Saturday, May 30, 2015

Blackhawks Back in Stanley Cup Final

A California-Florida Stanley Cup Final will have to wait at least another season.
Jonathan Toews (North Dakota) scored the game's first two goals, and Duncan Keith (Michigan State) recorded two assists as the Chicago Blackhawks defeated the host Anaheim Ducks, 5-3, in Game 7 of the Western Conference Final at the Honda Center. The Hawks won the series, four games to three, after rebounding from a three games-to-two deficit.
Chicago, which stayed alive by winning Game 6 at home on Wednesday, raced out to a 4-0 lead in the second period on Saturday before Ryan Kesler (Ohio State) notched Anaheim's first goal. The Ducks would get within 4-2 in the final frame before the two squads exchanged power-play scores for the final tally. Anaheim outshot Chicago, 38-26.

The Hawks, who claimed the NHL crown in both 2010 and 2013, will open the 2015 Stanley Cup Final on Wednesday at the Eastern Conference champion Tampa Bay Lightning (8 p.m., NBC). The two teams split a pair of meetings during the regular season.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Lightning Advance to Stanley Cup Final with Game 7 Shutout

An Ivy Leaguer and a Missouri man teamed up to help send the Tampa Bay Lightning to the 2015 Stanley Cup Final.
Alex Killorn (Harvard) backhanded home a puck early in the third period for the game’s first goal, and Ben Bishop (Maine) made that score stand up with 22 saves as the visiting Lightning blanked the New York Rangers, 2-0, tonight at Madison Square Garden in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final.
Tampa Bay won the series, four games to three, as Des Peres, Mo. native Bishop recorded his second straight shutout on Broadway this month, and allowed just four goals in four games at MSG, three of them victories. The Lightning has defeated an NHL Original Six team in each round this spring, edging the Rangers after outlasting Detroit in seven meetings and then besting Montreal in six contests. Bishop has been in net for all 12 wins.
Matt Carle (Denver) assisted on Killorn’s seventh goal of the playoffs just under two minutes into the final frame on Friday, before Bishop drew the second assist on Ondřej Palát’s series-clinching score at 11:17. The former All-Hockey East netminder rebounded after having been pulled with 10 minutes remaining in regulation in a 7-3 home loss in Game 6, where he was scored on six times by New York.
The Rangers, who finished with the league’s best record during the regular season, setting franchise records for wins (53) and points (113), fell one win short of a second straight Eastern Conference crown despite winning 40 of 64 face-offs in Game 7. Team captain Ryan McDonagh (Wisconsin) played less than 18 minutes in all, reputedly due to a broken foot, according to the NHL Network.
Tampa Bay, which won the Cup in 2004 in its only previous appearance, will face either the Anaheim Ducks or Chicago Blackhawks in the league final, which will begin Wednesday night. If Anaheim wins Game 7 of the Western Conference Final Saturday night at the Honda Center, the best-of-seven Cup final will begin in California. If Chicago triumphs tomorrow, the Cup final will instead start in Florida.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Blackhawks Force Game 7 in Anaheim

The Chicago Blackhawks tallied three goals on three shots in the second period, all assisted by Duncan Keith (Michigan State), and Andrew Shaw scored twice late in the third period as the Chicago Blackhawks defeated the visiting Anaheim Ducks, 5-2, last night at the United Center.

The Hawks thus force a deciding Game 7 on Saturday night in the NHL's Western Conference Final.

Jonathan Toews (North Dakota) won 10 of 12 faceoffs as Chicago dominated in the faceoff circle, winning the first 14 draws of the game, and 33 of 50 drops on the night. The Ducks outshot the Hawks, 33-22, and scored the game's only power-play goal in closing within 3-2 early in the final frame. Shaw then iced the game late on a backhander in front, prior to adding an empty-netter.

Wednesday night marked Chicago's first triumph in the series that did not come in overtime. The Hawks won Game 2 in Anaheim in triple OT, and Game 4 at home in double OT.

