Juniors Game Night: 1-4-18

Ontario Hockey League

** Note: Boris Katchouk (Sault Ste. Marie) and Taylor Raddysh (Erie) are away from their respective OHL teams for the 2018 WJC tournament.

London Knights 5 @ Barrie Colts 3

W Alexey Lipanov, BAR: 0-1-1, -1, 0 PIM, 1 SOG, 8/16 FO
Season Totals: 34 GP, 11-18-29, +9, 10 PIM
‘16-‘17 Totals (VHL-Russia): 21 GP, 3-5-8, +5, 8 PIM

Lipanov returned to action for the Colts after missing a couple of games, along with Andrei Svechnikov (2018 draft eligible) back from the WJCs with the Russian team. Svechnikov scored the 2-2 equalizer in the 2nd and fired a game-high 6 shots at Windsor goalie Jordan Kooy (2018 draft eligible), who stopped 40 for the win. Lipanov notched an assist on a power player marker by TJ Fergus (undrafted) late in the 3rd to draw within one at 4-3, but it was just false hope for Barrie, who now have lost two straight after a six-game win streak.

Windsor Spitfires 2 @ Peterborough Petes 1

W/C Christopher Paquette, PBO: 0-0-0, -1, 2 PIM, 0 SOG, 3/4 FO
Season Totals: 34 GP, 10-4-14, -22, 8 PIM
’16-‘17 Totals (NIA/PBO): 66 GP, 19-29-48, +1, 28 PIM

Michael DiPietro (VAN, 2017 3rd round pick) turned aside 35 Peterborough shots, and Windsor managed to slide one more past Petes netminder Dylan Wells (EDM, 2016 5th round pick) for the 2-1 Spitfires victory. The Petes are 1-7-2 in their last 10 games.

Minnesota State High School League

White Bear Lake Bears 3 @ Edina Hornets 3

F Sammy Walker, EDN: 2-1-3, 0 PIM, 2 SOG
Season Totals (HS): 12 GP, 14-17-31, 10 PIM
’16-‘17 Totals (HS): 25 GP, 22-24-46, 6 PIM
Committed to: University of Minnesota

Walker scored two of Edina’s three 2nd period goals, and he assisted on the third, as the Hornets took a 3-1 lead over the White Bears by the game’s midpoint. But White Bear Lake battled back with scores of their own in the 2nd and 3rd, drawing a tie with Edina. One of Walker’s goals was on the power play. The Hornets square off Saturday night against the Academy of Holy Angels Stars.

NHL Game Night: 1-4-18 Lightning at Canadiens

The Canadian Vasilevskiy edges out the Russian Vasilevskiy.

TB-1
MTL-2 (SO)

Andrei Vasilevskiy allowed 1 goal on 38 shots before allowed 1 of 3 shooters to convert in the penalty shot session for the SO loss. He might've been the only Lightning player who was prepared to play a hockey game tonight from the opening faceoff and he shouldn't feel any shame for losing such a tightly contested goaltending duel against one of the world's best.

First Period
NO SCORING

Second Period
0:20 MTL Pacioretty (9), (unassisted)
1:04 TB Kucherov (26), (Stamkos, Hedman)

Third Period
NO SCORING

Overtime
NO SCORING

Shootout
TB- NONE
MTL- Byron

Vasilevskiy was the game's second star.

In general, this game just wasn't to the Lightning's standards. Montreal came to the rink treating this game like a measuring stick for their season and their last chance to turn their campaign around. The Lightning, with the exception of Vasilevskiy, came to the rink looking groggy and a little disinterested to start the game and frankly were just too loose defensively over the course of the contest. Way too many odd man rushes. Way too many chances and shots given up. True, the Lightning got more than their fair share too, putting 45 pucks on Price's net and nearly winning in OT when Palat was robbed by a cartwheel save, but this just wasn't good enough overall.

With the Vasilarceny of a single point, the Lightning close out the fourth 10-game segment of the year with a stylish 13 insurance points in the bank. The Lightning could play .438 hockey the rest of the way this year and probably still make the postseason, so the real challenge of the second half for this team will be refining their game and making sure they keep enforcing best practices and best habits. The last couple of games haven't been great ones in that "coaching against perfection" template.

