St. John’s Stop Lehigh Valley In Overtime


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A little give-and-go in the offensive zone and a well-taken backhander at close shortly thereafter enabled the visiting St. John’s IceCaps to nip the Lehigh Valley Phantoms 2-1 after extra time in the American Hockey League.

Lehigh Valley opened the scoring almost a baker’s dozen minutes into the first period on a backhander from left wing Petr Straka, the 22-year-old import from the Czech Republic who was the second round choice (# 55 overall) of the Columbus Blue Jackets at the 2010 National Hockey League Draft, after Phantoms hard man Zack Sortini, the seasoned 29-year-old pugilist who has already accumulated nearly 2,000 penalty minutes in his professional career, had been stopped in front; it was the fourth strike of this season for the speedy Straka (14 ga, 8 pts), who is on pace to exceed his offensive production for the Adirondack Phantoms (60 ga, 9 go, 27 pts) last season.

St. John’s equalized rather early in the second period when defenseman Brenden Kichton, the 22-year-old Canadian legionnaire who put up solid numbers (76 ga, 10 go, 48 pts) for the IceCaps as a rookie after being taken in the seventh round (# 190 overall) of the 2013 NHL Draft by the Winnipeg Jets, blasted a rising slapshot from the right point into the upper far corner of the Lehigh Valley net.

The Phantoms had plenty of chances to retake the lead as the St. John’s attack went ice cold in the final frame but Lehigh Valley were unable to put another puck past IceCaps goaltender Connor Hellebuyck, the 21-year-old rookie from Commerce, Michigan, who was tabbed by the Winnipeg Jets in the fifth round (# 130 overall) of the 2012 NHL Draft and starred for two seasons at the University of Massachusetts at Lowell.

Despite having been heavily outshot (10-2) in the third period, the St. John’s IceCaps snatched the winner in overtime when veteran defenseman Julien Brouillette, the 27-year-old Canadian legionnaire who appeared in 10 NHL games (1 go, 2 pts) for the Washington Capitals last season, exchanged passes with countryman Eric O’Dell, the 24-year-old center who skated in 30 NHL games (3 go, 7 pts) for the Winnipeg Jets last term, before skillfully lifting a backhander over the near-post shoulder of Lehigh Valley Phantoms goaltender Rob Zepp (12 ga, 2.43 avg, .921 svpct) at close range.

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St. John’s IceCaps goaltender Connor Hellebuyck, who was named the Hockey East Tournament Most Valuable Player as a freshman in 2013 and a First Team (East) All-America as a sophomore for the UMass/Lowell River Hawks last season, has been in fine form (13 ga, 2.61 avg, .921 svpct) at the start of his professional career.
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November 22, 2014
PPL Center – Allentown, Pennsylvania
Attendance : 8,416

St. John’s Ice Caps 2Lehigh Valley Phantoms 1 … (overtime)

12:51 … LV – Straka (Sortini, Manning)
22:22 … STJ – Kichton (Brouillette, Klingberg) – ppg
63:43 … STJ – Brouillette (O’Dell)

shots-on-goal : LV 33 ( 11 + 9 + 10 + 3 ) – STJ 26 ( 10 + 12 + 2 + 2 )

penalty minutes : LV 14 – STJ 12

power plays : STJ 1/5 – LV 0/4

fights : none

Lehigh Valley : Zepp – Manning, Delisle ; Hagg, Pettersson ; Lauridsen, Flemming – Leier, Jones, Gordon ; Straka, Cousins, Sortini ; Rosehill, Powe, Hextall ; Fyten, Goumas, Alderson

St. John’s : Hellebuyck – Brouillette, Chiarot, Fredheim, Kichton, Melchiori, O’Neill – Albert, Balisy, Blanchard, Brassard, Cormier, Klingberg, Kosmachuk, Lipon, MacKinnon, O’Dell, Olsen, Riley

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Phantoms Shutout Worcester, Post Third Straight Win


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Thanks to a sensational performance between the pipes from a first-year professional who was making his season debut on home ice, an initial strike inside the first one hundred and four seconds of the game combined with a shorthanded goal less than ten minutes later would be more than enough as the resurgent Lehigh Valley Phantoms shutout the visiting Worcester Sharks 4-0 in the American Hockey League.

Rookie Taylor Leier, the 20-year-old left wing from Saskatoon who was the fourth round pick (# 117 overall) of the Philadelphia Flyers at the 2012 NationalHockey League Draft and represented Canada at the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championships last winter, notched his fourth goal of this season less than two minutes in after taking a no-look pass from center Blair Jones. The 28-year-old veteran of 132 NHL games who was just recently demoted by Philadelphia also set up Lehigh Valley’s second goal against the Sharks after winning a shorthanded faceoff in Worcester’s offensive zone, as well. Thus, Robert Hagg, the 19-year-old defenseman who was the second round selection (# 41 overall) of the Flyers at the 2013 NHL Draft and has won two silver medals for Sweden at the annual IIHF World Junior Championships, was able to net his second goal for the Phantoms this term.

Rookie Lehigh Valley goaltender Anthony Stolarz came into the Friday night contest with Worcester having had lost his first three professional starts, none of which were on the surface at the PPL Center in Allentown, though. And the 20-year-old native of Jackson, New Jersey, who was tabbed by the Philadelphia Flyers in the second round (# 45 overall) of the 2010 NHL Draft, was able to leave those experiences in the rear view mirror while giving a magnificent performance against the Sharks. In all, Stolarz turned aside 36 shots, several of them in spectacular fashion.

