Saturday's Elitserien Scores

Andreas Holmqvist did not play in Frolunda's 4-2 win over Skelleftea.

Johan Harju was scoreless in Lulea's 2-1 win over Timra.

Lightning Interested in Signing Quick

Lightning General Manager Jay Feaster released the following statement on the Kevin Quick situation:

Quote:
We have shared with his family adviser our thoughts on what is best for both Kevin's hockey career in light of the options that are available to him as well as for his own personal development and well-being.

Quick, a freshman defenseman with the University of Michigan and a Lightning draftee, was dismissed from the Wolverines yesterday after "violating team rules and trust."

Prior to Kevin choosing to return to Salisbury Prep after his draft year, the Lightning put the full-court press on him, encouraging him to go the Major Junior route with his development (Both Kevin and his younger brother, Kyle, have their rights held by the Ontario Hockey League's Sarnia Sting). Kevin eventually returned to Salisbury for a year before choosing to play collegiately at Michigan.

Green Bay of the USHL drafted Kevin in 2006, but released him after Quick decided to return to Prep school.

With Quick's developmental path again at a crossroads, Feaster told BoltProspects, "We will be doing the same kind of lobbying in this case and, yes, we are interested in signing him."

Kyle Okposo, who is 19 like Quick, recently left the University of Minnesota on his own terms to join the New York Islanders' AHL affiliate in Bridgeport.

Quick could be signed and end up in the AHL with Norfolk, or he could go to Major Junior and play with the likely top 2008 NHL draft choice Steven Stamkos in Sarnia.

N.A. Juniors Game Night: 2/1

Friday night's highlights:

  • 3 point nights for 2 prospects
  • An odd goal for Tyrell, but one he'll take in the end
  • Jung pulled after going 0 for 3

AHL Game Night 2/1: Admirals at Senators

Radek Smolenak!

NOR-4
BNG-3 (SO)

Marc Denis stopped 32 of 35 shots faced in regulation and overtime including a penalty shot by Greg Mauldin before stopping 3 of 5 shooters for the shootout victory.

First Period
BNG Mapletoft, (12) (Lee, Zubov), 3:01
NOR Smolenak, (3) (Szczechura, Lessard), 4:26
BNG Nikulin, (6) (Kinch, Hamel), 7:48 (PP)

Second Period
NOR Szczechura, (7) (Leach), 11:26
NOR Wanvig, (14) (Szczechura), 17:23
BNG Zubov, (13) (Mauldin), 17:36

Third Period
NO SCORING

Overtime
NO SCORING

Shootout
NOR- Henrich, Lessard, Smolenak
BNG- Mapletoft, Nycholat

Paul Szczechura and Smolenak were named first and second stars of the game. I'm pretty well sold on Szczechura. He needs to be back with the Admirals next season. Whoever the pro scout was the IDed this young man in Iowa needs a pat on the back.

And Smolenak extends his points streak to 5 games.

This is starting to remind me a bit of the 2004-2005 season in Springfield when for the first 1/2 to 2/3 of the year the Falcons got their heads kicked in against NHLer laiden lockout rosters. In the final 1/4 of that season some of the Lightning's young prospects like Paul Ranger and Evgeny Artyukhin started to emerge and gain confidence and by the next season they were in the NHL. The team is still 13 games under .500 and there should be no dillusions that this was a successful season overall, but even from struggling young players can learn important lessons and carry them on into successful NHL careers. It's happened before in this organization, it might be happening now.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

Quick Dismissed by Michigan

Culled from the message board...

Rivals.com is reporting the University of Michigan has dismissed freshman defenseman Kevin Quick from the team for an undisclosed violation of team rules.

MLive.com/Ann Arbor News reports:

Quote:
Coach Red Berenson did not give the specifics of why he dismissed the freshman defenseman from the program but said once he learned all of the details Thursday of what Quick did, it was the right thing to do.

"Obviously, it was serious enough that we had to let him go," Berenson said. "It was just a total violation of our team trust and our rules.

"He's a good kid, and it's been a long, long week for me having to make this decision, but it was the only thing to do."

Michigan players declined to comment about the dismissal. Quick could not be reached Friday for comment.

...

Berenson has suspended players in season before for academic or behavior reasons, but rarely has someone been immediately dismissed.

"I didn't know everything until (Thursday), and once I did, it was a quick decision," Berenson said.

Quick, a 3rd round pick in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft, is considered one of the Lightning's brightest young prospects.

Hat tip to message board member Matt.

ECHL Game Night 1/31: Columbia @ Mississippi

Ryan Munce stopped 27 shots and Marek Kvapil scored the game winner on a breakaway as the Sea Wolves defeated the Columbia Inferno 2-1 Thursday night. Munce was named the game's First Star while Kvapil earned Third Star honors. It was Munce's 12th win on the season, and it was Kvapil's third goal and fifth point in his first two games back in Mississippi after spending a couple of weeks in Norfolk. Head coach Steffon Walby seems to have found a lethal line combination in Kvapil, rookie and All-Star Ryan Menai, and Jason Tejchma.

Thursday's Elitserien Scores

Johan Harju was scoreless in Lulea's 5-4 loss to HV 71.

Andreas Holmqvist was scoreless in Frolunda's 3-2 loss to Linkopings.

NHL Game Night 1/31: Canucks at Lightning

Lightning live to fight another day.

VAN-3
TB-4

Karri Ramo got the win stopping 23 of 26 shots faced.

First Period
Vancouver 2:41, Luc Bourdon 2 (Alex Burrows, Taylor Pyatt)
Tampa Bay 7:56, Vaclav Prospal 21 (power play) (Martin St. Louis, Brad Richards)
Vancouver 16:24, Taylor Pyatt 13 (Ryan Kesler, Alex Burrows)

Second Period
Tampa Bay 3:12, Chris Gratton 8 (Jan Hlavac, Craig MacDonald)
Tampa Bay 16:39, Vincent Lecavalier 31 (Martin St. Louis, Brad Richards)

Third Period
Tampa Bay 8:34, Brad Richards 16 (Martin St. Louis, Filip Kuba)
Vancouver 19:35, Alexander Edler 3 (shorthanded) (Mason Raymond, Daniel Sedin)

The Lightning stayed within 9 points of division leading Carolina with 2 games in hand. Is it enough to keep the Lightning from being sellers at the deadline? Probably not. If they can string some wins together it might be enough to keep the Lightning from making big structural changes though.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

SP Times: Lightning wants new No.1 goaltender

Quote:
Lightning goaltender Johan Holmqvist said he always is searching for answers to a season of sharp ups and downs.

Rookie Karri Ramo said he still has lots of work to do learning positioning and finding a "middle ground" between being patient in net and aggressive.

Jay Feaster, though, has decided there is no time to wait.

For the rest of this story by Damian Cristodero, see the St. Petersburg Times.

N.A. Juniors Game Night: 1/30

Wednesday night's highlights:

  • Stars for Jung and Helenius
  • Ward scores again
  • Potential draft target Kyle Beach returns from an injury that one coach originally called "a charade."
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