North American Juniors Game Night: 10/9/10

USHL

Fargo Force 2 @ Cedar Rapids Roughriders 5
C Jimmy Mullin, FGO: 1-1-2, +1, 2 PIM (roughing), 4 SOG
Season Totals: 3 GP, 2-1-3, +1, 2 PIM

Mullin (pictured) had his first multipoint USHL game, though it came in a losing effort. The Miami-Ohio commit leads Fargo in goals and is tied for the points lead after three games.

QMJHL

Montreal Juniors 2 @ Moncton Wildcats 3 (SO)
D Charles Landry, MTL: Did not play.
Season Totals: 4 GP, 0-1-1, +4, 0 PIM

Landry has missed Montreal’s last three games.

OHL

Belleville Bulls 4 @ Sarnia Sting 3
C Richard Panik, BEL: 1-2-3, +2, 0 PIM, *First Star*
Season Totals: 7 GP, 5-5-10, +2, 11 PIM

Panik earned his second First Star of the season after a three point night. This is exactly what the Lightning want to see from Panik at the junior level – lighting up the scoreboard. Panik has all the skills to be an elite forward at this level.

Brampton Battalion 3 @ Owen Sound Attack 4
D Geoffrey Schemitsch, OS: 0-0-0, -1, 0 PIM
Season Totals: 6 GP, 1-4-5, +3, 0 PIM

Owen Sound was outshot 13-4 in the third period, but one of those shots - Cameron Brace's first OHL goal - went in for the game winner.

WHL

Prince George Cougars 5 @ Medicine Hat Tigers 3
RW Brett Connolly, PG: 1-0-1, +1, 0 PIM, *Third Star*
Season Totals: 7 GP, 4-5-9, -2, 2 PIM

Connolly has at least a point in all seven games this season. He scored the game’s opening goal Saturday.

NHL Game Night: 10/9/10 Thrashers at Lightning

I'll reiterate what I said in the first preseason game: so far so good.

ATL-3
TB-5

Mike Smith allowed 3 goals on 30 shots for the win. He'll never win style points for the way he tends goal, but as long as he keeps the pucks he should stop out of the net, this Lightning team should have enough offense to win hockey games for him.

First Period
TB 5:23, Downie 1 (PP) (Malone, Clark)
TB 8:21, Moore 1 (Purcell, Bergenheim)

Second Period
TB 2:20, Lecavalier 1 (PP) (St. Louis, Stamkos)
TB 5:21, Stamkos 1 (Hedman, Downie)
ATL 16:31, Enstrom 1 (PP) (Bergfors, Ladd)
ATL 18:12, Eager 1 (unassisted)

Third Period
ATL 7:41, Thorburn 1 (Sopel, Eager)
TB 10:59, Stamkos 2 (Jones)

Steven Stamkos, Steve Downie, and Vincent Lecavalier were the game's three stars. The NHL should be absolutely terrified of the concept of Stamkos and Lecavalier getting on track early this season. Also, reports of Steve Downie's demise in the post-Tocchet era appear to have been greatly, greatly exaggerated.

Going into the season, I think we all had a sense that the pride and professionalism were returning to Tampa Bay with the circus leaving town and Mr. Vinik coming in as owner. Tonight was the first time that sense translated into something tangible on the ice. The team is offensively explosive and looks deeper than at any time since, well, ever. How far they will go will ultimately be a function of the goaltending they will get, but if these netminders can make the stops they should make, this club should be in good shape.

The great thing about tonight's game, similar the the Admirals' game down on the farm, is that they can take a lot of offensive confidence away from the game but they made enough mistakes that Coach Boucher is going to be able to continue to keep on his club and keep them from complacency going into Wednesday's game against Montreal. And, you know, Coach Boucher has this Montreal game circled on the calendar and is not going to allow his team to go into his first game against his hometown team and in front of the Canadian media flat and overly impressed with themselves.

Dana Tyrell was -1 with 2 shots and 1 hit in 8:44 in his NHL debut.

Michael Vernace had 1 shot and 1 hit in 10:04 in his Lightning debut.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

AHL Game Night: 10/9/10 Admirals at Senators

Consulting the Cheap and Easy Headline Generator (tm) for this one: "Seven is heaven in the Admirals' opener."

NOR-7
BNG-4

Dustin Tokarski allowed 4 goals on 36 shots but found himself awash in seven sweet goals of support to earn the victory.

