Kingston Frontenacs 2 @ Belleville Bulls 3 (OT)
RW Kyle DeCoste, BEL: 2-0-2, +1, 0 PIM, *First Star*
Season Totals: 34 GP, 12-8-20, -2, 35 PIM
With Bulls: 21 GP, 10-7-17, E, 15 PIM
With SSM: 13 GP, 2-1-3, -2, 20 PIM
A big night for DeCoste (pictured), who scored the game tying goal midway through the third period on the power play, then won it in overtime when he charged the net and slid the puck through the goalieâ€™s legs.
Peterborough Petes 3 @ Barrie Colts 6
LW/C Alex Hutchings, BAR: 1-1-2, E, 4 PIM (holding, holding the stick), *Third Star*
Season Totals: 37 GP, 25-23-48, +27, 32 PIM
Barrie got back in the win column after having their 22-game win streak snapped this week by scoring five times in the third period against the Petes. Both of Hutchingsâ€™ points came on the power play.
Regina Pats 4 @ Lethbridge Hurricanes 2
RW Carter Ashton, REG: 2-0-2, +1, 0 PIM, *First Star*
Season Totals: 37 GP, 16-17-33, -12, 69 PIM
With Regina: 9 GP, 3-4-7, -4, 17 PIM
With Lethbridge: 28 GP, 13-13-26, -8, 52 PIM
Ashton helped Regina erase a 2-0 deficit in the game and end the clubâ€™s nine-game winless streak. This was his first two-goal game since October 25 when he was with Lethbridge.
Alabama-Huntsville Chargers 3 @ Vermont Catamounts 4
C/W Matt Marshall , UVM: 0-0-0, E, 2 PIM (contact to head/cross-check), 3 SOG
Season Totals: 17 GP, 1-1-2, -3, 8 PIM
Vermont (9-6-2) is 5-1-1 in its last six games, and may sneak back into the next USCHO Top-20.
No.10 Bemidji State Beavers 0 @ Western Michigan Broncos 0
D Luke Witkowski , WMU: 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 2 SOG
Season Totals: 17 GP, 1-3-4, -9, 20 PIM
A good showing for WMU (6-9-3), who won the shootout 2-1. Witkowski, a freshman, is third on the team in penalty minutes. His minus-9 rating ranks last.
Finland 2 vs. USA 6 (Quarterfinals)
W Matias Sointu, FIN: 0-1-1, E, 0 PIM, 3 SOG
Sointu assisted on Finland's second goal when a rebound of his shot was stuffed home to cut the USA lead to 4-2. USA added an empty netter moments later, then a late tally 5-on-5 to give the game it's final score. Sointu received good ice time in the game and showed solid speed, creating a few scoring chances. Finland will now play for fifth place on Monday vs. Russia.
Slovakia 3 vs. Austria 2 (Relegation Round)
C/W Richard Panik, SLO: 1-0-1, E, 2 PIM (tripping), 9 SOG
Panik scored his sixth goal of the tournament as Slovakia survived a major upset scare from the Austrians. Panik has 19 shots in his last two games. Austria had finished the preliminary round 0-4 with a minus-23 goal differential. Slovakia will play the Czechs on Monday.
Janus loses a squeaker in his return to the Admirals.
Jaroslav Janus allowed 3 goals on 33 shots for the loss. Interesting factoid: Janus makes three members of the Admirals from the mean streets of Presov, Slovakia (Mihalik and Simek).
ADK Matsumoto, (15) (Laliberte, Nodl), 5:09
NOR Simek, (8) (Wishart, Syroczynski), 17:04 (PP)
ADK Nodl, (4) (Mormina, Laliberte), 19:59
NOR Simek, (9) (Smolenak, Krajicek), 8:15
ADK Legein, (16) (Curry, Mormina), 9:44 (PP)
Juraj Simek was named the game's second star.
In 19 games since returning to Norfolk from his recall to Tampa, Ryan Craig has just 3 goals. With Brandon Bochenski now up with the Lightning, it's going to be critical for Craig, along with other guys like Radek Smolenak, to step up. On a similar note, don't you wish the Lightning's more touted prospects all were playing as well as an unheralded guy like Juraj Simek?
Box score from TheAHL.com.
The Lightning start 2010 with a signature victory.
Mike Smith allowed just 1 goal on 26 shots for the win. He got the benefit of three posts and the goal he allowed was off a bad rebound, but who cares? Just win, baby.
TB 1:03, St. Louis 9 (Ohlund, Stamkos)
PIT 17:15, Guerin 13 (Staal, McKee)
TB 14:26, Konopka 2 (Downie, Stamkos)
TB 7:11, Downie 8 (Ohlund, Lecavalier)
So the Lightning reach the halfway point of the season at 16-15-10, 1 game over .500 with 42 points in the standings. They're now just a single point out of eighth in the East and they currently sit alone in 9th place pending the outcome of Atlanta's game against the Isles tonight.
Want to win a city over? Tomorrow is the Bucs last game of the season. The Rays don't start Spring Training up for a little while. The Lightning are about to have the stage to themselves and they went out and thumped the defending Stanley Cup champs in front of a crowd of 20,000+ in a very entertaining style of game. That's a signature victory and a good way to pull the partisans in for the second half. The Lightning will need the support, because they'll need to crank it up even more in the second half to make the postseason. I suspect it'll take 92-94 points to get in. Right now they're on a pace for 84. No rest for the wicked.
It's been like a breath of fresh air since Jones was recalled and Krajicek was sent down and the roster finally took, more or less, the shape I think most of us expected it to at the start of the season (sans, of course, Paul Ranger). Having the youthful physicality of guys like Jones and Matt Smaby (+1 with 3 hits tonight and didn't mind telling Ruslan Fedotenko what to do with himself at one point during the game) has started to give the Lightning the personalty it was lacking for the first third of the season. I'm fine with it being a young team and I'm fine with there being a few more mistakes, because I think having some more jam and some more hustle helps light a fire under the whole team. This is going to be an exciting second half to watch unfold. I don't think we're going to be talking about lottery position come March this year.
Zenon Konopka had a goal and 2 penalty minutes to go along with 2 shots, 1 hit, and a 57% faceoff percentage in 8:31. Game winning goal! Konopka will graduate from overage prospect status on Bolt Prospects in his next game. It's hard not to love the guy.
Paul Szczechura had 4 shots, 1 hit, 2 blocked shots, and he was 22% on draws. The turning point of the game, in my opinion, was a second period penalty kill where Szczechura's group was on for the full two minutes and Paul was forced to play without a stick. He showed incredible athleticism to stay in passsing and shooting lanes and he actually got his feet on a couple of Penguins attempts. I think you could see the Lightning's energy level go to 11 after they killed that penalty off, and Konopka scored the winner shortly thereafter.
James Wright was -1 in 6:13. He will graduate from prospect status here on Bolt Prospects in his next game.
Blair Jones had 3 shots and 1 hit in 13:13. The goals are going to come. He could've had one in the third period on a rebound off a Szczechura slap shot, but Fleury was very quick to stop the bid. If he keeps getting 3-4 shots a game, though, they're going to start going in. He's got a very good shot. Ask the Admirals fans.
Victor Hedman was -1 with 1 hit in 22:37. Big Victor is 2 games away from graduation here on Bolt Prospects. In other words, expect the new Midterm Rankings soon.