Nikita Kucherov of the Syracuse Crunch was named the CCM/AHL Rookie of the Month for October today.
Kucherov began his professional career with eight goals and seven assists for 15 points in eight games, ranking second in the entire AHL in scoring.
His first four career points all came in the Crunch’s home opener against Rochester on Oct. 12 and included a hat trick in a 5-1 victory. He had a goal and an assist each in both ends of a home-and-home series with Binghamton Oct. 18-19, and he netted Syracuse’s only regulation goal in a 2-1 shootout win at Utica on Oct. 25. Kucherov wrapped up the month with another four-point performance, registering two goals and two assists in a 4-1 victory at Albany on Oct. 30.
A second-round draft pick by Tampa Bay in 2011, Kucherov played junior hockey last season in the QMJHL, totaling 29 goals and 34 assists for 63 points in just 33 games between Quebec and Rouyn-Noranda. The native of Maykop, Russia, represented his country in the World Junior Championships, winning a silver medal in 2012 and bronze in 2013.
In recognition of his achievement, Kucherov will be presented with an etched crystal award prior to an upcoming Crunch home game.
For video highlights of Kucherov's first month as a pro, click here.
When Syracuse Crunch coach Rob Zettler first made the decision to put Cedric Paquette in the lineup, he relied on what he had heard from scouts.
The Tampa Bay Lightning organization, which drafted Paquette in the fourth round in 2012, knew what they could expect from the gritty 6-1 forward fresh out of junior hockey, and knew he would able to jump right into the American Hockey League’s Eastern Conference Finals.
Quebec Major Junior Hockey League
Halifax Mooseheads 2 @ Gatineau Olympiques 5
C/W Jonathan Drouin, HAL: 0-1-1, -2, 1 SOG, 0 Hits
Season totals: 10 GP, 3-13-16, +3, 6 PIM
2011-2012 Season: 49 GP, 41-64-105, +48, 32 PIM
Halifax outshot Gatineau, 29-27, but fell short where it counted on the scoreboard, 5-2. Drouin extended his point streak to four games with an assist. He was recently named to QMJHL’s roster for the upcoming CHL Subway Super Series against Russia.
Baie-Comeau Drakkar 5 @ Quebec Remparts 6 (SO)
C/W Adam Erne, QUE: 0-1-1, E, 2 PIM, 5 SOG, 5 Hits
Season totals: 15 GP, 7-10-17, +3, 29 PIM
2012-2013 Season: 68 GP, 28-44-72, +11, 67 PIM
Quebec is without a regulation loss in 10 games after their shootout win over the visiting Drakkar on Wednesday night. Adam Erne had an assist and led the team in hits with five. He was 16/26 on faceoffs. Erne was Quebec’s second shooter in the skills competition, but his attempt was saved. Erne was not named to the Subway Super Series roster as he is American and the match-up is between Canadian and Russian players.
Ontario Hockey League
Barrie Colts 3 @ Owen Sound Attack 5
D Jake Dotchin, BAR: 1-0-1, +2, 4 PIM
Season totals: 13 GP, 3-4-7, +8, 22 PIM
2012-13 totals: 66 GP, 4-18-22, E, 81 PIM
Dotchin opened the game’s scoring with a goal against his former club, but the Attack proved too strong, defeating the visiting Colts, 5-3.
OHL News: Lightning prospect and Windsor defenseman Slater Koekkoek was named to Team OHL for the upcoming Subway Super Series between CHL clubs and a Russian select club.
Tonight's win is brought to you by the letter V.
Cedrick Desjardins allowed 1 goal on 25 shots for the victory.
SYR Kucherov, (7) (Namestnikov, Taormina), 13:51 (PP)
SYR Kucherov, (8) , 15:00 (PP)
ALB Boucher, (3) (Timmins, Whitney), 9:23
SYR Brown, (2) (Kucherov, Namestnikov), 6:44
SYR Brown, (3) (Kucherov, Namestnikov), 10:14
As great as the top line has played, there is reason for concern. The team was outshot 25-19 in tonight's game and reigning AHL Second Team All-Star Brett Connolly has just 1 helper in 6 games this year. So, the second line has yet to get loose this year.