First Period
BNG Keller, (1) (Locke, Butler), 13:20

Second Period
NOR Milam, (1) (Pouliot), 5:16
BNG O'Brien, (2) (Daugavins, Hale), 8:02
NOR Wishart, (1) (Quick, Fornataro), 9:43 (PP)
NOR Jones, (1) (Pouliot, Quick), 13:56
BNG Butler, (2) (Locke, Keller), 15:31
BNG O'Brien, (3) (Benoit), 15:45
NOR Milam, (2) (Quick), 16:10 (PP)
NOR Jones, (2) (Simek, Pouliot), 16:34
NOR Angelidis, (1) (Mihalik, Harju), 17:47

Third Period
NOR Fornataro, (1) (Wright, Szczechura), 17:57

Blair Jones and Troy Milam were the game's first and second stars. Milam played in Finland the past couple of years, but before that he put up 37 points in 75 games for Manchester in 2007-2008, so he has legitimate AHL chops (and he's a righty shot, too). That's a very good signing by the Ads.

M.A. Pouliot and Kevin Quick each had assists in triplicate. With the effort, Quick is already three-quarters of the way to matching his point production of all last season. I'm thinking he might like the new coach and system. Matt Fornataro also had multiple points with one goal and one assist.

You know, on paper, this Admirals team should be a low scoring team that leans on their outstanding goaltending. They have depth, but other than maybe Johan Harju they don't have any guys who are Brandon Bochenski-type snipers. But they used that depth to overwhelm Binghamton tonight. You get the sense there are a lot of hungry Admirals players knocking on the door for NHL opportunities. And, the great thing is that while they got the win and established a lot of confidence in their offensive abilities, they made enough mistakes that Coach Cooper should be able to stay on his team and keep them away from the demon that is complacency.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

European Game Day: 10/9/10

Elitserien
MODO 6 @ Sodertalje 3
Riku Helenius, Sodertalje, No Decision, 19/21, 3.91 GAA, .905 sv%
Season totals: 5 GP, 0-4-0, 0 SO, 2.93 GAA, .866 sv%

MODO chased starter Pontus Sjogren midway through the second period on their way to a 6-3 win over Sodertalje. Sjogren allowed 4 goals on 19 shots to take his first loss of the season. Lightning prospect Riku Helenius allowed 2 goals the rest of the way in mop up duty. MODO got a hat trick from Norweigian-born forward Kristian Forsberg in the victory. Sodertalje got the obligatory goal, plus an assist, from ex-Avs pick Linus Viddell.

KHL
Dynamo Riga 4 @ Novgorod 1
Martins Karsums, Dynamo Riga, 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 0 SOG
Season totals: 12 GP, 6-3-9, +4, 16 PIM

Ex-Preds pick Lauris Darzins had a pair of assists to help lead Riga to a 4-1 win over Torpedo Novgorod. Lightning overage prospect Martins Karsums played 15:33 in the match.

North American Juniors Game Night: 10/8/10

O'Donnell has a big night ... Connolly, Ashton score ... Schemitsch a PPGer ... Zador struggles.

BCHL

Trail Smoke Eaters 4 @ Penticton Vees 6
C Brendan O’Donnell, PEN: 2-0-2, 0 PIM, *First Star*
Season Totals: 12 GP, 5-3-8, 6 PIM

O’Donnell (pictured) scored his second goal of the game early in the third period to break a 3-3 tie and send the Vees to victory. This was his first 2-goal game in the BCHL.

NCAA Game Night: 10/08/10

#9 Denver Pioneers 5 @ Vermont Catamounts 3
F Matt Marshall, UVM: 0-0-0, -1, 0 PIM, 3 SOG

Canisius Golden Griffins 5 @ Western Michigan Broncos 3
D Luke Witkowski, UWM: 0-0-0, -2, 2 PIM, 1 SOG

Vermont and Western Michigan each blow early 2-0 leads to drop their season openers 5-3. Both teams play again tomorrow night against the same opponents.

European Game Day: 10/7/10 and 10/8/10

10/7/10

Elitserien
Sodertalje 3 @ Djurgardens 1
Riku Helenius, Sodertalje, DNP
Season totals: 4 GP, 0-4-0, 0 SO, 3.05 GAA, .844 sv%

Pontus Sjogren improved to 4-0-0 by virtue of a 31 save performance against Djurgardens to keep Lightning prospect Riku Helenius firmly in place on the bench for Sodertalje. Ex-Avs pick Linus Videll had a goal in the match for Sodertalje. Ex-Lightning prospects Josef Boumedienne and Andreas Holmqvist assisted on Djurgardens' lone goal. Sodertalje evens their record at 4-4-0 (2 OTW) and has risen to eighth on the Elitserien table.