The victor on Saturday at the Honda Center in California will face the winner of Tampa Bay and the New York Rangers in the 2015 Stanley Cup Final starting next week.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Former Nanook MacMillan Joins Denver Staff

Former University of Alaska Fairbanks forward and coach Tavis MacMillan is joining the University of Denver coaching staff as an assistant.

MacMillan, 44, an Alberta native who tied for the 1993-94 NCAA Division I scoring lead with UAF teammate Dean Fedorchuk with 74 points, heads to Colorado after serving as an NHL scout with the Atlanta Thrashers/Winnipeg Jets organization since the 2007-08 NHL campaign.

Prior to becoming a scout, MacMillan spent the previous 10 seasons on Alaska Fairbanks' coaching staff. He served as head coach from 2004 to 2007, and led the Nanooks to wins over three different No. 1 ranked schools in his second season behind the bench, en route to winning 46 games in his tenure.

MacMillan played professionally with San Jose (RHI), Alaska (WCHL), and Greensboro (ECHL) after graduating from UAF. In four collegiate seasons in Fairbanks, he collected 56 goals and 136 assists for 192 points to go with 235 penalty minutes, including a career-high 23 goals and 51 assists as a senior. He was inducted into the Nanook Hall of Fame in 2009.

MacMillan is no stranger to Denver, which last won NCAA hockey titles in 2004 and 2005. His uncle, John, won two national titles (1958, 1960) while playing forward for the Pioneers, and later earned two Stanley Cup titles with the Toronto Maple Leafs before later finishing his pro career with San Diego (WHL).

Rangers Send Series to Seventh Game

Derick Brassard scored three goals and set up two others, and J.T. Miller and Rick Nash posted a goal and three assists apiece as the New York Rangers stayed alive with a 7-3 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday night at Amalie Arena in Florida. The best-of-seven NHL Eastern Conference Final is now tied at three games apiece.

Dan Boyle (Miami), Dominic Moore (Harvard), and Tanner Glass (Dartmouth) all earned assists for the Rangers, who broke open a 2-1 game with five third-period scores. Moore and Glass both assisted on what turned out to be the game-winning goal.

Ben Bishop (Maine) made 21 saves on 26 shots, and also picked up an assist on Tampa Bay’s first goal, before being pulled with just over 10 minutes remaining in regulation. The Lightning outshot the Rangers, 39-33, but lost the faceoff (35-31), hits (27-12) and blocked shot (17-12) battles.

The deciding Game 7 will be played Friday night at Madison Square Garden, with the winner advancing to the 2015 Stanley Cup Final against either Chicago or Anaheim.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Ducks Push Blackhawks to Brink

The Chicago Blackhawks' Stanley Cup Playoff overtime winning streak is over, and their 2014-15 campaign is now also one game away from ending.

Matt Beleskey's goal 45 seconds into sudden death on Monday night boosted the Anaheim Ducks to a 5-4 victory over the Blackhawks at the Honda Center. The Ducks now lead the best-of-seven NHL Western Conference Final, three games to two.

Anaheim raced out to a 3-0 lead early in the first period, the second goal coming from Ryan Kesler (Ohio State) on a deflection. The Blackhawks closed to within 3-2 by the end of the second stanza, with Patrick Sharp (Vermont) setting up both scores, before Anaheim regained the two-goal lead in the third period.

Jonathan Toews (North Dakota) then scored twice in a 72-second span late in the final frame to send the contest into overtime, where Beleskey ended it by putting home a rebound from Kesler.

Chicago had won all four extra-time contests it had played this spring, all in multiple OTs, including its two wins so far in this series. Both teams had 28 shots on goal Monday, and both went 0-for-2 on the power play.

The Blackhawks will try to stay alive at home on Wednesday night at the United Center in Game 6.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Lightning Take 3-2 Series Lead with Shutout

Ben Bishop (Maine) made 26 saves to record his second career Stanley Cup Playoff shutout as the Tampa Bay Lightning took a three games-to-two lead in the NHL Eastern Conference Final following tonight’s 2-0 victory over the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden.
Valtteri Filppula and Steven Stamkos (power-play goal) connected in the second period for the Bolts, who blanked the Rangers in four power-play attempts. Tampa Bay had surrendered two power-play tallies in each of the last three games, and had given up five goals in all in each of the last two outings. Tampa Bay also won 24 of 39 face-offs on Sunday.
The Lightning will attempt to close out the series on Tuesday night at Amalie Arena in Florida.