Yanni Gourde had 2 penalty minutes, 1 shot, and 2 hits in 14:42. He was also 56% on 9 draws. After a sleepy start I thought he had a pretty good game. Gourde will graduate from prospect status on the website with one more game played this season.

Jake Dotchin was +1 with 1 shot, 1 hit, and 5 blocked shots in 18:43.

Mikhail Sergachev was -1 with 3 hits and 1 blocked shot in 21:37. Not an altogether consistent effort by Sergachev, whose horrific turnover in a 4-on-4 led to Montreal's only regulation goal. He'll also graduate from prospect status on the website with one more NHL game this season.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

Juniors Game Night: 1-3-18

Ontario Hockey League

** Note: Boris Katchouk (Sault Ste. Marie) and Taylor Raddysh (Erie) are away from their respective OHL teams for the 2018 WJC tournament.

Peterborough Petes 2 @ Hamilton Bulldogs 7

W/C Christopher Paquette, PBO: 0-0-0, -3, 0 PIM, 1 SOG, 3/4 FO
Season Totals: 33 GP, 10-4-14, -21, 6 PIM
’16-‘17 Totals (NIA/PBO): 66 GP, 19-29-48, +1, 28 PIM

The Petes were no match for the division-leading and second-best team in the OHL. Hamilton got two goals each from Isaac Nurse (undrafted) and Matthew Strome (PHI, 2017 4th round pick), as part of a four-goal 3rd period that broke a tenuous 3-2 lead wide open. The Bulldogs jumped out to a 3-1 lead at the first intermission, and after a scoreless middle frame, Peterborough pivot Zach Gallant (DET, 2017 3rd round pick) scored a power play marker 38 seconds into the 3rd to draw the Petes within one. Paquette, at the midpoint of last season’s total games played, is on pace to equal his goals total, but is considerably off last season’s assist pace, and his -21 rating is tough to swallow even considering the overall defensive woes of the Petes.

Western Hockey League

** Note: Brett Howden (Moose Jaw), Cal Foote (Kelowna), and Libor Hajek (Saskatoon) are away from their respective WHL teams for the 2018 WJC tournament.

Moose Jaw Warriors 6 @ Red Deer Rebels 3

D Oleg Sosunov, MJ: 0-0-0, +1, 4 PIM, 5 SOG
Season Totals: 39 GP, 7-10-17, +30, 42 PIM
’16-‘17 Totals (MHL-Russia): 32 GP, 0-0-0, +1, 79 PIM

Night before last, I referred to the Warriors offense as high octane and en fuego after firing 44 shots and scoring 6 goals against the Wheat Kings. Tonight, Moose Jaw machine-gunned Red Deer goalie Riley Lamb (undrafted) with 69 shots, including 33 in the 2nd period. Somewhere in here is a joke about deer in headlights, but that deer happens to have a First Star despite allowing 6 goals. The Warriors were led by Brayden Burke (undrafted) with two goals and an assist and Justin Almeida (undrafted) with three assists.

Minnesota State High School League

Burnsville Blaze 1 @ Edina Hornets 6 (Tuesday)

F Sammy Walker, EDN: 0-1-1, 2 PIM, 0 SOG
Season Totals (HS): 11 GP, 12-16-28, 10 PIM
Season Totals (USHL): 4 GP, 0-0-0, -3, 4 PIM
’16-‘17 Totals (HS): 25 GP, 22-24-46, 6 PIM
’16-‘17 Totals (USHL): 4 GP, 0-0-0, -3, 6 PIM
Committed to: University of Minnesota

It was a quiet night for Walker, notching just a single assist as the Hornets easily handled the Blaze. Demetrios Koumontzis (Arizona State commit) scored 4 goals and 5 points to pace Edina over visiting Burnsville. Edina’s record on the season improves to 11-1-0, with their lone loss coming to Minnetonka in the opening game of the Schwan Gold Cup tournament on Boxing Day. The Hornets next play Thursday night against the White Bears from White Bear Lake high school.

