Latvia Names Martins Karsums to 2010 Olympic Team

NORFOLK, Va. – Norfolk Admirals forward and Lightning prospect Martins Karsums has been named to Team Latvia for the 2010 Winter Olympics.

Karsums, a 5-foot-9, 200-pound forward from Riga, Latvia, has appeared in 30 games for the Admirals this season and has three goals and 11 points with an even plus/minus rating. Karsums has been heating up of late and shows two goals and six points in his last five games with Norfolk.

WJC Game Night: 12-28-09

Finland 0 vs. Russia 2
F Matias Sointu, FIN: Did not play.

Preliminary round play continued Monday at the U20 WJC tournament hosted in Saskatchewan with Finland playing their second match in as many days. Matias Sointu once again did not dress for the Finnish team who was shutout by Russian netminder Igor Bobkov 2-0 despite Finland outshooting the Russians 46-17. Former Columbus Blue Jacket winger and Russian captain Nikita Filatov led the offense with a goal and an assist.

CHL Game Night: 12-28-09

OHL

Erie Otters 2 @ Plymouth Whalers 3 OT
G Jaroslav Janus, ERIE: Loss, 31 saves on 34 shots
Season Totals: 12 GP, 6-4-2-0, 2.96 GAA, 0.913 sv%
With Norfolk (AHL): 2 GP, 0-2-0, 1.52 GAA, .939 sv%

Janus dueled Plymouth goalie Matt Hackett to a 2-2 draw in regulation, but gave up the OT goal to the Whalers 2:19 into the extra period. The match was the first OHL game on the schedule since the league's break for the Christmas holidays.

NHL Game Night: 12-28-09 Bruins at Lightning

Back to .500 with the biggest win of the season.

BOS-1
TB-2

Mike Smith allowed 1 goal on 32 shots for the win.

First Period
TB 18:59, Tanguay 6 (Lecavalier, Foster)

Second Period
TB 19:48, St. Louis 8 (Foster, Stamkos)(PP)

Third Period
BOS 12:30, Sturm 12 (Savard, Chara)

We're two games away from the midway point of the season and the Lightning have squared up their record at .500, just a few points out of 8th in the playoff chase.

Zenon Konopka had 5 penalty minutes in 7:20. Konopka is 3 games away from graduation here on Bolt Prospects.

Paul Szczechura had 2 blocked shots and was 58% on draws in 14:07.

James Wright had 1 hit in 6:28. Wright is now 3 games away from graduation here on BP.

Blair Jones had 4 shots, 1 hit, and 3 blocked shots in 14:42. I loves me some Blair Jones.

Victor Hedman was +1 with 2 penalty minutes, 3 shots, and 2 hits in 21:07. Hedman is now 4 games away from graduation here on BP.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

Bolts Return Helenius to Admirals

TAMPA BAY, Fla. – The Tampa Bay Lightning have returned goaltender Riku Helenius to the Norfolk Admirals, Lightning Executive Vice President and General Manager Brian Lawton announced today. In addition, the Admirals announced today that goaltender Shane Connelly has been released from his Professional Tryout Contract (PTO).

Helenius, a 6-foot-3, 211-pound goaltender from Palkane, Finland, served as the backup goaltender for in the Lightning’s 4-3 victory over the Atlanta Thrashers on Saturday night. Helenius has played in 12 games with the Admirals this season, recording a 5-7-0 record with a .896 save percentage and a 2.75 goals-against average.

Last season, he led the Admirals in both goals-against average (GAA) and save percentage in his first North American professional season. In 25 games with Norfolk, the 21-year-old went 9-15-0 with one shutout, a 2.72 GAA and a .918 save percentage.

Drafted by Tampa Bay in the first round (15th overall) of the 2006 NHL Entry Draft, made his NHL debut in relief on January 30 with Tampa Bay versus Philadelphia and stopped the two shots he faced in his only career NHL action to this point. Helenius also appeared in 11 ECHL games last season between the Augusta Lynx and Mississippi Sea Wolves, going 4-5-2 with a 3.80 GAA.

Connelly served as backup goaltender for the Admirals in Hershey last night.

WJC Game Night: 12-27-09

Slovakia 8 vs. Latvia 3
C Richard Panik, SLO: 2-2-4, +4, 0 PIM, 4 SOG

Richard Panik opened the scoring at 0:33, and by 3:44 had netted the game's first two goals. He later added two assists in Slovakia's 8-3 rout of the hapless Latvian team. After two matches, Panik now sits 3rd place on the tournament scoring board with 3 goals and 2 assists.

Finland 4 vs. Czech Republic 3
F Matias Sointu, FIN: Did not play.

