Lightning Drop to 0-3 at Traverse City

The Lightning prospects allowed 3 unanswered third period goals tonight to fall to the Atlanta Thrashers' prospects 6-4. The Lightning now finish the round robin phase of the tournament 0-3 and will play in the 7th place game.

Forward Radek Smolenak had 1 goal and 2 assists in the game to continue his track record of success at Traverse City. Center Mitch Fadden struck for 1 goal and 1 assist in the game for his first points of the tournament. Tryout forward Daine Todd and defenseman Vladimir Mihalik had the Lightning's other goals. Dane Crowley, Mike Lundin, and Chris Lawrence added individual helpers.

Netminder Riku Helenius allowed 5 goals on 37 shots before being pulled late in the game for the extra attacker.

The box score is available from Pointstreak as are the Lightning prospects' current tournament statistics.

Smolenak is now tied for 2nd among all scorers in the tournament. The Lightning and Stars prospects will face off tomorrow at 2 pm in the 7th place game.

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If you don't mind me asking you some questions Pete, I'd appreciate your (and everyone elses) opinion on these.

On a scale of 1-10, how disappointing is the TC tournament to this point?

Is this a case of the other teams being so much better, or is it Tampa not being very good?

Is Riku Helenius playing so poorly an indication that he is not even close to being able to compete with the best, or has his lost year last season hurt him this much?

Mihalik has really done well so far. Could he be on the radar to make the club as the 6/7?

Smolenak has done amazing. Chances that this guy is the first callup due to injury, trade, etc?

Thanks for input.


Assuming 1 is the most disappointing? I was at a 0 after game two. At least tonight there were some positives to take away, most notably that Mitch Fadden finally found the score sheet. I'm probably at a 2 or 3 now.

Mihalik has surprised me a little. Some of the other staff here on BP were a little afraid he'd struggle in his first year of pro. There's some Vlad-mentum going into camp now though.

Smoke is always good at TC. That's why we're not erecting any statues to the guy just yet. I want to see him do it at the AHL level. Of all the forward prospects from prior to the 2007 draft crop though, and I've said this all along, he's got the most upside. His skating isn't as bad as advertised by some people, by any means, and he's a good finisher and he's got stickhandling skills at top speed that most big men don't have. He's just got to put it all together.

Lascek, Rogers, and Helenius are my three biggest disappointments so far. Lawrence has flopped as a scoring line center too. I know the Lightning need centers and that Lawrence wants to play center, but he might be better suited for right wing.

Add Jung to the list...

Pete, your thots pretty much echo my own with regard to both the positives and negatives. Disappointed with Rogers, Lascek, and Helenius. Was hoping Lawrence would assert himself as a center. He might be headed to Mississippi. Mihalik's raised my eyebrows for sure. 2nd leading scorer on the team, and is proving why the organization is big on the big guy.

I'll add that I was surprised by Torrie Jung's game against the Red Wings, and I'm interested to see how he plays in the game for 7th place.

I'm interested in hearing Goertzen and Feaster's take on the team.

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