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NHL Game Night: 12-23-17 Wild at Lightning

Despite looking like a dental procedure, the Lightning head into the holiday break with a big win.

MIN-0
TB-3

Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped all 22 shots he faced to give all of us the gift of holiday kittens. Enjoy.

First Period
NO SCORING

Second Period
NO SCORING

Third Period
17:18 TB Girardi (2), (Point)
18:10 TB Johnson (9), (Dotchin)
19:07 TB Kucherov (24), (Namestnikov, Girardi)(EN)

Vasilevskiy, Dan Girardi, and Tyler Johnson were the game's three stars. How in the blue hell Brayden Point didn't get a star for hand delivering the GWG is beyond me.

I wouldn't want to have to sit through too many more games like that, but tonight's victory was a positive from the standpoint that it showed the Lightning are capable of winning another style of game. The Lightning had complete control of the contest for the opening ten minutes of the First Period when the penalty bug bit them. The subsequent 50 or so minutes of hockey was an unending cacophony of special teams play as both teams paraded en masse to the penalty box. Did it make the game aesthetically displeasing? Sure. Did it make more than a few fans want to choke the refs? Probably. The good news is the struggling Lightning PK managed to blank six Wild power plays to get well after some disastrous play against the likes of Las Vegas in the last week. And, after a night that sometimes resembled a root canal a la the game against Ottawa when the team also couldn't hit the net to save their lives, Girardi's tap in goal off the excellent feed from Point may have been a floodgates moment that ends that particular malady less than six periods after it began. Good.

Tampa Bay heads into the holiday break with 54 points in 35 games. They need just four points in the next five games to clinch another successful 10-game segment of the season and if they can manage six of the next 10 points they'll be a full segment ahead of minimum pace to make the playoffs. Impressive.

Yanni Gourde had 1 shot in 13:02 and was also 36% on 11 draws.

Jake Dotchin had a helper and was +1 with 5 hits and 1 blocked shot in 17:11. Big rebound from a subpar Ottawa performance.

Mikhail Sergachev had 2 penalty minutes, 5 shots, and 1 blocked shot in 15:20. He was all over the offensive zone like a rash at times.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

AHL Game Night: 12-23-17 Comets at Crunch

Crunch goalscoring runs dry against rival Utica.

UTI-2
SYR-1

Louis Domingue allowed 2 goals on 25 shots for the hard luck loss.

First Period
NO SCORING

Second Period
0:54 UTI Chaput (9), (Molino, Wiercioch)
5:16 SYR Condra (4), (Peca, Verhaeghe)
16:54 UTI Molino (2), (Cassels)

Third Period
NO SCORING

Domingue was the game's second star.

After scoring eight against Belleville, it's crazy the Crunch offense ran aground tonight. They almost went shotless in the First Period, ultimately being awarded just one shot on frame in the opening 20 minutes, and things just never got rolling from there beyond the obligatory 15 shot score-effects effort in the Third Period.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

2018 IIHF World Junior Championship: 12-22-17

2018 IIHF World Junior Championship

Canada 8 vs Switzerland 1 (Pre-Tournament Exhibition)

F Taylor Raddysh , CAN: 0-0-0
Tournament Totals: ---

F Boris Katchouk, CAN: 0-1-1
Tournament Totals: ---

F Brett Howden , CAN: 0-0-0
Tournament Totals: ---

D Cal Foote, CAN: 0-0-0
Tournament Totals: ---

Canada completed its two-game WJC pre-tournament exhibition with an 8-1 victory over the Swiss squad at the FirstOntario Centre in Hamilton, Ont. Dillon Dube (CGY, 2016 2nd round pick) and current WHL goal-scoring leader Tyler Steenbergen (ARI, 2017 5th round pick) paced the Canadians with each a pair of goals. Current OHL points leader Jordan Kyrou (STL, 2016 2nd round pick) scored and added a couple of assists, as Canada pelted the Swiss goalie tandem of Philip Wuthrich (undrafted) and Matteo Ritz (undrafted) with a staggering 61 shots. Canada’s stifling defense allowed a total of just 7 shots for the entire game. Katchouk was the lone Bolt prospect to hit the scoreboard, assisting on a Jake Bean (CAR, 2016 1st round pick) marker in the 2nd period. The Canadians got out to a 3-0 lead before Guillaume Maillard (undrafted) scored for the Swiss. Canada opens tournament play on Boxing Day against the Finnish team the 2018 WJC tournament site in Buffalo, NY.

Libor Hajek made the Czech Republic WJC team, and opens against the Russian squad as the first game on Boxing Day. Bolt prospect Alexey Lipanov is currently with the Russian team in Buffalo, expecting to announce their final roster on Dec 23rd. If Lipanov makes the final roster cut, that will make six total Bolt prospects across three different teams participating in the 2018 World Junior Championship.

