Andreas Holmqvist scored a late goal and had 2 penalty minutes in Linkopings' 4-0 victory over Malmo today. The goal was Holmqvist's 6th of the season and his 26th point in 46 games to go along with 52 penalty minutes and a +2 rating. In 46 games last season, Holmqvist recorded 6 goals and 22 points with 64 penalty minutes and a +8 rating. Linkopings currently sits in 6th place on the Elitserien table at 1 game over .500. Last year, with former Lightning prospect Fredrik Norrena between the pipes, Linkopings finished third in the Elitserien at 14 games over .500.
Erie 1 @ Kitchener 2
The lowly Erie Otters went into Kitchener to face the Rangers - the team with the league's third-best point total at 82 - and nearly pulled off the upset thanks to Kevin Beech. Beech stopped 50 of 52 shots in the 2-1 loss, including 22 of 23 in the first period. The Otters held a brief 1-0 lead midway through the first period. The Otters were outshot 52-28. Beech was named the game's third star.
Ottawa 5 @ Mississauga 2
Chris Lawrence had a rare scoreless night, finishing minus-2 with a roughing minor as the IceDogs dropped a home game to Ottawa. Considering the 67's are more than 20 points behind Mississauga in the standings, this was a bad loss for the IceDogs. Mississauga is 5 points behind division leading Barrie with 2 games in hand, so these lost 2 points will hurt.
Prince George 5 @ Spokane 2
The Cougars got revenge for a loss to the Chiefs earlier this week as they scored three third period goals to beat Spokane 5-2 on the Chiefs' home ice. Vladimir Mihalik was scoreless and even for the game, and should probably check the curve on his stick as he had two minor penalties for delay-of-game.
Everett 4 @ Vancouver 3 (Shootout)
The Silvertips squeaked by the Giants 4-3 in a shootout in Vancouver Friday night. Dane Crowley did not register a point, but had an even rating and received 15 minutes in penalties for a first period fight against Florida Panthers first round pick Kendall McArthur. He was given a 10 minute misconduct on the play, but no instigator. It's good to see Crowley avoiding the rush and hating the Panthers early. The fight happened just three seconds into the game. Apparently Crowley got a few good shots in, but McArthur scored the takedown.
According to TSN.ca, Andre Roy was suspended for three games due to his run in with the official last night in the closing seconds of the Lightning's 6-2 loss to Boston. Kyle Wanvig was called up from Springfield to replace Roy on the Lightning roster.
#12 Maine 3 - Merrimack 0
Mike Lundin was scoreless and even in the game. The defensemen recorded 4 shots in the game.
#18 Massachuetts 2 - Northeastern 0
Defensemen John Wessbecker finished scoreless and even in the game.
#9 Miami 4 - Northern Michigan 1
Center Dusty Collins was scoreless and a minus-2 for the game. The Wildcats conclude their regular season tomorrow night against the Redhawks.
Marc Denis stopped just 5 of 7 shots faced before being lifted for Johan Holmqvist who was even more horrid allowing 4 goals on 16 shots faced. Dan Boyle and Filip Kuba had the Lightning goals. Brad Richards, Vincent Lecavalier and Eric Perrin recorded assists. Positives? Not many. Kuba getting back on the scoreboard after a prolonged drought is nice. Getting Blair Jones some development time in the third period after playing just 2 (albeit long) shifts last night in Atlanta is also nice. Jones had 1 shot in 10:13 of ice time tonight.
Ball this one up and throw it in the trash can. The Lightning really left it all on the ice last night in Atlanta and had little in the tank to deal with Boston, especially considering what a poor goaltending effort they got tonight. Boston was laying in wait in Tampa soaking up the sun. Rested and ready they pounced. That's just the way the situation unfolded. Certainly, it stinks to burn the team's game in hand on Atlanta this way, but I don't believe this is foreshadowing of things to come.
Boston 1:46, Marco Sturm 20 (Phil Kessel, Brandon Bochenski)
Tampa Bay 5:29, Dan Boyle 14 (power play) (Brad Richards, Vincent Lecavalier)
Boston 9:41, Brad Boyes 10 (Bobby Allen, Marc Savard)
Boston 3:58, Brad Boyes 11 (Marc Savard, P.J. Axelsson)
Boston 12:41, Phil Kessel 8 (Brandon Bochenski, Marco Sturm)
Boston 4:30, Brandon Bochenski 8 (power play) (Marc Savard, P.J. Axelsson)
Boston 9:31, Stanislav Chistov 5 (Zdeno Chara, Mark Mowers)
Tampa Bay 14:29, Filip Kuba 9 (Eric Perrin)
Game sheet from NHL.com.
Zbynek Hrdel shows a pulse.
