Thursday, May 27, 2010
However, the 3rd period began as the Stars found new life to comeback in this game as Mathieu Beaudoin scored near the midway point of the 3rd period to comeback to tie the game at 2-2.
Then the Stars put it away with goals from Perttu Lindgren and Jamie Benn's playoff leading 14th of the playoffs with just under 90 seconds left to win 4-2 and win the Western Conference Title in 7 games over the North Division Champion Hamilton Bulldogs.
Now the Stars will have to wait a week as they will now get a chance to get some rest before heading to Hershey, Penn. for the start of the AHL Calder Cup Finals against the defending League Champion Hershey Bears which will start on June 3.
Regardless of how the league championship series goes, this has been a surreal season for the Stars to have this much success for the Texas Stars this year.
From the Texas Stars Website: www.texasstarshockey.com
In Hamilton, Ontario: The Texas Stars defeated the Hamilton Bulldogs 4-2 on Wednesday Night in front of 5121 fans at Copps Coliseum in Game 7 of the Western Conference Finals. The Stars scored 4 unanswered goals after trailing Hamilton 2-0 early on in the 2nd period, including three goals in the 3rd period alone. Forwards Mathieu Beaudoin and Perttu Lindgren each had a goal and an assist in the decisive Game 7. Texas goalie Matt Climie made 41 saves, including 32 in the first two periods, giving the Stars their 2nd Game 7 win this postseason. Rookie Jamie Benn and defensemen Ethan Graham also netted goals in the teams sixth road win of the Calder Cup Playoffs. Hamilton Goalie Curtis Sanford stopped 16 Texas Saves in the defeat. With the win, Texas will meet Hershey in the Calder Cup Finals.
The first period was nearly scoreless before a late goal by the Bulldogs at 19:51. Aaron Palushaj's centering pass bounced to center David Desharnais, who carried the puck to the bottom of the left wing circle and snapped a shot to the Stars net. Texas Goalie Matt Climie lunged for the save, but the puck deflected off his stick and into the net for the 1-0 Hamilton lead after one period of play. Desharnais tenth goal of the playoffs marked the seventh straight playoff game Hamilton opened the scoring against Texas.
In the 2nd period, the Bulldogs doubled their lead at 5:32 for a 2-0 cushion. Hamilton forward Max Pacioretty picked up a rebound off his second attempt and scored on the third try for his first goal of the playoffs. Texas would counter with an odd bounce in the Hamilton zone. Stars defensemen Ethan Graham floated a puck to the Bulldogs net and it bounced over the glove of goalie Curtis Sanford. Graham's 2nd of the postseason was assisted by Warren Peters and Perttu Lindgren, trimming the Hamilton 2-1 after two periods of play.
Texas continued to press Hamilton and tied the game at 9:15 of the third period. Right wing Mathieu Beaudoin snapped a shot past Sanford in his third goal of the playoffs and a 2-2 score. Texas added its third goal of the night with 6:00 left in the game. Beaudoin centered a pass for Perttu Lindgren for his sixth goal of the playoffs and a 3-2 Texas lead. The Stars rounded out the scoring with 1:27 left in regulation, as Jamie Benn finished off a two-on-one from Colton Sceviour for his 14th of the playoffs and a 4-2 final.
Western Conference Finals Update:
Game 1: Texas Stars 2 Hamilton Bulldogs 3 (OT) (1-2, 1-0, 0-0, 0-1)
Game 2: Texas Stars 1 Hamilton Bulldogs 3 (0-0, 1-2, 0-1)
Game 3: Hamilton Bulldogs 4 Texas Stars 5 (OT) (1-1, 1-2, 2-1, 0-1)
Game 4: Hamilton Bulldogs 1 Texas Stars 2 (OT) (0-0, 1-0, 0-1, 0-1)
Game 5: Hamilton Bulldogs 3 Texas Stars 0 (1-0, 2-0, 0-0)
Game 6: Texas Stars 3 Hamilton Bulldogs 2 (OT) (0-1, 1-1, 1-0, 1-0)
Game 7: Texas Stars 4 Hamilton Bulldogs 2 (0-1, 1-1, 3-0)
To purchase a Calder Cup Finals Package, which offers fans the same seat for all three possible home games, fans may call 512-GO-STARS (512-467-8277). To rent a suite for a playoff home game or book a group, those interestred may call 512-GO-STARS. Individual tickets for playoff home games at Cedar Park Center also can be purchased by calling Ticketmaster at 1-800-745-3000, visiting any ticketmaster outlet or the Cedar Park Center Boxoffice, or online at www.ticketmaster.com
2010-2011 Season Ticket Packages to the see the Stars play in the Cedar Park Center are on sale now, starting as low as $12.00 a seat. For more info. on Texas Stars Season Tickets call 512-GO-STARS (512-467-8277) or visit www.texasstarshockey.com Anyone interestred in ordering season tickets, suites, group tickets or mini-plans may call the Texas Stars Front Office.
AHL Calder Cup Championship Schedule
#1E Hershey Bears VS. #2W Texas Stars (All Start Times are CDT)
Game 1, 6/3: @ Hershey 6:00 PM
Game 2, 6/5: @ Hershey 6:00 PM
Game 3, 6/7: @ Texas 7:30 PM
Game 4, 6/9: @ Texas 7:30 PM
Game 5, 6/11: @ Texas 7:30 PM*
Game 6, 6/14: @ Hershey 6:00 PM*
Game 7, 6/16: @ Hrshey 6:00 PM*
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
And it will get going on June 3 as the team will have nearly a week off to get ready for the Calder Cup Final against the Hershey Bears which will be Hershey, Pennsylvania who's looking to win their 3rd Calder Cup Title in the last 5 seasons against a team that's looking to win the Calder Cup in their first season in the AHL.
In the scoring battle, it will be Jamie Benn who's leading the AHL Calder Cup Playoffs with 14 goals and is looking for more to help win the Championship. Hershey will respond with the 1-2 punch of Alexander Giroux and Andrew Gordon who have 10 & 12 goals each. As a part of a team that lead the league in scoring during the season in scoring with 342 during the regular season.
Texas had a great defense going into the postseason by giving up just under 2.50 a game. But their defense is getting tested as Texas as the Bears have had a strong offense all year. Texas is also hoping that Brent Krahn can comeback since he's been out of the lineup since he went out with an injury in Game 6 of the Chicago Series.
Hershey has been lead in net as Michal Neuvirth has been taking control of the playoffs with a 2.13 GAA as he has given up 3 or more goals just 3 times in the postseason. He doesn't have any shutouts, but he's been a strong net-minder in the playoffs this year.
So will it be the Veteran team that is looking for a 3rd title in 5 seasons (2006 & 2009) as the Bears will look to make it 11 Calder Cups in team history which is the most in AHL History. Or will it be the Texas Stars looking to shock the world by winning in their first season down in Texas?
We will find out when the series begins on 6/3 in Hershey, Penn.
Here's a look at how both teams got to the AHL Calder Cup Championship and some of their scoring leaders and how the goaltending has been doing in the playoffs that have gotten the Texas Stars & Hershey Bears in the Final.
Hershey Scoring Leaders
Chris Bourque: 15 GP 23 PTS (7G 16A, +6)
Alexander Giroux: 15 GP 21 PTS (12G 9A, +2)
Keith Aucoin: 15 GP 19 PTS (1G 18A, +2)
Top Defensemen: Karl Alzner 14 GP 6 PTS (2G 4A, +5)
Michal Neuvirth 12 GP 10-2 2.13 GAA .917 SV%
Branden Holtby 3 GP 2-1 3.60 GAA .857 SV%
Regular Season: 60-17-3 123 PTS, 342 GF 198 GA, Finished 1st in the East Division and Overall
Division Semifinals VS. Bridgeport: Game 1 4-3 OTW, Game 2 3-2 W, Game 3 7-2 W, Game 4 1-4 L, Game 5 4-1 W
Division Finals VS. Albany: Game 1 4-3 OTW, Game 2 6-3 W, Game 3 6-5 OTW, Game 4 5-3 OTW
Conference Finals VS. Manchester: Game 1 4-2 W, Game 2 3-2 OTW, Game 3 2-3 OTL, Game 4 0-1 L, Game 5 3-2 OTW, Game 6 3-2 OTW
Texas Scoring Leaders
Jamie Benn: 18 GP 24 PTS (14G 10A, +10)
Andrew Hutchinson (Top Defensemen): 18 GP 15 PTS (4G 11A, +9)
Perttu Lindgren: 18 GP 14 PTS (6G 8A, +5)
Brent Krahn 10 GP 7-3 2.32 GAA .928 SV%
Matt Climie 10 GP 5-3 2.62 GAA .922 SV%
Regular Season Record: 46-27-7 99 PTS, Finished 2nd in the West Division
Division Semifinals VS. Rockford: Game 1 2-1 W, Game 2 3-1 W, Game 3 6-1 W, Game 4 4-2 W
Division Finals VS. Chicago: Game 1 4-3 OTW, Game 2 3-4 2OTL, Game 3 3-5 L, Game 4 3-2 W, Game 5 5-3 W, Game 6 0-2 L, Game 7 6-5 OTW
Conference Finals VS. Hamilton: Game 1 2-3 OTL, Game 2 1-3 L, Game 3 5-4 OTW, Game 4 2-1 OTW, Game 5 0-3 L, Game 6 3-2 OTW, Game 7 4-2 W
All Hershey Bears Home Games are @ Giant Center
All Texas Stars Home Games are @ Cedar Park Center
Game 1, 6/3: @ Hershey 7:00 PM EDT/6:00 PM CDT
Game 2, 6/5: @ Hershey 7:00 PM EDT/6:00 PM CDT
Game 3, 6/7: @ Texas 8:30 PM EDT/7:30 PM CDT
Game 4, 6/9: @ Texas 8:30 PM EDT/7:30 PM CDT
Game 5, 6/11: @ Texas 8:30 PM EDT/7:30 PM CDT*
Game 6, 6/14: @ Hershey 7:00 PM EDT/6:00 PM CDT*
Game 7, 6/16: @ Hershey 7:00 PM EDT/6:00 PM CDT*
Mathieau Beaudoin got the scoring going with a goal set up by Pertu Lindgren to tie the game at 2-2 with Stephenson having a huge part of setting up the goal that begun the 3rd period rally. 5 Minutes later, Perttu Lindgren got his 3rd point of the night as he completed a madman type night that got him the game's first Star when he scored the game winner with 6 minutes left.
