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NCAA Game Night: 3-5-16

UMass Minutemen 4 @ No. 9 Boston University Terriers 5
Hockey East Opening Round
BU wins best-of-3 series, 2-0

D John MacLeod, BU: Did not play
Season totals: 24 GP, 1-1-2, -4, 22 PIM
2014-2015 totals: 37 GP, 2-7-9, +19, 58 PIM

MacLeod was scratched for the sixth straight game. It was close, but BU advanced to the next round with two 1-goal victories over UMass.

Bemidji State Beavers 1 @ No. 16 Minnesota State Mavericks 0

W Jimmy Mullin, MSU: 0-0-0, -1, 0 PIM, 3 SOG
Season totals: 26 GP, 2-8-10, E, 6 PIM
2013-2014 totals (Miami): 19 GP, 1-6-7, 23 PIM

Mullin started on the first line, but the Mavs were stymied by BSU goaltender Michael Bitzer (undrafted), who stopped 38 shots. MSU won 6-1 against the Beavers Friday.

*USCHO poll used

NHL Game Night: 3-5-16 Hurricanes at Lightning

Lightning survive the trap game in a quick pit stop at home.

CAR-3
TB-4 (OT)

Ben Bishop allowed 3 goals on 27 shots for the OT win. He'll want the first one back that went in off his blocker. The other two were not his fault when you talk about a puck that went in off Stralman's face and a tap in for an unmarked Skinner. Bottom line: he stood on his head in OT when he needed to in order to give the Lightning a chance to get the win.

First Period
16:43 TB Palat(9), (Johnson)

Second Period
13:24 CAR Rask(15), (DiGiuseppe, Skinner)
15:41 TB Palat(10), (Kucherov)

Third Period
3:09 CAR Staal(17), (Lindholm, Rask)(PP)
10:18 CAR Skinner(23), (DiGiuseppe, Murphy)
13:42 TB Johnson(12), (Kucherov, Namestnikov)

Overtime
4:17 TB Killorn(13), (Filppula)

Alex Killorn and Ondrej Palat were the game's first and second stars.

When you win nine in a row, they're not all going to be masterpieces. Tonight was definitely an example. The Lightning got pretty loose defensively about midway through the game and it took a few great individual plays by the likes of Palat, Kucherov, and Killorn to ultimately manufacture a win. I'm not going to get too upset about it, though. There's a reason why it's taken over twenty years for a Lightning team to finally win nine in a row: it's really hard to play really well night in and night out consistently weeks and weeks and weeks at a time.

Halfway through this 10-game segment of the season, the Lightning are a perfect 5-0-0, meaning they need just 2 points out of the next 5 games to stay on playoff pace. They should do that easily, so now is the time to stockpile points to allow the team to have the luxury of resting some guys around game 80, 81, and 82 of the season. In the Atlantic, the Lightning hold serve with the Panthers playing late at Arizona. At a minimum, the Lightning will maintain their tie atop the division with the tiebreaker due to their (sizable!) ROW advantage.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

Liiga Game Day: 3-5-16

KalPa 0 vs. KooKoo 1
Jonne Tammela, KalPa, 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 2 SOG
Season totals: 35 GP, 4-7-11, +8, 16 PIM

Jonne Tammela returned to the lineup and was scoreless in 14:30 of ice time in KalPa's 1-0 loss to KooKoo. Undrafted 26 year old netminder Juha Jarvenpaa stopped all 23 shots he faced for the shutout victory.

Juniors Game Night: 3-5-16

Quebec Major Junior Hockey League

Chicoutimi Sagueneens 6 @ Shawinigan Cataractes 5

W Dennis Yan, SHAW: 0-1-1, E, 4 PIM, 1 SOG, 1 Hit
Season totals: 56 GP, 31-34-65, +5, 80 PIM
2014-2015 Season: 59 GP, 33-31-64, +23, 71 PIM

Yan set a new career high for points in a season with 65.

