Artem Sergeev saw his opportunity and responded.
With three significant injuries to the Crunch blueline, Sergeev has thrived with increased ice time. The 20-year-old rookie defenseman has averaged close to 20 minutes a night and played in all situations, as Syracuse has gone 4-2 to snap out of a recent slide.
For Syracuse Crunch coach Rob Zettler, Sergeev has elevated his play in the last few weeks.
"I've really liked his physical play," Zettler said. "He's been smart. He uses his body well. He's a big, thick guy and he's strong. He's starting to understand how he can best use it to his advantage, and he's done that lately."
We continue our Bolt Prospect of the Week award, an honor (virtually) given to one Tampa Bay Lightning prospect for their recent contributions on and off the ice.
The Prospect of the Week for March 3, 2014 is … Matt Peca, C, Quinnipiac Bobcats (NCAA - USA).
Lightning prospect Jonathan Drouin is a point machine set on automatic, but even Drouin hasn’t done what Matt Peca did this week.
Peca, a seventh round pick of Tampa Bay in 2011, had a six-point game on Friday as his Quinnipiac Bobcats toppled St. Lawrence University, 8-0. Even the snowman on the scoreboard was impressed with Peca’s performance.
Quebec Major Junior Hockey League
Charlottetown Islanders 4 @ Halifax Mooseheads 7
C/W Jonathan Drouin, HAL: 0-1-1, E, 2 PIM, 7 SOG, 0 Hits, 9/14 FO
Season totals: 43 GP, 25-71-96, +47, 43 PIM
2011-2012 Season: 49 GP, 41-64-105, +48, 32 PIM
Halifax broke open a tie game in the third period with three goals en route to a 7-4 win. Drouin had one assist in the game. He had six points in his previous game. Rising 2014 prospect Nikolaj Ehlers had a goal and two assists for the Mooseheads, snapping his streak of games with a hat trick at three.
Note: After spending two weeks at home in Connecticut nursing a minor spleen laceration, Adam Erne has returned to Quebec City. No word yet when he'll be back in the Remparts lineup.
Ontario Hockey League
Belleville Bulls 1 @ North Bay Battalion 8
D Dylan Blujus, NB: 0-2-2, +4, 0 PIM
Season totals: 50 GP, 4-23-27, +4, 56 PIM
2012-13 totals: 68 GP, 2-27-29, -8, 57 PIM
Snowman in North Bay.
Owen Sound Attack 4 @ Barrie Colts 5
D Jake Dotchin, BAR: 0-1-1, -1, 0 PIM
Season totals: 59 GP, 10-23-33, +17, 115 PIM
2012-13 totals: 66 GP, 4-18-22, E, 81 PIM
Dotchin was injured in the game (KICX photo). No word yet on the severity of the injury.
Kingston Frontenacs 2 @ Peterborough Petes 5 (OT)
W Henri Ikonen, KGN: 1-0-1, -1, 2 PIM
Season totals: 46 GP, 21-43-64, +16, 39 PIM
2012-13 totals: 61 GP, 22-29-51, +2, 30 PIM
Power forward Nick Ritchie (6-3, 225; 2014 eligible) scored his 37th goal of the season in overtime for the Petes. Ikonen scored his 21st goal of the year on the power play with 11 seconds left in regulation to force overtime.
Saginaw Spirit 8 @ Windsor Spitfires 3
D Slater Koekkoek, WSR: 0-0-0, E, 7 PIM
Season totals: 62 GP, 15-38-53, +44, 51 PIM
2012-13 totals: 42 GP, 6-23-29, -24, 28 PIM
The Spits took it on the chin at home to Saginaw. Koekkoek left the game injured after his fight with Jeremiah Addison (6-0, 183; 2014 eligible). Addison made a big, clean check on a Spitfire and Koekkoek answered by dropping his gloves. Neither player got a punch in before Addison wrestled/twisted Koekkoek to the ice. According to Windsor Star reporter Jim Parker, the team is calling Koekkoek’s ailment an upper body injury and he will not play Friday. This will be Koekkoek’s first game missed due to injury this year after missing at least half of the last two seasons.
Anders Lindback allowed 3 goals on 21 shots for the loss. I didn't consider any of the 3 goals weak ones, but again, you want your goaltender to help you keep contact in a close game like that and Lindback doesn't.
15:56 BUF Myers (9), (unassisted)
9:25 BUF Foligno (7), (Hodgson, Myers)
13:44 BUF Hodgson (16), (Foligno)
17:31 TB Johnson (19), (Hedman)
Tonight's result was not for a lack of effort, shots, or chances. They outshot Buffalo 44-21, which is amazing considering how low the Lightning's shot totals were on the last roadtrip. They came out with a lot of adrenaline flowing and put a ton of pressure on the Sabres. It led to them getting a little loose defensively and some stupid turnovers like the thing Mark Barberio did on Buffalo's first goal, but for the most part I can't be mad at what I saw. They dominated the faceoff circles. They dominated possession. In his return and wearing the "C" for the first time, Steven Stamkos had at least 3 chances he'd probably have potted were it not for needing to shake off a little rust. In the end, though, Jhonas Enroth stood on his head at a very inopportune time with the Lightning's playoff chances starting to head south.
Mike Kostka had 7 shots, 2 hits, and 1 blocked shot in 18:57. Yes, it's the Sabres, but you have to be encouraged at how well he filled in with Gudas out of the lineup and how active he was offensively.
Richard Panik had 1 hit in 13:12. The stats don't tell the tale. He was a lot stronger and more confident on the puck than he was before his demotion to Syracuse. He's now 1 game away from graduation from prospect status on the website.
Nikita Kucherov was -1 with 2 penalty minutes and 3 shots in 13:52. He failed to convert 2 breakaways and you can see how distraught he was at the bench. He's probably never faced a scoring slump like this in his life. He also is 1 game away from graduation from prospect status on the site.
The Tampa Bay Lightning acquired forwards Jonathan Audy-Marchessault and Dalton Smith from the Columbus Blue Jackets in exchange for forward Dana Tyrell and defenseman Matt Taormina Wednesday, vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman announced.
Audy-Marchessault, 5-8, 184 pounds, has played in 56 games with the Springfield Falcons of the American Hockey League this season, recording 14 goals and 41 points. He leads the Falcons in games played, points and power play goals with seven. He ranks second for goals. Audy-Marchessault has been selected as an AHL All-Star the past two seasons. He has played in two career NHL games with Columbus, both during the 2012-13 season.
A native of Cap-Rouge, Quebec, Audy-Marchessault played four seasons in the QMJHL with the Quebec Remparts from 2007-11 and was undrafted.
Smith, 6-2, 214 pounds, has played in 50 games with Springfield this season, recording four goals and nine points. He leads the Falcons with 99 penalty minutes and also led the them in 2012-13 with 128.