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Late Spark Not Enough in Crunch's Loss to Marlies

By Jeremy Houghtaling

Syracuse searched for a spark.

After being held to one shot on goal in the first period, Crunch captain Mike Angelidis dropped the gloves for a spirited bout in the second and head coach Rob Zettler switched around the lines for the third. Syracuse scored once in the final frame, but ultimately fell to the Toronto Marlies, 3-1, at the Onondaga County War Memorial Friday.

“The start killed us,” Zettler said. “They were the better team for two periods, and we didn’t decide to play hockey until the third period when it was too late.”

The Bolt Prospects Podcast, Volume 44

This week's “Roman Hamrlik Edition” of the Bolt Prospects Podcast (also available on Lightning Power Play, Lightning Radio's iHeart station) includes the following topics:

· The No. 44
· The first Bolt prospect
· Hamrlik vs Hedman
· #TampaCuse to the rescue
· A reluctant shake-up
· Three regulars raising their games
· Player-by-player trend report for Syracuse
· Interview with Syracuse’s Daniel Walcott

Note: The #BPMailbag will be a text edition this week, posted to the site soon.

KHL Game Day: 11-28-15

Yaroslavl 2 vs. St, Petersburg 3
Nikita Gusev, St. Petersburg, 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 2 SOG
Season totals (St. Petersburg): 9 GP, 3-4-7, +3, 0 PIM
Season totals (Khanty-Mansiysk): 23 GP, 7-7-14, +6, 4 PIM
Season totals: 32 GP, 10-11-21, +9, 4 PIM

Ilya Kovalchuk had a pair of goals, including the game winner, in SKA's 3-2 win over Lokomotiv. Nikita Gusev was scoreless in 18:49 in the victory.

Novgorod 2 vs. Khabarovsk 1 (SO)
Carter Ashton, Novgorod, 0-0-0, -1, 0 PIM, 1 SOG
Season totals: 26 GP, 6-5-11, +5, 20 PIM

Carter Ashton was scoreless in 17:59 in Novgorod's 2-1 SO win over Khabarovsk. Ex-NHLer Sergei Kostitsyn had a helper in the win for Novgorod.

Juniors Game Night: 11-27-15

Quebec Major Junior Hockey League

Sherbrooke Phoenix 2 @ Saint John Sea Dogs 6

W Bokondji Imama, SJ: 0-1-1, E, 2 PIM, 2 SOG, 5 Hit, *Third Star*
Season totals: 24 GP, 3-8-11, +1, 34 PIM
2013-2014 Season: 59 GP, 13-15-28, +2, 137 PIM

W Mathieu Joseph, SJ: 1-1-2, +1, 0 PIM, 9 SOG, 3 Hits, *First Star*
Season totals: 24 GP, 11-10-21, +7, 27 PIM
2013-2014 Season: 59 GP, 21-21-42, +18, 46 PIM

Lightning prospects were first and third stars for Saint John Friday, with Joseph (pictured) taking first star and Boko Imama skating out as third star. Both of Joseph’s points came in the third period when the Sea Dogs put the game out of reach.

Blainville-Boisbriand Armada 3 @ Shawinigan Cataractes 4 (OT)

W Dennis Yan, SHAW: 0-2-2, E, 2 PIM, 2 SOG, 4 Hits
Season totals: 22 GP, 19-19-38, +7, 29 PIM
2014-2015 Season: 59 GP, 33-31-64, +23, 71 PIM

Yan had two first period assists, helping the Cataractes to a 4-3 home win over Cedric Paquette and Daniel Walcott’s former team.

Ontario Hockey League

Saginaw Spirit 1 @ Windsor Spitfires 5

W Cristiano DiGiacinto, WSR: Did not play (suspended)
Season totals: 24 GP, 11-14-25, +15, 40 PIM
2014-15 totals: 63 GP, 21-24-45, -16, 100 PIM

DiGiacinto served the first game of his 5-game suspension for bullying actions last game. He instigated a fight late in the third period. This is the second suspension he’s received for “bullying actions.” The first was late last season. He was also suspended in January last year for 8 games after delivering a check to the head of a defenseless player.

Peterborough Petes 4 @ Oshawa Generals 2

D Dominik Masin, PBO: 0-0-0, +1, 2 PIM, 2 SOG
Season totals: 25 GP, 2-5-7, +22, 26 PIM
2014-15 totals: 48 GP, 7-19-26, -13, 68 PIM

D Matt Spencer, PBO: 0-1-1, +2, 0 PIM, 0 SOG
Season totals: 26 GP, 3-10-13, +7, 27 PIM
2014-15 totals: 67 GP, 6-24-30, -15, 64 PIM

C Anthony Cirelli, OSH: 0-2-2, +1, 0 PIM, 2 SOG
Season totals: 21 GP, 5-13-18, -6, 15 PIM
2014-15 totals: 68 GP, 13-23-36, +34, 22 PIM

Eric Cornel (Sabres) had a natural hat trick for Peterborough, extending their streak with at least a point to eight games. Lightning prospect Matt Spencer now has points in four of his last five and six of his last eight games. He has eight points in those six games, so almost half of his season total. Cirelli went 23/29 on faceoffs as the Gens top center Friday.

