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AHL Game Night: 11-20-15 Crunch at IceCaps

Crunch fall just short of their own undermanned triumph.

STJ-4 (OT)

Adam Wilcox allowed 4 goals on 28 shots for the OT loss.

First Period

Second Period
STJ Andrighetto, (5) (Barberio), 5:30 (PP) GIF
STJ Fournier, (1) (Dumont, MacMillan), 6:54 GIF
SYR Ikonen, (1) (Broll, Koekkoek), 15:35 GIF

Third Period
SYR McGinn, (2) (Walcott), 5:59 GIF
STJ Gregoire, (2) (MacMillan), 13:44 GIF
SYR Gourde, (3) (Blujus, DeAngelo), 16:33 (PP) GIF

STJ Andrighetto, (6) (Barberio), 0:50 GIF

Tye McGinn was the game's third star.

The Crunch entered this game with nothing close to a full compliment of forwards due to the rash of injury recalls to Tampa Bay. Hence, you had defensemen taking shifts at forward. Cats living with dogs. Pure pandemonium. And yet, the Crunch managed to outshoot the IceCaps by a pretty impressive 47-28 margin.

Box score from

NCAA Game Night: 11-20-15

No. 12 Michigan Wolverines 2 @ No. 10 Boston University Terriers 3

D John MacLeod, BU: 0-0-0, +2, 0 PIM, 0 SOG
Season totals: 10 GP, 1-0-1, +3, 12 PIM
2014-2015 totals: 37 GP, 2-7-9, +19, 58 PIM

BU scored three times in the third period to erase a 2-0 deficit. The Terriers outshot the Wolverines 14-4 in the final period.

Minnesota State Mavericks 1 @ Northern Michigan Wildcats 1 (OT)

W Jimmy Mullin, MSU: Did not play
Season totals: 7 GP, 1-0-1, -4, 0 PIM
2013-2014 totals (Miami): 19 GP, 1-6-7, 23 PIM

Mullin, a senior, remains out with a head injury. MSU outshot NMU, 31-15.

*USCHO poll used

KHL Game Day: 11-20-15

Podolsk 3 vs. Novgorod 4 (SO)
Carter Ashton, Novgorod, 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 0 SOG
Season totals: 23 GP, 6-5-11, +5, 14 PIM

Carter Ashton was blanked in 17:28 of ice time in Novgorod's 4-3 SO win over Podolsk. Novgorod finally edged Podolsk after 7 rounds in the penalty shot session.

NHL Game Night: 11-19-15 Rangers at Lightning

The turning point of the season?


Ben Bishop allowed 1 goal on 21 shots for the win. He was sparkling. Sharp as a razor, including stopping a penalty shot by Kreider. He really did well to correct the 5-hole issues he had against Pirri in the last game in denying Kreider tonight.

First Period
14:47 TB Killorn (3), (Filppula)

Second Period

Third Period
13:43 NYR Moore (2), (unassisted)
18:55 TB Filppula (2), (Brown)(SH)

Bishop and Valtteri Filppula were the game's first and second stars.

The Lightning have been getting better in terms of their effort and energy level in recent games, but they've been getting zero payoff to this point with the ultimate indignity coming on the late goal in their 1-0 loss at Florida in the last game out. That futility coupled with the sudden rash of injuries that left 5 forwards out with injury for tonight's game and the fact the Rangers were going for their 10th consecutive win provided the recipe for a potential blood bath. And then something happened...

Tonight the Lightning played their most honest game of the season. Not their flashiest. Not their best. Their most honest. They hustled to loose pucks. They threw their bodies in front of shots. They took hits to make plays. The Rangers worked really hard, and this is no slight on New York's effort level. But, for maybe the first time this season, the Lightning simply wanted the 2 points more tonight by a clear and decisive margin. The old adage is that the harder you work the luckier you get, and that rang true tonight. Killorn's game opening goal was a heinous softie by Lundqvist and that ended up being the margin of victory. And, with under 2 minutes to go, with the Rangers in a position to potentially rob the Lightning of their payoff once again on a late PP, they got the vital turnover they needed for J.T. Brown to get free for a beautiful 2-on-1 setup to Filppula for the game winning goal. I thought the team was close to turning the corner 3 games ago in the OT home loss to the Panthers, where they played a chippy emotional game and just couldn't get the payoff at the finish line. Tonight they played an emotional game against one of last year's playoff foes and they got the payoff. The schedule is brutal coming up, but maybe this is the rocket fuel the team needed to start to get back on track. Sometimes when in a deep slump, it's not about tactics or any one lineup tweak. It's simply about playing with more emotion and energy and outworking your opponents.

Kudos to the callups from Syracuse to contributing to the night's victory. Honestly, maybe it was a blessing in disguise to have the Crunch's forwards up. People who haven't seen Syracuse the last couple of years might be surprised to know the speed/skill level in the Lightning's AHL pipeline isn't what it was in the Norfolk and early Syracuse days. They play a much different style in Syracuse right now than they do in Tampa Bay, and their offense comes from working hard and manufacturing goals the honest way. If some of that rubs off from the callups onto the Lightning's veterans up top, all the better. And if the Lightning's early season goal scoring troubles forces them to play a more responsible defensive style the rest of the year, which has always been a tough thing for Cooper to preach to such an offensively gifted group, maybe this tough going in the early season has been a blessing in disguise too. We'll see as the next few games unfold.

Jonathan Marchessault was -1 with 2 penalty minutes (for an undeserved diving call on a guy who weighs 5 pounds soaking wet), 3 shots, and 3 hits. These past couple of games have really been his best in a Lightning uniform so far. He needs to find the finish, though.

