NCAA/USHS

Bolt Prospects 2012-2013 Preliminary Rankings

We're now almost two months deep into the second NHL lockout in less than a decade. As difficult as it is to remember, though, hockey goes on. It goes on in small junior rinks in Canada and on campuses throughout the U.S. It goes on in the sporting halls of Sweden and Russia. And, it goes on in Syracuse, New York, where players on the cusp of making the highest level of hockey in the world patiently await the mere chance to make their case to play in the NHL. For those players, and in spite the cynical greed of the NHL's business wing, Bolt Prospects presents its 2012-2013 Preliminary Rankings.

We delayed the release of the rankings a few weeks when optimism ran high that hockey would be back after Thanksgiving, believing that perhaps an NHL training camp was in the cards for some of our prospects. But with the breakdown of talks between the commissioner and the NHLPA, it looks like a Lightning camp is far from imminent. So, we press forward, in spite of the setback.

NCAA Game Night: 11-17-12

No. 12 Dartmouth Big Green 1 @ No. 10 Cornell Big Red 1

D/W Kirill Gotovets, COR: 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 2 SOG
Season totals: 6 GP, 0-0-0, -1, 4 PIM

Cornell moved to 3-3-2 on the year after tying Dartmouth in a battle of big colors. Both teams had 27 shots on goal. Gotovets is still looking for his first point of the season after six games. Last year he had a goal and eight points in 24 games. He had seven points in 34 games as a freshman.

No. 17 Harvard Crimson 0 @ Colgate Raiders 1

F Brian Hart, HAR: Did not play
Season totals: 5 GP, 1-2-3, +4, 6 PIM

Hart missed both of Harvard’s games this weekend – an upset win over Cornell on Friday and a close loss to Colgate on Saturday. Spencer Finney (undrafted) had a 22-save shutout for Colgate.

Michigan State Spartans 0 @ No. 4 Miami RedHawks 2

F Jimmy Mullin, MIA: 0-0-0, E, 3 SOG
Season totals: 10 GP, 1-3-4, -2, 4 PIM

Jimmy Mullin was back on the ice for the RedHawks, who limited the Spartans to 13 shots on goal. Like fellow Lightning prospect Matthew Peca of Quinnipiac, Mullin is having a harder time getting points in his sophomore year than he did as a freshman. Last year Mullin had 11 goals and 26 points in 37 games.

Quinnipiac Bobcats 6 @ No. 16 St. Lawrence Saints 2

F Matthew Peca, QU: Did not play
Season totals: 10 GP, 3-1-4, E, 4 PIM

Matthew Peca was not in the lineup on Saturday as Quinnipiac improved to 7-3-1 and 4-0 in the ECAC with a win over St. Lawrence. Arizona-native Jeremy Langlois (undrafted) had two goals for the Bobcats.

Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs 3 @ No. 6 North Dakota Fighting Sioux 4 (OT)

F Brendan O’Donnell, UND: 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 1 SOG
Season totals: 10 GP, 1-3-4, -4, 2 PIM

Mark MacMillan (Canadiens) scored two goals, including the overtime winner for North Dakota. O’Donnell and MacMillan played together for Penticton in the BCHL prior to coming to North Dakota.

Wisconsin Badgers 1 @ No. 3 Minnesota Golden Gophers 3

G Adam Wilcox, MIN: Win, 16 saves on 17 shots
Season totals: 9 GP, 6-1-2, 1.55 GAA, .924 sv%, 2 SO

Adam Wilcox (pictured), the reigning WCHL Rookie of the Week, had a stellar game on Saturday in his sixth-straight start of the Gophers. He made several key saves to preserve the Gophers’ win, including a big glove save on a point-blank shot in the third period, then late in the game the puck hit the knob of his stick and ricocheted over the net to keep it 2-1 at the time. Minnesota added an empty net goal.

No. 9 Western Michigan Broncos 3 @ Alaska-Fairbanks Nanooks 2

D Luke Witkowski, WMU: 0-0-0, +1, 2 PIM, 1 SOG
Season totals: 11 GP, 0-3-3, -2, 14 PIM

WMU scored three times in the third period to erase a 2-0 deficit and avoid being swept in Alaska. The Nanooks beat the Broncos on Friday night. The Broncos were outshot 42-29 on Saturday.

