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CHL Game Night: 1-6-17

Quebec Major Junior Hockey League

Acadie-Bathurst Titan 1 @ Saint John Sea Dogs 5

W Bokondji Imama, SJ: 1-1-2, +3, 5 PIM, 6 SOG, 2 Hits, *Third Star*
Season Totals: 36 GP, 26-9-35, +9, 54 PIM
2015-2016 Season: 48 GP, 7-12-19, -5, 86 PIM

W Mathieu Joseph, SJ: Did not play
Season Totals: 28 GP, 25-20-45, +23, 29 PIM
2015-2016 Season: 58 GP, 33-40-73, +35, 57 PIM

Boko Imama took over the team goal-scoring lead with his 26th marker of the season, and also added an assist and fight vs Jeffrey Truchon-Viel to give him the Gordie Howe Hat Trick. Mathieu Joseph, coming off his goal in the WJC Gold Medal Game vs USA, did not play for Saint John.

Moncton Wildcats 2 @ Halifax Mooseheads 6

C/W Otto Somppi, HAL: 0-0-0, -1, 0 PIM, 3 SOG, 8/16 FO, 0 Hits
Season Totals: 32 GP, 8-15-23, -10, 20 PIM
2015-2016 Season: 59 GP, 13-33-46, -15, 25 PIM

Swiss WJC stud Nico Hischier (2017) had two goals and two assists to lead the Mooseheads to a 6-2 win over visiting Moncton. Somppi is scoreless in his last three contests.

Sherbrooke Phoenix 2 @ Shawinigan Cataractes 4

W Dennis Yan, SHAW: 2-0-2, +1, 2 PIM, 5 SOG, 1 Hit, *First Star*
Season Totals: 34 GP, 27-19-46, +19, 40 PIM
2015-2016 Season: 62 GP, 32-37-69, +8, 86 PIM

Yan has scored in eight of his last nine games, giving him 27 goals for the season – good enough for third in the league. He is plus-18 in his last eight games.

Ontario Hockey League

Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds 6 @ Kitchener Rangers 5 (OT)

W Boris Katchouk, SSM: 2-0-2, +2, 2 PIM, 5 SOG, *Third Star*
Season: 37 GP, 19-14-33, +6, 24 PIM
2015-2016 Season: 63 GP, 24-27-51, +7, 61 PIM

Katchouk scored in overtime at the Aud to propel the Greyhounds to a 6-5 win over the Rangers. Bruins first rounder Zach Senyshyn had a hat trick for the Soo, his fourth of the season. Katchouk has three overtime goals this year, which leads the OHL. (Highlights) He also had five shorthanded goals, which leads the OHL. Lightning prospect Mathieu Joseph leads the QMJHL in shorties, as well.

Peterborough Petes 3 @ Niagara IceDogs 4

D Matt Spencer, PBO: 0-1-1, -2, 4 PIM, 3 SOG
Season Totals: 30 GP, 5-15-20, +6, 33 PIM
2015-2016 Season: 60 GP, 5-19-24, -4, 46 PIM

W Jonne Tammela, PBO: Did not play
Season Totals: 2 GP, 1-0-1, +1, 2 PIM
2015-2016 (Finland): 37 GP, 5-8-13, +10, 16 PIM

W/C Christopher Paquette, NIA: 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 2 SOG
Season Totals: 36 GP, 12-17-29, -7, 14 PIM
2015-2016 Season: 57 GP, 5-11-16, -6, 18 PIM

Paquette was scoreless for the fourth game in a row, but the IceDogs picked up a home win over visiting Peterborough, 4-3. The Petes are expected to be active leading up to Tuesday’s trade deadline. Peterborough native Mitchell Stephens would look good in his hometown colors, but the rumors seem to indicate Windsor may be his destination.