Ontario Hockey League

Oshawa Generals 4 @ Mississauga Steelheads 2

C Anthony Cirelli, OSH: 0-3-3, +1, 0 PIM, 3 SOG, 14/29 FO, *Second Star*
Season totals: 56 GP, 20-33-53, -12, 25 PIM
2014-15 totals: 68 GP, 13-23-36, +34, 22 PIM

Cirelli was a game star yet again for the Gens, who beat the Steelheads in Mississauga, 4-2. Oshawa has a 4-point lead on Hamilton for the final playoff spot in the East.

Windsor Spitfires 1 @ Sarnia Sting 2

W Cristiano DiGiacinto, WSR: 0-0-0, E, 5 PIM, 1 SOG
Season totals: 56 GP, 16-25-41, +15, 79 PIM
2014-15 totals: 63 GP, 21-24-45, -16, 100 PIM

DiGiacinto fought Kevin Spinozzi early in the third period.

Kingston Frontenacs 5 @ Saginaw Spirit 3

W Mitchell Stephens, SAG: 0-1-1, -2, 0 PIM, 1 SOG, 15/27 FO
Season totals: 33 GP, 16-15-31, -2, 12 PIM
2014-15 totals: 62 GP, 22-26-48, -17, 44 PIM

Saginaw had a 3-0 lead before allowing five unanswered goals. Panthers first rounder Lawson Crouse had two goals for Kingston, his 18th and 19th of the year.

Western Hockey League

Moose Jaw Warriors 3 @ Brandon Wheat Kings 6

C Brayden Point, MJ: 0-2-2, -1, 2 PIM
Season totals: 41 GP, 31-48-79, +22, 23 PIM
2014-15 totals: 60 GP, 38-49-87, +6, 46 PIM

Moose Jaw was outshot 57-23 by Brandon, including 20-4 in the third period, while losing 6-3. Brandon scored the final four goals of the game, all in the thid period.

Victoria Royals 5 @ Vancouver Giants 1

D Ben Thomas, VAN: 0-0-0, -1, 0 PIM, 2 SOG
Season totals: 69 GP, 8-19-27, -30, 46 PIM
With Vancouver: 55 GP, 8-16-24, -20, 36 PIM
With Calgary: 14 GP, 0-3-3, -10, 10 PIM
2014-15 totals: 60 GP, 7-24-31, +16, 28 PIM

Dante Hannoun (2016) had a hat trick for the Royals.

United States Hockey League

Tri-City Storm 4 @ Omaha Lancers 0

G Kris Oldham, OMA: Loss, 31 saves on 34 shots
Season totals: 28 GP, 12-12-4, 2.75 GAA, .908 sv%, 1 SO
2014-15 totals: 33 GP, 21-6-4, 2.49 GAA, .908 sv%, 1 SO
(University of Nebraska-Omaha signee)

Oldham’s streak stretched to 1-7-2 since January 23.

Sioux Falls Stampede 2 @ Dubuque Fighting Saints 3 (OT)

D Ryan Zuhlsdorf, DBQ: 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 0 SOG
Season totals: 33 GP, 0-24-24, -9, 53 PIM
With Dubuque: 3 GP, 0-1-1, -2, 2 PIM
With Sioux City: 30 GP, 0-23-23, -7, 51 PIM
2014-15 totals: 56 GP, 3-19-22, +25, 58 PIM
(University of Minnesota signee)

Dubuque kept pace with first-place Cedar Rapids with an overtime win over Sioux Falls. The Saints are four points back of Cedar Rapids for first in the East, but with a game in-hand.

NCAA Game Night: 3-4-16

UMass Minutemen 1 @ No. 9 Boston University Terriers 2 (OT)
Hockey East Opening Round
BU leads best-of-3 series, 1-0

D John MacLeod, BU: Did not play
Season totals: 24 GP, 1-1-2, -4, 22 PIM
2014-2015 totals: 37 GP, 2-7-9, +19, 58 PIM

MacLeod was scratched for the fifth straight game. Twelfth-seeded UMass, who entered the game 8-22-4, took the fifth-seeded Terriers to overtime before falling.