Morgan Cey stopped 19 of 20 shots faced for the win. Bryan Nathe, Ben Wallace and Gus Katsuras each had 2 assists for the Chiefs. Johnstown's goals came from Zbynek Hrdel (power play), Radek Smolenak, Dimitri Tarabrin and Jean Desrochers (shorthanded). Hrdel extended his point streak now to 3 games after going the previous 10 games without a point. Maxime Boisclair and Stanislav Lascek had individual helpers in the game. Smolenak, Hrdel and Nathe were named the game's three stars.
WHE Hellemeyer, (3) (Bissonnette, Sonnenberg), 7:46
JHN Hrdel, (6) (Katsuras, Boisclair), 9:04 (PP)
JHN Smolenak, (13) (Lascek, Nathe), 16:00
JHN Tarabrin, (12) (Katsuras, Wallace), 17:16
JHN Desrochers, (12) (Wallace, Nathe), 18:59 (SH)
Game sheet from ECHL.com.
Word on the street is that there are some nefarious characters who are calling folks in Johnstown claiming to represent an organization called "Save the Chiefs". These scumbags, and from what I've read there's no more accurate name I can give to them, are attempting to extract people's personal information like credit card and Social Security numbers under the guise of a donation drive to try and keep the team in Johnstown. My understanding is that these jokers have no connection to the Chiefs or the Chiefs Booster Club. DO NOT give them any information. DO NOT even give them the time of day. If you're approached by these people, hang up promptly, take their number down off your caller ID and report them to the appropriate authorities.
I've never seen anything lower in my life than con artists who would actually prey on a minor league team's fanbase at a time when there's uncertainty about the club's future and I hope these dirtbags are found and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
Marc Denis steals Olli Jokinen's lunch money. It's a beautiful thing, made even more beautiful by the fact Denis Potvin's inner child was trampled by the game outcome at the end of the night.
First, I want to thank BP member Chelya for getting the explanation as to why the (former) official statistics site of the Superleague went down. Apparently the league chose not to renew with Global-Sport so they folded their website. With that in mind, here are the updates from a little over three tours worth of action in the last week:
That's the pride of a champion right there.
Marc Denis stopped 24 of 28 shots in regulation and overtime but still managed to get the win as the Lightning overcame a pair of 2 goal deficits in the second period and a 1 goal deficit in the 3rd period to take the division lead free and clear. Martin St. Louis and Brad Richards each had 1 goal and 2 assists with Marty potting the deciding game winning goal. Dan Boyle had 2 assists while the other Lightning goals came from Eric Perrin, Vincent Lecavalier and the Doomsday Device, Andre Roy. For Lecavalier, it was his league leading 40th goal of the campaign; the first 40 goal season of his career. Vaclav Prospal and Paul Ranger had individual assists.
The Lightning took the Thrashers' best punch in this game and still came out on top in an amazing display of character and resiliency. Coming out in the first period this team had zero jump and, indeed, looked like they were skating in quicksand as the Thrashers jumped all over them to eventually stake a 2-0 lead on a Marc Denis Charminy soft short side goal. The Lightning then struck with Brad Richards' goal but were quickly answered by a shot that went in off of Eric Boulton's shoulder and arm. Lesser teams would've folded up with the bounces going against them like that. The Lightning just rose to the challenge. I feel like I just watched one of those great 15+ round heavyweight fights from the 60's and 70's, and in the end the Lightning played the role of Ali and the Thrashers played the part of sucker on the canvas.
The win moves the Lightning clear of the Thrashers into sole posession of the Southeast Division lead at 73 points, maintaining a 4 point lead on third place Carolina. More importantly, I think, the Lightning sent a deep psychological message to the Thrashers tonight. No matter what the Thrashers throw at the Lightning, when the chips are down, the Lightning win. That's one of those intangibles that make sports such great drama. The pride of a champion doesn't show up on paper, but it damn sure showed up on the scoreboard tonight.
Atlanta 2:38, Steve McCarthy 4 (power play) (Scott Mellanby, Marian Hossa)
Atlanta 7:50, Eric Belanger 10 (Slava Kozlov, Andy Sutton)
Tampa Bay 11:24, Brad Richards 21 (Martin St. Louis, Vaclav Prospal)
Atlanta 13:08, Eric Boulton 3 (Bobby Holik, Steve McCarthy)
Tampa Bay 13:38, Eric Perrin 11 (Martin St. Louis)
Tampa Bay 15:43, Vincent Lecavalier 40 (power play) (Brad Richards, Dan Boyle)
Atlanta 0:30, Marian Hossa 35 (Eric Belanger)
Tampa Bay 2:28, Andre Roy 1 (Paul Ranger, Dan Boyle)
Tampa Bay 3:44, Martin St. Louis 37 (Brad Richards)
Game sheet from NHL.com.