Western Hockey League

Saskatoon Blades 0 @ Moose Jaw Warriors 4

D Libor Hajek, SAS: 0-0-0, -2, 0 PIM
Season Totals: 35 GP: 3-15-18, -9, 47 PIM
2015-2016 Season: 69 GP, 3-23-26, -19, 76 PIM

C Brett Howden, MJ: 1-0-1, +1, 0 PIM
Season Totals: 27 GP, 19-23-42, +5, 27 PIM
2015-2016 Season: 68 GP, 24-40-64, -7, 61 PIM

Backup goalie Brody Willms stopped 23 shots to give the Warriors a win over the visiting Blades. Moose Jaw made a major trade this week, acquiring 17-year-old forward Justin Almeida, 18-year-old forward Yan Khomenko, a 5th round pick in 2017, and a 2nd round pick in 2018 from the Prince George Cougars in exchange for 18-year-old forward Nikita Popugaev, who is expected to go in the first round of the 2017 draft. Both Almeida and Khomenko were scoreless Friday for the Warriors.

NCAA Game Night: 1-6-17

No. 6 UMass-Lowell River Hawks 2 @ New Hampshire Wildcats 1

C Ryan Lohin, UML: 0-0-0, -1, 0 PIM, 1 SOG
Season Totals: 22 GP, 3-8-11, +2, 6 PIM

Center Brendan van Riemsdyk, brother of the Leafs James van Riemsdyk and the Blackhawks Trevor van Riemsdyk, scored his third goal of the season mid-way through the third period for UNH, cutting the UML lead to 2-1, but the Wildcats couldn’t complete the comeback. “BVR” is undrafted.

No. 7 North Dakota Fighting Hawks 9 @ No. 19 Nebraska-Omaha Mavericks 1

D Kristian Oldham, UNO: No decision, 22 saves on 27 shots
Season Totals: 8 GP, 4-2-1, 3.34 GAA, .893 sv%, 0 SO

Oldham started the game on the bench, but came in after Evan Weninger allowed four goals on 10 shots. Oldham allowed five goals. Brock Boeser (Canucks) returned from injury and had two goals for UND.

*USCHO poll used for rankings

AHL Game Night: 1-6-17 Crunch at Americans

My kingdom for some goaltending.

SYR-3
RCH-4 (SO)

Kristers Gudlevskis allowed 3 goals on 18 shots before conceding to 1 of 3 in the penalty shot session for the Shootout loss. Maybe it's not fair to expect more from Gudlevskis after spending a couple of weeks making sure the end of the Lightning bench was anchored down, but it's painful to consider that the organization has been bereft of quality goaltending over the past couple of weeks.

First Period
8:06 RCH Bonis (5), (Karabacek)
13:27 RCH Muzito-Bagenda (4), (Karabacek)
17:00 SYR Taormina (10), (Comrie, Conacher)(PP)

Second Period
1:08 RCH Baptiste (16), (Rodrigues, Schneider)(PP)

Third Period
2:23 SYR Halmo (10), (unassisted)
10:05 SYR Condra (7), (Taormina)(SH)

Overtime
NO SCORING

Shootout
SYR- NONE
RCH- O'Reilly

Matt Taormina was the game's second star.

Syracuse outshot Rochester by a whopping 39-19 in the contest, but as you all know hockey is a far more frustrating sport when you have to work so much harder than your opponent in order to score a goal due to uneven goaltending. It's a shame, too, because with consistent goaltending Syracuse would almost certainly be a legit championship contender in the AHL.

On the good side, Syracuse runs up to 41 points in the standings to tie Albany for first in the North Division, with the Crunch holding three games in hand on the Devils.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

NCAA Game Night: 1-5-17

No. 10 Union Dutchmen 5 @ No. 5 Boston University Terriers 6 (OT)

D John MacLeod, BU: 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 3 SOG
Season Totals: 15 GP, 0-4-4, +4, 16 PIM
2015-2016 Totals: 26 GP, 1-1-2, -4, 26 PIM

While the core of BU roster was winning gold for Team USA Thursday night, the remaining Terriers scored an overtime win in a top-10 match-up vs Union.

