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CHL Game Night: 11-8-18

Quebec Major Junior Hockey League

Baie-Comeau Drakkar 2 @ Rouyn-Noranda Huskies 4

C/W Gabriel Fortier, BC: 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 5 SOG, 7/17 FO, 2 Hits
Season Totals: 20 GP, 8-15-23, +13, 9 PIM
17-18 Totals: 66 GP, 26-33-59, -11, 59 PIM

In a match-up against the high-powered Huskies, Baie-Comeau fell behind 2-0 and 4-1 before crawling back to 4-2 early in the third. That would be the closest they’d get against Nikita Kucherov’s former team. Rouyn-Noranda is the top-ranked QMJHL team in the CHL Top 10, coming in at No. 3. The Drakkar are No. 6, one spot behind fellow Q club Moncton. Thursday was a good test for Baie-Comeau, and one that no doubt provided several teaching points for coaches.

CIBC Canada Russia Series (Sarnia, Ontario)

Team OHL 3 vs Russia 1

C/W Alexey Lipanov, RUS: 0-0-0, -1, 0 PIM, 1 SOG, 4/11 FO
Season Totals (KIT): 12 GP, 2-3-5, -9, 8 PIM
17-18 Totals (BAR, SBY): 55 GP, 14-25-39, -14, 10 PIM

Team OHL outplayed Team Russia in the first game of the CIBC Canada Russia Series pitting top OHL players against Russian selects. Lipanov failed to impress, as reported by Raw Charge, in his only game for Russia in the series. He will not play in Russia’s second game against the OHL.

Lipanov is an interesting case. When he was drafted, our collective prediction was that if he could move to the CHL he would have the chance to put up a lot of points and increase his chances of eventually starting his pro career in a prominent role. Everything was on track as he was over a point-per-game with Barrie before he was traded to a struggling Sudbury side. That’s when things went south. It’s tough to play for a struggling team, but there are plenty of NHL stars who have made the big leagues coming out of struggling programs. They found a way to drive play regardless.

Lipanov, per reports, is playing well in a secondary role this year – now with Kitchener after another trade. The Lightning have already signed him, which was a bit of a head scratcher as he didn’t seem like a slam dunk pro at the time and there was plenty of time for a decision to be made. However, there may have been more at play such as an invitation to go back home and the Lightning wanted him to remain in North America (though the contract wouldn’t kick in until his pro career started). He seems a bit lost at the moment and doesn’t possess the confidence or swagger he had when entering CHL play. There’s plenty of time, but missing out on both Canada-Russia games (he wasn't chosen for both) and potentially being left off the WJC roster could be big. Time will tell.

NHL Game Night: 11-8-18 Islanders at Lightning

Played half a game. Doubled up a division leader.

NYI-2
TB-4

Andrei Vasilevskiy allowed 2 goals on 37 shots for the victory. Best player on the rink for either team, in my view.

First Period
3:40 NYI Bailey (4), (Nelson)

Second Period
5:58 TB Joseph (2), (Killorn, Stralman)
11:12 TB Miller (5), (Sergachev, Stamkos)

Third Period
8:43 NYI Bailey (5), (Pelech, Barzal)
18:34 TB Johnson (6), (Kucherov, Gourde)
19:50 TB Stamkos (6), (Miller, McDonagh)(EN)

Vasilevsky and Tyler Johnson were the game's first and second stars.

That wasn't a great effort overall. Like the games against Montreal and Ottawa, you had the Lightning coming out very flat and almost disinterested in the First Period. Turned on the jets in the Second Period to take the 2-1 lead before coasting a bit too much toward the intermission. Then, in the Third Period, they just had a quick, three-way play highlighted by a very skilled setup by Kucherov and they win. They're just toying with teams at this point. It's not sustainable over the long run, but there's something amusing watching it happen night in and night out right now... especially knowing Victor Hedman's return to the lineup is imminent.

Mathieu Joseph had a goal and was +1 with 1 shot, 1 hit, and 1 blocked shot in 11:38. Excellent placement on the shot off the rush and used the defender as a screen.

Slater Koekkoek had 2 penalty minutes and 1 shot in 13:54.

