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Archive for May 11th, 2018

NHL Morning Skate for Friday, May 11, 2018: Jets beat Nashville for berth in Western Conference Finals



The Jets defeated the Predators in their franchise’s first-ever Game 7 to become the fourth and final team to advance to the Conference Finals of the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Paul Stastny
(2-1—3) and Mark Scheifele (2-0—2) each scored twice to help the Jets defeat the Predators in the decisive Game 7 at Bridgestone Arena and advance to the Conference Finals for the first time in franchise history.

* The Predators (53-18-11, 117 points) and Jets (52-20-10, 114 points) finished atop the overall League standings during the regular season, marking the 15th time in the NHL’s expansion era (since 1967-68) where the teams who finished first and second place met in the postseason. The winner of the previous 14 series went on to ultimately capture the Stanley Cup each time, including last year when the second-ranked Penguins ousted the top-ranked Capitals in the Second Round.

* The Jets became the fourth team in the last five years to earn a Game 7 victory against the Presidents’ Trophy-winning team, joining the Penguins in the 2017 Second Round vs. WSH, the Lightning in the 2015 Conference Finals vs. NYR and the Canadiens in the 2014 Second Round vs. BOS.

* The Jets earned three of their four wins in the Second Round at Bridgestone Arena, posting their Game 7 victory on the heels of a 4-1 win in Game 1 and a 6-2 win in Game 5. Elias notes that Winnipeg became the fourth team in NHL history to earn at least three road wins in a series each by a margin of three-plus goals, joining Detroit in the 2010 Conference Quarterfinals vs. PHX, Chicago in the 2010 Conference Semifinals vs. VAN and Pittsburgh in the 2018 First Round vs. PHI.

* Elias adds that the Jets, who suffered a 4-0 loss at Bell MTS Place in their last outing, became the second team in NHL history to rebound from a Game 6 shutout loss at home with a Game 7 win on the road. Winnipeg joined the Toronto Maple Leafs, who accomplished the feat against the Detroit Red Wings in the 1945 Final to capture the Stanley Cup.

* The Jets will face the Golden Knights in the Western Conference Final, with Game 1 slated for Saturday at 7 p.m. ET in Winnipeg (CBC, NBC, TVA Sports). This marks the first time that two franchises will meet while each making their first-ever appearance in the Conference Finals since 2003, when Anaheim defeated Minnesota in four games.

Jets forward Mark Scheifele leads the League with 11 goals in the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs (11-5—16), including seven in Winnipeg’s Second Round series (7-4—11). All seven of his goals against the Predators were scored at Bridgestone Arena.

* Scheifele established a Stanley Cup Playoffs record for most road goals in a single series, eclipsing the mark of six last achieved by Marian Gaborik in the 2014 Second Round vs. ANA (w/ LAK).

Jets forward Paul Stastny, acquired from the Blues at the 2018 Trade Deadline, has collected 4-4—8 in four career Game 7 appearances (2.00 P/GP). He scored his second career series-clinching goal in a Game 7 and first since the 2016 Second Round at DAL (w/ STL).

* Only three active NHL players have recorded more career Game 7 points than Stastny: Justin Williams (7-7—14 in 8 GP), Patrice Bergeron (5-4—9 in 10 GP) and Henrik Zetterberg (3-6—9 in 7 GP). His eight points eclipse the combined Game 7 totals of his father Peter Stastny (1-4—5 in 5 GP) and uncles Anton Stastny (0-1—1 in 3 GP) and Marian Stastny (0-1—1 in 1 GP).

* Twenty-nine current NHL franchises have played in a Game 7. The Jets became the 15th to win their first such appearance, and the 11th to do so on the road.

* The Jets raced to a 2-0 lead with two goals on their first seven shots. The team that scores first improved to 127-44 (.743) in 171 all-time Game 7s in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

* Jets head coach Paul Maurice improved to 3-0 in three career Game 7 appearances. Elias notes that he became the first NHL head coach to win his first three career Game 7 appearances since Al MacNeil, who improved to 3-0 with a win in the 1981 Quarterfinals at PHI (w/ CGY).

* There have been 18 second-round Game 7s since 2009, with at least one played every year during that span. The road team holds a 10-8 advantage in those contests.

Winnipeg’s win confirmed the Conference Finals of the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs, along with dates for all potential games. Click the bracket below for a full schedule.

* This marks the first time that the Conference Finals features four teams who did not reach that round in the previous postseason since 2012, when the Devils, Rangers, Coyotes and Kings all advanced.

