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Articles that are feature stories.

Peca Getting Comfortable, Consistent With Crunch


By Jeremy Houghtaling

Matthew Peca’s goals in back-to-back games looked eerily similar.

The Syracuse Crunch center picked the puck off the half wall, danced through multiple defenders to the slot, and wristed a shot into the back of the net. Peca used his speed and skill to get into prime scoring areas, and was rewarded with three points in his last two games.

Peca is getting more comfortable and consistent as he continues to develop during his rookie season.

“Over the last couple weeks his game has been more consistent,” said Crunch head coach Rob Zettler. “He’s skating a little more consistently, he’s starting to protect pucks down low, and you see these goals he is scoring off the half wall and moving into the high traffic areas -- that’s where he’s really good. He just needs to get there often and use his speed to his advantage.”

Bolt Prospect of the Week

We continue our Bolt Prospect of the Week award, an honor (virtually) given to one Tampa Bay Lightning prospect for his recent contributions on and off the ice.

The Bolt Prospect of the Week for the week ending November 10 is … Brayden Point, C, Moose Jaw Warriors, Team WHL.

I hope Brayden Point has a big trophy case, he’s probably going to need some extra room this year.

The Lightning’s 2014 third round steal currently leads the Western Hockey League in scoring with 16 goals and 39 points in 16 games. That six points ahead of his closest competitor despite playing two fewer games. This past week-plus he had 15 points in Moose Jaw games, including a hat trick/five-point night on Saturday against Prince Albert. He was originally credited with four goals that game, but the league made a late scoring change. It was his seventh career hat trick.

The Bolt Prospects Podcast, Volume 42

This week's “Dana Tyrell Edition” of the Bolt Prospects Podcast (also available on Lightning Power Play, Lightning Radio's iHeart station) includes the following topics:

· The No. 42
· Lightning lose a response game. At home. To Buffalo.
· Not buying the this year/last year no-comparison comment.
· Cut the damn cord.
· Your move, Steve.
· Cranky questions from the #BPMailbag
· Interview with Syracuse’s Adam Wilcox
· #BPMailbag leftovers, fresh out of the microwave

Wilcox Looks Ahead After First Pro Win


By Jeremy Houghtaling

Adam Wilcox is moving on after his milestone victory.

The Crunch rookie netminder turned aside 25 shots to lift Syracuse to a 2-1 win over the Lehigh Valley Phantoms for his first professional win Saturday, but was back to the regular grind at practice on Monday.

Wilcox is continuing to refine his technique as he progresses at the pro level.

“Obviously, it was a good feeling,” Wilcox said. “I was excited about it and it’s one of the hardest wins to get. It’s just getting over that, and now that the first one is out of the way, hopefully I can keep rolling here.”

The Bolt Prospects Podcast, Volume 41

This week's “Mike Smith Edition” of the Bolt Prospects Podcast (also available on Lightning Power Play, Lightning Radio's iHeart station) includes the following topics:

· The No. 41
· Internal, slump-busting changes ahead for Lightning?
· No changes? What are we protecting?
· 4 TB players elevating their games, but 1 stands out and he’s on the verge of stardom
· Interview with Syracuse’s Joel Vermin

Vermin Making Strides With Crunch


By Jeremy Houghtaling

Joel Vermin has continued to evolve as a player.

In his second full season in North America, the Syracuse Crunch forward is finding a way to harness his speed and skill, as well as making a habit of going to the hard areas of the ice. The 23-year-old has registered one goal and three assists in the first eight games with Syracuse this season, and is steadily improving many facets of his game.

“I feel really comfortable, I feel really good on the ice,” Vermin said. “I think I’ve made a big step forward from last year. I hope it keeps going like that.”

The Bolt Prospects Podcast, Volume 40

This week's “Dustin Tokarski Edition” of the Bolt Prospects Podcast (also available on Lightning Radio's iHeart station) includes the following topics:

· The No. 40
· Should Lightning fans be worried?
· Should Crunch fans be worried?
· Should Rob Zettler be worried?
· Interview with Anthony DeAngelo
· The BP Mailbag (What’s a successful NHL career? … Projecting Vladdy … Favorite pre-Yzerman prospect … Triplet jersey choice … Any impact defensive prospects? … Gudlevskis vs Vasilevskiy … Is it possible to deal a defenseman?)
· Prospect of the Week

Rookie Defenseman DeAngelo Contributing Offense for Crunch


By Jeremy Houghtaling

Anthony DeAngelo picked up the loose puck, swooped down the edge of the right wing circle, and picked his spot over the goalie’s glove.

The Syracuse defenseman’s first professional goal during the third period Sunday in Rochester sent the game to overtime and secured a point in the standings for the Crunch. Six games into his rookie season, DeAngelo is showing he can chip in on the scoresheet, but is working on improving his defensive game to take the next step to the National Hockey League.

“It was a little bit of a broken offensive play, but he gathered the puck around the half wall and was patient enough with it to wait and allow their defense to bite a little before he took the shot,” said Syracuse Head Coach Rob Zettler. “He got himself into the prime scoring area, and it was a helluva shot. It went short side high and it was a big goal for us.”

Bolt Prospect of the Week

We continue our Bolt Prospect of the Week award, an honor (virtually) given to one Tampa Bay Lightning prospect for his recent contributions on and off the ice.

The Bolt Prospect of the Week for the week ending October 26 is … Kristers Gudlevskis, G, Tampa Bay Lightning, NHL.

Kristers Gudlevskis isn’t exactly a household name. He had his 15 minutes of fame with the Latvian Olympic team two years ago, but since that time he’s quietly faded from the limelight.

“Goo-la-VEE-skees,” as Chicago play-by-play announcer Pat Foley called him, made his return to the NHL this week and all he did was shut out the defending champs in their own barn for 60 minutes.

The Bolt Prospects Podcast, Volume 39

This week's “Enrico Ciccone Edition” of the Bolt Prospects Podcast (also available on Lightning Radio's iHeart station) includes the following topics:

· The No. 39
· Vinny’s Breakfast
· Top line better than the Triplets, now and forevermore?
· Pick an effort level and stick with it
· Koekkoek time (and a soapbox rant)
· The BP Mailbag (Stamkos, Drouin playoff probability … Vladdy’s role … Clark Carle? … Syracuse scratches … Next wave of D ready? … KHL vs AHL … ECHL problems? … Have expectations changed for TB and Syracuse?)

EDITOR'S NOTE: This is the second version of No. 39. The first version contained stories found on the LA Times website concerning an incident with Ciccone that the former player claims are not true. Out of respect for Ciccone, the stories have been edited out of the podcast. Our apologies for passing along misinformation.

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