Saturday, May 26, 2012

Devils and Marlies Advance, SCF Links

The New Jersey Devils advanced to the Stanley Cup Finals last night by defeating the New York Rangers 3-2, winning the Eastern Conference Finals against their cross-river rivals four games to two. During the postgame festivities, captain Zach Parise and his Devils teammates opted not to touch the Prince of Wales Trophy. Parise said he wanted to touch the trophy, but a quick poll of his teammates showed that most didn't want to risk incurring any bad luck.

While it's taken a little time for Parise to get into his first-ever Stanley Cup Finals, the former North Dakota star says it has been worth the wait. Travis Zajac, meanwhile, was outstanding in the faceoff circle last night, winning 70% (14/20) of his draws. Zajac has taken the second most draws (340) this postseason, winning 56.5% of them, and both he and Parise remain viable candidates to win the Conn Smythe Trophy.

Parise, Zajac and the rest of the Devils will meet Parise's former college roommate Matt Greene and the Los Angeles Kings in the Finals, thus ensuring that at least one former Sioux will have his name engraved on The Cup. The names of nine Sioux currently reside on The Cup as players, which is the second highest total among NCAA schools. Should the Devils defeat the Kings, North Dakota and Boston College would move into a first place tie with Wisconsin. Here are the NCAA leaders, based on the info at College Hockey Inc:

# of Players 
Wisconsin 11
North Dakota 9
Boston College 9
Michigan 7
Michigan State 7
Minnesota 7
Minnesota-Duluth 6
Boston University 6

Game one of the Finals will take place Wednesday night in New Jersey, and here are few links to get you ready for the action:


Matt Frattin and the Toronto Marlies eliminated Chris VandeVelde, Taylor Chorney and the Oklahoma City Barons last night, winning the AHL Western Conference Finals four games to one. They will now take on the Norfolk Admirals, who are about as hot as a hockey team can be. Dating back to February 5th, Norfolk closed out the regular season by winning its final 28 games and has gone 11-3 during the playoffs. The only team with a better postseason record than the Admirals? Toronto, who went 11-2 in advancing to the Calder Cup Finals.

Frattin continued his goal scoring barrage, netting two more in Toronto's 3-1 series-clinching victory last night. He leads all players with 10 postseason goals, and his 13 points (10G, 3A) rank second. VandeVelde recorded the lone marker for the Barons, finishing the postseason with a team-high six goals. Getting back to Frattin's performance, he had an empty-net goal last night that was about as impressive as an ENG can be. Watch the determination, strength, and balance as he fights off a Baron defender to ice the series:

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