We continue our Bolt Prospect of the Week award, an honor (virtually) given to one Tampa Bay Lightning prospect for their recent contributions on and off the ice.
The Prospect of the Week for February 25, 2014 is … Kristers Gudlevskis, G, Team Latvia (IIHF).
Kristers Gudlevskis cemented his place as our Bolt Prospect of the Week about halfway through the second period of Latvia’s Olympic quarterfinal game against the eventual Gold medalist, Canada.
When a goalie is “on,” he is said to be “standing on his head.” Gudlevskis was running a marathon on his head while juggling rusty chainsaws. His 55-save performance in a 2-1 loss was the talk of the latter half of the Olympics and the Lightning’s 2013 fifth round pick provided Canada its biggest scare of the medal round. Canadiens’ All-Star goalie Carey Price, who opposed Gudlevskis in net for Team Canada, called Gudlevskis’ performance the best he’d ever seen.
Compliments don’t come better than that.
Ontario Hockey League
Barrie Colts 5 @ Sudbury Wolves 3
D Jake Dotchin, BAR: 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM
Season totals: 53 GP, 9-21-30, +21, 105 PIM
2012-13 totals: 66 GP, 4-18-22, E, 81 PIM
Dotchin has slowed down statistically recently, notching only one assist in his last seven games. With two wins over the division-leading Wolves this weekend, the Colts pulled within four points of Sudbury and three of North Bay.
Kingston Frontenacs 2 @ Oshawa Generals 7
W Henri Ikonen, KGN: 1-0-1, -3, 0 PIM
Season totals: 43 GP, 19-38-57, +13, 37 PIM
2012-13 totals: 61 GP, 22-29-51, +2, 30 PIM
Ikonen scored his 19th of the season, albeit in a loss to the Gens, who got a hat trick from Flyers prospect Scott Laughton.
Sarnia Sting 2 @ Windsor Spitfires 6
D Slater Koekkoek, WSR: 0-1-1, E, 0 PIM
Season totals: 57 GP, 15-37-51, +45, 36 PIM
2012-13 totals: 42 GP, 6-23-29, -24, 28 PIM
Koekkoek had a light night with one assist as the Spits beat up on last-place Sarnia, 6-2.
After a tough overtime loss on Friday, Syracuse Crunch coach Rob Zettler decided to shake up his lines.
The newly formed trio of Richard Panik, Vlad Namestnikov and Dana Tyrell found instant chemistry. The trio combined for four points Saturday, and added nine points in a 5-2 win over the Hershey Bears in the AHL Showcase at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C. Sunday.
Syracuse, which finished the weekend with five points in three games to break a recent slump, has won back-to-back games for the first time since mid-January. For Zettler, the effort has been there, but the team hasn't seen the rewards.
"Tonight I thought, from start to finish, it might have been our best hockey game," Zettler said. "The work ethic, the smarts, how to play it. It was just really good overall."
When Panik Attacks...
Cedrick Desjardins allowed 2 goals on 26 shots for the victory.
SYR Namestnikov, (15) (Panik, Tyrell), 19:22
HER Taffe, (15) (Stoa, Brouillette), 1:57 (PP)
SYR Panik, (2) (Tyrell, Namestnikov), 6:16
SYR Angelidis, (9) (Labrie, Landry), 10:32
HER Deschamps, (12) (Kolomatis, Wellman), 17:30
SYR Tyrell, (7) (Panik), 9:01
SYR DiSalvatore, (8) (Connolly, Panik), 16:38 (PP)
Richard Panik and Dana Tyrell were the game's first and second stars. The Lightning organization has been waiting 4 and a half months for Richard Panik to wake up. With 1 goal and 3 assists tonight, the young Slovakian winger may very well have finally answered the bell. Beyond that, the Crunch got contributions from all their key prospects including Namestnikov and Connolly, leading to back-to-back pastings of Hershey.
Unfortunately, it's likely too little too late for Syracuse this season. Even with the wins over the past couple of games, the team is still a full 15 points out of 8th in the Eastern Conference. With that said, though, getting back to .500 for the season and playing the role of the conference's most feared spoiler heading into the playoffs is definitely a reasonable objective for this group to achieve, and it would set them up well for a comeback next season.
Box score from TheAHL.com.
Fort Wayne Komets 3 @ Florida Everblades 1
W Danick Gauthier, FLA: 0-0-0, -2, 2 PIM, 2 SOG
Season totals: 25 GP, 4-9-13, +1, 49 PIM
D Jordan Henry (AHL Contract), FLA: Did not play
Season totals: 26 GP, 8-13-21, +9, 33 PIM
W Carl Nielsen (AHL Contract), FLA: 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 0 SOG
Season totals: 35 GP, 3-5-8, -11, 49 PIM
Florida tried to come back from a 3-0 deficit entering the third period, and scored on one of their 18 shots in the final frame, but the Komets held on for the win.