Sunday, April 29, 2012

Sunday Morning Coffee

  • Miles Koules announced via Twitter yesterday that he has opted to play for the WHL's Medicine Hat Tigers next season. The one-time committed Sioux recruit is the third US NTDP alum in the past nine months to back-out of a commitment to play for North Dakota in order to jump to Candian major juniors, joining JT Miller and Stefan Matteau. An increased opportunity for ice-time and game action factored into his change of plans, and expect more on the reasoning behind Koules' decision Monday. 
NHL Playoff Updates:

  • Former Sioux captain Matt Greene and the Los Angeles Kings, the Western Conference's eighth seed, continued their strong postseason run by defeating the St. Louis Blues 3-1 last night. Greene became the unlikely hero when he scored the shorthanded game-winning goal by "lumbering" up the ice and chipping in a Dustin Brown rebound. Greene's shorty was just the second postseason shorthanded goal by a defenseman in Kings' history, with Rob Blake scoring the other back in 1993. TJ Oshie assisted on the lone goal for St. Louis, while Chris Porter did not dress. Check out Greene's goal right here:

  • The New Jersey Devils open their second round series against Philadelphia this afternoon, and Devil head coach Peter DeBoer has decided to shake up his line combinations, including moving captain Zach Parise to the second line. The move is intended to spark the second line, which was relatively quiet in the first round, as Parise makes a lot of plays that can get a team headed in the right direction. Meanwhile Travis Zajac, who was one of the first round's standouts, could be the "X-Factor" against the Flyers.
AHL Playoff Update:
  • Five former Sioux remain standing after the first round of the AHL's Calder Cup playoffs. The St. John's IceCaps (Jason Gregoire, Jake Marto) eliminated Syracuse (Matt Smaby) Friday night, though none of the trio of former Sioux played during the series. Oklahoma City (Chris VandeVelde, Taylor Chorney) and Toronto (Matt Frattin) have also advanced to the conference semifinals, which begin Tuesday.
USHL Playoff Updates:
  • Lincoln (Paul LaDue, Luke Johnson) eliminated Fargo (Zane Gothberg, Bryn Chyzyk) with a 3-2 overtime victory Friday night. The Stars move on to the Western Conference Finals, where they will face the Waterloo Blackhawks, who feature a potential Sioux recruit in defenseman Ian McCoshen. Earlier this season McCoshen said he had narrowed his collegiate choices down to Wisconsin, Minnesota-Duluth, Nebraska-Omaha, and North Dakota. The schedule has not yet been set for this series, but as the top seed in the conference, Lincoln will have the home-ice advantage. 
  • Despite the loss, Gothberg had what is probably the best season between the pipes in the short history of the Fargo Force franchise, and Slightly Chilled touched upon what Gothberg meant to his team. He finished the postseason with a 1.78 GAA and .942 Save % in six games, and expect to hear his name called when the USHL hands out its  regular season awards.
  • In the Eastern Conference Finals, the Indiana Ice will be taking on the Green Bay Gamblers and Sioux recruit Jordan Schmaltz. That series begins Thursday in Green Bay. 

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