Monday, April 27, 2009

Texas Brahmas VS. Colorado Eagles in the CHL Presidents Cup Final

Over the weekend, the Texas Brahmas and the Colorado Eagles won their Conference Championships and will play each other for the Presidents Cup Title starting on Wednesday night. On Saturday, the Brahmas ended the Odessa Jackalopes season in just a dominating fashion 8-1 which was lead by Tyler Skworchinski with 3 goals and 3 assists followed by Justin Kinnunen and Matt Quinn who had multiple point games in the drumming they gave Odessa. The lone goal for Odessa came late in the 2nd period with a goal by Kenny Benard with 3 minutes left in the 2nd period. This was after the Jackalopes won game 6 2-0 in Odessa in a night where Odessa Goalie had a very strong night with a 25 save shutout which gave the Jackalopes a glimmer of hope, but it was quickly taken down early in game 7. For the Brahmas, this is their first ever trip to the Presidents Cup Final and have really turned around the team after missing the playoffs for 5 years straight and took the 2006-07 season off while to work out their arena situation after the agreement with the Ft. Worth Civic Center expired. They will be tough to beat at home with a strong 26-5-1 record at home during the regular season, during the playoffs, the only home loss was game 1 against Odessa where they lost 3-1.

For Colorado, they took down the Mississippi Riverkings in 6 games where it looked like it would have been a sweep after game 3 with a 3-0 series lead. It all started back in game 1 where the Riverkings lead 2-0, but the Eagles cameback with 2 goals by Ryan Tobler in the final 5 minutes of the 3rd period, then an Ed Mcgrane Goal in OT gave them the comeback win. After game 3, it looked like the Riverkings were having a hard time comming back which would have been a game 1 win. However during games 4 and 5, they came back nicely with a 6-5 in 2OT and 6-2 wins to draw the series back to 3-2, then in game 6 then Riverkings F Bobby Chaumont scored first to make it 1-0, back the Eagles scored 3 in a row to make it 3-1. After a score by Jeff Nelson to make it 3-2, the Eagles Adam Hogg basically clinched the Series and the Northern Conference Title with a goal with just 4:31 left in the game to make it 4-2, then an empty netter with 30 seconds left to put the game away to win it 5-2 by Kevin Ulanski. For the Eagles, they are back in the championship for the 4th time in 5 seasons becomming champions in 2005 and 2007, last year they were sweeped by the Arizona Sundogs in 4 straight.

As for the championship series, it will get underway on Wednesday night in Colorado at the Budwiser Events Center. For the Brahmas, they will host games 3-5 comming up while the games 6 and 7 will be on May 8 and 10 if it's needed. During the only head to head this season, the Brahmas won 4-1 back on Feb.6 at the NYTEX Sports Center in North Richland Hills. I also hoping to have a chance to make one of the games at the NYTEX Sports Center for either games 3, 4, or 5 of the Championship

My Picks are that Texas will contuine to control home ice with the best record in the league on home ice where they went 26-5-1 during the regular season and has went 5-1 in the playoffs. To win on the road, they want to get it done early to gain momentum in the series and to gain some control.

Look for game notes after every game in the championship series.

Here's a preview and the Championship Schedule

Game 1: 4/29, Texas Brahmas @ Colorado Eagles 7:05 PM
Game 2: 5/1, Texas Brahmas @ Colorado Eagles 7:05 PM
Game 3: 5/3, Colorado Eagles @ Texas Brahmas 3:05 PM
Game 4: 5/5, Colorado Eagles @ Texas Brahmas 7:05 PM
Game 5: 5/6, Colorado Eagles @ Texas Brahmas 7:05 PM
Game 6: 5/8, Texas Brahmas @ Colorado Eagles 7:05 PM
Game 7: 5/10 Texas Brahmas @ Colorado Eagles 7:05 PM

Road to the Presidents Cup Final

Texas Brahmas

Regular Season:
42-16-4 90PTS Southeast Division Champions, #1 seed in Southern Conference

Leading Scores: Scott Sheppard 32 G 34 A 66 PTS, Jordan Cameron 23 G 37A 60 PTS, Grant Jacobsen 21 G 34 A 55 PTS

Goaltending: Brett Jeager 44 GP 28-9-5 2.36 GAA .924 SV%


Leading Score: Jason Deitsch 5G 11A 16 PTS

Goaltending: Brett Jeager 8-3 1.85 GAA .941 SV%

Conference Semifinals VS. Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees
Texas Brahmas win series 4-0

Game 1: Texas Brahmas 4 Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees 2
Game 2: Texas Brahmas 5 Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees 4
Game 3: Texas Brahmas 6 Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees 2
Game 4: Texas Brahmas 3 Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees 1

Conference Finals VS. Odessa Jackalopes
Texas Brahmas win Series 4-3

Game 1: Texas Brahmas 1 Odessa Jackalopes 3
Game 2: Texas Brahmas 4 Odessa Jackalopes 1
Game 3: Texas Brahmas 3 Odessa Jackalopes 0
Game 4: Texas Brahmas 0 Odessa Jackalopes 2
Game 5: Texas Brahmas 7 Odessa Jackalopes 5
Game 6: Texas Brahmas 0 Odessa Jackalopes 2
Game 7: Texas Brahmas 8 Odessa Jackalopes 1

Colorado Eagles

Regular Season: 45-15-4 94 PTS Northwest Division Champions, #1 seed in Northern Conference

Leading Scores: Greg Pankewicz 58 GP 38G 47A 85PTS, Kevin Ulanski 63GP 24G 59A 83 PTS, Riley Nelson 63GP 29G 53A 82PTS

Goaltending: Andrew Penner 41GP 30W 6L 3OTL 2.69GAA .915 SV%


Leading Score: Ed Mcgrane 7G 5A 12 PTS

Goaltending: Andrew Penner 8-2 2.72 GAA .931 SV%

Conference Semifinals VS. Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs
Colorado Eagles win series 4-0

Game 1: Colorado Eagles 4 Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs 3
Game 2: Colorado Eagles 4 Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs 3
Game 3: Colorado Eagles 3 Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs 2 (OT)
Game 4: Colorado Eagles 4 Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs 3 (OT)

Conference Finals VS. Mississippi Riverkings
Colorado Eagles win series 4-2

Game 1: Colorado Eagles 3 Mississippi Riverkings 2 (OT)
Game 2: Colorado Eagles 4 Mississippi Riverkings 1
Game 3: Colorado Eagles 2 Mississippi Riverkings 1
Game 4: Colorado Eagles 5 Mississippi Riverkings 6 (2OT)
Game 5: Colorado Eagles 2 Mississippi Riverkings 6
Game 6: Colorado Eagles 5 Mississippi Riverkings 2

News and Notes

Mike Modano said recently that his chances are good about him returning for a 21st season with the team. Offically he said that he is 80-20 about comming back and pretty much that everone wants him back. I think that he has one more big shot at winning a Stanley Cup and he dosen't want his career with a whimper after how this season ended up. During the 2007-08 season, he looked great and can still do big things in his new role as the 3rd line center had 21 goals and 36 assists and can still produce well on defense as well.

