ECHL All-Stars 8 at Orlando Solar Bears 4
F Danick Gauthier, WIC: 1-0-1, +2, 0 PIM, 3 SOG
The ECHL All-Stars doubled up host team Orlando Solar Bears 8-4 Wednesday night in the ECHL's mid-season all-star classic. Solar Bear netminder Garret Sparks pitched a 12-save 1st period shutout of the ECHL All-Stars as Orlando took a 1-0 lead into the first intermission. But Tampa Bay Lightning forward prospect Danick Gauthier solved Sparks early in the 2nd period, opening the All-Star team scoring by sliding a left post pass from Kalamazoo's Curtis Valk through the pads for the 1-1 equalizer. The All-Stars would ring up 4 more in the 2nd and 3 more in the 3rd. Gauthier was also on the ice for the All-Stars fourth and fifth goals. This was the 3rd year of the All-Star format featuring the league's all-star selections in an exhibition match against the host team.
We continue our Bolt Prospect of the Week award, an honor (virtually) given to one Tampa Bay Lightning prospect for his recent contributions on and off the ice.
The Bolt Prospect of the Week for January 21, 2015 is … Kristers Gudlevskis, Syracuse Crunch (AHL – USA).
For Kristers Gudlevskis, every time he straps on the pads is a little bit different.
There has been no better example than the last two weeks. The Syracuse Crunch goalie allowed a pair of goals on nine shots and was pulled after the first period against Wilkes-Barre/Scranton January 10, but rebounded by making 47 saves on 49 shots in more than 97 minutes of ice time in a pair of appearances last weekend.
On a night of farcical officiating, Espo's Rule holds true.
Ben Bishop allowed 1 goal on 28 shots for the victory. He made a couple of really key saves on the PK that allowed the Lightning to keep the game even and eventually pull away with the win.
13:32 TB Filppula (9), (Stamkos, Callahan)
0:11 TB Killorn (10), (Hedman, Filppula)
4:16 TB Boyle (9), (Connolly, Morrow)
8:09 VAN Corrado (1), (Burrows, Higgins)
17:34 TB Killorn (11), (Paquette, Hedman)(EN)
Valtteri Filppula, Alex Killorn, and Jason Garrison were the game's three stars. I'm shocked to see that neither Paul Devorski or Dan O'Halloran got tapped for the honor, because they clearly are the ones people buy tickets and show up to see (or so they appeared to think so, tonight).
The last 40 minutes of that game were an abomination, officiating-wise, from start to finish. I think the refs got paid by the call tonight, because they made a slew of ticky tack bookings that ultimately chopped the game up and made it less enjoyable. When you sprinkle in an icing call on the Boyle goal that probably shouldn't have been waved off and a couple of bad calls resulting in Canucks 5-on-3 and 4-on-3 opportunities, neither side can feel good about their treatment by the zebras tonight. Everybody has a hard night on the job, but those two periods were just B-A-D for the zebras.
Ultimately, though, Espo's Rule held up. Espo's Rule, simply stated, is that the team that fails to convert a 5-on-3 nearly always loses. Vancouver had a pair of 5-on-3 opportunities in this game and thanks to Bishop's goaltending on the first and some Radim Vrbata lumberjack-ery on the second, the Lightning got the kills and won the game. It's a good thing, too, because they did zippo with the power play opportunities they had, making this a much closer game than it should've been given the possession advantage the team mostly enjoyed.
Cedric Paquette had a helper and 2 penalty minutes to go with 1 shot, 1 hit, and 4 blocked shots in 14:12. He was also 56% on draws and continues to be entrusted by Cooper when it comes to key shifts late in games.
Jonathan Drouin was -1 with 2 penalty minutes and 1 hit in 10:22.
Luke Witkowski had 2 blocked shots in 14:29 in his NHL debut. He wasn't terribly noticeable, which is a good thing for a rookie defenseman. If you did focus in on him, though, he did a good job of moving the puck quickly and not putting himself in bad positions where he'd have to make plays under duress. Smart man.
Nikita Nesterov had 2 shots and 2 hits in 13:39. He ended up having to be fitted for a full shield after taking a high stick.
All in all, between Witkowski, Nesterov, and Sustr, I thought this younger D-corps did well in their first sans-Carle, sans-Gudas test run. They held Vancouver to 1 goal and under 30 SOG's, and you can't complain to much about that result.
HPK 3 vs. KalPa 2 (OT)
Saku Salminen, HPK, 0-0-0, -1, 0 PIM, 3 SOG
Season totals: 28 GP, 3-3-6, -1, 2 PIM
Saku Salminen was -1 in 14:58 in HPK's 3-2 win over KalPa. Ex-Lightning pick Eero Somervuori assisted on the OT winner for HPK.
Ekaterinburg 1 vs. Magnitogorsk 2 (SO)
Vasily Koshechkin, Magnitogorsk, SO Win, 19/20, 0.94 GAA, .950 sv%
Season totals: 41 GP, 26-6-6, 4 SP, 1.74 GAA, .937 sv%
Vasily Koshechkin stopped both shooters he faced in the penalty shot session to help lift Magnitka to a 2-1 shootout victory over Ekaterinburg. Ex-Preds pick Denis Platonov assisted on Magnitogorsk's lone regulation goal.
Podolsk 3 vs. Khanty-Mansiysk 4 (OT)
Nikita Gusev, Khanty-Mansisyk, 2-0-2, E, 0 PIM, 3 SOG
Season totals: 44 GP, 18-10-28, +3, 12 PIM
Nikita Gusev had the Overtime winner and a First Period goal to help propel Yugra to a 4-3 win over Vityaz. Gusev played 14:29 in the match. Vityaz got 2 goals and 3 points from ex-Flyers pick Mario Kempe, brother of Kings first rounder Adrian Kempe.
Bratislava 4 vs. Dinamo Minsk 6
Jaroslav Janus, Bratislava, DNP
Season totals: 24 GP, 6-12-5, 2 SO, 2.93 GAA, .893 sv%
Zagreb 2 vs. Mytischi 3
Dmitry Korobov, Mytischi, 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 1 SOG
Season totals: 34 GP, 1-7-8, -1, 51 PIM
Dmitry Korobov was scoreless in 18:53 in Mytischi's 3-2 victory over Zagreb. Ex-Lightning defenseman Matt Gilroy had a goal for Mytischi and ex-Lightning forward James Wright also chipped in a goal in defeat for Zagreb.
Note that Nikita Gusev has been named to the KHL Eastern Conference squad for the upcoming KHL All-Star Game. Ex-Lightning properties Mike Lundin (Astana) and Matt Gilroy (Mytischi) are also set to play in the contest.