AHL Game Night: 12-4-09 Admirals at Phantoms

Love that headline on the press release from the Admirals. Move over Iverson.

NOR-2
ADK-1 (OT)

Dustin Tokarski stopped 22 of 23 to get a win the Admirals absolutely needed to have.

First Period
ADK Kolanos, (4) (Dingle, Bellamy), 3:42

Second Period
NOR Smolenak, (3) (Lundin, Mihalik), 17:47

Third Period
NO SCORING

Overtime
NOR Craig, (9) (Smolenak, Jackson), 1:32

Ryan Craig (aka The Answer) and Radek Smolenak were the game's first and second stars. That's what you have to love about this year's version of the Admirals: sweet, sweet depth up front. Blair Jones has been hot as a firecracker and earned his callup. Last season that would've crushed the Ads. This season you've got a 20 goal, 50 point capable guy like Smolenak just waiting to pick up where Jones left off.

Vladimir Mihalik snapped a five-game pointless streak with a helper and pulled himself back to even in plus-minus for the season. Kudos to Scott Jackson for keying Craig and Smolenak's winning 2-on-1 in overtime. Jackson's posted a very respectable +8 rating so far this year.

Norfolk outshot Adirondack 36-23 in the game. I'm still waiting for when these shot imbalances are going to turn into some nice blowouts in the Admirals' favor rather than these nail biters. Norfolk's played so many close games this year. Norfolk can get back to .500 tomorrow night, but they'll have to do it in Hershey, which may be the toughest place in the AHL to go win a hockey game as a visitor.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

NCAA Game Night: 12-4-09

No.19 Vermont Catamounts 3 @ Boston University Terriers 3
C/W Matt Marshall , UVM: 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 0 SOG
Season Totals: 13 GP, 1-1-2, -1, 2 PIM

Vermont moves one game over .500 at 6-5-2. Former Lightning prospect Justin Courtnall did not play in the game for BU.

No.12 Alaska Nanooks 1 @ Western Michigan Broncos 4
D Luke Witkowski , UWM: 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 0 SOG
Season Totals: 14 GP, 1-3-4, -9, 16 PIM

WMU moved to 6-7-2 on the year with the upset over the Nanooks.

KHL Game Day: 12-4-09

Dynamo Moscow 3 @ KHK MVD 2 (SO)
Johan Harju, Dynamo Moscow, 1-0-1, -1, 2 PIM, 4 SOG
Season totals: 31 GP, 3-5-8, -6, 24 PIM

After a long drought, Harju finally scored his third goal of the season, while his lifelong teammate Linus Omark chipped in a goal and an assist. However, it took a game winning shootout goal by former NHLer Mattias Weinhandl for Dynamo to finally knock off KHK MVD 3-2. Harju played 15:36 in the match and was 63% on draws. He failed, however, on his shootout attempt in the penalty shot session. Dynamo Moscow sits in fourth place in the KHL's Western Conference.

Blair Jones Recalled to Tampa

TAMPA BAY, Fla. – The Tampa Bay Lightning have recalled center Blair Jones from the Norfolk Admirals, Lightning Executive Vice President and General Manager Brian Lawton announced today.

Jones, a 6-foot-3, 215-pound native of Central Butte, Saskatchewan, led the Admirals in assists, was second in points and was tied for third in goals. The fourth-year pro had six goals and 13 assists while appearing in all 25 games so far for the Admirals in 2009-10. His recall will end a stretch of 155 consecutive games played for Norfolk – the second-longest consecutive games played streak in AHL Admirals history.

Jones’ recall comes on the heels of a spectacular month of November. In November, Jones was tied for second in the American Hockey League in points (16), was second in plus/minus (+11), was fourth in assists (11) and was tied for 20th in goals (5).

Last season, Jones set career highs with 20 goals, 34 assists and 54 points in all 80 games. He ranked second in scoring, fourth in goals, second in assists and tied for second in power play goals (8) with Norfolk in 2008-09. He also established a new AHL Admirals franchise record with 271 shots on goal, ranking third in the American Hockey League.

