Norrena Returns in Linkopings Win

Goaltender Fredrik Norrena returned today from a groin injury to help Linkopings to a 4-1 win over Timra. Norrena made 30 saves on 31 shots faced for the win. Norrena is now 18-9-5 this season.

I Have to Take Tom Jones to Task

The Hockey News has released their annual future watch issue and the underestimated Lightning were once again pigeon holed in last place with a D+ grade. Tom Jones of the St. Pete Times, who is a contributor to the publication, [url=http://www.sptimes.com/2006/02/06/Lightning/Prospect_rankings_nee.shtml]penned an article today portraying the Lightning prospect system as one on the precipice of disaster.[/url] The melodramatic key line of the piece states: [i]"Still, it cannot be ignored that the Lightning system is at a crossroads."[/i] Really?

Game Night 2/4: Bombers at Chiefs

You have [i]got[/i] to be kidding me. DAY-4 JHN-3 (SO) Brian Eklund stopped 39 of 42 shots faced in his Chiefs debut before falling 2-0 in the shootout. The Chiefs blew an early 2-0 lead in the contest and once again allowed Dayton to steal a point away from them. Randy Rowe scored 2 goals for the Chiefs while Justin Kelly had 1G 1A. Game sheet from [url=http://www.echl.com/cgi-bin/ppublic.cgi?action=box&id=2791]ECHL.com.[/url]

Game Night 1/4: Capitals at Lightning

How'd that taste Caps fan losers? WSH-0 TB-5 John Grahame stopped 29 of 29 for the shutout. With Vincent Lecavalier out of the lineup with the all encompassing "upper body injury" Brad Richards stepped up and registered 2 goals. Amongst Lightning prospects, Ryan Craig scored his 8th goal on a beautifully ugly scrum in front of the Caps net while in garbage time Norm Milley scored his second career goal on the power play. Ryan Craig played 21:11 stepping up to fill Vincent Lecavalier's minutes with a +3 rating and 3 shots on goal. Paul Ranger played 15:29 with three shots on goal and an even rating. Evgeny Artyukhin played 10:31 with 1 shot on goal and 1 hit. Norm Milley played 6:59 and made his lone shot on goal count. Game sheet from [url=http://www.nhl.com/scores/htmlreports/20052006/GS020807.HTM]NHL.com.[/url]

Rosehill Also Sent Down to Johnstown

In addition to sending goaltender Brian Eklund down to Johnstown yesterday [url=http://www.masslive.com/falcons/republican/index.ssf?/base/sports-0/113902620346690.xml&coll=1]the Falcons also reassigned defenseman Jay Rosehill to the Chiefs.[/url] Rosehill played 33 games with Springfield since an early season recall, but his inexperience limited the amount of playing time he saw at the AHL level. Unfortunately, shortly after the decision to send Rosehill down, defenseman Gerard Dicaire came down with food poisoning, forcing the Falcons to start last night's game against Manchester with just 5 defensemen.

Koshechkin Beats But

In today's matchup of the Lightning's two all-star Russian prospects it was Vasily Koshechkin who reigned supreme. Lada Togliatti scored three unanswered goals to cap a 4-2 triumph over the Yaroslavl Lokomotiv. Koshechkin's record improves to 16-11-6 on the season.

Goc Resurgent

One of the stories of this prospect season we've been underreporting has been the play of overage prospect Sascha Goc in the German DEL. Bolt Prospects had all but written off Goc after an injury plagued season last year with Adler Mannheim and sliding offensive numbers since his days as an Albany River Rat in the Devils organization. This year, the former Mannheim captain is starting fresh with the Hannover Scorpions and showing dramatic improvement. Goc has 14 goals and 26 points through 45 games this season to go with 154 penalty minutes. Goc will be given a prime showcase at the upcoming Olympics, and with both Cory Sarich and Pavel Kubina needing contract decisions this summer, its not impossible for Goc to play his way into consideration by the organization once again.

Holmqvist En Fuego

With Linkopings having to provide more goal support with Fredrik Norrena out of the lineup, defenseman Andreas Holmqvist is starting to emerge as one of the premiere power play weapons in the Elitserien. Today, Holmqvist chipped in a goal and two power play assists as Linkopings squeaked by HV 71 5-4. The victory was a triumph considering HV 71 is currently the top team in the Elitserien and Linkopings is missing their star goaltender. Holmqvist is suddenly with in a eyelash of the half a point a game plateau with 20 points in 41 games.

Game Night 2/3: Chiefs at Bombers

Johnstown left a point on the table tonight. With Toledo holding seven games in hand on them, they cannot afford anything less than two against bottomfeeders like Dayton. JHN-2 DAY-3 (SO) Morgan Cey stopped 31 of 33 before falling in the shootout. Dimitri Tarabrin scored both goals for Johnstown on the power play. Game sheet from [url=http://www.echl.com/cgi-bin/ppublic.cgi?action=box&id=2781]ECHL.com.[/url]

Game Night 2/3: Falcons at Monarchs

For the record, I believe Jonathan Boutin should be named the Falcons' starter and play 2 out of 3 in all these weekend sets until he proves he can't handle it. SPR-2 MCH-4 Gerald Coleman stopped just 19 of 24 shots faced in the loss. Timo Helbling extended his point streak to six games scoring a first period power play goal. Chris Dingman also lit the lamp to help dig the Falcons out of an early 2-0 hole, but they were unable to match Manchester in the final two frames. Game sheet from [url=http://ahl.leaguestat.com/stats/game-summary.php?game_id=1001669]TheAHL.com.[/url]
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