Koekkoek, Slater

AHL Game Night: 12-19-14 Crunch at Wolf Pack

The yak is still on the loose.

SYR-2
HFD-0

Kristers Gudlevskis stopped all 24 shots he faced for the victory and his first shutout of the campaign. He's won his last 4 starts allowing just 3 total goals in the last 3 of those starts, while running his season save percentage back up to .906 in the process. Now things get very interesting in Syracuse, once Vasilevskiy returns, because this is what we expected coming into the year. These are two of the best prospect netminders around, and they'll be in a knock-down, drag-out for starts all season long. The competition is going to push both guys to play better than they ever thought possible. It's going to be great to see unfold.

First Period
NO SCORING

Second Period
SYR Richard, (5) (Koekkoek), 2:12
SYR Namestnikov, (3) (Nesterov, Marchessault)

Third Period
NO SCORING

Gudlevskis and Tanner Richard were the game's first and second stars. As of this posting, Richard's +18 mark is second best in the AHL behind the +21 of Manchester's Nick Shore. I should also point out that, on top of the game winning helper he had tonight, Nikita Nesterov hasn't had a minus game in a full month, when he had a -1 outing on 11/19 against Hartford. He's been +9 since that game, taking him up to +9 for the year. He was -2 last year and the 13 points he has in 28 games this season is 3 off the 16 he posted as a rookie in 54 games last season. So, like Richard, here's a player who had some holes in his game who seems to be rounding the corner a bit. Nice to see. Slater Koekkoek, oh by the way, has helpers in 3 of the last 4 games.

Tomorrow, Syracuse draws Albany at home.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

AHL Game Night: 11-1-14 Crunch at Senators

Floodgates.

SYR-6
BNG-3

Kristers Gudlevskis allowed 3 goals on 28 shots for the victory. Goal support: Kristers has it, tonight.

First Period
NO SCORING

Second Period
SYR Marchessault, (3) (Dotchin, Paquette), 1:38
SYR Koekkoek, (1) (Blujus, Richard), 9:05 (PP)
BNG Pageau, (3) (Wideman, Robinson), 10:23
BNG Puempel, (2) (Dzingel), 12:26

Third Period
SYR Kunyk, (2) (Paradis, Gourde), 3:06
SYR Vermin, (3) , 4:39
BNG Wideman, (7) (Mullen), 6:48 (PP)
SYR Smith, (2) (Dotchin), 12:13
SYR Paquette, (4) (Vermin), 17:05

Joel Vermin and Cedric Paquette were the game's first and second stars. Defenseman Slater Koekkoek scored his first AHL goal in the contest, as well. And, there was #blujuspalooza happening on that goal, too.

They really faced down a hot goaltender last night, which happens, and were unfortunate to get shut out, but the scoreboard wasn't indicative of the team's play. They were doing a lot of the right things to snap their offensive funk, and the floodgates finally came open for them tonight. Hopefully they stay open now even if Paquette has to go back to the Lightning with Alex Killorn getting hurt again up top.

Syracuse gets Norfolk on Friday.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

Crunch Rookie Koekkoek Eyes NHL


By Jeremy Houghtaling

Slater Koekkoek is confident about his path to the National Hockey League.

Despite a shoulder injury prematurely ending his final junior season, Koekkoek led the Windsor Spitfires' blueline in goals, assists, and points last season. But the Tampa Bay Lightning 2012 first-rounder is focused on rounding out his defensive game as he begins his professional career with the Syracuse Crunch.

"There's always pressure being a first round pick. It's a label and people are going to talk about it," Koekkoek said. "But everybody has their own road to the NHL. There's a lot of guys in the NHL that went after me, and there's some guys still not in the NHL that went before me. There's no timetable. I'll develop as fast as I can, and hopefully get called up whenever they need me."

AHL Game Night: 10-12-14 Wolf Pack at Crunch

Crunch clipped in OT.

HFD-4
SYR-3 (OT)

Andrei Vasilevskiy allowed 4 goals on 27 shots for the loss in his AHL debut.

First Period
NO SCORING

Second Period
SYR Richard, (1) (Gourde, Marchessault), 1:35 (PP)
HFD Lindberg, (1) (Bourque, Mueller), 2:25 (PP)
SYR Paquette, (1) (Samson, Koekkoek), 4:37
HFD Mueller, (1) (Bodie, Bourque), 9:36
SYR Paquette, (2) (Vermin, Cote), 11:02

Third Period
HFD Hrivik, (1) (Kristo, Bodie), 6:35 (PP)

Overtime
HFD Lindberg, (2) (Bourque, Allen), 4:53

Cedric Paquette was the game's third star. Slater Koekkoek also made his AHL debut, chipping in an assist on Paquette's first goal.

Syracuse faces Springfield on Friday.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

NA Juniors Game Night: 11-30-13

Ontario Hockey League

Sarnia Sting 3 @ Windsor Spitfires 6

D Slater Koekkoek, NB: 0-2-2, +5, 0 PIM
Season totals: 25 GP, 6-16-22, +25, 10 PIM
2012-13 totals: 40 GP, 6-23-29, -24, 28 PIM

Koekkoek, who is on well on pace for a career year, delivered yet another solid effort for the Spits, which rolled against Steven Stamkos' former club.

Kitchener Rangers 5 @ Barrie Colts 3

D Jake Dotchin, BAR: 1-1-2, E, 4 PIM
Season totals: 25 GP, 6-11-17, +17, 60 PIM
2012-13 totals: 66 GP, 4-18-22, E, 81 PIM

With a goal and an assist Saturday night, Jake Dotchin -- who's already bested his previous season-best goal total -- is quickly honing in on, in roughly half the amount of games played, the career-best 19 points he registered with Owen Sound in 2011-2012.

