Richard, Tanner

Richard, Witkowski Join Crunch


By Jeremy Houghtaling

It's all still sinking in for Tanner Richard.

After finishing up his first practice with the Syracuse Crunch Wednesday afternoon, the 2012 third-rounder -- one of two draftees signed by the Tampa Bay Lightning Monday -- was just beginning to take in his new surroundings.

"My phone has been ringing off the hook since Monday,” Richard said. “It just doesn't stop beeping. Every time I look there's 15 or 20 messages from Facebook and Twitter and everything. Honestly, I'm trying to soak it all in and have a good time."

Richard wasn’t the only fresh face getting acquainted to a new team at the Onondaga County War Memorial. Defenseman Luke Witkowski (pictured), a sixth-round pick in 2008 who finished up his senior season at Western Michigan University, also donned a Crunch sweater for the first time.

Lightning Sign Forward Tanner Richard

TAMPA BAY – The Tampa Bay Lightning have signed forward Tanner Richard to a three-year, entry-level contract, vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman announced today.

Richard, 19, has skated in 52 games this season with the Guelph Storm of the Ontario Hockey League, recording 11 goals and 62 points to go along with 94 penalty minutes. The 6-foot, 183-pound forward ranks first on the Storm and ninth in the OHL in assists with 51 and was third on his team with a plus-18 rating. Richard also played in five postseason games against the Kitchener Rangers, registering three assists and six penalty minutes.

The Jona, Switzerland native has appeared in 95 career OHL games, all with Guelph, collecting 24 goals and 110 points with 140 penalty minutes. He also represented Switzerland at the 2013 IIHF World Jr. Championships in Russia, posting four assists and plus-two rating in six tournament games.

Richard was originally drafted by the Lightning in the third round, 71st overall, of the 2012 NHL Entry Draft.

NA Juniors Game Night: 2-16-13

Quebec Major Junior Hockey League

Rouyn-Noranda Huskies 7 @ Blainville-Boisbriand Armada 5

W Nikita Kucherov, R-N: 2-3-5, +3, 0 PIM, 6 SOG, 0 Hits, *Third Star*
Season totals: 22 GP, 16-28-44, +11, 2 PIM
With R-N: 16 GP, 13-21-34, +12, 0 PIM
With Quebec: 6 GP, 3-7-10, -1, 2 PIM

C Cedric Paquette, BLB: 1-2-3, +2, 0 PIM, 4 SOG, 1 Hit
Season totals: 53 GP, 22-49-71, +24, 87 PIM

Kucherov (pictured) extended his point streak to 12 games with his second five-point night in his last three games. He has 12 points in those three games, which raised his season points-per-game average to two. Kucherov’s linemate, Swiss native Sven Andrighetto (2013), had four goals and two assists for first star honors. For the Armada, Lightning prospect Cedric Paquette had his first three-point night of February; he had four in January.

Val-d’Or Foreurs 5 @ Chicoutimi Sagueneens 7

D Artem Sergeev, VDO: Did not play
Season totals: 44 GP, 6-25-31, +19, 49 PIM

Sergeev missed Saturday’s game, likely the result of a match penalty he received on Friday against the Sags.

Ontario Hockey League

Mississauga Steelheads 0 @ Barrie Colts 3

D Jake Dotchin, BAR: 0-1-1, +1, 2 PIM
Season totals: 53 GP, 4-17-21, +2, 58 PIM
With Barrie: 15 GP, 2-5-7, +1, 19 PIM
With Owen Sound: 38 GP, 2-12-14, +1, 39 PIM

Dotchin extended his point streak to a career-high four games with an assist while helping the Colts shut out the visiting Steelheads, 3-0. Undrafted German overager Mathias Niederberger made 28 saves for the win.

Guelph Storm 4 @ Plymouth Whalers 7

C/W Tanner Richard, GUE: 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM
Season totals: 43 GP, 8-45-53, +15, 90 PIM

Rickard Rakell, just assigned to Plymouth from the Anaheim Ducks, had a goal and two assists and Matthew Mistele (2014) had a hat trick for the Whalers in their home win over Guelph. Rakell had no points in four games with Anaheim this season.

Note: Windsor’s Slater Koekkoek is out for the season with an injured shoulder.

NA Juniors Game Night: 2-3-13

Ontario Hockey League

Sudbury Wolves 1 @ Brampton Battalion 4

D Dylan Blujus, BRAM: 0-0-0, +2, 4 PIM
Season totals: 51 GP, 2-20-22, -4, 46 PIM

Brampton outscored the Wolves 3-1 in the third period to claim a 4-1 win. The Battalion pulled within one point of Sudbury for fourth in the Eastern Conference. After a slow start, Dylan Blujus is back near an even plus/minus rating.

Windsor Spitfires 3 @ Guelph Storm 1

C/W Tanner Richard, GUE: Did not play
Season totals: 38 GP, 8-44-52, +18, 82 PIM

D Slater Koekkoek, WIN: Did not play
Season totals: 40 GP, 6-23-29, -24, 28 PIM
With Windsor: 2 GP, 0-1-1, +2, 0 PIM
With Peterborough: 38 GP, 6-22-28, -26, 28 PIM

Tanner Richard missed the game with the flu. Windsor’s Slater Koekkoek is out for the season with an injured shoulder.

NA Juniors Game Night: 1-27-13

Quebec Major Junior Hockey League

Chicoutimi Sagueneens 2 @ Val-d’Or Foreurs 5

D Artem Sergeev, VDO: 1-0-1, +1, 6 PIM, 3 SOG, 0 Hits
Season totals: 36 GP, 6-23-29, +17, 32 PIM

Artem Sergeev (pictured) pulled within one goal of matching last year’s career high of seven, set in 46 games. Former Lightning prospect camper Brandon Hynes had a goal and a helper for the Foreurs.

Ontario Hockey League

Niagara IceDogs 1 @ Brampton Battalion 2

D Dylan Blujus, BRAM: 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM
Season totals: 48 GP, 2-19-21, -5, 36 PIM

Brampton allowed just 20 shots in their second straight 2-1 victory, this time over Niagara.

Kitchener Rangers 3 @ Guelph Storm 2

C/W Tanner Richard, GUE: 1-0-1, E, 2 PIM
Season totals: 37 GP, 7-44-51, +18, 82 PIM

Coming off two wins this week against division-rival Owen Sound, the Storm were in prime position to leapfrog the Rangers in the Midwest Division with a win on Sunday, but it was not to be. Carolina prospect defenseman Ryan Murphy scored late in the second period to give Kitchener a 3-2 lead, which the Rangers made hold up for the duration of the game. Tanner Richard scored his seventh goal of the season on a penalty shot. He now has four goals in his last five games after starting the year with three in his first 32.

Windsor Spitfires 4 @ Sudbury Wolves 8

D Slater Koekkoek, WIN: Did not play
Season totals: 40 GP, 6-23-29, -24, 28 PIM
With Windsor: 2 GP, 0-1-1, +2, 0 PIM
With Peterborough: 38 GP, 6-22-28, -26, 28 PIM

Slater Koekkoek is out for the season with an injured shoulder.

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