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Ufa Wins Series Opener, Lulea Bounces to a Two Game Lead

Kontinental Hockey League (Russia)

Salavat Yulaev Ufa 4, Metallurg Magnitogorsk 3:  Igor Grigorenko and Patrick Thoreson had a goal and an assist each as Ufa takes the early lead in the KHL's Eastern Conference Final.  Metallurg stayed in the game with three power play goals, with Sergei Fedorov and Evgeny Varlamov had a goal and an assist each with the man advantage.  Ufa leads series 1-0.

Friday's Game:  Atlant Moscow Oblast @ Lokomotiv Yaroslavl (5:00 PM CET/12:00 PM EST).  Atlant leads series 1-0.

National League A (Switzerland)

SC Bern 4, Kloten Flyers 1:  Bern has decided to make this a series, jumping off to a 2-0 lead in the first period and not looking back to make sure they played one more home game.  Ryan Gardner had three assists, while Ivo Rüthemann and Simon Gamache had a goal and an assist each in the win, while Patrick Von Gunten apparently fired 11 shots on goal for Kloten.  Kloten leads series 3-2.

Rapperswil Lakers 5, Ambri-Piotta 4 (OT):  Michael Riesen scored at with 16 seconds left in overtime as Rapperswil has come back from an early 0-2 series deficit to put Ambri on the brink....   of having their season continue.  Such is the bizarre 'loser still plays' format in the NLA.  If Ambri loses, they will play the top team from the NLB in a series where they must win to stay in the top league next year.  Lakers leads series 3-2. 

Elitserien (Sweden)

Luleå 4, Skellefteå 3 (OT):  A lucky bounce off a defender on a dump-in by Joonas Vihko tied the game late in the 3rd period for Luleå, who went on to win the game in overtime on a nice rush by Simon Hjalmarsson.  The win gives Luleå a 2-0 series lead, despite a solid game from David Rundblad, who finally broke out for a goal and an assist in this game.  Luleå leads series 2-0.

Färjestad 4, AIK Stockholm 2:  AIK is quickly learning that sometimes, great goaltending isn't enough.  On home ice, they were outshot 38-18 as Färjestad squeaked out a 4-2 victory (fourth goal on an empty net), overcoming a 2-1 lead heading into the third period.  Outshot in every period, they were demolished on the shot count by a 17-4 margin in the final frame, going into a defensive shell and not being able to push back when the score was tied. Färjestad leads series 2-0.

Friday's Kvalserien Games:  Växjö @ Södertälje; MODO @ Rögle; Örebro @ Mora (all games at 7:00 PM CET/2:00 PM EST, Round 5)

Tipsport Extraliga (Czech Republic)

HC Viktovice Steel 3, HC Pardubice 2 (OT):  Peter Vrana scored the tying goal late in the third period, and then the OT winner as Viktovice takes a commanding 3-1 lead in the series.  Roman Malek again outshone Martin Rucizka in goal, making 32 saves for the victory.  Viktovice leads series 3-1.

Friday's Game:  HC Ocelari Trinec @ HC Slavia Praha (6:10 PM CET/1:10 PM EST, Series tied 1-1).

Slovnaft Extraliga (Slovakia)

HC Banská Bystirca 2, HK Poprad 1 (SO):  Jan Sykora got the shootout winner while Ivan Fedor made 36 saves for the win, as this series will go the full seven games.  Game 7 goes on Saturday in Poprad.  Series tied 3-3.

Ontario Hockey League (Canada/USA)

Niagara Ice Dogs 7, Brampton Batallion 1:  Darren Archibald scored not once, not twice, not thrice...  but four times as Niagara routed Brampton to open their OHL first round series.  Jesse Graham provided three assists from the back end.  Brampton actually outshot Niagara 40-25 in this one.  Niagara leads series 1-0.

Oshawa Generals 7, Kingston Frontenacs 3:  Draft eligible forward Boone Jenner got two goals and one assist to lead Oshawa in this opening round game.  50 goal scorer Christian Thomas decided to be a playmaker in this one, getting three assists, while Danish draft eligible forward Nicklas Jensen had a goal and two assists in the win.  Oshawa leads series 1-0.

Erie Otters 2, Windsor Spitfires 1:  Phil Varone got a goal and an assist while Erie rode the stellar goaltending of Ramis Sadikov, who made forty saves in the big road win.  Star defenseman Ryan Ellis was held pointless and finished a -2 on the night.  Erie leads series 1-0.

Mississauga St. Michaels Majors 4, Belleville Bulls 1:  Jordan Mayer had three assists, Mika Partanen had a goal and an assist while Maxim Kitsyn scored and finished +3 in this relatively easy win for Mississauga.  Dave Cameron's team limited the young Bulls team to just 18 shots total as this one was never really in doubt.  Mississauga leads series 1-0.

Friday's Games:  Guelph @ Saginaw (7:11 PM EST); London @ Owen Sound (7:30 PM EST); Plymouth @ Kitchener (7:30 PM EST); Oshawa @ Kingston (7:30 PM EST, Oshawa leads series 1-0).  All games are Game 1 except as indicated.

Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (Canada/USA)

Montreal Junior 5, Halifax Mooseheads 3:  Nicolas Chouinard led the Junior with a goal and two assists, who also got goals from Philippe Lefebvre, Charles Landry, Louis Leblanc and Louis-Marc AubryKonrad Abeltshauser had two goals for Halifax, while Martin Frk had two assists but was a -4 in his playoff debut.  Montreal leads series 1-0.

Friday's Games:  Cape Breton @ Saint John (6:30 PM EST); Victoriaville @ Acadie-Bathurst (6:30 PM EST); Val-d'Or @ Quebec (7:00 PM EST); Halifax @ Montreal (7:05 PM EST, Montreal leads series 1-0); Chicoutimi @ Drummondville (7:30 PM EST); Rimouski @ Gatineau (7:30 PM EST); PEI @ Shawinigan (7:30 PM EST); Moncton @ Lewiston (7:30 PM EST).  All games are Game 1 except as indicated.

Western Hockey League (Canada/USA)

Friday's Games:  Moose Jaw @ Kootenay (9:00 PM EST); Edmonton @ Red Deer (9:30 PM EST); Brandon @ Medicine Hat (9:30 PM EST); Kelowna @ Prince George (10:05 PM EST); Vancouver @ Tri-City (10:05 PM EST); Spokane @ Chiliwack (10:30 PM EST).  All games are Game 1 of their WHL Conference quarterfinal series.

Deutsche Eishockey Liga (Germany)

Friday's Games:  Krefled @ Hannover (7:30 PM CET/2:30 PM EST, Krefeld leads series 1-0); DEG Metro Stars @ Mannheim (7:30 PM CET/2:30 PM EST, Mannheim leads series 1-0); Berlin @ Ingolstadt (7:35 PM CET/2:35 PM EST, Berlin leads series 1-0); Wolfsburg @ Köln (7:35 PM CET/2:35 PM EST, Wolfsburg leads series 1-0).

IIHF World U18 Championships Division 2A (Romania)

Friday's Games:  Croatia vs. New Zealand; Serbia vs. Estonia; Austria vs. Romania.

Winner of the Austria/Romania game is promoted to Division 1B next year.