NCAA/USHS

NCAA Game Night: 10-18-13

No. 6 North Dakota 4 @ No. 1 Miami RedHawks 2

F Jimmy Mullin, MIA: 0-0-0, -1, 0 PIM, 2 SOG
Season totals: 3 GP, 0-2-2, E, 0 PIM
2012-2013 totals: 38 GP, 6-8-14, E, 14 PIM

F Brendan O’Donnell, UND: 1-1-2, +3, 0 PIM, 2 SOG
Season totals: 3 GP, 2-1-3, +4, 0 PIM
2012-2013 totals: 29 GP, 2-8-10, E, 20 PIM

O’Donnell (pictured) started on the first line with Michael Parks and Mark MacMillan, and the line was magic for North Dakota as they upset the No. 1 team in the nation in their own barn, 4-2. Jimmy Mullin was scoreless for Miami.

No. 14 Quinnipiac Bobcats 3 @ No. 9 UMass-Lowell Riverhawks 1

F Matthew Peca, QU: 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 2 SOG
Season totals: 3 GP, 0-2-2, E, 2 PIM
2013-2014 totals: 39 GP, 15-15-30, +14, 36 PIM

The Bobcats got a big road win over the country’s previous No. 1 team, UMass-Lowell. According to collegehockeystats.net, Peca was taken off his normal line with the Jones twins, Conner and Kellen.

No. 3 Minnesota Golden Gophers 6 @ Bemidji State Beavers 3

G Adam Wilcox, MIN: Win, 15 saves on 18 shots
Season totals: 3 GP, 3-0-0, 1.67 GAA, .928 sv%, 1 SO
2012-2013 totals: 39 GP, 25-8-5, 1.88 GAA, .921 sv%, 3 SO

Adam Wilcox started his 40th straight game for the Gophers, winning 6-2 against the Beavers.

*USCHO poll used

NCAA Game Night: 10-12-13

Ohio State Buckeyes 3 @ No. 2 Miami RedHawks 6

F Jimmy Mullin, MIA: 0-0-0, -1, 0 PIM, 3 SOG
Season totals: 2 GP, 0-2-2, +1, 0 PIM
2012-2013 totals: 38 GP, 6-8-14, E, 14 PIM

Miami should be the new No. 1 team in the country after UMass-Lowell’s loss on Friday and Miami’s sweep of that school that likes to hate Michigan. Alex Szczechura, brother of former Lightning player Paul Szczechura, had two goals for the losing side. 2012 Lightning prospect camper Austin Czarnik had a goal and three assists for Miami. He had two goals on Friday night.

Vermont Catamounts 2 @ No. 7 North Dakota 2

F Brendan O’Donnell, UND: 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 1 SOG
Season totals: 2 GP, 1-0-1, +1, 0 PIM
2012-2013 totals: 29 GP, 2-8-10, E, 20 PIM

Vermont overcame a 2-0 deficit to tie North Dakota, 2-2. UND won the shootout, 2-1, though it will go in the books as a tie.

No. 10 Quinnipiac Bobcats 4 @ Alaska-Fairbanks Nanooks 1

F Matthew Peca, QU: 0-2-2, +1, 2 PIM, 2 SOG
Season totals: 2 GP, 0-2-2, E, 2 PIM
2013-2014 totals: 39 GP, 15-15-30, +14, 36 PIM

The Bobcats got in the win column after a loss on Friday with a win over the Nanooks on Saturday. Matt Peca (pictured) centered QU’s first line and had two assists. Lightning prospect camper Cody Kunyk was scoreless for UAF, but had two goals on Friday night.

No. 13 New Hampshire Wildcats 2 @ No. 5 Minnesota Golden Gophers 3

G Adam Wilcox, MIN: Win, 21 saves on 23 shots
Season totals: 2 GP, 2-0-0, 1.00 GAA, .958 sv%, 1 SO
2012-2013 totals: 39 GP, 25-8-5, 1.88 GAA, .921 sv%, 3 SO

Minnesota captured the Icebreaker tournament title with a win over New Hampshire, 3-2.

*USCHO poll used

NCAA Game Night: 10-11-13

No. 2 Miami RedHawks 6 @ Ohio State Buckeyes 2

F Jimmy Mullin, MIA: 0-2-2, +2, 4 SOG
2012-2013 totals: 38 GP, 6-8-14, E, 14 PIM

Miami opened their season with a commanding win over Ohio State, 6-2. Junior Jimmy Mullin started on the third line and had the primary assists on the goals that gave the RedHawks 3-2 and 4-2 leads.

Vermont Catamounts 3 @ No. 7 North Dakota 5

F Brendan O’Donnell, UND: 1-0-1, +1, 0 PIM, 2 SOG
2012-2013 totals: 29 GP, 2-8-10, E, 20 PIM

Brendan O’Donnell started his junior year with a goal at the end of the second period that enabled UND to enter the second intermission tied with Vermont at 3. O’Donnell was listed on UND’s third line by collegehockeystats.net. Panthers prospect Rocco Grimaldi had a goal and three helpers for North Dakota.

No. 10 Quinnipiac Bobcats 1 @ Alaska-Anchorage Seawolves 2

F Matthew Peca, QU: 0-0-0, -1, 0 PIM, 2 SOG
Season totals: 39 GP, 15-15-30, +14, 36 PIM

Tenth-ranked Quinnipiac dropped their first game of the season, losing 2-1 to the Seawolves in the Kendall Hockey Classic in Anchorage, Alaska. Matt Peca, expected to be one of the top players in college hockey this season, was scoreless in the Bobcats’ debut.