Then to put the game away, Jamie Benn scored his playoff leading 14th goal with just over 90 seconds left to complete the comeback and end the Bulldogs season in Hamilton much to the disappointment to the fans who thought it would have been a run-away midway through the night.
So it's on to the Final as the Texas Stars will take on the defending Calder Cup Champion Hershey Bears who are looking to win their 3rd Calder Cup Title in the last 5 seasons (2006 & 2009). Which will get underway on June 3 from the Giant Center in Hershey, Penn.
Game Summary: http://theahl.com/stats/game-summary.php?game_id=1007317
The Arrival of P.K. Subbann and Ben Maxwell are making a huge difference in this game as Subban has been on the ice for both goals and assisted on Max Pacioretty's goal early in the 2nd period to make it 2-0.
Just when you thought it was going to be Hamilton's night, Ethan Graham scored his 2nd goal of the playoffs to make it 2-1 and for now at least, things have at least calmed down a little bit to give the Stars some hope for the 3rd period.
Hamilton out-shot Texas 19-6 in the 2nd period and just one penalty has been called against Texas on a night where the refs are clearly letting them play tonight.
Will Hamilton's momentum put them in the Final or can Texas find a way to end Hamilton's barrage and get back in this game to possibly force OT again or even win it in the 3rd period. We will see in the 3rd period tonight.
It's the final period for somebody tonight, who will be the hero tonight?
They were no penalties in the period and the Texas Stars need to increase the offense to have a shot of winning this game to clinch the Conference Title and a spot against Hershey in the Final.
Game Summary: http://theahl.com/stats/game-summary.php?game_id=1007317
These players will be most likely be attending tryouts and training camps as they look to make the team. For the players that don't make the team, especially of those who are looking to enter the junior ranks for the first time, they will be placed on a list of players where they can be tracked at their high school and Travel Teams until their players are ready to play in the junior levels.
Throughout the day today, you can check out the NAHL's twitter page as the picks are announced. Look for a full recap of picks and who's going where pretty soon on the NAHL Website.
To check out the picks, log on to the league's twitter page: http://twitter.com/nahlhockey
The winner of tonight's game will head to Hershey, Pennsylvania for Game 1 of the Calder Cup Finals as the Bears finished the regular season with a league best 60 wins and 123 points to gain home ice advantage for the entire playoffs. The Bears have used to home ice to strong use as they beat the Bridgeport Sound Tigers in 5 games, then sweeped through Albany River Rats in the East Division Final.
In the Eastern Conference Final against Manchester, they were able to take down the Monarchs in 6 games. Perhaps the most impressive part of the playoffs for the Bears is the fact that they are a perfect 8-0 at home in the playoffs for the defending Calder Cup Champions.
Can either Aaron Gagon, Jamie Benn or Warren Peters can come up with another piece of magic to get the team to it's first ever Final, or will the additions of players like P.K. Subban and Ben Maxwell can make the difference for Hamilton after being sent back from Montreal after the Canadians were eliminated from the playoffs back on Monday Night? We will find out tonight!
Also for you fans in Austin, Cedar Park Center will be hosting a watching party as fans can watch the game on the big screen as they root the Stars to the Calder Cup Championship series tonight.
Other stories on tonight's Game:
Western Conference Final reaches Climax: http://theahl.com/tight-west-finals-to-reach-climax-in-game-7-p142833
Maxwell and Subban to return tonight: http://theahl.com/maxwell-subban-return-to-hamilton-p142829
Game 7 will be on XM Satellite Radio: http://theahl.com/game-7-to-air-on-xm-satellite-radio-p142831
Benn there, done that: http://theahl.com/benn-there-done-that-west-finals-all-square-p142782
From the Austin American Statesman: www.statesman.com
In Hamilton, Ontario: The Texas Stars have one last chance to do something that hasn't been done since 2002. The Stars are attempting to get to the AHL Calder Cup Championship Series in their very first AHL Season - a feat last accomplished by two teams 8 years ago.
For the Stars to do it, they need to prevent the Hamilton Bulldogs from advancing to the fourth time since 1997.
Texas is attempting to win its second straight series with a game 7 road victory, while the hometown Bulldogs have lost only twice at home during the playoffs - including Monday's victory by the Stars in Overtime.
"When your season is on the line, it's win or go home. You've got nothing to save it for," said Aaron Gagon, who scored the winning goal on Monday to square the Western Conference Final at three games apiece.
Hamilton coach Guy Boucher told hometown reporters Monday Night that he expects it come down to the wire once more tonight.
"There a hard team to beat," he said about the Stars. "I wouldn't be surprised if the seventh game goes to OT, too."
Stars coach Glen Guluzan says another fast start and sticking to his team's style will decide this series. "We just going to play our game," he insisted. "We know pretty much all there is to know about each other now and it's going to be a battle of wills. Game 7 usually is."
Hamilton announced that P.K. Subban and Ben Maxwell will be back in the lineup after the Montreal Canadians were eliminated from the Stanley Cup Playoffs by Philadelphia back on Monday Night. Subban had nine points and two game winners in the first round of the AHL playoffs before moving up to the parent team. He was Hamilton's third leading scorer during the regular season and Maxwell if fourth.
Gagon said it's hard to predict the impact returning players will have.
"Those guys are great players and i'm sure they going to help their team, but that dosen't change our game-plan doesn't change."
Stars goaltender Matt Climie said the team is ready to stay the course.
"We've got a lot of character guys in the dressing room, a lot of leadership, so its just the mindset of going out there and playing hard every shift and not taking anything for granted."
"We're not really worried about Hamilton right now," added Climie. "We're just worried about the Texas Stars and coming prepared to the rink, and really taking it one shift at a time.
Tonight's Winner advances to play the defending Calder Cup Champion Hershey Bears for the Calder Cup. The Bears, who have won the Cup 10 times in franchise history, eliminated the Manchester Monarchs on Saturday.
During the playoffs this year, the Blackhawks had a few issues with Nashville before crushing them late in the 1st round, beat Vancouver in 6 and sweeped the San Jose Sharks.
As for the Philadelphia Flyers, they have taken the underdog role as the Flyers crushed the Devils in 5 games, the 2nd round saw the Flyers become only the 3rd team in history to comeback from 0-3 down to beat Boston in 7. Then saw the Flyers finally solve Jarsolv Halak, Michael Cammalleri and company to end the 8th seeded Canadiens run by winning in 5 games.
The Flyers can play a very physical game with players like Chris Pronger, Daniel Briere and Jeff Carter. Does Philadelphia have the physicality to slowdown the Blackhawks speed, or does the speed and scoring ability will be to much for the Flyers to handle? We will find out on Saturday when Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final gets underway.
But first, here's a look at how the Philadelphia Flyers & Chicago Blackhawks got to the Stanley Cup Final.
