TAMPA BAY – The Tampa Bay Lightning have agreed to terms with forward B.J. Crombeen on a two-year contract extension, vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman announced today.
“We are pleased to have B.J. with the Lightning organization for another two years,” Yzerman said. “He has proven to be a hard-nosed right winger and reliable penalty killer, as well as a very popular teammate of outstanding character.”
Crombeen, 27, has skated in 30 games with the Lightning this season, recording a goal and seven points to go along with 86 penalty minutes and a plus-six rating. He ranks first on the Lightning and fifth in the National Hockey League in penalty minutes. The 6-foot-2, 209-pound forward scored his first goal in a Lightning uniform on March 5 against the Devils in New Jersey.
“I am very thankful to the organization for giving me the opportunity to re-sign for two more years," Crombeen said. "I am very excited to move forward with the group we have and chase a spot in the playoffs."
TAMPA BAY – The Tampa Bay Lightning have recalled forward Mike Angelidis from the Syracuse Crunch of the American Hockey League, vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman announced today. Additionally, the Lightning have reassigned forward Dana Tyrell to the Crunch.
Angelidis, 27, has skated in 64 games with the Crunch this season, recording 10 goals and 21 points to go along with 142 penalty minutes. He ranks second on the team behind Radko Gudas in penalty minutes. The current Crunch captain also ranks tied for first on the Crunch with two shorthanded goals.
Last season, Angelidis scored his first career NHL goal in his NHL debut on January 24 against the Columbus Blue Jackets at the Tampa Bay Times Forum. The 6-foot-1, 212-pound forward skated in six games with the Lightning last season and collected a goal and five penalty minutes.
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.
TAMPA BAY – The Tampa Bay Lightning have signed forward Tanner Richard to a three-year, entry-level contract, vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman announced today.
Richard, 19, has skated in 52 games this season with the Guelph Storm of the Ontario Hockey League, recording 11 goals and 62 points to go along with 94 penalty minutes. The 6-foot, 183-pound forward ranks first on the Storm and ninth in the OHL in assists with 51 and was third on his team with a plus-18 rating. Richard also played in five postseason games against the Kitchener Rangers, registering three assists and six penalty minutes.
The Jona, Switzerland native has appeared in 95 career OHL games, all with Guelph, collecting 24 goals and 110 points with 140 penalty minutes. He also represented Switzerland at the 2013 IIHF World Jr. Championships in Russia, posting four assists and plus-two rating in six tournament games.
Richard was originally drafted by the Lightning in the third round, 71st overall, of the 2012 NHL Entry Draft.
(Midwest-4) St. Cloud State Huskies 4 vs (Midwest-2) Miami RedHawks 1
Midwest Region Finals
F Jimmy Mullin, MIA: Did not play
Season totals: 38 GP, 6-8-14, E, 14 PIM
Jimmy Mullin missed the game after injuring his knee in the regional semifinals against Minnesota State. His Miami teammates could not advance to the Frozen Four, losing to the Huskies, 4-1. Mullin finishes his sophomore season with 14 points, 12 fewer than his freshman totals. He is expected to return to the RedHawks for his junior season.
(East-3) Union Dutchmen 1 @ (East-1) Quinnipiac Bobcats 5
East Region Finals
F Matthew Peca, QU: 3-1-4, +4, 2 PIM, 3 SOG, *First Star*
Season totals: 37 GP, 15-15-30, +16, 34 PIM
Lightning prospect Matt Peca had a natural hat trick in the first period and was named first star as the Bobcats advanced to their first Frozen Four on Sunday. Peca has nearly doubled his goal output as a freshman (8) and is chasing his career high for points (39). Quinnipiac, the top ranked team in the country, will play WCHA regular season champ St. Cloud State on April 11 in Pittsburgh for the right to advance to the national championship game. Yale and UMass-Lowell will play in the other national semifinal.
KHL Playoffs (Russia):
Eastern Conference Finals
(1)Kazan 1 vs. (3)Chelyabinsk 2 (OT)
Kazan Leads the Series 3-2
Nikita Nesterov, Chelyabinsk, 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 2 SOG
Playoff totals: 11 GP, 0-3-3, E, 6 PIM
Regular season totals (KHL): 35 GP, 0-1-1, +6, 14 PIM
Regular season totals (MHL): 2 GP, 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM
Potential top-10 pick Valery Nichushkin assisted on Petri Kontiola's goal late in Overtime to lift Chelyabinsk to a 2-1 Game Five victory over Kazan. Traktor staves off elimination for the time being. Nikita Nesterov played 14:39 in the match. Ex-NHLer Jan Bulis continued his strong series by scoring Traktor's other goal.
Crunch only get 1 point out of a Norfolk weekend. Bad.
Riku Helenius allowed 2 goals on 27 shots for the loss. Hard to get mad at him when he got zero goal support. Former JYP mate (and really good player) Sami Vatanen with the dagger, too.
NOR Vatanen, (8) (Wilson, Smith-Pelly), 7:21
NOR Mitchell, (10) (Smith-Pelly, Wilson), 4:52
Syracuse did outshoot Norfolk 41-27, but they're missing their best finishers with so many callups to Tampa Bay. They have to be hoping/wishing/praying for someone like Lecavalier to come off the IR quickly.
