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AHL Preseason Game Day: 9-30-17 Crunch at Comets

UTICA, N.Y. – Dennis Yan scored twice in the second period to lift the Syracuse Crunch over the Utica Comets, 3-2, in the team's first preseason game tonight at Kennedy Arena.

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Juniors Game Night: 9-29-17

Ontario Hockey League

Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds 2 @ North Bay Battalion 1 (OT)

W Boris Katchouk, SSM: 1-0-1, +1, 0 PIM, 4 SOG, *Third Star*
Season Totals: 4 GP, 3-3-6, E, 2 PIM
’16-’17 Season: 66 GP, 35-29-64, +18, 46 PIM

Katchouk’s third goal of the year came in overtime to give the Soo a 2-1 win in North Bay. Katchouk had six game-winning goals last season.

Barrie Colts 4 @ Sudbury Wolves 1

W Alexey Lipanov, BAR: 0-1-1, E, 0 PIM, 2 SOG, 4/11 FO
Season Totals: 4 GP, 1-4-5, E, 0 PIM
‘16-‘17 Totals (VHL-Russia): 21 GP, 3-5-8, +5, 8 PIM

Lipanov contributed an apple Friday in Barrie’s 4-1 win in Sudbury. He continues to struggle in the faceoff circle, however.

Erie Otters 1 @ Niagara IceDogs 4

W Taylor Raddysh, Erie: 0-0-0, +1, 4 PIM, 6 SOG
Season Totals: 4 GP, 1-5-6, +2, 6 PIM
‘16-‘17 Totals: 58 GP, 42-66-108, +67, 37 PIM

Niagara scored three times in the third period to break a 1-1 tie and go on to beat the Otters, 4-1.

Western Hockey League

Everett Silvertips 4 @ Kelowna Rockets 3 (SO)

D Cal Foote, KEL: 1-1-2, +3, 0 PIM, 5 SOG, *Second Star*
Season Totals: 3 GP, 2-5-7, +5, 4 PIM
‘15-‘16 Totals: 71 GP, 6-51-57, +39, 41 PIM

Foote is already one-third of the way to last year’s goal totals after scoring his second of the season early Friday night. Kelowna gave up a 3-0 lead and lost the bonus point in the shootout. The Rockets peppered Flyers goaltending prospect Carter Hart with 38 shots, including six in overtime. Hart was the game’s first star.

Medicine Hat Tigers 6 @ Saskatoon Blades 2

D Libor Hajek, SAS: 0-0-0, -2, 0 PIM, 0 SOG
Season Totals: 2 GP, 0-0-0, -6, 4 PIM
’16-‘17 Totals: 61 GP: 4-22-26, -17, 86 PIM

Hajek is off to a rough start with a minus-6 rating through two games as the Blades top defenseman.

Regina Pats 4 @ Moose Jaw Warriors 5 (OT)

C Brett Howden, MJ: 1-0-1, -1, 0 PIM, 3 SOG
’16-‘17 Totals: 58 GP, 38-43-81, +14, 73 PIM

C Oleg Sosunov, MJ: 2-0-2, +1, 12 PIM, 3 SOG, *Third Star*
Season Totals: 3 GP, 2-0-2, +6, 19 PIM
’16-‘17 Totals: 58 GP, 38-43-81, +14, 73 PIM

Warriors captain and Lightning prospect Brett Howden scored mid-way through overtime to give Moose Jaw a win over the 2018 Memorial Cup hosts. Oleg Sosunov had his first WHL goal, then added another as the Warriors built a 3-1 lead heding into the third period. He didn’t score a goal last season in Russia while playing in two leagues. He also got a mouth guard misconduct in this game and we’re guessing that never happened in Russia either.

Juniors Game Night: 9-28-17

Ontario Hockey League

Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds 3 @ Barrie Colts 4 (OT)

W Boris Katchouk, SSM: 0-1-1, +1, 0 PIM, 3 SOG
Season Totals: 3 GP, 2-3-5, E, 2 PIM
’16-’17 Season: 66 GP, 35-29-64, +18, 46 PIM

W Alexey Lipanov, BAR: 1-2-3, +1, 0 PIM, 3 SOG, 6/20 FO, *Second Star*
Season Totals: 3 GP, 1-3-4, E, 0 PIM
‘16-‘17 Totals (VHL-Russia): 21 GP, 3-5-8, +5, 8 PIM

Lipanov celebrated his shiny new NHL contract with his first North American goal (and shorthanded, no less) and first North American multi-point night as the Colts beat the Soo in overtime, 4-3. Fellow Russian-born Lightning prospect Boris Katchouk had an assist for the Greyhounds.

Oshawa Generals 2 @ Peterborough Petes 5

W/C Christopher Paquette, PBO: 1-0-1, E, 0 PIM, 4 SOG, 0/4 FO
Season Totals: 2 GP, 1-0-1, -1, 0 PIM
’16-‘17 Totals (NIA/PBO): 66 GP, 19-29-48, +1, 28 PIM

Paquette scored his first goal of the season, coming shorthanded in the second period to give the Petes a 2-1 lead. Paquette is aiming to top the 20-goal mark this year for the first time in his OHL career.

