We continue our Bolt Prospect of the Week award, an honor (virtually) given to one Tampa Bay Lightning prospect for their recent contributions on and off the ice.
The Bolt Prospect of the Week for April 15, 2014 is … Andrey Vasilevskiy, G, Salavat Yulaev (KHL - Russia).
If last week was Andrey Vasilevskiy’s final week playing in Russia, he left a lasting impression on his home country.
The teenage phenom was spectacular in net for Salavat Yulaev Ufa, nearly carrying the team through the Eastern Conference Finals to the Gagarin Cup series. While the official record books will show Mettalurg winning the series, 4-1, it was much, much closer than it appeared.
Last week Vasilevskiy allowed two goals in 10 periods of playoff hockey – and lost two games.
Ontario Hockey League
North Bay Battalion 3 @ Barrie Colts 2
Battalion win best-of-7 Eastern Conference Semifinals, 4-2
D Dylan Blujus, NB: 0-0-0, E, 2 PIM
Playoff totals: 13 GP, 3-1-4, +2, 14 PIM
Season totals: 55 GP, 4-26-30, +12, 56 PIM
2012-13 totals: 68 GP, 2-27-29, -8, 57 PIM
D Jake Dotchin, BAR: 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM
Playoff totals: 11 GP: 3-2-5, +1, 13 PIM
Season totals: 63 GP, 11-25-36, +22, 121 PIM
2012-13 totals: 66 GP, 4-18-22, E, 81 PIM
Second-seeded North Bay became the first team in the series to win a road game, eliminating the Barrie Colts in Game 6, 3-2. The Battalion led 3-1 until Barrie scored with 13 seconds left on a goal by likely top-3 pick in 2014, Aaron Ekblad. Dylan Blujus and North Bay move on to the Eastern Conference Finals where they will face top-seeded Oshawa. Jake Dotchin’s junior career is likely over for Barrie as he is eligible to play in the AHL next season. He’s got a good chance at a contract from Tampa Bay. He could join the Crunch this week for Syracuse’s final three games.
Crunch drop back below .500.
ATO Charles Lavigne allowed 4 goals on 20 shots for the loss.
ALB Boucher, (20) (Scarlett, Pesonen), 12:08 (PP)
ALB Boucher, (21) (Pesonen, Timmins), 15:24
ALB McKelvie, (9) (Zajac, Pesonen), 16:09
ALB Scarlett, (6) (Whitney, Boucher), 18:12 (PP)
Syracuse is 1 game under .500 with 3 left to play in the regular season. Their last game is next Saturday at Hamilton, at which point you'd assume a few more Crunch players will join the Lightning for depth purposes during their playoff run.
Box score from TheAHL.com.
101 reasons to be proud of their regular season.
Anders Lindback stopped all 18 shots he faced and 3 of 3 shooters for the SO victory to deliver the Lightning home ice in the first round of the playoffs against Montreal. His toe save on a Backstrom 1-timer on a Third Period penalty kill was the stuff of legend. Big Anders is definitely getting hot at the right time of the year.
Lindback was named the first star of the game. The Lightning needed a win of any flavor to get home ice in the first round and, for the most part, they remained patient and didn't get too loose defensively trying to get the W. Washington looked like they wanted no part of the game and the Lightning dominated possession and shots (32-18), but with Holtby playing pretty well there was a chance the Lightning would start freelancing outside of their system and allow the Washington skill players to capitalize. They did not, fortunately, and Matt Carle delivered the one finish they needed to get the Lightning back to Tampa Bay on Wednesday for Game One against the Habs.
The Lightning finish the season with 101 points. Triple digits is impressive for any team. For a team with so many prospects who established themselves at the NHL level this year, though, it's unbelievable.
Mike Kostka had 1 hit and 3 blocked shots in 15:41 and was denied dekeing to his backhand in the penalty shot session.
Cody Kunyk had 2 shots and 1 hit and was 20% on draws in 10:12. He nearly set up Kucherov for the winner in the Third Period off some forechecking work in the corner. First impressions: smooth skater who will work hard in the corners and along the wall. First step could use a little attention, but couldn't we all use a little first step improvement? Should be a good add for Syracuse next season.
Cedric Paquette had 1 shot, 1 hit, and 2 blocked shots in 16:19 and was 47% on draws. He nearly set up Callahan for a nice deflection goal off the rush, but there were moments you could see his lack of speed could be a vulnerability on the backcheck.
No. 1 Union Dutchmen 7 vs No. 2 Minnesota Golden Gophers 4
G Adam Wilcox, MIN: Loss, 42 saves on 48 shots
Season totals: 38 GP, 26-6-6, 1.97 GAA, .932 sv%, 4 SO
2012-2013 totals: 39 GP, 25-8-5, 1.88 GAA, .921 sv%, 3 SO
Minnesota fell short of their sixth national championship, losing in the finals to tiny Union College, 7-4. The Gophers held 1-0 and 2-1 leads in the game, but soft defensive play and ill-timed penalties did them in. Despite giving up six goals – a season high – Adam Wilcox was excellent for the Gophers (the last goal was an empty netter). As Barry Melrose said after the first period, if Wilcox was just average, the score would have been 8-2 after one period. The sixth goal was one he would have liked to have had back, however. Minnesota had pulled within a goal late in the third and Wilcox had an unscreened wrist shot go through him. At the 10-minute mark of the third he made two outstanding saves to keep it a 5-3 game.
Wilcox’s sophomore season is over and it was special even without the national championship. With the Lightning’s depth it goal, it would seem Wilcox would return for his junior season, but one never knows. He’s certainly talented enough to succeed in professional hockey next year. Congrats to Wilcox on an outstanding season.
*USCHO poll used