North American Juniors

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

CHL Playoffs Game Night: 5-4-10

QMJHL

Moncton Wildcats 4 @ St. John Sea Dogs 6
QMJHL Finals, Game 3. Moncton leads Best of 7 Series 2-1
D Mark Barberio, MCT: 0-2-2, E, 2 PIM, 2 SOG
Playoff Totals: 18 GP, 5-15-20, +8, 12 PIM
Season Totals: 65 GP, 17-43-60, +39, 72 PIM

St. John raced out to 2-0 and 5-1 leads to help them to a big 6-4 in Game 3 of the QMJHL Finals to make it a series again. Moncton had won their team-record last eight playoff road games. Barberio has five assists so far this series. Game 4 is Friday in Moncton.

Draft Watch
Moncton defenseman Brandon Gormley, a possibility for the Lightning at No.6 in the summer’s draft, was scoreless in Game 3. Gormley Playoff Totals: 18 GP, 2-15-17, +14, 2 PIM.

OHL

Barrie Colts 2 @ Windsor Spitfires 6
OHL Finals, Game 4. Windsor wins Best of 7 Series 4-0
LW/C Alex Hutchings, BAR: 0-1-1, -1, 4 PIM (tripping, hooking)
Playoff Totals: 13 GP, 2-8-10, +4, 12 PIM
Season Totals: 68 GP, 47-34-81, +44, 58 PIM

Hutchings set up the game’s first goal when he found Luke Pither on the power play, but it wasn’t going to be Barrie’s night as Windsor scored the game’s final four goals and clinched the Robertson Cup with a stunning sweep of top-ranked Barrie. Barring a surprise, this ends the junior career of Hutchings, who is set to get a contract from Tampa Bay this spring and likely be in AHL Norfolk next season. Hutchings had a somewhat forgettable playoffs for his standards, scoring only twice in 13 games and only registering an assist in the finals. He also battled a groin injury that caused him to miss an entire series, however. He did set personal highs for playoff games played with 13, assists (8) and points (10). He had three goals in five playoff games last year.

If this was indeed Hutchings’ last OHL game, he finishes his career with a combined (regular season and playoffs) 116 goals, 114 assists, and 230 points in 256 games.

Draft Watch
Windsor defenseman Cam Fowler, who will likely go at No. 3 or 4 in this summer’s draft, was First Star in Game 4. He had two goals and an assist in the game to increase his playoff totals to 3-11-14. Taylor Hall, who will go No.1 or 2, also had two goals and an assist in Game 4, giving him 17-18-35 in 19 playoff games. He did not win the Wayne Gretzky Trophy as playoff MVP, however, as that went to Adam Henrique (Devils 3/08), who had 20-5-25 to take the honors.

CHL Playoffs Game Night: 5-2-10

QMJHL

St. John Sea Dogs 3 @ Moncton Wildcats 9
QMJHL Finals, Game 2. Moncton leads Best of 7 Series 2-0
D Mark Barberio, MCT: 0-2-2, +2, 0 PIM, 3 SOG
Playoff Totals: 17 GP, 5-13-18, +8, 10 PIM
Season Totals: 65 GP, 17-43-60, +39, 72 PIM

Moncton held at home in Game 2, destroying St. John 9-3. It was the first time the Sea Dog’s franchise has allowed at least eight goals in a playoff game. Barberio is tied for the league lead in playoff points among defensemen with the Sea Dogs’ Simon Despress (Penguins 1/09). Game 3 is Tuesday in St. John.

Draft Watch
Moncton defenseman Brandon Gormley scored had two assists for the Wildcats. He was also plus-1 in the game. Gormley Playoff Totals: 17 GP, 2-15-17, +14, 2 PIM.

OHL

Barrie Colts 2 @ Windsor Spitfires 5
OHL Finals, Game 3. Windsor leads Best of 7 Series 3-0
LW/C Alex Hutchings, BAR: 0-0-0, -1, 0 PIM
Series Totals: 3 GP, 0-0-0, -3, 0 PIM
Playoff Totals: 12 GP, 2-7-9, +5, 8 PIM
Season Totals: 68 GP, 47-34-81, +44, 58 PIM

Windsor won their seventh straight game, defeating the Colts 5-2 at home. Barrie is one loss away from being eliminated. Hutchings has not registered a point in the series. Game 4 is Tuesday in Windsor.