*USCHO poll used

NCAA Game Night: 11-16-12

No. 17 Harvard Crimson 4 @ No. 10 Cornell Big Red 1

F Brian Hart, HAR: Did not play
Season totals: 5 GP, 1-2-3, +4, 6 PIM

D/W Kirill Gotovets, COR: 0-0-0, -1, 2 PIM, 1 SOG
Season totals: 5 GP, 0-0-0, -1, 4 PIM

Brian Hart was not in the lineup for Harvard’s win over Cornell on the NBC Sports Network. Gotovets had an undeserved minus when a teammate failed to challenge a shot that ended up in the Big Red’s goal. Gotovets played a smooth game all night, showing good jump with the puck and quick skating. He had his pocket picked early in the game, but he recovered to steal the puck back as the Crimson player was about to shoot.

Michigan State Spartans 2 @ No. 4 Miami RedHawks 2 (OT)

F Jimmy Mullin, MIA: Did not play
Season totals: 9 GP, 1-3-4, -2, 4 PIM

Jimmy Mullin was out of the lineup as the RedHawks tied Sparty, 2-2. Miami won the shootout, 2-0, thought the game will go down as a tie. The game-tying goal was scored by Jake Chelios, son of former Blackhawk and Red Wing, Chris Chelios.

Quinnipiac Bobcats 5 @ Clarkson Golden Knights 2

F Matthew Peca, QU: 1-0-1, +1, 2 PIM, 1 SOG
Season totals: 10 GP, 3-1-4, E, 4 PIM

Matthew Peca (pictured) scored his third goal of the year to help the Bobcats to a road win over Clarkson. Peca had 39 points in 39 games last year as a freshman, but has found points harder to come by this season.

Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs 4 @ No. 6 North Dakota Fighting Sioux 4 (OT)

F Brendan O’Donnell, UND: 0-0-0, -1, 0 PIM, 2 SOG
Season totals: 9 GP, 1-3-4, -4, 2 PIM

Each team had two leads on Friday in a game that ended in a 4-4 tie.

Wisconsin Badgers 2 @ No. 3 Minnesota Golden Gophers 2 (OT)

G Adam Wilcox, MIN: Tie, 22 saves on 24 shots
Season totals (pregame): 7 GP, 5-1-1, 1.58 GAA, .924 sv%, 2 SO

Adam Wilcox got his fifth-consecutive start for the Gophers and earned his second straight tie. Minnesota outshot Bucky, 43-24.

No. 9 Western Michigan Broncos 1 @ Alaska-Fairbanks Nanooks 6

D Luke Witkowski, WMU: 0-0-0, 0 PIM
Season totals: 10 GP, 0-3-3, -3, 12 PIM

Some of the WMU players were joking on Twitter this week about taking time to fish while in Alaska. Considering the Broncos only put up 17 shots (7 through 2 periods) to Alaska's 32, they might as well have been "gone fishing." The Nanooks took it to the ninth-ranked team in the country, defeating them 6-1.

*USCHO poll used

NCAA Game Night: 11-10-12

RPI Engineers 0 @ No. 14 Harvard Crimson 4

F Brian Hart, HAR: 1-0-1, +3, 0 PIM, 2 SOG, *Second Star*
Season totals: 5 GP, 1-2-3, +4, 6 PIM

Brian Hart (pictured) had his first collegiate goal on Saturday in Harvard’s win over visiting RPI. Hart has a 3-game point streak in this, his freshman year. By comparison, Lightning prospect Alex Killorn had 6 goals and 14 points as a freshman at Harvard (30 games). Raphael Girard (undrafted) had the shutout for the Crimson on Saturday.

No. 16 Northern Michigan Wildcats 2 @ No. 5 Miami RedHawks 2

F Jimmy Mullin, MIA: 0-0-0, -1, 0 PIM, 0 SOG
Season totals: 9 GP, 1-3-4, -2, 4 PIM

Miami scored with under three minutes remaining in regulation to salvage a tie with visiting Northern Michigan. Miami won the shootout, 2-0, though the result is officially a tie.

