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CHL Game Night: 10-5-18

Quebec Major Junior Hockey League

Charlottetown Islanders 3 @ Baie-Comeau Drakkar 8

C/W Gabriel Fortier, BC: 1-1-2, +3, 0 PIM, 2 SOG, 8/13 FO, 0 Hits, *Second Star*
Season Totals: 7 GP, 4-7-11, +10, 7 PIM
17-18 Totals: 66 GP, 26-33-59, -11, 59 PIM

Yaroslav Alexeyev (undrafted) had his second hat trick in three games for the Drakkar, and Fortier added a goal and an assist as Baie-Comeau defeated Charlottetown, 8-3. Pierre-Olivier Joseph (Coyotes) had a goal and a helper for the Islanders. Alexeyev has nine goals already this season to lead the league. Four of the top five point-getters in the Q so far play for the Drakkar. Fortier is No. 5.

Rimouski Oceanic 4 @ Drummondville Voltigeurs 1

D Radim Salda, RIM: Did not play
17-18 Totals (SJ): 62 GP, 10-31-41, -37, 78 PIM

The Salda watch continues. According to Mikael Lalancette of TVA Sports, Salda still hasn’t received his international release to play.

Ontario Hockey League

Saginaw Spirit 4 @ Kitchener Rangers 3 (OT)

C Alexey Lipanov, KIT: Did not play
17-18 Totals (BAR, SBY): 55 GP, 14-25-39, -14, 10 PIM

Lipanov did not suite up for his new team, Kitchener, on Friday night. He was sent back to juniors earlier in the week by AHL Syracuse and traded by Sudbury to the Rangers shortly thereafter. Sudbury is 5-2 this year so far after struggling last year, while Kitchener “fell” to 3-0-1 after Friday’s OT loss. Lipanov is in Kitchener, but like Salda, has to wait on paperwork to be completed, which can take a while.

CHL Game Night: 10-3-18

Charlottetown Islanders 2 @ Rimouski Oceanic 4

D Radim Salda, RIM: Did not play
17-18 Totals (SJ): 62 GP, 10-31-41, -37, 78 PIM

Salda remains out of the Oceanic lineup though he is still listed with the club. He was with Saint John last year. Pierre-Olivier Joseph (Coyotes), captain of the Islanders and brother of Lightning rookie Mathieu Joseph, had an assist for Charlottetown in the game.

Lightning Set Opening Night Roster: Four Prospects Make Squad

Tampa Bay trimmed down their training camp roster to twenty-four on Sunday, and with forward Ryan Callahan expected to start the season on injured reserved, this should be the team's final cuts. Four Bolt prospects, all forwards, will start the 2018-19 campaign with the big club, including camp standouts Adam Erne and Mathieu Joseph. Joining those two include Anthony Cirelli and Danick Martel, the latter being a waiver wire claim during camp by the Lightning. Cirelli was an in-season call up from the Crunch during the 2017-18 season, and played 18 regular season games and 17 playoff games for the Lightning totaling seven goals and seven assists in those 25 contests. Erne has played 49 NHL games over the past two seasons for the Bolts, while Martel notched four games for the Flyers last season.

Forwards Alexander Volkov and Mitchell Stephens, along with defenseman Erik Cernak were the team's final three cuts, and all had very strong camps in their own rights. They were reassigned to the Syracuse Crunch and are expected to play pivotal roles for Tampa Bay's top minor league affiliate.

The Lightning open the 2018-19 season at home on October 6 against the Florida Panthers.

CHL Game Night: 9-29-18

Quebec Major Junior Hockey League

Baie-Comeau Drakkar 3 @ Blainville-Boisbriand Armada 4 (SO)

C/W Gabriel Fortier, BC: 0-1-1, +1, 0 PIM, 3 SOG, 9/19 FO, 5 Hits
Season Totals: 5 GP, 3-5-8, +9, 7 PIM
17-18 Totals: 66 GP, 26-33-59, -11, 59 PIM

Yaroslav Alexeyev (undrafted) had a hat trick for the Drakkar, but the Armada prevailed in the skills competition. Fortier added an assist to his season totals. He did not participate in the shootout.

