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NHL Game Night: 10-26-17 Red Wings at Lightning

Lightning take care of business to get second ten game segment of the year off right.

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Andrei Vasilevskiy allowed 2 goals on 31 shots for the victory. Vasilevskiy continues his personal winning streak, which is now up to 8 straight games.

First Period
14:18 DET Nielsen (3), (unassisted)(SH)
16:33 TB Kucherov (12), (Hedman, Killorn)(PP)

Second Period
NO SCORING

Third Period
6:22 TB Stamkos (4), (Kucherov, Sergachev)(PP)
17:04 TB Point (5), (Gourde, Palat)
18:11 DET Nielsen (4), (Nyquist, Abdelkader)(PP)

Nikita Kucherov, Steven Stamkos, and Vasilevskiy were the game's three stars.

Great to see the Lightning keep playing to their standards and not rest on their laurels after a wildly successful start to the season. Nine games left in this second segment of the year: ten points to gather.

Yanni Gourde had a helper and was +1 with 1 shot in 16:54. He found Point alone in front on the all-important insurance marker that turned into the game winner.

Jake Dotchin had 2 shots and 2 hits in 13:03.

Mikhail Sergachev had a helper and 4 penalty minutes to go with 1 shot and 1 hit in 15:51.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

Juniors Game Night: 10-26-17

Results from Tuesday and Wednesday...

Western Hockey League

Victoria Royals 7 @ Saskatoon Blades 2

D Libor Hajek, SAS: 0-1-1, +1, 0 PIM, 2 SOG
Season Totals: 11 GP, 3-5-8, -7, 12 PIM
’16-‘17 Totals: 61 GP: 4-22-26, -17, 86 PIM

Hajek came out of a 7-goals-against game with a plus-1. The Royals lead the WHL with 21 points (10-4-1-0).

Moose Jaw Warriors 6 @ Portland Winterhawks 4 (Tuesday)

C Brett Howden, MJ: 2-1-3, +4, 0 PIM, 7 SOG, 18/32 FO, *Second Star*
Season Totals: 11 GP, 6-9-15, +4, 14 PIM
’16-‘17 Totals: 58 GP, 38-43-81, +14, 73 PIM

D Oleg Sosunov, MJ: 0-0-0, -1, 0 PIM, 5 SOG
Season Totals: 13 GP, 4-0-4, +11, 22 PIM
’16-‘17 Totals: 58 GP, 38-43-81, +14, 73 PIM

Moose Jaw won its third consecutive game on their road trip, 6-4 in Portland. Howden seemingly never left the ice and was second star. Islanders first rounder Kieffer Bellows, son of former Lightning forward Brian Bellows, matched Howden’s two goals. Bellows, who played for Boston University last season, has nine goals and 20 points in 12 games.

Moose Jaw Warriors 4 @ Tri-City Americans 8

C Brett Howden, MJ: 1-0-1, -1, 14 PIM, 3 SOG, 13/23 FO
Season Totals: 12 GP, 7-9-16, +3, 18 PIM
’16-‘17 Totals: 58 GP, 38-43-81, +14, 73 PIM

D Oleg Sosunov, MJ: 1-0-1, E, 0 PIM, 1 SOG
Season Totals: 14 GP, 5-0-5, +11, 22 PIM
’16-‘17 Totals: 58 GP, 38-43-81, +14, 73 PIM

Sosunov! Oleg scored his fifth of the year – a wrist shot from the point that got through – though it was in a losing cause as Tri-City put up a snowman on visiting Moose Jaw. Howden also had a goal for the Warriors, which cut the Americans’ lead to 4-3 in the first minute of the third period. TC then exploded for four goals in a five-minute span. Howden got a 10-minute misconduct as the game concluded.

Crunch's Thomas Looks to Be Impact Player at Both Ends of the Ice


By Jeremy Houghtaling

A deep playoff run last season was key to Ben Thomas’ development.

The defenseman went from earning a regular shift to more duties, including special teams, during his rookie season with the Syracuse Crunch. Each step of the way to the Calder Cup Finals added to Thomas’ confidence, and he frequently looked to join and support the rush.

Thomas looks to become more an impact player at both ends of the ice in his second pro season.

“I think it’s a part of my game. I like to jump in the rush and help create offense,” Thomas said. “I think now I definitely have the confidence to do that and get back into my position to be a good defender. It’s been one thing I’ve always liked to implement in my game, and I’m going to try and continue to do it.”

NHL Game Night: 10-24-17 Lightning at Hurricanes

Amazing opening segment of the year ends with some Vasilarceny.

