Nothing like a full slate of games to start Easter weekend. Eight games over two days. We start with four huge games on Friday… If you think Friday was exciting….wait til tonight.
Rochester (7-4) vs Toronto (11-3) After coming off a dismantling last week to Edmonton, Rochester came out on fire taking a 5-2 lead after the first fueled by a five goal run. Toronto would get no closer then three as Rochester controlled the game. The win brings the Hawks within 1.5 games of first and they still have 3 games in hand as things are now a bit interesting in the east.
Dan Dawson (3G/2A) led the way for the Knighthawks. Recently acquired Joe Resetartis made his presence knows with 2 goals. For Toronto, Kasey Beirnes (3G/1A), Stephan Leblanc (2G) led the Rock scoring. Kevin Crowley, acquired at trade deadline scored his first goal as a Rock. Rochester wins season series 2-1 and holds tie-breaker over Toronto.
Rochester (8-4) now hosts Minnesota (5-8) tonight 7:30pm.
Toronto (11-4) hosts Vancouver (4-7) April 10th 7:30pm.
New England (3-7) vs Minnesota (4-8) In a game of two teams at the bottom of the eastern conference, and fighting for any shot at trying to get into the playoff picture, the Minnesota Swarm defeated New England 12-8. The game featured former captains that were traded at the deadline. Joel White (from NE to Min) and Andrew Suitor (from Min to NE). Suitor a fan favorite at the Hive received a nice ovation when announced. But it was his former spoiling the return. Callum Crawford (3G/4A) led the Swarm attack, while Corbin Tao (2G), Jordan MacIntosh (2G/1A) and Shayne Jackson (1G/4A) kept the Wolves at arms length. Brett Bucktooth (3G/2A) and Pat Saunders (2G/4A) led the Black Wolves. Newly acquired Garret Billings had (1G/3A) in his season and Black Wolves debut. New England drops to 3-8, after starting the season 2-0. Minnesota moves to 5-8.
New England (3-8) travels to face Buffalo (7-6) tonight 7:30pm.
Minnesota (5-8) travels to face Rochester (8-4) tonight 7:30pm.
Calgary (3-9) vs Colorado (7-5) In another classic match up we needed overtime again to decide a winner. This time it was John Grant Jr., netting the winner in overtime as Colorado clinched a playoff berth with a 9-8 win over Calgary. The game was kept low scoring due to the superb goaltending of both Frank Scigliano (Cal) and Alex Boque (Col). Bouque starting in his second straight game picked up his second straight win. Grant Jr., was the only multiple goal scorer for Colorado as he led the team with (5G/1A). Curtis Dickson and Dan Dobbie each had (3G/2A). Calgary is still in contention for the playoffs. These teams meet again tomorrow night in Calgary 9pm.
Colorado 8-5…..Calgary 3-10
Edmonton (7-4) vs Vancouver (4-7) Another exciting game with an overtime finish. Vancouver started out scoring quick and often building a 7-3 lead at the half and controlling the game. When the second half started a new Rush team seemed to appear. The Rush would turn the tables and outscore Vancouver 7-3 in the third to tie the game at 10. The final quarter each team netted four goals. Robert Church put the home crowd in a frenzy as he put the Rush up 14-13 with :53 to go. But former Rush player Corey Small, would score with :07 to go and tie the game at 14. Then just :45 into OT, Zack Greer would step back and fire a shot past Eric Penney to give Edmonton the Win 15-14. Huge nights for Greer (4G/2A), Church (2G/4A), Matthews (3G/1A) and McIntosh (1G/6A). For Vancouver, Duch (2G/4A), Small (4G/2A) and McCready (3G) led the way for the Stealth. Logan Schuss in his first game as a Stealth had (1G/6A). Both teams will face each other again, tonight in Vancouver 10pm.
Edmonton 8-4 (a win clinches a playoff berth)…..Vancouver 4-8