AHL Game Night 1/30: River Rats at Admirals

Smolenak is back, and in a big way.

ALB-1
NOR-4

Mike McKenna allowed 1 goal on 44 shots for the win.

First Period
NOR Smolenak, (13) (Segal, Gratton), 9:44

Second Period
NOR Bochenski, (16) (Lundin, Keller), 2:56
NOR Smolenak, (14) (Gratton), 3:07

Third Period
ALB Dwyer, (11) (Carson, Petruzalek), 7:42 (PP)
NOR Smolenak, (15) (Gratton, Mihalik), 11:13

Radek Smolenak, McKenna, and Chris Gratton were the game's three stars. Smolenak snaps an 11 game goal-less streak.

Norfolk moves to 3 games under .500.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

N.A. Juniors Game Night: 1/29

QMJHL
Cape Breton Screaming Eagles 1 @ Shawinigan Cataractes 4
D Michael Ward, CB: 0-0-0, E, 4 PIM, 0 SOG
Season totals: 49 GP, 5-20-21, +2, 79 PIM
With Cape Breton: 14 GP, 1-7-8, +1, 27 PIM

AHL Game Night 1/29: River Rats at Admirals

50 shots on goal for the Admirals tonight.

ALB-4
NOR-5

Mike McKenna allowed 4 goals on 33 shots for the win.

First Period
ALB Paiement, (1) (Samson, Dodge), 6:03 (PP)
ALB Jensen, (6) (Angelidis, Flood), 9:51
NOR Keller, (7) (Quick, Konopka), 11:37
NOR Bochenski, (14) (Keller, Konopka), 13:06

Second Period
NOR Rosehill, (3) (Kearns, Lundin), 5:25
ALB Helminen, (11) , 18:49

Third Period
NOR Konopka, (11) (Jones, Lundin), 6:06 (PP)
NOR Bochenski, (15) (Jones, Keller), 6:48
ALB Weston, (4) (Samson, Borer), 11:43

Brandon Bochenski and Justin Keller were the game's first and second stars. Kevin Quick heard we were talking about him on the message boards and registered his first AHL point of the season.

The Ads pull back to 4 games under .500 and 13 points out of the final playoff spot.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

NHL Game Night 1/29: Lightning at Hurricanes

It really hurts when you outplay a team but you don't get the bounces.

TB-2
CAR-3

Mike Smith allowed 3 goals on 31 shots for the loss.

First Period
16:55 TB Recchi (11), (unassisted)

Second Period
05:34 CAR Larose (11), (Cullen)(SH)
18:36 CAR Cullen (11), (Pitkanen)

Third Period
05:10 TB Malone (15), (Recchi, Downie)
18:24 CAR Staal (21), (Samsonov, Gleason)

The really bad news is that Florida is in the process of smoking Montreal tonight, so the Lightning will wake up tomorrow 10 points out of 8th place.

Steve Downie had 1 assist, 1 shot, and 1 hit in 9:59.

Matt Smaby was +1 with 2 hits in 9:59, and played really well for a guy who was a late decision to play tonight.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

Helenius Recalled to Tampa; Ramo to Serve Suspension

As had been widely reported in the local Tampa media, Lightning Executive Vice President and General Manager Brian Lawton announced today that prospect goaltender Karri Ramo has been returned to the Norfolk Admirals to begin serving his six-game AHL suspension resulting from an altercation last Friday night's game in which Ramo left the bench during an on-ice brawl. With Olaf Kolzig on IR pending season-ending biceps tendon surgery, prospect netminder Riku Helenius has been subsequently recalled from Norfolk to backup Mike Smith.

N.A. Juniors Game Night: 1/28

I like reports like this: Big games from Courtnall, Fadden, Jung, Tokarski, and Wright (pictured).