Bemidji State Beavers 1 @ No. 16 Minnesota State Mavericks 6

W Jimmy Mullin, MSU: 1-0-1, +2, 0 PIM, 3 SOG
Season totals: 25 GP, 2-8-10, +1, 6 PIM
2013-2014 totals (Miami): 19 GP, 1-6-7, 23 PIM

Mullin scored his second goal of the season in the Mavs’ 6-1 pounding of the Beavers. Minnesota State outshot BSU, 46-13. With the win, MSU clinched at least a share of the WCHA championship.

*USCHO poll used

AHL Game Night: 3-4-16 Crunch at Pirates

Crunch score 3 unanswered to make Portland walk the plank.

SYR-3
POR-1

Adam Wilcox allowed 1 goal on 30 shots for the victory.

First Period
POR Brickley, (5) (Weegar, Gaunce), 4:57 (PP)
SYR Gourde, (8) (Walcott, Richard), 15:28

Second Period
SYR Richard, (8) (DeAngelo, McGinn), 17:55

Third Period
SYR Angelidis, (7) , 19:55 (EN)

Tanner Richard and Wilcox were the game's first and second stars.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

Juniors Game Night: 3-3-16

Quebec Major Junior Hockey League

Drummondville Voltigeurs 1 @ Saint John Sea Dogs 4

W Bokondji Imama, SJ: 0-1-1, E, 4 PIM, 1 SOG, 4 Hits
Season totals: 41 GP, 4-12-16, -4, 74 PIM
2013-2014 Season: 59 GP, 13-15-28, +2, 137 PIM

W Mathieu Joseph, SJ: 0-1-1,+1, 0 PIM, 3 SOG, 0 Hits
Season totals: 56 GP, 32-38-70, +35, 55 PIM
2013-2014 Season: 59 GP, 21-21-42, +18, 46 PIM

Imama (pictured) had his second assist in his last four games to help the Sea Dogs to a 4-1 win over the Volts. Mathieu Joseph also added a helper to give him 70 points on the season.

Shawinigan Cataractes 6 @ Victoriaville Tigres 5

W Dennis Yan, SHAW: 1-0-1, -1, 2 PIM, 2 SOG, 1 Hit
Season totals: 55 GP, 31-33-64, +5, 76 PIM
2014-2015 Season: 59 GP, 33-31-64, +23, 71 PIM

Shawinigan got a power play goal in the final minute to steal a 6-5 road win in Victoriaville.

Ontario Hockey League

Hamilton Bulldogs 4 @ Peterborough Petes 7

D Dominik Masin, PBO: 0-2-2, +3, 2 PIM, 2 SOG
Season totals: 50 GP, 8-24-32, +30, 42 PIM
2014-15 totals: 48 GP, 7-19-26, -13, 68 PIM

D Matt Spencer, PBO: 0-1-1, +2, 0 PIM, 2 SOG
Season totals: 53 GP, 4-19-23, -4, 46 PIM
2014-15 totals: 67 GP, 6-24-30, -15, 64 PIM

Masin and Spencer combined for three points and a plus-5 rating as the Petes beat the Bulldogs, 7-4.

NHL Game Night: 3-3-16 Lightning at Senators

Lightning overcome temporary brain deadness to run win streak to 8.

TB-4
OTT-1

Ben Bishop allowed 1 goal on 34 shots for the victory. He was extremely solid, and he had to be to help the Lightning weather the important moments in this game.

First Period
NO SCORING

Second Period
4:14 TB Paquette(5), (Brown, Hedman)
18:33 TB Palat(8), (Johnson)

Third Period
5:24 OTT Methot(3), (Smith)
18:14 TB Kucherov(25), (unassisted)
19:46 TB Stamkos(29), (Stralman)(EN)

Bishop and Nikita Kucherov were the game's first and second stars.