It's now a 4-way tie atop the Eastern Conference with Springfield, Providence, Syracuse, and Binghamton all tied at 87 points. Providence holds 1 game in hand on the Crunch and Springfield holds 2.
8 games remain in the regular season. 6 of those 8 contests are in Syracuse starting with a matchup against Hershey on Friday.
Box score from TheAHL.com.
Florida Everblades 6 vs. Orlando Solar Bears 3
W Alex Hutchings, FLA: Did not play
Season totals: 40 GP, 14-20-34, E, 30 PIM
D Charles Landry, FLA: 0-0-0, +1, 2 SOG, 2 PIM (slashing)
Season totals: 50 GP, 4-12-16, +6, 31 PIM
F Maxime Langelier-Parent, FLA: Did not play
Season totals: 3 GP, 2-1-3, -3, 5 PIM
(Syracuse Crunch contract)
D Daniel Milan, FLA: Did not play
Season totals: 43 GP, 2-6-8, +5, 56 PIM
D Pat Nagle, FLA: Did not play
Season totals: 31 GP, 14-9-3, 3.02 GAA, 797 S / 882 SA (.904 SV%)
Florida, which struck first and rattled off six of the game's first seven goals, swept the four-game series with Orlando to conclude the regular season in convincing fashion. At the end of the evening, the Everblades again found themselves tied in points with Gwinnett for the South Division title and the third-seed in the pending playoffs but the Gladiators hold the tiebreaker so Florida instead takes the fourth-seed and is slotted to face Elmira in the first-round. Jesse Decker stopped 25 of 28 shots to backstop the Everblades to yet another victory with him in net. Deckert finishes his brief regular season 9-1-1 with a team-best 2.40 GAA and .916 SV%. Dan Milan (scratch), Alex Hutchings (AHL) and Pat Nagle (AHL) were again inactive. Florida and Elmira are scheduled to begin quarterfinals action Friday night.
(Midwest-3) Minnesota State Mavericks 0 vs (Midwest-2) Miami RedHawks 4
Midwest Region Semifinals
F Jimmy Mullin, MIA: 0-0-0, -1, 0 PIM, 1 SOG
Season totals: 38 GP, 6-8-14, E, 14 PIM
Adam Wilcox’s former goaltending partner Ryan McKay stopped all 20 shots he faced to lead the RedHawks to the Midwest Region Finals on Sunday. Jimmy Mullin was scoreless in the match, and took a nasty knee-on-knee hit on Saturday. Miami will face Midwest No. 4 St. Cloud State.
(West-4)Yale Bulldogs 4 vs. (West-2) North Dakota 1
West Region Finals
F Brendan O’Donnell, UND: 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 1 SOG
Season totals: 29 GP, 2-8-10, E, 20 PIM
North Dakota allowed four third period goals to Yale – alma mater of Lightning radio play-by-play voice Dave Mishkin – in what turned out to be North Dakota’s final game of the season. After starting the last handful of games on the first line, O’Donnell was on the fourth line on Saturday. The Lightning prospect was in and out of the lineup all year, but had found a place recently. He will enter his junior season next fall. Yale will play UMass-Lowell in the Frozen Four in Pittsburgh.
(East-4) Canisius Griffins 3 @ (East-1) Quinnipiac Bobcats 4
East Region Semifinals
F Matthew Peca, QU: 1-0-1, +1, 0 PIM, 4 SOG
Season totals: 36 GP, 12-14-26, +13, 32 PIM
Cinderella Canisius College – alma mater of the Lightning’s Cory Conacher – held a 3-1 lead on the top team in the country eight minutes into the third period before Peca scored his 12th of the season. The Bobcats scored two just over two minutes later then again three and a half minutes after that to advance to the East Region Finals on Sunday vs. third-seeded Union College, which beat Boston College. Cory Conacher’s brother, Shane Conacher, will play for the Griffs next season.
Bolt Prospects' Mike Gallimore made it out to Lightning practice today and had the chance to chat with new Bolts coach Jon Cooper. Some notes:
* Cooper said Cory Conacher's limited minutes last night weren't punitive. He thought Conacher played well and noted Cory created a couple scoring chances.
* Conacher's and Pyatt's ice time got clipped due to Cooper's decision to go heavy with a couple lines, especially Killorn-Stamkos-St. Louis.
* Cooper volunteered that - despite 89's hot start - Conacher is still an unfinished product at the NHL level.
* The Lightning did a number of situational drills today, with particular emphasis on puck retrieval and zone exits.
* Cooper noted that the team is in flux and it's going to take time, but felt the team rebounded well after first period of "throwing pucks up the wall."
* Cooper praised new Lightning prospect Andrej Sustr for his debut. He said Sustr kept earning additional shifts. Cooper was impressed with how calm Sustr played in his NHL debut.
* Cooper was excited when talking about Alex Killorn. He said it took Killorn about 10 games last year in Norfolk to figure out the pro game - and then Killorn took off.
* Cooper said Killorn has been instrumental on the top line as puck retriever for St. Louis and Stamkos.
* The team scrimmaged 4-on-4 today. Cooper said it served as a fun activity, but also that he believes in preparing thoroughly for non-5v5 situations.