Anthony Cirelli was +1 with 1 shot and 1 hit and was 60% on 10 draws in 14:10. Worked himself into a breakaway opportunity that I wish he'd done more with to reward himself.

Adam Erne had 1 shot and 5 hits in 14:10. Played chippy tonight.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

CHL Game Night: 11-6-18

Ontario Hockey League

Kitchener Rangers 5 @ Peterborough Petes 3

C/W Alexey Lipanov, KIT: 0-1-1, +1, 0 PIM, 1 SOG, 3/9 FO
Season Totals: 12 GP, 2-3-5, -9, 8 PIM
17-18 Totals (BAR, SBY): 55 GP, 14-25-39, -14, 10 PIM

Lipanov had an assist as Kitchener broke their losing streak with a win over Steve Yzerman’s old team. Former Bolt prospect Christopher Paquette, who wasn’t signed by the Lightning, scored his 11th of the season for the Petes in 19 games. He had 16 in 61 last year. This is an overage year for him – the sixth season of his OHL career.

NHL Game Night: 11-6-18 Oilers at Lightning

Lightning crush upstart Oilers on national TV.

EDM-2
TB-5

Andrei Vasilevskiy allowed 2 goals on 35 shots for the victory. Strong game to help provide the backbone for a strong night by the team, overall.

First Period
4:40 TB Stamkos (5), (Kucherov)
19:34 TB Point (9), (Gourde, Johnson)

Second Period
12:32 EDM Strome (1), (Klefbom)
13:19 TB Gourde (7), (McDonagh, Point)
18:59 TB Kucherov (6), (Stamkos, Coburn)

Third Period
0:40 EDM Draisaitl (9), (Rattie, Nugent-Hopkins)(PP)
8:23 TB Kucherov (7), (Miller, Stamkos)(PP)

Nikita Kucherov, Vasilevskiy, and Steven Stamkos were the game's three stars.

Friendly reminder: the Lightning are doing all this without the services of the reigning Norris Trophy winner. There's another gear or two above this.

I doubt the NHL will do anything about it, but the cowardly attack by Milan Lucic on a rookie half his size has no place in the game. Pure scumbag sore loser garbage.

The Lightning sit at 23 points through 15 games. By my count they need just 1 point in the next 5 games to seal playoff pace through two 10-game segments of the season, and just 4 points in those 5 games to seal a successful segment #2 of the campaign (12 in 10). So, there's opportunity to run up some insurance points again, for sure.

Mathieu Joseph was -1 with 2 hits in 8:22. He was the recipient of the aforementioned Milan Lucic assault. Brave man to pick on a skinny rookie that's only 2/3 his size.

Slater Koekkoek was +1 with 2 shots and 1 blocked shot in 12:53.

Anthony Cirelli had 1 shot and was 38% on 8 draws in 12:37.

Adam Erne had 2 shots and 3 hits in 14:38.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

CHL Game Night: 11-5-18

Quebec Major Junior Hockey League

Blainville-Boisbriand Armada 3 @ Baie-Comeau Drakkar 1

C/W Gabriel Fortier, BC: 0-0-0, -1, 0 PIM, 3 SOG, 9/12 FO, 0 Hits
Season Totals: 19 GP, 8-15-23, +13, 9 PIM
17-18 Totals: 66 GP, 26-33-59, -11, 59 PIM

Baie-Comeau fell to 14-4-0-1 on the year after a 3-1 home loss to Cedric Paquette’s former club. The Drakkar is one point behind Moncton for first in the East. Fortier had his five-game point streak snapped in the loss.

Ontario Hockey League

London Knights 3 @ Kitchener Rangers 0

C/W Alexey Lipanov, KIT: 0-0-0, -2, 2 PIM, 2 SOG, 12/17 FO
Season Totals: 11 GP, 2-2-4, -10, 8 PIM
17-18 Totals (BAR, SBY): 55 GP, 14-25-39, -14, 10 PIM

London got a goal from recent Edmonton Oiler assignee Evan Bouchard, who was making his season debut after putting up 87 points in 67 games last year. Bouchard was taken 10th overall by the Oilers last summer. On Sunday, London also got a shutout from former Soo goaltender Adam Raaymakers (undrafted) en route to a 3-0 win over Kitchener. The Rangers have lost back-to-back home games, 3-0. Lipanov is -5 over those two games and -10 for the season. He has been even or a negative in all but one game so far. Lightning Director of Player Development Stacy Roest was on Sirius Radio’s Hockey Prospects Radio Show on the weekend and talked up Lipanov, saying that despite the low numbers Lipanov is playing well and the organization likes his overall game (though he did say Lipanov should shoot more). Lipanov has already been signed by the Lightning. The Russian seems to be flip-flopping between center and wing with the Rangers as he’s trying to find his groove.