Juniors Game Night: 1-2-18

Quebec Major Junior Hockey League

Halifax Mooseheads 4 @ Moncton Wildcats 3 (OT)

C/W Otto Somppi, HAL: 0-2-2, E, 0 PIM, 0 SOG, 13/23 FO
Season Totals: 31 GP, 12-30-42, +26, 14 PIM
’16-’17 Totals: 60 GP, 17-24-41, -7, 28 PIM

Somppi (pictured) notched a pair of assists in the Mooseheads OT road win over the Wildcats, giving him 1-5-6 in 4 games since returning from the holiday break. Somppi and Jared McIsaac (2018 draft eligible) assisted on Raphael Lavoie’s (2019 draft eligible) opening goal just 33 seconds into game. Moncton struck back with two 1st period goals by Jeremy McKenna (undrafted). Sompii tallied his second point midway through the 2nd period on a power play marker from Benoit-Olivier Groulx (2018 draft eligible) to knot the game at 2-2. After the teams traded 3rd period goals, Jocktan Chainey won the game for Haifax with the OT game winner 1:10 into the extra session. With the win, the Mooseheads move ahead of Blainville-Boisbriand with the most points in the Q, and extend their division lead over Acadie-Bathurst in the Maritimes.

Ontario Hockey League

** Note: Boris Katchouk (Sault Ste. Marie) and Taylor Raddysh (Erie) are away from their respective OHL teams for the 2018 WJC tournament.

Barrie Colts 0 @ Kitchener Rangers 3

W Alexey Lipanov, BAR: Did not play
Season Totals: 32 GP, 11-17-28, +10, 10 PIM
‘16-‘17 Totals (VHL-Russia): 21 GP, 3-5-8, +5, 8 PIM

Despite slinging 43 shots at Rangers goalie Luke Richardson (undrafted), the Colts went scoreless as their six-game winning streak was snapped. Lipanov missed his second consecutive game.

NHL Game Night: 1-2-18 Lightning at Maple Leafs

Leafs trampled by kittens.

TB-2
TOR-0

Andrei Vasilevskiy raised the forcefields for a 30 save shutout. That's Vasilevskiy's second straight shutout and his third in the past four starts. He needed to be stellar tonight in a road game where the team in front of him didn't quite seem to have its A game, and he was magnificent.

First Period
NO SCORING

Second Period
12:00 TB Paquette (1), (Kunitz)
16:54 TB Killorn (5), (Sergachev, Gourde)

Third Period
NO SCORING

Vasilevskiy, Alex Killorn, and Mikhail Sergachev were the game's three stars.

Kind of a strange game. The possession numbers favored the Lightning by a decent margin as they won shots on goal and had a slight edge in the volume of shots that were blocked/missed. With that said, I thought Toronto played a very patient and very structured game and were very dangerous on the counter where the Lightning gave up a lot of odd man chances, particularly in the Second Period. The difference, ultimately, was Andrei Vasilevskiy, who now inhabits his own wing in Mitch Marner's mansion of nightmares after tonight. Some in Vegas are making Vasilevskiy the 2:1 favorite to win the Vezina Trophy now. Let me remind you all: he's 23. If he stays healthy, we may all be bearing witness to the beginning of one of the legendary careers for a goaltender in the sport... and an X-factor that may well make the Lightning one of the Cup favorites for at least the next half decade.

This game is not without its cautionary tales, though. Toronto and some of the faster teams in the league have identified that the Lightning's right defense are a little slow-footed. Moving forward, Yzerman has the more-difficult-than-it-looks task of improving the team's right side defense, finding a faceoff ace, and also finding another ace penalty killer to address the team's weaknesses WITHOUT harming the team chemistry, which is obviously amazing at the moment.

The Lightning have now reached 60 points through 39 games. What that means is that the Lightning are now a full 10-game segment's worth of points (12) ahead of the minimum pace they need to be at to make the playoffs with one more game remaining in this segment. Even if they didn't snag a point in their last contest, they'd have to only play .450 hockey the rest of the way to punch their ticket to the postseason. Perhaps this is why some fancy stats models now give the Lightning a 100% chance of making the playoffs?