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Andrei Vasilevskiy allowed just 1 goal on 31 shots for the victory. He's just rolling now. Everyone's going to point to the stats Stamkos and Kucherov are putting up, but the whole thing's built on the foundation of teams having to work twice as hard as the Lightning to get goals because of the quality of goaltending from 88.

First Period
19:25 TB Johnson (4), (Palat, Point)(PP)

Second Period
9:13 TB Sergachev (4), (Stamkos, Johnson)

Third Period
3:28 CAR Slavin (2), (Pesce, Jooris)
17:27 TB Namestnikov (4), (Hedman, Dotchin)(EN)
18:39 TB Callahan (1), (Kunitz, Brown)(EN)
19:56 TB Kucherov (11), (Stamkos, Corburn)

Vasilevskiy and Tyler Johnson were the game's first and third stars.

This wasn't the Lightning's sharpest game. Their passing was off, and that contributed to a decisive possession advantage for Carolina. I'd attribute some of the flatness to the fact they were playing in front of a crowd of about twelve people, if the wide shot from the corner of the stands was any indication. Truly embarrassing when you put out a scene that makes Sunrise look bustling. I also thought the refs called a pretty slanted game, to be honest. One power play all game for Tampa Bay? Does anyone really believe the Canes played their game as pure as the driven snow? I don't. Sometimes you have to manufacture a win and that's what the Lightning did tonight. Good goaltending. Blocked a ton of shots. Strong penalty killing and cashed on the only PP they got. Took advantage at the end of periods to sneak a couple of goals. You don't want to make a steady diet of it, but good teams ride the details to wins even when they don't have their A game.

The Lightning close the first ten game segment of the year with an amazing 17 points, meaning they have 5 insurance points in the bank already. Enjoy it tonight... then flush it, because segment two starts tomorrow morning. It's a what-have-you-done-for-me lately business. Twelve in ten? Do it again.

Yanni Gourde had 1 shot and 1 blocked shot in 17:38 and was 25% on 8 draws. Hit two posts in succession just before Johnson opened the scoring on the PP in the First Period.

Jake Dotchin had 1 assist and was +1 with 1 blocked shot in 17:36. The minutes creeping up is a good thing.

Mikhail Sergachev had a goal and was +1 with 5 shots, 2 hits, and 1 blocked shot in 14:23. He's just falling into points right now.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

Juniors Game Night: 10-22-17

Quebec Major Junior Hockey League

Halifax Mooseheads 0 @ Victoriaville Tigres 2

C/W Otto Somppi, HAL: 0-0-0, -1, 2 PIM, 1 SOG, 13/25 FO
Season Totals: 6 GP, 4-5-9, +12, 6 PIM
’16-’17 Totals: 60 GP, 17-24-41, -7, 28 PIM

Tristan Cote-Cazenave (2018) stopped 34 shots for the Tigres, defeating the Mooseheads, 2-0. It was his first career shutout.

Ontario Hockey League

Guelph Storm 4 @ Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds 7

W Boris Katchouk, SSM: 2-0-2, +1, 0 PIM, 6 SOG, *Third Star*
Season Totals: 13 GP, 13-5-18, +9, 4 PIM
’16-’17 Season: 66 GP, 35-29-64, +18, 46 PIM

Katchouk added two more goals to his total for the year, giving him 13 in 13 games. Nate Schnarr (Coyotes) had an assist for Guelph.

Barrie Colts 4 @ Oshawa Generals 0

W Alexey Lipanov, BAR: 2-0-2, +1, 0 PIM, 2 SOG, 4/14 FO, *First Star*
Season Totals: 11 GP, 4-10-14, +6, 0 PIM
‘16-‘17 Totals (VHL-Russia): 21 GP, 3-5-8, +5, 8 PIM

Lipanov (photo by Zilkowski Photography via Barrie Colts) scored twice in the third period to extend a 2-0 lead into a 4-0 comfortable win. One of the goals was scored on the power play. The Colts will need Lipanov to step up over the next few weeks as they’re without 2018 super prospect Andrei Svechnikov.

Peterborough Petes 2 @ Saginaw Spirit 3

W/C Christopher Paquette, PBO: 0-0-0, -2, 2 PIM, 1 SOG
Season Totals: 8 GP, 4-1-5, -5, 4 PIM
’16-‘17 Totals (NIA/PBO): 66 GP, 19-29-48, +1, 28 PIM

Paquette was held off the scoresheet Sunday in the Petes’ 3-2 loss in Saginaw to Mitchell Stephens’ former team.