NHL Game Night: 11-4-18 Lightning at Senators

No one makes Brayden Point bleed his own blood.

TB-4
OTT-3 (OT)

Louis Domingue allowed 3 goals on 25 shots for the win. After getting shelled in Arizona and then quickly falling behind a couple of goals in this one, Domingue had to show some mental toughness under adversity. He, for the most part, sucked it up and pulled through.

First Period
4:55 OTT Ryan (4), (Stone, Chabot)(PP)
14:49 OTT Lajoie (5), (Dzingel, Boedker)(PP)

Second Period
0:38 TB Paquette (2), (McDonagh, Erne)

Third Period
3:04 TB Joseph (1), (Cirelli, Stralman)
15:16 OTT Ceci (2), (Tierney, Stone)
19:33 TB Point (8), (Johnson, McDonagh)(PP)

Overtime
0:14 TB Gourde (6), (Point, McDonagh)

Brayden Point was the game's first star after being bloodied taking one to the face, scoring the tying goal, and then less than a minute of running time later setting up the OT winner with some bravery taking it to the net. He and McDonagh both played really good games, and McDonagh is pulling off the near impossible task of filling Victor Hedman's shoes and doing it in style while the big man is out.

This game, in some ways, a bit like the contest last night in Montreal. The team came out and didn't have their A game and fell behind the eight ball as the penalty kill has started to see a bit of a market correction in recent play. They then asserted their dominance and slowly set about the task of trying to get some goals past Craig Anderson. Unfortunately, after tying the game and as the game got chippy, a moment of indiscipline led to a quick Ottawa goal and it looked like the Lightning's comeback bid would fall short. That's where McDonagh and Point's heroics kicked in. All in all, the Lightning outshot Ottawa 45-25, and those possession numbers are the ones that really get me most excited about the way the team's been playing lately.

Mathieu Joseph had his first NHL goal and was +1 with 1 shot, 3 hits, and 2 blocked shots in 12:20. Now that he's got one, we'll see if it's floodgates for the young speedster.

Slater Koekkoek was -1 with 2 shots, 2 hits, and 1 blocked shot in 13:54.

Anthony Cirelli was +1 with a helper, 4 shots, 1 hit, and 2 blocked shots in 13:23. He was also 73% on 11 draws.

Adam Erne had a helper and was +1 with 2 penalty minutes, 1 shot, and 1 blocked shot in 13:16. In general, you saw young guys stepping up at the tail end of a road back-to-back and providing some spark and secondary scoring when the team really needed it.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

NCAA Game Night: 11-3-18

#2 St. Cloud State Huskies 2 @ Colorado College Tigers 1

D Nick Perbix, STC: 0-0-0, E, 2 PIM, 1 SOG
Season Totals: 8 GP, 0-3-3, +8, 6 PIM

The #2 ranked Huskies completed the sweep of Colorado College Saturday night, relying on a pair of power play goals in the 3rd period to overcome a 1-0 deficit. St. Cloud netminder David Hrenak (LAK, 2018 5th round pick) stopped 29 Tiger shots for the win. After a scoreless 1st period, Colorado College opened the scoring just past the midpoint of the 2nd with a power play goal from Westin Michaud (undrafted). Hrenak would seal the net from that point, and man-advantage markers from Jack Poehling (undrafted) and Easton Brodzinski (undrafted) in the 3rd would be the difference. St. Cloud State improves to 7-1 (2-0 NCHC) on the season and returns home next weekend when the Huskies take on the #8 ranked Denver Pioneers in a big NCHC conference battle. Adding to the drama, freshman Lightning prospects Nick Perbix and Cole Guttman will likely square off across the ice.