Yanni Gourde had a helper and was +1 in 14:23. He was also 50% on 6 draws.

Jake Dotchin was +1 with 1 shot, 1 hit, and 2 blocked shots in 19:11. Big minutes for the Ontario boy playing in the ACC.

Sergachev had a helper and was +1 with 2 hits and 3 blocked shots in 17:27.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

2018 IIHF World Junior Championship: 1-2-18

2018 IIHF World Junior Championship

Czech Republic 4 vs Finland 3 (SO)

D Libor Hajek, CZE: 0-1-1, +1, 2 PIM, 3 SOG
Tournament Totals: 5 GP, 1-6-7, +5, 6 PIM, 11 SOG

Hajek played 30:46, four minutes more than any other player in the game, and notched a power play assist in the Czech Republic’s come-from-behind shootout victory over the Finnish squad 4-3. The Czechs will play in the tourney’s semifinals on Thursday against Canada, who dominated the Swiss in quarterfinal play.

Josef Korenar (undrafted), the Czech netminder and former Lincoln Stars goalie, stopped 51 of 54 Finnish shots, backstopping the Czechs in their upset of Finland and their first appearance in the WJC semifinals since 2005. Hajek, playing on the top Czech power play unit, worked with Martin Necas (CAR, 2017 1st round pick) to feed Filip Zadina (2018 draft eligible) for the first of his two goals in the game. The Finns went ahead 2-1 in the 2nd with goals from Aapeli Rasanen (EDM, 2016 6th round pick) and Vancouver 2016 5th overall pick Olli Juolevi, the first on the power play with Hajek in the box for interference. Red Deer Rebel Kristian Reichel (undrafted), son of ex-NHL’er Robert Reichel, knotted the game 2-2 before the end of the 2nd period, but Kristian Vesalainen (WPG, 2017 1st round pick) put the Finns up 3-2 early in the 3rd period. With Korenar pulled for the extra skater, Halifax linemate of Otto Somppi and consensus Top 10 2018 pick Filip Zadina tied the game 3-3 with two-and-a-half minutes left in the game to send the game to OT and to the eventual shootout. Kolenar would stand strong for the Czechs in the skill competition, stopping 4 of 5 shots from Finland, while Reichel and Necar scored for the Czech Republic to seal the upset and a berth in the tournament semifinals.

Canada 8 vs Switzerland 2

F Taylor Raddysh , CAN: 0-1-1, E, 2 PIM, 3 SOG
Tournament Totals: 5 GP, 2-3-5, +4, 4 PIM, 13 SOG

F Boris Katchouk, CAN: 0-1-1, +1, 0 PIM, 0 SOG
Tournament Totals: 5 GP, 2-3-5, +4, 2 PIM, 9 SOG

F Brett Howden , CAN: 1-3-4, +4, 0 PIM, 3 SOG
Tournament Totals: 5 GP, 3-3-6, +7, 4 PIM, 12 SOG

D Cal Foote, CAN: 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 0 SOG
Tournament Totals: 5 GP, 0-3-3, +5, 0 PIM, 1 SOG

Brett Howden (pictured) scored the opening goal and added three more assists as Canada put up its second snowman on the scoreboard in consecutive games in an 8-2 victory over Switzerland to advance to the semifinals against the Czech Republic on Thursday. The Canadians pelted the Swiss with 60 shots, while the defense allowed just 15 shots against. Canada was paced by two goals from Drake Batherson (OTT, 2017 4th round pick), four points from Howden, and a goal and three points from Maxime Comtois (ANA, 2017 2nd round pick). Both Katchouk and Raddysh netted power play assists, with Katchouk collecting an assist on Batherson’s power play marker in the 1st period, and Raddysh earning his helper on Dillon Dube’s (CGY, 2016 2nd round pick) power play goal midway through the 3rd period.