CHL Game Night: 12-3-09

[b][i]OHL[/b][/i] [b] Niagara IceDogs 3 @ Barrie Colts 5[/b] [i]LW/C [b][url=/alex-hutchings]Alex Hutchings[/url][/b], BAR: 2-0-2, +2, 0 PIM, *First Star* [/i] Season Totals: 28 GP, 16-16-32, +13, 18 PIM Hutchings (pictured) has scored in five straight games and has points in his last six. Barrie is on a 16-0-0-1 streak. He scored two shorthanded goals 29 seconds apart in the third period, including one on a penalty shot. This was unofficially his third First Star of the season. He finished November 6-6-12 in 10 games, with a plus-5 rating and 10 PIM. [b] Sudbury Wolves 5 @ Peterborough Petes 4 (SO)[/b] [i]LW [b][url=/matias-sointu]Matais Sointu[/url][/b], SBY: 1-0-1, E, 0 PIM [/i] Season Totals: 25 GP, 4-7-11, +4, 8 PIM [i]With Sudbury: 4 GP, 1-0-1, -3, 2 PIM With Ottawa: 21 GP, 3-7-10, +7, 6 PIM[/i] The Wolves broke a five-game winless streak. Sointu, who did not participate in the shootout, scored his first with Sudbury and his first goal since October 11. He finished November with three assists and an even rating. [b] Oshawa Generals 3 @ Brampton Battalion 2 (OT)[/b] [i]G [b][url=/michael-zador]Michael Zador[/url][/b], OSH: Win, 33 saves on 35 shots, *Second Star*[/i] Season Totals: 22 GP, 9-9-2-1, 3.25 GAA, .901 sv%, 1 SO Zador was named a game star for the third game in a row (two thirds, a second). He hasn’t had a regulation loss in five games. Zador finished November 2-5-1-1, 3.10, .904.

KHL Game Day: 12-3-09

Omsk 2 @ Astana 1
Karri Ramo, Omsk, Win, 25/26, 1.00 GAA, .962 sv%
Season totals: 24 GP, 14-9, 2 SO, 1.91 GAA, .917 sv%

Jaromir Jagr assisted on Dimitri Pestunov's game winning third period goal to help lift Karri Ramo and Omsk over Astana 2-1. Former Lightning draft pick Ilya Solarev took two minor penalties in the match for Astana. Interestingly, Ramo's numbers are very similar to St. Petersburg goaltender Robert Esche (15-7, 3 SO, 2.04 GAA, .916 sv%), who the Lightning briefly courted for Ramo's vacant backup spot in Tampa Bay before signing Antero Niittymaki.

Chekhov 0 @ Magnitogorsk 4
Vasily Koshechkin, Magnitogorsk, Win, 29/29, 1 SO, 0.00 GAA, 1.000 sv%
Season totals: 29 GP, 14-13, 3 SO, 2.13 GAA, .920 sv%

Koshechkin got his first shutout in a Metallurg jersey to help boost Magnitogorsk to a 4-0 victory. Former NHL superstar Sergei Fedorov supported Koshechkin with a goal and an assist in the match. Magnitogorsk moves 1 point ahead of Yulaev into 1st in the Eastern Conference.

CSKA 2 @ Ekaterinburg 1 (OT)
Denis Kazionov, Ekaterinburg, 0-0-0, -1, 0 PIM, 3 SOG
Season totals: 28 GP, 4-3-7, -9, 10 PIM

CSKA got an overtime goal from ex-Senators draft pick Alexander Nikulin to pull out a 2-1 win over Ekaterinburg. Denis Kazionov played 13:29 in the match. Ekaterinburg has managed to climb over Novokuznetsk and Khabarovsk to get out of the Eastern Conference basement, but still sits 5 points behind Chelyabinsk for the 8th and final playoff spot in the East.

CHL Game Night: 12-2-09

OHL

Ottawa 67’s 4 @ Belleville Bulls 3
RW Kyle DeCoste, BEL: 2-0-2, E, 2 PIM (hooking), *Second Star*
Season Totals: 25 GP, 9-6-15, +2, 24 PIM
With Bulls: 12 GP, 7-5-12, +4, 4 PIM
With SSM: 13 GP, 2-1-3, -2, 20 PIM

DeCoste now has four goals and five points in his last two games. He tied the game at three with a power play goal with just under two minutes remaining in the third period, but Ottawa came back to steal a win with a goal at 19:23.

NHL Game Night: 12-2-09 Lightning at Bruins

Boston remains the Lightning's chamber of horrors.