On a personal note, I would like to thank Neil Beasley from FSN Southwest for mentioning my blog at the end of the April 19th show of High School Spotlight. I was helping him out with hockey coverage near the end of the season and got to meet and help him out on some stuff at the Farmer's Branch Starscenter back on April 15 during the AT&T Metroplex High School Hockey Gold Division Championship Game between Flower Mound and Southlake Carroll. He also mentioned myself and this blog at the end of that show. He told me that would contuine to do more Hockey Stories in the future and has enjoyed the growth and sucess of ice hockey in Texas.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Central Hockey League Conference Championships, plus Stanley Cup and Junior Update

Tomorrow night is game 6 of the CHL Conference Finals in Odessa as the Texas Brahmas are currently up 3-2 in the best of 7 series. During game 5, it was a wild night in North Richland Hills as the Brahmas F Scott Sheppard netted 4 goals and added 2 assists in a 7-5 win back on Saturday night, after the Jackalopes took a 2-1 lead, the Brahmas scored 5 straight goals to go up 6-2 and it looked like they were able to crusie their way to a 3-2 series lead and comming within 1 win of the Preisdents Cup Final.

Sheppard's 3rd goal of the night came just 36 seconds into the 3rd to make it a 6-2 and it looked like it would smooth saling for the Brahmas. In the 3rd period however, the Jackalopes scored 3 straight goals with Jeff Pierce making it 6-3 just over 3 minutes into the 3rd period. Then Dominic Leveille and Kenny Benard made it 6-5 with just 2 minutes left to make it 6-5. Just after Odessa made it 6-5, pulling goalie Jeremy Symington in an attempt to tie the game and force OT, however, the hope ended just before the final buzzer when Scott Sheppard scored his 4th of the night and won the game 7-5. Texas is looking strong and a win on Thrusday night would put them in the championship, if the Odessa Jackalopes win, game 7 if needed would be on April 25 in North Richland Hills.

Who ever advances to the Preisdents Cup Final will most likely face off against the Colorado Eagles who went up 3-0 in their series against the Mississippi Riverkings. Goals by Steve Haddon and Ed Mcgrane scored for the Eagles last night to win 2-1 to take a 3-0 lead. Mississippi is still kicking themselves after basically losing game 1 after leading 2-0 till with less then 5 minutes left in game 1 till the Eagles scored twice then won in OT to basically just crush the Riverkings and they haven't been able to recover from that night.

Stanley Cup Update

Vancouver became the 1st team to advance to the Conference Semifinals after sweeping the St. Louis Blues in 4 games straight. After having the game tied at 2-2 at the end of the 2nd period, no scoring in the 3rd which got us to OT where the Alexandre Burrows scored with 19 seconds left in the 1st OT to win the game and advance to the 2nd round playoffs. VAN advanced in the playoffs against a STL team that was lucky to make the playoffs whose injury situation and young roster, they had to fight tooth and nail to make the post season. VAN will now sit and wait who else wins and what the seeding sitaution will look like for the Conference Semifinals.

Else where out west, it's been a surprsing start to the SJ VS. ANA series as the road team has won all 3 of the games so far. First up in SJ, the Ducks won 2-0 and 3-2 in the 1st 2 games Jonas Hiller was great on the road with a 35 save shutout performance after being out shot 35-17 and then goals by Scott Niedermayer and Ryan Getzlaf in the 3rd put them over the top. Game 2 brought a much closer game as ANA Bobby Ryan and SJ Ryane Clowe helped made it 1-1 at the end of 2 then goals by Andrew Ebbett and Drew Miller made it 3-1. Just seconds after the Ducks made it 3-1, Jonathan Cheechoo made it 3-2 but couldn't get an equaliser as Jonas Hiller had another great game as the Ducks have kept the pressure on the top seeded Sharks.

The Blue Jackets first venture into the playoffs looks like it will be a quick out as the Detroit Red Wings are up 3-0 with 2 4-1 wins and a 4-0 shutout. While the Chicago Blackhawks are currently up 2-1 over the Calgary Flames, one of the big stories here is Chicago's return to the playoffs which included winning game 1 just 12 seconds into OT with the goal from Martin Havlat to give them the win. For Calgary, their first win of the playoffs came at home with David Moss scoring twice in the 3rd period to give them a 4-2 win.

Boston looks strong towards a long playoff run after 2 4-2 wins and a 5-1 win and with Montreal undermanned. It's going to be tough for the Canadaiens to get this series back to Boston and the Bruins are looking towards the 2nd round where they will face off against the lowest seeded 1st round winner.

After a mostly rocky regular season, the Penguins are up 3-1 with superstar forwards Sydney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin leading the way as usual. Malkin right now is leading the playoffs with Malkin with 7 points so far, while Crosby has 6 points in the playoffs and are hoping to have another long run after making the Stanley Cup Final last season. For PHI, a 1st round loss would mark the end of a disaponting season after finishing 5th in a very tough atlantic Division and for most of the year as pontentail surprise team in the playoffs.

After losing the 1st 2 games, the Capitals had an impressive 4-0 shutout to get back in the series. Alexander Semin had a strong night with 2 goals, an assist and was named the top star of the game for bringing the Capitals back in the series as game 4 will take place tonight as the Capitals will look to tie the series at 2-2 when the series shifts back to Washington D.C. for game 5 on Friday night. As for NJ VS. CAR, that series has gone back and fourth as 3 of the 4 games been by 1 goal outcomes with the execption of game 1 where the Devils won game 1 4-1. This series will contuine tomorrow night in New Jersey. Brodeur has been very good since his return from injury that kept him out for nearly half of the regular season having a .929 SV% and a 2.19 GAA.

To find the games and their schedule, go to to find out which games are going to what time and network.

Junior Update

We are getting down the league championships in different junior leagues across North America. In the Major Juniors. In the road to the Memorial Cup, we are down to the semifinals and a few teams are about to make their plans for the league championships as the 6 League Championships Spots are being fought over.

Road to the Memorial Cup

Western Hockey League

For the WHL, the Calgary Hitmen are showing that they could be the favorites to win the Memorial Cup as they haven't lost a single game yet in the playoffs. In the 1st 2 rounds, they knocked out the #8 seeded Edmonton Oil Kings, in the Conference Semifinals it was the #7 Lethbridge Hurricanes after knocking out the #2 seeded Saskatoon Blades and currently up 3-0 against the Brandon Wheat Kings. Having Saskatoon going out in the 1st round, they were lucky by avoding a team like the Medicine Hat Tigers or the Swift Current Bronocos that would have been given tougher matchups. For Brandon, after getting blown out 9-3 in the 1st game, they have responded well with 4-3 (OT) and 5-4 loses, but with no sucess. A Hitmen win and they would advance to the final, at this point Brandon is just hoping to not get sweeped right now.

Dallas Stars Prospect Jame Benn is having a great playoffs with 25 points (9G, 16A) but the Rockets are down 2-1 to the Vancouver Giants. After starting out with a 4-2 win, Vancouver has come back with the Western Conference Player of the Year Casey Pierro-Zabotel have been a big part of the Western Conference Final with 14 points and improving his defense to help the Giants take the series lead as game 4 will be in Kelowna on Thrusday night as the Rockets need a big win to at least have a relalistic shot of advacning to the Final.

Ontario Hockey League

The Ontario League is nearing it's final as the Brampton Battalion and Windsor Spitfires are both 3-1 in their series. For Windsor, the series has been a lot closer then it looks as all 4 games have gone to OT and the Spitfires have had the game winners by Andrei Loktionov won game 4 for the Spitfires. For the Brampton Battalion, they have been lead by Cody Hodgson with 22 points and will need to deal with the Windsor Spitfires as the top 4 scores as Taylor Hall (26 PTS), Dale Mitchell (25 PTS), Ryan Ellis (25 PTS), and Andrei Loktionov (23 PTS). If Windsor wins the OHL and gets to contend for the Memorial Cup, these 4 players will need to play a big role in leading them to the Championship.