NHL Preseason Game Night: 9-28-17 Lightning at Panthers

Lightning out of sync as regular season looms.


Petr Budaj allowed 4 goals on 32 shots for the loss.

First Period
8:17 FLA Vrbata, (Pirri)
14:24 FLA McCann, (Petrovic, McCoshen)
18:55 TB Killorn, (Kucherov, Stamkos)(PP)

Second Period
13:32 FLA McCann, (McGinn)

Third Period
9:53 FLA McCann, (Brickley, Vrbata)
18:36 TB Namestnikov, (Sergachev, Kucherov)
19:31 FLA Sceviour, (unassisted)(EN)

As good as the Lightning youth looked early in the preseason, the Lightning's veterans have been mediocre for much of the end of it. The biggest concerns at this point are that we're not seeing the kind of production from the second line we might've hoped for in preseason and the team is still without the suspended Jake Dotchin, whose presence in the lineup will hopefully greatly improve the defensive corps by pushing long-in-the-tooth veteran Dan Girardi down to the third pair.

Yanni Gourde had 2 shots and was 38% on 16 draws in 16:23.

Mikhail Sergachev had a helper and was -1 with 3 shots, 1 hit, and 2 blocked shots in 18:17.

Box score and extended statistics from

Lightning Sign F Alexey Liponov to Entry-Level Deal

TAMPA BAY – The Tampa Bay Lightning have signed forward Alexey Lipanov to a three-year, entry-level contract today, vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman announced.

Lipanov, 18, split time between Dynamo Balashikha of Russia’s VHL and HK MVD Balashikha of the MHL last season. With Dynamo Balashikha, Lipanov recorded three goals and five assists in 21 regular season games and added three assists in six playoff games. With HK MVD, he had three assists in 11 games. The 6-foot, 169-pound forward skated in seven games for Team Russia at the World U-18 Junior Championships, recording three assists.

The Moscow, Russia native skated in one preseason game with the Lightning on September 19 when the Bolts took on the Carolina Hurricanes. Lipanov recorded two shots on goal in the game. He also played in three games during the Lightning’s rookie tournament in Nashville.

Lipanov was selected by the Lightning in the third round, 76th overall, at the 2017 NHL Draft.

Groulx, Crunch Look to Turn Page on Last Season

By Jeremy Houghtaling

Benoit Groulx paused before answering the question.

“How long did it take for you to get over that finals loss? Was it a whole summer thing?”

The Crunch head coach, whose team fell in six games to the Grand Rapids Griffins in the Calder Cup Finals in his first year behind the Syracuse bench last season, smiled and shrugged. While Groulx believes his team had a good showing, it was tough to come up just short.

Groulx and the Crunch are looking to turn the page as they begin their 2017-18 campaign.

“We have many different faces,” Groulx said. “We have nine or 10 rookies on the team, but we also have solid vets — guys with a lot of experience in this league. We want to play a certain style, and that’s our goal to be competitive and see where we’re at when it starts.”

NHL Preseason Game Night: 9-26-17 Lightning at Panthers

Lightning fan snarky question of the night: Things Better Attended than a Panthers Preseason Game in Sunrise, FL? Go!


Andrei Vasilevskiy allowed 3 goals on 32 shots for the loss.

First Period

Second Period
0:42 FLA Huberdeau, (Barkov)
5:57 FLA Huberdeau, (Barkov, Trocheck)(PP)

Third Period
7:35 TB Callahan, (Girardi, Namestnikov)
12:56 FLA Brickley, (Pysyk, MacKenzie)
18:57 TB Kucherov, (Point, Sergachev)
19:38 FLA Trocheck, (Barkov, Huberdeau)(EN)

Things are getting down to the nitty gritty now. This was pretty close to the opening night lineup with the probably exception of a couple of the forwards who played tonight and the absence of the suspended Jake Dotchin.

Slater Koekkoek was -1 with 1 shot and 2 hits in 15:12.

Alexander Volkov was +1 with 1 blocked shot in 15:14. He may very well be the old "last cut" of camp, which is surprising for a guy who had a very slim resume coming into this camp.

Mikhail Sergachev had a helper and 2 penalty minutes to go with 1 shot, 1 hit, and 1 blocked shot in 19:50. IMO, the best scenario for the Lightning is for Sergachev to settle into a role where he plays a reliable ~18 minutes a night, and he looks like he may be capable of giving the team that.

Box score and extended statistics from

Juniors Game Night: 9-24-17

Ontario Hockey League

London Knights 1 @ Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds 5

W Boris Katchouk, SSM: 0-1-1, E, 2 PIM, 6 SOG
Season Totals: 2 GP, 2-2-4, -1, 2 PIM
’16-’17 Season: 66 GP, 35-29-64, +18, 46 PIM

Katchouk led the Soo with six shots on goal, though none of them crossed the goal line. The Greyhounds did just fine, however, beating the traditional powerhouse Knights, 5-1.

