Building block, but over

So it ends for the Big Club, in overtime at home in Game 6. Fine job to get themselves in; a good step along the way. (“Now do it again,” etc.) Brock Nelson played 7:44 in his NHL debut, on for the Penguins’ second-period goal but drawing five more shifts, up until 6:11 remained in regulation. A hit, a giveaway and a takeaway on his ledger.

Two 2-0 series leads in the Eastern Conference. Providence was all over Wilkes-Barre again and quickly to chase Jeff Zatkoff after one period and claim another win. Jonathan Bombulie and Mark Divver with more, including an injury to Zach Trotman on a hit from Warren Peters that the Bruins, Mark reports, will ask to be reviewed. Neither Bobby Robins nor Joey Mormina were suspended for hits they made in Game 1. Meanwhile in Springfield, the Tyler Johnson show again: a hat trick (the first in Crunch playoff history) and an assist for him, plus three assists for Ondrej Palat in a 5-3 win. Game 3 in both series is Wednesday after the change of venue. (They’re both 2-3-2, remember, and they’re both Wednesday/Friday/Saturday-if-necessary.)

Texas evened up its series with Oklahoma City, despite a late extra-attacker goal by Mark Arcobello. Toronto bounced back nicely to even the series with Grand Rapids; 30 saves for Drew MacIntyre, and three assists for Mike Zigomanis.

At Worlds, the U.S. took care of its own business with spread-out scoring against France, but no clinch yet; Rob Zepp’s 26 saves shut out Latvia for Germany. The U.S. (with T.J. Oshie and Alex Galchenyuk coming) can get through on Sunday with a win over Germany. Finland beat Austria handily to clinch a berth in the quarterfinals.

Nino Niederreiter scored again as the Swiss beat Denmark to clinch a spot in the quarterfinals from the other pool. Sweden shut out Slovenia (21 saves for Jhonas Enroth, Sedin twins coming), and Norway beat Belarus to move back into fourth.

Most teams over there have two games to play, though two of the eight in each pool — including Finland, just two points ahead of the U.S. — have just one. The round robin ends Tuesday; the quarters are Thursday, semis next Saturday, medal games next Sunday.

And Darryl Bootland and the Allen Americans are champions of the Central Hockey League. (Scott Howes and Brett Skinner were both on the team but are up in the AHL.)

Michael Fornabaio