NCAA Game Night: 10-4-17

No. 2 Boston University Terriers 3 @ No. 17 Quinnipiac Bobcats 2 (OT)

D John MacLeod, BU: Did not play
Season Totals: 1 GP, 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM
’17-’18 Totals Totals: 36 GP, 2-5-7, +8, 30 PIM

MacLeod, a senior, sat for the Terriers matchup in Connecticut vs Matt Peca’s alma mater. He had played in BU’s first game of the season. MacLeod has been an occasional scratch the past two seasons for one of the NCAA’s best sides.

Juniors Game Night: 10-8-17

Quebec Major Junior Hockey League

Blainville-Boisbriand Armada 5 @ Halifax Mooseheads 4 (OT)

C/W Otto Somppi, HAL: Did not play
’16-’17 Totals: 60 GP, 17-24-41, -7, 28 PIM

Somppi has not played this season. He is still recovering from a shoulder injury.

Western Hockey League

Swift Current Broncos 4 @ Moose Jaw Warriors 3

C Brett Howden, MJ: 0-0-0, -2, 4 PIM, 2 SOG, 15/24 FO
Season Totals: 4 GP, 2-3-5, E, 6 PIM
’16-‘17 Totals: 58 GP, 38-43-81, +14, 73 PIM

D Oleg Sosunov, MJ: 0-0-0, -1, 0 PIM, 1 SOG
Season Totals: 6 GP, 3-0-3, +6, 19 PIM
’16-‘17 Totals: 58 GP, 38-43-81, +14, 73 PIM

Swift Current kept both Howden and Sosunov off the scoresheet Sunday in a 4-3 road win. This was a battle of the top two, undefeated teams in the East Division. The Broncos moved to 6-0, Moose Jaw 5-1.

NHL Game Night: 10-9-17 Capitals at Lightning

Out of the ashes, Tampa Bay issues a statement.

WSH-3
TB-4 (OT)

Andrei Vasilevskiy allowed 3 goals on 26 shots for the victory. The stat lines not pretty, but a handful of his saves had to be in order to allow the Lightning to keep contact and get the win.

First Period
16:42 WSH Backstrom (1), (Burakovsky, Oshie)
18:05 WSH Oshie (2), (Carlson, Backstrom)(PP)

Second Period
5:28 TB Killorn (1), (Point, Coburn)
7:49 WSH Oshie (3), (Backstrom, Kuznetsov)(PP)
18:09 TB Kunitz (1), (Stralman, Paquette)

Third Period
10:46 TB Kucherov (3), (Killorn, Stralman)

Overtime
3:08 Point (3), (Kucherov, Stamkos)(PP)

Nikita Kucherov and Alex Killorn were the game's first and second stars.

Every man in that lineup up and down deserved a star. That was Lightning hockey, and it was Lightning hockey at a level I don't think we've seen in a regular season matchup against the Capitals in forever. Coming off an embarrassing performance in Sunrise, the Lightning outskated, outpossessed, and outplayed Washington for the bulk of 63 minutes of hockey, allowing them to overcome some negative puck luck in the First Period to get the job done. And, it wasn't just the top lines or the top pairs. Every man all the way down to the checking line got it done tonight. Cedric Paquette even played like a beast tonight. Kunitz. Callahan. You name it. This team had a different look in their eye coming out of, one would presume, some kind of team meeting this morning, and they wouldn't be denied tonight. This isn't hype, it's truth: if they play with that level of determination, attention to detail, and hustle every night, they're going to leave a lot of opposing teams in their wake as they plow through this season. The back checking pressure of the Lightning forwards in the neutral zone alone tonight... well, Nigel's going to need to smoke a cigarette while he puts this film together. It's that good.

7 games left in segment 1 of the campaign: 8 points left to go.

Slater Koekkoek played 3:09 as the 7th d-man. If you blinked, you missed him.

Yanni Gourde had 2 penalty minutes in 14:44. I need some more SOG's, Yanni.

Jake Dotchin had 1 shot, 3 hits, and 4 blocked shots in 12:01. He's slowly rounding into form.

