was a scratch as Miami upset the top-seeded Huskies again to advance to the conference semifinals. SCSU entered the tournament as the top seed.
Colorado College Tigers 3 @ No. 10 North Dakota 2 (OT)
F Brendan O’Donnell, UND: 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 2 SOG
Season totals: 29 GP, 6-8-14, +4, 8 PIM
2012-2013 totals: 29 GP, 2-8-10, E, 20 PIM
The Tigers forced a deciding Game 3 on Sunday vs UND with an overtime win on Saturday night. North Dakota outshot CC, 46-29.
No. 16 Yale Bulldogs 3 @ No. 6 Quinnipiac Bobcats 5
F Matthew Peca, QU: 0-2-2, +2, 0 PIM, 2 SOG
Season totals: 38 GP, 12-25-37, +8, 16 PIM
2013-2014 totals: 39 GP, 15-15-30, +14, 36 PIM
Sam Anas (undrafted) had two goals and Matt Peca had two assists to lead the Bobcats to a quarterfinal series win over defending national champion Yale.
No. 1 Minnesota Golden Gophers 2 @ No. 13 Michigan Wolverines 6
G Adam Wilcox, MIN: Did not play
Season totals: 33 GP, 23-4-6, 1.91 GAA, .934 sv%, 3 SO
2012-2013 totals: 39 GP, 25-8-5, 1.88 GAA, .921 sv%, 3 SO
Wilcox got the night off because Minnesota clinched the Big 10 title on Friday night.
*USCHO poll used
Quebec Major Junior Hockey League
Cape Breton Screaming Eagles 6 @ Halifax Mooseheads 8
C/W Jonathan Drouin, HAL: 1-6-7, E, 0 PIM, 0 Hits, 6 SOG, 12/18 FO, *First Star*
Season totals: 46 GP, 29-70-108, +49, 43 PIM
2011-2012 Season: 49 GP, 41-64-105, +48, 32 PIM
Remember when we talked about how Drouin had never had a six-point game, then he got one a game later? Well, a week after that he hit seven points in one game – against the same team. Cape Breton will be glad Drouin is destined for Tampa Bay next season. Drouin set a career high for points in a game, obviously, but also finished the regular season with new career highs in assists, points, plus/minus, and penalty minutes. His goals weren’t the same without Nathan MacKinnon (Colorado) and Martin Frk (AHL Grand Rapids) with him this year, but he managed to beat his point total. Super prospect Nik Ehlers (2014), who scored 49 goals this season, doesn’t even play on Drouin’s line. The two team up on power play situations only.
Halifax enters the playoffs as the league’s No. 2 seed. They will play Charlottetown in Round 1. The Islanders are coached by former Lightning player Gordie Dwyer.
Note: Quebec Rempart Adam Erne tweeted that he’ll return to action at the end of March. He’s been out with a lacerated spleen. Seventh-seeded Quebec will face No. 8 Gatineau in Round 1.
Ontario Hockey League
Peterborough Petes 3 @ Barrie Colts 6
D Jake Dotchin, BAR: 0-0--, +2, 4 PIM
Season totals: 63 GP, 11-25-36, +22, 121 PIM
2012-13 totals: 66 GP, 4-18-22, E, 81 PIM
Barrie scored five times in the third period to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. The Colts will play Sudbury in Round 1.
Kristers Gudlevskis believed his team should have won.
The Syracuse Crunch goalie, having stopped 28 of 29 shots in regulation and overtime, turned away the first eight shootout attempts. But the Hamilton's Mike Blunden broke through for the lone shootout goal, as the Bulldogs topped the Crunch, 2-1, at the Onondaga County War Memorial Saturday.
"I just try to stop the puck, because I think we deserved to win this game," Gudlevskis said. "That's it, just focus on that. I've worked on the shootout in practice a lot."
Legendary goaltending by Gudlevskis, but no dice in the shootout.
Kristers Gudlevskis sparkled, allowing 1 goal on 29 shots before allowing 1 of 9 shooters to convert in the penalty shot session for the shootout loss. That's a shame.
SYR Connolly, (15) (Namestnikov), 6:42
HAM Leblanc, (12) (Ellis), 10:36
Gudlevskis was the game's second star. He was bested in the goaltending duel by counterpart Robert Mayer, whose performance included stopping Yanni Gourde on a penalty shot.
Box score from TheAHL.com.
Win if you can. Survive if Kostka lets you.
Ben Bishop stopped all 23 shots he faced for his 5th shutout of the season, besting the living legend Marty Brodeur in the low-scoring battle. U of Maine Justice, to be sure. He's had a rough last couple of weeks, and while he didn't have to be terribly active in tonight's game he made key saves when he needed to and looked rock solid doing it, which is the best takeaway of the whole night.
With the victory, Bishop breaks the Lightning single-season record for wins by a goaltender, and there's a lot of hockey left to be played in this regular season.
12:26 TB Crombeen (3), (Kostka, Filppula)
16:58 TB Kostka (4), (Palat, Filppula)
16:41 TB Thompson (9), (Brown)
The Lightning finally played a complete game tonight against a team they have traditionally not played well against. That's probably a big part of the focus they showed tonight, because they knew going in how frustrating playing the Devils can be if you make mistakes. They came out with a lot of energy and got a lot of possession, but did not allow themselves to get impatient when that possession didn't yield chances. When the Devils made the flash surges they make, the Lightning handled them with solid work on the backcheck and the handful of key Bishop saves. And, when the chances finally came, they potted them. Most importantly of all, with the 2-0 lead going into the Third Period, they did not sit back like they've done on other leads recently. They went for the throat and eventually expanded the lead to the final 3-0 score. The Lightning finally look to have learned a hard lesson, and not a moment too soon.
Mike Kostka had 1 goal and 1 assist and was +2 with 3 shots in 16:16. You saw why Kostka has passed Barberio on the depth chart in full display tonight. He gets a center point wrist shot through traffic on the Crombeen goal for the tip-in and then he reads the play and jumps into the rush at the right time on his own goal. Yes, there are times Kostka makes some poor decisions in his own end. He gives you a lot of positives as a tradeoff, though. He jumps into the play well and he's been very good in his time with the Lightning at getting shots through and onto the net. I find myself remembering when the Lightning picked up Dan Boyle from the Panthers way back in the day. Boyle came to the Lightning with an atrocious reputation defensively (just short of Andy Delmore-bad). But, he kept finding the scoresheet every other game for the Lightning, forcing me to, tongue-in-cheek, say "You FEAR Dan Boyle" every time he got a point. I ended up saying that a lot of times over the ensuing 5 seasons Boyle was with the team. I, tongue-in-cheek, started saying, "Win if you can. Survive if Mike Kostka lets you." since the team brought Kostka in off waivers, and darnit all if he hasn't made me say that a lot so far, too. Boyle was my guilty pleasure back in 2001-2002, and Mike Kostka is very quickly becoming my guilty pleasure in 2013-2014. He's got 2 goals and 5 points in his first 7 games with the team. Will he keep it up like Boyle eventually did? Chances are he won't. But, he has me dying to see if he can.