#2W Chicago Blackhawks
Conference Quarterfinals VS. Nashville: Game 1 1-4 L, Game 2 2-0 W, Game 3 1-4 L, Game 4 3-0 W, Game 5 5-4 OTW, Game 6 5-3 W
Conference Semifinals VS. Vancouver: Game 1 1-5 L, Game 2 4-2 W, Game 3 5-2 W, Game 4 7-4 W, Game 5 1-3 L, Game 6 5-1 W
Conference Finals VS. San Jose: Game 1 2-1 W, Game 2 4-2 W, Game 3 3-2 OTW, Game 4 4-2 W
#7E Philadelphia Flyers
Conference Quarterfinals VS. New Jersey: Game 1 2-1 W, Game 2 3-5 L, Game 3 3-2 OTW, Game 4 4-1 W, Game 5 3-0 W
Conference Semifinals VS. Boston: Game 1 4-5 OTL, Game 2 2-3 L, Game 3 1-4 L, Game 4 5-4 OTW, Game 5 4-0 W, Game 6 2-1 W, Game 7 4-3 W
Conference Finals VS. Montreal: Game 1 6-0 W, Game 2 3-0 W, Game 3 1-5 L, Game 4 3-0 W, Game 5 4-2 W
Stanley Cup Finals Schedule (All Games start at 8:00 PM EDT/7:00 PM CDT)
Game 1, 5/29: @ Chicago NBC, CBC, RDS
Game 2, 5/31: @ Chicago NBC, CBC, RDS
Game 3, 6/2: @ Philadelphia Versus, CBC, RDS
Game 4, 6/4: @ Philadelphia Versus, CBC, RDS
Game 5, 6/6: @ Chicago NBC, CBC, RDS
Game 6, 6/9: @ Philadelphia NBC, CBC, RDS
Game 7, 6/11: @ Chicago NBC, CBC, RDS
With the schedule and contenders now known, it's time for some picks. I would to see your picks to win. Also vote in my Poll, and its who will win the Stanley Cup?
Who wins and in how many games?
Who or what is the X-Factor?
Who will be the Playoff MVP?
You can either respond here or on my twitter page at http://twitter.com/tanman9
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
The USA is hoping to repeat a strong international season what they had in 2009-2010, which included gold medals in both the WJC & U18 World Championships, plus the Olympic Silver Medal in Vancouver.
The only major downfall was the 13th place showing at the Ice Hockey World Championships that they showed in Germany.
A couple of the major events have been known for some time, the USA will be hosting next year's World Junior Championships as the HSBC Arena in Buffalo and Niagara University in Niagara, New York will play host for the World Junior Championships next season.
Slovakia will host the Ice Hockey World Championships in the major cities of Bratislava and Kosice as Slovakia is hosting the IHWC for the first time since the breakup of Czechoslovakia in the early 90s. Slovakia is hoping that some home cooking to can help bring them success like Germany did this year.
Slovakia have missed the Quarterfinals each of the last 3 years, however, they did finish 4th in the Olympics back in Vancouver which has been their best Olympic Showing ever in the era of being an indendpent nation.
Other major events include the World Women's Championships being in Switzerland, Germany will be hosting the U18 World Championships after a successful job hosting the IHWC which just wrapped up over the weekend. Also the 4th edition of the U18 World Women's Championship will be in Sweden.
As for the non IIHF Events, the World Junior A Challenge will be back in BC as the USA looks to win the Jr. A Challenge Title for the 3rd straight year. While the U17 World Challenge will be in Winnipeg, Manitoba as a part of the Canada Winter Games next season.
Here's a look at the Tournament Schedule
2011 IIHF World Championships
Bratislava & Kosice, Slovakia April 29 - May 15 2011
Tournament Teams: Austria, Belarus, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Latvia, Norway, Russia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland, USA
2011 World Women's Championships
Zurich & Winterthru, Switzerland April 15-24 2011
Tournament Teams: USA, Canada, Sweden, Finland, Russia, Kazakhstan, Slovakia, Switzerland
2011 World Junior Championships
Buffalo & Niagara, New York December 26 2010 - January 5 2011
Tournament Teams: USA, Canada, Switzerland, Sweden, Finland, Russia, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Germany, Norway
2011 World U18 Championships
in Germany (Cities TBD) April 14-24 2011
Tournament Teams: USA, Sweden, Russia, Finland, Switzerland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Canada, Germany, Norway
2011 World Women's U18 Championship
In Sweden (Cities & Dates TBD)
Tournament Teams: Canada, USA, Germany, Sweden, Finland, Japan, Switzerland, Czech Republic
NON IIHF Events
2010 World Junior A Challenge
Penticton, B.C. November 8-14
Tournament Teams: Canada East, Canada West, USA, European Teams TBD
2011 World U17 Challenge
Winnipeg, Manitoba December 28, 2010 - January 4, 2011
Tournament Teams: Canada Atlantic, Canada Pacific, Canada Ontario, Canada Quebec, Canada West, USA, European Teams TBD
Micheal Leighton is continuing to grow his legend in these playoffs as the win takes him to 6-1 in the playoffs with an unreal 1.45 GAA & .948 SV%, which are both leading the playoffs among goalies. And with 3 shutouts in this series, this is making him very popular and for him to get a big time contract when the chance comes up.
So this year's Stanley Cup Final gets underway this weekend as the Flyers will travel to Chicago for Game 1 of this year's Stanley Cup Final. For the Blackhawks, this is the first time since 1992 they are back in the Final while the Flyers are back since 1997 when they lost to Detroit.
From the National Hockey League Website: www.nhl.com
Habs Shocked: www.nhl.com/ice/news.htm?id=530085
Richards Up Front: www.nhl.com/ice/news.htm?id=530086
In Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: Hockey sometimes demands a terrible price be paid for glory.
The Philadelphia Flyers paid that exorbitant toll in the countless ways Monday Night as they ended a 13 year drought between Stanley Cup Final appearances with gritty game 5 win against the Montreal Canadiens.
The 4-2 victory at the Wachovia Center came about because the Flyers were willing to pay any price to assure the date with the Blackhawks in the 2010 Stanley Cup Final, a series that begins on Saturday in Chicago.
"You put your body on the line, whetever it's finishing hits, blocking shots, and we've done a great job of that so far in the playoffs, and I think it's shown with the victories," Flyers captain Mike Richards said, moments after he grabbed the Prince of Wales Trophy from Deputy Bill Daley and highlighted it to a jubilant Philadelphia Dressing Room.
Richards, more then anyone, threw his body into harm's way all night; but never more so on that goal that the game at 1-all and erased the Montreal lead created by Brian Gionta in the game's first minute -- a goal that threatened put Philadelphia back on its heels as in a demoralizing Game 3 loss.
Richards refused to let that happen, turning a dangerous penalty kill situation into a back-breaking goal from which the Canadiens could not recover.
Richards got a step on Roman Hamrlik in an effort to chase down a hopeful clearing pass by Cladue Giroux, which forced a desperate attempt by Montreal Goalie Jaroslav Halak to play the puck at the top of the left faceoff circle.
Amazingly, all three players arrived at the puck at the same time in a startling collision that sent the puck further toward the Montreal goal. Richards somehow picked himself up, claimed the loose puck and deposited net before anyone else on the ice could react.
"Well, that's why our leader," said veteran defensemen Chris Pronger, who played more then 27 minutes and blocked three shots to pay his part of the dues. "It's that determination and that grit. You know, diving head first for the puck and being first one up after a big collision like that to try to get free to the loose puck and put it to the empty net."
Before it was over, Richards would set up a couple of goals by Jeff Carter to close out the game and have his teammates in a state of awe.
"He leads by example," said grinding forward Ian Laperriere, who blocked two shots despite having his head after suffering a brain contusion while blocking a shot in the first round. "Tonight was another example; he went through everybody. I've played with great players and he's got that in him - greatness."
On the game-winner, 4:31 into the 2nd period, Carter set up behind the goal line and pushed a pass from Kimmo Timonen into the slot, where Carter could one-time it past Halak.
Then, in the game's final minute, with Halak on the bench for an extra skater, Richards refused to give up on the puck heading towards the empty net. He fought off a back-check attempt from Thomas Plekanec to leave the puck for Carter, who dumped it under Josh Georges and into the goalless net.
Did we mention that Carter was playing on a broken foot that was broken a little more then a month ago and that he was still walking around with a pronounced limp?
On the Aaron Asham, the man that scored a goal that made 2-1 in the 2nd period, was one of the most dominant players on the ice - despite playing just 8 minutes - in getting four promo scoring chances before finally beating Halak with a roof shot right on the goalie's doorstep.
How about Timonen, a smallish defensemen not known for his physical contributions? He blocked six shots and was the target of several checks from Montreal players during his 27 minutes on the ice. Still, he found time to assists on Carter's Game Winning Goal.
"Every game I hit hard -- doesn't matter if it's Montreal or some other team," Timonen said. "I got a couple of hits on my head today. But I like said, it's a playoff game; you take some, you give some. Today, obviously, I took a couple of good ones. You've got to take it. First period I actually took a stupid penalty there because, you know, Scott Gomez hit me from behind. But its one of those things, like I said, sometimes you have to suck it up."
And, that is just what the Flyers did all night Monday and throughout this five game domination of the Cinderella Canadiens, who had shown their own grit and determination in knocking off the top seeded Washington Capitals and Pittsburgh, the defending Stanley Cup Champions.
Montreal had already erased series deficits of 3-1 and 3-2 in the past two rounds, but could not find an answer for Philadelphia's relentless pressure or the brilliant goaltending of Micheal Leighton, who stopped 95 of 102 shots in the series.