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Lehigh Valley Phantoms netminder Anthony Stolarz, who posted a shutout in his only appearance for the United States at the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championships in Scandinavia last winter, blocks a shot from Worcester Sharks center Melker Karlsson (15), the undrafted 24-year-old rookie from Sweden, during the American Hockey League game at the PPL Center in Allentown.
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November 21, 2014
PPL Center – Allentown, Pennsylvania
Attendance : 8,451

Lehigh Valley Phantoms 4Worcester Sharks 0

01:44 … LV – Leier (Jones, Hagg)
11:15 … LV – Hagg (Jones) – shg
21:30 … LV – Manning (Delisle, Rosehill)
40:59 … LV – Gordon (unassisted)

shots-on-goal : WOR 36 ( 16 + 6 + 14 ) – LV 20 ( 7 + 9 + 4 )

penalty minutes : LV 21 + misconduct – WOR 19

power plays : LV 0/5 – WOR 0/5

fights : Lauridsen (LV) vs Haley (WOR)

10-minute misconduct : Rosehill (LV)

Lehigh Valley : Stolarz – Manning, Delisle ; Hagg, Pettersson ; Lauridsden, Flemming – Leier, Jones, Gordon ; Straka, Cousins, Sortini ; Rosehill, Powe, Hextall ; Fyten, Goumas, Alderson

Worcester : Anderson (Dell 21:30) – Abeltshauser, DeMelo, Doherty, Fedun, Taormina, Tennyson – Carpenter, Haley, Hamilton, Hayes, Karlsson, Langlois, Lerg, Oleksuk, Schwartz, Tarasov, Tierny, Trupp

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Penn State 3 – Michigan 2


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Despite having conceded in the opening minute of the contest, a devastating three-goal burst in the latter stages of the first period and continued standout play between the pipes lifted the surging PENN STATE NITTANY LIONS to a deserved 3-2 come-from-behind victory over the MICHIGAN WOLVERINES in the 2014/15 Big Ten Conference season-opener for both teams.

Considered by many to be the second-best team in the Big Ten Conference going into the season, the Wolverines (4-6-0) have made a rather slow start this fall but required only 46 seconds to jump on top of the visiting Nittany Lions as left wing Max Shuart, 20-year-old homegrown sophomore from Northville who went pointless in eleven games as a freshman last term, pounced on a loose puck to score his third goal in Michigan’s last four games.

Penn State (7-2-2) needed just over fourteen minutes to get the first puck past Wolverines goaltender Zach Nagelvoort, the 20-year-old homegrown sophomore from Holland who was tabbed by the Edmonton Oilers in the fourth round (# 111 overall) of the 2014 National Hockey League Draft this past summer. With the Nittany Lions operating on the power play, a one-time shot from red-hot right wing Casey Bailey from the top of the left faceoff circle deflected off the skate of center Max Gardiner, the 22-year-old redshirt senior from Deephaven, Minnesota, who was the third round choice (# 74 overall) of the St. Louis Blues at the 2010 NHL Draft, standing in front. It was the second goal of this season for Gardiner, the transfer from the University of Minnesota who went goal-less in 22 games for Penn State last season.

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Michigan Wolverines captain Andrew Copp, the 20-year-old homegrown junior from Ann Arbor who was plucked in the fourth round (# 104 overall) of the 2013 National Hockey League Draft by the Winnipeg Jets and represented the United States at the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championships last winter, is confronted along the wall by Penn State goal-scorer Max Gardiner (27) as well as Nittany Lions defenseman Erik Autio (20), the 19-year-old freshman from Finland.
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The Nittany Lions grabbed the lead less than twenty seconds after equalizing when right wing Eric Scheid stole the puck from near the blue line in his own defensive zone and then split a pair of Michigan defenders before racing the length of the ice. The 22-year-old redshirt junior from Blaine, Minnesota, who transferred from the University of Alaska – Anchorage then beat Nagelvoort on the backhand to notch his seventh goal of this season. Scheid has now scored 18 goals in 47 NCAA games since first donning the sweater for Penn State.

Bailey struck for the Nittany Lions’ third goal in under three minutes after easily picking the pocket of careless Wolverines defenseman Kevin Lohan, the undrafted 21-year-old sophomore from Cold Spring Harbor, New York, at the left point in Michigan’s offensive zone. The 22-year-old junior from Anchorage, Alaska, who now counts 32 goals in 70 career NCAA games for Penn State, skated all the way down the right side before using a slick toe-drag move to cut in between the faceoff circles and snap the puck past the shell-shocked Nagelvoort. Bailey’s ninth goal of this season gave the surging Nittany Lions a 3-1 lead it would never relinquish.

This because Penn State netminder Eamon McAdam, the 20-year-old homegrown sophomore from Perkasie who struggled through a difficult freshman campaign last season, continued to display the kind of form that made the New York Islanders want to choose the youngster in the third round (# 70 overall) of the 2013 NHL Draft in the first place. Michigan defenseman Michael Downing, the 20-year-old sophomore whom the Florida Panthers plucked in the fourth round (# 97 overall) of the 2013 NHL Draft, pulled a goal back for the Wolverines early in the third period but it made little difference. Since coming off the bench against the highly ranked UMass/Lowell River Hawks in the first of last weekend’s two-game set, the recalled McAdam has stopped 79 of 83 shots faced for a remarkable .952 save percentage in three appearances this season.

