Juniors Game Night: 12-31-14

Quebec Major Junior Hockey League

Victoriaville Tigres 3 @ Sherbrooke Phoenix 4 (SO)

C Cameron Darcy, SHR: 2-0-2, E, 0 PIM, 5 SOG, 11/23 FO, 1 Hit, *Second Star*
With Sherbrooke: 6 GP, 7-7-14, -3, 4 PIM
With Cape Breton: 21 GP, 1-13-14, -6, 14 PIM
Season totals: 28 GP, 8-20-28, -9, 18 PIM
2013-2014 Season: 65 GP, 35-47-82, +3, 51 PIM

Darcy extended his point streak to eight games and goal-scoring streak to four games. He has seven goals in the last four games, all wins for Sherbrooke.

Rimouski Oceanic 2 @ Quebec Remparts 3 (OT)

W Adam Erne, QUE: 0-1-1, +1, 2 PIM, 5 SOG, 13/22 FO, 1 Hit
Season totals: 32 GP, 22-25-47, +20, 40 PIM
2013-2014 Season: 48 GP, 21-41-62, -3, 65 PIM

Quebec won its fourth straight game, defeating Rimouski in overtime after blowing a 2-0 lead.

Ontario Hockey League

Plymouth Whalers 6 @ Windsor Spitfires 4

W Cristiano DiGiacinto, WSR: 1-0-1, E, 4 PIM
Season totals: 30 GP, 12-9-21, -12, 57 PIM
2013-14 totals: 50 GP, 17-11-28, +8, 101 PIM

One game after scoring eight goals against the Whalers, Windsor allowed six en route to a tough, 6-4 home loss. DiGiacinto has a three-game goal-scoring streak. His goal with under six minutes left in regulation cut Plymouth’s lead to 5-4. The Whalers added a late empty-netter.

Notes: The following players remain out of their respective lineups:
Brayden Point (Moose Jaw), with Team Canada for the World Junior Championships
Anthony DeAngelo (Sarnia), with Team USA
Dominik Masin (Peterborough),with Team Czech Republic

IIHF U20 WJC: Day Six

Group A
Canada 5 vs. USA 3
Anthony DeAngelo, USA, 1-0-1, -1, 0 PIM, 2 SOG
Tournament totals: 4 GP, 1-1-2, E, 0 PIM

Brayden Point, Canada, 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 0 SOG
Tournament totals: 4 GP, 1-1-2, +2, 0 PIM

Anthony DeAngelo scored Team USA's first goal on the PP, but had a key turnover late in the game that led to an EN goal that turned out to be Canada's winner in their 5-3 victory in the last game of the round robin. Brayden Point watched the proceedings from the pine. Coyotes first rounder Max Domi led the way for Canada with 2 goals. Wings first rounder Dylan Larkin, obviously the revelation of the tournament, had 2 goals in defeat for the Americans.

Group B
Russia 1 vs. Czech Republic 4
Dominik Masin, Czech Republic, 0-1-1, +1, 0 PIM, 1 SOG
Tournament totals: 4 GP, 0-1-1, -1, 0 PIM

Dominik Masin had a helper on Czech Republic's early Third Period insurance goal in their 4-1 spanking of Russia. Undrafted Patrik Zdrahal had the goal and finished the contest with 2 goals to lead the Czechs. Blues 2nd rounder Ivan Barbashev had Russia's lone goal in defeat.

ECHL Game Night: 12-31-14

Florida Everblades 2 at South Carolina Stingrays 0

D Artem Sergeev, FLA: 0-0-0, E, 2 PIM, 1 SOG
Season totals: 23 GP, 6-7-13, +7, 10 PIM, 35 SOG

Other Notables
G Allen York, FLA, Recalled to Syracuse
Season totals: 17 GP, 13-3-0-1, 2.45 GAA, 0.905 SV%, 2 SO

F Jeff Costello, FLA: 1-0-1, +1, 0 PIM, 2 SOG
Season totals (ECHL): 19 GP, 6-5-11, +3, 24 PIM, 40 SOG
Season totals (AHL): 3 GP, 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM

F Mike Aviani, FLA: 0-1-1, +1, 0 PIM, 2 SOG
Season totals (ECHL): 20 GP, 5-7-12, E, 11 PIM, 38 SOG
Season totals (AHL): 2 GP, 0-0-0, E, 2 PIM

A night after a 2nd Star effort, Blades goalie Andy Iles pitched a 28-shot shutout. Lightning camper Mike Aviani got the only assist on Florida's first goal, and Jeff Costello added the unassisted empty netter with under a minute remaining to seal the victory. The Everblades next stop on the road trip is Greenville on Friday night.