Note: Saginaw’s Mitchell Stephens suffered a broken foot and is out indefinitely.

Western Hockey League

Moose Jaw Warriors 0 @ Everett Silvertips 5

C Brayden Point, MJ: Did not play
Season totals: 19 GP, 18-25-43, +9, 8 PIM
2014-15 totals: 60 GP, 38-49-87, +6, 46 PIM

Point, who is considered day-to-day with a shoulder injury but is on the road trip, did not dress. He’s now missed five games.

Vancouver Giants 3 @ Seattle Thunderbirds 5

D Ben Thomas, VAN: 0-0-0, -1, 7 PIM
Season totals: 25 GP, 2-8-10, -19, 17 PIM
With Vancouver: 10 GP, 2-4-6, -4, 9 PIM
With Calgary: 13 GP, 0-3-3, -10, 8 PIM
2014-15 totals: 60 GP, 7-24-31, +16, 28 PIM

Thomas got in his first fight of the season, vs Keegan Kolesar. Both players are listed at 6’2, but Kolesar has a 30-40 pound weight advantage. No votes from on who won the bout.

United States Hockey League

Sioux Falls Stampede 0 @ Omaha Lancers 1 (Wednesday)

G Kris Oldham, OMA: Did not play
Season totals: 10 GP, 7-2-1, 2.21 GAA, .928 sv%, 1 SO
2014-15 totals: 33 GP, 21-6-4, 2.49 GAA, .908 sv%, 1 SO
(University of Nebraska-Omaha signee)

Omaha goaltender Zackarias Skog stopped all 25 shots he faces for the shutout win Wednesday.

Sioux City Musketeers 4 @ Des Moines Buccaneeers 1 (Wednesday)

D Ryan Zuhlsdorf, SC: 0-1-1, +1, 0 PIM, 6 SOG
Season totals: 18 GP, 0-14-14, -4, 20 PIM
2014-15 totals: 56 GP, 3-19-22, +25, 58 PIM
(University of Minnesota signee)

Zuhlsdorf added to his assist total for the season, upping it to 14 in 18 games. He is second in the league in points among defensemen.

NCAA Game Night: 11--15

Alaska-Anchorage Seawolves 0 @ Minnesota State Mavericks 2

W Jimmy Mullin, MSU: 0-0-0, E, 2 PIM, 1 SOG
Season totals: 8 GP, 1-0-1, -4, 0 PIM
2013-2014 totals (Miami): 19 GP, 1-6-7, 23 PIM

Mullin finally returned to the Mavericks’ lineup after missing a month due to a head injury. He had a first period charging penalty.

*USCHO poll used

ECHL Game Night: 11-27-15

Greenville Swamp Rabbits 6 at Reading Royals 3

F Brian Hart, GRN: 0-0-0, -1, 0 PIM, 2 SOG
Season totals: 15 GP, 6-1-7, -3, 2 PIM, 31 SOG
Season totals (AHL): 3 GP, 0-0-0, -1, 2 PIM, 2 SOG

Other Notables
G Allen York, GRN, injured reserve
Season totals: 4 GP, 0-4-0-0, 4.98 GAA, 0.858 SV%, 0 SO

D Charlie Dodero, GRN: 0-1-1, +1, 2 PIM, 2 SOG
Season totals (ECHL): 11 GP, 0-3-3, -4, 14 PIM, 11 SOG

Two nights after hanging six on the Admirals, the suddenly en fuego Swamp Rabbits hung a sixer on the Royals in front of 3,200 of their fans at Santander Arena in Reading, PA. Syracuse depth blueliner Charlie Dodero assisted on Greenville's second goal, and the Swamp Rabbit PK pasted an 0 for 5 on the Reading power play. Greenville draws the rematch against Reading Saturday night for the third tilt in a four game road trip.

AHL Game Night: 11-27-15 Crunch at Marlies

Crunch crushed by high-powered Marlies.


Kristers Gudlevskis allowed 3 goals on 30 shots for the loss.

First Period
TOR Leivo, (6) (Brennan, Arcobello), 6:24 (PP)

Second Period
TOR Carrick, (3) (Brennan, Frattin), 4:40
TOR Gauthier, (2) (Campbell, Clune), 7:01

Third Period
SYR McGinn, (3) (DeAngelo), 4:11 (PP)

Tye McGinn was the game's third star.