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Michigan Wolverines right wing Cristobal Nieves (12), the 20-year-old junior from Baldwinsville, New York, who was the second round selection (# 59 overall) of the New York Rangers at the 2012 NHL Draft, is prevented from scoring at point-blank range by Penn State goaltender Eamon McAdam as Nittany Lions defenseman Patrick Koudys (3), the 21-year-old redshirt senior who was the fifth round choice (# 147 overall) of the Washington Capitals at the 2011 NHL Draft, during the Big Ten Conference season-opener at the Yost Ice Arena in Ann Arbor.
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November 21, 2014
Yost Ice Arena – Ann Arbor, Michigan
Attendance : 5,414

PENN STATE 3MICHIGAN 2

00:46 … MICH – Shuart (Lohan, Nieves)
14:06 … PSU – Gardiner (Bailey, Juha) – ppg
14:28 … PSU – Scheid (unassisted)
16:58 … PSU – Bailey (unassisted)
43:07 … MICH – Downing (Copp)

shots-on-goal : MICH 40 ( 14 + 18 + 8 ) – PSU 28 ( 15 + 7 + 6 )

penalty minutes : PSU 10 – MICH 6

power plays : PSU 1/2 – MICH 0/4

MICHIGAN : Nagelvoort – Downing, Serville ; Werenski, Lohan ; Martin, Chiasson – Motte, Copp, Sinelli ; Shuart, Compher, Nieves ; Kile, Larkin, Hyman ; Dancs, Lynch, Calderone

PENN STATE : McAdam – Koudys, Thompson ; Juha, Autio ; Williamson, Sweetland – Goodwin, Holstrom, Bailey ; Robinson, Conway, Scheid ; Loik, Brooks, Olczyk ; DeRosa, Gardiner, Friedman

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Lehigh Valley Clip Hershey In Historic Shootout


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On the very same night that found the two opposing Germany national team goaltenders to be in excellent form, it was only a solitary goal from the recently demoted National Hockey League veteran during the shootout phase that could separate the two American Hockey League intra-state rivals as the Lehigh Valley Phantoms outlasted the visiting Hershey Bears 3-2 in the latest installment of the 2014/15 William Penn Cup competition.

Despite having its leading goal-scorer just recalled by the parent Philadelphia Flyers the day before, the Phantoms struck twice within the first seven minutes of game against Hershey goaltender Philipp Grubauer, the 22-year-old who was the fourth round choice (# 112 overall) of the Washington Capitals at the 2010 NHL Draft and certainly did alright for himself in 17 NHL games (2.38 avg, .925 svpct) last season. Lehigh Valley center Blair Jones, the 28-year-old veteran who was just demoted by Philadelphia after appearing in only four NHL games this fall, located Andrew Gordon at the far post and the 28-year-old right wing out of St. Cloud State who spent four seasons with the Hershey Bears previously easily netted to notch his 150th career AHL goal. Roughly three and a half minutes later, Phantoms rearguard Brandon Manning made good use of an effective screen from the physical Zack Sortini to score his third goal in as many games, a remarkable achievement for any player in this day and age, let alone a defenseman at that.

Lehigh Valley absolutely dominated the first period and would have widened their lead even further if not for the fine work of Grubauer, who made 18 saves in the opening twenty minutes alone. Hershey, who had the better of play in both the second and third periods, got back into the game after going on the power play towards the end of the middle frame. Well-traveled left wing Dane Byers, the 28-year-old Canadian legionnaire who was the second round selection (# 48 overall) of the New York Rangers at the 2004 NHL Draft but has only ever skated in 14 games at the elite level of North American pro hockey, went to the front of the net and banged home a center pass from right wing Chris Conner, the 30-year-old journeyman from Michigan Tech University who has skated in 178 NHL games (22 go, 50 pts) in his career.

The Bears brought themselves level just three and a half minutes into the last period after a rush that was started by defenseman Conner Carrick, the talented 20-year-old who spent most of last season with the Washington Capitals (34 ga, 1 go, 6 pts) and also represented the United States at the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championships in Sweden; former Adirondack Phantoms center Kris Newbury, the 32-year-old American Hockey League veteran who now has 509 points (170 goals) in 678 career AHL games finished with aplomb to net his league-leading 10th goal of this season.

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The duration of the contest developed into a genuine duel between two goaltenders who each started multiple games for Germany at the 2014 IIHF World Championships last spring. Lehigh Valley netminder Rob Zepp, the reliable 34-year-old veteran who appeared in four games for Deutschland at the annual IIHF affair last season, needed to make a big save on a breakaway by Hershey center Chandler Stephenson, the 20-year-old rookie who was tabbed in the third round (# 77 overall) by the Washignton Capitals at the 2012 NHL Draft, late in regulation time. Meanwhile, Grubauer, who started two games (3-2 win over Latvia, 0-3 loss to Russia) for Germany in Belarus last spring after Hershey uncharacteristically missed the playoffs last term, was continuously challenged in overtime and would finish the contest with an impressive 37 saves.

