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Koshechkin Headlines Strong Tour for Lightning Russians

Vasily Koshechkin had his second stright shut out victory today as Togliatti defeated Chekhov 2-0. Koshechkin has won all three of his starts since taking the starting job from David Svoboda allowing just two goals over that span. Forward prospect Dimitry Kazionov had 4 penalty minutes for Lada in the game.

Ranger Recalled by Lightning

According to the Springfield Falcons, the club announced today that defenseman Paul Ranger has been recalled by the Tampa Bay Lightning. Ranger will join Tampa Bay in Pittsburgh where the Lightning prepares to take on the Penguins on Saturday night. Ranger currently leads the Falcons in scoring after one game with one goal and two assists for three points, including the game-winning goal in the season opener on Saturday, October 8 against Portland. Ranger was named the game’s first star in that contest, and is in his second season of professional hockey. The 6-foot-2, 215-pound native of Whitby, Ontario played in 69 games for the Falcons last year collecting three goals and eight assists for 11 points. Ranger played his junior hockey with the Oshawa Generals of the Ontario Hockey League where he led all Oshawa blueliners in scoring during the 2003-04 campaign.

Game Night 10/13: Sabres at Lightning

Despite the loss in the shootout, there were many positive signs in the game that the Lightning could possibly be returning to form. Buffalo could've easily lost this game by a wide margin were it not for Ryan Miller, some lopsided officiating and a little luck. BUF-4 TB-3 (Final SO) Official scoring can be found [url=http://www.nhl.com/scores/htmlreports/20052006/GS020062.HTM]at NHL.com.[/url]

Game Night 10/13: Nailers at Chiefs (Exhibition)

Tonight was the debut preseason game for the 2005-2006 Johnstown Chiefs as they squared off with the Wheeling Nailers in Greensburg, PA. As of this posting there is no official box score available, and this thread will be updated when one becomes available. We can report the final score however [url=http://www.wheelingnailers.com/index.asp]from the Wheeling website.[/url] Johnstown defeated Wheeling 3-2 in a shootout. Rookie netminder Jonathan Boutin stopped 32 of 34 shots faced in regulation and OT before winning the shootout.

Keller and the Rockets Top Jones, Warriors

The Lightning's top two WHL prospects squared off Wednesday night as Justin Keller and the Kelowna Rockets visited Blair Jones and the Moose Jaw Warriors. Paced by Jones's three assists, Moose Jaw skated to a 3-0 lead before Kelowna came flying back to tie the game and ultimately take the lead, 4-3. With under a minute left in the third, Moose Jaw tied the game up and sent the contest into overtime. After no scoring in O.T., the game would be decided by a shootout. The first shooter for Kelowna was Keller, who had won a game earlier in the year for Kelowna in a shootout. Sure enough, Keller faked to his backhand before snapping a wrister low stick-side past Moose Jaw goalie Joey Perricone. It would be the only goal recorded in the shootout, giving Kelowna the win.

Koshechkin Solidifies Starting Role?

Seems that [url=http://www.russianprospects.com/public/index.php?id=2392]Russianprospects.com also believes that Vasily Koshechkin may finally have won the starting job in Togliatti.[/url] Koshechkin has made the last two starts for Lada after David Svoboda struggled throughout the opening month of the season. Head coach Pavel Vorobiev doesn't necessarily like younger players (hence the numerous healthy scratches of Dimitry Kazionov of late) and he actually tried to replace Koshechkin as the team's backup over the offseason, but with the pullout of a large chunk of Togliatti's financial backing and a pledge to cut the team's budget by 50% at the November transfer period, it looks unlikely that the team will acquire a veteran foreign born goalie as they have done in the past.

Schwab To Teach Boutin/Young Goalies the Mental Game

Mike Mastovich [url=http://www.tribune-democrat.com/sports/local_story_285232826.html]has a nice article from the Johnstown Tribune-Democrat on Corey Schwab and his new role as the Lightning's minor league goaltending instructor.[/url] And, interestingly, some of his comments seem tailor made for the talented but enigmatic Jonathan Boutin. [i]"Most goalies coming up now are pretty technically sound,” said Schwab, who will tutor Tampa Bay contract goalie Jon Boutin and third-year Chiefs netminder David Currie. “The biggest thing they need to work on is developing mental toughness and the mental strength that no matter what happens in a game or a series of games, they can recover from it.”[/i] In today's intrasquad scrimmage Boutin only allowed one goal in regulation and overtime and then won a ten round shootout as Team Black defeated Team White 2-1. Johnstown's first preseason game is Thursday night in Greensburg, PA.

Koshechkin Shuts Out KHK MVD

In an otherwise uneventful Tour 15 for the Lightning's Russian prospects, goaltender Vasily Koshechkin shut out KHK MVD 2-0 today. The start was Koshechkin's second in a row, possibly signaling his takeover of Togliatti's starter's job. The 2002 8th round pick improves his record to 2-0 in 5 games. Koshechkin entered the game with a .913 save percentage and 1.58 GAA. Forward Dimitry Kazionov did not dress for Lada.

Lightning CHL, NCAA Stats as of October 12

The following are the official statistics for Lightning prospects playing within the Canadian Hockey League and NCAA (non-exhibition games) as of October 12, 2005. Leading the way are Stan Lascek, who’s third in the QMJHL in scoring, and Justin Keller, who stands at fourth in the WHL. Stanislav Lascek, Chicoutimi (QMJHL): 9GP, 9-11-20, 14PIM (+8) Justin Keller, Kelowna (WHL): 10GP, 5-6-11, 4PIM (+2) Radek Smolenak, Kingston (OHL): 8GP, 7-4-11, 25PIM (+4) Blair Jones, Moose Jaw (WHL): 5GP, 3-6-9, 4PIM (+5) Chris Lawrence, Sault Ste. Marie (OHL): 8GP, 1-6-7, 16PIM (+5) Mark Tobin, Rimouski (QMJHL): 10GP, 3-2-5, 32PIM (-8)

Mihalik Earns First Points of North American Career

Lightning 2005 First Round pick and Red Deer defenseman Vladimir Mihalik notched his first North American points Tuesday night as the Rebels crushed Brandon 9-4. Mihalik had two assists in the game to go with a plus-two rating. Mihalik played last season in Slovakia. Also Tuesday night, Kelowna winger Justin Keller moved into fourth place among WHL scorers with two assists in a 6-3 win over Saskatoon. Keller now has 11 points in 10 games.
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