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.
Submitted by pete on December 6, 2005 - 16:46
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.
Submitted by pete on December 6, 2005 - 12:05
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.
Submitted by pete on December 5, 2005 - 16:25
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.
Submitted by pete on December 5, 2005 - 15:11
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.
Submitted by pete on December 4, 2005 - 22:13
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.
Submitted by pete on December 4, 2005 - 22:03
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]
Submitted by pete on December 4, 2005 - 15:01
I will be live blogging this during the game using the B2 Networks feed. Harlan Pratt, Marek Kvapil, Dennis Packard and Steve McLaren are the scratches for tonight's game. Gerald Coleman will be starting his third straight game. Holy cow does the young woman doing the national anthem tonight have a great voice. I've sat through some bad ones in these minor league games, she was outstanding. ALB-6 SPR-2 (Final)
Submitted by pete on December 4, 2005 - 11:40
Goaltender Vasily Koshechkin defeated highly touted goaltending prospect Konstantin Barulin and Spartak 3-2 today in overtime. Koshechkin improved his season record to 12-4-1 with the win. Barulin, a third round pick of the St. Louis Blues, is often mentioned as the best young goaltender in Russia. Not so today, however, as he ran into the quiet juggernaut that Koshechkin has been this season. For Yaroslavl, Anton But scored the game winning goal today as Loko defeated Ufa 4-3. But leads all Lightning Russian prospects with 10 goals and 24 points in 31 games.
Submitted by pete on December 4, 2005 - 11:32
C/LW Johan Hagglund scored the game winning goal today for Oskarshamn as they defeated Bjorkloven 3-1 in Allsevenskan action. For the past month, despite modest offensive production in the role, Hagglund has been moved up from second line left wing to first line center for the club. His +9 rating this season is tied for the 9th best rating in the league. Oskarshamn currently sits at 8th in the league with a 7-5-5 record.