Juniors Game Night: 1-1-18

Ontario Hockey League

** Note: Boris Katchouk (Sault Ste. Marie) and Taylor Raddysh (Erie) are away from their respective OHL teams for the 2018 WJC tournament.

Kitchener Rangers 5 @ Peterborough Petes 4 (OT)

W/C Christopher Paquette, PBO: 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 2 SOG, 2/2 FO
Season Totals: 32 GP, 10-4-14, -18, 6 PIM
’16-‘17 Totals (NIA/PBO): 66 GP, 19-29-48, +1, 28 PIM

The Petes battled back from 2-1 and 3-2 deficits to take a 4-3 lead early in the 3rd period, but Adam Mascherin (FLA, 2016 2nd round pick) would get the hat trick goal at 12:09 of the 3rd after scoring twice for the Rangers in the 2nd. Then Mascherin would score his 4th goal of game, his 28th of the season, at 2:37 into the extra session for the OT game-winner for Kitchener. Mascherin’s four goal outburst pulls him ahead of Boris Katchouk for 2nd on the OHL goals leaderboard behind 2017 Memorial Cup winning Windsor captain and now Barrie Colt pivot Aaron Luchuk, who signed an entry-level deal with Ottawa as a free agent on December 27th.

Juniors Game Night: 12-31-17

Quebec Major Junior Hockey League

Halifax Mooseheads 4 @ Cape Breton Screaming Eagles 1

C/W Otto Somppi, HAL: 0-2-2, +2, 0 PIM, 2 SOG, 18/27 FO, *Third Star*
Season Totals: 30 GP, 12-28-40, +26, 14 PIM
’16-’17 Totals: 60 GP, 17-24-41, -7, 28 PIM

The Mooseheads got goals from four players and Somppi (pictured) notched a pair of assists on 2nd period goals from Jake Ryczek (CHI, 2016 7th round pick) and Patrick Kyte (undrafted). Somppi, who earned Third Star honors, has already eclipsed his assist totals from last season and is one point off his career points in just half the games. He's on pace for an 80-point campaign, and his +26 rating leads all players in the Q, and his 28 assists ties him for 2nd in league. And while he does benefit from linemate Filip Zadina (2018 draft eligible), he is 1-3-4 in 3 games with Zadina off with the Czech Republic team at the 2018 WJCs.

Ontario Hockey League

** Note: Boris Katchouk (Sault Ste. Marie) and Taylor Raddysh (Erie) are away from their respective teams for the 2018 WJC tournament.

Owen Sound Attack 1 @ Barrie Colts 4

W Alexey Lipanov, BAR: Did not play
Season Totals: 32 GP, 11-17-28, +10, 10 PIM
‘16-‘17 Totals (VHL-Russia): 21 GP, 3-5-8, +5, 8 PIM

Colts netminder Leo Lazarev turned away 47 Owen Sound shots, backstopping Barrie to its 6th straight win. Lipanov wasn’t in the lineup for the Colts, and not sure if he was a healthy scratch or if he was injured in Owen Sound last night. Barrie’s offense was paced by Aidan Brown (undrafted), who notched two goals, while Nick Suzuki (VGK, 2017 1st round pick) was the lone goal scorer to solve Lazarev.

Western Hockey League

** Note: Brett Howden (Moose Jaw), Cal Foote (Kelowna), and Libor Hajek (Saskatoon) are away from their respective teams for the 2018 WJC tournament.

Brandon Wheat Kings 2 @ Moose Jaw Warriors 6

D Oleg Sosunov, MJ: 0-0-0, -1, 0 PIM, 2 SOG
Season Totals: 38 GP, 7-10-17, +29, 38 PIM
’16-‘17 Totals (MHL-Russia): 32 GP, 0-0-0, +1, 79 PIM

The high-octane Warriors offense continues en fuego coming back from the holiday, as Moose Jaw fires 44 shots and scores 6 goals on the backside of the home-and-home with the Wheat Kings. The WHL goal, assist and point leaders Jayden Halbgewachs (undrafted) and Brayden Burke (undrafted) were at it again, with Halbgewachs turning out a two-goal, five-point night, and Burke with a goal and three-points. Tristin Langen (undrafted) also netted two goals for the Warriors.

