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ECHL Game Night: 3-29-13

Florida Everblades 5 vs. Orlando Solar Bears 1

W Alex Hutchings, FLA: Did not play
Season totals: 40 GP, 14-20-34, E, 30 PIM

D Charles Landry, FLA: 0-0-0, +1, 1 SOG, 2 PIM (slashing)
Season totals: 50 GP, 4-12-16, +6, 31 PIM

F Maxime Langelier-Parent, FLA: Did not play
Season totals: 3 GP, 2-1-3, -3, 5 PIM
(Syracuse Crunch contract)

D Daniel Milan, FLA: Did not play
Season totals: 43 GP, 2-6-8, +5, 56 PIM

D Pat Nagle, FLA: Did not play
Season totals: 31 GP, 14-9-3, 3.02 GAA, 797 S / 882 SA (.904 SV%)

Florida struck twice in the first period and three more times in the final frame before Orlando was able to muster a single goal of its own en route to a decisive and fourth-straight victory. The win pushed the Everblades into a first-place tie with Gwinnett for the the South Division crown and the current fourth-seed spot in the Eastern Conference playoff standings. Gwinnett holds the tiebreaker while both clubs have just a single game remaining, so only an Everblades victory and a Gladiators loss will see Florida take the South Division title and thereby the third-seed for the upcoming playoffs. Jesse Deckert stopped 28 of 29 Solar Bears shots to improve his record to an impressive 8-1-1. Deckert also boasts a team-best 2.34 GAA and .918 SV%. Dan Milan was a scratch while Alex Hutchings and Pat Nagle remain with AHL Syracuse. Florida (38-22-11, 87 PTS) closes its regular season at home against Orlando (28-36-7, 63 PTS) Saturday night.

Official Recap | Box Score

NCAA Game Night: 3-29-13

(West-3)Niagara Purple Eagles 1 vs. (West-2) North Dakota 2
NCAA Tournament

F Brendan O’Donnell, UND: 0-0-0, E, 2 PIM, 0 SOG
Season totals: 28 GP, 2-8-10, E, 20 PIM

Brendan O’Donnell started on North Dakota’s first line as the team in green beat the Purple Eagles, 2-1 in the West Regional Semifinals. North Dakota entered the third period down 1-0, but by the 3-minute mark had the lead they needed. They will play Yale in the regional finals for the right to go to the Frozen Four.

(West-4)Yale Bulldogs 3 @ (West-1)Minnesota Golden Gophers 2 (OT)
NCAA Tournament

G Adam Wilcox, MIN: OT Loss, 23 saves on 26 shots
Season totals: 39 GP, 25-8-5, 1.88 GAA, .921 sv%, 3 SO

Minnesota fought back from a 2-0 deficit to force overtime, but the Bulldogs completed the upset of the Gophers with an overtime-winning goal nine seconds into the extra period. Minnesota’s defenseman turned over the puck behind Wilcox’s net and the Yale’s Kenny Agostino – traded to Calgary in the Jarome Iginla deal earlier this week – fed Jesse Root in the slot for the winning goal. Wilcox had no chance at the game-winner. He finished his freshman season among the best goalies in the conference, and will be a big part of the Gophers’ season next year – its first in the new Big 10 hockey conference.

NA Juniors Playoff Game Night: 3-29-13

Quebec Major Junior Hockey League

(9)Drummondville Voltigeurs 4 @ (8)Rouyn-Noranda Huskies 6
Rouyn-Noranda wins best-of-7 first round series, 4-1

W Nikita Kucherov, R-N: 2-1-3, +2, 0 PIM, 7 SOG, 1 Hit, *Second Star*
Playoff totals: 5 GP, 3-6-9, +7, 4 PIM
Season totals: 33 GP, 29-34-63, +17, 14 PIM
With R-N: 27 GP, 26-27-53, +18, 12 PIM
With Quebec: 6 GP, 3-7-10, -1, 2 PIM

Nikita Kucherov (pictured) scored twice and Jean-Sebastien Dea (undrafted) had a hat trick to lead the Huskies to the second round of the QMJHL playoffs. Rouyn-Noranda rebounded from a 3-0 deficit to win.

