Friday, April 27, 2012

Friday Morning Coffee

  • As I’m sure everyone has heard, Danny Kristo announced his intentions to return to North Dakota for his senior year, and the Montreal Gazette says that he feels he has some unfinished business at the collegiate level.
  • The Fighting Sioux received a commitment from Weyburn Red Wing (SJHL) captain Coltyn Sanderson for the 2012-13 season. Learn a bit more about the latest Sioux recruit via his Recruit Profile.
  • After playing this past season with the AHL’s Portland Pirates, former Sioux Hobey Baker Award winner Ryan Duncan will head back to Europe next season in order to rejoin EC Salzburg (Austria Tier 1). Duncan spent the 2009-10 and 2010-11 seasons with Salzburg, producing 111 pts (43G, 68A) in 99 regular season games. Duncan, who registered 36 points (14G, 22A) in 64 games with Portland, feels his “style of play is better suited for the European game.”
  • Speaking of Austria’s tier 1 league, former Sioux All-American defenseman Curtis Murphy and EHC Linz  recently won the league’s play-off championship. EHC Linz went 12-5 in winning three best-of-seven playoff series, eliminating former Sioux netminder JP Lamoureux’s Olimpija Ljubljana squad in the semifinals. Murphy led all league defensemen in scoring during both the regular season and playoffs by producing 44 points (16G, 28A) in 50 regular season games and 13 points (2G, 11A) in 17 playoff games.
  • Lee Goren's Skelleftea squad fell to Brynas in the finals of the Swedish Elite League, losing out four games to two. Goren missed the last several games of the championship series due to a concussion, but he was able to produce 13 points (5G, 8A) in 14 games prior to his injury.
  • After a 17 -year professional career, former Sioux Darcy Mitani has decided to retire. He spent the majority of his pro career playing in Asia, and he retires as the all-time leading scorer in the Asia Hockey League with 372 points (131G, 242A). He is also the tenth all-time leading scorer the Asia League's predecessor, the Japan Ice Hockey League, with 331 points (145G, 186A). He discusses his career and retirement in this interview from Winnipeg's 4th Line Hockey Show:
NHL Playoff Updates:
  • TJ Oshie and Chris Porter were the first former Sioux to move on to the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The St Louis Blues dispatched the San Jose Sharks in five games, with Oshie pitching in three assists during the first round. Oshie has thrived under the guidance of head coach Ken Hitchcock, while  Porter, who has yet to play this postseason, was recently featured in the USHL’s Alumni Voices series.
  • The Blues’ second round opponent will be Matt Greene and the Los Angeles Kings, who advanced after eliminating the Playoff’s top seeded Vancouver Canucks in five games. Greene is  a +1 but has yet to make his way onto the scoresheet. The Kings were able to eliminate the Cauncks despite knowing full well how difficult winning that fourth game can be.
  • Jonathan Toews, who had four points (2G, 2A) in six playoff games, and the Chicago Blackhawks were eliminated by Dave Tippett’s Phoenix Coyotes. Tippett and the Coyotes will take on the Nashville Predators in the second round.
  • Travis Zajac, Zach Parise, and the New Jersey Devils advanced to the second round of the playoffs by winning a game seven double-OT thriller against the Florida Panthers last night. The Devils won back-to-back OT games to win the series after trailing three games to two, with Zajac scoring the winner in game six. Zajac leads New Jersey with six points (3G, 3A) in seven playoff games, and TSN’s Bob McKenzie says New Jersey is a much better team with him in the lineup. Parise contributed four points (2G, 2A) in the first round, and the Devils will take on Philadelphia in the second round.
AHL Playoff Update:
  • Matt Frattin and the Toronto Marlies swept Joe Finley and the Rochester Americans in the first round of the Calder Cup Playoffs. Frattin had a goal and two assists in the three-game sweep, while Joe Finley did not figure into any of Rochester’s scoring. Former Sioux Corey Fienhage was also on Rochester’s postseason roster but did not dress for any of the games.
  • Oklahoma City eliminated the Houston Aeros three games to one, meaning Barons Chris VandeVelde and Taylor Chorney will move on to the second round while Chay Genoway will have to wait until next season for his next action. Neither VandeVelde nor Genoway recorded any points in the four games, and Chorney did not play due to a knee injury suffered in the regular season.  The good news for  OKC and Chorney, however, is that he is expected to return to the lineup for their second round series.
  • Brock Nelson and the Bridgeport Sound Tigers were swept out of the playoffs by the Connecticut Whalers. Nelson appeared in two of the three games and did not record any points.
  • The St. John’s IceCaps (Jason Gregoire, Jake Marto) lead the Syracuse Crunch (Matt Smaby) two games to one in their first round series. None of the former Sioux have played during the series.

Recruit Updates:
  • Paul LaDue (1G, 1A in three games) and Luke Johnson (0G, 0A in three  games) of the Lincoln Stars have a two game to one lead in their USHL second round playoff series against the Fargo Force and Zane Gothberg (1.57 GAA, .943 Sv % in five games) & Bryn Chyzyk (0G, 1A in five games). Gothberg’s postseason 1.57 GAA and .943 Sv % lead all USHL goaltenders. The Force will try to extend the series to a fifth and deciding game when the two teams meet for game four Friday night in Fargo.
  • Jordan Schmaltz and the Green Bay Gamblers have advanced to the USHL’s Eastern Conference Finals (vs. Indiana) after knocking off Youngstown three games to one. Schmaltz has one goal, two assists, and a +6 rating through four playoff games. His +6 rating during the playoffs leads all defensemen.
  • Drake Caggiula and the Stouffville Spirit saw their run to the RBC Cup fall one victory short as they fell to the Soo Thunderbirds in the championship game of the Dudley Hewitt Cup. Caggiula finished the tournament with two goals and three assists in five games.

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