DeCoste (pictured) gets off the schnide ... Fadden makes his Tri-City debut ... First Star for Wright vs. Tyrell
That, folks, is what this Admirals team is supposed to look like this season.
Karri Ramo stopped 32 of 34 shots for the win.
RFD Brent, (3) (Pelletier, Kontiola), 6:34 (PP)
NOR Kearns, (1) (Smaby, Boyle), 1:49
NOR Smolenak, (5) (Simek, Hutchinson), 13:58 (PP)
RFD Davis, (2) (Brent, Hambly), 16:07 (PP)
NOR Boyle, (1) (Kearns, Szczechura), 16:22
NOR Hutchinson, (1) (Smith, Heward), 12:44 (PP)
NOR Konopka, (2) (Bochenski), 15:41
Bracken Kearns, Darren Boyle, and Karri Ramo were the game's three stars.
Finally, the Admirals power play (led by Hutchinson) does something, going 2/6. Also, they got some veteran scoring from Konopka and Bochenski and Ramo got a lead and held it. Oh yeah, and the team outshot Rockford 45-34. That's what this is supposed to look like.
The Admirals have dug a nice little hole for themselves, but this felt like a turning point, and they're going to be just six points out of fourth in the division at the end of the night.
Box score from TheAHL.com.
Chicoutimi Sagueneens 3 @ Lewiston MAINEiacs 4 (SO)
D Michael Ward, LEW: 1-0-1, +3, 4 PIM, 2 SOG, *Third Star*
Season totals: 18 GP, 3-6-9, +2, 26 PIM
Plymouth Whalers 4 @ Brampton Battalion 8
W Kyle DeCoste, BRA: 0-0-0, -2, 0 PIM
Season totals: DeCoste: 15 GP, 3-3-6, -7, 17 PIM
No games to report, but Iâ€™m looking forward to the Tri-City (Fadden) vs. Spokane (Tokarski) match-up on Saturday night. The game should be available to watch on WHL WebTV for $6.95. (livestream.whl.ca)
When this Lightning team learns to play 60 minutes with the same urgency and work rate they showed after falling behind in the third, they'll be pretty scary to deal with.
Mike Smith allowed 5 goals on 35 shots in the game. He also came a bit unhinged at the end of the game culminating in a physical confrontation with Aaron Voros. We'll have to see if he can shrug off that late game frustration and start with a clean slate next time out.
16:09 NYR Callahan (5), (Zherdev, Rozsival)(PP)
14:23 NYR Drury (3), (unassisted)(SH)
18:36 TB St. Louis (3), (Prospal, Malik)
00:35 NYR Drury (4), (Gomez, Redden)(PP)
07:58 TBL Malone (3), (Recchi, St. Louis)(PP)
08:27 NYR Staal (1), (Zherdev, Voros)
19:32 NYR Drury (5), (Kalinin, Rozsival)(PP)
Put aside the score of this game, and just compare how the team looked in Prague against this opponent and how they looked tonight. There's significant improvement pretty much across the board, but it's still a work in progress. To me, the way to get this thing to a finished product is to just start playing 60 minutes with urgency, because when this team moves its feet it has a lot of speed and a lot of size and the Rangers really looked overmatched at times in the third period when the Lightning were pressing to try and make a comeback.
Steven Stamkos was -1 in 14:29 with 2 shots, 2 hits, and he was 40% on draws. I don't know if Coach Melrose would try this, but in order to get Stamkos out in space through the neutral zone to use his speed, I wouldn't be opposed to spot shifting Lecavalier or St. Louis with the kid. You get the feeling watching Stammer that he's close, but he needs to find a running partner to work with who has the speed to play with him. I'd also try to make sure I got Ranger or one of the other d-men who are good at making that long stretch pass out when Stammer is out.