The Bears were certainly unlucky to have Michal Cjakovsky, the undrafted 22-year-old defenseman who skated for Slovakia at the 2012 IIHF World Junior Championships and was named to the East Coast Hockey League’s All-Rookie team last season after scoring 14 goals in 66 games for the Reading Royals last term, clank his shot off the iron in extra time. On hand to clear the puck off the line was Phantoms defenseman Robert Hagg, the 19-year-old rookie who earned a silver medal for Sweden at the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championships last winter. It was the second time in as many games that the Philadelphia Flyers’ second round pick (# 41 overall) at the 2013 NHL Draft made a critical defensive play very late for Lehigh Valley.

And so it was off to the shootout for the very first time at the newly-constructed PPL Center in downtown Allentown. The Phantoms required only two penalty shot attempts with the newly-arrived Jones, who has skated in 132 NHL games (7 go, 17 pts) in his nine-year pro career, capped off his Lehigh Valley debut by netting what would prove to be the winner. This because the workhorse Zepp, who has started eleven (2.48 avg, .921 svpct) of the Phantoms’ fourteen AHL games this season, was able to halt all three of Hershey’s shooters and procure Lehigh Valley the extra point in the offical league standings.

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November 19, 2014
PPL Center – Allentown, Pennsylvania
Attendance : 6,991

Lehigh Valley Phantoms 3Hershey Bears 2 … (shootout)

03:21 … LV – Gordon (Jones, Hagg)
06:50 … LV – Manning (Cousins)
37:12 … HER – Byers (Conner, Newbury) – ppg
43:30 … HER – Newbury (Carrick, Byers)

shootout … LV – Jones

shots-on-goal : LV 39 ( 20 + 5 + 7 + 7 ) – HER 29 ( 9 + 11 + 9 + 1 )

penalty minutes : HER 10 – LV 6

power play : HER 1/3 – LV 0/5

fights : none

Lehigh Valley : Zepp – Manning, Delisle ; Hagg, Pettersson ; Lauridsen, Flemming – Leier, Jones, Gordon ; Straka, Cousins, Sortini ; Rosehill, Powe, Hextall ; Alderson, Goumas, Fyten

Hershey : Grubauer – Schilling, Kundratek ; Oleksy, Carrick ; Cajkovsky, Burgdoerfer – Walker, Newbury, Wellman ; Cornet, Kennedy, Galiev ; Byers, Stephenson, Conner ; Spencer, Broda, Gazley

Notes — the Phantoms must now soldier on without leading goal-scorer Scott Laughton (13 ga, 6 go, 11 pts, -4 def rat), the first round pick (# 20 overall) of the Philadelphia Flyers at 2012 NHL Draft who captained Canada at 2014 IIHF World Junior Championships last winter.

The injury-hit Hershey Bears were missing two key veteran blueliners against the Lehigh Valley Phantoms. Jon Landry, the 31-year-old Canadian legionnaire from little Bowdoin College (NCAA Division III) who had a brief spell with Koelner Haie in the German elite league a few seasons back, leads all Hershey players with a + 9 defensive rating in 14 games (1 go, 3 pts) this season. Mike Moore, the 29-year-old Canadian legionnaire out of Princeton University who has six NHL games for the San Jose Sharks under his belt and captained the AHL’s Providence Bruins last season, has been out with an injury for a little while now.

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William Penn Cup Standings


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2014/15 WILLIAM PENN CUP standings
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6 games … 10 points … Hershey Bears
6 games ….. 7 points … Lehigh Valley Phantoms
6 games ….. 7 points … Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Penguins

(Standings System : three points awarded for win in regulation and two points awarded for win in overtime with one point being awarded to each team after a shootout — note that zero points are awarded for an overtime loss)

results to date
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10/11 … 5:2 … Lehigh Valley vs Scranton/Wilkes-Barre
10/24 … 4:2 … Lehigh Valley vs Hershey Bears
10/25 … 4:1 … Hershey vs Scranton/Wilkes-Barre
10/26 … 3:0 … Hershey vs Lehigh Valley
10/29 … 2:1 … Scranton/Wilkes-Barre vs Lehigh Valley ….. overtime
11/07 … 3:2 … Scranton/Wilkes-Barre vs Hershey ………… overtime
11/14 … 3:1 … Scranton/Wilkes-Barre vs Lehigh Valley
11/16 … 3:2 … Hershey vs Scranton/Wilkes-Barre
11/19 … 3:2 … Lehigh Valley vs Hershey …………………… shootout

upcoming contests
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11/26 … Hershey Bears vs Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Penguins
12/05 … Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Penguins vs Lehigh Valley Phantoms
12/06 … Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Penguins vs Hershey Bears
12/07 … Hershey Bears vs Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Penguins
12/13 … Lehigh Valley vs Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Penguins
12/14 … Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Penguins vs Hershey Bears
12/19 … Lehigh Valley vs Hershey Bears

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Endlich, Ein Echte Staatmeisterschaft


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Jawohl, ist richtig. Wir haben endlich drei Mannschaften aus dem American Hockey League, die aus Pennsylvania kommen. Jetzt koennen wir ein echte Staatmeisterschaft in diesem Jahr spielen!

Morgen Abend gibt es ein andere Staatderbyspiel bei unserem Palast des Sports. Noch einmal, besuchen die Hershey Bears mit ihrem deutschen Torhueter Philipp Grubauer, der 22-jaehrige mit siebzehn NHL-Auftritten fuer die Washington Capitals im letzten Saison. Hershey sind Tabellespitzen in diesen Tagen, im Rennen um die Eishockey-Staatmeisterschaft.

