If Ramo got shot at any more in this game, someone would've owed him a medal.
Karri Ramo stopped 53 of 55 shots faced in the loss as the Falcons were outshot 55-22 including 19-5 in the decisive final period. For his Herculean efforts, Ramo was named second star of the game. The lone Falcons goal came on the power play from Doug O'Brien off assists from Marek Kvapil and Blair Jones. As unholy as the shot totals were in the game, they were just one savvy play from the veteran line away from stealing a point which isn't bad for their third game in three nights.
The loss puts the Falcons 2 points back behind the final playoff spot in the Atlantic Division at 22-22-1. The Falcons will face division leading Manchester on Wednesday and a struggling Philadelphia club on Saturday. From here on out every point matters.
SPR O'Brien, (4) (Kvapil, Jones), 10:46 (PP)
HFD Callahan, (26) (Immonen), 15:19
HFD Baranka, (3) (Dawes, Degon), 6:55 (PP)
Game sheet from TheAHL.com.
Mike Lundin was scoreless and even in #5 Maine's 2-0 win over Providence.
John Wessbecker was scoreless and +1 in UMASS' 3-0 win over #2 New Hampshire.
Dusty Collins was scoreless and +1 in Northern Michigan's 4-1 win over Bowling Green.
Art Femenella did not play in #14 Vermont's 4-2 win over #7 Boston College.
I smell the heavy scent of BP Prospect of the Week consideration.
Chris Lawrence had 2 more goals and an assist Saturday night as Mississauga crushed Kevin Beech and Erie 9-3. Lawrence was also plus-2 and was named the game's second star. For all those keeping track, Lawrence has 7 goals and 2 assists this week, with a plus-6 rating. After a rough road trip last week, Mississauga has scored 21 goals in 3 games this week, giving up 6. As for Beech, after two straight solid outings, he was pulled midway through the first period when he gave up 3 goals on 6 shots.
Marek Bartanus and Owen Sound defeated Guelph 2-1 in Owen Sound. Bartanus was even and didn't register a point.
In the WHL, Everett fell 3-2 in a shootout to the Tri-City Americans. Dane Crowley missed the game with the flu.
Prince George shutout Chilliwack for the second consecutive night. Vladimir Mihalik was scoreless and even, but did have a fighting major. Mihalik took on Donnie Glennie, who's listed at 5'10". Mihalik, of course, is 6'8". (I haven't been able to find fight details as of yet.)
And the road warriors keep rolling...
Marc Denis stopped 30 of 35 before stopping 4 of 4 shooters for the extra extra session win. It wasn't pretty, but with the chips down Denis got it done. Vaclav Prospal and Martin St. Louis each had 1 goal and 2 assists in the win. YoungStar Paul Ranger added 1 goal and 1 assist and Doug Janik (AKA Secret Weapon 3) had 2 assists. Vincent Lecavalier and Filip Kuba had the Lightning's other goals with Kuba's being a smoking slap shot on the rush to tie the game with 2:54 left in regulation. Nikita Alexeev and Eric Perrin had individual helpers.
If you look up "sore losers" in the dictionary, you might spot the Carolina press corps. Denying Prospal a three stars selection on a night when he had 3 points? Ridiculous. Giving first star to a guy who had a couple of goals bounce in off of him? More so.
I wish there wasn't an All-Star Break at all, because this Lightning team is rolling like a battle hardened war machine right now. To go into Buffalo, New Jersey and now defending champion Carolina and grind out 2 points in hostile road environments should make the league take notice. The Lightning appear done messing around this season. The character of a real contender is starting to show. Now they just need Feaster to pull the trigger on one or two more trades to get them the reinforcements to put this team over the top. The Lightning now move 2 points behind Carolina for 2nd place in the division and remain 8 points back of Atlanta. Lurking. Waiting for the Smirkin' Chikins to slip. The Lightning have also opened a 4 point gap on a gaggle of teams in 8th place and are within 5 points of 4th place Montreal for a little first round home ice.
Carolina 5:32, Eric Staal 21 (power play) (Scott Walker, Andrew Hutchinson)
Tampa Bay 6:51, Vaclav Prospal 8 (Martin St. Louis, Dan Boyle)
Carolina 18:23, Eric Staal 22 (Scott Walker, Anton Babchuk)
Carolina 0:34, Ray Whitney 19 (Dennis Seidenberg, Justin Williams)
Tampa Bay 3:22, Vincent Lecavalier 30 (Martin St. Louis, Paul Ranger)
Carolina 7:35, Andrew Ladd 4 (Anton Babchuk, Justin Williams)
Tampa Bay 8:06, Paul Ranger 2 (Nikita Alexeev, Eric Perrin)
Tampa Bay 12:02, Martin St. Louis 30 (Vaclav Prospal, Doug Janik)
Carolina 9:31, Scott Walker 16 (Andrew Hutchinson, Andrew Ladd)
Tampa Bay 17:06, Filip Kuba 8 (Vaclav Prospal, Doug Janik)
Game sheet from NHL.com.
Somebody forgot to tell the Falcons to play dead.
Jonathan Boutin stopped 23 of 24 shots faced for the win and actually held a shutout up until just 3:11 left in the game's final frame. The Falcons' goals came from Blair Jones and Eric Healey with assists to Norm Milley and Matt Smaby. Boutin and Healey were named first and third stars of the game, respectively. Springfield outshot Worcester 30-24 in the game.
The win moves the Falcons 1 point behind Portland and Providence which are currently tied with 46 points in the standings and occupying the 3rd and 4th spots (the final two playoff spots) in the Atlantic Division.
SPR Jones, (5) , 7:07
SPR Healey, (19) (Milley, Smaby), 14:54
WOR Prudden, (1) (Mink, Kaspar), 16:49
Game sheet from TheAHL.com.