Mikhail Sergachev had 2 shots and 1 hit in 12:40. Mixed bag. Egregious turnovers in the First Period. Darned near potted a regulation winner in the Third Period.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

NCAA Game Night: 10-7-17

Colorado College Tigers 0 @ Vermont Catamounts 3 (Friday)

C Ross Colton, UVM: 1-0-1, E, 0 PIM, 3 SOG, *Second Star*

Colorado College Tigers 4 @ Vermont Catamounts 3 (Saturday)

C Ross Colton, UVM: 3-0-3, E, 0 PIM, 13 SOG, *First Star*
Season Totals: 2 GP, 4-0-4, E, 0 PIM
’16-‘17 Totals: 33 GP, 12-15-27, E, 22 PIM

Colton, a sophomore coming off a fine freshman season, scored Friday night and had a hat trick Saturday night as the Catamounts split their weekend series with Colorado College.

New Hampshire Wildcats 4 vs UMass-Lowell River Hawks 3 (Friday)

C Ryan Lohin, UML: 0-2-2, -1, 2 PIM, 2 SOG, *Second Star*

No. 5 UMass-Lowell River Hawks 1 @ New Hampshire Wildcats 3 (Saturday)

C Ryan Lohin, UML: 0-1-1, E, 0 PIM, 1 SOG
Season Totals: 2 GP, 0-3-3, -1, 2 PIM
’16-‘17 Totals: 41 GP, 12-17-29, +10, 14 PIM

UNH earned a 2-game sweep over UML this weekend, capping it with a 3-1 home win Saturday. Lightning prospect Ryan Lohin, a sophomore, had three assists in the home-and-home series. The River Hawks will be dropping from their No. 5 ranking in the next USCHO poll.

No. 3 Minnesota Golden Gophers 3 vs. Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs 4 (OT) (Friday)
Icebreaker Tournament

D Ryan Zuhlsdorf, UMN: 0-0-0, -1, 0 PIM, 1 SOG

Minnesota Golden Gophers 2 vs. Union Dutchmen 0 (Saturday)
Icebreaker Tournament

D Ryan Zuhlsdorf, UMN: 0-0-0, E, 2 PIM, 1 SOG

Season Totals: 2 GP, 0-0-0, -1, 2 PIM
’16-‘17 Totals: 37 GP, 2-3-5, +11, 35 PIM

The Gophers won the consolation game of the season-opening Icebreaker tournament in Duluth (won by Michigan Tech). Sabres’ 8th overall pick in 2017 Casey Mittelstadt had a goal for the Gophers.

*USCHO poll used for rankings

Juniors Game Night: 10-7-17

Ontario Hockey League

Barrie Colts 6 @ Saginaw Spirit 2

W Alexey Lipanov, BAR: 1-2-3, +1, 0 PIM, 2 SOG, 6/21 FO, *Third Star*
Season Totals: 8 GP, 2-8-10, +5, 0 PIM
‘16-‘17 Totals (VHL-Russia): 21 GP, 3-5-8, +5, 8 PIM

Lipanov was third star as Barrie beat Saginaw in Michigan, 6-2. Andrei Svechnikov (2018) had two goals for the Colts.

London Knights 2 @ Erie Otters 5

W Taylor Raddysh, Erie: 0-1-1, +3, 4 PIM, 8 SOG
Season Totals: 6 GP, 1-6-7, +3, 10 PIM
‘16-‘17 Totals: 58 GP, 42-66-108, +67, 37 PIM

Erie got back on the winning side after defeating another traditional powerhouse, London, 5-2. Both teams are a shadow of their former selves this year so far.

Western Hockey League

Kelowna Rockets 4 @ Prince George Cougars 3 (OT)

D Cal Foote, KEL: 0-1-1, -1, 0 PIM, 3 SOG
Season Totals: 6 GP, 2-6-8, +3, 4 PIM
‘15-‘16 Totals: 71 GP, 6-51-57, +39, 41 PIM

Kelowna completed a 2-game sweep in Prince George, winning both games in overtime. Dillon Dube (Flames) had a goal and three assists for the Rockets.