"I thought they did a good job playing a disciplined style, very disciplined game plan and I thought we didn't do a good job at that and our execution was not were it needed to be to challenge them a little more that way," said Michael Cammalleri, Montreal's most dangerous offensive weapon this post-season. "So hats off for playing as well as they did."
Pronger also believed it was Philadelphia's discipline and willingness to pay the hefty price that delivered them to the Championship Round.
"We've always believed in the system and the players and what we're doing on the ice. It's just a matter of us getting into that rhythm and buying into the system," he said. "It's guys blocking shots and doing all the little things. that make up a lot of little battles during the course of the game to win the war. We've done a very good job that far of that."
Philadelphia Wins Series 4-1
Montreal Canadiens 2 Philadelphia Flyers 4 (1-1, 0-2, 1-1)
0-1 MTL: Brian Gionta (Gomez, Hamrlik) 0:59 1st
1-1 PHI: Mike Richards (Giroux) 4:25 1st
1-2 PHI: Arron Asham (Carle) 3:07 2nd
1-3 PHI: Jeff Carter (Richards, Timonen) 4:31 2nd
2-3 MTL: Scott Gomez (Subban, Gionta) 6:53 3rd
2-4 PHI: Jeff Carter (EN) (Richards) 19:37 3rd
SOG: MTL 27 PHI 26
PIM: MTL 14 Minutes on 7 Penalties PHI 8 Minutes on 4 Penalties
Goalies: MTL Jarsolav Halak 22 SVS on 25 Shots PHI Michael Leighton 25 SVS on 27 Shots
3rd Star: Kimmo Timonen (PHI)
2nd Star: Claude Giroux (PHI)
1st Star: Mike Richards (PHI)
In addition to Gagon, it was Shawn Mcculloch and Garrett Sanford who each had goals to tie the game at 1-1 and 2-2 in the 2nd period and early portion of the 3rd period for the Stars. Hamilton was able to keep a 1-0 & 2-1 leads with a couple of unlikely goal scores in Belle and Gabriel Dumont.
Texas has gone to 5-2 in this year's playoffs in OT and have won all 3 games of this series against the Bulldogs in the extra frame. So it's showing the league that the Stars turn up the pressure in the extra period despite 13-8 last night.
From the Texas Stars Website: www.texasstarshockey.com
In Hamilton, Ontario: The Texas Stars defeated the Hamilton Bulldogs 3-2 in OT on Monday Night in front of 2,613 fans at Copps Coliseum in Game 6 of the Western Conference Finals. Center Aaron Gagon scored the game winning goal 18:32 into overtime, tying the best-of-7 series at 3-3 focring a Game 7 on Wednesday Night in Hamilton. Goalie Matt Climie made 51 saves, including 28 in the third period and overtime combined to preserve the OT Victory. Bulldogs goalie Curtis Sanford stopped 35 Texas Shots in his third OT Loss of the playoffs. All of Sanford's OT Losses in the playoffs have been to Texas. Stars forward Scott Mcculloch and defensemen Garrett Stafford also scored the win. Game 7 will be in Hamilton on Wednesday Night, May 26 at 6:30 PM CDT.
In the 1st period, Hamilton opened the scoring with a goal at 16:58. Hunter Bishop played the puck to the net from the right wing circle and Matt Climie made the inital save, but could not control the rebound. Bulldogs forward Gabriel Dumont scooped up the rebound and backhanded the puck past Climie for his 2nd goal of the playoffs and a 1-0 Hamilton lead.
In the 2nd period, the Stars countered with a power-play goal at 9:04, tying the game at 1-1. Texas worked the puck with quick passes from Lindgren to Morin, who finally set up Garrett Stafford in front of the Hamilton net. Stafford snapped his third of the playoffs over the glove of Bulldogs goalie Curtis Sanford for the Stars goal. Hamilton would score a power play goal of its own before the end of the period. Bulldogs winger Brock Trotter found defensemen Shawn Belle in front of the Texas net. Belle fired a wrist shot at 17:51 past the outreached glove of Stars goalie Matt Climie, scoring his first goal of the playoffs and pushing Hamilton ahead 2-1.
In the 3rd period, Texas tied the game at 2-2 at 5:56. Righ wing Greg Rallo pitched the puck to the Hamilton net as left wing Scott Mcculloch snuck down the wing towards the Bulldogs net. Mcculloch redirected the puck past Curtis Sanford for his second goal of the playoffs. Travis Morin added an assist on the play and tied the game at 2-2 and forced Sudden Death OT.
Texas broke through with 1:28 left on the clock in the first OT. Jamie Benn played the puck to the Hamilton net, the puck rolled behind Curtis Sanford to the goal-line. Aaron Gagon reached and poked the puck over the line for his sixth of the playoffs and to win the game 3-2 at 18:32 of the extra frame.
Western Conference Finals Update
Game 1: Texas Stars 2 Hamilton Bulldogs 3 (1-2, 1-0, 0-0, 0-1) (OT)
Game 2: Texas Stars 1 Hamilton Bulldogs 3 (0-0, 1-2, 0-1)
Game 3: Hamilton Bulldogs 4 Texas Stars 5 (OT) (1-1, 1-2, 2-1, 0-1)
Game 4: Hamilton Bulldogs 1 Texas Stars 2 (OT) (0-0, 1-0, 0-1, 0-1)
Game 5: Hamilton Bulldogs 3 Texas Stars 0 (1-0, 2-0, 0-0)
Game 6: Texas Stars 3 Hamilton Bulldogs 2 (OT) (0-1, 1-1, 1-0, 1-0)
Game 7, 5/26: Texas Stars VS. Hamilton Bulldogs 6:30 PM CDT
To purchase tickets for the Calder Cup Playoff Games, check out the links
Ticketmaster: 1-800-745-3000 or at www.ticketmaster.com
Texas Stars Boxoffice: 512-GO-Stars
Series Tied 3-3
Texas Stars 3 Hamilton Bulldogs 2 (OT) (0-1, 1-1, 1-0, 1-0)
0-1 HAM: Gabriel Dumont (Bishop) 16:58 1st
1-1 TEX: Garrett Stafford (PP) (Morin, Benn) 9:04 2nd
1-2 HAM: Shawn Belle (PP) (Trotter, Desharnais) 17:51 2nd
2-2 TEX: Shawn Mcculloch (Rallo, Morin) 5:56 3rd
3-2 TEX: Aaron Gagon (Benn, Stephenson) 18:32 OT
SOG: TEX 38 HAM 53
PP: TEX 1/1 HAM 1/2
PIM: TEX 4 Minutes on 2 Penalties HAM 2 Minutes on 1 Penalty
Goalies: TEX Matt Climie 51 SVS on 53 Shots HAM Cedrick Deshardins 35 SVS on 38 Shots
3rd Star: Matt Climie (TEX)
2nd Star: Shawn Belle (HAM)
1st Star: Aaron Gagon (TEX)
Monday, May 24, 2010
Chicago is looking to their speed and strong scoring ability with players like Kane, Toews and Sharp among a huge cast that them selves are back in the Stanley Cup Final for the first time since 1992.
The Fun gets going on Saturday Night from Chicago as NBC will have 5 of the 7 games as they will have the first 2 games, plus Games 5 through 7 if needed. Versus will televise Games 3 & 4 from Philadelphia.
#2W Chicago Blackhawks VS. #7E Philadelphia Flyers
Game 1, 5/29: @ Chicago 8:00 PM EDT/7:00 PM CDT NBC
Game 2, 5/31: @ Chicago 8:00 PM EDT/7:00 PM CDT NBC
Game 3, 6/2: @ Philadelphia 8:00 PM EDT/7:00 PM CDT Versus
Game 4, 6/4: @ Philadelphia 8:00 PM EDT/7:00 PM CDT Versus
Game 5, 6/6: @ Chicago 8:00 PM EDT/7:00 PM CDT NBC*
Game 6, 6/9: @ Philadelphia 8:00 PM EDT/7:00 PM CDT NBC*
Game 7, 6/11: @ Chicago 8:00 PM EDT/7:00 PM CDT NBC*
Team Stats Leaders
Chicago Blackhawks Scoring Leaders
Jonathan Toews 16 GP 26 PTS (7G 19A, +4)
Patrick Kane 16 GP 20 PTS (7G 13A, +2)
Patrick Sharp 16 GP 16 PTS (7G 9A, +3)
Chicago Blackhawks Goaltending
Antti Nemi 16 GP 12-4 2.33 GAA .921 SV%
Full Chicago Blackhawks Stats: http://blackhawks.nhl.com/club/stats.htm?gameType=3&season=20092010
Philadelphia Flyers Scoring Leaders
Mike Richards: 17 GP 21 PTS (6G 15A, +6)
Danny Briere: 17 GP 18 PTS (9G, 9A, +4)
Claude Giroux: 17 GP 17 PTS (8G 9A, +10)
Philadelphia Flyers Goaltending
Brian Boucher: 10 GP 6-4 2.33 GAA .915 SV%
Michael Leighton: 8 GP 6-1 1.45 GAA .948 SV%
Full Philadelphia Flyers Stats: http://flyers.nhl.com/club/stats.htm
For more on the Stanley Cup Final, check out the following websites.