CHL Playoffs Game Night: 4-30-10

QMJHL

Moncton Wildcats 5 @ St. John Sea Dogs 1
QMJHL Finals, Game 1. Moncton leads Best of 7 Series 1-0
D Mark Barberio, MCT: 0-1-1, E, 0 PIM, 2 SOG
Playoff Totals: 16 GP, 5-11-16, +6, 10 PIM
Season Totals: 65 GP, 17-43-60, +39, 72 PIM

Moncton stole home ice advantage by winning Game 1 of the QMJHL Finals against St. John, 5-1. Barberio had a primary assist. Game 2 is Sunday.

Draft Watch
Moncton defenseman Brandon Gormley scored for the second consecutive game. He was also plus-2 in the game. Gormley Playoff Totals: 16 GP, 2-13-15, +13, 2 PIM.

CHL Playoffs Game Night: 4-29-10

OHL

Windsor Spitfires 5 @ Barrie Colts 4
OHL Finals, Game 2. Windsor leads Best of 7 Series 2-0
LW/C Alex Hutchings, BAR: 0-0-0, -2, 0 PIM
Playoff Totals: 10 GP, 2-7-9, +6, 8 PIM
Season Totals: 68 GP, 47-34-81, +44, 58 PIM

Windsor took both the Finals’ early games in Barrie and will return home with a 2-0 series lead. The Spits jumped out to 3-1 and 4-2 leads in Game 2 and held on for the win, being outshot 37-22. Hutchings is scoreless and minus-2 so far in the series. Game 3 is Sunday.

CHL Playoffs Game Night: 4-27-10

OHL

Windsor Spitfires 4 @ Barrie Colts 3 (OT)
OHL Finals, Game 1. Windsor leads Best of 7 Series 1-0
LW/C Alex Hutchings, BAR: 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM
Playoff Totals: 10 GP, 2-7-9, +8, 8 PIM
Season Totals: 68 GP, 47-34-81, +44, 58 PIM

Taylor Hall (likely 2010 first or second pick) scored at 2:35 of overtime to help the defending OHL and Memorial Cup champs steal Game 1 of the OHL Finals. Barrie had 2-0 and 3-2 leads, but couldn’t hold on, losing just their second game of the playoffs. Hutchings, who had been operating at a point-per-game pace in the playoffs, was held off the scoresheet. Game 2 is Thursday in Barrie.

CHL Playoffs Game Night: 4-25-10

WHL

Tri-City Americans 5 @ Vancouver Giants 2
Western Conference Finals, Game 6. Tri-City wins Best of 7 Series 4-2
C/W/D James Wright, VAN: 0-0-0, -1, 0 PIM
Playoff Totals: 16 GP, 7-9-16, +1, 4 PIM
Season Totals: 21 GP, 6-13-19, -4, 17 PIM
With Tampa Bay: 43 GP, 2-3-5, -9, 18 PIM

Drew Owsley (undrafted) again earned First Star honors as the goaltender stopped 30 of 32 shots to help the Americans win Game 6 5-2 and send them on to the WHL Finals. The Giants, who held a 2-1 lead in this series with Game 4 at home, and were also tied 2-2 at home in Game 6, have been eliminated. Wright finished the series with a goal, two assists, and a minus-2 rating over the six games. His junior career is now complete and the signed forward who played with Tampa Bay for the first half of the season will either begin next year with the Bolts or AHL Norfolk Admirals. His 16 playoff points in 16 games are by far a career high, topping the 10 points in 17 games he registered last year with the Giants in the postseason.

Elsewhere in the CHL, Windsor defeated Kitchener to complete a 0-3 series comeback. Taylor Hall and the Spits will now face Alex Hutchings and Barrie for the OHL title and Memorial Cup invitation.

CHL Playoffs Game Night: 4-23-10

QMJHL

No.5 Moncton Wildcats 4 @ No.2 Drummondville Voltigeurs 2
Semifinals, Game 5. Moncton wins Best of 7 Series 4-1
D Mark Barberio, MCT: 0-0-0, -1, 0 PIM, 1 SOG
Playoff Totals: 15 GP, 5-10-15, +6, 10 PIM
Season Totals: 65 GP, 17-43-60, +39, 72 PIM

Moncton won their third of the series on the road to finish off the Volts 4-1 and advance to the QMJHL Finals. The Wildcats will face the winner of St. John and Victoriaville, currently 3-1 St. John. Barberio finished the Drummondville series with two goals and three points in the five games. He continues to lead all league defensemen in playoff scoring with 15 points. Despite the Moncton win in Game 5, hometown Drummondville swept the three star awards for the game.

