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Niagara Falls, New York

Friday, April 13, 2012

Niagara Falls, take two. Our second trip in a week's time to Niagara Falls took us back to the international airport to pick Mike up after his spring break trip. We left early, so we made sure we were there on time, only to have Mike's flight delayed because of mechanical issues with his first aircraft - this meant we were there REALLY EARLY. To waste some time, we found a Tim Horton's, then went to the Niagara Falls Outlet Center, and then back to the airport. Mike finally arrived around 1:20 (he was scheduled for 11:40). We had planned on going to the Bisons game, but considering it would be well after 2 when we got there, for a game that started at 1, we decided it didn't make much sense. Instead, we found a Quaker Steak and Lube to grab some lunch at.

Since our route of travel would take us through Elmira, and our timing was right to be there around the start of the Jackals game, we grabbed up some tickets and stopped there for the game. Headed over to the Outback Steakhouse for a late dinner before driving back home.

Elmira, N.Y. - Brian Stewart made 45 saves on 46 shots on Friday night at First Arena, leading the Elmira Jackals to a 3-1 victory over the Florida Everblades in Game 1 of the best-of-seven Eastern Conference Semifinals.

The Jackals, who went 0-for-13 on the power play in their opening-round series against the Reading Royals, wasted no time in notching their first man-advantage goal of the postseason against the Everblades. Mario Larocque kept a bouncing puck in at the blue line and slapped a puck toward Mike Radja in the right circle. Radja took it and fired the puck past the glove of John Muse, giving Elmira a 1-0 lead at 5:19 of the first.

Jean Bourbeau corralled a loose puck at center, skated toward Muse, and slipped it between his pads, extending the Jackals' lead to 2-0 at 6:54.

Brandon MacLean backhanded a puck from the slot in off the cross-bar, bringing the Everblades to within one, 2-1, at 14:45 of the opening period.

The Jackals took a 3-1 lead in the second period as Artem Demkov took a feed from Radja and lifted the puck over Muse's stick and under the cross-bar from the right circle at 5:38. Referee Don Jablonski initially waved off the goal, but reversed his decision minutes later.

Elmira, which was outshot 46-19 in the game by Florida, was able to hold off the Everblades for the win because of the play of Stewart (4-1). The second-year pro stopped all 33 shots he saw in the final two periods, allowing few rebounds and denying the Everblades repeatedly on their scoring chances. Muse (3-1) made 16 saves as the Everblades fell for the first time in the playoffs.

The Jackals and the Everblades meet in Game 2 at First Arena on Saturday night, with the opening face-off set for 7:05 p.m. The first 1,000 fans in the building will receive rally towels, courtesy of WYDC-TV Big Fox and Famous Brands. To reserve your seats call (607) 734-PUCK (7825), visit the First Arena Box Office, or log onto


The victory was Elmira's first ever in the second round of the Kelly Cup Playoffs...The Jackals have won four-straight games for the first time in their ECHL postseason history...Stewart has made 118 saves on 123 shots in the last four games, all wins...Demkov has points in all six playoff games (3g-4a)...The Jackals are now 1/14 on the power play in the playoffs after going 0/13 in their first series...The record for the most saves by an Elmira netminder in an ECHL postseason game is 71, set by Michael-Lee Teslak in a four-overtime win over the Trenton Devils in Game 1 of the 2009 North Division Semifinals

Total Miles: 484 Miles

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