No. 4 Cornell Big Red 1 @ Quinnipiac Bobcats 4

D/W Kirill Gotovets, COR: 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 0 SOG
Season totals: 4 GP, 0-0-0, E, 2 PIM

F Matthew Peca, QU: 0-0-0, -1, 0 PIM, 4 SOG
Season totals: 9 GP, 2-1-3, -1, 2 PIM

Cornell lost for the second time this weekend and fell to 3-2-1 overall. They will likely fall out of the USCHO top-10 on Monday. Meanwhile, Quinnipiac won for the second time in two nights. They’re hoping to get back into the top-20 after falling out early in the season.

No. 6 North Dakota Fighting Sioux 2 @ No. 15 St. Cloud State Huskies 5

F Brendan O’Donnell, UND: 0-0-0, -1, 0 PIM, 0 SOG
Season totals: 8 GP, 1-3-4, -3, 2 PIM

Brendan O’Donnell created a few scoring chances, but the night belonged to the Huskies, who scored twice in the third period to break open a close game. The game was televised on NESN. UND defeated SCSU, 3-0, on Friday night.

No. 2 Minnesota Golden Gophers 2 @ Alaska-Anchorage SeaWolves 2

G Adam Wilcox, MIN: Tie, 21 saves on 23 shots
Season totals (pregame): 7 GP, 5-1-1, 1.58 GAA, .924 sv%, 2 SO

Adam Wilcox was in net for the second-consecutive night and fourth-consecutive game for the Gophers. It appears he's taken over as the No. 2 team in the country's No. 1 goaltender. Wilcox shut out the SeaWolves on Friday night, stopping 14 shots. Alaska had 17 through two periods on Saturday. There was no shootout following the tie.

No. 10 Western Michigan Broncos 2 @ Bowling Green Falcons 2 (OT)

D Luke Witkowski, WMU: 0-0-0, -2, 2 PIM (slashing), 1 SOG
Season totals: 9 GP, 0-3-3, -3, 12 PIM

The Broncos went 1-0-1 against the Falcons in a home-and-home set this weekend. WMU won the shootout, 2-0, though the game will go down as a tie. WMU was able to kill off Witkowski’s slashing penalty in overtime to secure the point. Lightning free agent target Danny DeKeyser remains out with a leg injury. He’s considered day-to-day.

*USCHO poll used

NCAA Game Night: 11-9-12

No. 4 Cornell Big Red 3 @ Princeton Tigers 5

D/W Kirill Gotovets, COR: 0-0-0, E, 2 PIM (cross-checking), 2 SOG
Season totals: 3 GP, 0-0-0, E, 2 PIM

Gotovets was back in the lineup for the Big Red after missing two games. Cornell lost their first game of the season (3-1-1).

No. 8 Union Dutchmen 6 @ No. 14 Harvard Crimson 2

F Brian Hart, HAR: 0-1-1, E, 0 PIM, 3 SOG
Season totals: 4 GP, 0-2-2, +1, 6 PIM

Brian Hart had an assist for the second-straight game, but the Crimson fell at home to 6-1-1 Union.

No. 16 Northern Michigan Wildcats 2 @ No. 5 Miami RedHawks 5

F Jimmy Mullin, MIA: 0-1-1, E, 0 PIM, 3 SOG
Season totals: 8 GP, 1-3-4, -1, 4 PIM

Lightning camper Austin Czarnik had a goal and three points for Miami. He has three goals and five points in his last two games. Lightning prospect Jimmy Mullin had an assist against the Wildcats.

Colgate Raiders 2 @ Quinnipiac Bobcats 3 (OT)

F Matthew Peca, QU: 0-0-0, -1, 0 PIM
Season totals: 8 GP, 2-1-3, -1, 2 PIM

Quinnipiac limited the Raiders to just 10 shots on goal. The Bobcats scored on their 37th shot, which was their overtime goal to win the game.

No. 6 North Dakota Fighting Sioux 3 @ No. 15 St. Cloud State Huskies 0

F Brendan O’Donnell, UND: 1-0-1, +1, 0 PIM, 2 SOG, *Third Star*
Season totals: 7 GP, 1-3-4, -2, 2 PIM

Brendan O’Donnell (pictured) scored his first goal of the year, the game-opener and eventual game-winner at St. Cloud State. O’Donnell had five goals in 17 games last year before getting injured.

