Panik, Richard

World Championships Game Day: 5-9-10

Slovakia 1 @ Russia 3
Vasily Koshechkin, Russia, Win, 32/33, 1.00 GAA, .970 sv%
Tournament totals: 1 GP, 1-0-0, 0 SO, 1.00 GAA, .970 sv%

Vladimir Mihalik, Slovakia, 0-0-0, E, 2 PIM, 1 SOG
Tournament totals: 1 GP, 0-0-0, E, 2 PIM

Richard Panik, Slovakia, 0-0-0, -1, 0 PIM, 4 SOG
Tournament totals: 1 GP, 0-0-0, -1, 0 PIM

Vasily Kosehchkin bested NHL goaltender Peter Budaj in Russia's World Championships opener, helping his club defeat Slovakia 3-1. Ex-NHLer Viktor Kozolov added a late empty net goal to seal the victory. Lightning prospect defenseman Vladimir Mihalik played 18:23 in the match on Slovakia's third pairing and took a second period minor for cross checking. Lightning forward prospect Richard Panik played 14:54 for Slovakia, splitting time between the fourth and third lines.

Norway 2 @ Sweden 5
Victor Hedman, Sweden, 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 1 SOG
Tournament totals: 1 GP, 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM

Johan Harju, Sweden, 0-0-0, -1, 2 PIM, 1 SOG
Tournament totals: 1 GP, 0-0-0, -1, 2 PIM

Sweden got 1 goal and 2 assists from Edmonton first round Magnus Paajarvi-Svensson on their way to a 5-2 rout of Norway. Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman played 21:31 for Sweden on their top pairing. Lightning prospect forward Johan Harju played 13:58 in the match for the Swedes on their third line and took a third period minor for high sticking.

Bolts at World Championships

This week it was announced Lightning prospect and Norfolk Admiral Richard Panik will represent Slovakia at the 2010 World Hockey Championship being held May 7-23 in Germany, reports the Belleville Bulls, Panik's former OHL team. Panik previously represented Slovakia at the past two World Junior Hockey Championships.

Fellow Lightning prospect and Norfolk Admiral Vladimir Mihalik is also suiting up for Slovakia, who lost 2-0 to Latvia in exhibition play earlier this week. Lightning property Martins Karsums scored for Latvia.

Panik led Slovakia in scoring at the 2010 World Junior Hockey Championship with six goals and two assists in six games played. At the 2009 World Junior Hockey Championship, Panik recorded two goals and five points in seven games played. He also led Slovakia in scoring at the 2008 World Under 18 Hockey Championship.

Panik was acquired by the Bulls in January in a trade with the Windsor Spitfires. In 27 games played with Belleville, Panik scored 12 times while adding 11 assists and 36 penalty minutes. Following the conclusion of his season with the Bulls, Panik joined the AHL’s Norfolk Admirals where he earned one assist in five games played.

The Martin, Slovakia native was selected in the second round of the 2009 NHL Entry Draft by the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Lightning representatives at the 2010 World Championships include:

Kirill Gotovets, D, Belarus
Steven Stamkos, C, Canada
Steve Downie, W, Canada
Martins Karsums, W, Latvia
Vasily Koshechkin, G, Russia
Vladimir Mihalik, D, Slovakia
Richard Panik, C/W, Slovakia
Johan Harju, C/W, Sweden
Victor Hedman, D, Sweden
Mike Lundin, D, USA

Players to watch:

Nino Neiderreiter, W, Switzerland: A strong possibility for the Lightning at No.6 in this summer's NHL draft.
Vadim Krasnoslobodtsev, W, Kazakhstan: Rumors have linked the 26 year-old to the Lightning. Could be a free agent signing.

Former Lightning draft picks in the tournament:

Evgeni Artyukhin, W, Russia
Marek Kvapil, W, Czech Republic
Ilya Solarev, W, Kazakhstan
Alexander Svitov, C, Russia

AHL Game Night: 3-19-10 Phantoms at Admirals

Heeeeeyyyyyy there goes a snowman!

ADK-4
NOR-8

Dustin Tokarski allowed 4 goals on 32 shots, but bathed in the clear, cool waters of rejuvenating goal support for the win.

First Period
ADK Holmstrom, (1) (Marshall, Pyorala), 3:46
NOR Craig, (21) (Hall, Fornataro), 8:45 (PP)
NOR Tyrell, (7) (Craig, Hall), 14:22

Second Period
ADK Ross, (10) (Pyorala, Bourdon), 0:14
NOR Hall, (14) (Lashoff, Craig), 5:36
NOR Keller, (14) (Mihalik, Tarkir), 8:57
ADK Nodl, (10) , 9:54
NOR Keller, (15) (Lawrence, Jones), 13:29

Third Period
NOR Ashton, (1) (Panik, Marks), 2:36
ADK Kalinski, (9) (Bellamy, Bodrov), 5:27
NOR Fadden, (6) (Fornataro), 6:39
NOR Tyrell, (8) (Jackson, Hall), 9:22

Adam Hall, Dana Tyrell, and Justin Keller were the game's three stars.

Norfolk got the benefit of facing two extremely inexperience netminders, Teslak (13 games of AHL experience coming into the night) and Mayotte (8 games of AHL experience entering the night), and absolutely punished them for daring them to step off the bus all game long. Norfolk gets Adirondack again tomorrow night, and I know it's hard to beat a team twice on back-to-back nights, but both of those young netminders have to be shell shocked.

