Big win. They're all big at this point.
Ryan Munce stopped 45 shots in regulation and overtime before stopping all six Dayton attempts he faced in the shootout. Maxime Boisclair and Radek Smolenak had the Johnstown goals while Gus Katsuras, Geoff Waugh, Rob Lehtinen and Eric Przepiorka added assists. Zbynek Hrdel scored the lone goal of the shootout session. Hrdel and Smolenak were named first and third stars of the game.
Johnstown's win temporarily moved them within 5 points of a playoff spot, pending the final outcome of Reading's game which is in overtime. Johnstown will hold 3 games in hand on the Royals at night's end.
Game sheet from ECHL.com.
That's not the response I expected tonight.
Marc Denis allowed 5 goals on 23 points in the loss before being spelled by Karri Ramo who allowed 2 goals on 5 shots the rest of the way. Just a bad spot for the kid to get into. Dan Boyle had both Lightning goals and Vincent Lecavalier had a pair of assists. Vaclav Prospal and Martin St. Louis added individual helpers.
The Lightning squandered an opportunity to climb to even with the Thrashers with the loss after having watched Atlanta lose an afternoon game to Pittsburgh. With just six games left to go in the season, the Lightning remain two points back with one head-to-head matchup left in the finale of the regular season.
Game sheet from NHL.com.
Khimik defeated Kazan in a shootout 3-2 in Game Three of their quarterfinal playoff series. Kazan's lead in the series now slips to 2 games to 1. Dimitri Kazionov was scoreless in the match for Ak Bars.
Omsk shut out Yaroslavl 2-0 to take a 2-1 lead in their quarterfinal playoff series. Evgeny Artyukhin did not play for the Lokomotive.
Linkopings defeated Farjestads 3-2 in overtime to even their semifinal playoff series at 1-1. Andreas Holmqvist did not suit up in the match for Linkopings. Game Three is scheduled for Sunday.
Maine 4 - St. Cloud State 1
East Regional Semi-final
Maine welcomed back goaltender Ben Bishop and played one of their best games of the season to knock off St. Cloud State in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament. Mike Lundin picked up an assist on Michel Leveille's first period goal on the powerplay.
UMass 1 - Clarkson 0 (OT)
East Regional Semi-final
UMass continues its postseason heroics as they knocked off No. 1 seed Clarkson in overtime. John Wessbecker finished scoreless and even in the game while recording 4 shots on net.
Maine and UMass will now meet again in the East Regional final with the winner advancing to the Frozen Four. The two teams have met four times in the last month with UMass winning all four games. The Minutemen swept the final weekend series of the regular season then followed it up with a sweep of the Black Bears in the first round in the HEast tournament. The stakes are higher and Maine will have starting goalie Bishop back who missed both series due to injury.