Last week the Russian Superleague announced its rosters for this years All-Star game and included in the list of invitees are two Lightning prospects. Russianprospects.com reports that for the Western Conference team, goaltender Vasily Koshechkin will be making his first all-star appearance hailing from Lada Togliatti. And, also for the Western Conference team, a perennial all-star, left wing Anton But.
Koshechkin, 14-11-4 on the season, took over the starting job in Togliatti from import Adam Svoboda and quickly established himself as one of the top netminders in Russia. Even though Lada dumped 3/4 of its payroll at the Karjala break Koshechkin still is second in the Superleague with a 1.51 GAA and 8 shutouts.
But, who has won two championships with the Lokomotiv, is currently 4th in the Superleague in scoring and assists with 37 points and 23 helpers. His 14 goals also ties him for 8th in the league in that category as well.
Chelya from tampabaylightning.ru points out in comments that the game was played this weekend and both But and Koshechkin missed it due to minor injuries. Thanks to chelya.
Karri Ramo made his fourth consecutive start today in a 5-2 dismantling of JYP in SM-liiga play. The young netminder was named the game's 3rd star stopping 28 of 30 shots faced in the contest. Ramo's record improves to 6-5-3 on the season.
One of my biggest personal disappointments of this season for the Lightning's prospects has been the disappearance from the score sheet of Alexander Polushin over the last couple of months after a scintilating beginning to the season. Polushin woke up today though, scoring a third period goal to help key a Cherepovets comeback in a 3-2 victory over Novokuznetsk. The goal was Polushin's 8th of the year and his 12th point in 38 games this season.
Speaking of disappointments, Nikita Alexeev also had a goal in a wild first period that saw Omsk and Dynamo combine for six goals in the opening frame. The game would not be settled until overtime when Dimitri Bykov finally put Omsk away for good 6-5. Lightning prospect Dimitry Kazionov also had an assist for Dynamo in the game.
Finally, the free fall of Lada Togliatti continued as Vasily Koshechkin dropped to 14-11-4 on the year in a 3-2 loss to CSKA.
With Fredrik Norrena still out with a groin pull for Linkopings Andreas Holmqvist stepped up large today to help guide Linkopings to a 5-3 victory over Farjestads. The young defenseman had a second period goal and later added an assist on a third period power play goal in the win. Holmqvist is slowly sneaking up on the half a point a game plateau with 15 points in 36 games this season.
The following are the official statistics for Lightning prospects playing within the Canadian Hockey League as of January 23, 2006. Leading the way are possible future linemates Stan Lascek, whoâ€™s second in the QMJHL in points and first in assists, and Justin Keller, whoâ€™s second in the WHL in points and first in goals.
Stanislav Lascek, RW, Chicoutimi (QMJHL): 42GP, 30-63*-93, 60PIM, (+28), 12 PPG, 3 SHG
Justin Keller, RW, Kelowna (WHL): 46GP, 37*-26-63, 56PIM, (+7), 14 PPG, 1 SHG
Radek Smolenak, LW, Kingston (OHL): 42GP, 27-26-53, 76PIM, (+6), 8 PPG, 1 SHG
Blair Jones, C, Moose Jaw (WHL): 45GP, 19-28-47, 43PIM, (+7), 10 PPG, 1 SHG