The Lightning made that harder than they needed to, and it's not a tape they'll be looking at for aesthetic reasons. They built the 2-0 lead through 40 minutes by playing solid, opportunistic road hockey. They really were pushing hard for the put away goal early in the Third Period, and they started getting sloppy on their breakouts, which led to about 10-15 minutes of nail biting. You simply cannot have the unforced turnovers at your own blueline, and the Lightning were just playing braindead hockey for that span of the game. Fortunately Bishop was solid and fortunately Pageau made an even worse unforced turnover to Kucherov in the OTT slot to get the put away goal and avoid the photo finish.

At the time of this posting, Colorado holds a 3-2 lead over the Panthers. If that holds up, the Lightning will again be in a tie atop the Atlantic Division. Either way, the Lightning already have 8 of the minimum 12 points they need out of this 10 game segment of the season with 6 games left in it. That means they're in excellent shape to squirrel away a lot of points heading into the very last segment of the regular season.

Nikita Nesterov was +1 with 3 shots, 2 hits, and 1 blocked shot in 15:11. Tonight was his 41st game of the season, meaning he is now graduated from prospect status on the website. He put in a pretty good performance at both ends of the rink to celebrate the occasion, too.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

KHL Playoff Game Day: 3-3-16

KHL Eastern Conference Quarterfinals
(7)Ekaterinburg 2 vs. (2)Magnitogorsk 5
Magnitogorsk Wins the Series 4-2
Vasily Koshechkin, Magnitogorsk, DNP
Playoff totals: 2 GP, 2-0-0, 2 SO, 0.00 GAA, 1.000 sv%
Regular season totals: 50 GP, 22-15-9, 4 SO, 2.12 GAA, .925 sv%

Caps first rounder Ilya Samsonov allowed 2 goals on 20 shots for the win on Magnitka's 5-2 Game Six, series-clinching victory over upset-minded Ekaterinburg. Undrafted 23 year old Czech forward Tomas Filippi had a pair of insurance goals in the win. Defenseman Alexei Vasilevskiy, brother of Andrei, had a helper in defeat for Ekaterinburg. He finished the series with 3 goals and 4 points in 6 games.

Meanwhile, the Western Conference Semifinals brackets are set with #1 seed CSKA facing #7 seed Novgorod and #6 seed SKA St. Petersburg drawing #5 seed Dynamo Moscow.

Juniors Game Night: 3-2-16

Ontario Hockey League

Saginaw Spirit 5 @ Flint Firebirds 6 (OT)

W Mitchell Stephens, SAG: 1-1-2, -1, 0 PIM, 4 SOG, 10/18 FO
Season totals: 32 GP, 16-14-30, E, 12 PIM
2014-15 totals: 62 GP, 22-26-48, -17, 44 PIM

With two points Wednesday, Stephens has at least a point in four straight games and 10 of his past 11. Flint pulled within nine points of Saginaw for the last playoff spot in the West, though it’s probably too little too late for the much-maligned Firebirds.

Western Hockey League

Lethbridge Hurricanes 5 @ Moose Jaw Warriors 1

C Brayden Point, MJ: 0-0-0, -3, 0 PIM
Season totals: 40 GP, 31-46-77, +23, 21 PIM
2014-15 totals: 60 GP, 38-49-87, +6, 46 PIM

Moose Jaw held a 1-0 lead after the first period, but things went downhill quickly from there. By the start of the third, the Warriors were down 4-1.

Vancouver Giants 1 @ Prince George Cougars 2

D Ben Thomas, VAN: 0-0-0, -1, 0 PIM
Season totals: 68 GP, 8-19-27, -29, 46 PIM
With Vancouver: 54 GP, 8-16-24, -19, 36 PIM
With Calgary: 14 GP, 0-3-3, -10, 10 PIM
2014-15 totals: 60 GP, 7-24-31, +16, 28 PIM

The Cougars took both games of a 2-game mid-week set with the Giants, winning in a shootout Tuesday and in regulation Wednesday. Prince George was outshooting the Giants 31-15 through two periods, but was only up, 1-0.

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