Toronto gave several of their stars the day off, including Bolt Prospects Alumni Richard Panik, and the Marlies still hardly looked threatened by Syracuse over the course of the game. Just two teams in a completely different area code in terms of depth.

Box score from

NHL Game Night: 11-27-15

Caps power play takes Tampa Bay to school.


Andrei Vasilevskiy allowed 4 goals on 37 shots for the loss. I thought he showed a little rust early in the First Period but shook it off quickly and nearly got the Lightning to the Second Intermission with a chance to steal points.

First Period
7:09 WSH Ovechkin (12), (Chimera, Kuznetsov)(PP)

Second Period
18:03 WSH Chimera (6), (Kuznetsov, Niskanen)(PP)
19:18 WSH Johansson (4), (Carlson, Schmidt)

Third Period
5:16 WSH Oshie (6), (Backstrom, Carlson)(PP)
10:49 TB Boyle (5), (Callahan, Brown)
12:45 TB Hedman (2), (Namestnikov)

Tonight's game should be an object lesson on what an unstoppable weapon a potent power play can be. The Lightning actually weren't that bad at even strength in this game, but Washington completely outclassed the Lightning with the man advantage, creating 4-5 minute surges every time they got a power play, and goals, that tilted the game in their favor. Were I the coaching staff, I don't know that I'd show the team the tape of this game, but I'd set aside a good half a day to dissect the Caps power play and use it to fix the Lightning's.

Unlike the Lightning, who channel everything through Steven Stamkos in a way that often seems forced and telegraphed, the Caps create multiple pressure points away from Ovechkin's spot in the left wing circle that force PK's to lose their shape and lose Ovechkin, allowing him to drift to open ice for goal scoring chances. The Caps can do this because they have a lot of other high quality forwards (which the Lightning can match, both in terms of playmakers and trigger men) and quality power play point men (which is a personnel shortfall because the Lightning's only real scoring threat on D, Hedman, is only really good on the rush and isn't nearly as potent on the PP). The Lightning should at least start trying to work 2 and 3 man games from the right wing circle down with some of the skilled puckhandlers they have like Kucherov, Drouin, Namestnikov, and Palat, sprinkled in with shooters like Johnson. I think the Lightning have tried to do that, at times, but the difference is they don't ever threaten to actually score from those positions, and end up artificially forcing passes through the seam to Stamkos, which doesn't put Steven in a good position to score. The Lightning have to train the guys on the strong side of the ice to be more assertive and look for their own opportunities to score, allowing Stamkos the ability to drift to open ice and for passing lanes to develop more organically. Having a legit power play trigger man or two to add another set of pressure points would be ideal, but right now the Lightning don't have those guys and they need to continue to develop them or find them elsewhere. Put it another way: until the other 4 guys on the Lightning PP can threaten the other team's PK, they've got no reason not to completely overload on defending Stamkos.

Further complicating issues was the mysterious injury of Tyler Johnson, who skated one shift and was done. A Caps player jumped on Johnson's back/neck in the neutral zone early in the shift before Johnson eventually nearly scored off the rush near the end of that shift. He looked fine, but I wonder if the pop to his neck re-aggravated whatever happened when Johnson got elbowed in the head by Bolland against the Panthers. Either way, to lose one of your top two centers a whopping 2 minutes into the game was a heck of a blow to the Lightning, and contributed greatly to what ultimately occurred.

Jonathan Marchessault had 3 shots and 1 hit in 14:58. He got a lot of garbage time ice time to go along with some good shifts early in the game, and I think he continues to build a case to stay with the team.

Joel Vermin was +1 with 2 hits in 9:46. His forechecking popped loose the puck that became Hedman's goal. He's not as far along as Marchessault, but he's done nothing to this point to invalidate himself as an NHL prospect.

Box score and extended statistics from

Liiga Game Day: 11-27-15

KalPa 2 vs. Ilves 1
Jonne Tammela, KalPa, 0-0-0, E, 2 PIM, 2 SOG
Season totals: 16 GP, 2-1-3, E, 12 PIM

Jonne Tammela had a minor for charging in 11:06 of ice time in KalPa's 2-1 win over Ilves. Ex-Flyers pick Jussi Timonen had a helper in the win for KalPa. KalPa has moved up to 3rd on the 15 team Liiga table with the victory behind just HIFK and Tappara.

KHL Game Day: 11-27-15

Nizhnekamsk 2 vs. Magnitogorsk 3 (OT)
Vasily Koshechkin, Magnitogorsk, DNP
Season totals: 29 GP, 13-9-6, 0 SO, 2.20 GAA, .920 sv%

Caps first rounder Ilya Samsonov allowed 2 goals on 36 shots in Magnitogorsk's 3-2 OT win over Nizhnekamsk. Ex-NHLer Wojtek Wolski had 1 goal and 1 assist in the win for Magnitka.

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