Quebec Major Junior Hockey League

In Quebec, The Drummondville Voltigers are now just 1 win away from making the QMJHL Championship series after winning game 3 against the Memorial Cup Host Rimouski Oceanic 6-4 which included scoring in the final seconds of the 2nd and 3rd periods Gabriel Dumont in the game 3 victory in which the Oceanic have had no luck in this series as the Voltigers have won 8-1, 4-3, and 6-4 and one more win in Rimouski will put the Voltigers in the Final after having the league's worst record last season.

The Other semifinal has the Quebec City Ramparts against the Shawinigan Catarctes as the Catarctes are currently up 2-1 as Cedric Lalonde-Mcnicoll scored twice to give them the win and was named the top star of the game along with Alexander Pierre-Vandall with 2 assists and had a great defenseive game which included several big hits in the game. Next up for the Quebec City VS. Shawinigan is tonight as a Shawinigan win would put them in great position to put them in the final against their central division rivals.

The 3 Major Junior League Championships will be the at the end of April and the start of May. Then the Memorial Cup will start up on May 16 in Rimouski, Quebec.

Road to the RBC Cup

We are currently into the Regional Championships for the RBC Cup tournament right now.

In the Pacific Region, the Vernon Vipers are just one game away and have a shot of winning the Doyle Cup as they lead 3-0 against the Alberta Champion Grande Prairie Storm as 2 2-1 wins. However, the big story of the domination was the 6-2 win during game 2 back on Saturday when the Vipers scored 5 straight goals with the 6 goals comming from 6 different players. If the Vipers win tonight, they will win the Pacific Region Championship after Alberta teams have won the Pacific Region the last 2 years.

In the West Region, it's been a very close and tight series as the Portage Terriers took a 2-1 lead after an OT win with the game winner scored by Ryan Audino just 2:33 into the extra frame. Game 2 also wen to OT as the Humboldt Bronocos won 3-2 back during game 2. The series contuines tonight as game 4 from Humboldt, Saskatchewan as the Portage Terriers are looking to win both tonight and tomorrow night to take the West Championship. As for Humboldt, a win is needed to get the series tied at 2-2. Game 5 will be on April 23 while the series would return to Manitoba for games 6 and 7 on 4/25 and 26 if needed.

The Ontario Region started it's regional championship yestrday in Schreiber as the 3 game round robin started up with wins by the Ft. William North Stars and the Kingston Voyageurs won in shutouts. First the North Stars won in a grind it out 2-0 win over the Soo Thunderbirds as G Ryan Dube made 39 saves on 41 shots, but the offense couldn't get anything going. In the 2nd game of the day, it was the Kingston Voyageurs won 9-0 after a hot start with them going up 2-0 in the 1st 2 minutes and went on to a 9-0 win over the Schreiber Diesels as the big surprise where the Schreiber didn't pull their starting goalie Josh Baker at any point during the game

Today, it's the Ft. William North Stars and Kingston Voyageurs where the winner would take a huge step towards Saturday's Championship game. The other game is huge for another reason as the Soo Thunderbirds take on the host Schreiber Diesles as the loser would be on the verge of being elinmated from the Ontario Regional Championship. After the round robin, the 2nd and 3rd place teams would face each other in the semifinals, then in the final would be the #1 seed against the semifinal winner.

In the Atlantic Region taking place in New Brunswick, the Summerside Western Capitals VS. Pembrooke Lumber Kings will start up the final championship to determine the RBC Cup today as the Maratime League Champions will take on the Eastern Ontario Champions as the Capitals could be a very dangerous team to follow as a dangerous attack which just lost once in the MJAHL Playoffs while the other game today is between the Dieppe Gagon Commandos will take on the Quebec Champion Sherbrooke Cougars in the 2nd game. The format for the Atlantic Region is the same as the Ontario Region Championship.

Road to the Robertson and Clark Cup

North American Hockey League

In the NAHL, we are 2 games into the Division Finals as the St. Louis Bandits and the Wenatchee Wild are both up 2-0 and are just one win away from moving on to the Robertson. For the Bandits, they have won the last 2 years while the Wild are looking to become the 1st expansion team since 1984 to make the Robertson Cup.

For the Wenatchee Wild, Nic Dowd and Michael Voran are leading the playoffs in scoring with 12 and 13 points as they have become the surprise story of the playoffs and are just taking down the Fairbanks Ice Dogs who have been dominating the West Division the last few years.

For St. Louis, unlike the last 2 years, goaltending has been keeping this thing on track with a strong 1.11 GAA and a .953 SV% where a win on tommorrow night will get them back to the Championship Tournament.

In the North and Central Divisions, both of these series are tied at 1-1 as the Mahoning Valley Phantoms have been the league runner ups the last 2 years and are very hungry to return to win the Championship. For Mahoning Valley, Johnny Meo has been the leading score with 8 points while.

For the USNTDP, Emerson Etem has 7 points and leading the team in the playoffs.

In the Central, the league's other expansion team, the Owatonna Express they hoping to spoil Bismarcks hopes after winning a team record 43 games.

Owatonna hopes are riding on Stephen Carew who has 6 points but only has 2 goals, no one on the Express has more then 3 goals in the playoffs and someone will need to take charge if the Express are going to have a shot of winning the series and the division. For the Bobcats, it's been scoring by committee as 5 players each have 4 points.

If Bismarck is going to have a chance to win to make and win the Robertson Cup, someone on offense needs to step up and take charge. This will be critcal as games 3 and 4 will be in Owatonna on Friday and Saturday, if a game 5 is needed, it will be on April 26 in Bismarck.

United States Hockey League

The United States Hockey League will start up the Division Finals tonight as the West Division Final between the Fargo Force and the Lincoln Stars. For Lincoln, they took down the Sioux Falls Stampade in 4 games as they controled the series with the execption of game 3 where it went to OT. Fargo is another expansion team in the USA juniors that's doing well as they took down the defending Clark Cup Champion Omaha Lancers in 3 straight.

The Force made themselves for real after a strong 6-2 win in game 1, in game 2 came back from 1-0 and 2-1 decefeits to make it 2-2 at the 2nd intermission. Then in the 3rd, goals by Colten St. Clair and Matt Leitner to make it 4-2. For the Force, they took down the Lancers in OT with Andy Taranto scoring the game winner just under 5 minutes into OT to knock out the Lancers.

Out East, it's the top seeded Green Bay Gamblers against the Indiana Ice. For Green Bay, it's was a 3 game sweep against the Waterloo Blackhawks after 16 goals including a commanding 8-2 win in game 3. For the Ice, they took down the Roughriders in 5 games which the Ice needed to comeback after being 2-1 to win games 4 and 5 where the Ice won game 4 5-1 and then a wild 7-6 win to comeback to win the Division Semifinal.

News and Notes

Garland Native and Bismarck Bobcats F John Wickman was the co-recipents of the NAHL Academic award which honors execllent use of both time in the classroom and on the ice. For Wickman, he has taken 16 college credit hours and maintaing a 4.0 which has him near the top of the class at the college he attends which they don't give out. He has also taken part in the Winston National Science Fair and earned a 32 on the ACT he took a few years back.