KHL
Cherepovets 3 @ Mytischi 2
Vasily Koshechkin, Cherepovets, DNP
Season totals: 8 GP, 4-4-0, 1 SO, 2.40 GAA, .917 sv%

Vasily Koshechkin got the day off as his backup, Rostislav Stana, stayed a perfect 3-0-0 this season with a 26 save performance against Mytischi. Ex-Lightning prospect Vadim Epanchintsev had a goal in the match for Mytischi.

10/8/10

KHL
Nizhnekamsk 3 @ Kazan 0
Dmitri Kazionov, Kazan, 0-0-0, -1, 0 PIM, 2 SOG
Season totals: 4 GP, 0-0-0, E, 2 PIM

Dmitri Kazionov was scoreless in 16:54 in Kazan's 3-0 shutout loss to Nizhnekamsk.

North American Juniors Game Night: 10/6/10

QMJHL

Cape Breton Screaming Eagles 1 @ Gatineau Olympiques 4
D Adam Janosik, GAT: 0-0-0, E, 2 PIM (goaltender interference), 1 SOG
Season Totals: 8 GP, 1-3-4, +4, 2 PIM

Janosik was credited with three hits in the game.

OHL

Sarnia Sting 5 @ Sault Ste Marie Greyhounds 2
D Brock Beukeboom, SSM: 0-0-0, +1, 7 PIM (Instigator, fighting vs. Garrett Hooey, 10 min. misc.)
Season Totals: 4 GP, 0-0-0, +1, 16 PIM

Beukeboom is still looking for his first point of the season. The Soo captain has two fights, however. Beukeboom jumped Hooey after Hooey laid an open ice check on a Soo player. As a result of Beukeboom's actions, the Soo unsuccessfully tried to kill off a seven-minute power play. The Greyhounds were outshot 40-25, including 18-5 in the second period.

Barrie Colts 5 @ Belleville Bulls 3
C Richard Panik, BEL: 0-2-2, E, 0 PIM
Season Totals: 5 GP, 4-3-7, E, 7 PIM

The Bulls had an early 2-0 lead, but couldn’t make it last. Panik had his third multi-point game of the season. Panik is one point behind Andy Bathgate for the team lead in scoring.

WHL

Red Deer Rebels 6 @ Regina Pats 5 (OT)
RW Carter Ashton, REG: 0-0-0, E, 22 PIM (instigator, fighting x2 vs. Petrovic, Grayson, game misc.)
Season Totals: 5 GP, 1-1-2, E, 31 PIM

Ashton was kicked out of the game late in the second period after his second fight. Red Deer scored three times in the third period, and once in overtime to win. Against Grayson, Ashton came to the defense of a teammate who had been checked from behind. The Pats are now 1-4-1 on the year.

Prince George Cougars 6 @ Kootenay Ice 3
RW Brett Connolly, PG: 0-3-3, +2, 0 PIM, *Second Star*
Season Totals: 5 GP, 2-5-7, -2, 0 PIM

Connolly’s point streak extended to five games as the Cougars handed Kootenay a home loss with the game's final three goals. Two of his three assists came in the third period. Connolly leads the Cougars in scoring five games into the year.

Tri-City Americans 3 @ Saskatoon Blades 5
D Teigan Zahn, SAS: 0-0-0, +2, 0 PIM
Season Totals: 6 GP, 1-0-1, +6, 11 PIM

Saskatoon outshot TC 47-27. Their five wins are tied for tops in the WHL (Red Deer).

Lightning Reduce Training Camp Roster by Four

(Tampa Bay Lightning press release) The Tampa Bay Lightning reduced their training camp roster by four today, assigning forwards Chris Durno and Johan Harju, as well as goaltender Cedrick Desjardins to the Norfolk Admirals of the American Hockey League and releasing forward Eric Perrin from his tryout, Vice President and General Manager Steve Yzerman announced.

(BP Note: With this latest news, it's apparent prospect Dana Tyrell has made the Lightning roster for opening night. Congratulations, Dana!)

Lightning Claim Mattias Ritola; Admirals Reassign Mitch Fadden to Everblades

Bob McKenzie of TSN is reporting the Tampa Bay Lightning has claimed prospect left winger Mattias Ritola off of waivers from the Detroit Red Wings. The 5'11" and 205 lb winger was a 2005 4th round pick of the Red Wings and has scored 41 goals and added 65 assists in 211 games for the AHL's Grand Rapid Griffins, and has one assist in 7 games for Detroit.

In other news, the Norfolk Admirals cut prospect Mitch Fadden from their training camp on Monday, reassigning the forward to the Florida Everblades of the ECHL. Fadden, slowed by a shoulder injury sustained during the Traverse City Prospects Tournament in September, has yet to show the progress he made as a rookie in the last half of the 2009-10 season.

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