Even with just three games on the docket tonight, we saw a lot of motion as far as the playoff picture is concerned. The Toronto Rock were the only eastern team to clinch a playoff spot tonight, while Calgary and Saskatchewan clinched, joining San Diego in the west.
Toronto 12, Philadelphia 11
It was an extremely right battle in Toronto as the Rock came out on top by one in a playoff clinching victory. Toronto started off very hot, using a four-goal run to take a 7-2 lead early in the second quarter. Philadelphia was able to go on a two-goal run late in the second, cutting the Toronto lead to 7-4 at the half. While Toronto was able to maintain their lead in the third Philadelphia stayed right there with them and started a run at the end of the third that lasted into the fourth. That four-goal Wings run cut it to an 11-10 Toronto lead late in the fourth. Toronto was able to answer and Philadelphia answered right back. Philadelphia had a chance coming out of a timeout with 46.1 seconds left but the Toronto defense stood tall and helped secure the Rock win.
Philadelphia was led by Kevin Crowley with 6 points (2G/4A) and Jordan Hall who tallied 5 points (4G/1A) in the loss. Liam Byrnes led the Philadelphia defense with 2 caused turnovers. In goal, Doug Buchan put on a goo performance, making 41 saves off of 53 shots on goal.
For Toronto it was Johnny Powless who led the way with 8 points (3G/4A). Rob Hellyer also had 6 points (3G/3A) in the win. Damon Edwards had 2 caused turnovers and scooped up 4 loose balls to lead on the defensive end of the floor. Nick Rose made 43 saves off of 54 shots on goal.
San Diego 16, Calgary 9
Despite the home loss, Calgary secured a playoff spot tonight with Saskatchewan defeating Vancouver. Now in the loss Calgary didn’t look consistent very often besides a few outburst and some shining stars. San Diego flexed their muscles and secured the win. Although Calgary got on the board first, San Diego was able to go on two two-goal runs in beween each Calgary goal, taking a a narrow 4-3 lead at the end of the first. It stayed pretty tight in the second until San Diego was able to go on a two-goal run at the end of the period, allowing them to take a 9-5 lead into the half. The third quarter is really where San Diego ran away with this one as they went on a four-goal run from midway through late in the third. Calgary was abe to stop the bleeing in the final minutes of the quarter. Holding a 13-7 lead heading ino the fourth this one was pretty much decided. The Seals were able to hold on and take the 16-9 win.
San Diego was led by Dan Dawson and Garret Billings who each had 8 points (2G/6A). Dawson recorded his 500th career goal in the win tonight. In goal, Frank Scigliano made 44 saves off of 53 shots on goal.
Curtis Dickson led Calgary with 5 points (3G/2A) on the night. Dane Doobie also tallied 4 points (2G/2A) as well. In cage, Christian Del Bianco made 39 saves off of 55 shots on goal.
Saskatchewan 12, Vancouver 9
In a game that was a tale of two halves the Saskatchewan Rush prevailed and came out on top to clinch a playoff berth. In the first half Saskatchewan was dominating on both ends of the floor, scoring at will and really pressuring the Vancouver offense. That impressive first half performance helped the Rush take a 10-2 lead over the Warriors at the half. Vancouver looked like an entirely new team. The Warriors opened up the third with a three-goal run to cut the Saskatchewan led to 10-5. Ben McIntosh would finally get the Rush going at the end of the third, making it an 11-5 lead heading into the fourth. Vancouver would cut the Saskatchewan lead to 11-9 late in the fourth with a Keegan Bal goal giving the Warriors their ninth. Jeff Shattler got one in transition with less than a mintue left to finally put the nail in the coffin and give Saskatchewan the playoff clinching win.
Saskatchewan was led by Robert Church with 7 points (4G/3A) and Jeff Shattler with 4 points (3G/1A). Mark Matthews was also stellar, dishing out 7 assist and scoring one goal for 8 points. Adam Schute made 32 saves off of 21 shots on goal in the win.
For Vancouver, Keegan Bal led the way with 5 points (3G/2A) on the night. Mitch Jones also had 3 points (2G/1A) for Vancouver. In goal Eric Penny and Aaron Bold saw time. Bold made 23 saves off of 26 shots on goal, while Penny made 20 saves off of 28 shots on goal.