Rouyn-Noranda Huskies 5 @ Rimouski Oceanic 2

D Radim Salda, RIM: Did not play
17-18 Totals (SJ): 62 GP, 10-31-41, -37, 78 PIM

Nikita Kucherov's last QMJHL team completed a 2-game sweep of Rimouski with a 5-2 win Saturday. Salda is still waiting to make his Oceanic debut. As of last weekend he had yet to receive his international release to play this season. He was with Saint John last year.

NHL Preseason Game Night: 9-29-18 Lightning at Panthers

Heck, even the preseason Governor's Cup is ours, too.


Andrei Vasilevskiy allowed 2 goals on 33 shots for the victory. The final tune up before live fire went well.

First Period
11:00 FLA Huberdeau (1), (Hoffman)
12:01 TB Conacher (1), (Martel)

Second Period
8:49 FLA Hoffman (1), (Barkov)(PP)

Third Period
6:31 TB Joseph (1), (unassisted)
13:11 TB Miller (1), (Sergachev, Stamkos)

J.T. Miller was the game's first star.

Torturing the Panthers is a pleasure in every season.

Now the Lightning will turn their attention to finalizing their roster. Adding more intrigue into the scenario are the impacts of injuries to Tyler Johnson and the recovering Ryan Callahan, which may allow a few more bubble players like Cory Conacher and/or Alexander Volkov to slip through to opening night. Regardless, it looks like Mathieu Joseph is in after scoring a key tying goal in tonight's encounter as the icing on the cake to his Orlando performance.

Joseph had a goal and was +1 with 3 shots and 1 hit in 15:07.

Danick Martel had a helper and was +1 with 2 shots, 1 hit, and 1 blocked shot in 13:21.

Anthony Cirelli had 2 shots and 2 blocked shots in 15:05 and he was 40% on 15 draws.

Volkov had 1 shot and 1 hit in 16:48.

Box score and extended statistics from

J20 Superlit Gamedays: 9-14-18 through 9-29-18

Catching up on the goaltending adventures of Magnus Chrona...

Skelleftea J20 4 vs. AIK J20 3 (SO)
Magnus Chrona, Skellfea J20, SOW, 39/42, .929 sv%
Season totals: 1 GP, 1-0-0, 0 SO, 2.77 GAA, .929 sv%

Chrona was impressive in the season opener, helping Skellfetea overcome a 28-42 shot deficit to win their debut game. Chrona also stopped 4 of 5 in the penalty shot session to secure the SOW.

Skelleftea J20 2 vs. AIK J20 8
Magnus Chrona, Skelleftea J20, DNP
Season totals: 1 GP, 1-0-0, 0 SO, 2.77 GAA, .929 sv%

Starter Elias Moberg was shelled to the tune of 8 goals on 35 shots in Skelleftea's 8-2 loss to AIK.

Skelleftea J20 1 vs. Djurgardens J20 7
Magnus Chrona, Skelleftea J20, LOSS, 26/33, 7.00 GAA, .788 sv%
Season totals: 2 GP, 1-1-0, 0 SO, 4.80 GAA, .867 sv%

It was Chrona's turn to take a shelling as he allowed all 7 goals in their 7-1 shellacking at the hands of Djurgardens.

Mora J20 1 vs. Skelleftea J20 2 (SO)
Magnus Chrona, Skelleftea, SOW, 30/31, 0.92 GAA, .968 sv%
Season totals: 3 GP, 2-1-0, 0 SO, 3.47 GAA, .896 sv%

Chrona rebounded with a strong 30 save performance that included stopping 5 of 6 in the penalty shot session to help Skellftea secure their second SOW of the young campaign.

Mora J20 4 vs. Skelleftea J20 5
Magnus Chrona, Skelleftea J20, DNP
Season totals: 3 GP, 2-1-0, 0 SO, 3.47 GAA, .896 sv%

Starter Oscar Darnell held off a late rally by Mora J20, which came from three goals down to get the false hope goal in their eventual 5-4 loss. The match was Skelleftea's first regulation win of the season.

