Ashton Settling In With Crunch


By Jeremy Houghtaling

Carter Ashton is settled in and starting to contribute on the scoresheet.

The forward, reacquired by the Tampa Bay Lightning in a trade earlier this month, has built a rapport with Yanni Gourde and Tanner Richard on one of the Crunch’s top lines. Ashton was held without a point in his first three games with Syracuse, but has three points in his last five games.

“Sometimes it takes a couple games to find chemistry and get comfortable with the guys,” Ashton said at practice Tuesday. “It’s been a great transition so far. Sweeping three this weekend was good for the team, and I found some chemistry with (Gourde) and (Richard). We hope to keep that going.”

Juniors Game Night: 2-25-15

Quebec Major Junior Hockey League

Sherbrooke Phoenix 2 @ Shawinigan Cataractes 7

C Cameron Darcy, SHR: 1-0-1, -2, 2 PIM, 1 SOG, 8/13 FO, 2 Hits
With Sherbrooke: 28 GP, 17-21-38, -9, 30 PIM
With Cape Breton: 19 GP, 1-13-14, -6, 14 PIM
Season totals: 47 GP, 18-34-52, -14, 46 PIM
2013-2014 Season: 65 GP, 35-47-82, +3, 51 PIM

Darcy’s second period goal cut Shawinigan’s lead to 4-2, but that was as close as the Phoenix got.

Western Hockey League

Calgary Hitmen 5 @ Portland Winterhawks 4 (OT)

D Ben Thomas, CAL: 1-0-1, +2, 0 PIM
Season totals: 49 GP, 6-23-29, +17, 20 PIM
2013-14 totals: 72 GP, 7-24-31, +11, 39 PIM

Portland had a 4-1 lead before Calgary came fighting back to force overtime. Thomas’s sixth goal of the season came in the second period and made the score 4-3. Defenseman Jake Bean (2016) scored the overtime winner to give Calgary its sixth straight win.

AHL Game Night: 2-25-15 Crunch at Americans

Tough return for Vasiy.

SYR-3
RCH-4

Andrei Vasilevskiy allowed 4 goals on 34 shots for the loss.

First Period
SYR Gourde, (19) (Mormina, Namestnikov), 11:34
RCH Leduc, (6) (Austin, D'Amigo), 14:02 (PP)

Second Period
RCH Irwin, (12) (Schaller, Austin), 18:06

Third Period
RCH Dalpe, (16) (Carrier), 7:50
RCH Irwin, (13) (D'Amigo, Schaller), 13:13
SYR Mormina, (3) (Marchessault, Angelidis), 14:52
SYR Namestnikov, (13) (Marchessault, Dotchin), 17:15

Vladislav Namestnikov was the game's third star. He's now at a solid 32 points in 32 games.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

Extraliga Game Day: 2-24-15

Vitkovice 1 vs. Sparta Praha 5
Jaroslav Janus, Sparta Praha, DNP
Season totals (CZE): 3 GP, 1-2-0, 0 SO, 4.10 GAA, .864 sv%
Season totals (KHL): 25 GP, 6-12-5, 2 SO, 3.01 GAA, .891 sv%

Tomas Rolinek had 3 goals and 4 points for Sparta Praha in their 5-1 victory over Vitkovice. Ex-Blackhawks second rounder Michal Barinka also had 2 helpers in the win.

Liiga Game Day: 2-24-15

HPK 3 vs. Blues 4 (OT)
Saku Salminen, HPK, DNP
Season totals: 32 GP, 3-4-7, E, 4 PIM

Ex-Lightning draft pick Eero Somervuori had a helper in HPK's 4-3 loss to Espoo Blues. Ex-Rangers 6th rounder Kim Hischovits had 1 goal and 3 points to lead the way for Blues.

KHL Game Day: 2-24-15

The final day of the KHL regular season...

Khanty-Mansiysk 4 vs. Magnitogorsk 3 (OT)
Nikita Gusev, Khanty-Mansiysk, 1-0-1, E, 0 PIM, 4 SOG
Season totals: 55 GP, 21-16-37, +1, 12 PIM

Vasily Koshechkin, Magnitogorsk, DNP
Season totals: 51 GP, 32-10-6, 5 SO, 1.86 GAA, .934 sv%

Nikita Gusev had the game opening goal in 15:39 of ice time in Yugra's season-capping 4-3 OT win over Magnitogorsk. Yugra's game winning goal came from long-time NHLer Alexander Korolyuk. The 38 year old also had a helper in the match, and has been playing significant time with Gusev helping to mentor the young forward.

Yugra will miss the KHL postseason. Magnitogorsk faces Ufa in the opening round.

