Frank Anzalone's message seems to have worked.
Frank Anzalone followed through on his threat to leave some forwards in Johnstown as the Chiefs only iced 9 men up front tonight leaving Zbynek Hrdel and Adam Henrich out of the lineup. Gerald Coleman allowed 3 goals on 35 shots faced, including 1 goal which came on a penalty shot by Greg Hoogeboom, and got the win. Stanislav Lascek had 2 goals and 1 assist in the game. Radek Smolenak, who was a disciplinary scratch in last night's game, returned to the lineup today and notched a pair of assists. Gus Katsuras, David Spina and Maxime Boisclair (empty net) scored the Chiefs' other goals. Andrew Martens, Doug Andress and PJ Atherton added individual helpers.
Lascek and Coleman were the first and second stars of the game respectively.
JHN Katsuras, (3) (Lascek, Smolenak), 11:44
JHN Lascek, (4) (Smolenak), 14:24
JHN Lascek, (5) (Martens), 19:16 (PP)
REA Mihaly, (11) (Bala, Collymore), 19:20 (PP)
REA Hogeboom, (4) , 5:18 (SH/PS)
REA Hogeboom, (5) (Collymore), 15:01
JHN Spina, (4) (Andress), 16:12
JHN Boisclair, (4) (Atherton), 19:59 (EN)
Game sheet from ECHL.com.
Defensemen, Mike Lundin had two assists in #1 Maine's 8-2 loss to #13 New Hampshire. Both helpers came on the PP in the second period. He also had 3 shots in the game and finished -2.
It was the Black Bears first loss of the season, they move to 8-1-1 overall and 3-1-1 in the HEAST.
Lundin now has 2 goals and 5 assists on the season with a +5 rating in 10 GP.
Dusty Collins was even with no shots in Northern Michigan's 3-2 win over Alaska.
In 12 GP, Collins has 1 goal and 1 assist with a -2 rating and 8 PIM. The Wildcats are 6-4-2 overall and 3-2-1 in the CCHA, sitting in a 4-way tie for 4th place in the division with Notre Dame, Michigan State and Western Michigan.
Kevin Beech allowed 5 goals on 14 shots before being lifted in Sudbury's 7-5 loss to Erie.
Marek Bartanus was scoreless in Owen Sound's 5-4 shootout loss to Saginaw. Bartanus has been scoreless in 4 games since his 4 assist outburst against Oshawa on November 3rd.
Vladimir Mihalik was scoreless with 2 PIMs in Prince George's 3-2 loss to Kelowna.
Dane Crowley was -1 with 2 PIMs in Swift Current's 3-1 loss to Saskatoon.
In general, it has been a bad week for Lightning prospects.
The Lightning just made a huge statement in the early season jockeying for divisional supremacy.
John Tortorella continues to ride with the hot hand as Johan Holmqvist stopped 27 of 30 shots for the win. The Lightning scored 4 unanswered goals to start the game and never looked back. Dan Boyle led the way with 1 goal and 1 assist and was named first star of the game. Nikita Alexeev and Brad Richards also had 1 goal and 1 assist while Martin St. Louis chipped in a pair of helpers. Richards and St. Louis were named second and third stars respectively. Ryan Craig and Vincent Lecavalier also had goals for the Lightning with individual helpers going to Paul Ranger, Filip Kuba and Vaclav Prospal. The Lightning outshot the Thrashers 36-30 in the game.
I hope the national hockey media takes notice of what occured in this game. In their race to heap piles of praise upon the Thrashers and annoint them as Eastern Conference royalty, they seem to have forgotten that the Lightning, along with the Carolina Hurricanes, are the only battle tested teams in this division with hardware to prove it. With the victory, the Lightning are now 8 points behind Atlanta for the division lead, but it should be noted the team has 3 games in hand on their rivals from Georgia. I expect the race for the Southeast to get much tighter in the next month and then we'll see if Atlanta truly has the endurance for this kind of marathon. To this point of their franchise's existence, they have not.
Tampa Bay 17:55, Ryan Craig 6 (power play) (Dan Boyle, Paul Ranger)
Tampa Bay 4:58, Dan Boyle 1 (power play) (Filip Kuba, Vaclav Prospal)
Tampa Bay 12:26, Brad Richards 5 (unassisted)
Tampa Bay 15:29, Vincent Lecavalier 10 (Nikita Alexeev, Martin St. Louis)
Atlanta 19:28, Marian Hossa 14 (power play) (Glen Metropolit, Slava Kozlov)
Atlanta 8:56, Marian Hossa 15 (Slava Kozlov, Shane Hnidy)
Tampa Bay 13:23, Nikita Alexeev 6 (power play) (Brad Richards, Martin St. Louis)
Atlanta 17:16, Steve Rucchin 3 (Slava Kozlov, Niclas Havelid)
Game sheet from NHL.com.