By Glenn Odebralski for floridapanthers.com
|2011 PLAYOFFS |
Looking For Championships Several Panthers prospects are aiming for league and national championships this spring.
In college, it was win or go home as five Panther prospects played to advance to the Frozen Four. In juniors, Panthers prospects and their teams looked to gain advantage or stay close in their own series but couldn't convert.NORTH DAKOTA 6, DENVER 1
What was thought to be a closely guarded, all-out war between WCHA nemeses North Dakota and Denver turned into a one-sided affair as the Fighting Sioux skated away with a 6-1 victory. It was tied after 20 minutes of play as Mario Lamoureux got the Sioux on the board with a shorthanded tally 14:37 in. Semi-final hero Jason Zucker answered with .2 seconds left on the clock for the Pioneers. From there it was all the number one seed. They scored twice in the middle stanza off goals by Evan Trupp and Brett Hextall (power play) to make it 3-1. Then with Denver pressing to score twice, North Dakota potted three more in the last 5:17 of play off goals from Brock Nelson, Brad Malone (empty net) and Jake Marto (power play). Corban Knight
and Derrick LaPoint, both held off the scoresheet in the win, and their teammates will take on Michigan on April 7th in one of the Frozen Four semi-finals. For Drew Shore
, John Lee
and Sam Brittain
(26 saves), their season comes to an end.NIAGARA 2, BRAMPTON 0
Going two days after a huge 7-1 thrashing in game one, it looked like the time off in-between games cooled off the second-seed Niagara IceDogs. Unfortunately for Brampton, it didn't halt them enough as Niagara still came out on top in game two by a score of 2-0. Center Ryan Strome, a potential top-five pick in the upcoming draft, got the visitors on the board just 4:20 into the game. That would be all they would really need as netminder Mark Visentin turned away all 27 shots he faced. Freddie Hamilton would give the IceDogs a two-goal cushion 10:59 into the second. Game three is Tuesday in Niagara.GUELPH 6, SAGINAW 2
After falling short in their opening game, the Guelph Storm used home ice to their advantage as they jumped out to a 3-0 lead through the first 16:23 of play on their way to a 6-2 victory. It was a penalty filled affair as the teams combined for 100 penalty minutes on 39 infractions. Saginaw would cut the score to 3-1 late in the first and then made it 4-2 8:28 in the second as John McFarland
set up a power play goal but Guelph put the game away with their third power play goal 3:02 later and added their fourth man advantage marker 7:21 into the third. Game three is Monday night in Saginaw.OSHAWA 5, KINGSTON 4
Outscored 17-4 in their first two games, Kingston was looking for a better result against Oshawa. While they did get closer, they still came out on the wrong end of a 5-4 final and are now one game from being eliminated. Leading the way for the Frontenacs was Panthers top-pick (third overall) in the 2010 NHL Draft Erik Gudbranson
. The defenseman scored the game's first goal 9:57 in on a power play and then after Oshawa rolled off four straight covering almost a period of play, set up Michael Fine on Kingston's second power play goal 11:01 into the second. After Oshawa made it 5-2 49 seconds into the third, Kingston scored twice, the fourth goal being assisted by Gudbranson with 1:19 left to play. The Frontenacs couldn't come up with the equalizer. The two teams meet Tuesday in Kingston for game four.PORTLAND 7, EVERETT 2
The top seed in the Western Conference, the Portland Winterhawks showed why they had the best record during the regular season earning their second straight decisive victory Sunday night over Everett. The home team was led by Islanders top pick from last year's draft Nino Niederreiter as the forward collected two goals and added an assist in a 7-2 victory. Niederreiter got things started just 38 seconds into the contest. Portland had a 2-0 lead after one period of play after Craig Cunningham scored their second of the night 8:34 in. Everett found the back of the net for the first time in the series 12:20 into the second but Portland answered with two to end the second up 4-1. The Winterhawks got three more in a 7:45 span and Everett's Tyler Maxwell ended the scoring with 7:05 left in the game.