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CHL Game Night: 3-28-19

Ontario Hockey League

OHL Western Conference Quarterfinals

West-4 Guelph Storm 5 @ West-5 Kitchener Rangers 1
Guelph wins best-of-7 series, 4-0

C/W Alexey Lipanov, KIT: 0-0-0, -1, 0 PIM, 0 SOG, 4/11 FO
Playoff Totals: 4 GP, 0-1-1, -3, 0 PIM
Season Totals: 62 GP, 12-18-30, -36, 16 PIM
17-18 Totals (BAR, SBY): 55 GP, 14-25-39, -14, 10 PIM

Guelph made quick work of the Rangers in the series, winning Game 4, 5-1, to sweep Kitchener and advance to the conference semi-finals. While Guelph loaded up with trades at the OHL trade deadline, Kitchener had been playing well since the calendar turned to 2019 and was expected to put up more of a fight against the Storm. As it was, Kitchener’s season ended after four playoff games with Lightning prospect Alexey Lipanov managing just an assist in the series. The former Lightning third rounder will now join the pro ranks with Tampa Bay, either in AHL Syracuse or ECHL Orlando. Considering Syracuse already has Troy Bourke and Otto Somppi playing in Orlando, it’s hard to see the organization putting Lipanov with the Crunch for anything other than practice time and instruction. Lipanov concludes his CHL career in a near worst-case scenario after a strong start to his North American career last year with Barrie. He was traded to Sudbury mid-season last year and his numbers plummeted, then after a trade to Kitchener Lipanov, who boasts high-end raw skills, fell out of the top-6 with the Rangers and ended up with just 30 points (12 goals) in 62 games and was among the worst plus/minus players in the league. Had he been most other prospects, he may not have received a contract offer, but the Lightning signed the young Russian before he even came to North America (perhaps that was part of the agreement). Lipanov has an excellent wrist shot and good vision, but he is a major project and one Syracuse coach Benoit Groulx will have to be patient with. That could start as soon as this weekend if the Lightning choose to get him immediately into a Syracuse practice jersey.

AHL Game Night: 3-27-19 Crunch at Senators

Crunch lose tight-checking contest in the Shootout.

SYR-1
BEL-2 (SO)

Eddie Pasquale allowed 1 goal on 25 shots before allowed 2 of 3 to convert in the penalty shot session for the SO loss.

First Period
NO SCORING

Second Period
13:39 SYR Conacher (22), (Andreoff, Yan)

Third Period
9:35 BEL Paul (17), (Brown, Burgdoerfer)

Overtime
NO SCORING

Shootout
SYR- Conacher
BEL- Brown, Tambellini

Cory Conacher was the game's three stars.

With eight regular season games to go, Syracuse's North Division lead stands at three points.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

NHL Game Night: 3-25-19 Bruins at Lightning

And Gronkowski just retired too, chowdaheads!

BOS-4
TB-5

Andrei Vasilevskiy allowed 4 goals on 17 shots for the victory. Goal support. Breath it in.

First Period
6:42 TB Stamkos (40), (Callahan, Sergachev)
8:30 BOS Marchand (33), (Pastrnak, Bergeron)(PP)
14:58 TB Stamkos (41), (Hedman, Sergachev)

Second Period
8:42 BOS Coyle (12), (Backes)
13:41 BOS Carlo (2), (Krejci, Debrusk)
14:32 BOS Marchand (34), (Pastrnak, Bergeron)

Third Period
5:36 TB Hedman (12), (Stamkos, Miller)
13:15 TB Kucherov (38), (Stamkos)
19:07 TB Cirelli (18), (Joseph, McDonagh)

Steven Stamkos and Anthony Cirelli were the game's first and third stars.

I thought the Lightning dominated the possession game in this contest and absolutely deserved the victory, but they tried their darndest to give the game away with unforced errors and a little bit of poor puck luck. In the end, though, Boston withered in the Third Period as the OG's, Stamkos and Hedman, again led the way to victory. They can smell it. Now's the start of the winning time.

One game after narrowly edging a very good St. Louis team in faceoffs the Lightning won 54% of their draws against a team that has Patrice Bergeron. Whether the credit goes to Jeff Halpern or black magic, I don't care. It's been an amazing turnaround in an area that can make or break you once the postseason finally rolls around.

This isn't the most dominant version of Steven Stamkos we've seen, pre-broken leg, but it might be the best and most well-rounded version of Steven Stamkos we've ever seen.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

AHL Game Night: 3-24-19 Crunch at Sound Tigers

Streaking Crunch run out of gas in Tolvanen's first start.

SYR-1
BRI-4

ATO signee Atte Tolvanen allowed 3 goals on 29 shots for the loss.

First Period
NO SCORING

Second Period
2:45 BRI Bourque (15), (Lorito, Casto)
14:49 BRI St. Denis (15), (Lorito, Bourque)(PP)
16:01 SYR Barre-Boulet (32), (Colton, Masin)
17:51 BRI Wotherspoon (6), (Koivula, Bourque)

Third Period
15:12 BRI Koivula (18), (Casto)(EN)

Syracuse had a shot to crawl closer in this one when Cory Conacher was denied on a PS early in the Third Period. Rochester pulled to within 3 points in the North Division and Charlotte pulled out to a 6 point lead, league-wide, over the Crunch with all teams involved with 9 games left to play.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

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