(3)Blainville-Boisbriand Armada 3 @ (14)Acadie-Bathurst Titan 2
Blainville-Boisbriand wins best-of-7 first round series, 4-1

C Cedric Paquette, BLB: 1-1-2, -1, 0 PIM, 5 SOG, 1 Hit
Playoff totals: 5 GP, 2-3-5, +1, 4 PIM
Season totals: 63 GP, 27-56-83, +29, 103 PIM

The Armada advanced to the second round with a 3-2 win over the Titan. Cedric Paquette tied the game at two late in the second period on the power play. B-B won the game in the third period.

(7)PEI Rocket 1 @ (10)Val-d’Or Foreurs 3
Val-d’Or leads best-of-7 first round series, 3-2

D Artem Sergeev, VDO: 1-0-1, +2, 3 SOG, 3 Hits
Playoff totals: 5 GP, 2-1-3, +3, 0 PIM
Season totals: 55 GP, 6-33-39, +20, 65 PIM

Val-d’Or took a 3-1 series lead with a big 3-1 home win on Friday. Sergeev scored his second career playoff goal, into an empty net while shorthanded. Game 6 is Sunday in Charlottetown.

Ontario Hockey League

(W5)Sudbury Wolves 1 @ (W4)Brampton Battalion 0 (OT)
Sudbury wins best-of-7 Western Conference Quarterfinals, 4-1

D Dylan Blujus, BRAM: 0-0-0, -1, 0 PIM
Playoff totals: 5 GP 2-2-4, E, 2 PIM
Season totals: 68 GP, 2-27-29, -8, 57 PIM

Brampton started back-up goalie Jake Smith, and the move nearly worked as he carried a shutout into overtime. Sudbury, who was outshot 10-5 in the extra session, advanced to the Western Conference Semifinals with the win. Blujus played his last game in Brampton as the team is moving to North Bay next year. Blujus will return to juniors next season. After a slow year offensively, he came in the game’s final two weeks and in the playoffs. He remains a prospect to watch in the Lightning system.

(W5)Guelph Storm 2 (W4)Kitchener Rangers 4
Kitchener wins best-of-7 Western Conference Quarterfinals, 4-1

C/W Tanner Richard, GUE: 0-0-0, E, 2 PIM
Playoff totals: 5 GP, 0-3-3, E, 6 PIM
Season totals: 52 GP, 11-51-62, +18, 94 PIM

Richard’s junior career ended on Friday night as the Storm fell to division rival Kitchener, 4-2. The Rangers won the series, 4-1. Richard, who was brought to the Lightning-Leafs game last week, can join the Syracuse Crunch, who are desperate for forwards, should the Lightning decide to sign him or coordinate a tryout agreement with the Crunch. Richard had a fine year, setting career highs in assists, points, plus/minus, and penalty minutes.

AHL Game Night: 3-29-13 Crunch at Admirals

Third Period collapse in Norfolk.

SYR-4
NOR-5 (OT)

Riku Helenius allowed 5 goals on 30 shots for the loss. So much for getting over the .900 save percentage line. No wonder the Lightning are rumored to be trying to sweet talk Bratislava into letting Jaroslav Janus come back.

First Period
SYR Connolly, (27) (Jacques), 3:51
SYR Neilson, (1) (Gauthier, Wyman), 17:07
NOR Maroon, (19) (Bonis, McMillan), 19:46

Second Period
SYR Hutchings, (3) (Cote, Namestnikov), 18:59

Third Period
SYR Sexton, (7) (Brown, Wyman), 0:10
NOR Smith-Pelly, (11) (McMillan), 0:50
NOR Wagner, (7) (Pelley), 2:46
NOR Maroon, (20) (Guenin, Vatanen), 8:49 (PP)

Overtime
NOR Maroon, (21) (Sarault, Vatanen), 1:41 (PP)

I've said it many times, a 3 goal lead in the final frame in pro hockey is supposed to be a death sentence. When you cough up a lead like that, it lingers like a bad stench for a while. When you cheat the reaper like Norfolk did, it can propel you.

The news is bad with Bingo and Providence winning tonight. The Crunch now are tied with the Bruins and tied in points (and in their division) with Binghamton. Rematch with Norfolk tomorrow night. 9 games are left in the regular season, and every single precious point matters now.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

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