Sunday, March 31, 2013

Exiting in a hurry

Brenden Kichton (Spokane Chiefs)
The Saturday report really isn't much better than Friday's was as 3 more prospects of the New York Rangers and the New York Islanders saw their season come to a sudden and quick ending. But one Islander prospect made sure his season wasn't ending by taking matters into his own hands.

Now I have to wonder why the Islanders and Brenden Kichton (NYI 2011 5th) could not reach an agreement as the Islanders don't have a defensive prospect with Kichton's upside. The captain of the Spokane Chiefs played the kind of game you want to see in the playoffs from a team captain.

Kichton set up Spokane's 1st goal and then scored what proved to be the series winning goal to lead the Spokane Chiefs past the Tri-City Americans 3-1 and eliminate the Americans 4 games to 1. The Chiefs are the first team in the WHL's Western Conference to advance to the 2nd round.

Kichton's assist was a pass towards the front of the next that Mike Aviani deflected in for a 1-0 lead at 14:04 of the 1st period. In the 2nd, Kichton fired a shot from the point that found the net with Spokane on a power play.

The goal at 7:50 of the 2nd period put Spokane up 2-0 and would wind up as the winning goal. It was Kichton's 2nd of the playoffs and he is 2-3-5 overall. Winning the series means for the 1st time since 2007 that Tri-City won't advance to the 2nd round and pretty sure is a happy bonus for their in-state rivals.

With the other 3 series in the WHL's Western Conference headed to a 6th game at the very least; the Chiefs won't know who they will face at least Wednesday.

Notre Dame entered the NCAA Tournament as a 1 seed for their regional (4th overall) but their seeding didn't matter as they were eliminated by St. Cloud State 5-1 at the Midwest Regional. Explaining the loss won't be easy for Notre Dame as they were done in by a failure to generate any kind of offensive flow and a lack of on-ice discipline which gave St. Cloud State 7 power plays that they used to score 2 of their goals with.

Junior Anders Lee (NYI 2009 6th) had a goal waved off when replay showed it to have gone in off his skate but Lee only managed 1 shot for the entire game. Lee finished the season as Notre Dame's leading scorer at 20-18-38 but now the speculation will begin over whether Lee will turn pro or not.

Neither sophomore Robbie Russo (NYI 2011 4th) or freshman Steven Fogarty (NYR 2011 3rd) registered a shot in this game but both will return next year.

Jake Bischoff (NYI 2012 7th) and his Omaha Lancers suffered a blow to their playoff hopes when the Lancers lost to the Sioux City Musketeers 5-1. Bischoff was scoreless and a -1 as the Lancers gave up 3 goals in the 3rd in the loss.

The loss hurt more when the team the Lancers are chasing the Waterloo Blackhawks won to open a 3 point lead over the Lancers. The Blackhawks also have 2 games in hand on the Lancers.

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