Former Minutemen Set For Stanley Cup Playoffs
April 15, 2014
AMHERST, Mass. - With the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs opening up Wednesday night, four UMass hockey alums will begin their quests to hoist the Cup. For a second straight year, Justin Braun, Matt Irwin, Mike Kostka and Jonathan Quick make up the largest contingent of former Minutemen in action in the postseason at one time.
Quick is making his fifth postseason appearance and will be attempting to lead the Los Angeles Kings to their second Cup in the past three years. Quick backstopped the Kings to the 2012 Stanley Cup and took home the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP that season. Upon the conclusion of the regular season this past Sunday, Quick won the NHL's Jennings Trophy with the Los Angeles Kings, which goes to "the goalkeeper(s) having played a minimum of 25 games for the team with the fewest goals scored against it." Quick and the Kings will be facing Braun, Irwin and the rest of the San Jose Sharks in the first round, beginning with game one on Thursday night.
Braun has reached the postseason for the fourth time in his NHL career with San Jose and Matt Irwin will see playoff action for a second time. During the regular season, Braun was second on the team in time on ice per-game (20:59) and set a career high in goals with four. Irwin was second among Sharks defensemen in shots during the regular season (147) and set a career high in points with 19.
Mike Kostka, who made an appearance in the Stanley Cup Playoffs last year as a rookie with the Toronto Maple Leafs, returns to the postseason with his new club, the Tampa Bay Lightning. After being claimed off waivers in February, Kostka appeared in 19 games with Tampa Bay during the regular season and totaled eight points on two goals and six assists. The Lightning open up their first round action on Wednesday night against the Montreal Canadiens.