SMJ Cup Playoffs

 

Whalers Move on

 

QUE

1 7

HAR

Hartford Wins Series 4-1

The final game of this series wasn't even close.  Most people would have thought that Quebec, after winning that exciting overtime decision in Game #4, would come out in Game #5 with a renewed energy. Nope.  21 seconds was all it took for the Whalers to get a 1-0 lead.  31 seconds was all that was needed for a 2-0 lead.  And that, unfortunately for Quebec, was the game.  Just over 30 seconds of playing time and their season essentially ended.  They managed to get close with a power play goal shortly after that one would think would give them some confidence.  Not even 5 minutes played and it was 2-1.  But, before the first 20 minutes was done, it was 5-1 for Hartford and they just got more dominating over the rest of the game.  The Whalers outshot Quebec 30-12 over the final two frames, a sad effort from a team about to be eliminated.  But the Whalers were just too much.  Mario Lemieux was too much, scoring a hat trick and finishing with 4 points in the clinching game.  Mark Tinordi added a goal and 2 assists, with Ray Ferraro, Todd Ewen and Mike Alatalo also scoring.  Wendel Clark has the lone Quebec goal. So the top two seeds in the Wales move on quickly, but won't know who they face until after Game #6, at the earliest.

 

PIT

3 4

FLA

Florida Wins series 4-1

The third seed team is also off to the next round, wasting little opportunity to eliminate the Pittsburgh Penguins in 5 games, and winning 4 straight.  Mark Recchi had another strong game, scoring the first 2 goals of the game in the first 5 minutes.  But the Penguins fought back to tie it with Tony Amonte and Dave Reid scoring before the end of the 1st period.  Adam Creighton and Brian Bradley scored in the 2nd period to make it 4-2, but the Penguins just couldn't find enough.  Pay Elnyuik got them close, but they couldn't beat Patrick Roy in the 3rd and, as a result, they are heading to the golf courses.

 

BOS

5   OT 4

PHI

Boston Leads Series 3-2

The Boston Bruins finally broke the home team's winning streak in this series, with Troy Murray scoring on Boston's first shot of extra time to give the Bruins a 5-4 win and move them within a single victory of moving on to the 2nd round.  This is Boston's 3rd straight win against the Flyers, erasing memories of dropping the first two games of this series and the doom and gloom that followed.  Murray finished with 3 points on the night, with Alexander Mogilny and Dmitri Mironov adding a goal and assist each.  Rob Blake and Owen Nolan scored the other Boston goals.  Mike Modano scored twice with John LeClair and Carey Wilson rounding out the scoring.  So, the series shifts back to Boston and we'll see if the Bruins can follow Florida's way and win 4 straight game.  Or will this be heading to a Game #7?

 

SJS

5 3

WIN

Winnipeg Leads Series 3-2

Allan Bester was back in net, but he didn't last the game.  The San Jose Sharks shocked the Jets once more, scoring 3 goals in a span of 2 minutes in the last half of the second period, turning a 1-1 game into a 4-1 game and now, forcing a 6th game back in California.  Brian Propp, Ken Hodge and Tomas Jonsson were those 3 goal scorers, with Propp also scoring in the 1st and Derrick Smith wrapping things up after Winnipeg drew within 1 at 4-3 8 minutes into the 3rd period.  Kirk Muller scored that goal, with Brendan Shanahan and Gerard Gallant also scoring.  It is still not time to panic for Winnipeg, but you have to wonder if that decision to start Karl Friesen in Game #4 may have given the Sharks a little something to get them going and change the face of this series.

 

CBJ

1 8

COL

Colorado Wins Series 4-1

The Colorado Rockies wouldn't let Columbus do what San Jose did.  They shut things down with dominating play over 2 periods, allowing them to coast to an easy 8-1 series clinching win.  Petr Klima scored early in the game, just 1:12 after the puck dropped and that was the only 1st period goal.  Brett Hull then took over, scoring a natural hat trick in the 2nd period, 2 of those goals on the power play.  Igor Larionovo's goal made it 5-0 after 2 periods.  Mikahil Tatarinov scored early in the 3rd period, but it was just way too little, way too late.  Mario Tremblay, Steve Yzerman and Mathieu Schneider scored the next 3 goals to make it 8-1.  The Rockies move on with a relatively easy 5-game series win and will face the Vancouver Canucks, assuming the Jets can pull off their victory.  If not, they will get the upstart Sharks.