Draft Watch
Moncton defenseman Brandon Gormley scored his first goal of the playoffs into an empty net. He was also plus-3 in the game with two shots. Gormley Playoff Totals: 15 GP, 1-13-14, +11, 2 PIM.

WHL

Vancouver Giants 1 @ Tri-City Americans 4
Western Conference Finals, Game 5. Tri-City leads Best of 7 Series 3-2
C/W/D James Wright, VAN: 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM
Playoff Totals: 15 GP, 7-8-15, +4, 4 PIM
Season Totals: 21 GP, 6-13-19, -3, 17 PIM
With Tampa Bay: 43 GP, 2-3-5, -9, 18 PIM

Drew Owsley (undrafted) stopped 40 shots for First Star honors as the Americans are now one win away from disposing of Wright and the Giants and advancing to the WHL Finals to face Calgary. Game 6 is Sunday in Vancouver.

Elsewhere in the CHL, Windsor defeated Kitchener 6-4 in Kitchener to force a Game 7. Windsor had been down 3-0 in the series. Game 7 is Sunday in Windsor.

CHL Playoffs Game Night: 4-22-10

WHL

Tri-City Americans 5 @ Vancouver Giants 2
Western Conference Finals, Game 4. Best of 7 Series tied 2-2
C/W/D James Wright, VAN: 0-1-1, -2, 0 PIM
Playoff Totals: 14 GP, 7-8-15, +4, 4 PIM
Season Totals: 21 GP, 6-13-19, -3, 17 PIM
With Tampa Bay: 43 GP, 2-3-5, -9, 18 PIM

Wright had an early power play assist to help the Giants to a 1-0 lead, but TC struck twice and then three more times after Vancouver tied the game at two to win Game 4 5-2 and tie the series at two games apiece. Kruise Reddick (undrafted), who has been in the WHL seemingly forever, had a goal and three assists for the Americans. Game 5 is Friday night in Kennewick, Washington.

Elsewhere in the CHL, Windsor shut out Kitchener in Game 5 3-0 and are now “only” down 3-2 in the series after being down 3-0 two games ago. The winner will play Alex Hutchings and Barrie in the OHL Finals.

CHL Playoffs Game Night: 4-21-10

QMJHL

No.2 Drummondville Voltigeurs 0 @ No.5 Moncton Wildcats 4
Semifinals, Game 4. Moncton leads Best of 7 Series 3-1
D Mark Barberio, MCT: 1-1-2, +1, 0 PIM, 7 SOG, *Third Star*
Playoff Totals: 14 GP, 5-10-15, +7, 10 PIM
Season Totals: 65 GP, 17-43-60, +39, 72 PIM

Nicola Riopel (Flyers 5/09) registered his third shutout of the playoffs and Moncton got a goal and assist from Lightning prospect Mark Barberio (pictured) to put the Wildcats within one game of advancing to the QMJHL Finals. Barberio’s fifth goal of the playoffs gave Moncton a 2-0 lead in the second period. He currently leads all defensemen in Q playoff scoring with 15 points. His seven shots on goal in Game 4 led the Wildcats. Moncton can close out the series in Game 5 in Drummondville on Friday.

Draft Watch
Moncton defenseman Brandon Gormley was scoreless, even, and had two shots on goal in the game. Gormley Playoff Totals: 14 GP, 0-13-13, +8, 2 PIM.

OHL

Mississauga St. Michael’s Majors 2 @ Barrie Colts 4
Conference Finals, Game 5. Barrie wins Best of 7 Series 4-1
LW/C Alex Hutchings, BAR: 1-0-1, +1, 0 PIM
Playoff Totals: 9 GP, 2-7-9, +8, 8 PIM
Season Totals: 68 GP, 47-34-81, +44, 58 PIM

Hutchings scored 14 seconds after Stefan Della Rovere (Capitals 7/08) scored the game’s opener to open up an early 2-0 lead and help send the Colts on to a 4-2 Game 5 win and 4-1 series win. Della Rovere would add another goal to earn First Star honors. The Eastern Conference champion and Bobby Hull Trophy-winning Colts will now await the winner of Kitchener-Windsor (currently 3-1 Kitchener) to play for the Robertson Cup in the OHL Finals. Hutchings’ goal broke a personal seven game goal-less drought and two-game streak without a point. He finished the St. Mike’s series with a goal and two assists in five games. The Colts are 12-1 in the playoffs.

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