Connolly scores in his first game back ... Schemitsch nets his first ... Nearly a full lineup of Lightning prospect games as the OHL and WHL get underway.
Salmon Arm Silverbacks 6 @ Penticton Vees 5
C Brendan Oâ€™Donnell, PEN: 1-0-1, 0 PIM
Season Totals: 6 GP, 2-1-3, 2 PIM
Oâ€™Donnell scored his second goal of the year as part of a 3-goal third period for the Vees. They cut the lead to 6-5, but couldnâ€™t complete the comeback from down 6-2.
Fargo Force 2 vs. Muskegon Lumberjacks 4 (Exhibition)
C Jimmy Mullin, FGO: 0-0-0, -1, 0 PIM, 3 SOG
Fargo got down 2-0 early and 3-0 early in the third before scratching their way back to a 3-2 deficit late. They couldnâ€™t make it all the way back and the Lumberjacks added an empty netter. Mullin had a goal and an assist in the Fall Classic opener Wednesday.
Oshawa Generals 5 @ Peterborough Petes 4
G Michael Zador, OSH: Win, 37 saves on 41 shots
Zador (pictured) will again battle Kevin Bailie for playing time this season, but the 2009 fifth round pick of the Lightning got the season opening start for Oshawa. He was 14-28-2-1 with a 4.15 GAA and .884 save percentage for the Gens last year.
Fargo Force 3 vs. Chicago Steel 0 (Exhibition)
C Jimmy Mullin, FGO: 1-1-2, +2, 0 PIM, 3 SOG
Mullin scored what turned out to be the game winning goal in his first game with Fargo as the Force defeated the Steel 3-0 the USHL Fall Classic. Mullin had 72 points in 55 games last year while leading Shattuck St-Maryâ€™s in scoring. (Fargo Force photo)
The Lightning have assembled a preliminary roster for the upcoming prospects camp July 10-14 at the St. Pete Times Forum. The following roster, courtesy of Erik Erlendsson of the Tampa Tribune, includes at least three goaltenders, 12 defensemen and 17 forwards. All 2010 draft choices will be participating.
Name: James Mullin
Position: Center/Right Wing
Weight: 152 lbs
Born: 2/24/1992, Philadelphia, PA
Last Team: Shattuck St. Mary's Prep (Minnesota High School)
Rankings: CSS 165 (North American Skaters), RLR NR (Overall), THN NR (Overall)
Shattuck St. Mary's (USHS), 55 GP, 32-40-72, 26 PIM
Mullin can score, and that's the name of the game. He led the prestigious Shattuck program (of Sidney Crosby fame) last season in scoring when he was a teammate of fellow Lightning prospect Kirill Gotovets. Mullin is small, but he's a speedy, tenacious player, as well as a creative playmaker and a good finisher. He makes his linemates better with his style of play.
Size is a major issue for Mullin, who must add weight to his small frame. He also needs to make quicker decisions with the puck as time and space will shrink at the next levels.
Mullin will have up to four years at the University of Miami (Ohio) to add strength and weight and could come out of collegiate play as a mid-round steal for the Lightning. He's got a long road to the NHL, but has a fine chance to be a solid contributor at the AHL level at the least. The more the game opens up, the more it favors players such as Mullin. As the Lightning's Martin St. Louis has proven, there's no substitute for heart, desire, and natural skill, but you have to have legs the size of tree trunks to make it as a small player in the big leagues.