Here's the story on the award:

They City of Allen, Texas is going to be the 7th team in the Lone Star State to play in the Central Hockey League. It was confirmed back on April 15 and will be playing at the Allen Events Center which is currently being constructed right now and should be finished by late summer. The team name, coaching staff should be announced soon.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Dallas HS Hockey League Championships and Texas HS Hockey State Championships

Wednesday night was championship night for the AT&T Metroplex High School Hockey League as the Arlington Martin and Bishop Lynch for the Silver Championship and then Flower Mound VS. Southlake Carroll for the Gold Championship. Both games had their compelling stories and great drama as the league championships were crowned and State Tournament Seeds were on the line.

Arlington Martin VS. Bishop Lynch, Silver Division Final

Bishop Lynch was going into this game as the underdog, but goalie David Kindall provided to be the major equaliser as the Fyars were outshot 42-15 but he put an incredible 41 save performance to help a Brandon Holly goal just 29 seconds into the game stand up for a huge part of the game. After that early goal, the Warriors came up with a barage of shots throughout the game as players like Brett Jacobsen and Hayden Pierce attempted to get the game to even but Kindall denied them on every shot from slap shots to several flurys throughout the 1st period. On the only penalty of the period, the Warriors made the most of their few PPS of the game. Prehaps the best opprunity by the Warrios Breet Jacobsen on a strong coast to coast play before being denied by the Bishop Lynch defense. Late in the period, Lynch Forward Ian Kelso stole a pass from Warrior defense to get off a great slap shot that missed wide and was deflected off 2 players pads before just ending up under Matt Dow's pads. At the end of the 1st, the shots didn't yet play a part as the shots were 13-8 in favor of Martin.

During the 2nd, both goalies contuined to be big parts of the game where Kindall early in the 2nd. Time for the defense to come up big with some big hits in the game were guys like Steven Rennard and Brad Shannon were looking to take over control of the game for both sides. It contuined to be 1-0 till 8:30 mark of the 2nd where Arlington Martin's Brett Jacobsen scored on an unassisted SH Goal to tie it 1-1. It looked like the Warriors were finally ready to take over, but once again David Kindall made a pinball save where Jacobsen and Zaporozan deflected a shot and then Kindall found the puck under his goalie pad right on the goal line to keep it 1-1. Just before the 2nd period ended, Quinton Williams fanned on a perfect shot which could have given Warriors the lead once again.

During the 3rd period, the Kindall took over the game while few chances on the other end. It was getting frustrating for Arlington Martin to take over the game and then 6:02 into the 3rd, Nich Moody scored what would be the game winning goal with assist from Hargrove and Nick Earhart to put them up 2-1, but it wasn't over yet. For Arlington Martin a PP for the 3rd period midway through, Kindall made what was probally his biggest save with a huge slap shot Hassan Makke where he made a huge glove save with 5 minutes left. In the end, David Kindall turned out the be the star of the game as Bishop wins the Silver Title 2-1.

With the win, Bishop Lynch gained the #1 seed for the State Championship Silver Division while the Arlington Martin Warriors they will be the #3 seed in Austin with the tournament starting up today.

Varsity Gold Division Championship: Flower Mound VS. Southlake Carroll

In the 2nd game of the night, it was a goal fest as 13 goals were scored in a very close and exicting game to decide the Dallas Championship.

By 4 minutes into the game, it was already 2-2 with F.M. Goals scored by Jake Newton and Dannyne Bell while S.L.C. goals scored by Taylor Nyoff and Blake Bell as the goalies had bad starts to this one. After a brief break in the scoring, Flower Mound went up 3-2 with a goal from Sean O Connor with an assist from Dane Taylor just under 6 minutes into the game, keep in mind that all these goals early in the game were even strength goals and the 1st penalty wasn't called untill 9 minutes into the 1st period. For Southlake Carroll, Kyle Stephenson made it 3-3 basically midway through the 1st period and then the final goal of the period was scored by Dannye Bell with his 2nd goal of the period.

When the 2nd period started, Flower Mound pounded even more as Jake Newton and Adrian Acee scored 2 goals in just over 90 seconds to make it 6-3 and then after, Southlake Carroll made a goalie change Louis Daley was pulled after just making 10 of 16 shots. After Nick Daley was put in to stop the bleeding, with the shots on goal at 17-13, the goalies were having problems to keep the puck out of the net and then with less than a minute left in the 2nd period, Blake Beall scored his 2nd of the night on a fairly strong back hand shot being passed by Zach Halle on a very crisp and perfect pass to make it a strong 6-4 game and to turn tide for the Dragons.

Just 26 seconds into the 3rd period, the Dragons closed the gap again to 6-5 with Marcel Toure's 12th goal of the season for the big power forward to close the gap. For the Jaguars. Something was needed to turn the tide and they started to get physical with players like Jimmy Woods and Dane Taylor to hit their way back into the game to keep them in. However, the Dragons conutined their quest to tie the game at 6-6 with Jack Daley almost tied the game with just over 3 minutes left on a quick wrister where Jagaurs goalie Bryan Mills made a big save on a break away that almost tied. Then with just 2 minutes left, the pressure finally paid off for the Dragons as Zack Hale tied the game at 6-6. After the game tieing goal, both teams had great chances as Flower Mound almost took the lead with 30 seconds left with a great shot that hit the side of the net taken by Adrain Acee and then in the final seconds, the Dragons had a great fluery which included a shot with 5 seconds that wide of the net. This game was going to OT with the Dragons comming back from a 6-3 defeict.

In the OT, both goalies came up big including midway through the OT where Louis Daley stopped a great deflection to keep the game going. It eventully came down to a shootout where it went 4 rounds with Jake Newton, Dane Taylor and then Travis Donohue helped Flower Mound win the game and the championship 7-6 in a SO to take the title and the top seed at the State Tournament which starts up today.

State Tournament

Gold Division

The 8 teams will start their run for a State Championship today with the Quarterfinals then on Saturday is the Semifinals and Conslation Round then on Sunday will be the Championship and Tournament Placement games.

All Gold Division Quarterfinals are on the Blue Rink.

#4 Round Rock ISD VS. #5 Dallas Jesuit 4:50 PM
#3 Southlake Carroll VS. #6 College Park 6:30 PM
#1 Flower Mound VS. #8 Allen 8:20 PM
#2 Ft. Bend Austin VS. #7 FM Marcus 10:00 PM

Conslation Round

Both Conslation Round Matchups are on the Red Rink

Game 2 Loser VS. Game 4 Loser 4:40 PM
Game 1 Loser VS. Game 3 Loser 11:30 AM


Both Semifinal Games are on the Red Rink

Game 1 Winner VS. Game 3 Winner 1:10 PM
Game 2 Winner VS. Game 4 Winner 3:00 PM

Tournament Placement Games

7th Place: Game 5 Loser VS. Game 8 Loser 8:00 AM
5th Place: Game 5 Winner VS. Game 8 Winner 11:00 AM

Medal Round Games

Bronze Medal Game: Game 6 Loser VS. Game 7 Loser 1:10
Gold Medal Game: Game 6 Winner VS. Game 7 Winner 3:00

Silver Division:


#4 Leander ISD VS. #5 Plano Senior 4:20
#3 Arlington Martin VS. #6 Fair-Creek 6:00
#1 Bishop Lynch VS. #8 Ft. Bend Clements
#2 Cinco Ranch VS. #7 Plano West 9:30

Conslation Round

Game 1 Loser VS. Game 3 Loser 12:15
Game 2 Loser VS. Game 4 Loser 3:45


Game 1 Winner VS. Game 3 Winner 1:55
Game 2 Winner VS. Game 4 Winner 5:25

Tournament Placement

7th Place: Game 5 Loser VS. Game 7 Loser 7:30 AM
5th Place: Game 5 Winner VS. Game 7 Winner 9:10 AM

Medal Round

Bronze Medal: Game 6 Loser VS. Game 8 Loser 9:40 AM
Gold Medal: Game 6 Winner VS. Game 8 Winner 11:30 AM

Road to the RBC Cup

The League Championships are done and now it's time for the Regional Championships to determine who will advance to the RBC Cup in Victoria, B.C. as the Pacific Region and West Region Championships get underway tonight and then the Ontario and Atlantic Regions will be next week.