Saskatoon Blades 3 @ Regina Pats 7

D Libor Hajek, SAS: 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 0 SOG
Season Totals: 5 GP, 0-2-2, -8, 6 PIM
’16-‘17 Totals: 61 GP: 4-22-26, -17, 86 PIM

Zeros across the board for Hajek Saturday. The Blades fell to 1-4 on the season.

United States Hockey League

Dubuque Fighting Saints 1 @ Green Bay Gamblers 2 (OT)

C Cole Guttman, DBQ: 0-0-0, E, 2 PIM, 1 SOG
Season Totals: 2 GP, 0-0-0, E, 2 PIM
’16-‘17 Totals: 53 GP, 27-27-54, +21, 18 PIM

Jon Cooper’s former club got an overtime winner from defenseman Carver Watson (undrafted, Michigan Tech commit) to top the Saints, 2-1.

USHL Note: Sam Walker, a Minnesota commit, is playing high school hockey this season. He’s expected to jump back into the USHL at some point.

Crunch Fall to Americans in Home Opener


By Jeremy Houghtaling

The Syracuse Crunch came into the night shorthanded on the blue line.

The Crunch iced a lineup with just five defensemen after one player was hurt and another had a family issue arise. Syracuse held Rochester to 18 shots on goal, but the Crunch fell to the Americans, 3-2, in overtime in the homer opener at the Onondaga County War Memorial Saturday.

“My hat’s off to our D. The five of them were outstanding (in their) second game in two nights,” Crunch head coach Benoit Groulx said. “It’s very demanding and my hat’s off to them because they hung in there and they did a fantastic job.”

NHL Game Night: 10-7-17 Lightning at Panthers

Travesty in Sunrise. And, no, I don't mean that the building was half empty on their opening night.

TB-4
FLA-5

Andrei Vasilevskiy allowed 5 goals on a staggering 48 shots for the loss. Without Vasiy, the Panthers may have scored 10 goals tonight.

First Period
3:30 TB Kucherov (2), (Stamkos, Namestnikov)
4:48 TB Namestnikov (2), (Stamkos, Kucherov)(PP)
12:18 FLA Dadonov (1), (Ekblad, Huburdeau)

Second Period
1:46 FLA Bjugstad (1), (Dadonov, McCann)
13:57 TB Point (2), (Palat)

Third Period
6:06 FLA Sceviour (1), (Haley, Barkov)
6:42 FLA McCann (1), (Bjugstad, Brickley)
8:34 FLA Trocheck (1), (Vrbata, Barkov)
14:12 TB Johnson (1), (Gourde, Point)

The score line doesn't depict what a squash this was, at all. Even the 48-30 shot disparity doesn't depict it, given half of the Lightning's shots came in the final frame. The team's top line pounced on Florida early to stake the club to a 2-0 lead and looked within an eyelash of making the game a laugher, and then took their foot off the gas and the whole thing went sideways. They spent most of the rest of the game looking slow and confused as they surrendered turnover after turnover and scoring chance after scoring chance until garbage time came and they began the quixotic quest for the improbable comeback. It's not good enough. In 120 minutes of hockey this season the Lightning have only played well in about... 35... of those minutes. It's unacceptable. I don't like the lower two lines. I don't like two of the three pairings. I don't like that the club overall doesn't seem to have a clue what to do with Jon Cooper's new tweaks to his system. Consider this a first test for the team's new leadership council, because a night like this is a rude awakening, and I'll be damned if I have to sit through another night where "Panther Territory" is celebrating like they just won the Stanley Cup (pathetic).

Yanni Gourde had a helper and was +1 with 1 hit in 14:42. He's played well, but he needs to translate that into shots on goal for himself to take another step.

Jake Dotchin was -2 with 5 penalty minutes, 2 shots, and 1 hit in 13:25. Good Lord, I hope this isn't the beginning of Dotchin turning back into a pumpkin.

Mikhail Sergachev was -1 with 1 shot and 2 blocked shots in 16:54. Tonight he got roughed up physically and mentally. Not going to lie. He had some nice moments but he also got targeted by Florida and had some bad turnovers to go along with some dubious decision-making from the point on the power play. Mind you, I don't know he should be getting power play time at this juncture of his development, but that's another matter.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

AHL Game Night: 10-7-17 Americans at Crunch

Ex-Lightning prospect bests new Lightning prospect.