Mercyhurst Lakers 0 @ No. 5 Minnesota Golden Gophers 6

G Adam Wilcox, MIN: Win, 25 saves on 25 shots, shutout, *Third Star*
2012-2013 totals: 39 GP, 25-8-5, 1.88 GAA, .921 sv%, 3 SO

Sophomore star Adam Wilcox earned a 25-save shutout in his season debut as the Gophers crushed the visiting Lakers, 6-0.

*USCHO poll used

2013 Development Camp: Days 2, 3 and 5

Apologies for the delayed observations but personal circumstances have necessitated a combined summary of impressions from several days I attended.

The bulk of the following observations stem from last Wednesday's 3-on-3 tournament action (I was unable to make it Tuesday) although some does come from the on-ice sessions last Sunday and Monday. Here are some thoughts on a limited number of camp participants, from those I went out of my way to watch and those my eyes kept being drawn to:

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:

NCAA Game Night: 4-13-13

(West-3) Yale Bulldogs 4 vs (East-1) Quinnipiac Bobcats 0
National Championship

F Matthew Peca, QU: 0-0-0, -3, 0 PIM, 5 SOG
Season totals: 39 GP, 15-15-30, +14, 36 PIM

The magical ride of Quinnipiac and Matt Peca was going to end anyway on Saturday, but they would have preferred it end with a win. The top-ranked Bobcats, playing in their first national tournament, were beaten by upstart Yale, 4-0. It was the fourth time the two state and ECAC rivals met this year and the first time Yale won. It just happened to be for the national championship.

There is a chance the Lightning starts Peca on the road to the NHL by signing him and placing him in AHL Syracuse next year, but that doesn’t seem like the normally patient approach by Bolts GM Steve Yzerman. If Peca returns for his junior year he will be one of the early Hobey Baker candidates.

NCAA Game Night: 4-11-13

(Midwest-3) St. Cloud State Huskies 1 vs (East-1) Quinnipiac Bobcats 4
National Semifinals

F Matthew Peca, QU: 0-0-0, +1, 2 PIM, 2 SOG
Season totals: 38 GP, 15-15-30, +17, 36 PIM

Peca and his line with the twins, Conner and Kellen Jones, were flying all night but only scored one goal – a wrist shot by Kellen Moore from the slot. It didn’t matter as QU jumped out to an early 3-0 lead and coasted to a 4-1 win and a berth in the national championship game against conference and state rival Yale. That game will be played on Saturday night on ESPN. Peca received constant compliments from the ESPN 2 crew throughout the game as he showed off his speed and stickwork, creating multiple scoring chances. John Buccigross and former Lightning coach Barry Melrose called Peca’s line one of the best in the country this year.

Prospect of the Week: April 3, 2013

We continue our Prospect of the Week award, an honor (virtually) given to one Tampa Bay Lightning prospect for their recent contributions on and off the ice.

The Prospect of the Week for April 3 is … Matthew Peca, W, Quinnipiac (NCAA – USA).

Matt Peca made sure his Quinnipiac Bobcats would advance to the Frozen Four in their first national tournament last week.

Lightning Acquire LW Philippe Paradis from Chicago

TAMPA BAY – The Tampa Bay Lightning have acquired left wing Philippe Paradis (pair-ah-DEE) from the Chicago Blackhawks in exchange for defenseman Kirill Gotovets today, vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman announced. He will be assigned to the Syracuse Crunch of the AHL.

Paradis, 6-foot-2, 205 pounds, has played in 36 games with the Rockford IceHogs of the American Hockey League this season, recording a goal and eight points with 100 penalty minutes. He ranks fourth on the team for penalty minutes. Paradis has also played in five games with the Toledo Walleye of the ECHL.

A native of Dolbeau, Quebec, Paradis has played in 102 career AHL games with the IceHogs and the Toronto Marlies, recording seven goals and 27 points. He recorded a career-best five goals and 16 points in 58 games last season. Paradis made his professional debut with the Marlies on April 2, 2010.

Paradis was drafted by the Carolina Hurricanes in the first round, 27th overall, of the 2009 NHL Entry Draft.

Lightning Sign Defenseman Luke Witkowski

TAMPA BAY – The Tampa Bay Lightning have signed defenseman Luke Witkowski to a two-year contract today, vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman announced.

Witkowski, 6-foot-2, 200 pounds, appeared in 38 games as a captain with the Western Michigan University Broncos in 2012-13, recording two goals and 10 points to go along with 46 penalty minutes while being named Second-Team All-CCHA. He led the Broncos with 53 blocked shots and ranked second for penalty minutes. Witkowski also added two power-play tallies.

A native of Holland, Michigan, Witkowski played in 152 games during his four-year career at Western Michigan. He accumulated seven goals and 38 points with 235 penalty minutes. He won the 2010-11 Bill Saunders Plus/Minus Award for finishing with the Broncos’ best plus/minus rating at plus-13.

Prior to attending Western Michigan, Wikowski played for the Fargo Force and the Ohio Junior Blue Jackets of the USHL. He amassed nine goals and 26 assists in two USHL seasons. Witkowski was named to the 2009 USHL All-Star Team.

Witkowski was drafted by the Lightning in the sixth round, 160th overall, of the 2008 NHL Entry Draft. Since being drafted he has attended four Lightning Development Camps.

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