Mytischi 7 vs. Dinamo Riga 2
Dmitry Korobov, Mytischi, 0-0-0, +1, 2 PIM, 0 SOG
Season totals: 46 GP, 1-8-9, +1, 53 PIM

Dmitry Korobov had a minor for hooking in 23:48 of ice time in Mytischi's 7-2 thumping of Riga. Ex-Stars 5th rounder Artem Chernov had 1 goal and 1 assist in the win, while ex-Lightning defenseman Matt Gilroy chipped in 2 assists. Young righty defenseman Albert Yarullin finished with 5 goals and 15 points in 29 game with Atlant, with a +3 rating and 22 PIM.

Mytischi will miss the KHL playoffs.

Prospect of the Week: 2-25-15


By Jeremy Houghtaling

We continue our Bolt Prospect of the Week award, an honor (virtually) given to one Tampa Bay Lightning prospect for his recent contributions on and off the ice.

The Bolt Prospect of the Week for February 25, 2015 is … Vladislav Namestnikov, C, Syracuse Crunch (AHL – USA).

With Vladislav Namestnikov in a four-game point drought and the Syracuse Crunch on a five-game losing streak, both looked to rebound.

The Crunch’s top line center registered a goal and an assist in a 3-1 win over Albany Friday, added a helper in a 5-3 victory over Binghamton Saturday, and recorded the game-winner and two assists in a 4-3 win in Rochester Sunday. The six-point, plus-five weekend earned Namestnikov the honor of being named the American Hockey League Player of the Week Monday, and our Bolt Prospect of the Week today.

Juniors Game Night: 2-24-15

Quebec Major Junior Hockey League

Rimouski Oceanic 3 @ Quebec Remparts 0

W Adam Erne, QUE: Did not play
Season totals: 52 GP, 37-38-75, +18, 89 PIM
2013-2014 Season: 48 GP, 21-41-62, -3, 65 PIM

Erne was injured against Val-d’Or last game, and one report stated Erne claimed at the morning skate he was healthy enough to play against Rimouski. He was a last-minute scratch, but should be back soon.

Western Hockey League

Calgary Hitmen 3 @ Seattle Thunderbirds 2

D Ben Thomas, CAL: 0-0-0, +1, 0 PIM
Season totals: 48 GP, 5-23-28, +15, 20 PIM
2013-14 totals: 72 GP, 7-24-31, +11, 39 PIM

Calgary continued its swing through the Pacific Northwest with a win in Seattle Tuesday. The Hitmen, who have already clinched a playoff spot, sit in second in the Eastern Conference, just ahead of Medicine Hat, but well back of Brandon for first. Calgary is 9-1 in its last 10 games and has won five in a row.

NCAA Game Night: 2-23-15

No. 14 Harvard Crimson 2 @ Boston College Eagles 3 (OT)

F Brian Hart, HAR: 0-0-0, -1, 0 PIM, 4 SOG
Season totals: 27 GP, 6-5-11, -2, 17 PIM
2013-2014 totals: 30 GP, 7-8-15, -8, 20 PIM

BC got a goal from Ryan Fitzgerald, a Bruins fourth rounder and son of former Nashville Predators captain Tom Fitzgerald, to win the Beanpot Third Place game.

No. 3 Boston University Terriers 4 @ Northeastern Huskies 3 (OT)

D John MacLeod, BU: 0-0-0, +2, 4 PIM, 0 SOG
Season totals: 28 GP, 2-6-8, +12, 46 PIM
2013-2014 totals (USHL): 19 GP, 1-4-5, +1, 36 PIM

Northeastern scored twice in the third period to force overtime against BU, but another Bruins draft pick, Matt Grzelcyk, scored his second goal of the game for the Terriers in overtime to give BU the 2015 Beanpot championship. Northeastern goalie Clay Witt, a possible Lightning free agent target, stopped 30 shots in the overtime loss.

Bolt Prospects' 2014-2015 Midterm Rankings

With the graduation of Cedric Paquette and Jonathan Drouin from prospect status here on Bolt Prospects, it's officially time for our annual mid-season ritual of releasing our Midterm Rankings. While the season to date has been marked by a few surprises, the overall shape and outline of the Lightning organization appears to be in line with our early season expectations. Fresh from a season that saw an unprecedented migration of high-quality talent from the AHL to the NHL level, the Lightning organization still enjoys a handful of highly regarded top-tier prospects. But, the amazing depth the Lightning enjoyed is still in the process of being rebuilt. And, with injuries playing a factor, that depth is being heavily taxed midway through the 2014-2015 campaign, particularly at the defenseman position.

The rules remain the same: Only prospects who were under the age of 24 on opening night of the Lightning season are eligible for inclusion in the rankings (our apologies, Luke Witkowski). A skater prospect is considered graduated if they play 41 games in a single NHL season or they collect 82 career NHL games. Goaltenders graduate with 30 decisions in a single NHL season or 41 career NHL decisions. Finally, NCAA-based prospects are eligible for inclusion on the list as long as they are in school, regardless of their age. With the rules out of the way, let's begin...

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