A little Christmas vacation delay... three days worth of CHL scores.
Team Canada Notes:
Canada has named Dustin Tokarski starter for tonight's game vs. the USA (NHL Network - 7 PM EST). Here's hoping that NHL contract doesn't prove to be a distraction for him (and judging from his demeanor throughout his young career, it won't), but it's a great sign that Pat Quinn trusts him for Canada's first big test.
Ou est Lecavalier et St. Louis?
Mike Smith allowed just 1 goal on 30 shots, but then allowed both Montreal shooters to score in the penalty shot session for the shootout loss.
13:18 TB Prospal (7), (Malone, St. Louis)(PP)
00:46 MTL Latendresse (5), (Lapierre, Kostopoulos)
MTL- Kovalev, Lapierre
The Lightning's best players tonight were, in no partocular order, Smith, Ryan Malone, Andrej Meszaros, and Evgeny Artyukhin. Absent from that list? Vincent Lecavalier and Martin St. Louis. It's not rocket science: if those two don't score, the Lightning are going to struggle to defeat quality opponents like Montreal. They're getting excellent goaltending and some secondary scoring. Heck, they're even getting some inspired play from their defensemen at times. So now it's up to Lecavalier and St. Louis. They need to turn up the volume over the next two months to get this team over the hump.
It was nauseating to be outnumbered by Canadiens fans in our own barn. They were well behaved, at least. I mean, I wasn't stepping over drunks and weaving between fist fights like I would if we were invaded by Flyers fans. Still, I would've loved nothing better than to answer their annoying little "Go Habs Go" chant with a little "Go Home Habs."
Matt Smaby had a team high 7 hits in 15:47 filling some of the ice time vacated by a scratched Marek Malik. He did some good things. He's looked better in this recall; good enough for me to think that maybe he needs to replace Jamie Heward on the roster. He made some mistakes again, sure. But, like I said after the last game, as long as they are mistakes of aggression I'm more willing to live with them. And, it's not like his veteran bretheren on the Lightning blueline don't make mistakes in their own rights. Steve Eminger is working hard to make me go gray early in life by backing off shooters and routinely letting them walk the puck into the slot.
Paul Szczechura was -1 with 1 hit and was 57% on draws in 10:34. He's taken a bit of a step back since that amazing game against the Pens.
Steven Stamkos had 1 shot, 2 hits, and was 67% on draws in 11:45. He had one really awful power play shift in the third period. Other than that I thought he was ok.
Ledyard Bank Tournament
Massachusetts Minutemen 4 vs Army Black Knights 1
D John Wessbecker UMASS, 0-0-0, Even, 2 SOG
Season Totals: 15GP, 0-3-3, +12, 16 PIM
UMASS (9-7-1) took the consolation game of the Ledyard Bank Tournament in Hanover, NH. out shooting Army (4-11-1) 31-17 in the process. The Minutemen take on No. 10 Cornell this coming Sunday.
Scott Jackson rang up his first professional goal, a game winning power play tally, with less than 4 minutes remaining in regulation to propel Mississippi past Gwinnett 4-3. Jackson earned First Star honors, while Chris Lawrence set up the Wolves' first goal for his first point since joining Mississippi two nights ago.
Mississippi 4 @ Gwinnett 3
D Scott Jackson: 1-0-1 (PP); -1; 0 PIM; 2 SOG; *FIRST STAR*
F Chris Lawrence: 0-1-1; E; 0 PIM; 4 SOG
Mississippi travels back to Charleston, SC to take on the Stingrays in a New Years Eve tilt Wednesday night.
Chris Lawrence and Scott Jackson turned in a repeat performance Sunday night in the rematch with the South Carolina, both turning in -2 efforts as the Stingrays defeated the Sea Wolves behind Michael Dubuc's 4 goals. Lawrence also tangled with the Stingrays' Viktor Dovgan.
Mississippi 3 @ South Carolina 6
D Scott Jackson: 0-0-0; -2; 9 PIM; 2 SOG
F Chris Lawrence: 0-0-0; -2; 5 PIM (fighting major); 0 SOG
Mississippi plays their third road game in as many nights against the Gwinnett Gladiators as the ECHL's only Monday night tilt.