* This also marks the eighth time in 29 seasons under the four-division format (1974-75 through 1997-98 and 2013-14 to present) that at least three division champions have reached the Conference Finals. The last such instance came in 1996 when three division winners – the Red Wings, Avalanche and Penguins – advanced along with a first-time playoff team – the Panthers. After finishing third in the Atlantic Division during the regular season, Florida embarked on a playoff run that saw them become the first team in the NHL’s modern era (since 1943-44) to reach the Stanley Cup Final during their first postseason (excluding St. Louis’s emergence from the all-expansion West Division in 1968).


· Evgeny Kuznetsov raising game for Capitals with conference final on tap (via Tom Gulitti)

· Jets have super fan in Canadian rock star Burton Cummings (via Dave Stubbs)

· Flyers prospect Alex Lyon makes 94 saves in longest game in AHL history
The third round of the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs begins tonight with the Eastern Conference Final getting underway as the Lightning host the Capitals in Tampa (8 p.m. ET).

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The Atlantic Division champion faces the No. 1 seed from the Metropolitan Division when the Lightning host the Capitals in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Final at AMALIE Arena in Tampa.

* These two teams have met twice prior in the postseason with Tampa Bay holding a 2-0 series edge. The Lightning defeated the Capitals in six games to open the 2003 Stanley Cup Playoffs and swept Washington in the 2011 Conference Semifinals. Steven Stamkos and Victor Hedman are the only Lightning players remaining from that series in 2011, while Capitals skaters Alex OvechkinJohn Carlson and Nicklas Backstrom also took part in the series.

* Tampa Bay is appearing in the Conference Finals for the third time in four seasons and fifth time overall (also 2004, 2011, 2015 and 2016). The Lightning have required a Game 7 in each of their four prior trips to the Conference Finals, winning in 2004 and 2015 (vs. PHI and NYR, respectively) and losing in 2011 and 2016 (vs. BOS and PIT, respectively).

* Washington is in the Conference Finals for the first time in 20 years and just the third time in franchise history (also 1990 and 1998). Among teams that have ended such droughts, they are the only one to go 18 seasons between appearances in the Conference Finals. The Bruins and Kings ended 17-season droughts in 2011 and 2012, respectively, en route to winning the Stanley Cup.

* Both clubs are led offensively by Russian star forwards: Alex Ovechkin tops the Capitals with 8-7—15 in the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs and scored a League-high 49 goals during the regular season to win his seventh career Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy; Nikita Kucherov paces all Lightning skaters with 6-6—12 this postseason and ranked third in the NHL during the regular season with 39-61—100 to become the third player in franchise history to reach the 100-point milestone.



NHL Morning Skate for Thursday, May 10, 2018



The Predators and Jets will each mark franchise firsts when they meet in Game 7 of their Second Round series tonight in Nashville, with the winner moving on to face the expansion Golden Knights in the Western Conference Final.

* There have been 17 second-round Game 7s since 2009, with at least one played every year during that span. The road team holds a 9-8 advantage in those contests, with a total of 10 decided by one goal (including three in overtime).

* The Predators will host a Game 7 for the first time, looking to improve to 2-1 in such contests overall. They won 2-1 at Anaheim in the 2016 First Round and lost 5-0 at San Jose in the Second Round that year.

* Playing in their fourth all-time series, the Jets will contest a seventh and deciding game for the first time. This marks the first time the club will have a chance to close out a series on the road – they won their only potential clinching game at home in the First Round against Minnesota and were swept in their other two series prior to this year.


Nashville’s roster is comprised of 20 players combining for 47 career Game 7s, compared to Winnipeg’s eight players with 13 such appearances.

* Predators forward Nick Bonino, signed by the team on July 1, leads all players on either side with five Game 7s. He has one assist (2014 SR w/ ANA) and a 3-2 record in those contests, with all three wins coming over the past two years on runs to back-to-back Stanley Cup championships with the Penguins.

* Veteran forwards Scott Hartnell (3-1) and Mike Fisher (1-3) and defenseman P.K. Subban (3-1) each have four Game 7 appearances to their credit. Hartnell and Subban have 1-1—2 apiece in winner-takes-all playoff games.

* Jets forwards Paul Stastny (2-1), Matt Hendricks (1-2) and Mathieu Perreault (0-2) each have multiple Game 7 appearances. Stastny, acquired from the Blues at the 2018 Trade Deadline, leads all players on either side with 2-3—5 in those games.

* Jets skaters have combined for nearly as many points in Game 7s as Predators skaters, despite having played in significantly fewer contests (NSH: 4-5—9 in 45 GP; WPG: 4-4—8 in 12 GP).