TB-1
BOS-4

Mike Smith allowed 4 goals on 38 shots for the loss. I thought Smitty's play was subpar tonight. I think Boston's first and third goals were suspect, and I think they really changed the complexion of the game. You can't spot Tim Thomas two extra goals of support in his own barn. He'll beat you.

First Period
BOS 8:05, Savard 5 (Morris, Chara)(PP)
BOS 14:03, Bergeron 8 (Chara, Recchi)

Second Period
BOS 13:36, Sturm 7 (Recchi, Bergeron)
BOS 16:09, Sturm 8 (Bergeron, Recchi)

Third Period
TB 1:27, Halpern 4 (Downie, Malone)

The team didn't play as poorly as the score indicated, outside of the goaltending. The forecheck and the dirty work in front of the opposition's cage is coming along. They'd have gotten more were it not for Thomas being Thomas tonight.

It was good to see Matt Smaby back in action, although he only got one shift in the third period after seeing about 10-11 minutes in the first two periods. He was feeling his way out in this game. I think he needs a couple of games to get comfortable again and then the hits will start coming. I hope the Lightning recognize what they have in Smaby. Big, physical defensemen are rare and worth their weight in gold. It seems like every year teams draft 2-3 dozen of these types of guys out of junior and only a handful pan out. So, when you get one that does, you need to keep him and continue to develop him.

Steven Stamkos has gotten into more of a pass-first mode the past couple of games. Shoot the puck, young man. Shoot it from the team hotel. Shoot it from the nacho stand. Shoot it from the restaurant after the game. Shoot the puck. He had 5 shots tonight, but he gave up at least three shots from prime scoring areas. Shoot.

Zenon Konopka had 2 shots and 4 hits in 8:17.

Paul Szczechura had 2 shots and 1 hit in 13:16 but was 43% on draws. He's been one of the Lightning's better forwards over the past couple of games.

James Wright had 2 blocked shots in 8:53.

Victor Hedman was -2 with 2 penalty minutes, 2 hits, and 1 blocked shot in 14:41.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

KHL Game Day: 12-2-09

Kazan 1 @ Togliatti 2
Dimitry Kazionov, Kazan, 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 2 SOG
Season totals: 30 GP, 8-1-9, E, 12 PIM

Kazan fell to cash-strapped Togliatti on two second period goals by Lada. The older Kazionov, Dimitry, played 12:12 in the match.

Spartak Moscow 4 @ Dynamo Moscow 2
Johan Harju, Dynamo Moscow, 0-0-0, -2, 2 PIM, 1 SOG
Season totals: 30 GP, 2-5-7, -5, 22 PIM

It was another frustrating night at the rink for Johan Harju, who was -2 in 13:49 with a second period roughing minor to boot. The lone bright spot was that Harju was 80% on draws in the game, bringing him to 58% on the season with 434 faceoffs taken. Former Lightning checking liner Martin Cibak assisted on Spartak's first goal, which was former NHLer Branko Radivojevic's 11th of the year.

Admirals Ink Former Bolt Prospect Justin Keller to AHL Deal

Norfolk, Va. The Norfolk Admirals have signed forward Justin Keller to an American Hockey League Standard Player’s Contract, Admirals General Manager Brian Lawton announced today.

Keller, a 5-foot-11, 185-pound forward from Nelson, British Columbia, has appeared in 23 games for the Admirals this season recording five goals and seven points. He ranks fifth on the team in goals and his 61 shots on goal are third on the team.

Keller had originally signed a Professional Tryout Contract with the Admirals on October 3. This is Keller’s third season in Norfolk. The 23-year-old fourth-year pro has appeared in 151 career games with the Admirals scoring 38 goals and 43 assists. He ranks in the top 20 of all-time games played (19th), goals (15th), assists (T-18th) and points (17th) in AHL Admirals history.

Last season, Keller ranked fifth in goals (18) and sixth in points (37) with the Admirals. In 2007-08, Keller tied for third in goals (15) and was fourth in points (37) with Norfolk. He represented the Admirals at the 2008 AHL All-Star Classic in Binghamton, New York.

Keller was an eighth-round draft pick (245th overall) of the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2004. He made his pro debut in 2006-07 with the AHL’s Springfield Falcons, scoring 13 goals and adding 11 assists in 60 games. In 211 career American Hockey League games, Keller has scored 51 goals and added 54 assists.

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