In yesterday's opener of the Channel One Cup, Russia got a third period power play marker from Sergey Vinoviev to defeat Sweden 4-3. Lightning prospect Johan Harju played on the second line for Team Sweden. Goaltender Vasily Koshechkin did not dress for the Russians.
London Knights 2 @ Windsor Spitfires 4
C Richard Panik, WSR: Did not play (WJC camp - Slovakia)
Season Totals: 33 GP, 9-9-18, +15, 19 PIM
Sudbury Wolves 3 @ Niagara IceDogs 1
LW Matais Sointu, SBY: 1-0-1, +1, 0 PIM
Season Totals: 29 GP, 5-8-13, +4, 12 PIM
With Sudbury: 8 GP, 2-1-3, -1, 6 PIM
With Ottawa: 21 GP, 3-7-10, +5, 6 PIM
Sointu (pictured) scored the game winning goal with just under eight minutes left in the third period to give the Wolves their fifth win in a row. Sointu is expected to join Team Finland for the World Junior Championships shortly. He has points in consecutive games and three of his past five.
We're on the road to nowhere.
Mike Smith allowed 3 goals on 22 shots for the loss.
DET 8:24, Miller 4 (Rafalski)
DET 6:48, Bertuzzi 9 (Holmstrom, Datsyuk)
DET 10:10, Eaves 4 (Lidstrom, Rafalski)
What I want for Christmas from the Lightning? Something to actually cheer for. It's been weeks since we've had that.
Zenon Konopka had a fight and was 63% on draws.
Paul Szczechura was -1 with 1 shot in 13:18.
James Wright was -1 in 7:25.
Blair Jones was -2 with 2 shots and 5 hits in 11:04.
Brampton Battalion 1 @ Belleville Bulls 4
RW Kyle DeCoste, BEL: 1-0-1, E, 2 PIM (tripping)
Season Totals: 31 GP, 11-8-19, -2, 33 PIM
With Bulls: 18 GP, 9-7-16, E, 13 PIM
With SSM: 13 GP, 2-1-3, -2, 20 PIM
DeCoste broke a mini two-game scoring slump with his 11th goal of the season. His goal tied the game at one in the second period. DeCoste had 15 goals last year split between Brampton (8) and Sault Ste. Marie (7). His nine goals with Belleville are the most heâ€™s scored for one team since scoring 10 in 66 games for Brampton in 2007-2008.
Regina Pats 1 @ Edmonton Oil Kings 3
RW Carter Ashton, REG: 0-1-1, -1, 4 PIM (tripping, roughing)
Season Totals: 31 GP, 14-15-29, -12, 60 PIM
With Regina: 4 GP, 1-2-3, -4, 8 PIM
With Lethbridge: 28 GP, 13-13-26, -8, 52 PIM
Regina has lost its last five games and has fallen to 10th in the Eastern Conference. The Oil Kings, led by former Lightning prospect Torrie Jungâ€™s 20 save, Third Star performance, pulled out of the Eastern Conference cellar into 11th with the win. Ashtonâ€™s old team, Lethbridge, sits in last.
Norfolk rises to the occassion in the biggest game of the season thus far.
Dustin Tokarski dropped a 26 save shutout on the Penguins in a division game the Admirals absolutely needed. It was Tokarski's second shutout of the season and he's lifted his record back above .500 at 9-8-0. More interesting, he's rebuilt his save percentage from the .894 sv% he had at the end of October, to the .908 sv% he had at the end of November, to now having a .917 sv% by virtue of a scintilating December where he has a .962 sv% and 1.00 GAA in three starts. He's passed battery-mate Riku Helenius who entered the month with a .917 sv% but has since dipped to a .904 sv% after a pair of tough starts in December.
NOR Parrish, (7) (Bochenski, Jackson), 12:48
NOR Bochenski, (15) (Wishart), 10:26
Norfolk entered the game one point back of the Penguins in fifth place in the East Division. A loss would have dropped the Admirals to 3 games under .500 and 3 games out of 4th place. Instead, they've leapfrogged Wilkes-Barre/Scranton into 4th place, 1 point back of 3rd place Binghamton and they've closed to 1 game under .500. The lead back (Hershey and Albany) may have pulled away in the division, but tonight's win has kept Norfolk square in the middle of the fight for a playoff spot.
Ty Wishart had an assist in tonight's game, which puts him at 8 points in 29 games this season, which tops the 7 points he had in 61 games last year. Incremental progress.
Box score from TheAHL.com.