North American Juniors
The Tampa Bay Lightning cut 27 players from its training camp roster Sunday, including 12 of the clubâ€™s prospects. Only prospects Mattias Ritola, Brett Connolly, and Scott Jackson remained with the club after the weekend.
â€œIâ€™ve got to pay my dues to get up here and be a producing player,â€ Ritola said before cut-down day. â€œI've got to do the work first. I feel really excited to be here right now.â€
Ritola spent time in Grand Rapids of the AHL two years ago and passed through waivers to get to AHL Norfolk last season. Heâ€™s still paying his dues and putting in the work to get to and stay in the NHL.
Other prospects are beginning that process, which starts with training camp.
The Lightning make its NHL training camp as beneficial as possible for prospects and does its best to keep in contact with them after cut-down day.
Gatineau Olympiques 0 @ Victoriaville Tigres 8
D Adam Janosik, GAT: 0-0-0, -3, 0 PIM, 0 SOG, 1 Hit
Season Totals: 2 GP, 0-2-2, -1, 5 PIM
Ouch. Victoriaville outshot Gatineau 20-3 in the first period while scoring three times. They outshot them again 17-9 in the second and scored four times. They put up the snowman in the third period despite being outshot 16-6. Janosik, who is wearing an A for Gatineau as an assistant captain, was minus-3, tied for second worst on the club. Yanni Gourde (undrafted) had a hat trick for the Tigres.
Q Note: On Sunday the Lightning assigned recently-signed prospect Daniel Milan to Moncton. Milan had 14 goals and 38 points last year as a rookie with the Wildcats. Milan will make his season debut on Friday.
London Knights 2 @ Guelph Storm 1 (SO)
C Vladislav Namestnikov, LDN: 1-0-1, E, 0 PIM, *Third Star*
Season Totals: 2 GP, 1-1-2, E, 2 PIM
Namestnikov (pictured) scored his first of the year late in the second period on the power play, then added what turned out to be the shootout winner to lead London to a 2-1 win and 2-0 record on the young season. Seth Griffith, a member of the Lightning prospect team this summer, was the only other Knight to participate in the shootout, but he failed to convert his opportunity.
Saginaw Spirit 5 @ Owen Sound Attack 2
D Geoffrey Schemitsch, OS: 0-0-0, -3, 0 PIM
Season Totals: 3 GP, 0-0-0, E, 2 PIM
This one is hard to figure out. Saginaw got beat 8-0 a night earlier, yet took out the defending league champs in their own barn by three goals. To compound the confusion, the Attack came into the third period down just 2-1, and outshot the Spirit 22-5 in the final 20 minutes, yet were outscored 3-1 in the frame despite having a goaltender who was a third round NHL pick in the summer (Jordan Binnington â€“ Blues). To top it off, Schemitsch, one of the top defensemen for the Attack, was a team-worst minus-3. Thatâ€™s how it goes sometimes, especially in junior hockey.
Blainville-Boisbriand Armada 2 @ Gatineau Olympiques 6
D Adam Janosik, GAT: 0-2-2, +1, 5 PIM (fighting vs. Xavier Ouellet), 2 SOG, 0 Hit
Last Seasonâ€™s Totals: 60 GP, 7-25-32, +17, 37 PIM
Playoff Totals: 24 GP, 5-4-9, -3, 12 PIM
Janosik made his 2011-2012 debut for the Olympiques, notching a multi-point night and a fight. Janosik has done well statistically for his native Slovakia in World Junior play, but his stats so far in league play have been mediocre. A breakout year is expected. The Armada is a new franchise in the Q this year. Last year they were the Montreal Junior and before that the St. Johnâ€™s Fog Devils.
Saginaw Spirit 0 @ London Knights 8
C Vladislav Namestnikov, LDN: 0-1-1, E, 2 PIM (hooking)
Last Seasonâ€™s Totals: 68 GP, 30-38-68, +12, 49 PIM
2011 Playoff Totals: 6 GP, 1-4-5, 6 PIM
London put a snowman on the scoreboard to start their season, scoring five times in the second period and adding three more in the third. Namestnikov, who was sent back to juniors by the Lightning this week, had one assist in the game, but was one of only three players to fail to finish above even in plus/minus. He was hauled down from behind on a shorthanded breakaway, but no penalty was called. London was paced by Tie Domiâ€™s son, Max, who had a hat trick and an assist in his first OHL game. London first rounder Bo Horvat had a goal and an assist, and Seth Griffith, who participated in the Lightningâ€™s prospect camp early in the summer and again for the Bolts in the Coral Springs prospect tournament, had two goals and was named Third Star. London plays at Guelph Sunday.
Owen Sound Attack 6 @ Guelph Storm 4
D Geoffrey Schemitsch, OS: 0-0-0, +1, 0 PIM
Season Totals: 2 GP, 0-0-0, +3, 2 PIM
Defending champion Owen Sound is off to a 2-0 start to the year after beating the Storm in Guelph Friday night 6-4. Schemitsch is scoreless through two games.
Plymouth Whalers 2 @ Owen Sound Attack 6
D Geoffrey Schemitsch, OS: 0-0-0, +2, 2 PIM (cross checking)
Last Seasonâ€™s Totals: 45 GP, 1-19-20, +17, 14 PIM
2011 Playoff Totals: 20 GP, 1-10-11, +5, 2 PIM
Defending champion Owen Sound opened the 2011-2012 OHL season with a 6-2 win over Plymouth. The Attack scored four times in the second period building 4-0 and 5-1 leads. Lightning prospect Geoffrey Schemitsch, who arrived in Ontario Tuesday after being sent down from Tampa, was plus-2 in the game. He was named an assistant captain for the Attack earlier in the day Wednesday.
Schemitsch and Vladislav Namestnikov (London) are the only current Lightning prospects expected to play in the OHL this season. Former Lightning prospect Michael Zador, who was not signed to a contract by Tampa Bay this spring thus relinquishing his rights, finished last season with Owen Sound. He is not currently listed on the Attack or any other OHL roster though he has junior eligibility remaining.