AHL Game Night: 12-22-17 Crunch at Senators

The Crunch get a visit from the snowman with the merlot hat. Not purple. Merlot.

SYR-8
BEL-2

Louis Domingue allowed 2 goals on 29 shots for the win. Goal support!

First Period
3:39 BEL White (5), (Werek)
5:42 SYR Masin (5), (Peca, Verhaeghe)
11:27 SYR Bournival (9), (Volkov, Condra)
15:22 SYR Condra (3), (Joseph, Cirelli)
15:59 SYR Bodie (3), (Peca, Volkov)

Second Period
3:34 SYR Stephens (6), (Bournival, Volkov)
11:56 SYR Joseph (6), (Masin, Condra)
14:27 BEL Murray (4), (Reinhart, Blunden)(PP)
17:41 SYR Peca (6), (Verhaeghe, McBain)(PP)

Third Period
13:22 SYR Bodie (4), (Verhaeghe, Joseph)(PP)

Matthew Peca, Erik Condra, and Mat Bodie were he game's three stars. Condra returned to the lineup and the Crunch were clearly a little spicy from their loss on Wednesday against Laval. Eight goals later they surely feel a little satisfaction.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

NHL Game Night: 12-21-17 Senators at Lightning

Lightning get two points they earned the hard way.

OTT-3
TB-4 (SO)

Andrei Vasilevskiy allowed 3 goals on 21 shots before denying booth shooters he faced for the SO win. Puck luck bit him with the own goal by Girardi and the double deflection on the Brassard goal.

First Period
6:31 OTT Ryan (4), (unassisted)

Second Period
11:59 TB Johnson (9), (Kucherov, Hedman)
14:34 OTT Ceci (5), (Brassard, Claesson)
15:40 TB Gourde (11), (Conacher, Killorn)

Third Period
5:59 OTT Brassard (9), (Karlsson, Stone)(PP)

Overtime
NO SCORING

Shootout
OTT- NONE
TB- Point, Stamkos

Victor Hedman and Nikita Kucherov were the game's first and third stars.

The score doesn't reflect the degree to which the Lightning dominated MOST of the game. The opening 20 minutes were pretty fractured and saw a lot of the same breakout issues and turnovers that plagued the team over the prior four periods of hockey between Colorado and Las Vegas. They got pretty unlucky on the Girardi own goal, but honestly they probably deserved to be down after that opening frame. From there, the team really took off the remaining 40 minutes of regulation and had total control of OT. The finishing wasn't there tonight, but they outchanced Ottawa by a roughly 2:1 margin by the time the contest was over. In a perfect world they'd have wrapped it up in regulation, but ultimately the two points are the thing.

The Lightning have 6 games remaining in this 10-game segment of the season to collect 6 more points to make it a successful one. Good spot to be.

Yanni Gourde had a goal and was +1 with 2 penalty minutes, 3 shots, and 1 hit in 12:52. Really went to the high traffic areas hard tonight and got rewarded.

Jake Dotchin had 2 penalty minutes, 3 hits, and 1 blocked shot in 18:42. Not going to lie: he was simply not good tonight. Some pretty heinous turnovers. Maybe that's a product of the flu bug, but that wasn't pretty.

Mikhail Sergachev had 1 shot in 20:38. Seems like he's spiking up over 20 minutes quite a bit lately, which is good to see.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

AHL Game Night: 12-20-17 Crunch at Rocket

Rocket score 3 unanswered to pull away from Crunch.

SYR-2
LAV-5

Louis Domingue allowed 4 goals on 24 shots for the loss.

First Period
0:28 LAV Cracknell (5), (Terry, Scherbak)
17:06 SYR Peca (5), (McBain, Thomas)(PP)

Second Period
5:46 LAV Scherbak (4), (Taormina, Terry)(PP)
15:55 SYR Joseph (5), (Verhaeghe)
16:45 LAV Cracknell (6), (Terry, Scherbak)

Third Period
7:00 LAV Lernout (1), (Cracknell)
14:08 LAV Terry (14), (Lernout)(EN)

Box score from TheAHL.com.

2018 IIHF World Junior Championship: 12-20-17

2018 IIHF World Junior Championship

Canada 9 @ Czech Republic 0 (Pre-Tournament Exhibition)

F Taylor Raddysh , CAN: 2-2-4
Tournament Totals: ---

F Boris Katchouk, CAN: 1-0-1
Tournament Totals: ---

F Brett Howden , CAN: 0-1-1
Tournament Totals: ---

D Cal Foote, CAN: 1-0-1
Tournament Totals: ---

D Libor Hajek, CZE: 0-0-0
Tournament Totals: ---

Canada’s World Juniors team got its pre-tournament exhibition schedule underway against the Czech Republic WJC team with a 9-0 victory. Taylor Raddysh led the offense with two goals and four points, and Carter Hart (PHI, 2016 2nd round pick) pitched an 18-shot shutout. The Canadians got goals from eight players including Boris Katchouk and Cal Foote, with Brett Howden assisting on Foote’s goal. Robert Thomas (STL, 2017 1st round pick) added a goal and three assists for the Canadians. Libor Hajek, like the rest of the Czech team, was held scoreless in the exhibition match at the Budweiser Gardens in London, Ontario. Canada plays one more exhibition match against the Swiss WJC team Friday in Hamilton, Ontario before beginning tournament play on Boxing Day against the Finnish team at the tournament site in Buffalo, NY.