Congratulations to Tyrell on the first multi-goal game of his professional career. Some folks may look at his numbers for the season and draw the conclusion he's had a pedestrian rookie season (8 goals and 31 points in 64 games). But, it should be pointed out that since 2-12-10 the speedy forward has posted 6 goals and 20 points in 17 games. We always expected Tyrell to get off to a slow start while he shook off the rust after knee surgery, and we always thought he'd have a strong second half. But, I don't think we ever believed he'd be this strong. In those 17 games he has 7 multi-point outings, all 2 point affairs, including tonight's game. He's got world class speed and acceleration and world class ethic, and has shown that he has underrated hockey sense in the offensive zone. He's one to watch, for sure.

Congratulations to Carter Ashton on his first professional goal, set up by Richard Panik for his first professional assist. That's a scoresheet combo I'm sure the Lightning would love to see often over the next 5-10 years.

Vladimir Mihalik tied his career high in points (16) with his assist on Justin Keller's first goal.

With the win, Norfolk reaches 76 points, which surpasses their point total of 75 from a season ago. They still sit in 3rd in the East Division and moved to within 8 points of 2nd place Albany with the Admirals holding a game in hand. 4th place Wilkes-Barre/Scranton stayed just 1 point behind the Admirals with the Pens holding a game in hand by overcoming a 3 goal deficit against Springfield tonight. 5th, 6th, and 7th place Syracuse, Adirondack, and Binghamton are all 10 points back of Norfolk with all three holding 1 game in hand on the Admirals. So, coming down the stretch, this is shaping up into a 3-5 team dogfight between the Admirals, Penguins, and a logjam of about three teams (Manchester, Lowell, and Bridgeport) in the Atlantic that could wind up in 5th place in that division but still make the playoffs because of the crossover rule.

In the crossover, 3rd, 4th, and 5th place in the Atlantic Division are beginning to bunch up. Lowell lost tonight and Manchester lost in a shootout, so they're tied 77 points, 1 point ahead of the Admirals and 2 points ahead of 5th place Bridgeport, which beat Syracuse. So the Ads hold a slim 1 point lead on Bridgeport with the Sound Tigers hanging onto a game in hand, but if you look at the past 10 games as the trend, Bridgeport may climb up to third in the Atlantic and it may be Manchester or Lowell that slips all the way to 5th. 6th place Providence remains alive, 6 points back of the Admirals and 5 back of the Tigers.

So, now, it's a 10 game sprint to the finish line for the Admirals and we'll see if this snowman they just hung on Adirondack gives them a little extra kick in the final 100 meters. Norfolk has 7 games remaining at home and 3 on the road. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton has 5 at home and 6 on the road. Ultimately, though, this is coming down to the three head-to-head matchups the Admirals have with the Penguins in the remaining few weeks of the season. Win and they're in. Lose and they'll be scoreboard watching what the Atlantic Division teams do, which is not the position you want to be in.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

AHL Game Night: 3-17-10 Admirals at Penguins

And now things get really tight in the playoff race.

NOR-1
WBS-2

Dustin Tokarski allowed just 2 goals on 25 shots, but his first period softie allowed to Jesse Boulerice ended up being the margin of defeat.

First Period
WBS Boulerice, (4) (Conner, Lee), 4:23
WBS Johnson, (13) (Haddad, Wagner), 13:19 (PP)

Second Period
NO SCORING

Third Period
NOR Fornataro, (9) (Wishart, Fadden), 15:22

It was a beautiful stickhandling play by Matt Fornataro that helped pull the Admirals to within one goal late in the game. Defenseman Ty Wishart got his 31st point of the season on the play, but he should be chastized along with Vladimir Mihalik for some very soft play along the wall in the defensive zone, especially in the first period. The soft goal, the soft play along the wall, and a disgustingly bad 0-for-8 power play doomed the Admirals in this one. That, and Mitch Fritz losing his mind at the end of the second period, including the ever-classy crotch chop to the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton crowd, drawing a double minor and game misconduct that killed off about a quarter of the third period for a Pens team that only held on by one goal.

On the bright side, the two pro debuts went pretty well tonight. Carter Ashton almost had a beautiful goal chipping the puck between two defenders and showing surprising burst to split them and get himself a breakaway. He got in too tight on the backhand, though, and couldn't lift the puck to notch the goal. He had another chance a few minutes later when he spun out in front from behind the net on his backhand. Had he been a little more patient, he could've taken another half stride and maybe stuck it in far post. Richard Panik had one good chance from the slot, but the defining play for him was a downright nasty check he threw coming back into the Admirals zone. Downright nasty. In case you didn't know, he's strong as a bull.

Norfolk's lead over the Pens is down to 1 point with the Pens holding 1 game in hand. Uh oh. Norfolk has 11 games left to play in the season: 3 on the road and 8 at home. Norfolk draws Adirondack at Scope on Friday.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

Ashton and Panik Join Admirals

(Norfolk Admirals release) NORFOLK, Va. – The Norfolk Admirals have added Tampa Bay Lightning prospect forwards Carter Ashton and Richard Panik to their roster. Ashton has been assigned to the Admirals by the Lightning from his junior team while Panik has been signed to an Amateur Tryout Contract (ATO).

Ashton, 18, a 6-foot-3, 207-pound right wing from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, split this season between the Lethbridge Hurricanes and Regina Pats of the Western Hockey League. In 28 games with Lethbridge, he posted 13 goals and 26 points. He was then traded to Regina, where he scored 11 goals and 25 points.

Panik (“PAN-ihk”), 19, a 6-foot-2, 203-pound right wing from Martin, Slovakia, split this season between the Windsor Spitfires and the Belleville Bulls of the Ontario Hockey League. In 33 games with Windsor, he posted nine goals and 18 points. After being acquired by Belleville, Panik notched 12 goals and 23 points in 27 games.

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