Here's a list of the teams that advanced to the Regional Championship

Pacific Region
BCHL: Vernon Vipers
AJHL: Grande Prairie Storm

Western Region
SJHL: Humboldt Bronocos
MJHL: Portage Terriers

Ontario Region
Tournament Host: Schreiber Disels
NOJHL: Soo Thunderbirds
OJHL: Kingston Voyageurs
SIJHL: Ft. William North Stars

Atlantic Region
Tournament Host: Dieppe Gagon Commandos
MJAHL: Summerside Western Capitals
CJHL: Pembrooke Lumber Kings
LHJAAAQ: Sherbrooke Cougars

For the Western and Pacafic Region, it's a best of 7 series with the winner advancing to the RBC Cup. For the Ontario and Atlantic Region Championship will be a 4 team round robin with the top team to go to the final automatically with the 2nd and 3rd seed will play in a single game semifinal which is followed by a single game final.

Road to the Memorial Cup

Were are down the last 4 in the major junior leagues as just 12 teams reamin in the race for the Memorial Cup as we basically now just a month away from crowning the 2008-09 Major Junior Champion. All the USA Teams are gone as the Spokane Cheifs were ousted by the Vancouver Giants and then both Michigan teams as the Plymouth Whalers were ousted by the Windsor Spitfires while the Saginaw Spirit were downed by the London Knights. The city of Rimouski, Quebec and their home town team Rimouski Oceanic are hosting and will be in the tournament automatically. If Rimouski advances to the final, their oppenents will also make it to the Memorial Cup.

Here's the league Semifinal Matchups, the OHL got going last night while the QMJHL Semifinals will start tonight and the Eastern Final of the WHL will get going tonight. The final Semifinal will get underway tomorrow night as the Vancouver Giants will play the Spokane Cheifs.

Ontario Hockey League

Western Conference

#1 Windsor Spitfires VS. #2 London Knights

Eastern Conference

#1 Belleville Bulls VS. #2 Brampton Battalion

Western Hockey League

Eastern Conference

#1 Calgary Hitmen VS. #3 Brandon Wheat Kings

Western Conference

#1 Vancouver Giants VS. #3 Kelowna Rockets

Quebec Major Junior Hockey League

League Semifinals

#1 Drummondville Voltigers VS. #7 Rimouski Oceanic

#3 Quebec City Ramparts VS. #5 Shawinigan Catarctes

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Texas HS Hockey Playoffs Update

Last night in Farmer's Branch, the Gold Division Semifinals took place last night and both games were fantastic to watch. Including some of the things including both games going into OT, great crowds from all 4 teams and a lot of motivated players hoping to get to play for a League Championship tomorrow night.

Here's the reports from last night.

#3 Dallas Jesuit VS. #9 Southlake Carroll

The Dragons of Southlake continue their huge run which has included knocking out both the top seeded Allen Eagles and the #3 Dallas Jesuit Rangers last night. The game started cautionary last night as the Dragons made it clear early that they would not be an easy target because of their low seed, players like Marcel Toure and Blake Beall have helped lead the Dragons before Zack Halle got the scoring going with a goal with 4 minutes left in the 1st period to make it 1-0. The Dragons continued going forward and went on during the entire game where they out shot the Rangers 31-20 throughout the night. Early in the 2ND period, 2 5 on 3 goals by Will Leedy and Chris Boe just 2 minutes apart put the Rangers up 2-1. However, Dallas Jesuit didn't look very convincing following the 2 goals to put them ahead ever more where the Dragons were out shoot 20-13 through 2 periods. Despite a strong PP to get the 5 on 3s, they couldn't get anything else going with the refs letting them play with only 4 penalties for Jesuit and 3 for Carroll. The 3rd period saw where the Rangers tried to sit on the lead and both goalies started to turn up their games with some big saves by both Drew Baney and Louis Daley to keep the game at 2-1 till Marcel Toure scored on the PP with 5:20 left in the 3rd to tie at 2-2 with assist coming from Tim Hennessy. With the game going into OT and then a shootout, SO Goals from Marcel Toure and Tim Hennessy helped put the Dragons into the Championship tomorrow night. While the Rangers will look forward to the State Tournament as they will be the 3rd seed from Dallas.

#5 Flower Mound VS. #7 FM Marcus

The 2ND game of the night was the mound showdown as the Marauders and Jaguars played each other in the one of the biggest hockey games in the rivalrie's history. This one got off to a fast start for Flower Mound by going up 2-0 just over 5 minutes into the game by goals scored by Kennedy Oleary where the first one was scored with an unassisted goal while the 2nd one was on the PP with the assist on a great pass by Donohue. Marcus had a slow start which included having only getting off 7 shots at the half way through the game before FM Marcus F. Patrick Price scored to make it 2-1 at the 6:08 mark of the 2nd period, after Marcus made it 2-1, things got testy on the ice which included a couple of fights almost breaking out between Brandon Mahoney and Michael Sutton which eventully lead to a couple of unsportsman like conduct penalties. After the fights, a SH Goal by Dannye Bell just killed Marcus's condfedince to make it 3-1 with 3 minutes left, however just seconds later, FM Marcus F Patrick Price nearly responds to make it 3-2 but a huge save by Flower Mound Goalie Byran Mills just stoned him. Then with nearly a minute left, Adrian Acee made it 4-1 with assist from Oconnor and Newton made it to where FM Marcus was just looking lost at the end of the 2nd where they were outshot 21-13 at the end of 2. After the 2nd intermission, Flower Mound was looking to sit and defend their lead, however FM Marcus leading goal scoreer, David Wirth made it 4-2 with his 30th of the year (Reg. Season and Playoffs Combined) at 5:41 mark of the game where it started a change of momentum and Marcus were starting to take advantage of Flower Mound's tiring offenseive players. Then with 6 minutes left, Marcus made it 4-3 a Brendan Mcguire unassisted goal with 6 minutes left and then beleive or not, a 4-4 tie with Dane Nichols with the assist comming from Mcguire. Then the goalies took over, espically a huge save by Sean Garvey where he had to stop a flury of shots with just under 2 minutes left. After the 3rd, it looked like Marcus had the momentum going into OT. However, just 20 seconds into the extra period, Adrian Acee scored an unassisted goal to win the game and get them into the Championship game tomorrow night. For Marcus they will be the Dallas 4 seed going into the State Tournament which begins on Friday at the Chaparral Ice Center in Austin.

For tomorrow night's championship, it will be 2 of the lower seeded teams and somewhat unexpected teams playing for the Gold Division Championship as the #9 Southlake Carroll Dragons will take on the #5 Flower Mound Jaguars. In the Silver Division Championship, it's the top 2 seeds between the Arlington Martin Warriors and the Bishop Lynch Friars for the Silver Division Title.

