Quebec Major Junior Hockey League
Saint John Sea Dogs 5 @ Halifax Mooseheads 7
C/W Jonathan Drouin, HAL: 1-3-4, +2, 0 PIM, 7 SOG, 0 Hits, 9/16 FO
Season totals: 14 GP, 9-20-29, +11, 16 PIM
2011-2012 Season: 49 GP, 41-64-105, +48, 32 PIM
Rouyn-Noranda Huskies 2 @ Quebec Remparts 5
C/W Adam Erne, QUE: 0-0-0, -1, 0 PIM, 7 SOG, 2 Hits, 1/5 FO
Season totals: 19 GP, 7-12-19, -2, 29 PIM
2012-2013 Season: 68 GP, 28-44-72, +11, 67 PIM
Ontario Hockey League
North Bay Battalion 1 @ Barrie Colts 3
D Dylan Blujus, NB: 0-0-0, -2, 0 PIM
Season totals: 9 GP, 1-3-4, -7, 10 PIM
2012-13 totals: 68 GP, 2-27-29, -8, 57 PIM
D Jake Dotchin, BAR: 0-1-1, +1, 2 PIM
Season totals: 18 GP, 4-6-10, +9, 41 PIM
2012-13 totals: 66 GP, 4-18-22, E, 81 PIM
Windsor Spitfires 4 @ Plymouth Whalers 3 (SO)
D Slater Koekkoek, WSR: 0-0-0, +1, 0 PIM
Season totals: 16 GP, 4-9-13, +15, 10 PIM
2012-13 totals: 40 GP, 6-23-29, -24, 28 PIM
Still the kings of Norfolk.
Cedrick Desjardins stopped all 19 shots he faced for the shutout and the victory. After the game, Syracuse sent Kristers Gudlevskis down to Florida of the ECHL after Riku Helenius suited up for the backup role tonight.
SYR Namestnikov, (6) (Brown, Nesterov), 5:36 (PP)
SYR Paquette, (4) (Cote, Korobov), 10:25
SYR Tyrell, (3) (Angelidis, Walker), 11:13
SYR Namestnikov, (7) (Paradis, Gauthier), 12:48
Can the Syracuse Crunch win games where Nikita Kucherov doesn't appear like a rash all over the scoresheet? They did tonight. Can they get secondary scoring? They did tonight. Can they keep shots and chances down and keep the puck out of the back of their net? They did that all weekend. They answered a lot of lingering questions about their own legitimacy as a team and, in the process, have taken over the top spot in the East Division. They're still 2 points shy of the top spot in the Eastern Conference with a game in hand on Manchester.
The Crunch move on to face Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on Friday.
Box score from TheAHL.com.
Definitive proof the Tampa Bay Lightning is for real.
Ben Bishop allowed 2 goals on 27 shots for the victory. Bishop's biggest contribution tonight was heading up one of the greatest penalty killing sequences for the Lightning in recent memory where they killed, cumulatively, 7 minutes in penalties including nearly 40 seconds of 5-on-3 in the Second Period. The penalty killers were great in limiting the quality of chances allowed to Detroit, and Bishop made sure the 9 shots that got through were all denied.
3:51 DET Zetterberg (9), (unassisted)
10:11 TB Malone (2), (Carle, Thompson)
12:50 TB Stamkos (14), (Hedman)
15:48 DET Zetterberg (10), (DeKeyser)
3:51 TB Purcell (5), (Panik)
Bishop and Steven Stamkos were the game's first and third stars.
Winning on the road against a top divisional opponent was impressive enough. But, more than that, it should be noted how the Lightning won this game. They were clearly the better of the two teams tonight. It wasn't close. Shots were 34-27 Lightning and the chances were even more lopsided than that. Only Jimmy Howard kept this from being a 4-2 or 5-2 Lightning squash in regulation. They just looked, athletically, to be a cut above Detroit. Think about that! They were the faster team. They were the more skilled team. And, despite the heroics of Howard (who was outstanding), the Lightning eventually got the result. Kudos to motivational genius Jon Cooper for getting these young men to shake off that disgusting effort in the Edmonton game and get them ready to roll tonight in Detroit.
6 games into this second 10-game segment of the season, the Lightning already have 10 points. Remember, the key is to get at least 12 points out of each 10 game segment. The Lightning are 2 shy of that with 4 games left to play in the set.
Radko Gudas had 2 shots, 2 hits, and 3 blocked shots in 21:44. It might be too early to declare him, unequivocally, a top-two pair NHL defenseman, but the evidence is strongly leaning that way. Tonight, I'd like to praise Radko's work on the second PP unit. He hasn't really had that role prominently represented in his experience portfolio in the past, but he looks pretty darn good in it. When you add that in along with everything else that he's accomplishing, it all adds up to a guy who is playing like a stud NHL blue liner.
Mark Barberio had 1 blocked shot in 7:04. I would say Barberio "stunk" tonight, but I fear the attorneys for the word "stunk" would sue me for libel. Early in the game, he was his typical Barberio self getting pushed out of the way with minimal effort along the wall on a 1-on-1 puck battle that led to a long Wings foray in the offensive zone. Later, Barberio mishandled a d-to-d pass that nearly resulted in a Wings 2-on-1 were it not for a Herculean back check by Barberio's teammates. And, then, Barberio made one of the worst "pivots" (if you can call it that) you'll ever see, nailing the double lutz (and looking like a klutz) while Justin Abdelkader easily went straight past him and in on Bishop for a breakaway. Barberio leads a charmed life that none of those three mistakes led to goals, but I don't think I saw Mark on the ice after that. Dumpster fire. Much like the opener against Boston, Barberio was again a dumpster fire tonight. There's no way to sugar coat it.