Owen Sound Attack 3 @ Erie Otters 4

W Taylor Raddysh, Erie: 1-1-2, +1, 0 PIM, 4 SOG, *Third Star*
Season Totals: 11 GP, 4-13-17, +7, 10 PIM
‘16-‘17 Totals: 58 GP, 42-66-108, +67, 37 PIM

Raddysh extended his point streak to six games with a 1+1 night against the Attack. He has 11 points in his point streak with nine coming in the last four games.

United States Hockey League

Fargo Force 4 @ Omaha Lancers 1

D Nicklaus Perbix, OMA: 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 4 SOG
Season Totals: 7 GP, 0-4-4, E, 2 PIM
’16-‘17 Totals (High School): 25 GP, 10-30-40, 6 PIM
Committed to: St. Cloud State University

Fargo completed a weekend sweep of the Lancers in Omaha with a 4-1 win Sunday.

USHL Note: Sam Walker, a Minnesota commit, is playing high school hockey this season for Team Southwest. He has 12 goals and 16 assists for 28 points in 12 games.

NHL Game Night: 10-21-17 Penguins at Lightning

This feels different.

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Andrei Vasilevskiy allowed just 1 goal on 29 shots for the victory. He's been lights out all season, but lately he's been putting together the stats to match. Really want to terrify an opposing NHL GM? Remind them Vasiy's only 23 years old. You're welcome.

First Period
1:36 TB Kucherov (9), (Hedman, Stamkos)(PP)
14:16 TB Stamkos (3), (Namestnikov, Kucherov)(PP)
19:59 TB Gourde (1), (Coburn, Point)

Second Period
0:30 TB Point (4), (Palat, Gourde)
5:58 TB Stralman (1), (Sergachev)
7:12 TB Kucherov (10), (Stamkos, Killorn)

Third Period
10:32 TB Sergachev (3), (Stamkos, Namestnikov)(PP)
18:18 PIT Guentzel (3), (Rust, Letang)(PP)

Steven Stamkos, Vasilevskiy, and Nikita Kucherov were the game's three stars.

I wasn't able to watch the game, so rather than comment on the particulars of this game I want to frame the performance of these first nine games of the campaign and offer some overall perspective.

The Tampa Bay Lightning missed the playoffs by one point last season partly because of injuries, partly because of a bizarre goaltending situation, but probably most of all because the team just didn't seem to have the maturity to approach every game with the necessary urgency. After several years of success, the club seemed to think its bona fides alone were necessary to win hockey games, often discarding good habits and taking shortcuts on the way to being dead last in the Eastern Conference in February before a late season charge nearly punched their postseason ticket. Fresh off that disappointment the Lightning rebuilt their leadership council this season with Stamkos and Ryan Callahan returning from injury and Dan Girardi and Chris Kunitz added into the mix in free agency. Still, through the first two games against the Florida Panthers, this team didn't look like it had learned its lesson as it headed into a games against league royalty like Washington and Pittsburgh that looked like colossal landmines on the schedule.

Seven games later the Lightning are 7-1-1-0. This feels different.

I'm not going to sit here and tell you tonight's drubbing of the defending Stanley Cup champions alone means the Lightning are ready to hoist the hardware themselves. Certainly, an objective observer will point out Antti Niemi hasn't exactly cloaked himself in glory in either of his encounters with the Lightning this year. But, with wins against a bevy of other quality opponents and a team that seems to have found a steely eyed determination and cold blooded professional, it's hard not to consider the Lightning as one of the early season contenders from the East. The only times I've seen this from the Lightning were the second half of the '03-'04 season when that team followed their leadership council of Dave Andreychuk and Tim Taylor all the way to a Stanley Cup, and the 2011 playoff run where Vincent Lecavalier and Martin St. Louis applied what they had learned from that run and came within an eyelash of winning it all before going down in Game Seven of the Eastern Conference Finals to Boston. The current Lightning core never quite seemed to have the maturity and experience to fully grasp the level of intensity it takes to really and truly be great in all three zones day in and day out. Close, at times? Sure. But, it took the embarrassment of last season and the realization they've probably reached about the midpoint of their Stanley Cup window to get to this point. Now, they look like a team willing (and fully able) to do what it takes. This feels different, and I like it.

Slater Koekkoek had 1 hit in 11:15.

Yanni Gourde had 1 goal, 1 assist, and was +2 with 2 penalty minutes and 4 shots. He was also 33% on 9 draws. It was just a matter of time. If he's putting up 4 shots a night, he's a 20 goal scorer this year, I think.