Western Michigan Broncos 3 @ #9 Denver Pioneers 4 OT

F Cole Guttman, DEN: 0-0-0, -1, 0 PIM, 3 SOG, 8/14 FO
Season Totals: 6 GP, 2-4-6, +7, 4 PIM

Jarid Lukosevicius (undrafted) continued his heroics Saturday night against Western Michigan, scoring the overtime game-winner a night after notching a hat trick against this same Bronco team. Lukosevicius gave the Pioneers a 2-0 lead in the 2nd period with a power play goal, following Slava Demin’s (VGK, 2018 4th round pick) power play marker in the 1st for Denver. But WMU mounted a comeback in the 3rd, scoring three goals in the span of 5:16 to take the lead 3-2 with about ½ a period to play. Emilio Pettersen (CGY, 2018 6th round pick) scored on the power play with 2:30 remaining in regulation to knot the score at 3-3 and send the match into overtime. Pettersen's goal and two assists and Ian Mitchell's (CHI, 2017 5th round pick) pair of assists helped lead the Pioneers. Denver improves to 5-0-1 (2-0 NCHC) on the season, and travels to the Herb Brooks National Hockey Center in St. Cloud next weekend to take on the Huskies in a dual of conference unbeatens.

#4 Minnesota State Mavericks 2 @ #10 Minnesota Gophers 1

D Ryan Zuhlsdorf, MINN: 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 0 SOG
Season Totals: 5 GP, 0-1-1, E, 0 PIM
’17-‘18 Totals: 38 GP, 0-9-9, +1, 40 PIM

F Sammy Walker, MINN: 0-0-0, E, 2 PIM, 2 SOG, 4/10 FO
Season Totals: 5 GP, 1-0-1, -1, 2 PIM

The #4 ranked Mavericks defense allowed just 15 Gophers shots Saturday as Minnesota State completed the weekend sweep in Mankato of their cross-state Minnesota rivals. Gopher forward Rem Pitlick (NAS, 2016 3rd round pick) gave Minnesota a 1-0 lead in the 1st with a power play goal, but State would strike back in the 2nd with a power play marker of its own and a short-handed tally that would eventually prove to be the game winner. Maverick netminder Mathias Israelsson (undrafted) barred the net in the 3rd for his fourth win of the season. The Gophers drop to a disappointing 1-3-1 and travel to Madison next weekend to open Big Ten conference play against #16 ranked Wisconsin.

Brown Bears 2 @ #18 Cornell Big Red 3

D Alex Green, COR: did not play
Season Totals: 3 GP, 0-1-1, -4, 0 PIM

Cornell scored three times in the 2nd period and held on for the win, improving their record to 2-2 (2-0 ECAC) on the season. Bolt prospect Alex Green did not dress for the Big Red. Cornell travels to Marquette next weekend for a non-conference series against Northern Michigan.

UMass-Lowell River Hawks 1 @ Maine Black Bears 0

F Ryan Lohin, UML: did not play
Season Totals: 4 GP, 0-1-1, E, 2 PIM

Sam Knoblauch (undrafted) scored the lone goal of the game early in the 3rd to give UML the win and split the weekend series with the Black Bears. Finn netminder Christoffer Hernberg (undrafted) pitched a 24-save shutout for UMass-Lowell for the win, Lightning prospect Ryan Lohin did not dress for the fourth consecutive UML game. The River Hawks improve to 4-4 (1-2 HEAST) on the season and returns home to the Tsongas Center next Friday night for a HEAST showdown against Bolt prospect Ty Taylor and New Hampshire.

#11 Massachusetts Minutemen 5 @ New Hampshire Wildcats 1

G Ty Taylor, UNH: did not play
Season Totals: 2 GP, 0-1-0, 4.42 GAA, 0.848 SV%

The Minutemen scored early and often Saturday night, handing the Wildcats their fourth loss of the season. UNH got their lone goal from Japanese winger Kohei Sato (undrafted) late in the 3rd to spoil UMass goalie Matt Murray’s (undrafted) shutout bid. The Minutemen were led by John Leonard (SJS, 2018 6th round pick) and Mitchell Chaffee (undrafted) each with a goal and two assists. New Hampshire falls to 1-4-1 (1-1 HEAST) on the season and travels to Lowell next Friday night in a HEAST conference bout against the River Hawks.

