Stirling Singles Out Six

In today's [i]Springfield Republican[/i], Falcons Head Coach Steve Stirling, who with assistant coach Darren Rumble led the Lightning's entry in the 2006 Traverse City Prospects Tournament, mentioned six players as standing out for their good play in Michigan. He also noted that the team got better with each game in Traverse City, which is encouraging. Stirling called goaltenders Riku Helenius and Karri Ramo "outstanding," and said the defensive play was highlighted by the efforts of Matt Smaby and Vladimir Mihalik. The former New York Islanders coach also pointed to returning Falcon Marek Kvapil as being the top forward for Tampa in the tournament: "He showed that he can pick up the pace and push the puck up ice." Perhaps the most intruiging storyline followed in the tournament was the battle among the young first year forwards. The winner(s) of this battle, which will last throughout Falcons camp, will earn one of the few spots available on a scoring line in Springfield. According to Stirling, center Blair Jones stood out among the young forwards as he "was outstanding as a two-way forward" and "played with a lot of confidence." Stirling also spoke of Falcons signee Maxim Boisclair, saying the Haiti native and QMJHL goalscoring star had an impressive work ethic.