Jede Mannschaft wird gegen die beiden anderen Mannschaften aus Pennsylvania zwoelfmal dieser Saison schlittschuhlaufen. Jede Mannschaft wird am Ende der AHL-Zeitplan in gesamt vier und zwanzig Ergebnisse von Staatmeisterschaftspiele haben. Und dann der Eishockey-Koenig unseres Lands gekroent werden koennen.

9 Punkte nach 5 Spielen …… Hershey Bears
7 Punkte nach 6 Spielen …… Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Penguins
6 Punkte nach 5 Spielen …… Lehigh Valley Phantoms

(drei Punkte fuer einen Sieg nach sechzig Minuten und zwei Punkte fuer einen Sieg nach Verlaengerung … ein Punkt fuer jede Mannschaft nach Penaltyschiessen … die Verlierer nach Verlaengerung bekommen nichts)

Schwer zu sagen, ob wir sehen morgen ein andere Duell der deutschen Torhueter, wie das letzte Spiel bei unserem Palast des Sports zwischen Hershey und Lehigh Valley brachte. Ehemaliger Eisbaeren Berlin-Torwart Rob Zepp hat bereits zehn mal gespielt und es ist moeglich, dass die Philadelphia Flyers wunschen mehr Einsatz fuer der junge Anthony Stolarz. Bisher haben die Hershey Bears ein Rotationsystem benutzt und der deutsche Laenderspieler Grubauer kam gut am Sonntag.

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Eisbaeren Berlin Enjoy Successful Weekend


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The international break for the annual Deutschland Cup tournament in Munich clearly seems to have blessed German capital city club Eisbaeren Berlin, who have been literally besieged with crippling injuries all season long, with a certain amount of good fortune.

Eisbaeren Berlin abruptly halted a four-game losing streak — the longest of this domestic campaign — by collecting five out of a possible six points in the Deutsche Eishockey Liga this past weekend after upending the Hamburg Freezers 4-3 in a shootout and then shaving Wolfsburg Grizzly Adams by the miminum 1-0 scoreline. On Friday night, Czech Republic import Petr Pohl single-handedly hauled Berlin back onto level terms with Hamburg by scoring two goals before tallying the game-winner, himself, in the shootout competition. On Sunday afternoon, highly experienced Olympic veteran Antti Miettinen, the 34-year-old center who has skated in 539 National Hockey League games (97 go, 230 pts) and represented Finland at seven major international tournaments (51 ga, 9 go, 24 pts) in his career, scored on the breakaway just 25 seconds into Eisbaeren’s contest with visiting Wolfsburg while countryman Petri Vehanen, the 37-year-old netminder who has appeared for Suomi at annual IIHF World Championships four times in his career, held the fort by stopping all 27 shots faced.

Pohl, the oft-traveled right wing who was once the fifth round choice (# 133 overall) of the Columbus Blue Jackets at the 2004 NHL Draft, leads Eisbaeren Berlin in scoring this season with both 10 goals and 17 points in 17 D.E.L. games thus far. Including the early-season Champions Hockey League matches against European opposition, the speedy 28-year-old attacker has notched 14 goals and 23 points in 23 total games for Eisbaeren this term. Deservedly so, Pohl was called up by the senior national team of the Czech Republic for the very first time in his career this fall and has already made three appearances in the annual Euro Hockey Tour competition.

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Eisbaeren Berlin center Antti Miettinen, the wiley veteran who scored 20 goals for the Minnesota Wild during the 2009/10 NHL season while earning a bronze medal with Finland at the XXI Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver along the way, slips the puck over the left shoulder of Wolfsburg Grizzly Adams goaltender Sebastian Vogl during the Deutsche Eishockey Liga match at the O2 World Arena in the capital city of Germany.
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Canadian legionnaire Mark Bell, the 34-year-old left wing who is a veteran of 450 NHL games (87 go, 182 pts) but only recently returned to the Berlin line-up after missing nine games on account of injury, hit Miettinen with a long home run pass to help Eisbaeren get the early jump on Wolfsburg Grizzly Adams.

Florian Busch, the 29-year-old veteran left wing who skated for Germany at the 2006 Winter Olympic Games, finally returned to action for Eisbaeren Berlin after missing 16 consecutive D.E.L. contests, in the comeback triumph over Hamburg. Still on the shelf, however, is captain Andre Rankel, the seasoned Germany national team player who is the second-leading scorer for Eisbaeren (14 ga, 8 go, 13 pts) in the domestic league this fall. Also still out injured are Canadian legionnaire Matt Foy, the 31-year-old right wing out of Merrimack College who skated in 56 NHL games for the Minnesota Wild, and left wing Laurin Braun, the diminutive (5’10″ 172 lbs) 23-year-old who had 10 goals and 20 points after skating in all 52 D.E.L. games for Berlin last season.

Meanwhile, Eisbaeren Berlin have made a transaction in order to cope with the long-term loss of Laurin’s older brother, Germany national team defenseman Constantin Braun. The capital city club have recalled Alex Trivellato, the youthful 21-year-old rearguard who spent all of last season with Berlin (51 ga, 3 go, 6 pts) before skating in six games for Italy at the 2014 IIHF World Championships. Trivellato, who did skate in four Champions Hockey League contests for Eisbaeren this term, has not yet appeared in the domestic top flight this season after being sent out on loan to Dresdener Eisloewen (16 ga, 2 go, 10 pts) of the German second division.

