CHL Game Night: 9/30

WHL

Lethbridge Hurricanes 3 @ Kamloops Blazers 5
RW Carter Ashton, LET: 1-0-1, -1, 7 PIM (roughing, fighting, game misconduct)
Season totals: 4 GP, 1-0-1, -9, 9 PIM

Despite outshooting Kamloops 40-26, Lethbridge remains the lone WHL team without a win (0-6) as they fell 5-3 to the Blazers Wednesday. Ashton, who scored 30 goals last year to lead the team, notched his first of the season in his fourth game since returning from Lightning camp. His goal came on the power play, but he was kicked out mid-way through the second period for fighting.

Gregg Drinnan of the Kamloops Daily News has the story: “With the score 2-2 midway through the second period, Kamloops winger Tyler Shattock lowered the boom on Reid Jackson, leaving the Lethbridge defenceman laying on the ice and wondering where he was.

As so often happens in these situations, players partnered up before Brett Lyon of the Blazers and Lethbridge’s Mike Reddington finally fought. The other players dispersed to their bench areas, but Hurricanes forward Carter Ashton, whose goal three minutes earlier had forged a 2-2 tie, got caught up in traffic at the Blazers’ bench. Brandon Underwood, playing in his second straight game after being scratched for the season’s first three outings, ended up engaging Ashton and both players received roughing minors, fighting majors and game misconducts.”

KHL Game Day: 9/29 and 9/30

9/29
Denis Kazionov was -1 in 12:11 with 2 shots on goal as Ekaterinburg was defeated by Khabarovsk 3-1.

9/30
Johan Harju was -1 in 8:54 as Dynamo Moscow fell to Cherepovets 4-2.

Bolts Bring Back Mitch Fritz; Assign to Norfolk

The Tampa Bay Lightning are reporting via Twitter that former Bolt tough guy Mitch Fritz has been signed to a one-year contract today, and will be assigned to the Norfolk Admirals.

Fritz, 29, spent three seasons as an enforcer in the Tampa Bay Lightning organization from 2004-07, playing 174 games and racking up 435 penalty minutes during three seasons for the Springfield Falcons. Last season, the 6'8" and 258 lbs. left winger played 20 games for the New York Islanders and 36 additional games for their AHL affiliate in Bridgeport.

During his tenure in the Lightning organization at Springfield, Fritz was the recipient of the AHL's Yannick Dupre Memorial award for the 2005-06 season as the AHL Man of the Year for his community involvement work in Springfield, MA. Fritz was traded to the New York Rangers by the Lightning in July 2007 for Bryce Lampman and played just 11 games in an injury shortened season for the Ranger's AHL affiliate in Hartford.

Lashoff and Lundin Clears Waivers; Reassigned to Norfolk

Erik Erlendsson of the Tampa Tribune is reporting via Twitter that Lightning prospect defenseman Matt Lashoff and fellow blueliner Mike Lundin have cleared waivers and will be reassigned the Norfolk Admirals. The Lightning have set their 23-man roster for today's NHL deadline ahead of the Thursday's start of the 2009-10 NHL season. The Norfolk Admirals begin their 2009-10 AHL season Saturday night against the AHL defending champion Hershey Bears.

CHL Game Night: 9/29

WHL

Lethbridge Hurricanes 1 @ Vancouver Giants 5
RW Carter Ashton, LET: 0-0-0, -1, 0 PIM
Season totals: 2 GP, 0-0-0, -6, 10 PIM

This was supposed to be a match-up of Lightning prospects James Wright and Ashton, but Wright went and made the Lightning, leaving the Giants in a quandary. Vancouver made a trade earlier Tuesday, acquiring Cass Mappin (undrafted) to help replace Wright. Mappin had an assist vs. Lethbridge. It doesn’t look as though Vancouver needs the help, though – Lethbridge does. The ‘Canes remain the lone WHL team without a win (0-5). They’ll look for that first one again tonight (Wednesday) in Kamloops. Vancouver is 4-1-0-1.

According to Gregg Drinnan of the Kamloops Daily News, the Lethbridge-Vancouver game featured 175 penalty minutes and the refs had their hands full with one line brawl and several post-whistle scrums.

