Ramo Loses Head to Head to Finnish Team Tandem Mate

Karri Ramo and HPK were defeated today by Tuukka Rask and Ilves Tamperre 4-1. Rask will be Ramo's tandem partner in the uncoming U-20 World Junior Championships for Finland, and the loss may be a blow to Ramo's aspirations to grab the team's starting job. Ramo slips to 4-3-3 on the season stopping 21 of 24 shots faced before being pulled for the extra attacker late. Rask stopped 24 of 25 for the win.

Soo Trades Lawrence to Mississauga

On Monday, the struggling Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds traded center/winger Chris Lawrence and defenseman Joshua Day to the Mississauga Ice Dogs for center Dustin Jeffrey and a 3rd round pick. Lawrence, a third round pick of the Lightning in the 2005 draft, has 3 goals and 14 assists for 17 points this season. Soo fans were expecting Lawrence, who has above-average raw skills and NHL size, to help fill the shoes of Philadelphia Flyers rookie Jeff Carter. Lawrence has struggled most of the year, and perhaps a new environment will help him reach his potential. The Ice Dogs are the second-worse team in the OHL in terms of points, just one behind Sault Ste. Marie and five in front of Oshawa. Lawrence now enters the same division as fellow Lightning prospect Kevin Beech of the Sudbury Wolves. Lawrence will see his first action for Mississauga Thursday night in Toronto. The last Lightning prospect to suit up for the Ice Dogs was defenseman/winger Brandon Elliott.

Game Night 12/6: Chiefs at Wranglers

They pretty much ran out of gas at the end of this west coast swing. JHN-0 LV-4 Johnstown was outshot a staggering 52-20 on the night. Jonathan Boutin stopped 48 shots for the loss. Johnstown finally will return home for a Friday night tilt against Reading and a typical three games in three nights. Game sheet from [url=http://www.echl.com/cgi-bin/ppublic.cgi?action=box&id=2490]ECHL.com.[/url]

Expect More Lightning WJC Player Announcements to Come

The Lightning officially have one prospect in the upcoming U-20 World Junior Championships with Karri Ramo announced for Team Finland. Meanwhile, Andy Rogers has a long shot chance of making Team Canada after being invited to their selection camp. Don't expect that to be the end of the announcements though. An unofficial list is being circulated around the internet showing Kingston (OHL) forward Radek Smolenak joining Team Czech Republic. Also returning to the WJC's will probably be Stanislav Lascek, who just slips under the age limit turning 20 just after the tournament, and perhaps Marek Bartanus who played last season for Team Slovakia in the U-18 tournament. Hulking defenseman Vladamir Mihalik, who also played for Slovakia in the U-18 tournament should join his countrymen as well.

Norrena Barely Breaks a Sweat in Linkopings Win

Fredrik Norrena might've considered taking a book to the rink today as the netminder faced a mere 17 shots en route to a 4-2 victory over MODO. The Finnish born goaltender's record now improves to 14-5-2 on the season.

Karri Ramo Selected to Team Finland for WJC's

Lightning goaltending prospect Karri Ramo [url=http://www.finhockey.fi/taustasivut/artikkeliarkisto/?num=174899]has been selected to play for Finland in the U-20 World Junior Championships.[/url] The 19 year old netminder has a 4-2-3 record this season for HPK of the SM-liiga. He currently leads the SM-liiga in GAA (1.64) and save percentage (.943). With such gaudy numbers, do not be surprised if Ramo is tapped ahead of Toronto Maple Leafs first round pick Tuukka Rask to be the Finnish team's starter in the tournament.

Rogers to Attend Team Canada WJC Selection Camp

Team Canada released their roster today for their selection camp for the U-20 World Junior Championships, and Lightning draft pick and Prince George defenseman Andy Rogers has been invited. The camp will run from December 11th to December 16th with a series of exhibition tune up games to follow. Rogers is considered somewhat of a long shot to make Canada's final roster.

Ramo Wins Key SM-liiga Matchup

HPK and Karpat squared off today in a marquee matchup between the #1 and #2 teams in the Finnish SM-liiga. The high stakes contest for first place in the league was the second of a back to back pair of games between the two squads. In the first, on Saturday, Miika Wiikman helped defeat Karpat 2-1 in overtime. Today, his tandem mate Karri Ramo bested Wiikman defeating Karpat 2-1 in regulation, stopping 25 of 26 shots for the victory. The young netminder's record now improves to 4-2-3 on the season.

Isn't It Amazing?

Lost in the last couple of weeks of hockey is the fact that as of right now the Tampa Bay Lightning have the best record of any team in the NHL over their last 10 games (8-1-1). Isn't it amazing? Especially when you think it seems like just yesterday we were lamenting a six game losing streak and the hockey media was just about getting ready to write the Tampa Bay Lightning's obituary. And the interesting thing is: I think we'd all have to agree this club is only playing up to about 85% of its capability right now. The offense has not been anywhere near as explosive as it could be and the defense, while workmanlike on many nights allowing a miniscule amount of shots, could be tighter. Heaven help the NHL if the Lightning finds fourth gear. It's good to be the champs.

Game Night 12/4: Chiefs at Gulls

Rematch... JHN-5 SD-4 (SO) Morgan Cey extracted a measure of revenge for last night's 7-1 blood bath stopping 33 of 37 shots faced in regulation and overtime before winning in the shootout. Justin Kelly once again led the way offensively for the Chiefs with a goal and two assists. Brady Greco had one of two Johnstown shorthanded goals in the first period. Game sheet from [url=http://www.echl.com/cgi-bin/ppublic.cgi?action=box&id=2486]ECHL.com.[/url]
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