Tomorow night's schedule

Silver Division Championship:
#1 Arlington Martin VS. #2 Bishop Lynch at 6:45 PM

Gold Division Championship
#5 Flower Mound VS. #9 Southlake Carroll at 8:30 PM

Both Games are at the Farmer's Branch Starscenter

Here's the teams for the State Tournament Gold Division.

Dallas: Dallas Jesuit, Flower Mound, FM Marcus, Southlake Carroll

Houston: Ft. Bend Austin, Woodlands College Park

Austin: Round Rock ISD

At Large: Allen

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Texas High School Playoffs and U18 World Championships

High school playoffs in the Lone Star State are starting to heat as last night, the 1st round of the AT&T Metroplex High School Hockey League in the Dallas area were played last night and I was in Grapevine for the Bishop Lynch VS. Frisco Silver Games and then for the Flower Mound VS. Mckinney Games.

Bishop Lynch VS. Frisco Silver

If you looked at the stats and team records, this should have been an easy one for the Bishop Lynch Friars. However, Frisco Goalie Andrew Campbell was brilliant at times stopping 41 of 43 shots in the game, but couldn't get much help on the offensive end only getting 13 shots the entire night. Bishop Lynch got the scoring going with a goal midway through the 1st by Hassan Makke on an unassisted SH goal 8 minutes left that Frisco were able to shave off very quickly as they had probably their best attacking motion of the night with players like Austin Adams and Kyle Flowers trying to get Bishop Lynch goalie David Kindell off guard but was poised as he made the saves. Bishop Lynch also had to kill of 3 PPS, but did it with realiteve ease and had little danger to face. After Ian Kelso scored to make it 2-0 on the PP, after that, Bishop Lynch started to pour on the Frisco Goalie to attempt to put the game away, but once again Andrew Campbell kept the team in it till near the end of the game where with 5 seconds left, Brandon Holy scored on a penalty shot to put the game away by the score of 3-0 after a Frisco Defensemen threw his stick to attempt to stop the shot and that pretty much ended any hope of a Frisco comeback. After the game however, their was some post game inicdents were a pair of players on both teams were called for roughing, but those penalties won't have any effect on the Bishop Lynch Quarterfinal game comming up tomorrow night. Frisco has ended their season with a record of 4-20-1 and finished 15th in the Varsity Silver Division, while Bishop Lynch will play FM Marcus Silver tomorrow night in Euless.

Flower Mound VS. Mckinney

Just like the Bishop Lynch VS. Frisco game, looking at the stats would have you think that this would be an easy game for Flower Mound. This game was a fight filled game where they espically Mckinney was trying to rough Flower Mound was pretty much their only hope to advance and pull off a huge upset. The Jagurs got going quickly with 2 goals from Kennedy Oleary and Adrian Acee just 20 seconds apart early in the 1st period. As for both teams were playing very phyiscal as a preview of what we would see later in the game. Starting at just over a minute into the 2nd period, the melays started to begin with Dane Taylor and Matthew Raimondi got roughing minors of which were the 1st of 21 penalties in the 2nd period (6 for Flower Mound, 15 for Mckinney) some of the penalties included Parker Lorenzini who had a minor for elbowing then lashed out at the refs and given a 10 minute misconduct, at one point, Mckinney had 5 players in the box at one time and should of have been a huge oppurinty to blow the game wide open but didn't score once during that time frame midway through the 2nd. It countied near the end of the 2nd where a brawl nearly broke out where Sean O Connor and Jake Newton for Flower Mound, and then Tommy Trenhaile had 2 minute unsportsman like penalties to end the period. Also to be included was Mckinney head coach Dainel Dolan who committed a 10 minute abuse of officals penalty with about 6 minutes left. Flower Mound showed their muscle in the 3rd as 4 goals were scored at different points of the 3rd period to put this game away 7-0, but the big story was all the fights in which the Flower Mound head coach nearly missed being suspendsied for the Quarterfinal against Mansfield where the rule in the USA is that if a team has 15 penalties in 1 game, the head coach is suspendsied for the next game. Mckinney has finished the season with a 2-23-1 record and finishing last in the Varsity Gold Division, while Flower Mound will get Mansfield over at the Duncanville Stars Center tomorrow night.

Other Varsity Gold Division Games

For the most part, not much drama last night in the Varsity Gold Division as Plano West and Southlake Carroll won in shutout wins as Plano West shutout Highland Park 4-0 and Soutlake Carroll knocked out Coppell 3-0. As for the FM Marcus Gold and Frisco went to a shootout where FM Marcus didn't lead a single second but won in a shootout 4-3 over in Euless, Frisco Goalie Tony Girard was very good last night by stopping 35 of 38 shots, but couldn't keep it together in the shootout. For FM Marcus, 3 seperate 1 goal comebacks as Marcus cameback from 1-0, 2-1, and 3-2 down in the first 2 periods with goals from Travis Reed and David Wirth scoring twice in the 2nd period. Then in the SO, FM Marcus goals from Barrett Turner and Patrick Price helped Marcus win in the game breaking shootout as the Marauders will next travel to Plano to take on the Plano Senior Wildcats in the next game.

All 4 Quarterfinal Matchups will be played tomorrow night, with the Semifinals comming up on April 13 then the League Championship on April 15.

Gold Division Quarterfinals

#1 Allen VS. #9 Southlake Carroll 6:45 PM at Plano Starscenter

#2 Plano Senior VS. #7 FM Marcus 8:30 PM at Plano Starscenter

#3 Dallas Jesuit VS. #6 Plano West 8:30 PM at Farmer's Branch Starscenter

#4 Mansfield VS. #5 Flower Mound 8:30 PM at Duncanville Starscenter

Varsity Silver Division Quarterfinals

#1 Arlington Martin VS. #12 Grapevine 6:45 PM at Duncanville Starscenter

#2 Bishop Lynch VS. #11 FM Marcus Silver 6:45 PM at Euless Starscenter

#3 Rockwall VS. #8 Plano West Silver 8:30 PM at Euless Starscenter

#4 Plano Senior Silver VS. #7 Plano East 6:45 PM at Farmer's Branch Starscenter

Houston Area (ISHL)

Last night was the 1st of 3 games for the ISHL League Championship Round Robin. The 4 teams left that are looking towards a Houston Championship are Cinco Ranch, Ft. Bend Austin, Fair/Creek, and College Park. In the 1st set of games, Ft. Bend Austin contuined their Houston Area Dominice with their 3rd straight double digit goal total with a 10-0 beating of College Park which included a 7 goal period in which are probally the favorite to win the ISHL Championship and possibly be the main challenger outside of Dallas to contend for the State Championship. Last night's other game had a 2-0 win for Cinco Ranch over Fair/Creek with goals from John Schroeder and Wayne Hubley to win the 1st game of the Round Robin. Tonight's games which were at the Space City Station with Fair/Creek VS. Ft. Bend Austin and Cinco Ranch VS. College Park. A win by either Cinco Ranch or Ft. Bend Austin tonight would pretty much clinch a League Championship spot.