Blackhawks Tie Series, 5-4, in Second Overtime

Jonathan Toews (North Dakota) scored one goal and set up another, and Patrick Sharp (Vermont) set up the winning score in the second overtime as the Chicago Blackhawks edged the visiting Anaheim Ducks, 5-4, on Saturday night at the United Center in a Stanley Cup Playoff bout. The best-of-seven NHL Western Conference Final is now tied at two games apiece.

The Blackhawks led, 1-0, after 20 minutes and went up, 3-1, early in the third period before Anaheim scored three times in 37 seconds to take a 4-3 lead. Patrick Kane then tied the game for Chicago on a power play, and Sharp was stopped on a partial breakaway in the first overtime before assisting on Antoine Vermette’s game-winner in the second extra session.
Duncan Keith (Michigan State) clocked in at over 40 minutes of ice time for the second time in three games, including Chicago's triple-overtime victory in Game 2 at Anaheim. Kyle Palmieri (Notre Dame) assisted on Anaheim’s first goal of the night, while Ryan Kesler (Ohio State) scored the Ducks’ third goal.
Game 5 will be played Monday night at the Honda Center in California.

Friday, May 22, 2015

St. Louis, Rangers Strike Back

The drought is over for Martin St. Louis (Vermont), and the New York Rangers are right back in the NHL's Eastern Conference Final.
St. Louis scored his first goal of the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs as the Rangers defeated the host Tampa Bay Lightning, 5-1, at Amalie Arena on Friday evening in Florida. The best-of-seven series is now tied at two games apiece.
After the Rangers had taken a 1-0 first-period lead and Tampa Bay came back to tie it in the middle frame, Chris Kreider (Boston College) put home a loose puck late in the second stanza for the game-winner, his team-leading seventh goal of the postseason, before New York added another goal less than two minutes later.
The Rangers then tacked on two more goals in the third, including St. Louis’ first playoff goal since Game Four of the 2014 Stanley Cup Final against Los Angeles. Kevin Hayes (Boston College) had two assists for New York, while Carl Hagelin (Michigan) and Dan Boyle (Miami) finished with one apiece.
Ben Bishop (Maine) finished with 19 saves and fell to 10-7 this spring for the Lightning, which outshot New York, 39-24. The Rangers again scored two power-play goals in four attempts, while Tampa Bay, which got an assist from Alex Killorn (Harvard) on its lone goal, was blanked in four man-advantage opportunities.
It was the first playoff win by the Rangers by more than one goal since last year’s Eastern Conference Final against the Montreal Canadiens. It also marked the second straight contest this year that New York tallied five goals, including a 6-5 overtime loss in Game Three on Wednesday. 
Game Five will be played Sunday night at Madison Square Garden, while the winner of that outing will look to close out the series in Game Six on Tuesday evening in Tampa.

Larkin Leaves Michigan, Signs with Red Wings

University of Michigan freshman forward Dylan Larkin has played his final game for the Wolverines. The Waterford, Mich. native has signed a three-year contract with the NHL's Detroit Red Wings, who drafted him 15th overall last year.

Larkin, a 6-foot-1, 192-pound center, finished second on the U-M scoring scroll, and second in both Big Ten scoring last season, with 15 goals and 32 assists for 47 points in 35 games. He posted 13 multiple-point outings, including a five-point contest and a pair of four-point matches, and also put up four three-assist performances, according to his profile at

He led all Big Ten rookies in scoring, and earned First Team All-Big Ten and Second Team All-America accolades. He also played for the U.S. at the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championships in Canada over the Christmas break, tallying a team-high five goals and seven points.

