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Juniors Game Night: 11-6-15

Quebec Major Junior Hockey League

Saint John Sea Dogs 2 @ Drummondville Voltigeurs 3

W Bokondji Imama, SJ: 0-0-0, E, 2 PIM, 0 SOG, 3 Hits
Season totals: 15 GP, 3-4-7, -2, 25 PIM
2013-2014 Season: 59 GP, 13-15-28, +2, 137 PIM

W Mathieu Joseph, SJ: 0-0-0, E, 2 PIM, 2 SOG, 3 Hits
Season totals: 16 GP, 7-7-14, +6, 17 PIM
2013-2014 Season: 59 GP, 21-21-42, +18, 46 PIM

Saint John got a goal with 30 seconds remaining in regulation, but couldn’t complete a comeback in Drummondville.

Quebec Remparts 2 @ Shawinigan Cataractes 8

W Dennis Yan, SHAW: 0-1-1, E, 2 PIM, 1 SOG, 1 Hit
Season totals: 15 GP, 16-13-29, +7, 21 PIM
2014-2015 Season: 59 GP, 33-31-64, +23, 71 PIM

Yan extended his point streak to 12 games with a late assist Friday.

Ontario Hockey League

Hamilton Bulldogs 3 @ Oshawa Generals 6

C Anthony Cirelli, OSH: Did not play
Season totals: 17 GP, 5-10-15, -4, 7 PIM
2014-15 totals: 68 GP, 13-23-36, +34, 22 PIM

Cirelli is day-to-day with an injury.

Peterborough Petes 2 @ Erie Otters 7

D Dominik Masin, PBO: 0-0-0, -2, 0 PIM, 3 SOG
Season totals: 16 GP, 0-3-3, +12, 18 PIM
2014-15 totals: 48 GP, 7-19-26, -13, 68 PIM

D Matt Spencer, PBO: 0-0-0, -2, 0 PIM, 2 SOG
Season totals: 17 GP, 2-3-5, -3, 19 PIM
2014-15 totals: 67 GP, 6-24-30, -15, 64 PIM

The Petes have lost seven of their last eight games and one has to wonder how long Jody Hull keeps his job. Alex DeBrincat (2016) had a hat trik and two assists, and Coyotes prospect Dylan Strome had two goals and three assists for the Otters.

Western Hockey League

Moose Jaw Warriors 7 @ Saskatoon Blades 4

C Brayden Point, MJ: 1-1-2, +1, 2 PIM, 4 SOG, *First Star*
Season totals: 15 GP, 13-21-34, +10, 6 PIM
2014-15 totals: 60 GP, 38-49-87, +6, 46 PIM

Point was first star as Moose Jaw toppled the Blades in Saskatoon, 7-4.

Kamloops Blazers 1 @ Vancouver Giants 2

D Ben Thomas, VAN: 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM
Season totals: 17 GP, 0-5-5, -13, 10 PIM
With Vancouver: 4 GP, 0-2-2, -3, 2 PIM
With Calgary: 13 GP, 0-3-3, -10, 8 PIM
2014-15 totals: 60 GP, 7-24-31, +16, 28 PIM

Vancouver outshot the visiting Blazers, 32-21, but could only beat Connor Ingram (undrafted) once.

United States Hockey League

Omaha Lancers 4 @ Sioux City Musketeers 2

G Kris Oldham, OMA: Win, 26 saves on 28 shots
Season totals: 7 GP, 5-1-1, 2.30 GAA, .926 sv%
2014-15 totals: 33 GP, 21-6-4, 2.49 GAA, .908 sv%, 1 SO
(University of Nebraska-Omaha commit)

D Ryan Zuhlsdorf, SC: 0-0-0, -1, 0 PIM, 2 SOG
Season totals: 13 GP, 0-11-11, -1, 20 PIM
2014-15 totals: 56 GP, 3-19-22, +25, 58 PIM
(University of Minnesota commit)

Oldham (pictured) and the Lancers got the better of Zuhlsdorf and the Musketeers Friday, 4-2. Sioux City scored their second goal with 20 seconds left in regulation and the game well in hand for Omaha. Zuhlsdorf had his five-game point streak snapped.

Crunch Battle Back Twice, But Fall to Devils

By Jeremy Houghtaling

Rob Zettler summed it up in just a few words: very frustrating.

The Crunch battled back from a pair of deficits but the Devils’ third period goal proved to be the difference, as Syracuse fell to Albany, 4-3, at the Onondaga County War Memorial Friday.

“I think it was frustrating for our players,” the Crunch head coach said. “I thought the guys played hard. It wasn’t a beautiful game by any stretch, but the guys played hard, they battled, and came back from 2-0 and 3-2. Then we had a turnover in front of our net with seven or eight minutes left and it’s in the back of the net. It is what it is.”

The Crunch’s Jonathan Marchessault and Yanni Gourde each finished with a goal and an assist. Nikita Nesterov rounded out the scoring, Tanner Richard added a pair of helpers, and Anthony DeAngelo and Joel Vermin each had one assist.