*USCHO poll used for rankings

CHL Game Night: 11-3-18

Quebec Major Junior Hockey League

Saint John Sea Dogs 1 @ Baie-Comeau Drakkar 8

C/W Gabriel Fortier, BC: 0-1-1, +3, 0 PIM, 4 SOG, 9/15 FO, 0 Hits
Season Totals: 18 GP, 8-15-23, +14, 11 PIM
17-18 Totals: 66 GP, 26-33-59, -11, 59 PIM

The Drakkar’s depth was on display as they put up a snowman on visiting Saint John, though Fortier only had an assist in the contest. San Jose seventh rounder (2017) Ivan Chekhovich had four goals for B-C. He now has 15 goals in 18 games.

Shawinigan Cataractes 2 @ Rimouski Oceanic 6

D Radim Salda, RIM: 0-1-1, E, 2 PIM, 1 SOG, 2 Hits
Season Totals: 7 GP, 3-4-7, -2, 8 PIM
17-18 Totals (SJ): 62 GP, 10-31-41, -37, 78 PIM

Alexis Lafreniere (2020 eligible) had a hat trick and four points to lead Rimouski to a 6-2 home win over Shawinigan. Salda continues to put points on the scoreboard.

NHL Game Night: 11-3-18 Lightning at Canadiens

Lightning toy with Montreal like a cat toys with a mouse.

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MTL-1

Andrei Vasilevskiy allowed just 1 goal on 35 shots for the victory. Really played solid at several moments of the game, most notably the first half of the First Period and the Second Period, when the team in front of him looked a little disinterested.

First Period
0:58 MTL Domi (7), (unassisted)
13:42 TB Stamkos (3), (Kucherov)
16:24 TB Miller (4), (Stralman)

Second Period
NO SCORING

Third Period
0:52 TB Stamkos (4), (Kucherov, Stralman)
15:57 TB Gourde (5), (Point, Stralman)

Vasilevskiy, Steven Stamkos, and Anton Stralman were the game's three stars.

Tonight was a pretty stark illustration of the talent gap between these two teams. Montreal played really hard tonight for sixty minutes and still got smoked by a Lightning club that, frankly, took half the game off. The First Period was a case study in what good teams can do to frustrate the efforts of upstart underdogs. The Lightning came out really flat and quickly were down 1-0 and getting dominated until Nicolas Deslauriers took an ill-advised boarding call. Stamkos scored just after the end of the expiration of that PP, as good teams do when you give them opportunities, and all of Montreal's hard work went squandered. Vasilevskiy played well in a lax Second Period to preserve the 2-1 lead the Lightning carried out of the opening frame, and then the Lightning decided to finish off the Habs and did so pretty clinically in the Third Period. #Habsband play Taps.

Mathieu Joseph had 2 penalty minutes, 3 shots, and 2 hits in 12:42.

Slater Koekkoek was +1 with 2 shots, 1 hit, and 5 blocked shots in 14:34. Had another pretty good game tonight.

Anthony Cirelli had 3 hits and 2 blocked shots in 14:22. He was also 60% on 15 draws.

Adam Erne had 1 shot and 3 hits in 11:23.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

AHL Game Night: 11-3-18 Senators at Crunch

The Senators: good for what ails you at all levels of hockey.

BEL-1
SYR-6

Eddie Pasquale allowed just 1 goal on 27 shots for the victory. Bathe in the purifying waters of pure goal support.

First Period
3:37 SYR Verhaeghe (3), (Foote, Conacher)(PP)

Second Period
2:00 SYR Hults (1), (Spencer, Tammela)
7:18 SYR Andreoff (5), (Volkov, Conacher)
7:56 SYR Raddysh (4), (Valleau, Spencer)
16:08 SYR Conacher (2), (Andreoff, Thomas)
16:39 BEL Englund (1),(Balisy, Sturtz)

Third Perod
8:34 SYR Conacher (3),(Andreoff)

Cory Conacher, Andy Andreoff, and the secret weapon, Matthew Spencer, were the game's three stars.

Here come the Crunch, now just one game under .500 despite having several guys nicked up and injured. This sweep of the mini series with Belleville feels like an early season turning point for the club.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

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