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Phantoms Trim Marlies


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After scoring a power play goal to take the lead in the latter stages of the last period, the home team still needed to survive a shot off the iron and a highly unusual six-on-three shorthanded situation as the Lehigh Valley Phantoms outlasted the visiting Toronto Marlies 3-2 to get back on the winning track in the American Hockey League.

Canadian legionnaire Brandon Manning, the undrafted 24-year-old rearguard who has now skated a dozen National Hockey League games for the Philadelphia Flyers in his four seasons of professional hockey, netted a 5-on-3 power play goal for the Phantoms with just under four minutes remaining; immediately after having his offensive skills questioned by this very blog, it is Manning who produces power play strikes in back-to-back AHL games Lehigh Valley this weekend, it shall be noted here.

Third-year pro Greg McKegg, the 22-year-old center who was the third round selection (# 62 overall) of the Toronto Maple Leafs at the 2010 NHL Draft, was unlucky not to equalize for the visiting Marlies very late after clanking the iron; it had been McKegg who had already leveled for Toronto on the power play earlier in the third period.

Lehigh Valley goaltender Rob Zepp, the former Eisbaeren Berlin backstop and veteran German international who has started ten of the Phantoms’ first thirteen games this season, made a few key saves along the way, particularly at the end of the contest, and lowered his impressive AHL numbers this term (10 ga, 2.56 avg, .920 svpct) in the process; Lehigh Valley defenseman Robert Hagg, the 19-year-old rookie from Sweden who was the second round pick (# 41 overall) of the Philadelphia Flyers at the 2013 NHL Draft, had a pivotal block in the closing moments.

November 15, 2014
PPL Center – Allentown, Pennsylvania
Attendance : 8,664

Lehigh Valley Phantoms 3Toronto Marlies 2

05:09 … TOR – Bodie (Ross, Carrick)
09:55 … LV – Laughton (Leier)
10:52 … LV – Cousins (Delisle)
48:25 … TOR – McKegg (Brown, Finn) – ppg
56:02 … LV – Manning (Gordon, Laughton) – ppg

shots-on-goal : LV 31 ( 9 + 9 + 13 ) – TOR 30 ( 6 + 11 + 13 )

penalty minutes : TOR 17 + 10-min misconduct – LV 17 + 2 10-min misconducts

power plays : LV 1/5 – TOR 1/5

fights : Mathers (LV) vs Broll (TOR)

10-minute misconducts : Fyten (LV), Ross (TOR), Rosehill (LV)

Lehigh Valley : Zepp – Delisle, Manning ; Hagg, Pettersson ; Lauridsen, Flemming – Leier, Laughton, Gordon ; Straka, Cousins, Sortini ; Rosehill, Powe, Alderson ; Fyten, Goumas, Mathers

Toronto : Gibson – Finn, Granberg, Loov, MacWilliam, Marshall, Nilsson, Percy – Biggs, Bodie, Broll, Brown, Carrick, Devane, Findlay, Kontiola, McKegg, Ross, Watling

Notes — the Phantoms duo of Robert Hagg and Jesper Pettersson combined with the Marlies trio of Petter Granberg, Viktor Loov and Tom Nilsson meant that this AHL contest featured no fewer than five Swedish defensemen operating on the two blue lines; Loov, the well-built (6’3″ 210 lbs) 22-year-old who was the seventh round choice (# 209 overall) of the Toronto Maple Leafs at the 2012 NHL Draft, was a teammate of Hagg’s with Mo Do Ornskoldsvik in the Swedish elite league last season.

One highly experienced international player turning out for the Toronto Marlies in downtown Allentown was 2014 Olympic bronze medalist Petri Kontiola, the creative 30-year-old center who has appeared with Finland at six major international tournaments in his career (52 ga, 17 go, 42 pts). Kontiola skated in a dozen games (0 go, 5 pts) for the Chicago Black Hawks during the 2007/08 NHL campaign and was a consistent point-producer at the AHL level (147 ga, 37 go, 130 pts), mostly for the Rockford IceHogs, during his first stint in North American pro hockey but has spent the last five years in the Kontinental Hockey League playing for Russian clubs Metallurg Magnitogorsk and Traktor Chelyabinsk. Kontiola was named Best Forward and also selected to the tournament All-Star team at the 2013 IIHF World Championships in Scandinavia after registering eight goals and 16 points in 10 games for the unlucky Finns, who would up empty-handed after losing 3-2 to the United States in the Bronze Medal Match.

Lehigh Valley Phantoms center Scott Laughton, the 20-year-old rookie who was the Philadelphia Flyers’ first round pick (# 20 overall) at the 2012 NHL Draft, ended his seven-game goal-less streak with a first period strike against the Toronto Marlies.

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Penn State 4 – UMass/Lowell 1


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A pair of rapid-fire strikes from the school’s all-time leading goal-scorer relatively early in the first period and continued strong play between the pipes from the formerly out-of-favor sophomore netminder thereafter propelled the visiting PENN STATE NITTANY LIONS to a most sensational 4-1 triumph over the # 4 ranked UNIVERSITY of MASSASCHUSETTS – LOWELL RIVER HAWKS and a highly deserved split of this surprising NCAA non-conference weekend series in New England.