Leksands J20 4 vs. Skelleftea J20 3 (OT)
Magnus Chrona, Skellftea J20, OTL, 32/36, 3.90 GAA, .889 sv%
Season totals: 4 GP, 2-2-0, 0 SO, 3.58 GAA, .894 sv%

Dennis Finn-Olsson scored 1:37 into OT to help Leksands complete a two goal comeback and trip up Skellftea 4-3.

Lulea J20 8 vs. Skelleftea J20 3
Magnus Chrona, Skelleftea J20, DNP
Season totals: 4 GP, 2-2-0, 0 SO, 3.58 GAA, .894 sv%

Elias Moberg took his second shelling of the season allowing 8 goals on 32 shots in Skellftea's 8-3 loss to Lulea.

Skelleftea J20 heads into Sunday's matches in 8th in the 10 team J20 Superelit northern division.

CHL Game Night: 9-28-18

Quebec Major Junior Hockey League

Baie-Comeau Drakkar 3 @ Gatineau Olympiques 2

C/W Gabriel Fortier, BC: 0-1-1, +2, 0 PIM, 2 SOG, 6/16 FO
Season Totals: 4 GP, 3-4-7, +8, 7 PIM
17-18 Totals: 66 GP, 26-33-59, -11, 59 PIM

Fortier set up the eventual game-winner with his fourth assist in four games to help the Drakkar to a 3-2 win in Gatineau. He had a goal and two helpers Wednesday in a 9-3 win over Shawinigan.

Rouyn-Noranda Huskies 5 @ Rimouski Oceanic 1

D Radim Salda, RIM: Did not play
17-18 Totals (SJ): 62 GP, 10-31-41, -37, 78 PIM

Salda is still waiting to make his Oceanic debut. As of last weekend he had yet to receive his international release to play this season. He was with Saint John last year.

NHL Preseason Game Night: 9-27-18 Panthers at Lightning

Mathieu Joseph drops the mic in Orlando.


Louis Domingue allowed 2 goals on 38 shots for the victory. He's quietly had a really strong preseason and has just generally played really well since the Lightning acquired him.

First Period
4:50 TB Hedman (1), (Point, Gourde)
6:27 FLA Lammikko (1), (Ekblad)
19:53 TB Cirelli (1), (Hedman, Joseph)

Second Period
3:40 TB Gourde (1), (Point)

Third Period
2:09 FLA Vatrano (1), (Brouwer, Borgstrom)
10:16 TB Joseph (1), (Sergachev, Killorn)(PP)
11:16 TB Volkov (1), (Cirelli, Killorn)
15:05 TB Joseph (2), (Miller, Stamkos)

Heading into this game I handicapped it as a three horse race to fill the final roster spot in Tampa Bay. Mathieu Joseph may have pulled three lengths ahead tonight. I already thought he had taken a slight lead heading down the stretch, but two goals and a helper in crunch time likely cannot be ignored.

Box score from

NHL Preseason Game Night: 9-25-18 Panthers at Lightning

Lightning blow the "worst lead in hockey."


Andrei Vasilevskiy allowed 3 goals on 28 shots for the loss.

First Period

Second Period
4:17 TB Erne (1), (Joseph, Miller)(PP)
10:15 TB Killorn (1), (Stamkos, Miller)

Third Period
2:16 FLA Dadonov (1), (Pysyk)
7:03 FLA Ekblad (1), (Sceviour, MacKenzie)(SH)
12:31 FLA Barkov (1), (Dadonov, Bjugstad)

Brayden Point was the game's second star.

Things looked to be going well with the Lightning up two goals going into the final frame in a game with a lot of front line players from both clubs. It's concerning to cough up that lead and to give up a shorty, especially given that special teams has been a bit of a smoldering disaster thus far in the preseason. Practices will fix that last problem, but you can see some ragged edges as the process moves along to the opener.

