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Holmqvist Leaving Springfield

[url=http://www.expressen.se/index.jsp?a=269379]Reports out of Sweden [/url] indicate that defenseman Andreas Holmqvist will be returning to Linkopings for next season after spending parts of the last two seasons in the Lightning organization with Hamilton, Pensacola and Springfield. According to the story, the former 2001 2nd round pick will be joining his older brother Michael, a Ducks prospect, with the Linkopings club. The news comes at a time where speculation is increasing about the Lightning signing North Dakota defenseman and 2003 2nd round pick Matt Smaby for placement with the Falcons next season.

Pelicans A Strike Back!

After a sour start to the Junior A playoffs that saw [url=http://www.sm-liiga.fi/finhockey2/sjl_tulospalvelu_popup.asp?ottelu_id=33339&TID=1451&ilman=true]Karri Ramo drop the first game of the series 7-2[/url], Ramo and Pelicans A struck back today to tie the series at 1-1. Buoyed by a [url=http://www.sm-liiga.fi/finhockey2/sjl_tulospalvelu_popup.asp?ottelu_id=33343&TID=1451&ilman=true]first star performance that saw Ramo stop 31 of 32 shots, Pelicans A beat TPS A 2-1 today to even the best of five.[/url] Game Three is slated for tomorrow, March 7th. Ramo's resiliance in staking his team to a very important 2-1 win was undeniable today. Many young goaltenders' confidence and focus might have been shattered after seeing a shutout streak of 194:51 dissolve into a horrendous 4 goal third period like the one Ramo faced in Game One against TPS A. However, just as Ramo has already proven he has the advanced maturity to compete at the SM-liiga level this season, he proved today he also has the maturity to put aside a bad loss and once again elevate his game when the chips are down. Now with the series knotted up the Cinderella Pelicans A have shortened their series against second seed TPS A into a best of three where anything can happen.

Ramo-Rama

With Karri Ramo having a tough last month in the SM-liiga, the Pelicans today decided to try and buoy his confidence by allowing him to suit up for their Junior-A team. [url=http://www.sm-liiga.fi/finhockey2/sjl_tulospalvelu_popup.asp?]Ramo responded by shutting out Blues A 2-0 today stopping 18 of 18 shots[/url] faced to garner secpmd star honors. [url=http://www.sm-liiga.fi/finhockey2/sjl_tulospalvelu_stat.asp?TID=1344&tilasto=mv&rajaus=0]The shutout moved Ramo back to first in SM-liiga Jr. A in save percentage.[/url]

Somervuori's Next Move

Published reports out of Switzerland and [url=http://www.jatkoaika.com/smliiga.php?sivu=uutiset&id=4062]Finland[/url] speculate that RW Eero Somervuori will depart Karpat at the end of the SM-liiga season for the Swiss NLA league. According to the newspaper Kaleva, Somervuori has already signed to play for the club team Ambri-Piotta next year. Somervuori is [url=http://www.sm-liiga.fi/tilasto.asp?otsake1=Kausi+2004%2D2005+runkosarja&sarja=1303&maingroup=0&group=1&parm=6&stats=70] currently third in scoring on Karpat behind Petr Tenkrat and Jussi Jokinen with 12-22-34 in 48 games. [/url] The Finnish website jatkoaika.com points out Somervuori has struggled recently since being moved off a line with NHL veteran and former Lightning player Michael Nylander but Somervuori still places in the top-20 in scoring in Finland. Karpat is currently 2nd on the SM-liiga table 5 points behind Jokerit for the top spot in the waning days of the season. Their regular season ends on March 9th at Pori Assat before the playoffs begin.

Ramo Update

The going in the SM-liiga has been tough lately for Karri Ramo. Despite some valiant efforts the young netminder has been buried behind a string of 40 shot, 5 goal allowed games and the Pelicans' lack of talent has finally caught up to Ramo. Still, [url=http://www.sm-liiga.fi/tulospalvelu.asp?palvelu=1&raportti=29750]Ramo did manage to beat Ilves yesterday 4-3 in OT, stopping 24 of 27 shots.[/url] He has slipped overall to a .905 sv% and 3.77 GAA. However, it is important to note again that Ramo is playing against full grown men in the SM-liiga. Against junior competition, he posted what still stands as the [url=http://www.sm-liiga.fi/finhockey2/sjl_tulospalvelu_stat.asp?TID=1344&tilasto=mv&rajaus=0]second best sv% in Junior A behind only highly touted Tuukka Rask.[/url] Rask is expected to be as high as a top-ten pick if and when the 2005 Entry Draft ever happens. And, last week in the 5 Nations U-19 tournament Ramo more than held his own in [url=http://stats.swehockey.se/0405/html/5natu19/page0012.html]posting the tournament's best GAA.[/url] Ramo went 1-1 [url=http://stats.swehockey.se/online/37/91320001_bottom_default.htm]dropping his first game of the tournament 3-2 in penalty shots to the Czech Republic[/url] before [url=http://stats.swehockey.se/online/37/91320007_bottom_default.htm]rebounding to shut out Switzerland 3-0 stopping 17 of 17 shots.[/url]
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