A series that features two 2017-18 Vezina Trophy finalists – Pekka Rinne of Nashville and Connor Hellebuyck of Winnipeg – has seen an average of 6.7 goals per game, with 40 goals scored through six contests. However, both netminders have a history of strong play in decisive games:

* Rinne, who has twice rebounded with stellar performances following defeats in this series, owns an all-time record of 7-8 in 15 potential series-clinching games (including a 1-1 mark in Game 7s). He has earned five series-clinching victories on home ice (9 GP), posting a 1.91 goals-against average and .932 save percentage in those contests.

* Hellebuyck, who is playing in the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the first time, is expected to start in his third career potential series-clinching game (Game 6 vs. NSH and Game 5 vs. MIN). The 24-year-old netminder has lost consecutive appearances only once since February (March 10 & 12), rebounding from his three playoff defeats with a 3-0 record, 2.00 goals-against average and .940 save percentage.

Head coaches Peter Laviolette of the Predators and Paul Maurice of the Jets boast a combined .778 winning percentage in Game 7s (Laviolette 5-2, Maurice 2-0). Laviolette is one of four NHL coaches who has won a Game 7 in each of the four different playoff rounds, along with Pat BurnsMike Keenan and John Tortorella.

Of the 170 all-time Game 7s in the Stanley Cup Playoffs:

* The team that scores first is 126-44 (.741), including 0-1 in 2018.

* Home teams own a 100-70 (.588) advantage, including a 1-0 record in 2018.

* Forty-one have required overtime (24.2%). Home teams have a 21-20 edge.



· NHL Gaming World Championship: European Union Regional Highlights

· Meet Bark-Andre Furry, the fluffiest hockey fan in Vegas

· Five key matchups for Lightning vs. Capitals in Eastern Conference Final

· Hellebuyck calm entering Game 7 for Jets against Predators

· Nashville ready for Game 7 between Predators, Jets



Peoria Chiefs cool down Dragons with 5-2 win Thursday night behind Gonzalez’ hitting


May 10, 2018

Yariel Gonzalez

Dayton, Ohio—Peoria’s Yariel Gonzalez delivered a three-run double in the fifth inning as the Chiefs defeated the Dayton Dragons 5-2 on Thursday night.  The Dayton loss snapped their three-game winning streak and was just their second defeat in their last 11 games.  A crowd of 8,016 was in attendance at Fifth Third Field.

The Dragons took a 1-0 lead in the second inning when Hendrik Clementina connected on his seventh home run of the season.  With the blast, Clementina moved into a tie for the league lead in homers, pending other MWL games on Thursday.


Dragons starting pitcher Packy Naughton tossed shutout baseball over the first four innings before the Chiefs loaded the bases in the fifth.  With two outs, Gonzalez lined a double to the gap in right-center field to score all three runners and give the Chiefs a 3-1 lead.


The Dragons cut the deficit to one run in the fifth.  They loaded the bases with two outs when Jose Garcia scored on a wild pitch.  On the same play, Leandro Santana tried to score from second base but was tagged out at the plate to end the inning.


Peoria added a run in the eighth on a solo home run by Elehuris Montero off Dragons reliever Sarkis Ohanian.  They scored an unearned run in the ninth to close out the scoring.

Naughton (3-2) worked seven innings for the second straight outing.  He allowed three runs on seven hits with two walks and four strikeouts and was charged with the loss.

The Dragons had some late chances to score but could not capitalize.

Click here for the box score


Peoria (R-H-E):  5-10-2

Dayton (R-H-E):  2-4-2

Win: Zach Prendergast (4-1)

Loss: Packy Naughton (3-2)

Save: Fabian Blanco (2)

HRDayton:  Hendrik Clementina (7th, 0 on base in second inning).

HRPeoria:  Elehuris Montero (4th, 0 on base in eighth inning).


Notes:  The Dragons had scored at least seven runs in seven of their previous nine games entering Thursday’s contest, but they were held to two runs to mark their lowest run total in a game since April 28…Beltre’s walk in his final plate appearance in the ninth inning extended his consecutive game on-base streak to 25, the third longest currently active streak in the league.


In the Standings:  The loss dropped the Dragons record 18-13.  They began the day in third place, one game behind first place Bowling Green and one-half game behind second place Lansing in the Midwest League East Division.  Thursday games involving Bowling Green and Lansing had not gone final at post time.

Game Broadcast:  All Dragons games are broadcast on radio on Fox Sports 980 WONE and on the internet at Games are also available on the Dayton Dragons mobile app.


