Ladies and gentlemen, the Falcons just posted their first 3-0-0 weekend of the season, and they did so without their #1 goaltender. Impressive.
Gerald Coleman, who was recalled to start this game, masterfully weathered a 40 minute barrage that saw the Falcons outshot 29-15 through two periods to deliver the Falcons into the third period with a 1-0 lead. The Devils would tie the game up with 6:55 left in the game, but Coleman would allow no more stopping 37 of 38 shots faced in the game. Dan Cavanaugh paced the Falcons with 2 assists but it was David Spina's goal scored just a little over 2 minutes after the Devils tied the game in the third period that delivered the win on assists from Blair Jones and Stanislav Lascek. Jones' point snapped what had been a 10 game scoreless streak at the AHL. Rookie Justin Keller and veteran Norm Milley (empty netter) supplied the other Falcons goals. Marek Kvapil also had an assist in the game. Spina and Coleman were named the first and second stars of the game.
The win temporarily moves Springdfield to 13-10-0 this season tied with Providence for second in the Atlantic Division at 26 points. Regardless of the outcome of Providence's game with Albany (in progress) the Falcons have now moved a tantalizingly close 4 points behind idle Portland for the division lead. If the playoffs started right this moment, the Falcons would be the #6 seed in the East. How fun is this?
The Lightning organization has to be incredibly proud of how their young goaltenders performed this weekend in the absence of ace netminder Karri Ramo who was recalled to Tampa. Jonathan Boutin seized the opportunity presented to him by Ramo's absence by posting a pair of wins on Friday and Saturday night to get the ball rolling. And then Gerald Coleman rose to the occassion and played one of the best games by any Falcons goaltender this season fully taking advantage of the one game window he had to make a true statement about his place in the organization. As impressive as Boutin was, Coleman may have been even more clutch taking what he knew was one shot and making it count big time. Can you believe anyone ever doubted the depth in net the Lightning organization was developing? Can you believe with Riku Helenius and Vasily Koshechkin still in Europe that this may just be the tip of the iceberg?
SPR Keller, (7) (Cavanaugh, Kvapil), 11:28
LOW Tallackson, (4) (Minard, Papineau), 13:05
SPR Spina, (2) (Jones, Lascek), 15:18
SPR Milley, (10) (Cavanaugh, Corso), 19:59 (EN/PP)
Game sheet from TheAHL.com.
The Springfield Falcons have announced the recall of goaltender Gerald Coleman from Springfield for this afternoon's game against the Lowell Devils. Coleman started the game for Springfield (in progress) allowing Jonathan Boutin the night off after starting in Friday and Saturday night's victories. Rookie Karri Ramo is expected to be returned to Springfield early in the week.
Dusty Collins had an assist in Northern Michigan's 5-2 loss to Lake Superior State. He finished with 2 shots and an even rating.
It was Collins' second assist of the season. He also has two goals in 17 games.
There's no box score up online as of yet, but in New England prep school action Salisbury knocked off Williston Northampton 4-2 last night in the school's opener on the road. Salisbury defenseman and Lightning prospect Kevin Quick has committed to the University of Michigan.
Chris Lawrence was scoreless with 2 penalty minutes in Mississauga's 4-2 win at Erie.
Marek Bartanus was scoreless in Owen Sound's 4-3 overtime win against Toronto. Bartanus has just 1 goal and 1 point in his last 10 games. He's also -6 over that span.
Vladimir Mihalik had a pair of power play assists in Prince George's 5-4 shootout loss to expansion Chilliwack. The 2 helpers give Mihalik 3 goals and 12 points in 20 games this season, matching the 3 goals and 12 points he put up all of last season in 62 games with Red Deer.
Dane Crowley assisted on the game winning power play goal and was +2 in Swift Current's 6-4 victory against Brandon.
It should never, ever, take 20 minutes and spotting a team a 4 goal lead before this Lightning team plays like they have some pride.
Johan Holmqvist allowed an abysmal 3 goals on 7 shots before giving way to Karri Ramo who allowed 2 goals on 18 shots in his NHL debut. Lightning goals came from Perrin and Lecavalier with assists coming from Richards, St. Louis and Prospal.