Wichita Thunder 4 at Missouri Mavericks 3

F Danick Gauthier, WIC: 0-2-2, +2, 0 PIM, 2 SOG, *Third Star*
Season totals (ECHL): 30 GP, 14-15-29, +3, 37 PIM, 98 SOG
Season totals (AHL): 1 GP, 0-0-0, -2, 2 PIM

D Daniel Milan, WIC: 0-0-0, -3, 2 PIM, 1 SOG
Season totals: 30 GP, 0-5-5, -11, 66 PIM, 31 SOG

The Thunder closed out 2014 by completing the home-and-home sweep of the Mavericks with a 4-3 victory Wednesday night. Lightning prospect Danick Gauthier notched a couple of assists in the victory, earning Third Star honors. Fellow prospect Daniel Milan registered a game worst -3 and falls to a team worst -11 on the season. Wichita heads back home to take on Quad City on Saturday night.

NHL Game Night: 12-31-14 Lightning at Sabres

Lightning open a Third Period can of beat down.

TB-5
BUF-1

Andrei Vasilevskiy allowed 1 goal on 11 shots (not a typo) for the victory. He made a handful of key saves while the game was tight and the only goal he did allow was a point shot that deflected off of Hedman's stick and took a crazy bounce in on net.

First Period
7:48 TB Carle (4), (Palat)
12:33 BUF Ennis (9), (Zadorov, Moulson)(PP)

Second Period
19:02 TB Palat (9), (Johnson, Kucherov)(PP)

Third Period
5:20 TB Connolly (7), (Stralman, Palat)
8:40 TB Kucherov (16), (Johnson, Stralman)
18:05 TB Kucherov (17), (Palat, Johnson)

Ondrej Palat, Nikita Kucherov, and Tyler Johnson were the game's three stars.

The Lightning, for about 30 minutes, didn't look like they wanted to be in Buffalo (well, yeah). In the Third Period, they outshot Buffalo 14-1 and absolutely dismantled the young Sabres. It was a clinic put on by the triplets line to put 2014 to bed the right way.

Now, here's the interesting part: the Lightning now have 11 points in this 10-game segment of the season with 1 more game to play. Despite all their struggles this month, they may still hit 12 points over this 10-game stretch, and at a minimum, they'll have 4 insurance points heading into the second half of the campaign. Nice.

Cedric Paquette had 3 hits and 1 blocked shot and was 40% on draws in 17:00 of ice time. He had the hit of the game smoking Josh Gorges after a failed breakaway by Steven Stamkos.

Jonathan Drouin had 1 shot in 14:08.

Nikita Nesterov was +1 in 15:02 in his NHL debut. He made a key play breaking up a 2-on-1 that nearly resulted in a goal at the other end when Stamkos hit a crossbar. In all, he wasn't noticeable, but that's a positive for a rookie d-man.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

AHL Game Day: 12-31-14 Crunch at Americans

A power play worse than Tampa Bay's.

SYR-1
RCH-4

Kristers Gudlevskis allowed 3 goals on 27 shots for the loss. The number looks ugly, but I can't be mad about any of the three goals. The first was a clean faceoff loss and a seeing eye point shot through a ton of traffic. Second goal was a breakaway after an awful Gourde turnover where Kristers got the first shot but got beat on the rebound. Third goal was a 2-on-1 where Blujus failed to block the pass across and Blunden couldn't catch up to the goal scorer.

First Period
SYR Koekkoek, (2) (Kunyk, Gourde), 7:58
RCH Leduc, (2) (Varone), 16:41

Second Period
RCH Reid, (5) , 7:42
RCH Dalpe, (6) (Schaller, Bagnall), 11:34 (SH)

Third Period
RCH Irwin, (4) (Ellis), 18:40 (EN)

Syracuse was 0-for-8 on the power play. Unlike Tampa Bay, though, which has plenty of finishers, I think the Crunch suffer from having only 1 or 2 pure finishers like Marchessault. As a consequence, they should be playing more of a shot/rebound style of basic PP, but that's not what they seemed interested in doing today.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

What to Expect from Nikita Nesterov

The Tampa Bay Lightning recalled defenseman Nikita Nesterov from the Syracuse Crunch of the American Hockey League today, vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman announced.

Nesterov, 5-foot-11, 199 pounds, has played in 32 games with the Crunch this season, recording three goals and 14 points with at plus-4 rating and 26 penalty minutes. He leads all Syracuse blue-liners for goals and points while ranking tied for second for plus/minus.

A native of Chelyabinsk, Russia, Nesterov has played in 86 career AHL games, all with the Crunch during the previous two seasons. He has registered seven goals and 30 points with 65 penalty minutes.