Larkin, 18, played his final collegiate game in a 4-2 loss to Minnesota in the Big Ten Tournament on March 21, after being named Big Ten Rookie of the Year, according to

Larkin won a bronze medal earlier this month while playing with the pro-laden U.S. squad at the 2015 IIHF World Championships in the Czech Republic, notching an assist while appearing in all 10 games. He is expected to report immediately to Grand Rapids (AHL) for its Western Conference final series with Utica that begins Sunday, via College Hockey News.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Lightning Take Lead in Eastern Conference Final in OT

Dan Boyle (Miami) tied the game with 1:56 remaining in regulation, but the New York Rangers still went down to defeat, 6-5, in overtime on Wednesday night in Florida. The Tampa Bay Lightning now hold a two games-to-one lead in the best-of-seven Eastern Conference Final.

It was New York's first OT setback in five NHL Stanley Cup Playoff games this spring, and it also marked the second straight contest that it allowed six goals, following a 6-2 defeat on Monday in Game 2 in Manhattan.

Boyle set up the Rangers' first goal of the evening as New York took a 2-0 lead, with Derek Stepan (Wisconsin), Chris Kreider (Boston College) and Ryan McDonagh (Wisconsin) all drawing assists. Tampa Bay struck back with four straight tallies spanning the first and second periods, the last by Alex Killorn (Harvard) to give him three goals in his last two outings.

The Rangers, who finished with two power-play goals in four chances, tied the contest as Stepan set up their third goal late in the second stanza, before McDonagh scored the tying marker early in the third session off an assist from Kevin Hayes (Boston College). The Lightning then regained the lead, 5-4, with less than six minutes left, setting the stage for Boyle's temporary heroics before Tampa Bay's Nikita Kucherov wristed home the game-winner 3:33 into sudden death.

Ben Bishop (Maine) finished with 23 saves for the Lightning, who outshot the Rangers, 40-28. Game 4 is Friday night at Amalie Arena in Tampa.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Blackhawks Tie Western Final at Game Apiece

Andrew Cogliano (Michigan) helped pull the host Anaheim Ducks into a tie following an early two-goal deficit, but it was the Chicago Blackhawks who survived the three-overtime contest with a 3-2 win on Tuesday night at the Honda Center. The Western Conference final is now tied at a game apiece.

Marcus Kruger’s goal at 16:12 of the third extra session ended it, after Brad Shaw’s headbutt goal in the second overtime was disallowed. Shaw did score the first goal of the game, on a power-play deflection in the first period off assists from Duncan Keith (Michigan State) and Jonathan Toews (North Dakota). After Chicago made it 2-0 on a Marian Hossa power-play tally, Cogliano brought the Ducks within one almost midway through the period before Corey Perry tied the game late in the second stanza. 

Anaheim’s Kyle Palmieri (Notre Dame) led all players with eight shots on goal as the Ducks outshot Chicago, 62-56, on the night but went 0-for-5 with the man advantage. Anaheim also struck three posts in overtime.

It was the longest game in the Blackhawks’ storied history, and the second longest contest in Ducks’ annals. It was also Anaheim’s first home loss of the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs after six victories, and just its second setback overall this NHL postseason. 

Game 3 will be held Thursday night at the United Center in Chicago at 8 p.m. ET.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Killorn, Lightning Tie Eastern Final in Blowout

The New York Rangers' 15-game string of one-goal NHL playoff games dating back to last spring is over. So is their one-game lead in this year’s Eastern Conference Final.
Tyler Johnson tallied the first hat trick in team history, and Alex Killorn (Harvard) scored two goals and set up another as the Tampa Bay Lightning tied their Stanley Cup Playoff series with a 6-2 win at Madison Square Garden on Monday night.
Montreal native Killorn, a four-year letterman and a 109-point scorer with the Crimson from 2008 to 2012, set up Johnson’s first goal, a shorthanded marker. He then scored on both of his own shots, both in the third period, the latter on a power play to close out the scoring as the Lightning finished 3-for-6 with the man advantage.
Ben Bishop (Maine) made 35 saves as the Lightning took leads of 1-0, 2-1, and 3-2 through the first 40 minutes before scoring three unanswered goals in the final frame. The Rangers outshot Tampa Bay, 37-26, on the night. 
Chris Kreider (Boston College) and Derek Stepan (Wisconsin) lit the lamp for New York, both on the power play, while former Lightning skaters Martin St. Louis (Vermont) and Dan Boyle (Miami) assisted on both goals. The loss also snapped the Rangers' four-game winning streak that dated back to Game 5 of their Eastern Conference semifinal series with the Washington Capitals, which New York ultimately won in seven games.
Game 3 will played Wednesday night at Amalie Arena in Tampa, with Game 4 to follow in Florida on Friday.