The River Hawks have been definitely rotating goaltenders to start this 2014/15 campaign but the conspicuous fact that UMass/Lowell made three other changes to its line-up from Friday night’s match was, perhaps, an indication that the home side who came into the weekend series as the highest scoring team in all the land were feeling a tad overconfident for the Saturday night date with Penn State, still, of course, only just beginning their third-ever season as a Division I ice hockey program.

Penn State came out skating hard and, as usual, ready to have a shot at goal from any angle whatsoever. The Nittany Lions were then presented with an early power play opportunity and took full advantage soon enough. Casey Bailey, the 22-year-old junior right wing from Anchorage, Alaska, who has been in lethal form this fall, wristed a long shot from the top of the right circle past Canadian legionnaire Jeff Smith, the 19-year-old freshman from Maple Ridge, British Columbia, immediately after a faceoff in the UMass/Lowell zone.

Penn State doubled its lead less than two minutes later when Bailey was left all alone in the slot. Nittany Lions center Taylor Holstrom, the 24-year-old redshirt senior from Yorba Linda, California, quickly sent a radar-like pass from behind the goal line and Bailey one-time the puck into the River Hawks net with a great deal of authority to score his second of the night and his team-leading eighth goal of this season. UMass/Lowell were completely stunned, as was most of the audience at the Paul E. Tsongas Center.

The River Hawks made several attempts in the opening twenty minutes to put themselves on the comeback trail but would find the path blocked by Penn State goaltender Eamon McAdam. The 20-year-old homegrown sophomore from Perkasie who was the third round selection (# 70 overall) of the New York Islanders at the 2013 National Hockey League Draft picked right up where he left off after coming off the bench for the Nittany Lions in Friday night’s contest and showed why NHL scouts had thought so highly of him in the first place. McAdam suffered through a freshman term (10 ga, 4.09 avg, .882 svpct), to review, and not appeared for Penn State since early of February of last season but showed he is ready to leave all that in the rear view mirror.

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Penn State Nittany Lions goaltender Eamon McAdam (34) made ten starts as a freshman last term but posted the dubious record of zero wins against nine losses and had to sit out 21 consecutive NCAA contests before coming on in relief during Friday night’s game against the UMass/Lowell River Hawks.
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The Nittany Lions added a third goal with only nineteen second left in the opening period to further dampen the spirits of the nation’s # 4 ranked ice hockey team. After continuous pressure in the UMass/Lowell zone, defenseman David Thompson, the 22-year-old homegrown sophomore from Glens Mills who missed five games this fall after being injured at the 2014 Brice Alaska Goal Rush tournament in Fairbanks, sent a shot from the right point in on net and right wing Eric Scheid was able to sweep the puck home on the backhand. It was the sixth goal of this season for Scheid, the 22-year-old redshirt junior from Blaine, Minnesota, who led Penn State with both 11 goals and 20 points in 36 NCAA games last season after transferring from the University of Alaska – Anchorage.

The visitors probably broke the River Hawks back by scoring yet again just 47 seconds into the second period. Right wing Tommy Olczyk, the 23-year-old senior from Long Grove, Illinois, who also scored in Friday night’s contest after sitting out four games in a row, sped down the right wing on a two-on-one before calmly slotting the puck home on a left-handed wrist shot. Assisting on Olczyk’s third goal of this season was none other than the influential Holstrom, who earned his third assist of the evening in the process.

Thereafter, the focus shifted onto McAdam, who kept the high-powered offense of UMass/Lowell off the scoreboard for more than fifty minutes on Saturday night. This after the seldom-used sophomore had stopped 17 of 18 shots faced in roughly thirty-one minutes the previoius evening. In all, McAdam limited the River Hawks to just two goals while stopping 40 shots during the weekend series in New England.

As for Penn State (now 6-2-2), this victory over # 4 ranked UMass/Lowell might very well rate as the greatest ice hockey result in school history thus far. Certainly, knocking off the # 18 ranked Wisconsin Badgers in Madison two years ago and beating the nine-time NCAA champion Michigan Wolverines to win the Nittany Lions’ first-ever Big Ten Conference tournament game were also spectacular accomplishments for the fledgling program. But a triumph over a Top Five team is a triumph over a Top Five team.

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Penn State center Taylor Holstrom (28), who is one of just a handful of players leftover from the Nittany Lions’ well-documented “club hockey” days, leads all Division I college players with 13 assists and is tied with four other skaters for top scoring honors with 16 points this season.
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November 15, 2014
Paul E. Tsongas Center – Lowell, Massachusetts
Attendance : 4,548

PENN STATE 4 – UMASS/LOWELL 1

06:17 … PSU – Bailey (Holstrom) – ppg
08:30 … PSU – Bailey (Holstrom, Goodwin)
19:41 … PSU – Scheid (Robinson, Thompson)
20:47 … PSU – Olczyk (Holstrom)
50:30 … UML – Z. Kamrass (Mueller, Chapie) – ppg

shots-on-goal : PSU 31 ( 13 + 10 + 8 ) – UML 25 ( 10 + 9 + 6 )

penalty minutes : UML 8 – PSU 6

power plays : UML 1/3 – PSU 1/4

UMASS/LOWELL : J. Smith (Boyle 20:47) – Z. Kamrass, Mueller ; Kapla, Zink ; Forney, Suter – Hollman, Maniccia, Chapie ; White, Campbell, Francis ; C. Smith, Gambardella, Edwardh ; Fallon, Colantone, J. Kamrass