Here's the Interscholastic Hockey League Website:

Reamining ISHL Round Robin Games

College Park VS. Fair/Creek at 7:00 PM

Cinco Ranch VS. Ft. Bend Austin at 8:30 PM

Both games are at Sugar Land Ice and and Sports Center

League Championship game 6:30 PM at Willowbrook Aerodome

2009 IIHF U18 World Championships

In Fargo, North Dakota and Moorhead, Minnesota, the U18 World Championships will get underway, 10 teams filled with the best players under the age of 18 will compete for their world championships. Team USA has medaled in 5 straight years (2 Gold, 2 Silver, 1 Bronze) in this tournament and hope to contuine thier streak on home ice. Canada is the defending champions after pulling off a huge upset against Russia after the Russians looked just unstoppable in this tournament last year in Kazan, Russia.

Tournament Format:The 10 teams will play in a 4 game group stage, then after the group stage, the group winners will get a bye straight to the Semifinals while the 2nd and 3rd place teams move on the QFS, then the 4th and 5th place teams will play in a relegation battle where they will play the 2 teams from the other group where the score from the 2 games invloving the relegation teams will come from the group stage, the 1st and 2nd place teams will keep their spots for 2010 while the 3rd and 4th place teams will be relegated down to the 2010 DIV 1 U18 Touranment and will be replaced by the 1st and 2nd place teams from this year's tournament.

Group A: Canada, Sweden, Germany, Switzerland, Czech Republic
Group B: Russia, USA, Finland, Slovakia, Norway

For more on the tournament, log on to or

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Mostly News and Notes

Right now with the Stars Season basically over and with it being a slow news cycle for the most part. This post will be mostly news and quick hits.

Dallas Stars Flag flying in Iraq.

Even though the Stars Season is over, Their was interesting story on the teams website about a Dallas Stars Team Flag that flew at a military camp in Iraq by the Air Force National Guard Squad from Garland, Texas. Dallas Stars Captain Brendan Morrow has been involved and won several awards for helping military families including donating tickets to military families for Dallas Stars Home Games for the last several years. The team flag was flown in late July in Kirkuk, Iraq at the 221st Combat Communications Squad and it flew for the day then after wards, everyone in the group signed it then recently the Squad prestentied to the team and it's captain in particlcar where they got a chance to meet the players and got all sorts of autographed gear from jerseys to sticks and pucks as well. I'm glad that this team does so much for the milltary over most it's history and have a lot of fans that are across the country and around the world, In addidition to the milltary, I have a cousin who will probally go to the Middle East (Probally Afghastan) later this year.

Road to the RBC Cup and USA Junior Playoffs

Back on Sunday night, the 1st of the Canadaien Junior A League Championships was won in Alberta as the Grande Prairie Storm sweeped the Spruce Groove Saints 4-0. Right now, the Storm will now await the BCHL Championship between the Vernon Vipers and the Powell River Kings to determine who they will play for the Pacific Region Doyle Cup Championship which will determine who advances to the RBC Cup. Several other leagues are close towards clinching league championships as the Portage Terriers of Manitoba and the Humboldt Bronocos of Saskatchewan are both 1 win away towards clinching league championships and a pontential Western Regional Championship Series. The other leagues have just started their league finals like the Maritime Region Championship between the Summerside Western Capitals and the Truro Bearcats.

Within the USA, this past weekend the North American Hockey League began the playoffs where the Wichita Falls Wildcats have been strugling against the Topeka Roadruners are down 2-0 in their series. Some of the series have been pretty tight like the Alexandria Blizzard and the Bismarck Bobcats are currently tied at 1-1. As for surprises, the Owatonna Express took the 1st 2 games against the Robertson Cup Hosts North Iowa Outlaws 2-0 with a chance to end the Outlaws season tonight.

As for the USHL, the Regular Season came to an end back on Sunday night with the Green Bay Gamblers being the top overall seed which was a huge comeback from last season where they only won 13 games and being last in the league overall last season. Up first in the East Division Semifinal will be the Waterloo Blackhawks who won the East Division Title and came just a win short of knocking down the Omaha Lancers for the Clark Cup last season.

Here's the playoff matchups for the USHL when the playoffs start on Thrusday night.

East Division

#1 Green Bay Gamblers VS. #4 Waterloo Blackhawks
#2 Cedar Rapids Roughriders VS. #3 Indiana Ice

West Division

#1 Lincoln Stars VS. #4 Sioux Falls Stampade
#2 Omaha Lancers VS. #3 Fargo Force

American Hockey League Update

With most teams with about 3 games left in the regular season, the AHL are in playoff prep mood as the playoffs are about to get underway, in the Eastern Conference, 5 teams have clinched playoff spots, the Hartford Wolfpack, and Providence Bruins from the Atlantic Division and the from the East Division it's the Hershey Bears, Brideport Sound Tigers, and the W/B-Scranton Penguins have clinched playoff spots. From the Western Conference, it's the Manitoba Moose, Grand Rapids Griffins and the Hamilton Bulldogs who play in the North Division and the Milwaukee Admirals and Peoria Rivermen who have clinched spots from the North Division. In the AHL, the 1st 2 rounds will be within the division with the #1 VS. #4 Spots and the #2 VS #3 Spots in each of the divisions. The only expection is that the 5th place team from the West Division then the 4th place team from the North Division then the 5th place team from the West playing the North Champions. As for the Texas Teams in the West Division, the Houston Aeros are fighting for their playoff lives as they are currently in 4th place in the West as the gap from 3rd through 7th is just 7 points. With the final 3 games against the San Antonio Rampage, the Aeros need a good final weekend of the season get in the playoffs against their south Texas Rivals and hopefully move in standings to get the best possible seeding. As for the San Antonio Rampage, their are currently in last place and most likely out of the playoff race.

Central Hockey League Conference Finals

3 of the 4 teams for the Central Hockey League Conference Finals have been set and the Northern Conference Final was set last night as the Colorado Eagles and the Mississippi Riverkings both won as the Eagles won in a sweep against Bossier-Shreveport, while the Oklahoma City Blazers have been knocked out by the Mississippi Riverkings in 6 games. Back on April 4, the Blazers used a 5-2 lead early in the 3rd period and were able to fend off a strong challenge with Riverking Goals from Louis Dumont and Matt Summers midway through the 3rd period to win game 5, but last night the season ended for them with a 3-1 win with all the goals scored in the 1st period and a 3-1 win to advance them to the Northern Conference Final.

Down South, the Texas Brahmas are still awaiting the Laredo VS. Odessa Series to finish up as game 6 will take place at the Laredo Enterainment Center tonight as the Jackalopes lead 3-2 lead thanks to a 2-1 win with goals from Jeff Pierce in the 1st and Philippe Plante in the 3rd to win at home and close out the series tonight. If Laredo wins tonight, Game 7 will be on April 9 in Odessa. the Conference Finals are expected to start up around April 14 or 15.

Up North, the Conference Final Schedule has already been relased as the Northern Final will start up on April 15 in Colorado in what is expected to be a close series with the 1st and 2nd overall best records in the season.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Dallas Stars Fan Appreciation Night and Central Hockey League Playoffs

Tonight is the Dallas Stars Fan Appreciation night and the last chance to keep any dying playoff hopes alive. A loss to the surging St. Louis Blues who are in a playoff fight right now and they would be offically elinmated from playoff contention. A few things that the fans have appreciated this season is fighting really hard through an ever changing roster and massive injuries, espically to Sergei Zubov and Bredan Morrow who almost were nonexisnt this season. Also, despite the pre season expections of a possible cup run, the fans have made the best of a bad situation by supporting them and seeing an opprunity for young players in their moments in the spotlight with guys like Loui Eriksson and Fabian Brunnstrom who have been doing well.

