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Linkopings/Frolunda Game One

Linopings dropped the opening game of their semifinal round series 3-2 today to Vastra Frolunda. Fredrik Norrena sat on the bench while Jonas Fransson took over starting duties for the club. Shane Willis actually played third line center in the game while Andreas Holmqvist once again performed his customary 1st pairing defensive duties.

HPK/Ilves Game Two

Karri Ramo might not get his chance to battle Tuukka Rask again. HPK disposed of Ilves 2-1 in overtime today to claim a 2-0 lead in their SM-liiga quarterfinal series. Miika Wiikman carried the load for HPK stopping 22 of 23 shots faced en route to being named second star of the game.

Superleague Quarterfinals: Day Three

Alexei Glukhov recorded a goal and an assist as Khimik defeated Yaroslavl 5-1. Anton But was scoreless in the game for Loko. Yaroslavl still leads the series 2-1. Metallurg Magnitogorsk got a late goal by Stan Chistov to knock of Lada Togliatti 4-3. Vasily Koshechkin took his third loss of the postseason. Lada now trails Metallurg 2-1 in the series. Omsk defeated CSKA 3-2 to sweep their quarterfinal series. Omsk has yet to lose a game in these playoffs. Nikita Alexeev did not play for Avangard.

Ryan Craig's Graduation Day

Bolt Prospects moves a player to graduated status if they play in 41 or more games in one season or if they play 82 or more total combined NHL games. Already this season the Lightning have graduated two players: Paul Ranger and Evgeny Artyukhin. Within the next couple of weeks they should be joined by a third. With 36 NHL games under his belt, Ryan Craig is just 5 appearances away from bidding adieu to prospect status and establishment as a full time NHLer. Presuming he plays in every game until then (knock on wood) Ryan Craig will graduate from prospect status on Monday, April 3rd at home against the Florida Panthers. Craig, like Artyukhin and Ranger before him, will remain on our Midterm Rankings until Bolt Prospects releases our final 2005-2006 rankings at the conclusion of the Memorial Cup tournament once all Lightning prospects' seasons have come to a close.

NCAA Tournament Tonight: 3/24

[b]Worcester, MA Region[/b] Boston College defeated Miami of Ohio 5-0 to advance to the round of eight against rival Boston University. Joe Pearce did not play. [b]Grand Forks, ND Region[/b] In a major upset, Minnesota fell to Holy Cross 4-3 in overtime. The game was the final of PJ Atherton's college career. The defenseman was scoreless with 2 penalty minutes in the game. He will now be available for the Lightning to sign early if the team chooses. Stay tuned. Matt Smaby was scoreless as North Dakota easily dispatched Michigan 5-1. North Dakota advances to play Holy Cross in the quarterfinal round. TOMORROW: In the Albany, NY region, Mike Lundin and Maine will take on Harvard at 3pm ET.
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