The sad and aggravating thing is that the Lightning actually dominated most of the final 40 minutes of this game and finished the game outshooting the Sens 36-25. Had the Lightning showed up to the rink prepared to play from the opening drop, they might've won this game handily. Instead, they had their heads handed to them and they now trail Atlanta by 10 points in the division.
On the prospect side, Ramo looked very sound in his first NHL game. The two goals he allowed he was hung out to dry with the Lightning defense somehow stopping on retrieving in an Ottawa dump in that resulted in a pass in front on a wide open Jason Spezza and then an Antoine Vermette breakaway in the third period. Ramo showed good poise and athleticism and a quick glove, as well as his willingness to play the puck away from his crease. It's a shame Holmqvist didn't look as good as Ramo tonight.
Ottawa 2:47, Patrick Eaves 5 (shorthanded) (unassisted)
Ottawa 6:49, Joe Corvo 3 (power play) (Andrej Meszaros, Jason Spezza)
Ottawa 8:06, Antoine Vermette 10 (Daniel Alfredsson, Peter Schaefer)
Ottawa 16:21, Jason Spezza 12 (Chris Kelly, Christoph Schubert)
Ottawa 13:16, Antoine Vermette 11 (Peter Schaefer, Tom Preissing)
Game sheet from NHL.com.
Shootout madness in the minors.
Morgan Cey stopped 30 of 32 shots faced in regulation and overtime before clamping down on all five Reading shooters in the shootout for the win. Mazime Boisclair continued his torrid scoring pace with 2 assists in the game and now has 10 goals and 25 points in 19 games which is tops among all ECHL rookies. Grant Jacobsen and Bryan Nathe had the Chiefs goals with individual assists belonging to Randy Rowe and Doug Andress. Gus Katsuras again showed his shootout magic potting the one and only penalty shot chance the Chiefs needed to take the second point in the game. Katsuras, Cey and Boisclair were named the three stars of the game.
JHN Jacobsen, (3) (Boisclair, Rowe), 11:08
REA Roussin, (1) (Hiebert), 18:44
REA Hiebert, (6) (Hogeboom, Snowden), 19:59 (PP)
JHN Nathe, (1) (Andress, Boisclair), 13:52 (PP)
Game sheet from ECHL.com.
When a player gets injured or called up, you hope someone takes advantage of the opportunity and steps up in their absence. That's how you build experience, depth and flexibility in your organization, and that someone the last two nights has been Jonathan Boutin.
Boutin stopped 29 of 31 shots in regulation and overtime before stopping 6 og 8 shooters in the shootout for the win. The victory moves Boutin's record to .500 at 2-2-0 this year and he now has a 2.69 GAA and .910 save percentage on the season. Veteran Eric Healey had 2 assists while the Falcons goals came from Andy Delmore and Norm Milley. Individual helpers went to Daniel Corso and Matt Smaby as Corso's acquistion seems to have stabilized the top lines somewhat and drawn many of the Falcons' veteran scorers out of their November funks. Corso, David Spina and Zdenek Blatny scored goals for the birds in the shootout. Healey and Smaby were named the first and third stars of the game, respectively.
One of the pitfalls of Sean Burke's reassignment to Springfield has been that it limits the amount of playing time that can be given to Boutin who, although somewhat enigmatic, has as much pure natural athleticism and potential as just about anyone in this organization. Marc Denis' work visa fiasco has opened up a brief window of opportunity and Boutin has leapt through it with all the enthusiam and gusto of the Kool Aid man breaking through a kitchen wall. Oh yeah.
PRO Versteeg, (10) (Pelletier, Krejci), 1:11
PRO Trevelyan, (1) (Hoggan), 6:46
SPR Delmore, (6) (Corso, Healey), 7:17
SPR Milley, (9) (Smaby, Healey), 7:33
SPR-Corso, Spina, Blatny
Center Blair Jones did dress for the Falcons and had two shots but Nick Tarnasky, who was sent down today in a paper transaction to make room for the acquisition of Andre Roy, did not. The Falcons are now 12-10-0 on the season and have moved into a three way tie for 8th in the Eastern Conference at 24 points.
Game sheet from TheAHL.com.
The Lightning have claimed Andre Roy off of re-entry waivers per TSN.ca. This is bound to add fire to trade rumors even though Feaster and Torts made it clear that this move was made to increase morale in the locker room. http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/news_story/?ID=186821&hubname=nhl