Sunday, May 6, 2012

Quick Backstops Kings to Conference Finals

The best player ever to come out of the University of Massachusetts hockey program so far is headed to the NHL's Western Conference Finals.  Jonathan Quick made 23 saves on Sunday afternoon in backstopping the Los Angeles Kings to a 3-1 victory over the visiting St. Louis Blues to complete a four-step sweep.

The eighth-seeded Kings, who last made the NHL semifinals in 1993 when Wayne Gretzky was lining up in LA, dispatched the second-seeded Blues after ousting the top-seeded Vancouver Canucks in five first-round contests. The Kings are the first NHL eighth seed to ever perform the feat of dispatching the top two seeds in the same playoff season.

Quick, who went 23-22-6 for the Minutemen in 54 games at UMass from 2005 to 2007, has gone 8-1 so far in the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs and has allowed just 14 goals in nine contests, with one shutout. He compiled a 35-21-13 record during the 2011-12 NHL regular season with a 1.95 goals-against average, a .929 save percentage, and a league-leading 10 shutouts.

The Kings will now wait to meet the winner of the other Western Conference semifinal series between the Phoenix Coyotes and Nashville Predators. The Coyotes currently leads that series, three games to one, with Game 5 to be played Monday night in Arizona.

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