No. 2 Minnesota Golden Gophers 4 @ Alaska-Anchorage SeaWolves 0

G Adam Wilcox, MIN: Win, 14 saves on 14 shots, shutout
Season totals (pregame): 6 GP, 5-1-0, 1.81 GAA, .917 sv%, 2 SO

Adam Wilcox stopped 14 shots for his second collegiate shutout on Friday as the Gophers beat the SeaWolves in Alaska. Wilcox only face seven shots through two periods, then stopped seven in the final frame. Minnesota scored all their goals on the power play.

Bowling Green Falcons 1 @ No. 10 Western Michigan Broncos 3

D Luke Witkowski, WMU: 0-0-0, -1, 2 PIM (holding the stick), 2 SOG
Season totals: 8 GP, 0-3-3, -1, 10 PIM

The Broncos held Bowling Green to just 12 shots on goal Friday in their 3-1 win.

*USCHO poll used

NCAA Game Night: 11-6-12

American International Yellow Jackets 2 @ Quinnipiac Bobcats 1

F Matthew Peca, QU: 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 4 SOG
Season totals: 7 GP, 2-1-3, -1, 2 PIM

Michael Peca was scoreless for the second straight game as the Bobcats lost a tough one at home to visiting American International. Quinnipiac outshot AIC, 40-17, but were stymied by Ben Meisner (undrafted) in the Yellow Jacket nets. Meisner came into the game with a 4.14 goals against average. The Bobcats fell to 3-3-1. Earlier this week they fell out of the USCHO top-20 to No. 27.

NCAA Game Night: 11-4-12

No. 11 Western Michigan Broncos 0 @ No. 7 Notre Dame Fighting Irish 4

D Luke Witkowski, WMU: 0-0-0, -1, 2 PIM (charging), 2 SOG
Season totals: 7 GP, 0-3-3, E, 8 PIM

The Broncos upset the Irish on Friday night, but the Irish got their revenge on Sunday, defeating WMU, 4-0. Alaska native Steven Summerhays (undrafted) got the shutout and Anders Lee (Islanders) had two goals for Notre Dame.

NCAA Game Night: 11-3-12

Colgate Raiders 2 @ No. 6 Cornell Big Red 2 (OT)

D/W Kirill Gotovets, COR: Did not play
Season totals: 2 GP, 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM

Gotovets was not in the lineup for the Big Red on Saturday night. He missed both weekend games against Cornell.

Yale Bulldogs 5 @ No. 13 Harvard Crimson 1

F Brian Hart, HAR: 0-1-1, E, 0 PIM, 2 SOG
Season totals: 3 GP, 0-1-1, +1, 6 PIM

Harvard freshman Brian Hart (pictured) earned his first collegiate point, but the Crimson suffered a bad loss at home to their rivals.

No. 4 Miami RedHawks 4 @ No. 19 Ferris State Bulldogs 1

F Jimmy Mullin, MIA: 0-0-0, +1, 0 PIM, 3 SOG
Season totals: 7 GP, 1-2-3, -1, 4 PIM

Miami got some revenge on FSU, who defeated the RedHawks on Friday night. Lightning camper Austin Czarnik had two goals for Miami.

No. 12 Boston Terriers 4 @ No. 5 North Dakota Fighting Sioux 2

F Brendan O’Donnell, UND: 0-0-0, -2, 0 PIM, 0 SOG
Season totals: 6 GP, 0-3-3, -3, 2 PIM

Brendan O’Donnell had his 3-game point streak snapped in a loss to Boston University. UND had won, 4-2, on Friday.

No. 2 Minnesota Golden Gophers 3 @ Minnesota State Mavericks 5

G Adam Wilcox, MIN: Loss, 26 saves on 30 shots
Season totals: 5 GP, 4-1-0, 1.81 GAA, .917 sv%, 1 SO

Adam Wilcox started for the second-straight night, but unlike Friday, he couldn’t keep his team tied long enough for the Gophers to win the game. On Saturday, the teams were tied 3-3 until the Mavs scored the eventual game-winner with under four minutes left in regulation. They added an empty net goal late. This was Wilcox’s first collegiate loss in five games.

NCAA Game Night: 11-2-12

No. 6 Cornell Big Red 3 @ Colgate Raiders 1

D/W Kirill Gotovets, COR: Did not play
Season totals: 2 GP, 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM

Gotovets was not in the lineup for the Big Red on Friday night.

