Philadelphia scored at :22 and at 58:33 to eliminate Albany in seven games. Tip o’cap to Albany, a scrappy, battling team. The Phantoms move on to battle the Penguins, beginning Thursday.
After some funky first-round schedules, three of the four second-round series are traditional 2-2-1-1-1s. The only oddball is Providence-Portland, which is at least a 2-3-2. So there are two intrastate division finals (Rockford-Chicago, WBS-Philly), plus two relatively close-by series (Toronto-Syracuse is four hours, but consider the Manitoba or, this year, San Antonio option). By Mapquest, the four distances sum to 606 miles — by cities, not by arenas. There was a better one in the four-division era, though: 2004. Philly-WBS again, plus Worcester-Hartford, Hamilton-Rochester and Chicago-Milwaukee. Just 397 miles, total.
Well, on the brighter side in NEPA, Connor James got a hole-in-one, Jonathan reports. The fallout for Nathan Smith — one of his foursome, incidentally, and that seems to be a better off-day activity — includes a one-game suspension. No word on the fate of the letter.
Kevin Allen thinks the Americans can medal at the Worlds, which begin Friday in Halifax and Quebec. From the preliminary lists, Sean Bergenheim is up for Finland’s roster, but I think that’s it for current BST/NYI -types. Frans Nielsen is on the list for Denmark, but I thought the shoulder was keeping him out. We’ll see; the rosters are finalized Thursday. Several former BST-types are listed, though: Former teammates (multiple times) Juraj Kolnik and Branislav Mezei are on Slovakia’s list. Robert Nilsson and Mattias Weinhandl are on for Sweden. Denis Grebeshkov is on for Russia.
Former Sacred Heart goalie Eddy Ferhi is on France’s list. Herbert Vasiljevs, onetime Beast of New Haven, is playing for Latvia; onetime Beast from another season, Marcus Nilson, is on for Sweden. And it goes without saying that New Haven Nighthawk Mario Chitar(r)oni is on the Italian roster. His old assistant coach, John Tortorella, is coaching Team USA.
As usual, once they get going, we’ll keep an occasional eye on it.
Some interesting ‘Hawks pix on eBay.