RCH-3
SYR-2 (OT)

Connor Ingram allowed 3 goals on 18 shots for the OT loss in his pro debut.

First Period
10:33 RCH Smith (1), (Fedun, Redmond)(PP)
16:16 SYR Conacher (1),(Thomas, Peca)

Second Period
1:49 RCH Criscuolo (1), (Smith, Nelson)

Third Period
11:51 SYR Lynch (1), (Stephens, Thomas)

Overtime
0:39 RCH Porter (1), (unassisted)

Cory Conacher and Ben Thomas were the game's second and third stars.

Ex-Lightning prospect Adam Wilcox helped Rochester overcome a 26-18 shot deficit to pull out the win for the Americans.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

Juniors Game Night: 10-6-17

Quebec Major Junior Hockey League

Quebec Remparts 3 @ Halifax Mooseheads 2 (OT)

C/W Otto Somppi, HAL: Did not play
’16-’17 Totals: 60 GP, 17-24-41, -7, 28 PIM

Somppi has not played this season. He is still recovering from a shoulder injury.

Ontario Hockey League

Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds 4 @ London Knights 1

W Boris Katchouk, SSM: 2-0-2, +2, 0 PIM, 3 SOG, *Third Star*
Season Totals: 7 GP, 8-3-11, +5, 2 PIM
’16-’17 Season: 66 GP, 35-29-64, +18, 46 PIM

Katchouk extended his goal streak to four games with two more goals, extending his season total to eight in seven games. He leads the OHL in both goals and points.

Barrie Colts 1 @ Sarnia Sting 4

W Alexey Lipanov, BAR: 0-1-1, +1, 0 PIM, 1 SOG, 3/17 FO
Season Totals: 7 GP, 1-6-7, +4, 0 PIM
‘16-‘17 Totals (VHL-Russia): 21 GP, 3-5-8, +5, 8 PIM

Lipanov had a helper on the Colts’ only goal, but Barrie lost to Steven Stamkos’s former team, 4-1. Lipanov continues to take it on the chin in the faceoff dot. He was 3/17 Friday. Ouch.

Peterborough Petes 3 @ Ottawa 67’s 4

W/C Christopher Paquette, PBO: Did not play
Season Totals: 2 GP, 1-0-1, -1, 0 PIM
’16-‘17 Totals (NIA/PBO): 66 GP, 19-29-48, +1, 28 PIM

Paquette remains out with an upper-body injury (the head part of the upper-body).

Erie Otters 3 @ Kitchener Rangers 5

W Taylor Raddysh, Erie: 0-0-0, -2, 0 PIM, 1 SOG
Season Totals: 5 GP, 1-5-6, E, 6 PIM
‘16-‘17 Totals: 58 GP, 42-66-108, +67, 37 PIM

Raddysh made a surprise return from a shoulder injury, but it wasn’t enough for Erie to avoid a home-and-home sweep at the hands of the Rangers.

Western Hockey League

Kelowna Rockets 7 @ Prince George Cougars 6 (OT)

D Cal Foote, KEL: 0-0-0, -3, 0 PIM, 3 SOG
Season Totals: 5 GP, 2-5-7, +4, 4 PIM
‘15-‘16 Totals: 71 GP, 6-51-57, +39, 41 PIM

An old-school QMJHL score in the Dub. Foote was minus-3.

Swift Current Broncos 6 @ Saskatoon Blades 2

D Libor Hajek, SAS: 0-0-0, -4, 2 PIM, 1 SOG
Season Totals: 4 GP, 0-2-2, -8, 6 PIM
’16-‘17 Totals: 61 GP: 4-22-26, -17, 86 PIM

We’re going to start putting #NSFW warnings for Hajek’s plus/minus.

Kootenay Ice 2 @ Moose Jaw Warriors 5

C Brett Howden, MJ: 1-2-2, +2, 2 PIM, 4 SOG, 18/25 FO, *First Star*
Season Totals: 3 GP, 2-3-5, +2, 2 PIM
’16-‘17 Totals: 58 GP, 38-43-81, +14, 73 PIM

D Oleg Sosunov, MJ: 1-0-1, E, 0 PIM, 2 SOG
Season Totals: 5 GP, 3-0-3, +7, 19 PIM
’16-‘17 Totals: 58 GP, 38-43-81, +14, 73 PIM

Sosunov! The big Russian scored again – his third of the season – to stay ahead of Brett Howden in goals scored this season (just like everyone predicted). Howden did have a goal and an assist and was named first star for the second game in a row.