2016 U20 WJC Update: 1-5-17

Gold Medal Match
USA 5 vs. Canada 4 (SO)
Connor Ingram, Canada, DNP
Tournament totals: 4 GP, 2-1-0, 1 SO, 2.57 GAA, .833 sv%

Mathieu Joseph, Canada, 1-1-2, +1, E, 2 SOG
Tournament totals: 7 GP, 1-4-5, +4, 0 PIM

Taylor Raddysh, Canada, 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 2 SOG
Tournament totals: 7 GP, 5-1-6, +3, 4 PIM

Anthony Cirelli, Canada, 0-0-0, +1, 0 PIM, 2 SOG
Tournament totals: 7 GP, 3-4-7, +8, 2 PIM

Mitchell Stephens, Canada, 0-1-1, +2, 0 PIM, 1 SOG
Tournament totals: 5 GP, 2-3-5, +4, 0 PIM

Team USA's Troy Terry had the only marker of the five round Shootout to lift his team to a 5-4 Gold Medal Match victory over rival Canada. Kieffer Bellows, son of ex-Lightning forward Brian Bellows and a New York Islanders first rounder, had a pair of goals for the Americans in their win. Lightning prospect Mathieu Joseph scored a would-be insurance marker 4:05 into the Third Period to give the Canadians a 4-2 lead, but the US scored a pair of goals within 3:02 of Joseph's marker to eventually take the game beyond regulation. Joseph also had an even strength helper on Canada's first goal. Mitchell Stephens chipped in a helper on the Canadians' second goal. Joseph played 17:52 in the match, Taylor Raddysh 13:41, Anthony Cirelli 16:55, and Stephens 18:51.

The tournament was a disappointment for netminder Connor Ingram, who struggled in 3 of his 4 starts and ultimately lost the starting job for the Canadians to Carter Hart. Forward Taylor Raddysh, one of the top scorers in the Canadian junior ranks, put on a show dominating the scoresheet against an inferior Latvian side, but struggled to make a dent against the tournament's heavies. Results were ultimately far more positive for the high energy, high character trio of Joseph, Cirelli, and Stephens. All three had a fantastic tournament from start to finish, with the exception of a couple of games missed by Stephens due to injury, proving their worth as potential NHL'ers who could find themselves up with the Lightning within the next few seasons.

NHL Game Night: 1-5-17 Predators at Lightning

Awful goaltending hands Lightning failure.

NSH-6
TB-1

Andrei Vasilevskiy allowed 5 goals on 18 shots for the loss. Three of those goals were of the awful variety, and the third goal, which came as the Lightning were mounting a push to try to knot the game at 2-2, was an absolute back breaker. Hockey is a frustrating, terrible sport when you're the victim of bad goaltending and your team has to work five times harder to get a goal, which is what happened tonight.

First Period
2:25 NSH Fisher (11), (Johansen, Ekholm)(PP)

Second Period
3:56 NSH Forsberg (9), (Fiala, Johansen)
6:12 TB Johnson (12), (Hedman, Killorn)
13:21 NSH Sissons (3), (Fisher)
14:04 NSH Ellis (5), (Wilson, Arvidsson)

Third Period
14:02 NSH Sissons (4), (Jarnkrok)(EN)
17:00 NSH Sissons (5), (Jarnkrok, Bitetto)

The Lightning actually had a decent night in terms of raw puck possession stats. It wasn't equaling a ton of scoring chances, but the game was not nearly the lopsided disaster the score indicates... except that the goaltending was terrible. That's been the biggest difference between this Lightning team and those of the recent past. Even when Bishop was healthy earlier this year the Lightning were not getting consistent goaltending. They have to hope and pray when he returns that he will re-find some of his Vezina candidate caliber form. Without it, they haven't got a prayer.

The Lightning failed to get 12 points for a second 10-game segment of the year, getting just 10 points in this one after managing just 7 points the previous segment. At the roughly midway point of the campaign, they're a full 6 points off comfortable playoff pace, meaning they'll have to play at least .675 hockey the rest of the way to get there safely. That's not impossible, but it's incredibly difficult and pretty much a fool's errand to try without good goaltending.

Slater Koekkoek was -1 with 1 shot, 1 hit, and 1 blocked shot in 16:29.