PENN STATE : McAdam – Koudys, Thompson ; Juha, Autio ; Williamson, Sweetland – Goodwin, Holstrom, Bailey ; Robinson, Conway, Scheid ; Loik, Brooks, Olczyk ; DeRosa, Gardiner, Friedman

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UMass/Lowell 5 – Penn State 3


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In a rather cleanly played ice hockey game that saw both sides amass a combined total of only four penalty minutes for the duration of the contest, the home team opened up a three-goal lead midway through the second period before settling in to protect what had already been gained as the # 4 ranked UNIVERSITY of MASSACHUSETTS – LOWELL RIVER HAWKS skated to a 5-3 victory over the visiting PENN STATE NITTANY LIONS in the first of this weekend’s non-conference set.

The River Hawks, who now sport seven wins and two ties from their first ten games of this 2014/15 NCAA season came, entered into this latest Big Ten Conference versus Hockey East engagement as the only Division I team in the entire country to be currently averaging more than four goals scored per contest. UMass/Lowell, who swept the Nittany Lions on the road in State College last season, demonstrated its offensive potential this term by scoring four goals on its first dozen shots of the game.

Penn State goaltender Matthew Skoff, the 22-year-old homegrown junior from McKees Rock who, on the whole, has been in good form this fall, was recalled to the bench after the River Hawks notched their fourth goal almost eight and a half minutes into the second period. Sent out onto the ice for a first appearance of this 2014/15 NCAA campaign was Eamon McAdam, the 20-year-old homegrown sophomore from Perkasie whom the New York Islanders picked in the third round (# 70 overall) of the 2013 National Hockey League Draft but struggled during what was, for the most part, a disappointing freshman season (10 ga, 4.09 avg, .882 svpct) last term. McAdam had not played since early last February (a 7-3 loss to the Michigan Wolverines) but gave a good account of himself while stopping 17 of 18 shots from UMass/Lowell in nearly thirty-one minutes of game time.

The Nittany Lions halved their deficit just seventeen seconds into the middle frame when right wing Corey Bailey, the 22-year-old junior from Anchorage, Alaska, who has clearly rediscovered his old scoring touch, netted on the backhand to notch his team-leading sixth strike of the season. Penn State center Taylor Holstrom, the 24-year-old senior from Yorba Linda, California, made a tremendous play to keep the puck in the offensive zone at the right point, it should be noted. UMass/Lowell stormed straight back, however, and soon re-established its two-goal lead when the diminutive (5’8″ 175 lbs) left wing Robert Francis, the 23-year-old junior from San Diego, California, who transferred from Western Michigan University, found the back of the net for the second time on the night.

Penn State pulled a couple of goals back in the third period to salvage a measure of pride and, perhaps, build some momentum for Saturday evening’s return encounter with the River Hawks. Tommy Olczyk, the 23-year-old senior right wing from Long Grove, Illinois, who had been out of the line-up for the Nittany Lions’ last four games, celebrated his return by scoring on the backhand after a nice pass from behind the net by Canadian legionnaire Curtis Loik, the 21-year-old junior left wing from West Vancouver, British Columbia. And David Goodwin, the 22-year-old sophomore left wing from Des Peres, Missouri, scored his fourth goal of this season on a one-timer after taking a slick backhand feed from the influential Holstrom, who leads the Nittany Lions this fall with both ten assists and thirteen points.

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Penn State right wing Casey Bailey (25), who now counts 29 goals in 68 NCAA career games for the Nittany Lions, collides with UMass/Lowell River Hawks defenseman Dylan Zink, the 22-year-old sophomore from Madison, Wisconsin, in front of the net during the NCAA non-conference clash in New England.
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November 14, 2014
Paul E. Tsongas Center – Lowell, Massachusetts
Attendance : 4,314

UMASS/LOWELL 5 – PENN STATE 3

11:13 … UML – Francis (Chapie)
18:46 … UML – Kamrass (Maniccia, Mueller)
20:17 … PSU – Bailey (Holstrom)
21:57 … UML – Edwardh (Gambardella, Smith)
28:47 … UML – Francis (Maniccia)
48:21 … UML – Smith (Zink, Edwardh)
51:12 … PSU – Olczyk (Loik)
58:45 … PSU – Goodwin (Holstrom, Bailey)

shots-on-goal : PSU 37 ( 11 + 11 + 15 ) – UML 30 ( 9 + 12 + 9 )

penalty minutes : UML 2 – PSU 2

power plays : UML 0/1 – PSU 0/1

UMASS/LOWELL : Boyle – Kamrass, Mueller ; Zink, Kapla ; Panico, Suter – Francis, Maniccia, Chapie ; White, Campbell, Wallin ; Smith, Gambardella, Edwardh ; Fallon, Colantone, Hough

PENN STATE : Skoff (McAdam 28:47) – Koudys, Thompson ; Juha, Autio ; Jensen, Sweetland – Goodwin, Holstrom, Bailey ; Robinson, Conway, Scheid ; Loik, Brooks, Olczyk ; DeRosa, Gardiner, Friedman

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