Now I have mentioned a couple of things in my last post about what the Stars need to do in the off season to over come this situation next season like Brett Hull explaning himself on bringing in Sean Avery and finding a strong back up goaltender to relieve Marty Turco for about 20-25 games a season. So as for tonight and the 3 road games next week against Minnesota, C0lorado, and Anaheim to close the season on April 10, just watch the team because the fans love the Stars and the sport as a whole, it's just the end of the season and hope that next year will be better.

As for tonight's game, the Stars have called up a player that I thought we were going to see more in Ivan Vishnevskiy who was the team's first round draft pick back in 2006 (27th overall). So far this season, Vishnevskiy has played for the Rouyn-Nornda Huskies in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) who has scored 45 points this season (17G, 28A) in 45 games this season, probally his biggest deal from his junior career was playing in the CHL Top Prospects game back in 2006.

Central Hockey League Playoffs Update

The Texas Brahmas have becomed the first team last night to advance to the Conference Final finishing off the Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees in a sweep, after 4-2 and 5-4 wins at home in North Richland Hills, the team won twice in Rio Grande City won 6-2 and 3-1 in a 4 game sweep. Right now, the Brahmas will now rest and await the winner of the Southern Conference Semifinal between the Laredo Bucks and the Odessa Jackalopes who are currently tied 2-2 in their first round series, game 5 is tonight in Odessa where the road team has won every game in the series.

Here's a more in depth story on the Brahmas advancing into the last 4.

After a 3-2 OT Win and then an impressive 5-1 win in Odessa, Laredo was in prime shape to possibly shock the southwest Division Champions Jackalopes, however, the Jackalopes got back in the series with a road sweep of their own in which both games went to OT in which Odessa Jackalopes dynamic goal scoreers Dominic Leveille and Sebastien Thinel have scored 3 goals combined, but the goals they have scored have been imporant and have changed momentum in the games. Game 5 is back in the Ector County Coliseum where Odessa will hope to end the road win trend and take a cricitcal 3-2 lead going into game 6 which is comming up on April 7 and then game 7 would be April 9 if needed. For Laredo to win, Darryl Smith and Bobby Russell which have 7 of the 14 goals in this series and will need to contuine to lead the team on the offense while Andrew Martin and Sebastien Centomo have basically split the time in net with both goalies which are 1-1 in the series. I would reccomond that they try to figure out which goalie is better so they can get into a rythm and get a style of play so they will know how to play to their strength and weakness for the rest of the series.

Up North, after the Oklahoma City Blazers won the 1st game in OT, the Mississippi Riverkings have won the last 3 to take a 3-1 series lead and a chance to close it out in Desoto, Mississippi tonight. Despite the Blazers keeping the games close, the Blazers have had to score by committee as they don't have a single player with more than 3 points so far in this series. Players like the Vandermeer Brothers (Ted and Bill), DJ Jelitto, and Eric Przepiorka. This could be good or bad, for istince, the Riverkings never know who could be the main scoring threat on the ice, it could also be bad as they don't have a single player that they have to fear that much and have to focus primally on anyone in partically and don't get many chances to open up the game for someone unexpected to come up big. Despite having good goaltender, they also don't have anyone that could be realibale to play game in and game out in which just like the Laredo Bucks, they can't settle in on one kind of goaltending so they can get an idea on how to protect them opposing offences.

The Final series as the Colorado Eagles and the Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs where the Eagles have won 3 one goal games. With scorelines of 4-3, 4-3 and 3-2 in OT, the Eagles have a chance to clinch a Northern Conference Spot comming up on Monday night in Sheveport, the Eagles have been lead by Kevin Ulanski and Riley Nelson both with 5 points with Aaron Schneekloth being their best defenseman with 2 goals and an assist. For the Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs to steel a game they need to have a big game from their goaltending which despite having Travis Clayton which leads all scoreers in the playoffs with 10 points their goaltending has to improve with Ken Carroll which has a less than prime 3.97 GAA and a .841 SV%. What the Mudbugs needs to do in goal, is to let Jon Horrell start who's stats are better and can take a better pounding with a 3.02 GAA and a .909 SV% so far the in the playoffs, hopefully a great night can give this team a spark.

News and Notes
The top 2 junior leagues in the USA have either just started or about to get started. Last night, the North America Hockey League got their post season last night with all 8 matchups in the Division Semifinals now underway. The Regions only team, the Wichita Falls Wildcats will be in an uphill battle against the Topeka Roadrunners as they hoping not just to return to the Robertson Cup, but win it after a 3rd place finish last year. A great thing about this team is that they have done a great job finding and scouting players from across the Southwest where they have 3 players from the Dallas area in Matt Shost, Chad Hudson, Broderick Browne have played some time in different ways this season for the Wildcats. Last night, they lost game 1 3-2 against Topeka in which a great attempt to come back after a 3-0 deficit, they came back with goals from Aaron Quick and Ryan Amin and then the Wichita Falls Wildcats put in a great effort where they almost forced OT, but in the end they lost 3-2.

A couple of other players to watch for during the NAHL Playoffs will be in the Central Division Semifinal between the Bismarck Bobcats and the Alexandria Blizzard. For Alexandria, Flower Mound, Texas Native Kyle Clement who played in the Dallas High School League for Flower Mound who scored 17G and 14A in 53 games this season and also scored 2 goals in a surprise run to the Robertson Cup last season. He's more of a Steve Ott type of player who a very physical player and a pretty good fighter who also looks for ways to increase his goal scoreing. For the Bismarck Bobcats, John Wickman had a strong season for the Bobcats who are the top seed in the Central who scored 21 Goals and 19 Assists in 45 games this season and also had an impressive +17 this year. He is a very fast skater who can burn oppenents in their dust, if the Bobcats live up to expection, he be a big part of a pontential Robertson Cup Run come early May in which the Robertson Cup Tournament will be in Mason City, Iowa (Home of the North Iowa Outlaws) comming up from April 28 thru May 3.

Last night, the 2nd round matches of the Major Junior Playoffs got underway last night with all but one match getting underway. (The one acception was the Brandon Wheat Kings VS. Medicine Hat Tigers). A major highlight of the major junior playoffs last night was that the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles and the Quebec City Ramparts had their game go into 4OT last night with Cape Breton Robert Slaney who eventully scored the game winner.

Here's a look at the 2nd round Major matchups.

Western Hockey League
Eastern Conference

#1 Calgary Hitmen VS. #7 Lethbridge Hurricanes
#3 Brandon Wheat Kings VS. #5 Medicine Hat Tigers

Western Confernce

#1 Vancouver Giants VS. #4 Spokane Cheifs
#2 Tri-City Americans VS. #3 Kelowna Rockets

Ontario Hockey League

Eastern Conference

#1 Belleville Bulls VS. #6 Niagara Icedogs
#2 Brampton Battalion VS. #4 Mississauga St. Michaels Majors

Western Conference
#1 Windsor Spitfires VS. #4 Plymouth Whalers
#2 London Knights VS. #3 Saginaw Spirit

Quebec Major Junior Hockey League

#1 Drummondville Voltigers VS. #8 Montreal De Junior
#2 Moncton Wildcats VS. #7 Rimouski Oceanic
#3 Quebec City Ramparts VS. #6 Cape Breton Screaming Eagles
#4 Gatineau Olympqiues VS. #5 Shawinigan Catarcitcs