AHL Game Night: 11-6-15 Devils at Crunch

Crunch comeback dissolves into Third Period disappointment.


Kristers Gudlevskis allowed 4 goals on 25 shots for the loss. That's not exactly the kind of triumphant return one might've hoped for in Gudlevskis first action back from Tampa Bay. Then again, some rust due to inaction was probably inevitable.

First Period
ALB Thomson, (2) (Scarlett), 16:40

Second Period
ALB Blandisi, (3) (Lorito, Sislo), 1:41 (PP)
SYR Gourde, (2) (Marchessault, Richard), 11:41
SYR Nesterov, (1) (DeAngelo, Vermin), 17:45 (PP)

Third Period
ALB Blandisi, (4) (Lorito, Sislo), 4:03 (PP)
SYR Marchessault, (4) (Gourde, Richard), 8:21
ALB Kujawinski, (2) (Mozik, McKelvie), 14:38

Yanni Gourde and Mike Blunden were the game's second and third stars.

It's a shame the Crunch spend all game crawling out of their initial 2 goal deficit only to relent the winner after getting the even footing for the second time in the game. Nikita Nesterov paid instant dividends in his return to the club by potting a power play goal that was the first equalizer toward the end of the Second Period. That's good news. Nesterov's regressed a bit early this year in Tampa Bay due to lack of action and a loss of confidence. Getting the chance to get more minutes, especially on the power play, is a good way for Nikita to get his swagger back. In the mean time, I'd expect a recall on the blueline to Tampa Bay for tomorrow's game against Minnesota (Slater Koekkoek?).

Box score from

NCAA Game Night: 11-6-15

Northeastern Huskies 4 @ No. 11 Boston University Terriers 5

D John MacLeod, BU: 0-0-0, -2, 2 PIM, 0 SOG
Season totals: 6 GP, 1-0-1, +1, 8 PIM
2014-2015 totals: 37 GP, 2-7-9, +19, 58 PIM

John Macleod was back in the BU lineup after being a healthy scratch last Saturday.

Minnesota State Mavericks 4 @ Ferris State Bulldogs 7

W Jimmy Mullin, MSU: Did not play
Season totals: 7 GP, 1-0-1, -4, 0 PIM
2013-2014 totals (Miami): 19 GP, 1-6-7, 23 PIM

Mullin missed his second straight game due to injury. He took a hard hit to the head in his last game.

*USCHO poll used

Juniors Game Night: 11-5-15

Ontario Hockey League

Windsor Spitfires 4 @ Niagara IceDogs 5

W Cristiano DiGiacinto, WSR: 1-2-3, E, 2 PIM, 2 SOG, *Third Star*
Season totals: 17 GP, 7-11-18, +6, 23 PIM
2014-15 totals: 63 GP, 21-24-45, -16, 100 PIM

The Spitfires, No. 10 in the most recent CHL Top-10 rankings, lost by a goal in St. Catherines. DiGiacinto had his first three-point game since last November against Saginaw. It was his fourth career game with three or more points.

North Bay Battalion 5 @ Peterborough Petes 3

D Dominik Masin, PBO: 0-0-0, E, 2 PIM, 2 SOG
Season totals: 15 GP, 0-3-3, +14, 18 PIM
2014-15 totals: 48 GP, 7-19-26, -13, 68 PIM

D Matt Spencer, PBO: 0-0-0, -1, 9 PIM, 0 SOG
Season totals: 16 GP, 2-3-5, -1, 19 PIM
2014-15 totals: 67 GP, 6-24-30, -15, 64 PIM

The Petes have now lost six of their last seven games. Matt Spencer got an instigator and fighting major shortly after Peterborough cut North Bay’s lead to 4-2 mid-way through the third period. He also received a misconduct.

NHL Game Night: 11-5-15 Lightning at Sabres

Lightning crush Sabres against the run of play.


Andrei Vasilevskiy allowed 1 goal on 31 shots for the victory. I still don't think he's 100% up to NHL speed following the puck, but there were a couple of times in this game you could see his quickness and technical proficiency with his angles really got into Buffalo's shooters' heads. They were cutting it fine because they felt they had to against the big Russian mountain.

First Period
5:55 TB Stamkos (7), (Filppula, Palat)
11:35 TB Johnson (2), (Killorn, Kucherov)
18:20 TB Kucherov (5), (Namestnikov, Coburn)

Second Period
4:21 BUF Eichel (5), (Weber, Ennis)

Third Period
19:30 TB Hedman (1), (Sustr)(SH)

Vasilevskiy and Nikita Kucherov were the game's first and second stars.

