Earlier this week, Bolt Prospects was informed by the Lightning that 2007 third round pick Luca Cunti had been admitted to St. Cloud State University of the WCHA and he was set to arrive there Saturday. This is still confirmed.
However, the latest reports out of SCSU state that while he has been admitted, the coaching staff hasn't received the final okay from the NCAA that Cunti's eligible to play.
Considering Cunti is making the trek from Switzerland to join the Huskies, and his desire to play in North America this year is a priority (according to reports during the draft), it would seem that Cunti and his adviser, as well as the Lightning, have a pretty good idea final clearance may just be a formality.
Stay tuned. It appears this soap opera isn't over.
The Huskies are scheduled to begin their season at home October 12 against Canisius.
The Lightning prospects dropped a 3-1 decision tonight to the Detroit Red Wings prospects. The game was tied 1-1 after the first period and the Lightning prospects came out strong in the first half of the second only to come unglued after the Wings struck for a pair of quick goals. It was 3-1 entering the third and neither team was able to add to their totals.
Free agent tryout player and Medicine Hat Tiger Daine Todd had the Lightning goal. Vladimir Mihalik had an assist, his second of the tournament.
Torrie Jung stopped 22 of 25 shots in the loss.
The 0-2 Lightning next face the Atlanta Thrashers on Monday.
Stan Lascek played tonight and had 5 shots on goal after missing Game One against the Rangers. Unfortunately, his track record of futility in finding the scoresheet continues. Ian Duval also got into the lineup for the first time in the tournament.
RedWingsCentral has their box score and, more importantly for our purposes, tonight's lines and pairings. The Lightning kept their top two scoring lines largely in tact but shook up their defensive pairings. Lascek debuts on the fourth line as a center.
After having their hats handed to them for six straight games in the Super Series, Russia might consider Game Seven a bit of a moral victory. Without their star Alexei Cherepanov, who did not make the trip for the Canadian leg of the series due to injury, and after having been beaten handily in Game Five and Game Six, Russia played Canada to a 4-4 tie on Friday night. Lightning prospect Dana Tyrell was scoreless in the match.
The final game of the Super Series is slated for Sunday night.
According to newyorkrangers.com, the Lightning's prospects opened their 2007 Traverse City Prospects Tournament with a third period collapse resulting in a 6-4 loss to the Rangers.
The teams were tied at one entering the second period and the Bolts had fought back from 2-1 and 3-2 deficits to tie the game at three entering the third. The Rangers got three quick goals to start the third to put the game away, including one that was reportedly a Lightning own-goal.
Radek Smolenak, who was an offensive force for Tampa Bay last year in Traverse City, scored the Lightning's first two goals unassisted. He also had a helper on the Bolts' final tally.
Free agent invitee Colton Yellow Horn, a 40 goal scorer with Tri City of the WHL last season, had the third Lightning goal, with assists going to defensemen Justin Fletcher, Vladimir Mihalik and Mike Lundin. Another free agent invitee, Rob Klinkhammer of the Brandon Wheat Kings, notched the final goal for Tampa Bay late in the final period to give the game its final score.
Riku Helenius had 25 saves for the Bolts, who were outshot 31-25 and had four first period power plays.
The Lightning are back in action tomorrow night against the Red Wings.
A full boxscore with lineups is up on RedWingsCentral.com.
According to Erik Erlendsson's blog, the Norfolk Admirals have added centers Justin Taylor and Shawn Collymore to their camp roster. Not much to see there. Erlendsson also writes that speculation that Riku Helenius is a shoo in to appear in Lightning camp are false and that he is slated to return to Seattle of the WHL immediately after the Traverse City tournament.