Bolts Waive Lashoff and Lundin; 3 Others Clear

Numerous reports are surfacing today that the Tampa Bay Lightning have waived defensemen Matt Lashoff and Mike Lundin for purposes of reassignment to the Norfolk Admirals. These two transactions represents the final players cut from the Lightning training camp ahead of Wednesday's 23-man roster deadline. Lashoff, a former 1st round pick of the Boston Bruins, was acquired at the 2008-09 trade deadline as the centerpiece for forward Mark Recchi and his subjection to waivers is a bit of a surprise considering his perceived NHL upside.

The Lightning have also been informed that forwards Ryan Craig, Adam Hall, and Brandon Bochenski cleared waivers today and will be reassigned to the Norfolk Admirals.

Gotovets Update

Lightning prospect defenseman Kirill Gotovets and Shattuck St. Mary's got their season underway this past weekend, going 3-0. The Sabres defeated Team Northeast, 7-3, Team Southwest, 8-3, and Team Wisconsin, 5-3. Gotovets, a Cornell commit, did not register a point. He had eight minutes in penalties (cross-checking, roughing-2, elbowing). Gotovets was a seventh round pick of the Bolts this past summer.

KHL Game Day: 9/28

Vasily Koshechkin allowed 3 goals on 24 shots as Togliatti fell to Nizhnekamsk 4-2. Former NHLer Denis Arkhipov added an empty netter for Nizhnekamsk with 1 second left in the match.

Johan Harju assisted on a Linus Omark goal as Dynamo Moscow defeated Spartak Moscow 5-1. The helper was just Harju's second point of the season.

More Cuts Announced

The Tampa Bay Lightning, via Twitter, has announced Adam Hall, Ryan Craig, and Brandon Bochenski have all been placed on waivers. Also, forward Brett McLean has been released from his tryout.

This leaves the Lightning with 12 forwards, and if plans remain to keep 8 defensemen, one forward spot open for a possible waiver addition.

The Lightning still needs to get down to 23 players, and essentially have to choose two of Lukas Krajicek, Matt Smaby, Matt Lashoff, David Hale, and Mike Lundin. Technically, they could keep three extra defensemen until further roster moves are made to get them down to 8.

BP's guess: Lashoff and Smaby remain due to their one-way contracts, youth, specialties, and upsides. Both would be prime candidates to be plucked off waivers, also. It would seem the best management of assets would be to retain those two.

NHL Preseason Game Day: 9/27 Lightning at Thrashers

That, boys and girls, is what a clinic looks like.

TB-5
ATL-1

Mike Smith allowed 1 goal on 21 shots for the win.

First Period
TB 12:11, Konopka 1 (Ranger)
TB 13:08, Stamkos 1 (St. Louis, Lecavalier)(PP)

Second Period
TB 2:23, St. Louis 1 (Stamkos, Lecavalier)(PP)
ATL 5:40, Thorburn 1 (Salmela, Slater)

Third Period
TB 7:08, Ohlund 1 (Lecavalier, Tanguay)
TB 12:20, Stamkos 2 (Malone, St. Louis) (PP)

If that was a preview of the regular season, then I'd say that's a pretty resounding statement the Lightning just issued. The Lightning had 3 power play goals and were 3/7 overall with the man advantage. There's no reason for this club not to be top-10 in the league with the man advantage, and it's hard to miss the playoffs when you're that good with the extra man.

Paul Ranger's shoulder must feel ok after playing a team high 22:19. Pretty fascinating ice time distribution in this game among the defensemen with only Ranger going over 20 minutes.

Final cuts are due by Wednesday. Tuesday at noon would be the deadline for the Lightning to place any eligible player who needs to go through waivers on the wire before sending them down to Norfolk.

Steve Downie was -1 with 6 penalty minutes and 1 shot in 10:31.

Drew Miller was scoreless in 13:39.

Zenon Konopka had a goal and was +1 with 2 penalty minutes and 3 shots on goal in 11:37.

James Wright had 2 penalty minutes, 1 shot, and 1 hit in 13:32.

Victor Hedman was +1 with 2 blocked shots in 19:49.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

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