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Blades Lose Tough One To Inferno

by Staff Writer / Florida Panthers
Franklin MacDonald
Strong goaltending play and some tough luck for the Florida Everblades has them down 2-0 in their series with the Columbia Inferno.

After losing game one 3-2 in overtime, the Blades lost a 3-1 affair at Germain Arena Friday night.

Florida took the lead 11:08 as the Blades Derrick Damon found Kirk MacDonald in front of the net who then put the puck past Inferno netminder Todd Ford for his second of the playoffs. Franklin MacDonald picked up the second assist on the goal.

But that’s all Ford would allow, stopping 36 shots the rest of the way and holding the Blades scoreless on six power play attempts.

Despite being outshot 37-25 in the contest, the Inferno took advantage of their chances and got some lucky bounces. Tyler Doig intercepted a Blades clearing attempt to tie the score at 15:13 of the second period and then used their only power play attempt of the game to their advantage. Daniel Sparre one-timed the puck past starting goaltender Kevin Nastiuk with 2:27 left in the second.

The Blades made a goaltending change to start the third as Panthers prospect David Shantz came in and stopped all six shots he saw, but Ford was impressive, stopping 12 Blades shots. The Inferno added the empty net goal with two seconds left in the game.

MacDonald finished with the assist, a +1, and 3 shots on net. Kenndal McArdle had two shots on net, Adam Taylor was a -1 with two shots on net, and Peter Aston had a shot on net and was called for a tripping call 16:08 into the second period. The Inferno cashed in on that power play attempt.

The two teams are back at it tonight after traveling to Columbia after the game as the Blades look to avoid the sweep in the best-of-five series.

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The Vancouver Giants tied their series with the Spokane Chiefs at two games apiece Friday night as the two look to move one game closer to the WHL Western Conference Championship Series Saturday night.

Spokane actually took the lead in the game as Koper scored his third of the playoffs just 3:28 into the game. But from their it was all Vancouver.

Mario Bliznik tied the score with 1:16 left in the first and then Vancouver took the lead for good when Michael Repik set up Jonathan Blum at the 11:24 mark of the second period. The Giants would then secured the victory with an empty net goal with 19 seconds left in the contest. For Repik, it was his sixth assist of the playoffs and his team-leading 11th point. He finished the contest a +1 and a hooking call at 12:30 of the first period.

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John Lee and the Waterloo Black Hawks took game one of their Clark Cup first-round matchup with the Cedar Rapids Rough Riders.

The Black Hawks earned the victory with a 4-3 double-overtime thriller Friday night as the two teams played 97:24 of hockey before Craig Smith scored with 2:36 left in the second overtime.

Waterloo had built a 3-0 lead through the first 27:51 of the game as they scored on three power play attempts. They held that three goal lead until 19:09 in the second when Cedar Rapids finally got on the scoreboard. They then got a little closer with a goal 1:24 into the third period and then tied it on the power play with 2:42 left in the game.

Lee finished a -1 and was whistled for a slash at 16:39 of the first period.

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The OHL Eastern and Western Conference Championship schedules have been released.

The Belleville Bulls will face the winner of the Oshawa Generals – Niagara IceDogs starting Wednesday April 16th in Belleville. Game 2 is April 18th at Oshawa/Niagara while Game 3 (April 19th) is back in Belleville. Game 4 is then on April 21st either at Oshawa or Niagara.

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Mike Duco and the Kitchener Rangers will take on the Sault Ste. Marie Soo Greyhounds in the Western Conference Championship as the two teams start the series April 16th in Kitchener. Game 2 will be the next day in Kitchener before Games 3 (April 20th) and 4 (April 21st) move to Sault Ste. Marie.

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