Linkopings went down to defeat today at the hands of a Bjorn Melin overtime game winning goal as HV 71 triumphed 1-0. Fredrik Norrena made 24 saves on 26 shots but dropped to 15-7-4 on the season. HV 71 currently leads the Elitserien table and widened their lead on third place Linkopings to 13 points.
For the fourth straight week the Chicoutimi Sangueneens are the #1 ranked team in the CHL according to the Bank of Montreal CHL Top 10 rankings. Chicoutimi remains atop the standings despite not having the services of stars Stanislav Lascek and Marek Zagrapan who spent the last week playing in the World Junior Championships in Vancouver for Team Slovakia. Both players should return to Chicoutimi this weekend as the Sangueneens continue their pursuit of the QMJHL title and a M
Slovakia and Switzerland battled to a 3-3 tie in their final match of the relegation round. The Slovaks battled back from two Swiss 2 goal leads to tie the game thanks in part to goals by Lightning prospects Marek Bartanus and Stanislav Lascek. Bartanus finished +2 on the game while Lascek finished +1. Defenseman Vladamir Mihalik finished even with 2 shots on goal. Switzerland won the relegation round on goal differential by one goal.
Final Lightning Prospect Statistics: Slovakia
Stanislav Lascek, 6GP, 6-3-9, 8 PIM, (+3), 18 SOG
Vladamir Mihalik, 6GP, 0-3-3, 8 PIM, (-1), 8 SOG
Marek Bartanus, 5GP, 1-0-1, 4 PIM (-4), 4 SOG
Canada did what Sweden could not do and solved Tuukka Rask to defeat Finland 4-0 and move on to the gold medal match against the winner of tonight's USA vs. Russia matchup. Rask made 39 saves on 43 shots and, in total, faced 96 shots in the span of 24 hours. Finland will play the loser of the USA vs. Russia game Thursday in the bronze medal match.
What a gritty, gutty performance by a tired and undermanned Tampa Bay Lightning led by John Grahame.
John Grahame made 36 saves for the shutout while Vaclav Prospal picked countryman Petr Prucha's pocket to deposit the game winning goal late in overtime. Prospal's thievery was made possible by an incredible diving poke check just moments earlier by Paul Ranger on a Michael Nylander breakaway attempt. Ranger played 15:46 of even hockey with two takeaways. Evgeny Artyukhin played a quiet 10:56 as the checking lines were limited in ice time due to newcomers Jim Campbell and Norm Milley joining the team. Ryan Craig was scratched again with a broken toe.
Game sheet from NHL.com.
Out of medal contention after the round robin, Slovakia now must play two games in the relegation round. Their first opponent, Norway, unexpectedly put up a strong fight tonight as the Slovaks just squeaked by 4-3. Lightning prospect Stanislav Lascek notched a goal on 2 shots and was a +1. Vladamir Mihalik was +1 with one shot on goal. Marek Bartanus was -2 with 3 shots on goal. Slovakia will play Switzerland tomorrow in their quest to stave off relegation.
Anton But continues to play well as he notched a goal and an assist tonight as the Lokomotiv steamrolled KHK MVD 6-1.
Meanwhile, despite a great effort by Vasily Koshechkin, Michal Grosek's 3rd period goal was enough for SKA St. Petersburg to defeat Lada Togliatti 1-0. Koshechkin drops to 14-7-3 this year.
In response to last night's injuries to Fredrik Modin and Rob DiMaio, the Lightning have recalled wingers Jim Campbell and Norm Milley from Springfield of the AHL. The domino effect was the recall of left wing Randy Rowe from Johnstown of the ECHL to Springfield.
Finland found a way to win despite being vastly outplayed by rival Sweden to stay alive in the single elimination portion of the World Junior Championships. Despite being outshot 53-24 Finland needed just Teemu Laakso's overtime winning goal to advance. Tuukka Rask got the shutout for the Finns, who now advance to play Team Canada in the WJC semifinals. Lightning prospect Karri Ramo once again served the role of backup.