National Hockey League: http://www.nhl.com/
Chicago Blackhawks: http://blackhawks.nhl.com/?navid=nav-teamnav-chi
Philadelphia Flyers: http://flyers.nhl.com/
Now this I think will will go over very well with the fans in Oklahoma City regarding the name. First Oklahoma has a huge gas and oil industry (Especially out West). And it's just simply a natural fit as well to exist with the Edmonton Oilers as they look to not only generate success in the American Hockey League for the team and the city, but to send high quality players that will make the NHL.
Regardless if they are with the Barons for just a little while or if players have worked their whole careers to make the National Hockey League. Not to say the Oklahoma City Blazers weren't great, but this is a much higher level of hockey then the Central Hockey League and looking to bringing home an AHL Calder Cup is so much bigger then winning a CHL Presidents Cup.
One of the big questions is whatever or not that one of the top Oilers Prospects, Jordan Eberle who was 2nd overall in scoring last year with the WHL's Regina Pats as he scored 106 PTS (50G 56A) in just 57 games played this season. In addition to the WHL Regular Season, he also played for Team Canada at the 2010 World Junior Championships and the later part of the Ice Hockey World Championships that just wrapped up yesterday in Germany.
He's one of the team's best prospects right now that was drafted that was drafted in the 1st round (22nd overall) back in 2008. Oilers fans are hoping that he will join either Tyler Seguin or Taylor Hall as the team has the first overall draft pick at next month's NHL Draft. Even if he doesn't make the NHL Right away, Eberle should fit in very well to help the Barons and excite OKC Hockey fans in their first season next year
Now that the Ownership and Team-name are figured out. Next up is finding out who will be the coach of the team. With their old AHL Affiliation (Springfield Falcons) having the absolute worst record in the AHL the last 2 years, this could be interesting as the team hasn't been able to figure out how to have success at the AHL Level.
In addition to the AHL, Even though the Edmonton Oil Kings (WHL) are not directly affiliated with them, part of the ownership also runs the Edmonton Oil Kings who finished last in the WHL Eastern Conference last year. In a year where some thought that could maybe fight for home ice in the early part of the playoffs, this were clearly one of this seasons biggest disappointments not just in the WHL, but throughout the entire Major Junior League last year.
All-and-all, fans should be excited to have the American Hockey League in Oklahoma City which will be at the Cox Convention Center as the city is redoing. The main reason why the team will play at the CCC and not the Ford Center is because they can have fewer schedule disputes with the Oklahoma City Thunder (NBA) and to help increase the loudest fan atmosphere possible as well.
I think an arena this size could be very successful as teams like the Texas Stars and Abbotsford Heat had arenas of similar or smaller size and have had a lot of success. This past season, the Texas Stars has been averaging around 5,000 fans all year and the Barons will hopefully employ same of the same strategries to make the 4th American Hockey League team work in the Southwest.
Here's some links to check out as the Oklahoma City Barons get ready to start their first season in October 2010.
Article from the Oklahoman: http://newsok.com/article/3462519
Oklahoma City Barons Website: http://www.okcbarons.com/
OKC Barons Pipeline: www.okcbarons.com/index.cfm?fa=pipeline
Cox Convention Center Seating Chart: www.okcbarons.com/index.cfm?fa=map
Oklahoma City Barons Store: http://shop.okcbarons.com/
OKC Barons on Twitter: http://twitter.com/OKCBaronsHockey
Only Jersey's, T-Shirts and Caps are available right now. Look for my items to come soon.
In addition to the Oklahoma City Barons, the Albany River Rats will be moving to Charlotte, North Carolina and will be called the Charlotte Checkers
Here's how I think the Division Alignment will look like for the 2010-2011 season.
Atlantic Division: Bridgeport Sound Tigers, Hartford Wolfpack, Lowell Devils, Manchester Monarchs, Portland Pirates, Providence Bruins, Springfield Falcons, Worcester Sharks
East Division: Adirondack Phantoms, Binghamton Senators, Charlotte Checkers, Hershey Bears, Norfolk Admirals, W-B/Scranton Penguins, Syracuse Crunch
North Division: Abbotsford Heat, Hamilton Bulldogs, Grand Rapids Griffins, Lake Erie Monsters, Manitoba Moose, Rochester Americans, Toronto Marlies
West Division: Chicago Wolves, Houston Aeros, Milwaukee Admirals, Oklahoma City Barons, Peoria Rivermen, Rockford Icehogs, Texas Stars, San Antonio Rampage
From the American Hockey League Website: http://theahl.com
Texas Stars Website: www.texasstarshockey.com
Hundred Degree Hockey: http://hundreddegreehockey.blogspot.com/2010/05/gameday-preview-stars-at-hamilton_24.html
Hamilton blanks the Texas Stars 3-0 in Game 5, as they take a 3-2 series lead as Game 6 is in Hamilton tonight.
Texas Stars were defated by the Hamilton Bulldogs 3-0 on Saturday Night in front of 5020 fans at Cedar Park Center in Game 5 of the Western Conference Finals. Bulldogs goalie Curtis Sanford stopped all 23 Texas shots, lifting Hamilton to a 3-2 series lead over the Stars. Hamilton center David Desharnais scored a goal and an assist as Hamilton claimed its fourth road win of the postseason. Texas Goalie Matt Climie made 30 saves in the defeat.
Western Conference Finals Update
Game 1: Texas Stars 2 Hamilton Bulldogs 3 (OT)
Game 2: Texas Stars 1 Hamilton Bulldogs 3
Game 3: Hamilton Bulldogs 4 Texas Stars 5 (OT)
Game 4: Hamilton Bulldogs 1 Texas Stars 2 (OT)
Game 5: Hamilton Bulldogs 3 Texas Stars 0 (Hamilton leads Series 3-2)
Game 6, 5/24: Texas Stars VS. Hamilton Bulldogs 7:30 PM EDT/6:30 PM CDT
*Game 7, 5/26: Texas Stars VS. Hamilton Bulldogs 7:30 PM EDT/6:30 PM CDT
Saturday's other Action
Manchester Monarchs 2 Hershey Bears 3 (OT) (Hershey wins Series 4-2)
The Hershey Bears will get a shot of defending the AHL Calder Cup Championship. The Hershey Bears have been winning the Richard F. Canning Trophy as the AHL's Eastern Conference Champions for 2009-2010, claming the title with a 3-2 OT Victory over the Manchester Monarchs in Game 6 of the Best-of-7 series at the Giant Center in Hershey, PA., on Saturday Night.
The Bears are heading to the Calder Cup Finals for the 4th time in the last 5 years since they became the top development affiliate of the Washington Capitals in 2005-2006, and for the 22nd time overall, extending their own league record. Hershey has won a record 10 Calder Cup Titles in team history, most recently in 2006 and 2009.
Boyd Kane, the captain of the Bears 2006 Calder Cup Team, scored the series clinching goal on Saturday Night at 7:06 of the third period as the Bears set an AHL Record with their seventh overtime win of the postseason. Kane tallied his first goal of the postseason and become the seventh different Bear to score in OT in the postseason.
Texas is 0-1 in Game 6's and 1-0 in games when facing elimination this spring.
Hamilton is 2-0 in Game 6's this postseason, both series clinching at home.
Texas center Warren Peters leads all skaters in the Calder Cup Playoffs with 50 penalty minutes, while Hamilton's Ryan White is second with 47.
The teams 9 goals were scored by 8 different players with Adam Henrique leading the way with 2 goals and an assist. Other players with three point nights included Taylor Hall (1G 2A). Other big nights came from Greg Nemisz, Eric Wellwood and Zack Kassian all had a goal and an assist. Other notable performances included Ryan Ellis with 3 assists, while Justin Shugg and Kenny Ryan who each had two assists apiece in the Championship game that was never in doubt for the Spitfires.
Matt Calvert scored the only Wheat Kings goal of the night on a great set up for a one timer from Scott Glennie. Despite the two blowouts for the Wheat Kings, it won't take away from a great season which included a WHL East Division Title. Getting to the WHL Conference Finals for the 2nd straight year and coming back after a bad night to wrap up the round robin against Calgary to win the Semifinal in OT.
There is no doubt that the Spitfires are the class of the Major Juniors and they will go down as one of the greatest teams in junior hockey history.
From the Memorial Cup Website: www.mastercardmemorialcup.com
In Brandon, Manitoba: Adam Henrique and Ryan Ellis each registered three points each while the Spitfires recorded 52 shots on goal en route to a strong 9-1 victory over the host Brandon Wheat Kings to win the 2010 MasterCard Memorial Cup.
The Spitfires become just the 8th Team in CHL History to win back-to-back titles, and the first team since the Kamloops Blazers in 1994 & 1995.
Adam Henrique opened the scoring at 6:34 with a wrist-shot which he directed between the pads of Jacon De Serres. Then, with 33 seconds left in the first period, the Spitfires doubled their lead. The Wheat Kings failed to clear the puck causing a turnover in their own zone which opened the door for Eric Wellwood who jumped on a loose puck and beat De Serres top shelf.