Matthew Peca was -2 with 2 hits in 11:17. He was also 56% on 9 draws. This was the first night of his NHL stint that he wasn't really a noticable positive in the lineup.

Adam Erne was -2 with 1 shot and 6 hits in 14:59. He continues to look the part and made a swooping power forward move off the right wing that was a bright spot in a fairly abysmal night.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

Liiga Game Day: 1-5-17

Sport 2 vs. SaiPa 3 (SO)
Saku Salminen, SaiPa, DNP
Season totals: 28 GP, 2-4-6, -5, 39 PIM

Ex-Montreal farmhand Brock Trotter had 1 goal and 1 assist for SaiPa in their 3-2 SO win over Sport.

CHL Game Night: 1-4-17

Quebec Major Junior Hockey League

Cape Breton Screaming Eagles 6 @ Saint John Sea Dogs 3

W Bokondji Imama, SJ: 0-0-0, E, 5 PIM, 5 SOG, 4 Hits
Season Totals: 35 GP, 25-8-33, +6, 49 PIM
2015-2016 Season: 48 GP, 7-12-19, -5, 86 PIM

Saint John got down 3-1 and 5-2 before ultimately losing, 6-3. Imama fought Yannik Bertrand.

Ontario Hockey League

Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds 1 @ Owen Sound Attack 6

W Boris Katchouk, SSM: 1-0-1, -2, 0 PIM, 3 SOG
Season: 36 GP, 17-14-31, +4, 22 PIM
2015-2016 Season: 63 GP, 24-27-51, +7, 61 PIM

Katchouk broke Michael McNiven’s shutout attempt with a shorthanded goal with 32 seconds remaining. The Montreal prospect goaltender was cut from Team Canada’s WJC team in favor of Lightning prospect Connor Ingram.

Niagara IceDogs 2 @ Erie Otters 7

W/C Christopher Paquette, NIA: 0-0-0, -2, 0 PIM, 3 SOG
Season Totals: 35 GP, 12-17-29, -7, 14 PIM
2015-2016 Season: 57 GP, 5-11-16, -6, 18 PIM

No Taylor Raddysh, no problem for Erie, who beat visiting Niagara, 7-2, Wednesday. Alex DeBrincat only had one goal for the Otters. Paquette has just two goals in his last 20 games and is scoreless in his last three.

Western Hockey League

Lethbridge Hurricanes 1 @ Moose Jaw Warriors 4

C Brett Howden, MJ: 0-2-2, +3, 2 PIM
Season Totals: 27 GP, 18-22-40, +4, 27 PIM
2015-2016 Season: 68 GP, 24-40-64, -7, 61 PIM

Howden had two assists to give him five points in his last two games. Jayden Halbgewachs (undrafted) had a hat trick for the Warriors to give him 34 goals on the season.

NOTE: The following players are with Team Canada in preparation for the World Junior Championships: Anthony Cirelli, Taylor Raddysh, Mitchell Stephens, Connor Ingram, Mathieu Joseph.

Crunch Rookie Thomas Shows 'Solid Progression'


By Jeremy Houghtaling

Ben Thomas soaked in what he could in last year’s eight-game stint in Syracuse.

The defenseman joined the Crunch after the conclusion of his junior season last spring, and recorded his first pro goal and three assists. More importantly, Thomas learned what to expect and gained confidence knowing he could play at the AHL level.

Thomas is continuing to show progress during his rookie season as he adjusts to pro hockey.

“I think it was good for me last year to step in at the end, get some experience and show myself that I can play at this level,” Thomas said. “That gave me confidence coming into this year, and I was able to get off to a pretty good start. Those games last year really helped me.”

The Bolt Prospects Podcast, Episode 83

This is this week’s “Roller Coaster” edition of the Bolt Prospects Podcast includes the following topics:

· The No. 83 and plus/minus franchise leaders
· Lightning roller coaster is out of control
· Follow the bouncing prospects
· Upsides of recent call-ups
· Interview with Syracuse’s Gabriel Dumont
· Interview with rookie pro Ben Thomas
· WJC update

Click here to listen

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