Thursday, March 19, 2009

OU Hockey at ACHA Nationals and the Stars Injury Situation

The Oklahoma Sonners lost a close game against the University of Illinois 3-2 in a evenly matched affair as the game was tied at 1-1 midway through the game till the Illinois scored the only goal in the 2nd period. Then later then in the 3rd, Sonners forward Austin Miller early in the 3rd period. Then the Sonners and Illinois took not one but 2 OT Periods to settle the game before Johnny Liang on a PP to win the game and advance to the ACHA National Semifinals.

The Sooners were a very impressive 30-7-3 record and inclueded a very respetable trip to the Quarterfinals which almost saw them make it to the last 4. Nice job to the team and wish them luck in the future.

Sorry, for the lack of coverage, Late in the day on Saturday. Their was a relase of carbon minxode that forced the rink to be cleared out and was closed till late in the day on Sunday and becuase of that, the schedule was changed and updated by ear and was very hard to find an updated schedule for the tournament.

Here's the other scores from the Nationals

March 15

West Chester 6 Delaware 2 (2-0, 1-0, 3-2)
Ohio University 2 Penn State 3 (0-0, 0-2, 2-1)
Central Oklahoma 5 Robert Morris 1 (1-0, 4-1, 0-0)
Penn State Burks 2 Lindenwood 14 (1-5, 1-3, 0-6)

March 16

Liberty 1 Lindenwood 5 (0-0, 0-3, 1-2)

March 17
Illinois 3 Penn State 0 (0-0, 1-0, 2-0)

March 18
Illinois 1 Lindenwood 3 (0-0, 1-3, 0-0)

Congrats to Lindenwood University, ACHA Division 1 National Championships.

The Stars injury problem is causing some very uneven play late in the regular season. Some nights they look like they very healthy, other nights they look tired and can't push more then have given through all this. Last night's game against Calgary was a good example where it was a heavy emphais on defense and protecting Marty Turco. They lost 2-1 even after they opened the scoring with a goal from Brendan Morrison early in the 2nd period, then just 4 minutes later, Calgary Jamie Lundmark who scored only his 5th goal of the season. Then after that goal it was a defensive display with a emphais on protecting the goaltenders till Eric Nystrom scored the game winner midway through the 3rd period. After the goal that made it 2-1, it looked the Stars were gased at the end of the game and at a hard time posting any kind of attempt to at least force OT.

Their is some hope however, as Mark Parrish and Fabian Brunnstrom could be close to returning to the ice. But, Mike Modano and Brian Sutherby were out from last night's game, Modano with a lower body injury while Sutherby with an upper body injury and team doctors are looking to see what they may have and how long they could be out for. While Capatian Bredan Morrow, Defensemen Sergei Zubov, Brad Richards and Toby Petersen have been out for varoious amounts of time. Brendan Morrow it looks for him that he is getting ready for a possible playoff run, while Richards could be back for the last few games of the regular season and Petersen is working on a broken foot right now. It's also showing in their stats, espically on the PP.

Also with these so called lower and upper body injuries, the league should force teams to be more specific on what these injuries are so we can have an idea on how long a player will be out. The Stars coaching staff needs to force the players to come back earlier then maybe some of them should so we can get back healther sooner and give our younger players like Eriksson and Neal a break, if the Stars make the playoffs, I don't know if these players can hold up the pressure and pounding of a playoff run would do. Also for the last few games if the playoffs are out of the question, forget about the players comming back and let them focus on their recovery and getting ready for next season.

So overall, they will be happy just to make it this year and will probally be elimnated from the post season very quickly this season. Espically if they have to play Detroit or San Jose in the Western Conference Quarterfinals.

Here's the PP totals for the month of March as the totals are very low.

3/1 VS Pittsburgh 1/6
3/3 AT San Jose 1/6
3/5 AT Los Angeles 0/3
3/6 AT Anaheim 1/4
3/8 VS Montreal 1/10
3/10 AT St. Louis 1/6
3/12 VS Carolina 0/3
3/14 VS Minnesota 0/3
3/17 AT Vancouver 1/7
3/18 AT Calgary 0/3

Not one game where you have more than 1 PP Goal with the worst game on March 8 where they went 1/10 and could have put the Canadaiens in a hole early and didn't.