The Crunch get Rochester next on Friday.
Box score from TheAHL.com.
Omsk 2 vs. Ufa 1 (SO)
Andrey Vasilevskiy, Ufa, SO Loss, 0/0, 0.00 GAA, 1.000 sv%
Season totals: 12 GP, 7-3-2, 0 SO, 2.43 GAA, .916 sv%
Ufa reached into their bullpen for the shootout, putting in Andrey Vasilevskiy after Alexei Volkov stopped 29 of 30 shots in regulation and OT. But, Vasilevskiy stopped only 1 of 3 shooters as Ufa ultimately fell to Omsk 2-1. Ex-Lightning goaltender Mathieu Garon stopped 19 of 20 shots and 2 of 3 shooters to get the win for Avangard.
Khanty-Mansiysk 2 vs. Magnitogorsk 5
Vasily Koshechkin, Magnitogorsk, Win, 29/31, 2.01 GAA, .935 sv%
Season totals: 20 GP, 12-5-2, 2 SO, 2.21 GAA, .928 sv%
Nikita Gusev, Khanty-Mansiysk, DNP
Season totals: 17 GP, 2-2-4, -4, 2 PIM
Danis Zaripov had 1 goal and 1 assist to help lead Magnitogorsk to a 5-2 victory over Yugra. Nikita Gusev missed his third straight match for Yugra.
Mytischi 0 vs. Bratislava 1
Jaroslav Janus, Bratislava, Win, SO, 30/30, 0.00 GAA, 1.000 sv%
Season totals: 11 GP, 5-6-0, 1 SO, 2.90 GAA, .886 sv%
Jaroslav Janus stopped all 30 shots he faced to stake Bratislava to a 1-0 win over Mytischi. Ex-NHLer Martin Skoula assisted on the lone goal for Slovan.
Florida Everblades 5 @ Las Vegas Wranglers 3
FW Danick Gauthier, FLA: 0-1-1, -1, 4 SOG, 2 PIM (interference)
Season totals: 6 GP, 3-3-6, +3, 15 SOG, 17 PIM
G Kristers Gudlevskis, FLA: Did not play
Season totals: 2 GP, 2-0-0, 1.50 GAA, 32 S / 35 SA (.914 SV%)
D Charles Landry, FLA: Did not play
Season totals: 5 GP, 0-1-1, +7, 3 SOG, 9 PIM
FW Maxime Langelier-Parent, FLA (AHL Contract): Did not play
Season totals: 2 GP, 1-0-1, +1, 5 SOG, 2 PIM
D Dan Milan, FLA: 0-0-0, +1, 1 SOG, 0 PIM
Season totals: 2 GP, 0-0-0, +1, 3 SOG, 2 PIM
FW Carl Nielsen, FLA (AHL Contract): 0-0-0, E, 0 SOG, 2 PIM (roughing)
Season totals: 6 GP, 0-2-2, +1, 4 SOG, 9 PIM
Florida rode a three-goal lead it reestablished midway through the middle period, adding an empty-netter in the final minute to close out Las Vegas and extend its unbeaten streak to six games. With Kristers Gudlevksis still up with AHL Syracuse, the Everblades turned to Jesse Deckert, who stopped 22 of 25 Wranglers shots, to tend net for the fourth-straight game. Danick Gauthier, currently tied for the fourth-highest point total on the team, added a primary helper on a power play tally by Matt Pistilli, the team's and league's current top scorer, in the second period. Charles Landry had the night off while Dan Milan was inserted into the lineup for just the second time this season. Florida (6-0-0, 12 PTS) now heads home to await division rival Orlando (2-3-0, 4 PTS), whom it will square off against on Friday.
A few days after registering a shutout in his American Hockey League debut, Kristers Gudlevskis returned to the ice with a different look.
The mask emblazoned with blue stripes and the outline of a lightning bolt that he wore in his first three wins of the season was nowhere in sight as Gudlevskis dawned a more comfortable plain white helmet for Syracuse Crunch practice Tuesday.
