HPK Disposes of JYP

Karri Ramo made his fourth consecutive start today in a 5-2 dismantling of JYP in SM-liiga play. The young netminder was named the game's 3rd star stopping 28 of 30 shots faced in the contest. Ramo's record improves to 6-5-3 on the season.

Polushin/Alexeev Wake Up

One of my biggest personal disappointments of this season for the Lightning's prospects has been the disappearance from the score sheet of Alexander Polushin over the last couple of months after a scintilating beginning to the season. Polushin woke up today though, scoring a third period goal to help key a Cherepovets comeback in a 3-2 victory over Novokuznetsk. The goal was Polushin's 8th of the year and his 12th point in 38 games this season. Speaking of disappointments, Nikita Alexeev also had a goal in a wild first period that saw Omsk and Dynamo combine for six goals in the opening frame. The game would not be settled until overtime when Dimitri Bykov finally put Omsk away for good 6-5. Lightning prospect Dimitry Kazionov also had an assist for Dynamo in the game. Finally, the free fall of Lada Togliatti continued as Vasily Koshechkin dropped to 14-11-4 on the year in a 3-2 loss to CSKA.

Holmqvist Steps Up in Norrena's Absence

With Fredrik Norrena still out with a groin pull for Linkopings Andreas Holmqvist stepped up large today to help guide Linkopings to a 5-3 victory over Farjestads. The young defenseman had a second period goal and later added an assist on a third period power play goal in the win. Holmqvist is slowly sneaking up on the half a point a game plateau with 15 points in 36 games this season.

CHL Stats: January Update

The following are the official statistics for Lightning prospects playing within the Canadian Hockey League as of January 23, 2006. Leading the way are possible future linemates Stan Lascek, who’s second in the QMJHL in points and first in assists, and Justin Keller, who’s second in the WHL in points and first in goals. Stanislav Lascek, RW, Chicoutimi (QMJHL): 42GP, 30-63*-93, 60PIM, (+28), 12 PPG, 3 SHG Justin Keller, RW, Kelowna (WHL): 46GP, 37*-26-63, 56PIM, (+7), 14 PPG, 1 SHG Radek Smolenak, LW, Kingston (OHL): 42GP, 27-26-53, 76PIM, (+6), 8 PPG, 1 SHG Blair Jones, C, Moose Jaw (WHL): 45GP, 19-28-47, 43PIM, (+7), 10 PPG, 1 SHG

Game Day 1/22: Falcons at Bruins

Whatever momentum this team built up in Friday and Saturday's victories, it was quickly halted today. SPR-2 PRO-8 Gerald Coleman was shelled allowing 8 goals on 32 shots faced. After a great first couple of months to his pro career, Coleman's record is now under .500 and he has an abyssmal .880 save percentage. Honest question: exactly what was served by making a 21 year old goaltender stay in the third period of a snowman shellacking? Does this organization [i]want[/i] to ruin this young man's confidence? What is clear at this point is that the Tampa Bay Lightning made a huge mistake not signing a veteran AHLer to tandem with Brian Eklund in Springfield. As a consequence, you have two young netminders in Springfield who are reeling, and the only recourse this club has is to call up one of two equally inexperienced young netminders both of whom are also struggling because of the roster shuffling in Johnstown. I blogged about this before the season and I hope this is a lesson learned: you cannot underestimate the importance of veteran mentorship and patience in developing young goaltenders. The way the Lightning handled the early part of Brian Eklund's career should have been the model for the way they handled Coleman and Boutin. They may pay dearly in the long run for trying to force these young men, especially Coleman, do too much too soon in their careers. Marek Kvapil scored his 10th goal of the season on the power play. Hopefully he can continue to improve and hit that 20 goal mark by the end of the regular season. And in another positive development: Gerard Dicaire had a power play assist putting him at 2 points in his 4 games back from Johnstown. It cannot be underestimated just how much the Lightning organization would benefit from Dicaire reemerging as a prospect to the level he was at in his first camp. Chris Dingman scored Springfield's second goal with a helper going to Doug O'Brien. Here's another guy I'd like to see continue to ratchet up his game and go for that 30 point plateau. Game sheet from [url=http://ahl.leaguestat.com/stats/game-summary.php?game_id=1001621]TheAHL.com.[/url]

Boutin to Start ECHL All-Star Game

Due to an injury to Cody Rudkowsky, [url=http://www.echl.com/cgi-bin/mpublic.cgi?action=show_news&cat=1&id=6766]Jonathan Boutin has been named the starter for the ECHL All-Star Game for the American Conference.[/url] The game will take place January 25th in Fresno, CA.

Game Night 1/21: Chiefs at Royals

Ouch. JHN-2 REA-7 Morgan Cey stopped 27 of 34 shots faced in the loss. Justin Kelly paced the Chiefs with a goal and an assist. Post mortem at [url=http://www.echl.com/cgi-bin/ppublic.cgi?action=box&id=2723]ECHL.com.[/url]

Game Night 1/21: Lock Monsters at Falcons

A little confidence goes a long way. LOW-2 SPR-3 (OT) Springfield dominated outshooting Lowell 33-18. Brian Eklund got back-to-back wins stopping 16 of 18 shots faced. It looks now like he has regained the starter's job from upstart Gerald Coleman. Marek Kvapil scored the overtime game winner to go with an assist on Dan Cavanaugh's game opening goal. Lightning prospects Dennis Packard, Gerard Dicaire and Doug O'Brien also had helpers in the game. For Dicaire, it was his first AHL point of the season. Game sheet from [url=http://ahl.leaguestat.com/stats/game-summary.php?game_id=1001613]TheAHL.com.[/url]

Game Night 1/21: Lightning at Thrashers

The giant has awoken, and it is pissed off. TB-2 ATL-0 There's nothing nicer than crushing the spirit of an upstart supposed offensive juggernaut that actually believed they had surpassed the defending Stanley Cup champs. Not so fast fledgling Thrashers. The Lightning held Atlanta to 20 shots and John Grahame served up the shutout. You don't tug on Superman's cape, Smirkin' Chickens. The Lightning power play talleyed two power play goals included the beautiful Vincent Lecavalier backhand goal that sealed it. Paul Ranger played 13:09 with 1 shot on goal and 2 blocked shots. Ryan Craig was a demon on the forecheck in 12:09 of ice time with 3 shots on goal, 3 hits and 2 blocked shots. Norm Milley had 2 hits and 1 shot in 11:04. He also had a breakaway but was caught from behind by Ilya Kovalchuk and had his stick lifted on the play. Evgeny Artyukhin made the most of his 7:16 of ice time with 3 shots and 3 hits, not including the forearm shiver he gave to Karri Lehtonen in the third period. Game sheet from [url=http://www.nhl.com/scores/htmlreports/20052006/GS020706.HTM]NHL.com.[/url]

Norrena Hurt, Olympics in Question

Bolt Prospects has learned from Johan Nilsson of [url=http://www.eliteprospects.com]EliteProspects.com[/url] goaltender Fredrik Norrena has suffered a groin pull. Norrena left Linkopings' last game early and did not play today in a 2-1 Linkopings loss. Swedish newspaper reports indicate that Norrena hopes to be back in game shape in time for the Olympics in Torrino.
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