In the pros: ECHL, AHL playoffs update

San Antonio's Mark Cullen had a big game against Chicago in the AHL playoffs on Saturday night.

In the AHL, Mark Cullen picked up two assists, including the first assist on the game-winner in San Antonio’s 4-3 win over Chicago, which plays Bill Sweatt.

Gabe Guentzel played his second playoff game for Syracuse and finished plus-2. David Civitarese has yet to appear for Hershey in the postseason.

Today is a busy day for former Tigers with Bridgeport’s Trevor Frischmon trying to avoid elimination in the best-of-five series against Connecticut while Houston hopes to do the same at OKC. Abbotsford, which features Brian Connelly, will try to take a 2-0 lead at Milwaukee this afternoon.

Former Tiger Brian Swanson assisted the opening goal as the Alaska Aces defeated Stockton 4-1 in Game 5 of their ECHL second-round playoff series and advanced to the Western Conference finals for the sixth time in the franchise’s nine years. They Aces will face the winner of the Las Vegas-Idaho series (LV leads 3-1).

Tim Hall played for Alaska. The loss ends Ryan Lowery’s stay in Stockton He may now be called up to AHL Oklahoma City, which holds a 2-0 lead in its best-of-five series against Houston, which has Kris Fredheim, Nate Prosser and Chad Rau on its roster.

UPDATED: Dineen records first pro goal (playoff game-winner)

Former Tiger captain Nick Dineen assisted the tying goal and scored the game-winner on a hard-work goal in front later to lift the Elmira Jackals to a 5-2 win over the Reading (Pa.) Royals in the first round of the ECHL playoffs.

Here’s the scoresheet and team write-up. Reading leads the best-of-five series 2-1 and can clinch it starting at 5:05 Mountain tonight in New York.

Elmira Jackals head coach Pat Bingham and forward Dustin Gazley spoke in this video on the team’s overall play, the goal by Dineen and his success in the face-off circle, and what the team needs to do to get a victory in Game 4. Gazley discussed the win and Dineen’s goal.

Here’s some good detail on the game-winner from the Reading Royals’ writeup:

“With time ticking down in the third, the Jackals got a favorable bounce that resulted in the game winner with just 3:43 left in regulation. Mario Larocque took a hard slap shot from the left point that hit Nick Dineen, who was skating through the slot, in the right calf. The puck ricocheted to the right wall and bounced directly back to the stick of Dineen, who quickly turned and wheeled to beat Owuya low blocker for his first of the playoff season.”

In the pros: Bidwill, Dineen, McMillin, Sterling

Former Tiger defenseman Arthur Bidwill was plus-2 in his professional debut on Friday night.

Former Tiger defenseman Arthur Bidwill made his professional debut during the Allen Americans’ 5-0 win over the Texas Brahmas in the first round of the Central Hockey League playoffs Friday night.

Allen teammate and former Tiger forward Brian McMillin scored a goal for the Western Conference second-seeded Americans.

Nick Dineen made his pro debut with the ECHL Elmira (N.Y.) Jackals against the Reading Royals on Friday in the team’s second-to-last regular-season game, committing a tripping penalty.

Brett Sterling scored an empty-netter in AHL Portland’s 5-3 win over Worcester.

In the pros: Dineen will debut with ECHL Elmira tonight

Former Tiger captain Nick Dineen has signed with the Elmira (N.Y.) Jackals as expected and is on the roster for the ECHL team entering its final two regular-season games this weekend.

Dineen said the coaches told him he will make his debut Friday night at home against the Reading (Pa.) Royals. The Jackals confirmed that a few minutes ago. Here is a link to the live video feed. It costs money (probably $8).

He signed an amateur tryout deal with Elmira lasting the rest of the season, which could be a while for the Atlantic Division champions.

The team is connected with the Ducks and Senators and their AHL affiliates, Binghamton and Syracuse, where Gabe Guentzel plays.

Dineen becomes a free agent this summer, when I would expect he will be invited to an AHL training camp.

Dineen will sign with ECHL Elmira

Former Tigers captain Nick Dineen, pictured shooting against Minnesota Duluth, used the past couple weeks to heal and focus on finishing his economic degree at Colorado College.

Former Tiger captain Nick Dineen is flying to Elmira, N.Y. Thursday morning to sign his first professional contract and start his career with the ECHL’s Elmira Jackals, the Atlantic Division champions.

Dineen said the coach told him to plan on making his debut Friday against the Reading (Pa.) Royals in the first of the final two regular-season games.

“It all happened pretty quickly from 8 p.m. (Tuesday) on,” he said Wednesday afternoon. “Elmira called and needed a center. They are a first-place team and need me to play right away. I felt I was ready to go. It was an easy decision.”

Dineen said the amateur tryout deal lasts for the rest of this season, meaning he will be a free agent against this offseason.

Dineen was slowed by a tweaked knee sustained during his first shift on March 2 against Michigan Tech, he said, but now feels ready to resume playing. The economics major also used the last couple weeks to finish up his classwork.

“I feel a lot better,” he said.

Dineen is the fifth of the six Tiger seniors to move on to the pros. Arthur Bidwill (CHL Allen), David Civitarese (AHL Hershey), Gabe Guentzel (AHL Syracuse) and Tim Hall (ECHL Alaska) have all signed deals.

Dineen recorded 67 career points (34g, 33a) in 140 games as a Tiger, including 26 points (14g, 12a) in 34 games as a senior.