Crunch's Masin Adding More Offense in Second Pro Season


By Jeremy Houghtaling

Dominik Masin is seeing quite an increase in point production in his second pro season.

The defenseman recorded nine points — more than he had all of last season — during the Syracuse Crunch's 10 game win streak from Nov. 22 to Dec. 15.

Not the flashiest player, Masin has focused on making simple plays and getting the puck on net.

"We've been scoring a lot and I'm happy that I can help the team with some points," Masin said. "I don't know, I guess I've been a little lucky too."

Juniors Game Night: 12-19-17

Minnesota State High School League

Edina Hornets 5 @ Cretin-Derham Hall Raiders 2

F Sammy Walker, EDN: 1-1-2, 0 PIM, 1 SOG
Season Totals (HS): 8 GP, 9-13-22, 4 PIM
Season Totals (USHL): 4 GP, 0-0-0, -3, 4 PIM
’16-‘17 Totals (HS): 25 GP, 22-24-46, 6 PIM
’16-‘17 Totals (USHL): 4 GP, 0-0-0, -3, 6 PIM
Committed to: University of Minnesota

Walker scored and added a power play assist as the Hornets used a three-goal 2nd period to make the difference in a road win at Highland Arena in St. Paul against the Raiders of Cretin-Derham Hall.

I failed to post the results of Edina’s 10-7 win against Elk River last Friday night, the second game of a three-in-three for the Hornets at the Edina Classic tournament, in which Walker exploded for five goals and six points. Forward Jack Perbix, brother of Bolt Prospect Nick Perbix, had three assists for the Elks in that game. The younger Perbix is 2018 draft eligible and a Notre Dame commit, was a 1st round pick by the Green Bay Gamblers in the 2016 USHL Futures Draft. Edina’s next game is Boxing Day (Dec 26th) against the Minnetonka Skippers.

NHL Game Night: 12-19-17 Lightning at Golden Knights

Lightning come up snake eyes in first trip to Sin City.

TB-3
LV-4

Andrei Vasilevskiy allowed 4 goals on 36 shots for the loss. He was, in my mind, uncharacteristically average tonight in a game where the team in front of him really needed the bail out.

First Period
7:43 TB Stamkos (13), (Hedman, Kucherov)(PP)
19:13 TB Namestnikov (14), (Kucherov, Hedman)(PP)

Second Period
10:07 LV Neal (17), (Perron, Theodore)(PP)
18:21 LV Marchessault (12), (Perron, Theodore)(PP)

Third Period
4:42 LV Haula (13), (Theodore, Perron)(PP)
16:08 TB Hedman (4), (Stamkos)
19:57 LV Theodore (2), (Marchessault, Haula)(PP)

Whether tonight was because of a flu big running through the team, which led to Tyler Johnson and Jake Dotchin being late scratches, or a couple of long nights on The Strip, that was the Lightning's worst effort since the debacle in Boston. That they had any opportunity at all to steal a point after Fleury's gift of a soft goal at all was mildly remarkable. The team just played a very lightweight game. Soft passes and over-stickhandling leading to a bevy of turnovers coming out of their own end and they just didn't have the puck enough to merit a victory. How they managed 38 shots on Fleury I have no clue because it seemed like they barely had the puck and what little they did they were either turning it over, icing it, or chipping it up the boards just to relieve the pressure.

With that said, awfully ticky tack call on Coburn that led to the GWG. Gallant had a minor hissy fit on a prior call on Engelland that was an absolutely appropriate call and he was rewarded with the make up whistle. In the grand scheme, the Lightning probably deserved the result they got, but in that moment that call was mildly atrocious.

Slater Koekkoek had 2 penalty minutes, 2 shots, 1 hit, and 1 blocked shot in 8:50. Didn't have a great First Period. Didn't seem to see the ice much thereafter.

Yanni Gourde had 1 blocked shot and was 44% on 9 draws in 21:33.

Mikhail Sergachev had 2 penalty minutes, 3 shots, and 1 hit in 14:11. If he's ill, that's a fair excuse, but he was brutal tonight coming out of his own end. His turnover that led to his penalty that led to Vegas' third goal would've gotten a lot of rookies benched (if not demoted). There's a line where confidence with the puck bleeds over into utter stupidity. Sergachev leapt over that boundary a few times tonight.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

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