Hakstol Leaving UND for NHL

University of North Dakota head coach Dave Hakstol is taking the reins of the NHL's Philadelphia Flyers, according to ESPN.

Hakstol, an Alberta native who went 289-143-43 in 11 seasons in Grand Forks, and led UND to seven NCAA Frozen Fours and four WCHA Tournament titles in that span, accepted the Flyers job Monday after resigning from North Dakota. UND went 29-10-3 this past season, falling to Boston University in an NCAA semifinal matchup in Boston.

A former UND lettermen on defense, Hakstol also played five professional seasons in the International Hockey League, according to his profile at hiring was announced by Flyers general manager and former goaltender Ron Hextall, whose son, Brett, played for Hakstol at UND, and is now in the Flyers' system.

Hakstol, 46, replaces former Philadelphia Flyers player Craig Berube, who was dismissed after two seasons at his old team's helm. Philadelphia finished 33-31-18 this past season, and outside the Stanley Cup playoff picture for the second time in three campaigns.

UND assistant coach Brad Berry was expected to be named head coach of the former Fighting Sioux later on Monday.

U.S. Wins Bronze at World Championships

The United States won its second medal in three years at the IIHF World Championships with a 3-0 victory over the host Czech Republic on Sunday in the bronze medal game.

Connor Hellebucyk (UMass Lowell) made 39 saves for the U.S. against the Czechs, winning his seventh game of the tournament, while Nick Bonino (Boston University) and Charlie Coyle (Boston University) each contributed a goal and an assist to the American effort. 2015 Hobey Baker Memorial Award winner Jack Eichel (Boston University) also posted an assist, according to
The U.S. squad was led by head coach Todd Richards (Minnesota) and assistant coach Dan Bylsma (Bowling Green). The two U.S. World Championship medals in three years is a first since 1952, while the Americans’ eight wins in 10 games this spring is their most ever in a single World Championship event. The U.S. also won bronze in 2013 in Sweden/Finland.

Canada won gold this year by defeating Russia, 6-1, in the championship game. The Russians blanked the U.S., 4-0, in the semifinal round. The Americans' only other loss was to Belarus, 5-2, in preliminary round play, although they still finished first in Group 'B'.

The 2016 IIHF Word Championship will be played in Russia.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Palmieri, Ducks Top Hawks in Western Final Opener

Kyle Palmieri’s (Notre Dame) second-period score stood up as the game-winner as the Anaheim Ducks opened the 2015 Western Conference Final on Sunday afternoon with a 4-1 victory over the visiting Chicago Blackhawks at the Honda Center. Anaheim, which has won its last three games, is now 9-1 to date in this year’s Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Palimieri’s goal made it a 2-0 game just over four minutes into the middle stanza. Andrew Cogliano (Michigan) helped put the Ducks up, 3-1, with an assist in the third period, before Anaheim closed out the scoring with an empty-net tally in the final minutes as the puck went in off Chicago captain Jonathan Toews (North Dakota).

The Ducks were outshot, 33-26, by the Blackhawks, who had a three-game winning streak in the first game of the Western Conference Final dating back to 2010 snapped. Chicago also had a five-game winning string in these playoffs broken, which dated back to April 24.

Game 2 will be held Tuesday night in California, before the series shifts to Illinois for Game 3 on Thursday.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Moore Lifts Rangers to Win in Eastern Final Opener

Former college players keep coming through in the clutch for the New York Rangers this spring.