Tyler Johnson had 4 shots and 2 blocked shots in 18:06 and was 40% on draws. He did EVERYTHING tonight you could want offensive EXCEPT bury a goal. He used his speed to generate a breakaway. He was a factor in odd man rushes. He picked off an errant Wings pass and generated another golden chance late in the Third Period. He looked dynamic offensively.
Alex Killorn had 3 shots and 1 hit in 17:49. This much I know about Alex Killorn: he never cheats you on effort on a forecheck, does he?
Ondrej Palat had 1 shot and 2 hits in 17:32. Though not to quite the same extent as Johnson, Palat also did darned near everything you would want him to do tonight EXCEPT bury that key goal. He had a great chance where he beat a Wings defender around the corner and muscled his way to the front of the cage only to be robbed by an amazing Howard save and he missed a one-timer chance late in the Third Period that was nearly the insurance goal the Lightning were looking for to seal the game in regulation.
Andrej Sustr had 2 penalty minutes (on a pretty bogus, ticky tack call), 1 shot, and 2 hits in 12:47. He, rightfully, sat a couple of games after getting a little too big for his britches offensively the last time he was in the lineup. Tonight, he was back to the quality he had been showing prior to that game. There's a clear, obvious difference in poise between Sustr and Barberio. Crystal clear.
Richard Panik had a helper (THE helper) and was +1 with 1 shot and 1 hit in 13:43. Tonight might've been his best game in a Lightning uniform. My biggest critique of Panik so far this season is that he's seemingly had a hole in his stick and hasn't been able to be as strong on the puck as I would expect Richard to be. He was extremely strong on the puck in the First Period tonight, didn't see much ice time in the Second Period because of all the penalties in that frame, started to come on with the rest of the kid line in the Third. And, then, he made it happen in Overtime. He swooped in on an unsuspecting Wings defender. Ripped the puck off his stick cleanly. Immediately wheeled the puck in front directly onto Teddy Purcell's tape. Game. Set. Match. Panik attack! I thought Panik played really well tonight. I thought Brett Connolly played pretty well, too, showing a lot of confidence and handles on a line with Filppula and Purcell during regulation. It's good problems to have that all the youngsters (sans Barberio) had good nights tonight.
St. Lawrence Saints 3 @ Harvard Crimson 1
F Brian Hart, HAR: 0-1-1, -1, 2 PIM, 3 SOG
Season totals: 5 GP, 1-1-2, -1, 4 PIM
2012-2013 totals: 29 GP, 4-13-17, +1, 10 PIM
No. 7 Miami RedHawks 2 @ No. 3 St. Cloud State Huskies 0
F Jimmy Mullin, MIA: 0-0-0, +1, 0 PIM, 5 SOG
Season totals: 8 GP, 1-4-5, +4, 4 PIM
2012-2013 totals: 38 GP, 6-8-14, E, 14 PIM
Brown Bears 0 @ No. 5 Quinnipiac Bobcats 3
F Matthew Peca, QU: 0-1-1, +2, 0 PIM, 3 SOG
Season totals: 9 GP, 1-4-5, +5, 2 PIM
2013-2014 totals: 39 GP, 15-15-30, +14, 36 PIM
No. 1 Minnesota Golden Gophers 1 @ No. 4 Notre Dame Fighting Irish 4
G Adam Wilcox, MIN: Loss, 29 saves on 32 shots
Season totals: 7 GP, 5-1-1, 1.84 GAA, .932 sv%, 1 SO
2012-2013 totals: 39 GP, 25-8-5, 1.88 GAA, .921 sv%, 3 SO
*USCHO poll used
Two good teams squared off in a familiar place. Syracuse won this round.
Kristers Gudlevskis allowed just 1 goal on 24 shots for the win. He's unbeaten. He has a sub-2 GAA, and a save percentage of .924. I wouldn't be in a rush to return him to the Coast once Helenius is back up to speed, which begs the question of what the Lightning will choose to do with either Riku or Cedrick, if anything.
SYR Brown, (4) (Cote, Sergeev), 1:53
NOR Whitney, (4) (Steckel), 14:29
SYR Kucherov, (12) (Namestnikov), 17:58
Nikita Kucherov and Gudlevskis were the game's first and second stars. In my mind, the Lightning have an obvious dilemma coming up next season. By the time we roll into training camp next year, it's going to be fairly obvious that Jonathan Drouin, Kucherov, and Vladislav Namestnikov will be ready for Tampa Bay. Opening up 3 spots in Tampa Bay will be very challenging.
Norfolk's had a strong start to the season, so this was a high-quality win for Syracuse. The two teams are now tied with 17 points heading into the rematch at Scope tomorrow. Syracuse is now 1 point back of the top spot in the East Division and 2 points back for the Eastern Conference lead after a slow start to their campaign. That's not bad considering the lack of a consistent second line and the lack of consistent play on the backline. Wait 'til Zettler gets those pieces in shape.
Box score from TheAHL.com.