Good morning everyone; I will be leaving for a camping trip in about and hour and I know that some of you probably also have trips planned for the long weekend, so here is your official long weekend links and open thread!
We start the weekend off on a sour note, as the Hitmen were eliminated from the Memorial Cup with a loss to the Brandon Wheat Kings, a team which they had already defeated in round robin play and in the WHL playoffs, but was guaranteed a birth in the semi-final because they're the host team. The Hitmen had 2-0 and 3-1 leads, but just couldn't keep their proverbial foot on the gas, and lost the game just three minutes into overtime by a score of 5-4, desp ite a brilliant 43-save effort by goaltender Martin Jones. Overagers Del Cowan, Giffen Nyren, and Joel Broda graduated from the junior ranks with last night's loss; Broda is an unsigned Washington Capitals draft pick (get on it, Darryl!) The Hitmen will be arriving at the Saddledome between 12 and 1 this afternoon, for whomever wishes to congratulate them and bid them farewell for the summer. [The Sun] [Hitmen]
The Blackhawks took a 3-0 series lead last night when they defeated the Sharks in overtime. The Sharks have scored four goals in their past two games, all of which have come off the stick of former captain and pending UFA Patrick Marleau, and find themselves on the brink of elimination for the first time this post-season [Fear The Fin] [Second City Hockey]
James Mirtle draws the ire of Don Cherry in his article about the declining percentage of Canadian goaltenders in the NHL [The Globe on Hockey], and Gabe Desjardins hopes to do the same [Behind the Net]
EA Sports' NHL 2011 will feature CHL teams, with the abilities to play with all 60 teams in the league and compete in the Memorial Cup [The Hockey News]
Canada was eliminated from the World Championship in a 5-2 Russia on Thursday (finishing in seventh place, their worst finish since 2002--a year in which they also won Olympic gold), and Backlund and the Swedes just came out on the losing end of a semi-final shootout against the Czechs. Backlund has one assist in the tournament and is a +2, Mark Giordano finished the tournament with three goals, 1 assist, and a +2 while Bourque tallied only a goal and an assist and was -1 in seven games. [IIHF]
Philadelphia at Montreal (PHI leads 2-1, 5PM MT/7ET on CBC)
With that, I'm off to go drink excessive amounts in the rain with no internet access for three days, so have a good weekend everyone!