2008 USHL CLARK CUP PLAYOFFS â€“ ROUND 1
Game 1: (4) Chicago Steel 4 @ (1) Indiana Ice 3
Chicago leads Best of 5 series 1-0
W/C Luca Cunti, CHI:
Game: 1-1-2, +1, 2 PIM (high sticking), 2 shots on goal
Chicago upset top-seeded Indiana 4-3 on Indianaâ€™s home ice to take an early 1-0 lead in the Best of 5 series. Cunti scored Chicagoâ€™s second goal late in the second period to tie the game at 2. He would earn the secondary assist on the Steelâ€™s third goal, which came just a minute after the Ice had taken a 3-2 lead early in the third period. Chicago would score the game winner with 2 1/2 minutes left in the third. Game 2 is Saturday in Indiana.
Green Bay Gamblers 2 @ Chicago Steel 3
W/C Luca Cunti, CHI: 0-1-1, +1, 0 PIM, 2 shots on goal
Chicago ended their season with a win over last place Green Bay. As the East Divisionâ€™s No.4 seed, the Steel will open their first round playoff matchup against the top-seeded Indiana Ice on Thursday. Indiana won the season series 4-3 over Chicago, though the Steel pounded the Ice 10-3 in November.
Cunti ended his regular season with 11 goals and 21 assists for 32 points in 34 games. He had a plus-16 rating and 37 penalty minutes while averaging more than 2 shots per game.
Ohio Junior Blue Jackets 4 @ Chicago Steel 2
W/C Luca Cunti, CHI: 0-1-1, +1, 0 PIM, 0 shots on goal
Finally, after playing them in 5 of their last 8 games, Chicago is done with Ohio. Incidentally, Ohio won the mini-series 3-2. Chicago finishes up their regular season Saturday vs. Green Bay.
Chicago Steel 6 @ Ohio Junior Blue Jackets 7
W/C Luca Cunti, CHI: 0-1-1, -1, 2 PIM (delay of game), 1 shot on goal
Chicago has played Ohio three straight games and four of their last six. They play them one more time before seasonâ€™s end. Ohio will not make the playoffs.
Note: Kevin Wey of McKeen's Hockey, an old friend of the Bolt Prospects staff, recently published an interview he had with Luca. Wey addresses such issues as Cunti's struggles with the NCAA earlier this year, the NCAA's decision to forbid Cunti to play college hockey, Cunti's future, and which scorer he most admirers at the NHL level.
To read the interview, click here: McKeenâ€™s Hockey: Q & A With Luca Cunti
Ohio Junior Blue Jackets 1 @ Chicago Steel 6
W/C Luca Cunti, CHI: 2-1-3, +1, 0 PIM, 7 shots on goal, *First Star*
I have a feeling weâ€™ll see more stat lines like this from Cunti in the coming years. Chicago has clinched a playoff spot. Their last regular season game is April 5.
Ohio Junior Blue Jackets 6 @ Chicago Steel 3
W/C Luca Cunti, CHI: 1-0-1, E, 0 PIM, 5 shots on goal
Cuntiâ€™s goal was his 9th in 30 games with Chicago.
Indiana Ice 3 @ Chicago Steel 5
W/C Luca Cunti, CHI: 0-1-1, +2, 2 PIM (roughing), 2 shots on goal
Chicago is on the verge of clinching a playoff spot.
Waterloo Black Hawks 3 @ Chicago Steel 4
W/C Luca Cunti, CHI: 0-2-2, E, 0 PIM, 2 shots on goal
After going scoreless on Wednesday, Cunti responded with two assists vs. Waterloo, including one on the power play.
In an article published on tampabaylightning.com, Lightning Assistant General Manager Claude Loiselle gives an in depth interview about what's on tap for the Lightning organization next season in terms of its prospects.
Key bullet point items:
- Loiselle will attempt to re-sign midseason acquisitions Paul Szczechura and Junior Lessard.
- Matt Smaby is regarded as the prospect most prepared to make the jump to the NHL next season after a strong season in the AHL.
- As reported here on Bolt Prospects, Luca Cunti will attempt to return to SCSU next season and play college hockey.
Anybody actually get to see this kid play? I would have thought he should be tearing up the USHL, but he isn't even a point per game. Is he not playing many minutes? Just not as good as the Lightning thought or is he struggling with the NA game?