The Springfield Falcons have announced the promotion of defenseman PJ Atherton from Johnstown of the ECHL. In addition, the Falcons demoted right winger Marek Kvapil to Johnstown. Kvapil had been considered a potential NHL callup heading into the 2006-2007 season, but a disasterous year in the AHL has seen Kvapil busted down to Springfield's checking lines. After failing to score in some weeks, Kvapil's demotion is the final thud in an unremarkable campaign.
According to an article in tomorrowâ€™s Virginian Pilot, the Norfolk Admirals will hold a news conference at 2 p.m. Thursday at which they are expected to announce that the Tampa Bay Lightning will be their new NHL affiliate.
The Lightning will fill the void created last Monday when the Chicago Blackhawks, the Admirals' NHL partner for the past seven years, announced a 10-year AHL agreement with Rockford, Ill., beginning with the 2007-08 season.
Tampa Bay and Springfield (Mass.), the Lightning's current AHL affiliate, exercised an "out" clause and mutually agreed to terminate their deal with two years remaining. Springfield promptly agreed to a three-year deal with the Edmonton Oilers.
For more information, see: Admirals Expected to Affiliate with NHLâ€™s Tampa Bay Lightning
Sudbury 3 @ Mississauga 4
Best-of-7 series tied 1-1
Chris Lawrence broke a 3-3 third period tie with his second goal of the game to help the Mississauga IceDogs avert disaster and tie their opening round series with Sudbury at one game apiece. Mississauga was outshot 21-7 in the third, but Lawrence got the period's only goal on the power play. Lawrence was even for the game and was named its No.2 star. Game 3 is in Sudbury Tuesday night.
The Springfield Falcons have announced they have signed defenseman Justin Fletcher to an amateur tryout agreement. Fletcher, who will turn 24 this week, is a 5'11" 202 lbs. blueliner out of St. Cloud State in the WCHA. As a member of the Huskies, Fletcher led all St. Cloud defensemen in scoring during his sophomore, junior and senior campaigns. This year, Fletcher had 5 goals and 23 points in 37 games, one year removed from his career season of 6 goals and 27 points in 40 games as a junior. Prior to his NCAA career, Fletcher spent three seasons with the Sioux City Musketeers of the USHL scoring 12 goals and 43 points in 60 games in his final year of junior.
The Illinois native made his Falcons debut tonight against Manchester playing on the top pairing with Mike Egener. Fletcher was -1 with 1 shot on goal in the game.
Kazan defeated Khimik 2-1 in overtime to win their quarterfinal playoff series 3 games to 1 and move on to the Superleague semifinals. Dimitri Kazionov was scoreless in the match for Ak Bars.
Omsk defeated Yaroslavl 4-3 in overtime to win their quarterfinal playoff series 3 games to 1. Evgeny Artyukhin did not play in the match for the Lokomotive. He finishes the playoffs scoreless in 1 game with a -2 rating.
Dimitri Kazionov is the sole Lightning prospect still active in the Superleague playoffs.