Ashton, Carter

NHL Game Night: 11-6-11 Lightning at Panthers

Can you imagine how good this team would be if they'd play 60 minutes?

TB-4
FLA-3 (SO)

Mathieu Garon allowed 3 goals on 12 shots before being lifted for Dwayne Roloson. Roloson bailed him out stopping all 28 shots he faced and all 4 shooters in the penalty shot session for the shootout win.

First Period
FLA Campbell (1), (Versteeg, Fleischmann)(PP), 1:49
FLA Kopecky (2), (Skille, Weaver), 13:05
FLA Santorelli (1), (Kulikov), 15:21

Second Period
TB Malone (4), (Stamkos, Brewer)(PP), 16:20
TB Stamkos (10), (Gilroy, St. Louis), 17:46

Third Period
TB Purcell (5), (Downie, Brewer), 8:11

Overtime
NO SCORING

Shootout
TB- Moore
FLA- NONE

Roloson, Steven Stamkos, and Teddy Purcell were the game's three stars.

My three stars would've included Steve Downie, who had the tying goal Kontos'ed from him by Teddy Purcell, and Matt Gilroy, who swooped into the zone late in the second period and then dished the perfect saucer to Stamkos to get the deficit down to 1 goal heading into the final frame.

For those who like to complain about Victor Hedman, I'll refer you to that first period as an example of why you should appreciate the young man. It took 20 minutes for the Lightning to adjust to playing without their bell cow on the backline.

I wish this team would figure out how to play a full 60 minute game. This 30-40 minutes of effort schtick is not going to keep getting them W's. The flat first periods have to stop.

We'll have to see about any potential long-term implications that come from Ryan Malone's injury tonight. The Lightning are off until Wednesday, so I suspect he'll be back, but if not: Carter Ashton?

Brett Connolly had 2 shots and 2 hits in 13:37. He showed really good speed cranking up a 3/4 ice rush that ended up in a wraparound attempt in the third period. It'll be interesting to see that part of his game develop where he carries it more.

Blair Jones had 1 hit in 6:41. He's like an awful cacophony of legs and arms that couldn't avoid hitting you on the forecheck if he tried.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

AHL Game Night: 11-6-11 Admirals at Bruins

Tic throws his hat in the ring for Prospect of the Week.

NOR-3
PRO-0

Dustin Tokarski (pictured) had a 37 save shutout victory. In his 2 starts this weekend, he stopped 47 of 48 shots he faced, and it's only crummy goal support that kept him from going 2-0-0. He's pushed his save percentage back up over .900 (.903) and his GAA has pushed back down to 2.54. Remember, he gave up 11 goals in his first 2 starts this year, so this is significant improvement.

First Period
NOR Labrie, (2) (Ashton, Landry), 8:19
NOR Angelidis, (2) (Conacher, Dimmen), 18:15

Second Period
NO SCORING

Third Period
NOR Ashton, (11) (Labrie), 14:24

Tokarski, Carter Ashton, and Pierre-Cedric Labrie (A Real Canadian Hero) were the game's three stars.

No player splits opinion on the Bolt Prospects staff like Labrie, whose skating is stiff as a corpse but works his butt off on every shift and hits everything that moves. To me, Labrie is one of those guys like Corey Spring, back-in-the-day, who is a good minor league soldier who gives you so much more than the sum of his parts.

Ashton, ho hum, temporarily moves back into a tie for 3rd in the league in scoring, and first in goals.

Still no Ritola in the lineup. Norfolk returns home Wednesday night to square off with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton in their first encounter of the season with the hated Pens.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

Prospect of the Month (October)

Bolt Prospects would like to acknowledge one monster who has been mashing his way all through October. Some Bolt Prospects readers felt tricked this past week when we didn't name this prospect the Player of the Week, but we were holding a treat in reserve. True, there were several worthy honorable mentions who scared up some excitement along the way. There was the wolf man, Brett Connolly, who came out of nowhere to crack the Lightning's NHL roster. There was the evil genius, Mark Barberio, and his stylish 2 goals and 11 points in 10 games. And, there was the leprechaun, Matthew Peca, who got his own pot o' gold today when he was named the ECAC's Rookie of the Month.

But the nail in the coffin came when the AHL gave a certain power forward (sort of a pale Incredible Hulk) a minor award (hardly worth mention in the same breath as Bolt Prospects' Prospect of the Month).

Ashton Named AHL Rookie of the Month

(Norfolk Admirals press release) The American Hockey League announced today that Norfolk Admirals right wing Carter Ashton has been named the Reebok/AHL Rookie of the Month for October. Ashton scored a league-leading nine goals and paced all AHL rookies with 13 points in 10 games for Norfolk as the Admirals raced out to a 7-2-0-1 start.

Ashton began his first full professional season with a two-goal effort, including the overtime winner, in a 6-5 victory over Charlotte on Oct. 7. He notched a goal and an assist each on Oct. 8 vs. Charlotte and Oct. 21 vs. Binghamton, and authored four multiple-point performances among his first five games of the season. Ashton then scored a goal in four straight games to finish October, netting markers on Oct. 23 at Charlotte, Oct. 26 at Adirondack, Oct. 28 at Providence and Oct. 29 at Syracuse.

AHL Game Night: 10-28-11 Admirals at Bruins

Dominant, workmanlike win.

NOR-4
PRO-2

Dustin Tokarski allowed 2 goals on 22 shots for the win.

First Period
NOR Ashton, (8) (Gudas, Picard), 4:30
NOR Smith, (4) (Labrie, Ashton), 19:26

Second Period
NOR Tyrell, (2) (Wyman), 2:49
PRO Cunningham, (1) (Bartkowski, MacDonald), 17:21

Third Period
PRO Chaput, (2) (Miller, Bodnarchuk), 4:05 (SH)
NOR Dimmen, (1) (Picard, Conacher), 7:01 (PP)

Carter Ashton and Alexandre Picard were the game's first and second stars.

With his 2 point night, Ashton is now tied for 5th in the league in scoring at 13 points, 3 points back of Joe Colborne of Toronto. Teammate Cory Conacher (pictured) is now tied for 8th in the league, 2 points back of Ashton with 11. The two forwards pace all AHL rookies in scoring.

Norfolk outshot Providence 41-22 in the game, and subsequently doubled them up on the scoreboard.

With the win, Norfolk leaps Hershey for the top spot in the league at 13 points after the Bears stubbed their toes in Springfield in overtime tonight. Their 40 goals scored also pace the league. On paper, this is a championship caliber team, if they get the goaltending and if their defense continues to mature as the season churns on.

They roll into Syracuse tomorrow night to face a tough test against a Crunch team that has only lost once, so far, in regulation.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

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