Nesterov was selected by the Lightning in the fifth round, 148th overall, of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft.

What to Expect:

No player on the Syracuse Crunch has improved more since last season than Nesterov. There are two things to take away from that statement: Nesterov’s improvement and just how bad he was last year.

Juniors Game Night: 12-30-14

Ontario Hockey League

Windsor Spitfires 8 @ Plymouth Whalers 4

W Cristiano DiGiacinto, WSR: 1-1-2, E, 2 PIM
Season totals: 29 GP, 11-9-20, -12, 53 PIM
2013-14 totals: 50 GP, 17-11-28, +8, 101 PIM

Windsor won their second straight game, putting up a snowman in Plymouth. DiGiacinto had a goal and an assist in both wins.

Western Hockey League

Lethbridge Hurricanes 2 @ Calgary Hitmen 8

D Ben Thomas, CAL: 0-0-0, -2, 0 PIM, 1 SOG
Season totals: 27 GP, 3-12-15, -1, 12 PIM
2013-14 totals: 72 GP, 7-24-31, +11, 39 PIM

Calgary also put up a snowman, 8-2 over Lethbridge. Ben Thomas was a team-worst minus-2 despite the plus-4 even-strength goal disparity. He and one other Hitman were on the minus side of even.

Notes: The following players remain out of their respective lineups:
Brayden Point (Moose Jaw), with Team Canada for the World Junior Championships
Anthony DeAngelo (Sarnia), with Team USA
Dominik Masin (Peterborough),with Team Czech Republic

ECHL Game Night: 12-30-14

Florida Everblades 3 at Gwinnett Gladiators 1

D Artem Sergeev, FLA: 0-0-0, -1, 0 PIM, 0 SOG
Season totals: 22 GP, 6-7-13, +7, 8 PIM, 34 SOG

Other Notables
G Allen York, FLA, Recalled to Syracuse
Season totals: 17 GP, 13-3-0-1, 2.45 GAA, 0.905 SV%, 2 SO

F Jeff Costello, FLA: 0-1-1, E, 0 PIM, 2 SOG
Season totals (ECHL): 18 GP, 5-5-10, +2, 24 PIM, 38 SOG
Season totals (AHL): 3 GP, 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM

F Mike Aviani, FLA: 0-0-0, +1, 0 PIM, 5 SOG
Season totals (ECHL): 19 GP, 5-6-11, -1, 11 PIM, 36 SOG
Season totals (AHL): 2 GP, 0-0-0, E, 2 PIM

With Allen York recalled to Syracuse as a ripple effect of Vasilevskiy's recall to Tampa, Andy Iles stopped 27 Gladiator shots for his 2nd victory since being claimed off waivers on December 2nd from Alaska. Jeff Costello notched the primary assist on Florida's first goal late in the 2nd period, a power play marker that knotted the game at one apiece. The Everblades take on the Stingrays in Charleston New Year's Eve.

Missouri Mavericks 2 at Wichita Thunder 3 OT

F Danick Gauthier, WIC: 1-0-1, E, 2 PIM, 4 SOG
Season totals (ECHL): 29 GP, 14-13-27, +1, 37 PIM, 96 SOG
Season totals (AHL): 1 GP, 0-0-0, -2, 2 PIM

D Daniel Milan, WIC: 0-0-0, -1, 2 PIM, 1 SOG
Season totals: 29 GP, 0-5-5, -8, 64 PIM, 30 SOG

The Thunder extended their win streak with an OT win over the Mavericks in Central Division play Tuesday night. Lightning prospect Danick Gauthier broke open a scoreless game late in the 2nd period with Wichita's first goal. Wichita completes the home-and-home with the Mavericks in Missouri New Year's Eve.

Liiga Game Day: 12-30-14

HPK 1 vs. SaiPa 4
Saku Salminen, HPK, 0-0-0, -1, 0 PIM, 3 SOG
Season totals: 19 GP, 2-3-5, +1, 2 PIM

Saku Salminen was -1 in 9:49 of ice time in HPK's 4-1 loss to SaiPa. HPK now sits at 8th on the 14 team Liiga table. The top 10 teams in the league make the postseason.

KHL Game Day: 12-30-14

Kazan 3 vs. Khanty-Mansiysk 2
Nikita Gusev, Khanty-Mansiysk, 0-0-0, -2, 0 PIM, 3 SOG
Season totals: 37 GP, 14-7-21, +3, 10 PIM

Nikita Gusev was -2 in 19:36 of ice time in Yugra's 3-2 loss to Kazan. Ex-Sharks first rounder Lukas Kaspar had a pair of helpers in defeat for Yugra.

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