Windsor took a 3-0 advantage 4:34 into the 2nd period whith Brent Raedeke in the penalty box for slashing. Taylor Hall let go a powerful wrist shot from the left faceoff dot that found an opening over the goalie's shoulder.
The Wheat Kings cut the lead to two less then 4 minutes later. Matt Calvert recorded his third goal of the MasterCard Memorial CUp on the powerplay. But it wasn't long before the Spitfires added to the lead. After a lengthy review from the video booth, Nemisz's goal was confirmed, putting Windsor up 4-1. Zach Kassian and Cam Fowler added markers prior to the end of the 2nd period to put the game out of reach.
Zach Kassian and Cam Fowler added markers ended prior to the end of the 2nd period to put the game out of reach.
Zach Kassian, Adam Henrique and Dale Mitchell recorded goals in the third period. Philipp Gruaber made 27 saves for his 4th win of the tournament. Following the game, Taylor Hall was awarded the Stafford Smythe Memorial Trophy as the 2010 MasterCard Memorial Cup MVP, his second in as many years. He completed the tournament with 5 goals and 4 assists.
Of note, Cam Fowler became just the 21st player in history to win both an IIHF Gold Medal at the IIHF World Junior Championship as well as a Memorial Cup Title in the same year. His teammate, Ryan Ellis, accomplishment the feat last year.
Of the players who also managed to win both titles in the same year is former Brandon Wheat King Trevor Kidd who gold in 1991 before winning a Memorial Cup with the Spokane Chiefs. Kidd participated in the opening ceremonies in the opening game.
Brandon Wheat Kings 1 Windsor Spitfires 9 (0-2, 1-4, 0-3)
0-1 WSR: Adam Henrique (Ellis, Hall) 6:34 1st
0-2 WSR: Eric Wellwood (Timmins, Fowler) 19:27 1st
0-3 WSR: Taylor Hall (PP) (Henrique, Ellis) 4:34 2nd
1-3 BRN: Matt Calvert (PP) (Glennie, Schenn) 8:16 2nd
1-4 WSR: Greg Nemisz (Kassian, Ryan) 8:56 2nd
1-5 WSR: Marc Cantin (Shugg, Cundari) 11:36 2nd
1-6 WSR: Cam Fowler (Ellis, Nemisz) 16:52 2nd
1-7 WSR: Zach Kassian (Ryan) 5:42 3rd
1-8 WSR: Adam Henrique (Hall, Shugg) 9:44 3rd
1-9 WSR: Dale Mitchell (Timmins, Wellwood) 15:40 3rd
SOG: BRN 28 WSR 52
PP: BRN 1/4 WSR 1/2
PIM: BRN 10 Minutes on 5 Penalites WSR 14 Minutes on 7 Penalties
Goalies: BRN Jacob De Serres 43 SVS on 52 Shots WSR Philipp Grubauer 27 SVS on 28 Shots
3rd Star: Matt Calver (BRN)
2nd Star: Scott Timmins (WSR)
1st Star: Adam Henrique (WSR)
5/14: Windsor Spitfires 9 Brandon Wheat Kings 3 (5-0, 4-1, 0-2)
5/15: Calgary Hitmen 5 Moncton Wildcats 4 (0-1, 1-2, 4-1)
5/16: Brandon Wheat Kings 4 Moncton Wildcats 0 (1-0, 2-0, 1-0)
5/17: Calgary Hitmen 2 Windsor Spitfires 6 (0-2, 2-1, 0-3)
5/18: Moncton Wildcats 3 Windsor Spitfires 4 (OT) (1-1, 0-1, 2-1, 0-1)
5/19: Brandon Wheat Kings 1 Calgary Hitmen 5 (1-5, 0-0, 0-0)
5/21: Brandon Wheat Kings 5 Calgary Hitmen 4 (OT) (0-2, 3-1, 1-1, 1-0)
5/23: Brandon Wheat Kings 1 Windsor Spitfires 9 (0-2, 1-4, 0-3)
Saturday, May 22, 2010
Puck Podcast May 22 Episode: www.puckpodcast.com/puck-podcast-may-22-2010/
Puck Podcast Website: www.puckpodcast.com
Here's some links on the show hosts as well.
Eddie Garcia: www.puckpodcast.com/section/eddie/
Doug Stolhand: www.puckpodcast.com/section/doug/
Friday, May 21, 2010
Which included 3 League Titles from 2004-2006 and numerous players heading to the NCAA & Professional Ranks, including a few players who went to the NHL and former goalie Ben Bishop who was named to the USA Team for the Ice Hockey World Championships.
From the North American Hockey League: www.nahl.com
The North American Hockey League has announced that its board of Governors has approved its transfer of ownership of the Texas Tornado.
The new ownership group is led by Bill Yuill, president of Consolidated Sports Holdings USA, inc.
A native and resident of Medicine, Hat Alberta, Yuill, which is also the chairman and CEO of the Monarch Corporation, a privately owned companies with three operating divisions - communications, investments and sports franchises - has owned and operated successful baseball and hockey teams for over three decades.
"Since 1999, the Texas Tornado has been one of the premier junior hockey organizations not only in the NAHL, but all of North America, and we're excited for Bill Yuill and consolidated Sports Holdings to carry on the winning tradition." said NAHL Commissioner Mark Frankfeld. "His business experience and expertise, along with his success owning and operating hockey teams speaks for itself."
"Were proud to become members of the North American Hockey League and participate in its continued growth and success," said Yuill. "We see a bright future."
Consolidated Sports Holdings EXC. VP Gary Gelinas, who boasts owning and managing sports franchises, will oversee the operations of the Texas Tornado.
"I'm delighted with the opportunity to become est. in the Dallas Market," Yuill said. "Over the years, our company has operated franchises in seven different states, but this will be one our first ones in Texas."
The Tornado plays its home games at the Dr. Pepper Arena in Frisco. One of the premier junior hockey facilities in North America, the recently renovated arena also serves as the practice home of the Dallas Stars.
"The Texas Tornado have built a successful following here in North Texas and we are very excited to be a part of that continued tradition under Bill Yuill and Consolidated Sports Holdings," said Randy Locey, executive vice president for the Dallas Stars and Dr. Pepper Arena. "We look forward to working with Bill and Gary and continue growing the sport of hockey in Texas."
Under the teams previous owners, Bob and Kirby Schlegel, of Schlegel Sports Group, the Tornado solidified itself as one of the elite junior hockey programs in North America, on and off the ice.
The Tornado won three straight league championships from 2004-2006 and seven NAHL Regular Season division titles thinks to seven straight 40 plus winning seasons from 1999-07. The Tornado also developed and moved over 80 players onto the NCAA & Professional (four of its former players skated in the NHL this season.)
"Bob and Kirby have been at the forefront of helping the NAHL evolve into one of the best junior hockey league in North America, and we can't think them enough for the commitment they've shown over the years," said Frankfeld. "Their involvement has done so much with the Frisco community, the fans, and most importantly, the players and their success."
"I'd like to think Schlegel family and the Dallas Stars for their cooperation and support throughout the transition."
for more info, checkout www.tornadohockey.com
The Quebec Major Junior Hockey League got their 2010-2011 season off to an early start as the league has revelled the schedule for next season as the season will get underway September 9 as the defending QMJHL Champion Moncton Wildcats will play host the Baie-Comeau Drakkar who finished 2nd to last in the entire Regular Season.
The schedule will be playing just over 80% of its games on the weekends to preserve the Academic Commitments of many of their players as a majority of them in this and in nearly junior league is involved in high school or some kind of junior/community college while their not playing.
In addition to the schedule, the QMJHL has changed up the Divisions again as the league never seems to be happy with a format that they can be happy with. Last year, they had 4 divisions with 3 divisions of 4 teams with the Maritime Division staying the same with their 6 teams that are located in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island (P.E.I.).
So this means that the Central Division is all gone as the Drummondville Voltigeurs and Shawinigan Cataractes will be moving to the West. Heading East will be the league's only U.S.A. Team in the Lewiston Maineiacs & Victoriaville Tigers as well. The rest of the East & West Divisions along with the Maritime Division will be unchanged.
For the 2010-2011 Schedule, check out the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League Schedule at www.lhjmq.qc.ca/lang_en/index.php?page=1
New Divisional Format
Montreal De Junior
Quebec City Ramparts
Cape Breton Screaming Eagles
St. John Seadogs
But German Goaltender Dennis Endras put on the game of his life and a 2nd period goal by Philipp Gogulla helped make the difference as the Germans put a shock to the Swiss who were looking strong towards breaking through and winning a major international medal.
Russia used their superstars to get revenge from the Olympics as 2 goals in both the 2nd and 3rd periods help decide the game for Russia as they quest for a 3rd straight IHWC Gold Medal is still alive.
