Jonathan Drouin chipped the puck past the defenseman, rushed down the ice and wristed the puck into the top right corner.
Drouin, the Tampa Bay Lightning's third overall pick in 2013, netted the game-winning goal in the third period of his professional debut to lift the Syracuse Crunch to a 3-2 victory over the Springfield Falcons at the Onondaga County War Memorial Friday.
"I tried some passes today and they didn't go through," Drouin said. "I decided to shoot that one, and I'm pretty happy it went in."
Drouin, on a rehab assignment after sustaining a slight fracture in his right hand during training camp, was on the ice for all three Crunch goals.
"Those guys are easy to play with," Drouin said of his linemates. "(Jonathan) Marchessault is fast and (Cedric Paquette) thinks the game well."
Closing arguments for the Lightning's young forwards.
Ben Bishop looked to be in midseason form allowing 1 goal on 37 shots for the victory. Florida was clearly embarrassed in their last outing and for getting blitzed in the First Period again tonight. They were out for redemption, but Bishop was having none of it.
3:21 FLA Barkov (1), (Campbell, Kulikov)(PP)
5:46 TB Kucherov (1), (unassisted)
10:21 TB Stamkos (1), (Hedman, Callahan)(PP)
18:59 TB Brown (1), (Boyle)
4:40 TB Stralman (1), (Johnson, Killorn)(PP)
Now the Lightning's brass will convene for the difficult decision of shaping the team's 23-man roster for opening night. They likely have a little more breathing room with the option of putting Jonathan Drouin on short-term IR and giving him a brief conditioning stint in the AHL when he gets off it, but the numbers game still is a difficult one. Mind you, they may have tipped their hand by putting Vladislav Namestnikov in the lineup tonight ahead of Cedric Paquette and Jonathan Marchessault, but we shall see.
Two things I feel very confident about after this preseason, though: 1.) Andrej Sustr and I will always have difficulty finding shirts with the proper sleeve length, and 2.) Jon Cooper will be drinking a fine, very old scotch out of the Governor's Cup by season's end. Book it.
Box score from NHL.com.
I finally had the chance to make it out to the Ice Sports Forum to catch up with some of the attendees and observe a good chunk of the 3v3 action. Following are some brief impressions and takeaways from my time at the rink:
We continue our Bolt Prospect of the Week award, an honor (virtually) given to one Tampa Bay Lightning prospect for their recent contributions on and off the ice.
The Bolt Prospect of the Week for March 10, 2014 is … Jonathan Drouin, C/W, Halifax Mooseheads (QMJHL – Canada).
We’re sorry, Jonathan.
Last week in our Bolt Prospect of the Week write-up, we made special note of the fact that Matt Peca had done something that super-prospect Jonathan Drouin had never done – get six points in one game.
Gold Medal Match
Sweden 2 vs. Finland 3 (OT)
Henri Ikonen, Finland, 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 3 SOG
Tournament totals: 7 GP, 1-2-3, E, 2 PIM
Buffalo first rounder Rasmus Ristolainen scored 9:42 into overtime to deliver Finland a 3-2 Gold Medal Match victory over rival Sweden. Blackhawks first rounder Teuvo Teravainen assisted on all 3 Finnish goals. Predators 4th round pick, goaltender Juuse Saros was named player of the match turning aside 35 shots in the win.
Bronze Medal Match
Canada 1 vs. Russia 2
Andrey Vasilevskiy, Russia, Win, 30/31, 1.00 GAA, .968 sv%
Tournament totals: 6 GP, 4-2-0, 0 SO, 1.83 GAA, .933 sv%
Jonathan Drouin, Canada, 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 1 SOG
Tournament totals: 7 GP, 3-6-9, +5, 24 PIM
Andrey Vasilevskiy got a pair of First Period goals worth of support and that was all he needed as he turned aside 30 shots to lead Russia to a 2-1 victory over Canada in the Bronze Medal Match. Vasilevskiy was named Russia's best player in the match for his efforts. Fellow Lightning prospect Jonathan Drouin was held scoreless for the second time in the tournament, but he did go 53% on draws in defeat.
Drouin finished tied for 7th in scoring in the tournament, 6 points back of Teravainen, who won the tournament scoring title. Digging deeper into the statistics, Drouin was also 7th in the tournament on face-offs at 59%. Vasilevskiy was named one of Russia's 3 top players in the tournament by the coaches but lost out on Best Goaltender and Media All-Star plaudits to Oscar Dansk of Sweden and Saros, respectively. He finished second in the tournament in save percentage and third in goals against average.