Wild Finish Off Avalanche

Archived from 2002-03 season.

2003 Playoffs

Andrew Brunette scored 3:25 into overtime and Manny Fernandez stopped 43 shots as the Minnesota Wild won their first playoff series with a 3-2 victory over the Colorado Avalanche in Game 7 of their first-round series.

"Every player put heart and soul into it," Wild's Marian Gaborik said. "The feeling is something that I don't have words for right now. I don't know. It's just unbelievable."

Brunette got a pass from Sergei Zholtok and skated past defenseman Derek Morris and cut right across the crease, sliding a backhander around the left pad of goaltender Patrick Roy.

"Been waiting for a bounce like that all series," Brunette said. "It's just a blur. Instincts took over. I'm having the time of my life and it was just great to finish it off that way."

Colorado was knocked out in the first round for the first time since losing to Edmonton in seven games in 1998 _ the last time the Avalanche lost a series after blowing a 3-1 lead.

"We didn't put them away in Game 5 and this is what happens," Colorado's Joe Sakic said.

Flyers Blow Away Leafs
Mark Recchi scored twice and Justin Williams had a goal and two assists as the Philadelphia Flyers routed the Toronto Maple Leafs 6-1 in the deciding Game 7 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinal series.

"We needed our best game and we got it," Flyers coach Ken Hitchcock said. "I've never seen a team in such a stressful situation act so calm."

Simon Gagne and Keith Primeau also scored for the Flyers, who advance to the second round for the first time in three years. Philadelphia will next face the Ottawa Senators, who beat the Flyers in five games in the first round last year.

"There was immense pressure on our club and certain individuals," Primeau said. "I don't know if I was ever this nervous before a game."

Canucks Prevail In Game 7
Trevor Linden had a goal and an assist as the Vancouver Canucks completed their comeback from a 3-1 series deficit to knock off the St. Louis Blues 4-1 Tuesday night.

"We started seeing it in their eyes here in Game 5," said Canucks captain Markus Naslund, who scored for the fourth straight game. "It felt like they were wearing down and started getting tired and we just got stronger."

Brendan Morrison also had a goal and an assist for Vancouver, which hosts the Minnesota Wild on Friday in Game One of the conference finals.

"It feels great, especially the way we did it," said Canucks goalie Dan Cloutier, who made 33 saves. "Down 3-1 to battle back, we stick with it and here we are moving on to the second round -- and what a great feeling it is."

Martin Rucinsky scored the lone goal for St. Louis, which squandered a three games to one lead for the first time in its history.

"When you're up three games to one, you expect to win one of them," said Blues goalie Chris Osgood. "It's stunning for us to take right now. It was right there for us and it's difficult to take."

Contact The HockeyNut - Front Page - Archive

Copyright©1997-2003 The HockeyNut