Dominic Moore (Harvard) scored his first goal of this year's Stanley Cup Playoffs, redirecting home a centering freed from Kevin Hayes (Boston College) with 2:25 remaining in regulation on Saturday at Madison Square Garden. The goal gave the Rangers a 2-1 win in the opener of their Eastern Conference final series with the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Moore played at Harvard from 1999 to 2003, where he tallied 64 goals and 82 assists for 146 points in 128 games, according to He also collected 27 power-play goals and 13 game-winners while leading the Crimson to  two NCAA Tournament berths and an ECAC tournament title.

Derek Stepan (Wisconsin) opened the scoring for New York with 13 seconds left in the second period, knocking home a rebound off assists from Chris Kreider (Boston College) and Ryan McDonagh (Wisconsin). Stepan sent the Rangers to the NHL semifinal round with his game-winning overtime goal at the Garden in Game 7 against the Washington Capitals on Wednesday.

Ben Bishop (Maine) made 30 saves for the Lightning, who scored their only goal Saturday on a third-period power play. Game 2 will be held Monday at MSG.

Friday, May 15, 2015

U.S. Advances to World Championship Semifinals

Charlie Coyle (Boston University) tallied a goal and an assist, and Ben Smith (Boston College) scored off a setup from Jimmy Vesey (Harvard) as the United States defeated Switzerland, 3-1, in a quarterfinal contest at the 2015 IIHF World Championship in the Czech Republic.

Jake Gardiner (Wisconsin) scored the third American goal off an assist from Coyle to close out the scoring, as the U.S. battled back from a 1-0 deficit. Connor Hellebuyck (UMass Lowell) made 21 saves for the fourth consecutive contest as the Americans won for the seventh time in eight games in the tournament. Hellebucyk has gone 6-0 with one shutout in the Czech Republic, allowing just eight goals in all.

The U.S. will now face Russia in a semifinal match on Saturday. The victor will play the winner of Canada and the Czech Republic for the world title.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Hayes, Stepan Power Rangers to Conference Final

Kevin Hayes (Boston College) tied the game on a redirection just over six minutes into the second period, and Derek Stepan (Wisconsin) won it off a rebound 11:24 into overtime as the New York Rangers completed their comeback from a three games to one deficit with a 2-1 victory over the Washington Capitals on Wednesday night at Madison Square Garden.

The Rangers, who overcame a 3-1 shortfall in the Eastern Conference semifinals for the second straight season, also played in their 14th consecutive one-goal Stanley Cup playoff contest. Both are NHL records.

Hayes' goal came on a power play, while Stepan's was the resuilt of a faceoff win and then a shot from the blueline. It was Hayes' second career postseason goal, and Stepan's third so far this spring. New York outshot Washington, 39-36, although the Caps had eight of the 13 shots in sudden death, and also outscored them 13-12 in the series, with each game decided by a goal. The Rangers also won three of the four games staged at MSG.

The Capitals have still not advanced to a conference final since 1998, where they bested the Buffalo Sabres and then were swept in the final by the Detroit Red Wings. They were two minutes away from getting back in Game 5 this round, with a 1-0 lead provided by Curtis Glencross (Alaska Anchorage). Chris Kreider (Boston College) then tied that contest late then Ryan McDonagh (Wisconsin) won it in OT to keep New York alive, before a 4-3 triumph in Game 6 where Kreider scored twice to help knot the series.

New York, the NHL's top team during the regular season, will now host the Tampa Bay Lightning starting Saturday for the Eastern Conference title. Game 1 will be held at 1 p.m. at MSG.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Kreider, Rangers Survive Again to Force Game 7

Chris Kreider (Boston College) scored the first two goals of the game, and Dan Boyle (Miami) notched the game-winner in the third period as the New York Rangers forced a deciding seventh game following a 4-3 victory over the Washington Capitals on Sunday night at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C.

The Rangers, who trailed the Eastern Conference semifinal series, three games to one, just last week, won their second straight contest, as Kreider notched his second and third goals in the last two outings. He connected on a backhander following a rush down the right wing in the first minute of play Sunday, then added his second score by putting home a loose puck in front with 0.2 seconds left on the clock before the first intermission. Boyle scored on a slapshot from the slot to give the Rangers a 4-1 lead in the final frame, before the host Capitals tallied back-to-back goals to get within a score.

