Thanks to the fine folks in the Norfolk media relations department and our own Tim Bennett, I'm going to get the opportunity to interview Admirals Head Coach Stirling and Admirals GM/Lightning Assistant GM Claude Loiselle Saturday morning before/after the morning skate.
So, with that in mind, I'm throwing this open to the readers: are there any particular questions you'd like answered about the Admirals or the Lightning prospect system? I'll have the laptop and, supposedly, high speed internet at the hotel so feel free to post your suggestions today, tonight, and all Friday and I'll try to run them by Coach and Claude.
Seattle Thunderbirds 2 @ Chilliwack Bruins 6
G Riku Helenius, SEA: Loss, 14 saves on 17 shots, Pulled in first period.
Helenius, the WHL goaltending leader in GAA and Save Percentage entering the game, was pulled just after the 15 minute mark of the first period with the T-Birds down 3-0. Jacob DeSerres came in and stopped 30 of 33 shots in relief as Chilliwack peppered Seattle with 50 shots. The Bruins, who are 7-1-1-1 in their second year of existence, held 19-4 and 36-9 shots-on-goal advantages after the first and second periods. The Thunderbirds managed just 15 shots in the fight-filled game.
Lethbridge Hurricanes 3 @ Regina Pats 4
C Mitch Fadden, LET: 0-0-0, E, 4 PIM
Fadden had a rare scoreless game. He had minor penalties for holding and roughing. The 'Canes have lost four in a row.
Prince George Cougars 3 @ Prince Albert Raiders 1
C/W Dana Tyrell, PG: 0-0-0, +1, 0 PIM
A quiet night for Tyrell on the stat sheet, but thatâ€™s 3 wins in 4 games for the Cougars on their eastern road trip so far. They began the trip with a 1-6-0-0 record.
(Norfolk Admirals release)
Today, Norfolk Admirals General Manager Claude Loiselle announced that defensemen Brett Angel and Jay Rosehill and left wings Brandon Elliott and Radek Smolenak have been assigned to the Mississippi Sea Wolves (ECHL).
Rosehill, 6â€™4â€ and 215 pounds, appeared in three games for the Admirals going scoreless with 11 penalty minutes. Smolenak, 6â€™3â€ and 180 pounds, appeared in two games for the Admirals going scoreless with two penalty minutes. Smolenak was the Lightning's top forward in Traverse City, Michigan during the September prospects tournament, drawing praise from Lightning General Manager Jay Feaster, among others. Angel, 6â€™6â€ and 229 pounds, and Elliot, 6â€™4â€ and 225 pounds, had not appeared in a game with Norfolk. The Sea Wolves kick off their 2007-08 season on Friday when they visit the Florida Everblades.
As readers of this site know, we typically release our annual Preliminary Rankings of the Lightning's prospects around the first week of October once Lightning camp breaks. Obviously we haven't done that yet, so I just wanted to give everyone an update on where we are.
It was reported today by gazeta.ru that Ak Bars signed ex-Flyers goaltender Robert Esche. It said that Esche will replace Lightning prospect Vasily Koshechkin, whose contract is likely to bought out by the club.
Gazeta.ru is referred to Ak Bars press-cutting service, but this internet media is known for frequently reporting unproven rumors, so it is early to say that Koshechkin will leave Ak Bars for sure.
Acadie-Bathurst Titan 2 @ Lewiston MAINEiacs 3
D Michael Ward, LEW: 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 1 SOG
That's five in a row for Lewiston, and now they get Jonathan Bernier from the Kings.
Prince George Cougars 3 @ Saskatoon Blades 1
C/W Dana Tyrell, PG: 1-1-2, +1, 0 PIM, *Second Star*
The Cougars have won 2 of 3 on their road trip so far. Tyrell's goal came on the power play.
Lethbridge Hurricanes 2 @ Swift Current Broncos 5
C Mitch Fadden, LET: 0-1-1, -1, 12 PIM
Fadden had a 10 minute misconduct tacked on to a slashing minor early in the first period. The Broncos scored on the ensuing 2 minute power play.
Evgeny Artyukhin had 2 penalty minutes in Omsk's 2-1 loss to Yaroslavl.
Alexei Glukhov was scoreless in Cherepovets' 3-2 overtime win over Spartak. Alex Vishnyakov did not play for Spartak.
Denis Kazionov did not play in Novokuznetsk's 4-3 loss to Nizhnekamsk.
Anton But had an assist in St. Petersburg's 3-1 win over Khabarovsk.
When the Lightning made Mike Egener their first pick in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft, they projected him to be a physical, slick-skating defenseman who could one day be a team leader.
Now in his fourth professional season, that projection still rings true, but now with one major exception.
A position change.
With the Norfolk Admirals short on forwards to start the year due to four recent signees experiencing work visa issues, and a hoard of defensemen vying for coveted starting spots, it seemed like the perfect time for a career change of sorts for Egener. At Lightning General Manager Jay Feaster's request, Egener was moved up to the wing.
Johan Harju had a power play goal and six penalty minutes today in Lulea's 4-3 victory over Mora. "Big Joe" is tied for third in the Elitserien in goals with 6 in 9 games. His 3 power play goals is tied for second in the league.
Andreas Holmqvist had an assist and two penalty minutes in Frolunda's 5-0 win over Farjestads.