It will now be the Heavy favorite against the host Germans. But with Germany's home crowd and a feeling of nothing to lose, it could be an interesting game here. Could Germany pull off another huge upset and Germany making the final, or will Russia end their miracle run?
Russia 5 Canada 2 (1-0, 2-0, 2-2)
Russia VS. Canada Game Photos: www.iihf.com/channels10/iihf-world-championship-wc10/pictures/page/0/game/RUS%20-%20CAN%20%28QF%29.html
By Alan Adams
In Colonge, Germany: Russia continued its march to a third straight Gold Medal with a 5-2 triumph Quarterfinal victory over Canada on Thursday for its seventh straight win at the 2010 World Championship and its 26 straight victory. In the Semifinals, Russia will meet Germany.
"That game will be a lot of fun," said Russian captain Ilya Kovalchuk. "It's the first time ever they will be in the Semifinal and it will be fun."
The 26 game run at the World Tournament began with a Bronze Medal game in 2007 and now the Russians are two games away from keeping a promise they made when Canada humiliated them in the Quarterfinals at the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games. Kovalchuk was asked whetever the Russians can be stopped.
"We'll see. They play hard" he said.
As for Germany, he said: We'll play the home team with the crowd will be with them."
After they lost 7-3 and people questioned their character, the Russian Olympians vowed then to show the world they had more to their mettle then what they showed in Vancouver and with 14 Olympians at the worlds here in Germany, they've answered those critics.
Russia has skill and and speed and the players are listening to the coaching staff," which hasn't always been the norm in the international events.
Russia has now advanced to the medal round for the third straight world championship.
Canada, with one player in the Line up who mined Olympic Gold in Vancouver, finished seventh for its second worst showing since 1992 when they finished 8th. The 2010 Tournament marks the first semifinal that Canada has not qualified for since 2002.
"The game was an extension of the tournament," said captain Ray Whitney.
The Russians went into the game against their longtime rivals saying there was no comparison to the competition here and he best-on-best Olympic competition of three months ago.
But as history has shown, a Canada VS. Russia game at any level brings out the best and worst of each hockey super-power and the quarterfinal was another installment in their fabled way.
Goalie Chris Mason and Russia's Semyon Varlamov were called on to make spectacular saves, much to the delight of the sea of red Russian Jerseys in Laxness Arena. The fans chanted "Rossiya, Rossiya, Rossiya" throughout the game.
"They were a couple of chances that we'd like to have back, had we scored a second on those, it would have been a different game." Said Corey Perry.
It didn't take long for the bad blood between the longtime rivals to boil over and there was no shortage of hard punishing hits, faces being washed by gloves, and cheap hits being delivered by both sides. The Russians and Canadians didn't have much working on the power play chances in the first period.
The Russians executed a boatload of crisp passes and dazzled everybody with their skill but it produced only one good goal scoring chance. Evgeni Malkin tipped a point shot and Mason did the splits to rob him of a goal with five minutes left to play in the 1st period.
The best scoring chance for the Canadians had come midway through the period when Steve Stamkos got the blade of his stick on a low shot and the puck hit a surprised Varlamov in the shoulder.
The Russians took a 1-0 lead at 19:02 of the first period on a wrist shot by Maxim Afinogenov that Mason got a piece of but not enough to stop the puck from trickling into the net.
With Canada's Steve Stamkos in the penalty box for boarding, Pavel Datsyuk doubled Russia's lead at 1:34 of the 2nd period when Datsyuk showed the European Audience what people in the NHL arenas have seen him do so many times before when he lifted the puck high over Mason from the lip of the crease.
Then with Perry in the penalty box for a slash on Russian Star Alexander Ovechkin, Malkin made it 3-0 at 17:31 of the 2nd period on a shoot from between the faceoff circles that slid under Mason has he dropped to his knees in the crease in an attempt to make the save. Sergei Federov tipped a point shot for the 4-0 lead at 7:31 of the third period.
John Tavares scored at 13:52 of the third period for Canada only scoring play and with Canada's empty net for an extra attacker, Malkin scored his second goal of the game at 16:56. Matt Duchene made it 5-2 with 14 seconds left in the game.
Canada ended the tournament with three straight losses.
Switzerland 0 Germany 1 (0-0, 0-1, 0-0)
Switzerland VS. Germany Game Photos: www.iihf.com/channels10/iihf-world-championship-wc10/pictures/page/0/game/SUI%20-%20GER%20%28QF%29.html
By Andrew Podnieks
In Mannheim, Germany: A quick goal from Philipp Gogulla Midway through the 2nd period and sensational goaltending from Dennis Endras was all Germany needed to beat Switzerland 1-0 to advance to the Semifinals for the first time since the current IIHF World Championship Playoff format was introduced in 1992. The Germans now play Russia in Colonge at 18:00 on Saturday Night for a place in the Gold Medal Game.
"Russia is a huge favorite, I think," said Michael Wolf. "With that lineup they have, it's almost like the Olympic Line Up. It's tough to play against them, but we'll try to play as a group again, with good goaltending, and never now."
The game was played before a raucous, sold out SAP Arena crowd of 12,500 that saw Endras stop all 41 shots he faced, some in sensational fashion. The Czechs and Swedes play the other semifinal on Saturday at 14:00.
"I think it was the biggest win of my career," said Endras. "For Germany to make the Semifinal is huge for a team, for the whole staff. The guys worked for the entire 60 minutes and it was such a great feeling tonight."
The only dark side of the night occurred when the final horn was blown when a full scale brawl almost erupted, including Swiss player Timo Helbling and German assistant coach Ernst Hofner, who both got match penalties.
The win guarantees a fourth at least a fourth place finish for the Germans. They last finished as high at the 1976 Olympics when they won a Bronze Medal in Innsbruck and at the 1953 World Championships when they also won Silver. Switzerland now finishes in fifth place, its best showing since a fourth in 1998 when they hosted the World Championship and Zurich and Basle.
Marcel Jenni was praiseworthy in defeat. "It's one of the worst losses I've ever had in my career. We controlled the play in the first period, but we couldn't find the flow we needed to beat them. The Germans deserved the win. They played well."
The first period saw both teams have only one great opportunity each to score, but after 20 minutes there was a nary a goal to be found. In the early going it was Switzerland's Paolo Duca who hit the post, and then toward the end of the period Germany had a colossal opportunity to break the game wide open.
Martin Pluss was given a five minute major and game misconduct for spearing at 15:28. the vicious little play was actually a back-swing with the tip of his stick into the groin of Christian Ehrhoff, but on the ensuing power play the Germans were able to generate few decent shots much less score. They had one other fruitless power play in the period. Coming into the game they were 16th in the tournament with just one goal in 21 chances with the extra man.
Germany showed its great weakness - lack of offense - but the Swiss didn't generate many chances either in a dull period enlivened only by the incredible fan support by the home side.
The 2nd period, however, was a vastly different story. It began with a stifling defense, but then Germany started to take over and dominate. The Swiss couldn't generate scoring chances off the rush, and the Germans skated with greater inspiration. They were rewarded halfway through the period with the game's first goal.
Alexander Sulzner took a weak shot along the left wing boards, but it was high and caught goalie Martin Gerber by surprise. He had to jump to make the chest save, but the puck dropped onto the stick of Philipp Gogulla and quickly rapped it open side of the 1-0 lead at 10:46.
The third period was predictable in that the Germans tried to protect the lead and the Swiss mounted their fiercest attack. The result was several terrific scoring chances, but Endras was sensational in the German net, stopped everything that came his way.
Of course, the Swiss attacked, the more they were vulnerable to odd-man rushes the other way, and Germany had a few quality scoring chances to get their all important 2nd goal.
The brawl erupted after a crazy series of events. As the clock wound down to zero, German Players leaped off the bench to celebrate the win, but refs pointed out there was still one second left on the clock. Order was restored, the puck dropped, and the game was over. But pushing and shoving occurred as the players left their benches. Order was restored but gave an otherwise sensational night a bit of a black eye.
"We have great team spirit," said Alexander Sulzer of the winning team. "We talked before the game against the USA Started, and we sat together. We said we were just going to play the game and keep it easy, do the little things. Enjoy the moment, go from shift to shift and, period to period and game to game."
And now they have at least one more game to play, the biggest of their lives.
History was made for Germany by eking out a 1-0 goaltenders duel as they reach the Semis for the first time and the Czechs eking out a 2-1 victory in a shutout after going down 1-0 early on in the first game of the day.
Denmark's run may have ended, but for a team that's usually been trying to battle off relegation. This meant a big step up and ending what otherwise has been a disappointing season for the Danes as they failed to make the Olympics during the Olympic Qualifiers last year and failing to promote to the WJC and U18 World Championships this season.
They didn't go without a fight as players like Dallas Stars Prospect Patrick Thorson among a growing list of players who are making an impact in both Europe (Especially Sweden) and North America with more & more players getting chances in the AHL and a few in the NHL right now.
They hoping to use this as momentum for 2010-2011 to keep up this pace as they look to have a stronger season internationally with the ultimate goal of qualifying for the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, Russia and getting their Juniors promoted to the WJC & U18 World Championships next season.