Erie Otters 4 @ Ottawa 67’s 6

W Taylor Raddysh, Erie: 0-2-2, E, 2 PIM, 1 SOG
Season Totals: 3 GP, 1-5-6, +2, 2 PIM
‘16-‘17 Totals: 58 GP, 42-66-108, +67, 37 PIM

Raddysh finished the opening weekend with six points in three games, though Erie fell on the road Sunday in Ottawa, 6-4. Erie had 1-0 and 2-1 leads early in the game before the 67’s blew open a 3-3 game in the second period.

NHL Preseason Game Day: 9-24-17 Panthers at Lightning

Peca makes his case.


Petr Budaj allowed 3 goals on 27 shots for the loss.

First Period
5:39 FLA McGinn, (McCoshen, Bjugstad)

Second Period
14:30 TB Volkov, (Peca, Killorn)
15:02 FLA Dadonov, (Huburdeau, Barkov)

Third Period
4:34 FLA Vrbata, (Hawrlyuk, Malgin)(PP)
12:44 TB Volkov. (Killorn, Peca)
18:55 FLA Huburdeau, (Petrovic)(EN)

Matthew Peca was the game's third star.

Tonight's lineup looked to be a little closer to Tampa Bay's first choice defense playing with a more Syracuse-flavored forward corps.

Mathieu Joseph was -1 with 2 penalty minutes in 17:05.

Slater Koekkoek was +1 with 2 penalty minutes, 2 shots, and 2 blocked shots in 17:14.

Brett Howden was 56% on 9 draws in 15:52.

Ben Thomas was -1 with 2 penalty minutes, 3 shots, and 1 blocked shot in 17:44.

Matthew Peca had 2 helpers and was +1 with 1 shot and 1 blocked shot and he was 30% on 10 draws. Peca's had a solid camp and preseason with his play in all three zones and seems to be making a serious challenge to make the big league squad.

Mitchell Stephens had 1 shot in 11:30.

Anthony Cirelli was -3 and 54% on 13 draws in 16:03.

Adam Erne was -1 with 2 shots and 2 hits in 16:37.

Alexander Volkov had a pair of goals and 4 shots and 1 blocked shot in 15:25. He's played well throughout camp and the preseason. His first goal was a wraparound which might've been a bit of a soft goal gift that Florida's netminder should've gotten to. His second goal was pretty much a tap in driving to the net on a nice backhand feed by Killorn. He'll be an interesting player to watch in Syracuse this season.

Mikhail Sergachev was -1 with 1 shot, 1 hit, and 1 blocked shot in 23:46. The ice time doesn't lie. The Lightning have big league plans for young Sergachev.

Box score and extended statistics from

Juniors Game Night: 9-23-17

Quebec Major Junior Hockey League

Halifax Mooseheads 3 @ Charlottetown Islanders 2

C/W Otto Somppi, HAL: Did not play
’16-’17 Totals: 60 GP, 17-24-41, -7, 28 PIM

Somppi was reassigned to Halifax by the Lightning, but he did not play Saturday night against the Islanders. It’s unknown right now if Somppi is healthy enough to play.

Ontario Hockey League

Oshawa Generals 7 @ Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds 4

W Boris Katchouk, SSM: 2-1-3, -1, 0 PIM, 3 SOG
’16-’17 Season: 66 GP, 35-29-64, +18, 46 PIM

Katchouk brought his strong play in Tampa back to the Soo, scoring twice and adding an assist in a 7-4 loss Saturday. He’s an alternate captain for the Greyhounds this season. Allan McShane had five assists for Oshawa. He was traded by Erie to Oshawa for Lightning prospect Anthony Cirelli.

Western Hockey League

Kelowna Rockets 5 @ Kamloops Blazers 1

D Cal Foote, KEL: 1-2-3, +1, 0 PIM, 2 SOG, *Third Star*
Season Totals: 2 GP, 1-5-6, +2, 4 PIM
‘15-‘16 Totals: 71 GP, 6-51-57, +39, 41 PIM

Cal Foote scored his first goal of the year, set up by his brother, Nolan. Cal finished the home-and-home series with Kamloops with a goal and five assists. Not too shabby a start to the season.

Prince Albert Raiders 3 @ Moose Jaw Warriors 7

C Oleg Sosunov, MJ: 0-0-0, +4, 2 PIM, 1 SOG
Season Totals: 2 GP, 0-0-0, +5, 7 PIM
’16-‘17 Totals: 58 GP, 38-43-81, +14, 73 PIM

C Brett Howden, MJ: Did not play
’16-‘17 Totals: 58 GP, 38-43-81, +14, 73 PIM

Sosunov (TB Times photo) was plus-4 for the Warriors Saturday night in a big win over the Raiders. Howden remains in Tampa with the Lightning, though he’s expected to return as captain of the Warriors.

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