Kingston Frontenacs 6 @ Belleville Bulls 4

W Henri Ikonen, KGN: 1-0-1, +1, 2 PIM
Season totals: 24 GP, 13-24-37, +14, 21 PIM
2012-13 totals: 61 GP, 22-29-51, +2, 30 PIM

Ikonen extended his point streak to eight games.

NA Juniors Game Night: 11-27-13

Quebec Major Junior Hockey League

Quebec Remparts 2 vs. Chicoutimi Sagueneens

D Adam Erne, BAR: 1-1-1, -1, 0 PIM, *3rd Star*
Season totals: 25 GP, 10-20-30, E, 33 PIM
2012-13 totals: 68 GP, 28-44-72, +11, 67 PIM

Erne pushed his scoring streak to six games, during which he has registered multiple points three times.

Ontario Hockey League

Windsor Spitfires 2 @ Saginaw Spirit

D Slater Koekkoek, WSR: 0-1-1, +1, 0 PIM
Season totals: 24 GP, 6-15-21, +20, 10 PIM
2012-13 totals: 40 GP, 6-23-29, -24, 28 PIM

After going pointless his past three games, Tampa Bay's 2012 1st-rounder dished up an secondary helper and now has 11 points in as many games for November. With the game-winning goal and two apples, Kristoff Kontos -- son of former Bolt Chris Kontos (who, by the way, has a website) -- led the way for Saginaw.

2013 Development Camp: Day 1

On the heels of a national holiday, 32 prospects--most drafted by the Tampa Bay Lightning, others signed as free agents and a handful of invitees--gathered on the ice Saturday at the Ice Sports Forum in Brandon to begin several days of on-ice and off-ice conditioning as well as instruction in organizational values and the culture of professional hockey for both returning and first-time participants.

"Let's call this what it is: summer hockey," Lightning head coach Jon Cooper told assembled media. "Part of what [the players] get out of this camp is the chance to get to know myself, Rob Zettler, the staff. Getting to know expectations and being a pro."

"A lot of these kids are coming from juniors programs, college, all these different walks of life, but here at the Tampa Bay Lightning we've got a certain code of conduct," Cooper noted. "This is where it starts."

Having concluded fitness testing and physicals, players hit the ice and rounded out their day with an hour-long practice spent completing basic drills as well as a forty-five minute power skating session.

"The first day is always kind of a feel out day," Cooper said. "Some of these guys, I'm sure, have been skating and some haven't been."

Keeping in mind that the 3-on-3 tournament scheduled to begin Tuesday and wrap-up on Wednesday, the final day of camp, will provide better opportunities to gauge player abilities and hockey sense, here are some brief and selected observations:

Koekkoek Gets His Contract

The Lightning signed 2012 first-round pick Slater Koekkoek to a standard three-year, entry-level contract today, vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman announced.

"This is obviously something I have been working toward my whole life,” Koekkoek said in a Spitfires press release. “I am happy it's done. But now the real hard work begins.

"Obviously my first hope is to make the Tampa club out of camp [next year]. But knowing I have a great team and teammates to come back to in Windsor if that doesn't happen is awesome."

NA Juniors Game Night: 2-16-13

Quebec Major Junior Hockey League

Rouyn-Noranda Huskies 7 @ Blainville-Boisbriand Armada 5

W Nikita Kucherov, R-N: 2-3-5, +3, 0 PIM, 6 SOG, 0 Hits, *Third Star*
Season totals: 22 GP, 16-28-44, +11, 2 PIM
With R-N: 16 GP, 13-21-34, +12, 0 PIM
With Quebec: 6 GP, 3-7-10, -1, 2 PIM

C Cedric Paquette, BLB: 1-2-3, +2, 0 PIM, 4 SOG, 1 Hit
Season totals: 53 GP, 22-49-71, +24, 87 PIM

Kucherov (pictured) extended his point streak to 12 games with his second five-point night in his last three games. He has 12 points in those three games, which raised his season points-per-game average to two. Kucherov’s linemate, Swiss native Sven Andrighetto (2013), had four goals and two assists for first star honors. For the Armada, Lightning prospect Cedric Paquette had his first three-point night of February; he had four in January.

Val-d’Or Foreurs 5 @ Chicoutimi Sagueneens 7

D Artem Sergeev, VDO: Did not play
Season totals: 44 GP, 6-25-31, +19, 49 PIM

Sergeev missed Saturday’s game, likely the result of a match penalty he received on Friday against the Sags.

Ontario Hockey League

Mississauga Steelheads 0 @ Barrie Colts 3

D Jake Dotchin, BAR: 0-1-1, +1, 2 PIM
Season totals: 53 GP, 4-17-21, +2, 58 PIM
With Barrie: 15 GP, 2-5-7, +1, 19 PIM
With Owen Sound: 38 GP, 2-12-14, +1, 39 PIM

Dotchin extended his point streak to a career-high four games with an assist while helping the Colts shut out the visiting Steelheads, 3-0. Undrafted German overager Mathias Niederberger made 28 saves for the win.

Guelph Storm 4 @ Plymouth Whalers 7

C/W Tanner Richard, GUE: 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM
Season totals: 43 GP, 8-45-53, +15, 90 PIM

Rickard Rakell, just assigned to Plymouth from the Anaheim Ducks, had a goal and two assists and Matthew Mistele (2014) had a hat trick for the Whalers in their home win over Guelph. Rakell had no points in four games with Anaheim this season.

Note: Windsor’s Slater Koekkoek is out for the season with an injured shoulder.

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