BCHL
Victoria Grizzlies 6 @ Alberni Valley Bulldogs 1 (Tuesday)
W Justin Courtnall, VIC: 2-0-2, 9 PIM (roughing after the whistle double minor, fighting major), *Second Star*
Season totals: 49 GP, 19-33-52, 88 PIM

With Victoria down 1-0 in the second, Courtnall scored twice in just over five minutes to give the Grizzlies a lead they would never relinquish. Courtnall, who has five goals in his last two games, sets a new career high for points in a season with 52. He tied last year’s goal mark of 19 – set in 60 games. He also tied his career high for penalty minutes in a season.

Bolt Prospects 2008-2009 Midterm Prospect Rankings

With about a month to go in the regular season over in Europe, and a little over a couple of months left to go in North America, the 2008-2009 season has turned out to be a good one for the prospects of the Tampa Bay Lightning. Asked to buoy the Lightning's sagging playoff hopes and to compensate for a spate of injuries on the top club's blueline, the team's youth has served admirably and done their part to help right the ship for Head Coach Rick Tocchet's club. Heading into the stretch run of the season, it looks like the youth in the Lightning organization may be priming for a big finish, capping a 2008-2009 season that in many ways has been a validation of the work that's been done by the club's scouts and developmental people, past and present.

N.A. Juniors Game Night: 1/27

Cunti's hot streak continues ... Tokarski comes up short again for CHL award.

AHL Suspends Ramo

The Pilot Online is reporting the American Hockey League has suspended Norfolk goalie Karri Ramo for six games. Ramo left the bench last Friday to join a game-ending brawl vs. Lake Erie.

Shortly after the final horn of Norfolk's 3-2 loss to Lake Erie, the Pilot states, Ramo came on to get a piece of Monsters goalie Tyler Weiman, who along with teammate Tom Fritsche, was battling Norfolk's Steve Downie. Fritsche got into it after leaving the Lake Erie bench and also drew a six-game suspension.

Fritsche was assessed a game misconduct for his actions, but Ramo was not penalized.

It is unclear when Ramo will begin serving the suspension as he was recalled to Tampa earlier this week. The Admirals recalled Riku Helenius from ECHL Mississippi to replace Ramo.

Update (Pete):
According to Erik Erlendsson of the Tampa Tribune, the Lightning are expected to send Ramo down to Norfolk for the next few weeks in order to serve his suspension and, in the meantime, Riku Helenius will be recalled to serve as Mike Smith's backup with the Lightning.

Of course, that leaves the question of who Norfolk will get to backup Mike McKenna?

NHL Game Night 1/27: Canadiens at Lightning

Key point of the game: Lightning kill the 5-on-3 in the first period to keep it 2-1.

MTL-3
TB-5

Mike Smith allowed 3 goals on 34 shots for the win.

First Period
03:08 TB Malone (14), (Artyukhin)
07:15 MTL Lapierre (9), (Markov, Komisarek)
08:06 MTL Kovalev (13), (unassisted)

Second Period
02:49 TB Lecavalier (22), (St. Louis, Murphy)(PP)
14:57 TB Prospal (12), (Krajicek)
17:08 TB Downie (3), (Eminger, Stamkos)

Third Period
11:04 TB St. Louis (18), (Lecavalier, Meszaros)(PP)
11:26 MT Lapierre (10), (Latendresse, Gorges)

That last goal on the 2-on-1 by St. Louis from Lecavalier, my Lord. That belongs hung on a wall in a museum somewhere. That's art, folks.

Good news and bad news. The good news is Toronto and Carolina lost. So, the Lightning finally jump over Toronto and gain 2 points on Carolina and idle Pittsburgh. Unfortunately, Florida won, so the Lightning only gain 1 point on 8th place (8 points back) with the Panthers leapfrogging the Hurricanes. The Lightning hold 1 game on the Canes with the Panthers having 1 in hand on the Lightning. That second period laydown in the last game against Florida is still haunting them.

Steve Downie had 1 goal and was +1 with 4 penalty minutes, 1 shot and 1 hit in 8:55. He's very noticable, in a good way, on the handful of shifts he's out.

David Koci was -1 in 2:10.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

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