Czech Republic in addition to Russia also got revenge from their Olympic Rematches as they took down Finland 2-1 in a shutout in what was mostly a defensive showdown. But they were some great outbursts by both sides, especially in OT where both teams were looking to prevent the game from going to a shutout.
Now the Semifinals will be taking place on Saturday as Swede VS. Czech Republic will go at it in the early game. While Russia will be taking Germany who's looking to pull off an incredible run as hosts in the 2nd game.
From Risto Pakarinen
Finland 1 Czech Republic 2 (SO) (1-0, 0-0, 0-1, 0-0, 0-1)
Finland VS. Czech Republic Game Photos: www.iihf.com/channels10/iihf-world-championship-wc10/pictures/page/0/game/FIN%20-%20CZE.html
In Colonge, Germany: Tied after 70 minutes of battle, it all came down to a penalty shutout. Lukas Kaspar and Jan Marek scored for the Czechs and sealed the win.
Jakub Klepis for the Czechs in the 3rd period, and Tomas Vokoun made 29 saves in regulation time. Petri Kontiola scored for Finland. Pekka Rinne stopped 33 shots.
"It was a tough game, there were times when I was very nervous," Jaromir Jagr about the win that took the Czechs past the Quarterfinals for the first time since 2006.
"The shootout is lots of times a matter of luck. I got some, and I miss some. It's a fun to win, but a tough way to loss," added goaltender Vokoun.
Before the game, everybody said that it was no Olympic rematch because the rosters are completely different. True enough, but the nature of the game was similar to the one played in Vancouver three months ago. A low scoring game, thanks to good goaltending at both ends of the rink.
Another thing that was different in Vancouver, Finland scored late in the third period to win the game. In Colonge, they scored early in the first, and nursed the lead for 59 minutes.
"I don't think we want to get ahead of ourselves. We said before the game we are not supposed to be here and we have twice survived our death." Vokoun said.
Just 55 seconds into the game, Janne Niskala sent a pass from the top of the faceoff circle to Petri Kontiola on the Finns offensive blue-line. Kontiola snuck between two Czech Defensemen, waited for Tomas Vokoun to go down and beat him on a wrist shot on Vokoun's glove side.
There were two other differences, this time the Czechs scored, too. Just 1:12 into the 3rd period, while Jussi Jokinen was in the penalty box for the third time in the game, they played the puck to Jakub Klepis on the point, and he fired a slap-shot beat Pekka Rinne, and tied the game.
"It's a huge disappointment to have the season end like this, I think we battle hard, and we had some scoring chances too, "Said Jussi Jokinen.
The game was mostly a battle, with both teams making sure that there were no turnovers in the critical areas of the ice. Both teams also defended the inside walls, making the goalies jobs that much easier.
The Czech Team pushed hard in the third period, practically controlling the flow of the game. Rinnie in the Finnish net made several acrobatic saves, including one on Jaromir Jagr and another on Jiri Novotny, both from point blank range.
With nine minutes remaining, the Czechs had out-shot Finland 7-1 in the third period. But the score was tied after regulation time and the game went to a ten minute, 4-on-4 overtime.
At 3:58, Jakub Voracek got a tripping penalty, giving the Finns and excellent opportunity to score but the Czech Penalty Kill survived the scare.
"Our Penalty Kill was the difference and in overtime when we did not give a shot on the 4-on-3, guys were battling, blocking shots," marveled Vokoun.
According to Team Finland head coach Jekka Jalonen, his team ran out of gas in the third period. Ten additional minutes didn't change the score, and the Czech Republic is through to the Semifinal against Sweden in a penalty shootout.
Here's the results of the Shootout
CZE: Lukas Kaspar, Shot, Goal
FIN: Jarkko Imonen, Shot, Goal
CZE: Jan Marek, Deke, Goal
FIN: Jussi Jokinen, Deke, Missed the Net
CZE: Jakub Klepis, deke, Miss
FIN: Petri Kontiola, Miss
"We have to get ready to put in a 60 minute effort. It's a new game, and if we play hard, you never know what's possible." Vokoun said.
By Lucas Aykroyd
Sweden 4 Denmark 2 (1-0, 2-1, 1-1)
Sweden VS. Denmark Game Photos: www.iihf.com/channels10/iihf-world-championship-wc10/pictures/page/0/game/SWE%20-%20DEN%20%28QF%29.html
In Mannheim, Germany: Two hours before puck drop, the Danes were optimistically blasting "We Can Work it Out" by the Beatles in their dressing room. Unfortunately, that prediction didn't come true for underdog Scandinavian Nation in its Quarterfinal versus Sweden.
With a solid 4-2 Quarterfinal Victory over Denmark, Sweden moved on to Saturday's Semifinal versus the Czech Republic in Colonge. This marks Sweden's tenth straight year they have made the final four at the IHWC.
"We were the better team and we knew it, said Tre Kronor Scoring Leader Magnus Paajarvi-Svensson. We never gave them enough space to execute."
While the final outcome was predictable, the Danes could at least take pride in posting their lowest margin of defeat ever against Sweden at this tournament. The previous best was a 4-2 loss in 2007.
"We just met a better team today." said Denmark's Mads Bodker. "We tried to compete, and it was exciting to the end. We gave them a fight."
Marcus Nilson, Jonas Andersson, Rickard Wallin and Linus Omark scored for Sweden, and Magnus Johansson had a pair of assists. Jesper Damgaard and Morten Madsen replied for Denmark.
"We knew it would be a do-or-die game in the Quarterfinals, and if we're going to win gold, we have to win this one," said Nilson. "These are the game you long to play." This is where the tournament starts."
Swedish starting goalie Johan Gustavsson got the win over Denmark's Patrick Galbaith. Sweden outshot Denmark 39-29.
Sweden now looks ahead. It beat the Czech Republic in the 2006 finals, and has also the defeated that nation in elimination play at each of the last two Worlds (3-2 in OT in the Quarterfinals, 3-1 in the 2009 Quarterfinals). However, the last time the Czechs beat Sweden was in the semifinals, they won 3-2 in OT and went on to win the IIHF Gold Medal in Austria 2005.
Denmark which made its first ever Quarterfinal final appearance before 3487 fans at the SAP Arena, has never defeated Sweden in an international tournament. The Danes Previous best finish at an IIHF World Championship was tenth (Russia 2007). 2010 is a proud moment for the Danish Program.
Although the opening minutes of yearly Quarterfinals passed uneventfully, the Swedes patiently and gradually ratchet up the pressure around Denmark's net. The Danes had to hang back under Swedish fore-checking pressure, and the Swedes often used their size and skill to monoplize the puck down low. At times, it looked like Tre Kronor power play wasn't even it wasn't.
Inevitably though, the Swedes did get a power play, and they took full advantage. Magnus Johannsson found Marcus Nilson to the right of Galbraith's cage with a perfect pass, and Nilson sold the puck into the open side to make it 1-0 at 14:58 of the 1st period.
"It was good to get the first goal," said Nilson. "We knew we had a psychological advantage. When we scored, I think they sensed that a little bit."
The Danes couldn't fool Gustavsson on their own subsequent man advantages starting less then a minute later, with Christian Backman nabbed for hooking. They were blanked again when Victor Hedman was sent off for slashing in the first minute of the 2nd period. Denmark's failure to capitalize 5-on-4 would prove fatal.
Galbraith held his ground when Andreas Engqvist got a golden chance from the slot just over 4 minutes into the 2nd period. But simply missed Jonas Andersson's quick release when the Swedish forward burst down right wing and beat him stick side at 7:21.
It was Andersson's fourth goal of the tournament, tying him for the team lead with Magnus Paajarvi Svensson. The 29 year old from Dynamo Minsk is shining in his maiden World Championship voyage.
Sweden extended its lead to 3-0 at 12:29 with a nice shorthanded goal when Rickard Wallin blasted to the net and got a centering pass from Engqvist, putting it over Galbraith's goal.
Just 49 seconds later, the Danes fought back to make it 3-1 when captain Jesper Damgaard stepped into a slap shot from the right faceoff circle, over powering Gustavsson on the short side.
The Swedes gave Denmark very little in the third, and nearly stretched their lead to three goals with under 8 minutes left when Magnus Johansson pinched in and forced Galbraith to make a challenging glove stop.
On the power play with 6:43 remaining, Linus Omark put Sweden up 4-1 with a perfect shot inside Galbraith's converting a cross ice pass from Niklas Persson.
"The Difference was their power play," said Bodker. "They scored some goals on it and overall they had the better team."
The Danes, at this point, had no more chances of coming back then a jar of pickled herring does of swimming wild and free in the Baltic Sea.
Morten Madsen added a power play marker on a great slapshot to cut the deficit 4-2 with 2:25 left, and then the Danes pulled Galbraith for the extra attacker. They got off a few attempts, but it wasn't enough.
Denmark's best three players of the tournament were honored afterwards: Peter Regin, Frans Nielsen, and Patrick Galbraith.