It's been a roller coster ride the last couple of weeks. Early in the week didn't look very good as Montreal beat the Stars 3-1, in the 1st period the Stars looked like that this was their night after an early goal by Loui Eriksson just 5 minutes into the game on the PP but that was all they produced as they falied to convert a 4 minute PP midway through the game which could have made a pontential easy night for the Stars. However, in the 2nd they fell on their face espically in during faceoffs where est. puck control was very diffuclt to do. Then Kostitsyn scored 5:00 into the 2nd period to tie it at 1-1 and then Alexi Kovalev put the Canadaiens in the lead with 5 minutes left in the 2nd period. Christopher Higgins put the game on ice with a 3rd period goal at the 5:27 mark of the 3rd period to win the game for Montreal where they were outshot by the Stars 32-19 during the game. The lowly 2nd period is what made the difference for Montreal in a game that both teams needed to stay in their conference playoff races.
On Tuesday in St. Louis, the Stars had no chance as Marty Turco was pulled midway through the 1st period as he gave up 3 goals in just 12 minutes as Blues goals by Backes, Perron and Winchester put the Blues in a huge hole early that they couldn't come back from. Stars goals by James Neal and Mike Ribeiro were hardly enough to make a comeback as the Blues just dominated the game from start to finish with an easy 5-2 win.
It started to turnaround when the Stars won 3-2 against another Eastern Conference Bubble team in the Carolina Hurricanes. With all 3 goals comming up in the 2nd period with goals from Mike Ribeiro to tie the game at 1, Steve Begin gave them the lead just 5 minutes with trade deadline accqurie Brendan Morrison who scored his first goal for the Stars to make it 3-1. Then in the 3rd period, the Hurricanes Ryan Whitney made it 3-2 to start up a frenzy from the Hurricanes to where the Hurricanes almost got the game to OT near the end of relegation but Turco was able give the Stars a critical win and to keep their playoff chances alive and to get the best possible seeding for the playoffs.
On Saturday against Minnesota, Steve Ott scored both times in relegation as he scored goals early in both the 1st and 2nd periods to give the Stars a 2-0 then Koivu and Andrew Brunette in the 2nd period where the 3rd period was a bit guarded to protect their chances as both the Stars and the Minnesota Wild to get precouis points as the Minnesota Wild is currently in the 11th spot and currently out of the playoffs while the Stars are in the 7th spot out west and would currently play the San Jose Sharks in the 1st round if the regular season ended today. Then in OT, an unlikely game winner from Nicklas Grossman to give the Stars a critical win.
Comming up this week, a 3 game road trip which includes 2 games in Wesetern Canada against the Vancouver Canucks and Calgary Flames on Tuesday and Wedesnday then comming up on Saturday as they play San Jose for the 6th and final time this season and could be a pontential 1st round playoff matchup.
Oklahoma Sonners Update
A little bit of a change of plans for the some of the games in Cleveland as some of the games were pushed back due to a minor carbon Minxode outbreak delayed some of the 1st round games to Sunday espically later in the Day where the Oklahoma Sonners were affected by the schedule. So they played their first round game on Sunday evening against Kent State as the Sooners won the 1st round game against the Kent State Golden Flashes 9-4 where Justin King scored 4 goals and added an assist while Jesse Bryant added 2 goals in the game. Owen Brewer, Daryl Dee, Chris Nicolaou also scored goals in the win. Next up the Sonners is the University of Illinois where that game started @ 7:30 earlier tonight and will have that result on the next blog post.
Here's the scores from the 1st round
West Chester 4 Iowa State 2 (1-0, 3-1, 0-1)
Stony Brooke 3 Delaware 4 (1-1, 2-2, 0-1)
Ohio University 4 Rhode Island 3 (3-1, 0-2, 1-0)
Duquesne 2 Penn State 5 (0-1, 2-2, 0-2)
Robert Morris 2 Liberty 6 (0-2, 2-2, 0-2)
Central Oklahoma 1 Illinois 4 (0-0, 0-2, 1-2)
Penn State Berks 2 Lindenwood 14 (1-5, 1-3, 0-6)
I will give a showing of the Quarterfinal Matchups in the next post.
News and Notes
With the Central Hockey League Regular season ending this weekend. The matchups for the Conference Play In and Conference Semifinals are starting to become more clear. The seedings in the south where 4 of the 5 teams have been clinched as the Texas Brahmas and the Odessa Jackalopes have clinched the divisions titles while in the North, the Oklahoma City Blazers and Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs are fighting it out to stay out of the play in round with 4 games left to play this season.
In the American Hockey League, (Both in the West Division) will be fighting it out for the 2nd seed in the west with the Chicago Wolves, Peoria Rivermen, and the Rockford Icehounds are just 3 points seperatres 2nd through 5th place in the Western Conference's West Division while the San Antonio Rampage are currently in last place with 58 points where they are 14 points back of the last playoff spot and are basically out of playoff contention.
Most of the Major Junior Playoff matchups for the opening rounds (WHL, OHL, and QMJHL) are now set. The OHL and WHL are now all set while the WHL will finish up tommorow due to a 1 game tie break for the final playoff spot in the WHL between the Prince Albert Raiders and the Edmonton Oil Kings in Prince Albert tommorow night. The Spokane Cheifs have some work to do as well after a food poisoning out break which forced them to reschedule their final 2 games of the regular season against the Kelowna Rockets and the Tri-City Americans.
Here's the playoff matchups for the OHL and QMJHL as they start up later this week. I will show the WHL after the games end tommorow.
Ontario Hockey League
#1 Belleville Bulls VS. #8 Sudbury Wolves
#2 Brampton Battalion VS. #7 Peterborough Petes
#3 Ottawa 67s VS. #6 Niagara Icedogs
#4 Mississauga St. Micheals Majors VS. #5 Barrie Colts
#1 Windsor Spitfires VS. #8 Owen Sound Attack
#2 London Knights VS. #7 Erie Otters
#3 Saginaw Spirit VS. #6 Guelph Storm
#4 Plymouth Whalers VS. #5 Sarnia Sting
Quebec Major Junior Hockey League
Quebec West Division
#1 Gatineau Olympiques VS. #5A Acadie-Bathrust Titans
#2 Montreal De Junior VS. #3 Rouyn-Nornda Huskies
Quebec Central Division
#1 Drummondville Voltigeurs VS. #4 Lewiston Maineaics
#2 Shawinigan Cataractes VS. #3 Victoriaville Tigres
Quebec East Division
#1 Quebec City Ramparts VS. #4 Baie-Comeau Drakkar
#2 Rimouski Oceanic VS. #3 Chicoutimi Sagueneens
#1 Moncton Wildcats VS. #4 Prince Edward Island Rockets
#2 Cape Breton Screaming Eagles VS. #3 St. John Seadogs
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