Sunday, May 6, 2012

Sunday Morning Coffee

  • UND held its annual Night of Champions award program last week and junior forward Jocelyne Lamoureux was named the 2011-12 Female Athlete of the Year. Also earning recognition were Brad Eidsness, the Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year, and Michelle Karvinen, the Female Rookie of the Year.
  • In the latest episode of UND Sports TV former Sioux Brad Malone talked about his first season in the professional ranks while Danny Kristo discussed his decision to return to North Dakota for his senior season. The Malone segment opens episode 32.2 and Kristo's segment comes at the 2:00 minute mark of episode 32.3 on this page
  • The Rat Trick, a Florida Panthers blog, ranked its top 20 forwards from the 2011-12 season, and Zach Parise and Jonathan Toews both made the list.
NHL Playoff Update:
  • Following Friday night's 1-0 victory over Nashville, Dave Tippett and the Phoenix Coyotes are one win away from advancing to the Western Conference Finals. The Coyotes hold a 3-1 series lead and will look to finish off the Predators Monday night when the series returns to Phoenix for game five.
  • With a commanding 3-0 series lead, the Los Angeles Kings will look to sweep their way into the Western Conference Finals when they host game four against TJ Oshie and the St. Louis Blues this afternoon. Matt Greene, who Blues coach Ken Hitchcock says is among a trio of Kings defenders who is "no fun to play against," is among the postseason leaders in shorthanded ice time, and the Kings' penalty killing unit has been perfect in killing all 14 of St. Louis's power play opportunities in the series.
  • The New Jersey Devils will attempt to take a 3-1 series lead on Philadelphia when they host game four tonight. Zach Parise says the Devils' playoff run has been a blast, while teammate Patrik Elias says this edition of the Devils has an ingredient that's been missing in recent years, and part of that is due to the versatility of guys like himself and Parise. Backhand Shelf considers Parise to be New Jersey's leading candidate for the Conn Smythe Trophy, while the outstanding New Jersey Devils blog In Lou We Trust takes a deeper look at Travis Zajac's impressive postseason performance.
AHL Playoff Update:
  • Oklahoma City evened its second round series against San Antonio at one game a piece via a 5-4 OT win last night. Chris VandeVelde staked Oklahoma City to a 1-0 lead in the first period with his first goal of the playoffs. The series resumes Monday night in San Antonio when VandeVelde and Taylor Chorney will look to help the Barons take a 2-1 series lead. If you want to see VandeVelde's goal, go to the 0:25 mark of the following game recap video:
  • After dropping the first game of their second round series against Abbotsford the Toronto Marlies have bounced back with two straight wins to take a 2-1 series lead. The Marlies won last night's game three by a 4-1 margin, and former Sioux Matt Frattin scored the game-winner for the second straight game. He now has six points (4G, 2A) in six playoff games, and you can check out his latest goal right here:
  • St John's (Jason Gregoire, Jake Marto) leads their series with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton 2-1, with game four scheduled for this afternoon.
USHL Playoff Update:
  • Lincoln split a pair of games with Waterloo over the weekend and now trail the Black Hawks 2-1 in the best-of-five Western Conference finals. Sioux recruits Luke Johnson (1G, +1) and Paul LaDue (1A, +2) each chipped in on the Stars' 4-3 victory Friday night, while Waterloo bounced back with a 5-0 shutout last night. The Stars will look to extend the series to a decisive fifth game when the two teams play game four tomorrow night in Waterloo.
  • Green Bay defeated Indiana 3-2 Friday night to take a 2-0 series lead in the Eastern Conference finals. Sioux recruit Jordan Schmaltz continued his stellar postseason play by contributing an assist and a +3 rating. Schmaltz is second among all USHL defensemen in both +/- rating (+9) and points (2G, 3A) during the postseason. The Gamblers will go for the sweep this afternoon.

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