AHL Game Night 2/1: Admirals at Senators
Marc Denis stopped 32 of 35 shots faced in regulation and overtime including a penalty shot by Greg Mauldin before stopping 3 of 5 shooters for the shootout victory.
BNG Mapletoft, (12) (Lee, Zubov), 3:01
NOR Smolenak, (3) (Szczechura, Lessard), 4:26
BNG Nikulin, (6) (Kinch, Hamel), 7:48 (PP)
NOR Szczechura, (7) (Leach), 11:26
NOR Wanvig, (14) (Szczechura), 17:23
BNG Zubov, (13) (Mauldin), 17:36
NOR- Henrich, Lessard, Smolenak
BNG- Mapletoft, Nycholat
Paul Szczechura and Smolenak were named first and second stars of the game. I'm pretty well sold on Szczechura. He needs to be back with the Admirals next season. Whoever the pro scout was the IDed this young man in Iowa needs a pat on the back.
And Smolenak extends his points streak to 5 games.
This is starting to remind me a bit of the 2004-2005 season in Springfield when for the first 1/2 to 2/3 of the year the Falcons got their heads kicked in against NHLer laiden lockout rosters. In the final 1/4 of that season some of the Lightning's young prospects like Paul Ranger and Evgeny Artyukhin started to emerge and gain confidence and by the next season they were in the NHL. The team is still 13 games under .500 and there should be no dillusions that this was a successful season overall, but even from struggling young players can learn important lessons and carry them on into successful NHL careers. It's happened before in this organization, it might be happening now.
Box score from TheAHL.com.