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AHL Game Night 12/30: Sound Tigers at Falcons

Karri Ramo's superb play may be overshadowing him, but that hasn't stopped Jonathan Boutin from showing a remarkable amount of progress this season.

BRI-1
SPR-3

Boutin stopped 36 of 37 shots faced tonight to extend Springfield's winning streak to four games. The win moves Boutin to a positively brilliant 5-0-1 for the month of December with a minisculle 1.59 GAA and a gaudy .949 save percentage in 8 appearances. Ramo gets a lot of much deserved publicity and praise, but Boutin has actually matched or bested him in almost every statistical category but wins this year. Boutin's save percentage has improved 35 points from where he finished last season and he's climbing the learning curve at such a steep rate at some point we need to start talking about Boutin possibly earning some time in the NHL within the next year. Three years ago, goaltending was the biggest weakness of the organization prospect wise. Now it's almost a embarassment of riches.

Norm Milley led the Falcons offensively with a pair of assists as the team got goals from Doug O'Brien, Daniel Corso and Andy Delmore. Blair Jones, Marek Kvapil, Matt Smaby and Eric Healey added individual assists. Snakebitten David Spina failed on a penalty shot attempt early in the first period in the game. Boutin, Milley and Smaby were named the game's three stars.

The Falcons now move to 5 games over .500 at 19-14-1 for 39 points. Their win coupled with a Portland shootout loss to Worcester moves the Falcons into a tie for 2nd place in the Atlantic Division 4 points behind Manchester with a game in hand. It's the stuff that dreams are made of, it really is.

First Period
NO SCORING

Second Period
SPR O'Brien, (1) (Jones, Kvapil), 6:05
BRI Regier, (9) (Nielsen, Boguniecki), 8:38 (PP)
SPR Corso, (5) (Milley, Smaby), 18:49

Third Period
SPR Delmore, (9) (Milley, Healey), 4:50 (PP)

Game sheet from TheAHL.com.

Kevin Quick update:

Kevin Quick has three assists in eight games this season for Salisbury Prep School out of Salisbury, Conn. The defensemen also has 4 PIM and a +4 rating.

The Crimson Knights recently finished second in the Flood-Mar Tournament December 15-17, losing 4-3 in double overtime to Hotchkiss School out of Lakeville, Conn. in the final.

Salisbury plays again in a double header in the Founders Jamboree on January 3. They open against Avon Old Farms School out of Avon, Conn. Then play Choate Rosemary Hall from Wallingford, Conn.

USA Crushes Slovakia at WJCs

Team USA effectively stomped the life out of Slovakia's WJC hopes today defeating them 6-1 today in round robin play in Sweden. Vladimir Mihalik was -1 with 1 shot on goal in the game. Marek Bartanus was -2 with 2 penalty minutes in the game. The road gets worse for Slovakia as tomorrow they square off with defending tournament champion Canada in their final game of the round robin.

NCAA Game Night: 12/29

The college hockey holiday tournaments are underway....

Mike Lundin had an assist in Maine's 8-4 win over Western Michigan to open the Florida College Classic in Estero. He finished with an even rating in the game. It was the defensemen's 7th assist and 9th point of the season. The Black Bears face Cornell in tonights matchup.

Art Femenella was scoreless with 4 penalty minutes in Vermont's 3-0 win over Rensselaer in the Sheraton/TD Banknorth Catamount Cup Tournament. Femenella has compiled 28 PIM in 9 games this season. The Catamounts host St. Cloud State this evening.

John Wessbecker was scoreless and even in UMASS' shootout loss to Ferris State in the Dodge Holiday Classic in Minneapolis. Regulation ended in a 1-1 tie before the Bulldogs won the shootout 3-1. The Minutemen take on Alabama-Huntsville tonight.

Afanasenkov Claimed on Waivers/Karlsson Clears

According to Erlendsson's blog, Dimitry Afanasenkov has been claimed off waivers by the Philadelphia Flyers, removing the rest of his annual $738K salary from under the Lightning salary cap. Center Andreas Karlsson did clear waivers however, but he will not be sent down to Springfield and will be in the lineup tonight against Montreal.

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