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In the Pipeline: Frozen Four Set to Start

by Mike Lewis / FloridaPanthers.com

The Frozen Four begins this Thursday at the United Center in Chicago, Ill. Florida's three remaining prospects in the tournament face off at 9:30 PM that day, with Henrik Borgstrom and Evan Cowley of Denver taking on Joe Wegwerth of Notre Dame.

Airing on ESPN 2, the Pioneers enter their game against the Fighting Irish ranked No. 1 in the nation. The winner of the game will head to the finals on Saturday, April 8 (8:00 PM) and will face either Harvard (No. 3) or Minnesota-Duluth (No. 2). 

The NCAA Championship finals will air on ESPN.

SPRINGY STUFF

The Thunderbirds won twice on the weekend, topping the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (3-1 W) and Providence Bruins (3-2 W).

Prior to being called up to Florida for the first time in his professional career, MacKenzie Weegar posted three points (1-2-3) in Springfield's victory over Providence. 

Tweet from @ThunderbirdsAHL: It's a new band: Weegar and the Steel Tones. �� pic.twitter.com/PuIR2dYdym

In Springfield's game the night before, Anthony Greco continued his hot streak with a power-play goal at the 0:55 mark of the third period before Kyle Rau blasted home his 10th goal of the season to put the T-Birds ahead 3-0. 

Tweet from @ThunderbirdsAHL: When you're playing 1 on 1 with your little brother: pic.twitter.com/bOqKH3aUvp

Tweet from @ThunderbirdsAHL: Kyle Rau absolutely CHOPPING wood. #TbirdsAHL pic.twitter.com/TqwieEDODT

Over the weekend, Jayce Hawryluk recorded two assists. Dryden Hunt scored the lone Springfield goal in their 2-1 loss on Monday, April 4 against the Bridgeport Sound Tigers.

Tweet from @ThunderbirdsAHL: Dryden? More like Drydemption. pic.twitter.com/gQTETrNKdF

BUCKLE UP

After Cornell was eliminated from the NCAA Men's Ice Hockey Tournament, Panthers 2013 fourth round pick (98th overall) Matt Buckles signed an amateur try-out with the Thunderbirds. 

Making his professional debut on March 29 against the Sound Tigers, Buckles tallied his first pro goal as he deflected a blueline pass from Matt McKenzie past Bridgeport netminder Eamon McAdam. 

Tweet from @ThunderbirdsAHL: Welcome to the pros, Matt Buckles! #TbirdsAHL pic.twitter.com/mg3RX3k4jl

Over his first three pro games, the 6-foot-3, 218-pound forward recorded a three-game point streak (1-2-3).

MOVING ON UP/PACKING IT UP

OHL

Jonathan Ang and the Peterborough Petes completed their sweep of the Niagara Ice Dogs on March 30. In the four postseason contests, Ang recorded six points, including two different two-goal games. Ang notched a three-point night in game four (2-1-3). 

Tweet from @OHLHockey: Bastian, Knott, Ang are Thursday's #OHLPlayoffs 3 Stars of the Night.PERFORMANCE RECAP: https://t.co/2h0vIX5prf pic.twitter.com/Mns0ouF7aJ

Riley Stillman and the Oshawa Generals knocked off the Sudbury Wolves in game six to take their series with a 4-2 decision and move onto round two. Stillman recorded five assists over the six games and registered two helpers in Oshawa's series-clinching game. The Generals are set to begin their second round series against the Mississauga Steelheads on April 7.

Adam Mascherin and the Kitchener Rangers were eliminated from the first round in five games by the Owen Sound Attack. Mascherin posted four points (1-3-4) over the five-game series.

Mascherin was named the Rangers MVP on April 3 and on April 30 was nominated for the OHL's Red Tilson Trophy for Player of the Year.

Tweet from @OHLRangers: Your #OHLRangers MVP Award goes to @amascherin_23 ��. @FlaPanthers #RangersAwards pic.twitter.com/nODWqKWDBg

Tweet from @OHLHockey: #OHL announces 2016-17 Awards Finalists.7 league honours featuring Red Tilson Trophy - Player of the Year.READ: https://t.co/JZn1n3ihJt pic.twitter.com/0PlRQxQmJj

QMJHL

Samuel Montembeault remains undefeated in postseason play as the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada swept the Drummondville Voltigeurs. Montembeault has allowed only one goal in each game of the first round series, owning a sterling 1.00 goals against average and a .945 save percentage to compliment his 4-0 record.  

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