Coming into this game, I really felt like this roster was nearly complete with three players fighting for one roster spot with two players fighting for another spot. I believe Adam Erne, who keeps scoring goals, has made the team and that the Lightning are unlikely to carry both Cory Conacher and Danick Martel, who are somewhat similar players in at least a superficial way, on the roster. Given the Lightning had to take the step of claiming Martel off waivers, you'd presume he has a slight edge on the more tenured Conacher. Those two will fight over a single spot, if I'm right the Lightning won't carry both and will try to fish the other through waivers down to Syracuse.

That leaves the final spot on the roster, and I handicap that as a three player race between Erik Cernak, Mathieu Joseph, and Alexander Volkov. If the Lightning decide to carry eight defensemen, Cernak makes the team, period, full stop. A lot of that probably depends on the team's confidence in Sergachev's switch to the right side and their confidence that Slater Koekkoek is finally ready to be more of a contributor to the team (yes, I'm assuming the waiver-eligible Koekkoek will make the club). Most teams don't carry 8 defensemen, but the Lightning have been one of the few teams that regularly have and there is, of course, Jon Cooper's proclivity to dress seven defensemen. Whether he makes the team on opening night or not, expect Cernak to see significant time in Tampa Bay over the course of the season, as he's clearly separated himself as the number eight on the depth chart.

If they go to a more conventional seven defensemen on the roster, though, it comes down to Joseph and Volkov, each of which have the DNA to be contributing complimentary wingers. Joseph's speed and forechecking would be a big plus to the lower lines. Volkov is perhaps a more complete 200 foot player (but only slightly so, Joseph's no slouch) and has a blink-quick release. Either player would be a nice weapon on the roster, but I honestly think the Lightning's style and the overall trend of the league perhaps favors a Joseph promotion.

In my opinion. All speculative, but that seems to me to be the one remaining twist we might see in the final shaping of the roster.

Joseph had a helper and 2 hits in 15:15.

Koekkoek had a shot, a hit, and a blocked shot in 11:59.

Martel had a shot and a blocked shot in 12:23.

Mitchell Stephens had 2 penalty minutes, 2 hits, and 1 blocked shot in 13:02. He was also 44% on 16 draws.

Anthony Cirelli was -1 with 2 shots, 3 hits, and 1 blocked shot in 16:04. He was also 67% on 15 draws.

Adam Erne had a goal and was -1 with 2 shots and 1 hit in 14:24.

Cernak had 2 penalty minutes 4 shots, 2 hits, and 1 blocked shot in 17:18.

Box score and extended statistics from

Bolt Prospects Litter USCHO Division I NCAA Hockey Poll

The first USCHO NCAA Division I Men's Hockey Poll for the 2018-19 season was released today containing the pre-season rankings of the Top 20 hockey teams in the country. Six Lightning NCAA prospects are represented on five of the Top-20 rosters. Four of those six prospects will make the leap from high school and USHL hockey to the collegiate ranks this season.

The University of Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs headlines the list at #1, whose roster includes left-winger and Lightning 2018 6th round draft pick Cole Koepke. Defenseman Nick Perbix, drafted in the 6th round of the 2017 draft, will suit up for the #6 ranked St. Cloud State Huskies. Nipping at the heels of the Huskies at #7 is 2018 4th round pick Alex Green, who returns to the Cornell Big Red blueline for his sophomore campaign. The University of Denver Pioneers checks in at #9 on the pre-season rankings with center Cole Guttman, a Tampa Bay 2017 6th round pick, hoping to put an injury-marred 2017-18 season behind him. Finally, the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers received a lucky #13 ranking by the USCHO with a pair of Bolt prospects sporting the Gopher lineup for the upcoming season. The elder statesman of Lightning NCAA prospects is defenseman Ryan Zuhlsdorf, a 5th round pick in 2015 by the Lightning, will return for his sophomore tour, alongside the reigning Minnesota Mr. Hockey and 2017 7th round selection center Sammy Walker, who making his collegiate debut.

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