New York, which rebounded from a 3-1 deficit to top Pittsburgh in the second round last season, has played an NHL record 12 consecutive one-goal playoff games dating back to last year’s Stanley Cup Final, including all 10 contests so far this spring. It eliminated Pittsburgh in five games in this year's first round.

Game Seven will be played Wednesday night at 7 p.m. at Madison Square Garden. The victor will face the winner of the Tampa Bay-Montreal series for the Eastern Conference crown. Tampa Bay leads that Stanley Cup Playoff series, three games to two, with Game 6 slated for tomorrow night in Florida.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Kreider, McDonagh, Stepan Help Keep Rangers Alive

Chris Kreider (Boston College) notched the tying goal with under two minutes remaining in regulation, and Ryan McDonagh fired in  the game-winner 9:37  into overtime as the New York Rangers staved off elimination in the Stanley Cup Playoffs with a 2-1 triumph over the visiting Washington Capitals tonight at Madison Square Garden.
Kreider scored above from the left circle on a snapshot with 1:41 left to keep the Rangers alive, while McDonagh (above, far left) then blasted home a shot from the left side through a screen to end it. Derek Stepan (Wisconsin) set up both goals for New York, which had lost the last two games in the Eastern Conference semifinal series.

 Curtis Glencross (Alaska Anchorage) had put Washington up, 1-0, by tapping in his own rebound with just over nine minutes left in the third period for his first career NHL playoff goal. New York outshot Washington on the night, 43-29.
Kreider faced McDonagh and Stepan in the 2010 NCAA Championship Game at Ford Field in Detroit, where Boston College blanked Wisconsin, 5-0, to win its fourth national title and second in three seasons.
Washington still leads the best-of-seven series, three games to two. Game 6 will be contested Sunday evening at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Gaudreau, Other Collegians Come Through for Calgary in Game 3

Johnny Gaudreau (Boston College) scored from the right circle with 20 seconds remaining in regulation, and Mikael Backlund wristed home the game-winner in overtime as the Calgary Flames stayed alive in the Stanley Cup Playoffs by defeating the Anaheim Ducks, 4-3, in Game 3 of their NHL Western Conference quarterfinal series on Tuesday night in Calgary.

The Flames, who had been outscored, 9-1, in dropping the first two games in California, had a tying third-period goal by Sam Bennett disallowed after video replays proved inconclusive. Gaudreau then tied the game on a 5-on-3 situation, after the Ducks had been penalized for delay of game and Calgary goaltender Karri Ramo had also been lifted for an extra attacker following coincidental minors on both teams.

Brandon Bollig (St. Lawrence) opened the scoring in the first period, assisted by Mason Raymond (Minnesota-Duluth). Joe Colborne (Denver) scored a second-period shorthanded goal for the Flames, who will attempt to knot the series at two wins apiece in Game 4 on Friday night at the Pengrowth Saddledome.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Beagle Noses Through for Caps in Win

Jay Beagle (Alaska Anchorage) scored the game's only goal on a wraparound attempt midway through the second period as the Washington Capitals edged the New York Rangers, 1-0, on Monday night in the nation's capital.

"It's not always going to be pretty, especially against a great goalie [Henrik Lundqvist] like that," said Beagle at "My goals are never how you draw them up. It's just a matter of grinding it out and trying to create havoc in front and good things happen."

The Caps now lead the Eastern Conference semifinal series, two games to one, with Game 4 in Washington, D.C. set for Wednesday evening. It was Beagle's first goal of the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs, and came after his initial shot was stopped in front.

Beagle, 29, a Calgary native, played for UAA from 2005 to 2007, and tallied 14 goals and 16 assists for 30 points in 67 NCAA games with the Seawolves, including a 20-point sophomore season. He has spent his entire NHL career with Washington, and has 23 goals and 47 points in 254 career regular-season contests with the Caps.