Gabriel Dumont had 2 shots and 2 hits in 12:18. He was also 38% on 13 draws.

Jake Dotchin was +2 with 2 penalty minutes, 1 shot, and 3 hits in 12:52.

Mikhail Sergachev had 1 goal and 1 assist and was +1 with 1 shot and 2 hits in 16:56. Now we're getting close to the workload I think he needs to get to for the Lightning to really hit the higher end of some of its season's goals. When you're in a game that has nearly 40 minutes of garbage time, clearly there's no better time to let a young horse like Sergachev get plenty of reps. He did well with them, I see.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

AHL Game Night: 10-21-17 Thunderbirds at Crunch

Crunch finally break through with a big win.

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Connor Ingram allowed 1 goal on 23 shots for the victory. He played well in relief against the Devils and followed it up with another solid effort.

1st
17:45 SYR McGinn (2), (Conacher, Lynch)

Second Period
14:44 SYR Akeson (1), (Erne)

Third Period
3:19 SYR Bournival (2), (Erne, Masin)
4:42 SPR Valk (1), (Hawryluk, Wittchow)(PP)
19:57 SYR Bournival (3), (Lynch, Cirelli)(EN)

Ingram, Jason Akeson, and Adam Erne were the game's three stars.

After a healthy dose of one goal losses, the Crunch finally picked themselves off the mat against the 0-6-0 Thunderbirds. Is the win impressive given the quality of opponent? Who cares. It was necessary, and the team got it.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

NCAA Game Night: 10-21-17

Vermont Catamounts 2 @ Michigan Wolverines 3

C Ross Colton, UVM: 0-0-0, -1, 0 PIM, 4 SOG
Season Totals: 6 GP, 5-0-5, -4, 4 PIM
’16-‘17 Totals: 33 GP, 12-15-27, E, 22 PIM

Michigan swept the Catamounts this weekend with a 3-2 win Saturday to go with a win Friday at Yost. The Wolverines got two third period goals to erase a 2-1 deficit. Both goals were scored by San Diego native Jake Slaker (undrafted), the latter of which came with less than a minute to go in regulation.

No. 7 Boston University Terriers 6 @ Connecticut Huskies 3

D John MacLeod, BU: 0-1-1, E, 2 PIM
Season Totals: 3 GP, 0-1-1, E, 4 PIM
’17-’18 Totals Totals: 36 GP, 2-5-7, +8, 30 PIM

MacLeod registered his first point of his senior season with an assist on BU’s second goal.

No. 19 UMass-Lowell River Hawks 5 @ St. Lawrence Saints 0

C Ryan Lohin, UML: 0-3-3, +2, 0 PIM, 1 SOG
Season Totals: 6 GP, 0-8-8, +3, 4 PIM
’16-‘17 Totals: 41 GP, 12-17-29, +10, 14 PIM

Lohin had three assists Saturday to give him five for the weekend. Finnish goaltender Christoffer Hernberg (undrafted) stopped 27 shots for the shutout.

Arizona State Sun Devils 4 @ Nebraska-Omaha Mavericks 4

D Kristian Oldham, UNO: Tie, 32 saves on 36 shots (backup)
Season Totals: 1 GP, 0-0-1, 3.69 GAA, .889 sv%, 0 SO
’16-‘17 Totals: 10 GP, 5-3-1, 3.38 GAA, .895 sv%, 0 SO

Oldham made his season debut for UNO, making 32 saves in a 4-4 tie against visiting Arizona State. The sophomore got in 10 games as a freshman last year.

No. 8 Minnesota Golden Gophers 0 @ No. 4 North Dakota Fighting Hawks 4

D Ryan Zuhlsdorf, UMN: 0-0-0, -1, 0 PIM, 1 SOG
Season Totals: 6 GP, 0-3-3, +1, 18 PIM
’16-‘17 Totals: 37 GP, 2-3-5, +11, 35 PIM

UND avenged a Friday night loss to the Gophers with a shutout win Saturday on the back of Cam Johnson (undrafted), who made 22 stops.

*USCHO poll used for rankings

Juniors Game Night: 10-21-17

Quebec Major Junior Hockey League

Halifax Mooseheads 3 @ Sherbrooke Phoenix 1

C/W Otto Somppi, HAL: 0-0-0, +1, 0 PIM, 2 SOG, 13/20 FO
Season Totals: 4 GP, 4-5-9, +12, 2 PIM
’16-’17 Totals: 60 GP, 17-24-41, -7, 28 PIM

Former Montreal camper Maxime Fortier scored twice to lead the Mooseheads over the Phoenix.

