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Quick Hits: IIHF Semis, Prospect Pipeline, TIFH

May 25, 2024, 1:30 PM ET [54 Comments]
Bill Meltzer
Philadelphia Flyers Blogger •NHL.com • RSSArchiveCONTACT
Quick Hits: May 25, 2024

1) IIHF World Championships: Flyers goaltender Samuel Ersson is the backup goaltender once again for Minnesota Wild netminder Filip Gustavsson as Team Sweden played host nation Czechia in the medal round semifinal game at the 2024 Worlds. Gustavsson has started six of the nine games that Tre Kronor has played, with Ersson getting the other three.

In the other semifinal game, Team Canada is taking on Switzerland.

2) Memorial Cup: The 2024 Memorial Cup opened on Friday with the tournament host Saginaw Spirit (Ontario Hockey League) earned a 5-4 upset win over the Western Conference champion Moose Jaw Warriors.

Nic Sima, Owen Beck (Montreal Canadiens prospect), Zayne Parekh, Jorian Donovan (Ottawa Senators prospect) and Josh Bloom (Vancouver Canucks prospect) scored for Saginaw. Goalie Andrew Oke stopped 22 of 26 shots. Brayden Yager (Pittsburgh Penguins prospect) scored twice for Moose Jaw, while Denton Mateychuk (Columbus Blue Jackets prospect) and Matthew Savoie (Buffalo Sabres prospect) tallied once apiece. In a losing cause, Moose Jaw goalie Jackson Unger denied 31 of 36 shots.

On Saturday, there's a game of interest to Flyers fans when the OHL champion London Knights (Denver Barkey and Oliver Bonk) take on the Quebec Maritimes Junior Hockey League champion Drummondville Voltigeurs (Alexis Gendron). Gametime is 3:00 p.m. EDT.

During the OHL playoffs, Barkey Barkey notched 27 points (6g, 21a) in 18 games. Defenseman Bonk had 16 points (7g, 9a) and a traditional plus-16 rating. Six of his seven tallies came on the power play. In the QMJHL playoffs, Gendron posted 19 points (11g, 8a) in 15 games.

3) Prospect Pipeline: Prior to Friday's Memorial Cup opener, Brian Smith and I recorded a tournament preview edition of the Prospect Pipeline podcast on the Flyers broadcast network. The main focus, of course, is on Bonk, Barkey, and Gendron. To listen to the podcast, click here.

4) May 25 Flyers Alumni birthdays: Nick Fotiu (1952), Jonathon Kalinski (1987), Ric Nattress (1962).

5) Today in Flyers History: May 25

1975: The Flyers takes a three games to two lead over the Buffalo Sabres in the Stanley Cup Final with a 5-1 blowout win at the Spectrum in Game 5. Two goals by Dave "the Hammer" Schultz lead a five-goal deluge in the first 30 minutes of the game. Gary Dornhoefer, Bob "the Hound" Kelly and Reggie Leach (PPG) also tally for the Flyers. Fourth-line center Terry Crisp notches a pair of assists.

In goal, Bernie Parent (23 saves on 24 shots) flirts with a shutout for 54-plus minutes before Don Luce notches Buffalo's lone goal of the game. In a losing cause, Gerry Desjardins allows five goals on 24 shots.

1997: The Philadelphia Flyers continue their tear through the Eastern Conference playoffs. The team needs just five games apiece to dispatch the Pittsburgh Penguins, Buffalo Sabres and star-laden but aging New York Rangers to win the Prince of Wales Trophy and advance to the seventh Stanley Cup Final berth in franchise history.

Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Final against the Rangers is on May 25, 1997, after the scene shifted back to Philadelphia's brand new Wells Fargo Center (then called CoreStates Center). Flyers captain Eric Lindros brings the home crowd to its feet as he opens the scoring with an early power play goal. The Philly fans are briefly silenced by back-to-back Rangers power play goals (Alexander Karpovtsev and Esa Tikkanen) on both sides of a 5-on-3 New York power play.

However, the atmosphere is electric again as John LeClair knots the score on a power play goal and Rod Brind'Amour tallies at even strength to put the Flyers ahead, 3-2, before the first intermission.

Philadelphia dominates a scoreless second period, holding the Rangers to just two shots on goal but the Flyers could not extend their lead against Mike Richter (25 saves). Finally, at 6:43 of the third period, Brind'Amour notches his second tally of the game as he provides some insurance with a 4-2 lead.

That's all Ron Hextall needs on this afternoon. He turns away all eight shots he sees in the final period. Ten years after a rookie Hextall brought the Flyers within a narrow Game 7 defeat of winning the Stanley Cup, the Flyers head back to the Final.
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