Hockey's a funny sport. The Lightning played a much better game against Detroit last time out and couldn't find the payoff for the chances they manufactured with their hard work. Tonight, I felt they got outworked and they definitely got outchanced and outshot, on balance, by Buffalo. The Sabres had their forecheck really working on the Lightning in the first 40 minutes, but when the Lightning were able to break that pressure and come out of their zone, they were able to catch Buffalo on 3-on-2's on the counter. The skill players did the rest to build the 3-0 lead. They probably didn't deserve to have that big of a margin, but considering how snake bitten they've been offensively, I'm not going to complain about it. They were definitely guilty of playing down to their opponent and even more guilty of taking their foot off the gas once they got up 3-0. But, to their credit, they really tightened up defensively in the Third Period to quell the Buffalo uprising and deliver the W.

With the win, the Lightning have 6 points through 6 games of this 10 game segment of the season. A win against Minnesota would be tremendous if they can get it next time out.

Nikita Nesterov was +1 with 2 hits and 2 blocked shots in 15:40. The stat line looks OK, but I think the tape will reveal Nesterov didn't cloak himself in glory tonight. He looked like the physically overmatched young blueliner that struggled in his rookie pro season of North American hockey tonight, taking some big hits and getting overwhelmed physically, rather than the offensive juggernaut he was in his sophomore pro campaign. Not his finest hour.

Box score and extended statistics from

Karjala Tournament Game Day: 11-5-15

Finland 2 vs. Russia 1
Nikita Gusev, Russia, 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 2 SOG
Tournament totals: 1 GP, 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM

Vasily Koshechkin, Russia, DNP
Tournament totals: 0 GP, 0-0-0, 0 SO, 0.00 GAA, 1.000 sv%

Ex-Blackhawks pick Petri Kontiola had a Third Period PP goal that broke a 1-1 tie and lifted Finland to a 2-1 victory over Russia in their opening match of the Karjala Tournament. Ex-NHLer Ilya Kovalchuk had Russia's lone goal. Lightning prospect Nikita Gusev lined up at 4th line left wing for Russia and Vasily Koshechkin served as the club's backup netminder.

Juniors Game Night: 11-4-15

Quebec Major Junior Hockey League

Saint John Sea Dogs 3 @ Sherbrooke Phoenix 2 (OT)

W Bokondji Imama, SJ: 0-1-1, E, 0 PIM, 1 SOG, 2 Hits
Season totals: 14 GP, 3-4-7, -2, 23 PIM
2013-2014 Season: 59 GP, 13-15-28, +2, 137 PIM

W Mathieu Joseph, SJ: 0-0-0, E, 2 PIM, 4 SOG, 0 Hits
Season totals: 15 GP, 7-7-14, +6, 15 PIM
2013-2014 Season: 59 GP, 21-21-42, +18, 46 PIM

The Sea Dogs rode into Sherbrooke and beat the Phoenix, 3-2, in overtime. Lightning prospect Mathieu Joseph was named a late addition to Team QMJHL for the upcoming CHL Canada-Russia series.

Acadie-Bathurst Titan 4 @ Shawinigan Cataractes 6

W Dennis Yan, SHAW: 1-1-2, -1, 0 PIM, 5 SOG, 0 Hits
Season totals: 14 GP, 16-12-28, +7, 19 PIM
2014-2015 Season: 59 GP, 33-31-64, +23, 71 PIM

Yan has at least a goal in 10 of his 14 games so far this season. He is currently riding an 11-game point streak.

Western Hockey League

Victoria Royals 5 @ Moose Jaw Warriors 2

C Brayden Point, MJ: 0-2-2, +1, 0 PIM
Season totals: 14 GP, 12-20-32, +9, 4 PIM
2014-15 totals: 60 GP, 38-49-87, +6, 46 PIM

The Royals outshot Moose Jaw, 31-19, en route to a big road win in Saskatchewan. Point, who was just named the WHL Player of the Month for September-October, is on a 4-game point streak, his third such streak of the season. Point does not have a game so far this year where he has only recorded one point; he has two no-point games, seven 2-point games, two 3-point games, and three 4-point games. The Lightning already have him under contract for next year when he turns pro.

The Bolt Prospects Podcast, Volume 41

This week's “Mike Smith Edition” of the Bolt Prospects Podcast (also available on Lightning Power Play, Lightning Radio's iHeart station) includes the following topics:

· The No. 41
· Internal, slump-busting changes ahead for Lightning?
· No changes? What are we protecting?
· 4 TB players elevating their games, but 1 stands out and he’s on the verge of stardom
· Interview with Syracuse’s Joel Vermin

Vermin Making Strides With Crunch

By Jeremy Houghtaling

Joel Vermin has continued to evolve as a player.

In his second full season in North America, the Syracuse Crunch forward is finding a way to harness his speed and skill, as well as making a habit of going to the hard areas of the ice. The 23-year-old has registered one goal and three assists in the first eight games with Syracuse this season, and is steadily improving many facets of his game.

“I feel really comfortable, I feel really good on the ice,” Vermin said. “I think I’ve made a big step forward from last year. I hope it keeps going like that.”

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