Ontario Hockey League

Sarnia Sting 7 @ Barrie Colts 2

W Alexey Lipanov, BAR: 1-0-1, E, 0 PIM, 1 SOG, 8/17 FO
Season Totals: 11 GP, 4-10-14, +6, 0 PIM
‘16-‘17 Totals (VHL-Russia): 21 GP, 3-5-8, +5, 8 PIM

Barrie lost their first game without star forward Andrei Svechnikov (2018). Lipanov will be counted on for extra offense in Svechnikov’s absence. Svechnikov is expected to be out up to eight weeks.

Peterborough Petes 3 @ Flint Firebirds 7

W/C Christopher Paquette, PBO: 0-0-0, -3, 0 PIM, 5 SOG
Season Totals: 6 GP, 4-1-5, -1, 0 PIM
’16-‘17 Totals (NIA/PBO): 66 GP, 19-29-48, +1, 28 PIM

Flint took it to the Petes, winning 7-3 Saturday.

Owen Sound Attack 4 @ Erie Otters 6

W Taylor Raddysh, Erie: 0-3-3, +1, 0 PIM, 2 SOG
Season Totals: 10 GP, 3-12-15, +4, 10 PIM
‘16-‘17 Totals: 58 GP, 42-66-108, +67, 37 PIM

Raddysh had three assists Saturday, including two primary helpers. Erie has won two in a row after a 2-6-1 start.

Western Hockey League

Western Hockey League

Portland Winterhawks 2 @ Kelowna Rockets 7

D Cal Foote, KEL: 1-1-2, +2, 0 PIM, 7 SOG
Season Totals: 12 GP, 3-8-11, +3, 10 PIM
‘15-‘16 Totals: 71 GP, 6-51-57, +39, 41 PIM

Kelowna exacted some revenge on Portland after a couple losses to the Winterhawks recently.

Saskatoon Blades 3 @ Prince Albert Raiders 4 (OT)

D Libor Hajek, SAS: 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 2 SOG
Season Totals: 10 GP, 3-4-7, -8, 12 PIM
’16-‘17 Totals: 61 GP: 4-22-26, -17, 86 PIM

Kelly Parker (Ottawa free agent signee) had two goals for the Raiders.

Moose Jaw Warriors 3 @ Seattle Thunderbirds 1

C Brett Howden, MJ: 0-0-0, +1, 0 PIM, 5 SOG, 13/20 FO
Season Totals: 10 GP, 4-8-12, E, 14 PIM
’16-‘17 Totals: 58 GP, 38-43-81, +14, 73 PIM

D Oleg Sosunov, MJ: 0-0-0, E, 2 PIM, 2 SOG
Season Totals: 12 GP, 4-0-4, +11, 22 PIM
’16-‘17 Totals: 58 GP, 38-43-81, +14, 73 PIM

Moose Jaw won its second in a row on the road, defeating the T-Birds in Seattle, 3-1.

Saskatoon Blades 3 @ Prince Albert Raiders 4 (OT)

D Libor Hajek, SAS: 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 2 SOG
Season Totals: 10 GP, 3-4-7, -8, 12 PIM
’16-‘17 Totals: 61 GP: 4-22-26, -17, 86 PIM

Kelly Parker (Ottawa free agent signee) had two goals for the Raiders.

United States Hockey League

Fargo Force 5 @ Omaha Lancers 2

D Nicklaus Perbix, OMA: 0-0-0, -1, 0 PIM, 0 SOG
Season Totals: 6 GP, 0-4-4, E, 0 PIM
’16-‘17 Totals (High School): 25 GP, 10-30-40, 6 PIM
Committed to: St. Cloud State University

Fargo scored three times in the third period to break open a tie game.

USHL Note: Sam Walker, a Minnesota commit, is playing high school hockey this season for Team Southwest. He has 12 goals and 16 assists for 28 points in 12 games.

Crunch Thump Winless Thunderbirds


By Jeremy Houghtaling

Syracuse Crunch head coach Benoit Groulx believes his team took a big step forward.

The Crunch created significantly more scoring chances and held the Thunderbirds off the board until the third period, as Syracuse beat winless Springfield 4-1 at the Onondaga County War Memorial Saturday.

“I thought tonight was pretty good. We were a second effort hockey club,” Groulx said. “Many blocked shots by many different players. They’re driving the net. That demands a second effort. I thought we played well in the three zones and we moved the puck quick.

“They had a push late in the game, but overall I thought we controlled that game pretty well.”

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