Brown Bears 2 @ No. 13 Harvard Crimson 3

F Brian Hart, HAR: 0-0-0, +1, 0 PIM, 4 SOG
Season totals: 2 GP, 0-0-0, +1, 6 PIM

Harvard freshman Brian Hart – a second round pick of the Lightning this summer – was robbed on a breakaway and was originally credited with an assist on one of the Crimson’s goals. The scoring was later changed.

No. 4 Miami RedHawks 0 @ No. 19 Ferris State Bulldogs 3

F Jimmy Mullin, MIA: 0-0-0, -1, 2 PIM (tripping), 2 SOG
Season totals: 6 GP, 1-2-3, -2, 4 PIM

FSU’s CJ Motte (undrafted) stopped 25 shots for the shutout and first star honors. This was a 1-0 game entering the third period.

No. 12 Boston Terriers 2 @ No. 5 North Dakota Fighting Sioux 4

F Brendan O’Donnell, UND: 0-1-1, +1, 0 PIM, 4 SOG
Season totals: 5 GP, 0-3-3, -1, 2 PIM

Brendan O’Donnell had a point for the third-straight game, a secondary assist on Conner Gaarder’s first goal of the game. Gaarder (undrafted) added two more in the contest before Panthers pick Rocco Grimaldi finished off the scoring for the Sioux into an empty net.

Minnesota State Mavericks 2 @ No. 2 Minnesota Golden Gophers 3

G Adam Wilcox, MIN: Win, 21 saves on 23 shots
Season totals (pregame): 3 GP, 3-0-0, 1.14 GAA, .934 sv%, 1 SO

Freshman Adam Wilcox (pictured) started his second-straight game for Minnesota and was spectacular, stopping 21 of 23 shots to improve to 4-0 on the year. While he wasn’t named a game star, he was named Fox Sports North’s player of the game. He is expected to start again on Saturday in Mankato for the rematch. Unmarked forwards on Wilcox’s back door scored both shots that beat the freshman goaltender. On the second goal he stopped two shots in a flurry, then the puck hit the post before the Mavs tapped it into the open side of the net. Wilcox was huge in the third period while protecting a one-goal lead.

No. 11 Western Michigan Broncos 3 @ No. 7 Notre Dame Fighting Irish 2

D Luke Witkowski, WMU: 0-0-0, E, 2 PIM (cross-checking), 1 SOG
Season totals: 6 GP, 0-3-3, +1, 6 PIM

The Broncos skated to leads of 2-0 and 3-1 and held on for a hard-fought win in South Bend on Friday. “What a battle,” Lightning prospect and WMU captain Luke Witkowkski tweeted after the game. Notre Dame outshot WMU 37-25, including 18-4 in the third period.

*USCHO poll used

NCAA Game Night: 10-28-12

Canisius Griffins 0 @ No. 2 Minnesota Golden Gophers 1

G Adam Wilcox, MIN: Win, 20 saves on 20 shots, shutout, *Second Star*
Season totals (pregame): 3 GP, 3-0-0, 1.14 GAA, .934 sv%, 1 SO

Freshman Adam Wilcox started for the Gophers and turned in a gem, stopping all 20 shots he faced for his first collegiate shutout. Wilcox was composed in the net for the entirety of the game, showing good positional work and displaying above-average athleticism. His athleticism was on full display late in the third period while protecting a 1-0 lead. Wilcox stopped an opposing forward on a partial breakaway by first using a pokecheck, then recovering to close his legs as the forward was able to corral the loose puck and try to go 5-hole. With 22 seconds left in the game Wilcox moved from his right to his left and lunged at a lone Griffin staring at an open net. He knocked the puck out of the air with his glove and the puck was cleared.

The hometown scorers rightly gave Wilcox the Second Star, but the first should have gone to Griffins goaltender Tony Capobianco, who was spectacular for Canisius. Capobianco was beaten on a screened deflection 12 seconds into the game, then stopped the next 41 shots he faced. Capobianco got Third Star.

Canisius – alma mater of Lightning prospect Cory Conacher – was looking for its first win over a WCHA club. Conacher’s younger brother, Shane, will attend Canisius next year on a hockey scholarship.

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