In 2011, the Minnesota Wild gave the Blackhawks a gift: by beating the Dallas Stars in their final game of the season, it sent Chicago to the playoffs.
This past week, the Wild again secured the Blackhawks a playoff berth with a win. However, this time, Chicago was already sitting in a comfortable position; it was just a matter of clinching.
The two Central division rivals face off for the last time of the regular season on Thursday night at the United Center. Both teams are under .500 for their past ten games; the Wild have gone 4-4-2 and the Blackhawks have gone 4-5-1.
Chicago would like to get two points to keep their hope of home ice in the playoffs alive. ...
Last Thursday, I spoke on the phone with former Philadelphia Flyers goalie Brian Boucher.
Boucher retired from hockey back in October when he was released from EV Zug, a team from the National League A in Switzerland after playing five games.
I called Boucher for a different story I was doing for the Press of Atlantic City. Along with a handful of Flyers and New Jersey Devils alumni, Boucher was playing in the Red Line Classic: Battle of the Boards at Atlantic City's Boardwalk Hall on Sunday. Team Orange, the team Boucher played on, beat Team White 8-7.
Two Trenton Titans forwards shared ECHL Player of the Week honors. Shane Harper (7G 6A 13P, 4GP) and Jacob Cepis (5G 9A 14P, 4GP) became the first ECHL players since the 07-08 campaign to share player of the week honors.
(Photo: Jacob Cepis skates during warmups before the home finale on Saturday, March 23, 2013. Photo by Matt Bernot)
The Trenton Titans finished up the home portion of their schedule with a 7-2 dismantling of the Wheeling Nailers.
Shane Harper had his second consecutive hat trick and Jacob Cepis added six points of his own. Flyers prospect, Blake Kessel had three assists as well. Scott Wedgewood stopped 33 of 35 shots in the win.
The Trenton Titans put the final nail in the coffin of Wheeling’s playoff plans with a 5-2 win Friday night in Trenton. Since the Titans were mathematically eliminated from the playoffs on Wednesday night with a loss in Elmira, they’ve embraced the role of spoiler.
The Titans small playoff hopes dimmed further as they fell to Elmira 6-3 Sunday afternoon.
The Titans opened the scoring early as Andrew Johnston buried the puck on a netmouth scramble in front. Off the ensuing faceoff, the Titans drew a penalty to Jordon Southorn for roughing giving them a chance to go up 2-0 early and bury the game.
It took 19 seconds for the Titans to get on the board Sunday afternoon in Trenton against the Orlando Solar Bears when Mike Ulrich beat Zoltan Hetenyi to make it 1-0. The Titans would not take the foot off the gas and cruised to an easy 6-1 win.
(Pictured: Brooks Ostergard during warmups prior to the game. Photo by Matt Bernot)
On a rainy night in Trenton, the only thing raining the arena were Titans goals as Trenton shutout Reading 6-0. Stephen Schultz had a fantastic effort, tying an ECHL record with four power play goals and Scott Wedgewood posted his first professional shutout with 29 saves in the win.
Pictured: Titans players during warmups prior to Saturday's game against Reading, photo by Matt Bernot