Like his mask, Gudlevskis is back to a blank slate. His 22-save shutout over the Bridgeport Sound Tigers is history, and it's time to move forward.
Lightning take their first bad loss of the season.
Ben Bishop allowed 2 goals on 22 shots for the loss.
1:36 NJ Henrique (4), (Elias)(SH)
10:54 NJ Jagr (3), (unassisted)
15:23 TB Stamkos (9), (Purcell, R. Malone)(PP)
When I say "bad loss", I mean a loss against a team you expect to have a good chance to get a point or two against. Yes, the Lightning played poorly getting beat 5-0 by Boston and they left at least a point on the ice with their late loss to Pittsburgh, but this was the first time they really allowed themselves to fall behind schedule by losing to a team they could've gotten points from. You hate losing games like this because it starts to put pressure on you to steal more points out of games against top flight opponents, and that's a dangerous spot to be in.
The energy level was pretty poor. The puck handling and passing were pretty clumsy. Just a soft effort where the team really didn't appear to be bearing down and focused on the task at hand. At best, that led to an anemic 17 shots on goal. At worst, that led to turnovers, and turnovers by Carle and St. Louis led to New Jersey's two goals. Two flat games in a row now (I partly blame the Panthers game hangover for this one), and they should consider themselves fortunate to have gotten 2 points out of the 2 games, to be honest.
Radko Gudas had 3 shots, 2 hit, and 2 blocked shots to go with 2 penalty minutes in 23:05. I really didn't like his game tonight, although the coaches rewarded him with some late PP time. Got caught out of position more than once, took one bad penalty, and I didn't like the incident at Brodeur's cage at the buzzer. That's pointless and stupid when you just beat the wrap from the Panthers game incident. Cooper's got to calm him down, because he's getting out of control again.
Tyler Johnson had 3 shots and was 41% on draws in 16:30. He was stopped on a breakaway and had another clean look from the RW circles later in the game where he missed the net.
Alex Killorn had 2 shots in 15:45. This, actually, might have been one of his better efforts. He got robbed on one chance by Brodeur.
Ondrej Palat had 1 hit and 1 blocked shot in 13:49. He made an amazing pass to spring Johnson on his breakaway and got stung blocking a shot on a pretty big Third Period PK.
Andrej Sustr was -1 with 2 penalty minutes in 12:30. After a very good game against Florida, he might've been a little too big for his britches in his approach tonight. Not as much care with the puck in his own end and maybe a little out of control jumping into the play on the offensive end.
Richard Panik had a hit in 13:12. He had a couple of looks in a Third Period power play and he just didn't do anything with them. I worry about his confidence getting shot at some point.
Pierre-Cedric Labrie was -1 in 7:16. I'm going to ask an honest question and leave it right here. Two straight games where the team came out flat. Did anyone see Labrie trying to get in a scrap? I didn't. I question the logic of having a guy on the roster that's there for an obvious reason, dressing him, and then not seeing that role carried out. I saw Crombeen trying to get something going. Maybe I've missed it, but I haven't seen that from Labrie.
Ontario Hockey League
Kingston Frontenacs 2 @ Ottawa 67’s 1
W Henri Ikonen, KGN: 1-1-2, +1, 0 PIM, *Third Star*
Season totals: 13 GP, 7-16-23, +13, 6 PIM
2012-13 totals: 61 GP, 22-29-51, +2, 30 PIM
Ikonen broke his personal three-game scoreless streak with a goal and an assist as Kingston scored a road win over Ottawa, 2-1. Ikonen scored his seventh goal of the year just 33 seconds into Tuesday night’s game. He later assisted on Sam Watson’s power play marker in the third period to give the Fronts the lead for good.
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 October 29, 2013 is … Kristers Gudlevskis, G (Syracuse Crunch, AHL, USA).
Latvians sure know how to make an entrance.
Lightning goaltending prospect Kristers Gudlevskis announced his presence in the AHL Saturday with a 22-save shutout against Bridgeport. His impressive debut earned him our Prospect of the Week award.