For Dragons 2018 ticket information, call (937) 228-2287.




Dayton Dragons Baseball Camps set for the Summer with IGS Energy sponsorship



May 11, 2018


DAYTON, OHIO - The Dayton Dragons and IGS Energy continue their partnership to enhance the youth baseball experience all over the Dayton area in 2018. The Little Big Leagues program has been an integral part of connecting Dragons players with aspiring young baseball players over the years, and this program expands out into the community as well.

This summer, the Dragons will host two baseball camps at Fifth Third Field as part of the Little Big Leagues program, presented by IGS Energy. The camps run for two days each from 9 AM to 1 PM each day. Participants will learn baseball fundamentals from Dragons players and coaches. The experience includes player autographs, a Dragons shirt, Dragons hat, certificate of participation, a gift from IGS Energy, and four tickets to a future Dragons home game.

The dates for the camps are June 25 and 26 as well as July 30 and 31. Any youth baseball or softball player ages 7 through 14 is eligible to participate in the two-day camp. The cost is $90 for the two-days and lunch will be provided at the ballpark on the second day of the camp.

For more information on how little league teams and players can get involved in the Dragons “Little Big Leagues” program, presented by IGS Energy, contact the Dragons group sales department at (937) 228-2287, email, or visit

About IGS

IGS is a leading provider of retail energy supply, home services products, distributed generation such as solar and combined heat and power as well as compressed natural gas services. With over 25 years of experience, the company leverages extensive in-house expertise to bring innovation to the energy industry. By embracing new technologies, supporting alternative energy resources, and encouraging energy independence, IGS is inspiring homeowners, businesses, and communities to make smart energy decisions. The company also has a community investment program which provides employees with opportunities to get involved with and give to causes that are meaningful to the company and to them personally.



Jeter Downs’ bloop single gives Dragons walk-off win Wednesday night over Kernels, 5-4


Jeter Downs

May 9, 2018

Dayton, Ohio—Jeter Downs blooped a hit to shallow right field to drive in Morgan Lofstrom from second base with the winning run with one out in the bottom of the 10th inning as the Dayton Dragons defeated the Cedar Rapids Kernels 5-4 on Wednesday night.  The Dragons completed a sweep of the three-game series and won their ninth game in their last 10.  A crowd of 8,041 saw the Dragons improve their home record to 12-3 on the year.

The Dragons opened the bottom of the 10th, by rule, with a runner at second base as Morgan Lofstrom pinch ran for Hendrik Clementina to start the inning.  Jose Garcia was hit by a pitch to put runners at first and second.  Leandro Santana bunted foul for strike three for the first out, but Downs followed with a looping fly ball to shallow right field that fell between the first baseman going out and the right fielder coming in.  Lofstrom scored to end the game and give the Dragons their second walk-off win of the year.  Downs has delivered the game-winning hit in both games.

Dragons relievers Ryan Nutof and John Ghyzel pitched out of difficult jams in the ninth and 10th innings to keep the game tied.  In the ninth, Nutof saw the Kernels put a runner at third with no one out, but he got three strikeouts to work out of trouble.  In the 10th, the Kernels had a man at third with one out, and Ghyzel notched a pair of strikeouts to keep the score even.

Dragons starting pitcher Adrian Rodriguez provided six strong innings in just his second appearance of the year.  He allowed two runs on four hits with one walk and five strikeouts.  Dauri Moreta allowed one run in one inning of work.  Nutof tossed two innings, allowing an unearned run, and Ghyzel pitched the final inning to earn the win and improve to 2-1.

Top hitters for the Dragons were Downs was 3 for 5. Santana had a home run and a double in his best offensive game of the season.

Click here for the box score


Cedar Rapids (R-H-E):  4-11-0

Dayton (R-H-E):  5-8-2

Win: John Ghyzel (2-1)

Loss: Jared Finkel (1-1)

Save: None

HRDayton:  Leandro Santana (1st, 0 on base in third inning); Narciso Crook (3rd, 1 on base in fourth inning).

HRCedar Rapids:  None


Notes:  The Dragons climbed to six games above the .500 mark for the second time this season with the win.  They were 9-3 on April 20 before losing the next eight.  They have won nine of 10 since the losing streak.


In the Standings:  The Dragons record improved to 18-12.  They are in third place, one game behind first place Bowling Green and one-half game behind second place Lansing in the Midwest League East Division.

Game Broadcast:  All Dragons games are broadcast on radio on Fox Sports 980 WONE and on the internet at Games are also available on the Dayton Dragons mobile app.


For Dragons 2018 ticket information, call (937) 228-2287.



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