Here's some stats for the season on where the injuries have affected them the most.

Power Play: 25th 15.6 %
Penalty Kill: 25th 79.3 %
Goals Differental: 202-217 -15

Current Record: 33-30-8 74PTS currently 10th in West

With 11 games left in the regular season, here's their reaming schedule. All Start Times are Dallas Time.

3/21 AT San Jose Sharks 3:00 FSN Southwest
3/24 VS Vancouver Canucks 7:30 FSN Southwest
3/26 VS Los Angeles Kings 7:30 FSN Southwest
3/28 VS Florida Panthers 7:00 FSN Southwest
3/30 AT Phoenix Cyotes 9:00 Versus
3/31 AT Los Angeles Kings 9:30 MYTV 27
4/2 VS Calgary Flames 7:30 FSN Southwest
4/4 VS St. Louis Blues 7:00 FSN Southwest
4/7 AT Minnesota Wild 7:00 Versus
4/9 VS Colorado Avalanche 8:00 FSN Southwest
4/10 AT Anaheim Ducks MYTV 27

Here's the Western Conference standings from 4th through 12th with just over 10 games left

4. Chicago 84 PTS 13 GR
5. Vancouver 83 PTS 13 GR
6. Columbus 80 PTS 11 GR
7. Nashville 76 PTS 11 GR
8. Edmonton 75 PTS 13 GR

9. Minnesota 74 PTS 12 GR
10. Dallas 74 PTS 11 GR
11. St. Louis 73 PTS 12 GR
12. Anaheim 72 PTS 12 GR

If you look at the standings, the Chicago Blackhawks, Vancouver Canucks and Columbus Blue Jackets are starting to assert themselves that look like they will be in the playoffs so it's starting to become a battle for the final 2 playoff spots.

News and Notes

The Western Hockey League finished up the regular season back on Tuesday night with only the leagues 4th ever tie break game for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. It was the Prince Albert Raiders against the Edmonton Oil King in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan as the Oil Kings won the game 2-1 in OT to advance to the playoffs for the first time in their team history since entering the league 5 years ago.

Here's the WHL 1st Round Matchups.

Eastern Conference

#1 Calgary Hitmen VS. #8 Edmonton Oil Kings
#2 Saskatoon Blades VS. #7 Lethbridge Hurricanes
#3 Brandon Wheat Kings VS. Kootenay Ice
#4 Swift Current Bronocos VS. #5 Medicine Hat Tigers

Western Conference

#1 Vancouver Giants VS. #8 Prince George Cougars
#2 Tri-City Americans VS. #7 Everett Silvetips
#3 Kelowna Rockets VS. #6 Kamloops Blazers
#4 Spokane Cheifs VS. #5 Seattle Thunderbirds

In the Road to the RBC Cup, several leagues are nearing the start of the semifinal rounds of their league playoffs. Another league, the Maritime Junior A Hockey League will finish up their quarterfinal round tonight. In Mantioba, we have our first team that is nearing a spot in any of the league championship series as the Portage Terriers are up 3-0 over Dauphin Kings and are looking like a very strong contender to repersent the Western Region at the RBC Cup in May.

Here's of the league Semifinals that start this weekend.

British Columbia Hockey League (BCHL)

Victoria Grizzlies VS. Powell River Kings
Salom Arm Silverbacks VS. Vernon Vipers

Alberta Junior Hockey League (AJHL)

Grande Prairie Storm VS. Brooks Bandits
Spruce Groove Saints VS. Olds Grizzlies

Central Junior Hockey League (CJHL)

Nepean Raiders VS. Ottawa Jr. Senators
Pembrooke Lumber Kings VS. Brockville Braves

Maritime Junior A Hockey League (MJAHL)

Summerside Western Capitals VS. Woodstock/Miramichi Winner
Truro Bearcats VS. Amherst Ramblers

Ontario Junior Hockey League (OJHL)

Oakville Blades VS. Wellington Dukes
Huntsville Muskoka Otters VS. Kingston Voyageurs

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