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.

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