United States Hockey League

Chicago Steel 6 @ Dubuque Fighting Saints 2

C Cole Guttman, DBQ: 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 1 SOG
’16-‘17 Totals: 53 GP, 27-27-54, +21, 18 PIM

Guttman debuted as the Saints’ captain in Dubuque’s 6-2 season-opening loss to Chicago. Guttman, a Lightning sixth rounder who’s committed to St. Cloud State University, is coming off a 27-goal season with the Saints.

Tri-City Storm 2 @ Omaha Lancers 1

D Nicklaus Perbix, OMA: 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 1 SOG
’16-‘17 Totals (High School): 25 GP, 10-30-40, 6 PIM

Perbix made his USHL debut with the Lancers, but didn’t register a point in a 2-1 loss to the Storm. Perbix, a big righty 2-way defenseman, is committed to St. Cloud State.

USHL Note: Sammy Walker, a Minnesota commit, is playing high school hockey this season. He’s expected to jump back into the USHL at some point.

NHL Game Night: 10-6-17 Panthers at Lightning

Still...

FLA-3
TB-5

Andrei Vasilevskiy allowed 3 goals on 36 shots for the victory. He was clearly the difference in the game, allowing the Lightning to overcome an anemic opening 40 minutes while Roberto Luongo surrendered a couple of soft goals at the other end of the rink.

First Period
6:33 TB Palat (1), (Point, Hedman)

Second Period
0:25 TB Point (1), (unassisted)
12:21 FLA Brickley (1), (Petrovic)
17:47 FLA Pysyk (1), (Vrbata, Trocheck)

Third Period
0:59 TB Namestnikov (1), (Stamkos, Killorn)(PP)
6:38 TB Kucherov (1), (unassisted)
14:30 FLA Huberdeau (1), (Dadonov, Yandle)
19:46 TB Palat (2), (Point)(EN)

Brayden Point, Anton Stralman, and Ondrej Palat were the game's three stars.

Really a very mixed bag on the night, with slightly more good than bad. The team looked flat and got outpossessed by a wide margin in the first 40 minutes of the game, and it took some great play by Vasilevskiy and some soft play by Luongo to keep the Lightning from getting run out of their own barn. I think it starts from the backline where I simply didn't like the pairings with Jake Dotchin being scratched. If Jake's still paying his penance to Coach Cooper, I hope it's paid in full soon, because playing Girardi top pair isn't sustainable and playing Sustr at all isn't either. Sustr, in particular, did not cloak himself in glory in this game.

Through the first two frames, I thought only the Palat/Point/Gourde line showed up to the rink, but they were joined by the top line of Namestnikov/Stamkos/Kucherov that started to come on in the Third Period. I'm really heartened to see Brayden Point have a good opening game. With Tyler Johnson off the scoring lines and nearly invisible, the Lightning's ace up their sleeve is Point. I suspect he can have a breakout season and help give the Lightning the two balanced lines they need.

So, all in all, I think the pieces I think the Lightning need to really have a strong season (Vasilevskiy, Point, and to a lesser extent the returning Stamkos) had a good opening night with the exception of the exiled Dotchin. Hopefully the Lightning can get him back and playing as well as he did at the end of last season, and that'll push Girardi down to third pair with Coburn and Sustr to the press box, which I think will soothe a lot of defensive ills.

Yanni Gourde was +1 with 2 hits in 13:36.

Gabriel Dumont was 67% on 6 draws in 9:01.

Mikhail Sergachev was +1 with 2 penalty minutes and 4 shots in 16:03. I like that he's being mentored on a pair with Stralman and tonight was mostly what I'm hoping to see from him as a rookie. The Lightning need quality minutes more than hefty offensive production, and while I hope that ultimately Sergachev lands closer to 18 minutes on a game to game basis, this was a good start to his Lightning career.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

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