Playoff Hopes Stay Alive As Junior Jackets Defeat Ice 6-3
Columbus, OHIO - Ohio forward Tim Hall scored two goals and added an assist and goaltender Corson Cramer made 29 saves as the Junior Blue Jackets defeated the Indiana Ice 6-3 Wednesday night at the Dispatch Ice Haus.
The Junior Blue Jackets (24-25-6, 52 pts.) needed a victory to keep their playoff hopes alive. They came out strong in the first period, as Hall scored just after the midway point on assists by forward George Michalke and defenseman Greg Pateryn. Forward Dan Barczuk extended the lead to 2-0 on assists by Rich Leitner and Matt Stewart, who earned his first point with the Junior Blue Jackets this season. The East Division leading Ice (36-13-6, 78 pts.) cut the deficit to 2-1 when forward Ron Cramer put one past Cramer.
The second period provided a flurry of goals, as the Jackets and Ice traded them early. Ohio forward Dan Hobbs notched his 15th of the season 16 seconds in on assists by Hall and defenseman Luke Witkoswki. Indiana answered at 3:17 when defenseman John Carlson picked up a loose puck in front of Cramer for a power-play goal. But the Jackets came right back, scoring two more in the period. Forward Justin Cseter scored his 10th of the season, lifting a wrist shot over Indiana goaltender Scott Darling's shoulder, and Hall scored his second of the game on a short-handed goal at 7:43. The goal chased Darling, as he was replaced by Matt Hoyle.
Indiana cut the lead to 5-3 with just under three minutes remaining in regulation, but Ohio's Michalke put the game away with a power-play, empty-net goal with three seconds left.
Cramer turned away 29 of 32 shots for his eighth victory of the season. Darling stopped 12 of 17 shots and was credited with the loss. Hoyle stopped all 13 shots he faced in relief. The Junior Blue Jackets went 1-for-5 on the power-play while Indiana only converted 1-of-10 opportunities.
The Junior Blue Jackets will play the Chicago Steel in a home-and-home series this weekend, beginning Friday night in Chicago and concluding Saturday at the Dispatch Ice Haus. Game times are both set for 7:30 p.m.
Ohio Junior Blue Jackets individual game tickets for 2007-08 regular season home games are on sale now at Nationwide Arena, The Chiller Ice Rinks, all Ticketmaster Ticket Centers and click here for information on season tickets, mini-plans and group tickets, call (614) 246-PUCK or (800) NHL-COLS.
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United States Hockey League Stories from March 26, 2008
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