Matias Sointu did not dress for the Finnish team in their opening match of the tourney as the Finns rallied from a 3-0 deficit to defeat the Czech Republic 4-3.

CHL Game Night: 12-27-09

QMJHL

Moncton Wildcats 10 @ Halifax Mooseheads 1
D Mark Barberio, MCT: 1-1-2, +3, 2 PIM, 2 SOG
Season Totals: 33 GP, 4-23-27, +15, 36 PIM

Mark Barberio scored the Wildcats' 5th goal of the opening period with less than a minute left before intermission. Moncton would double that score to 10 behind 40 shots as they opened the post-Christmas schedule on the road in Halifax.

WHL

Regina Pats 2 @ Medicine Hat Tigers 5
RW Carter Ashton, REG: 0-0-0, -3, 0 PIM
Season Totals: 33 GP, 14-16-30, -15, 62 PIM
With Regina: 6 GP, 1-3-4, -6, 10 PIM
With Lethbridge: 28 GP, 13-13-26, -8, 52 PIM

Regina's winless streak now at seven games, and Carter Ashton was held scoreless and minus-3 on the night.

KHL Game Day: 12-27-09

Omsk 3 @ Cherepovets 1
Karri Ramo, Omsk, Win, 23/24, 1.00 GAA, .958 sv%
Season totals: 29 GP, 16-12, 3 SO, 1.99 GAA, .914 sv%

Ramo got his season GAA back below 2 with a solid 3-1 win over Cherepovets. Former Lightning first rounder Alex Svitov had his 5th goal of the season in the win and added a helper, which was his 12th point of the season.

Kazan 5 @ Novosibirsk 1
Dmitri Kazionov, Kazan, 1-2-3, +2, 0 PIM, 3 SOG
Season totals: 37 GP, 12-4-16, +2, 12 PIM

The elder Kazionov played 13:48 in the match, opening the scoring for Kazan with his 12th goal of the season before tacking on a pair of assists in the third period.

Yaroslavl 3 @ Magnitogorsk 0
Vasily Koshechkin, Magnitogorsk, Loss, 20/23, 3.00 GAA, .870 sv%
Season totals: 35 GP, 17-15, 5 SO, 2.07 GAA, .923 sv%

Magnitogorsk managed just 18 shots on goal in their 3-0 shutout loss to Lokomotiv.

KHK MVD 1 @ Ekaterinburg 0
Denis Kazionov, Ekaterinburg, 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 1 SOG
Season totals: 34 GP, 4-3-7, -12, 10 PIM

The younger Kazionov brother played just 9:04 in the match. A first period goal from Yuri Babenko would be the only scoring KHK MVD would get or need thanks to a 25 save shutout by former Thrashers prospect Michael Garnett.

CSKA 2 @ Dynamo Moscow 3 (OT)
Johan Harju, Dynamo Moscow, 0-0-0, -2, 2 PIM, 0 SOG
Season totals: 38 GP, 3-9-12, -7, 28 PIM

Harju's linemate, Linus Omark, assisted on the overtime winner for Dynamo in what was an otherwise miserable night for the prospect and his line. Harju ended up playing just 9:50 in the match and was 79% on draws.

AHL Game Night: 12-27-09 Admirals at Bears

A crushing defeat for the Admirals.

NOR-1
HER-7

Dustin Tokarski allowed 7 goals on 35 shots for the loss.

First Period
HER Aucoin, (15) , 10:48 (PEN/SH)

Second Period
HER Aucoin, (16) (Giroux, Gordon), 5:13
HER Wellar, (1) (Aucoin, Miskovic), 8:17
HER Amadio, (1) (Bourque, Perreault), 10:27
NOR Parrish, (8) (Krajicek), 18:55

Third Period
HER Helmer, (2) (McNeill, Perreault), 2:49 (PP)
HER Bouchard, (10) (Bourque, Miskovic), 13:30
HER Kane, (13) (Wilson, Gordon), 17:45

Box score from TheAHL.com.

Jones Is Getting Defensive

Just call him “The Eraser.”

Already known for his grit and forechecking abilities, Blair Jones has taken his two-way game to another level this year. And Lightning coaches are taking it even further.

In Saturday night’s key Southeast Division clash against the Atlanta Thrashers, Jones, who earlier this month was still playing in AHL Norfolk, got the tap on the shoulder to help kill a first period penalty. It was his first significant action shorthanded this season, and to make matters more intimidating, he was lined up opposite Thrashers superstar Ilya Kovalchuk, who entered the game among NHL goal leaders with 21 and the league’s fifth-best shooting percentage

“Whatever the coaches ask me to do I’m going to do it,” Jones said. “It’s not the most glorifying job to stand in front of one of the hardest shots in the league, but whatever keeps me out on the ice.”

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