United States Hockey League

** Note: Cole Guttman (Dubuque) was placed on injured reserved on December 22nd following the completion of the World Junior A Challenge tournament.

Omaha Lancers 1 @ Sioux City Muskateers 2 (0T1)

D Nick Perbix , OMA: 0-1-1, +1, 0 PIM, 4 SOG
Season Totals: 20 GP, 0-10-10, +12, 10 PIM
’16-‘17 Totals (HS): 25 GP, 10-30-40, 6 PIM
Committed to: St. Cloud State University

Perbix assisted on a 1st period Lancers goal by Mathieu De St. Phalle (Wiconsin commit) goal, but the Musketeers would knot that game in the 3rd and then win it 1:35 into the extra frame..

NHL Game Night: 12-31-17 Lightning at Blue Jackets

Kittens over cannons.

TB-5
CBJ-0

Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped all 21 shots he faced for the shutout to release the kittens on New Years Eve. Typical Vasilevskiy. Play a great opening frame of the period until the team gets its legs underneath it, and bathe in the waters of sweet goal support the rest of the way.

First Period
NO SCORING

Second Period
1:22 TB Johnson (11), (Point, Sergachev)
4:49 TB Johnson (12), (Point, Sergachev)
7:53 TB Kucherov (25), (Namestnikov)
8:45 TB Conacher (3), (Gourde, Hedman)

Third Period
10:36 TB Stamkos (17), (Hedman, Kucherov)(PP)

Tyler Johnson, Mikhail Sergachev, and Nikita Kucherov were the game's three stars.

After a few games were the Lightning struggled to get the goals they needed and a very sleepy effort against the Flyers, in a loss, maybe an eruption like we saw tonight in the Second Period was inevitable. The Lightning had another subpar First Period, getting outshot 12-5 and earning the wrath of Coach Cooper before annihilating the Blue Jackets like the Death Star in the middle frame. Buoyed by a couple of early goals by Tyler Johnson, the Lightning ultimately outshot Columbus by a staggering 23-6 margin in that period and the results speak for themselves. After a couple of seasons of seeming regression in his play, Johnson's had a rebirth on the wing for the Lightning this month. The position forces him to simplify his game and use his north-south oriented gifts to their maximum ability.

The victory clinches the Lightning's fourth successful 10-game segment of the season with 12 points earned over eight games. What's more, with two games left in the segment, if the Lightning get just two more points they will be a full segment ahead of playoff pace in their postseason quest, which is somewhat nuts.

Yanni Gourde had a helper and was +2 with 4 shots in 16:35. He was also 55% on 11 draws. Obviously, like the entire team, he showed way more energy than in the Philly game.

Jake Dotchin was +1 with 2 penalty minutes, 1 shot, and 1 blocked shot in 17:32.

Sergachev had a pair of helpers and was +3 with 2 penalty minutes and 1 shot in 17:57. Fancy stats people will point to 8 shot attempts as proof of his possession dominance tonight. Hence the star.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

AHL Game Night: 12-31-17 Crunch at Senators

Syracuse ends 2017 with plenty of fireworks.

SYR-5
BNG-0

Connor Ingram stopped all 29 shots he faced for his second career shutout. With Domingue up top, Ingram's had a nice start to his tenure as the #1 for the Crunch. Budaj's injury may not be as serious as originally feared, but for however long he has to mind the store Ingram's doing it with style so far.

First Period
15:18 SYR Peca (7), (Verhaeghe)

Second Period
NO SCORING

Third Period
2:25 SYR Stephens (7), (Yan, Thomas)
6:31 SYR Volkov (9), (Cirelli, Bodie)
14:22 SYR Volkov (10), (Bournival, McBain)(PP)
17:34 SYR Stephens (8), (Yan, Walcott)

Ingram, Alexander Volkov, and Matthew Peca were the game's three stars. Volkov with four goals in the two weekend games and Peca caps December with 5-10-15 in 13 games. Needless to say, these are two guys sliding their resumes on Yzerman's desk for a potential recall.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

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