Joel Vermin had 1 shot and 1 hit in 10:14 in his NHL debut. He looked good. He has NHL skating ability and he was assertive and hustled well. Like Marchessault, he's slightly built, so the real challenge is fighting his way through the backwash in close quarters.

Luke Witkowski had 1 hit in 7:15. The man took some hellacious bumps and found himself in some defensive jams, but he hustled his way out of the holes he found himself in.

Box score and extended statistics from

Juniors Game Night: 11-19-15

Ontario Hockey League

Oshawa Generals 2 @ London Knights 5

C Anthony Cirelli, OSH: 0-0-0, -3, 4 PIM, 3 SOG
Season totals: 18 GP, 5-10-15, -7, 11 PIM
2014-15 totals: 68 GP, 13-23-36, +34, 22 PIM

Cirelli played for the first time since November 1. He took a double-minor for high sticking and was minus-3.

Guelph Storm 2 @ Windsor Spitfires 3

W Cristiano DiGiacinto, WSR: 0-1-1, +1, 4 PIM, 1 SOG
Season totals: 22 GP, 11-14-25, +15, 27 PIM
2014-15 totals: 63 GP, 21-24-45, -16, 100 PIM

Windsor went ahead 3-2 early in the second period and held on for the win.
DiGiacinto extended his point streak to seven games.

NOTE: Mathieu Joseph had two goals and was named Player of the Game for Team QMJHL in its 6-4 win over Russia in the CHL Canada-Russia series. CHL teams finished the series 5-1, the only loss coming against the Q last game.

Liiga Game Day: 11-19-15

KalPa 4 vs. HPK 0
Jonne Tammela, KalPa, 0-0-0, E, 2 PIM, 0 SOG
Season totals: 12 GP, 2-1-3, +1, 8 PIM

Jonne Tammela took a minor for tripping in 16:14 of ice time as KalPa blanked HPK 4-0. Ex-Stars pick Eero Kilpelainen turned aside all 18 shots he faced for the shutout. KalPa has moved up to 5th on the 15 team Liiga table while HPK is in last place by 7 points.

KHL Game Day: 11-19-15

Magnitogorsk 1 vs. Kazan 2 (SO)
Vasily Koshechkin, Magnitogorsk, SO Loss, 22/23, 0.92 GAA, .957 sv%
Season totals: 28 GP, 12-9-6, 0 SO, 2.24 GAA, .918 sv%

Vasily Koshechkin allowed 2 of 4 to convert in the penalty shot session in Magnitogorsk's 2-1 Shootout loss to Kazan. Ex-NHLer Wojtek Wolski scored the lone regulation goal and converted in the Shootout for Magnitka.

Jokerit 2 vs. Omsk 3 (OT)
Saku Salminen, Jokerit, DNP
Season totals: 9 GP, 0-1-1, +1, 0 PIM

Ex-NHLer Martin Erat had the OT winner for Omsk in their 3-2 win over Jokerit.

St. Petersburg 5 vs. Astana 1
Nikita Gusev, St. Petersburg, 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 1 SOG
Season totals (St. Petersburg): 6 GP, 3-4-7, +4, 0 PIM
Season totals (Khanty-Mansiysk): 23 GP, 7-7-14, +6, 4 PIM
Season totals: 29 GP, 10-11-21, +10, 4 PIM

Nikita Gusev was scoreless in 13:48 as SKA St. Petersburg crushed Ak Bars Kazan 5-1. Ex-NHLer Ilya Kovalchuk had 1 goal and 3 points in the win. Ex-Lightning forward Evgeny Artyukhin also got in a fight for SKA in the victory.

#BPMailbag for November 19, 2015


This week there were so many questions into the #BPMailbag I ran out of time to address them like I usually do on the Bolt Prospects Podcast.

So here’s the text version. You can make up your own voice inflections and sarcasm.

Juniors Game Night: 11-18-15

Ontario Hockey League

Ottawa 67’s 3 @ Peterborough Petes 6

D Dominik Masin, PBO: 0-0-0, +2, 0 PIM, 1 SOG
Season totals: 21 GP, 1-3-4, +16, 24 PIM
2014-15 totals: 48 GP, 7-19-26, -13, 68 PIM

D Matt Spencer, PBO: 0-1-1, +1, 0 PIM, 1 SOG
Season totals: 22 GP, 2-8-10, E, 23 PIM
2014-15 totals: 67 GP, 6-24-30, -15, 64 PIM

Peterborough scored three unanswered goals in the first period to take a 3-1 lead en route to a 6-3 win Wednesday. Lightning prospect Dominik Masin left the game with a leg injury, but after the game Petes coach Jody Hull said it wasn’t anything serious and Masin is considered day-to-day. He wanted to return for the third period but he was held out. Matt Spencer had an assist, his eighth of the season. Masin continues to lead the Petes in plus/minus, plus-6 ahead of the next highest players.

Crunch Offense Struggles in Loss to Pirates

By Jeremy Houghtaling

When the Syracuse offense finally got chances, it struggled to convert.

Crunch forward Philippe Paradis scored midway through the third period but Pirates veteran goalie Mike McKenna stopped the other 20 shots on goal, as Syracuse fell to Portland, 4-1, at the Onondaga County War Memorial Wednesday.

The Crunch, who had won their last three games, have four of their top nine scorers called up to the Tampa Bay Lightning.

“It’s definitely a part of it, but it’s not an excuse,” said Crunch head coach Rob Zettler. “It’s the old saying that other people have an opportunity. I didn’t think we made it hard enough for that team to play against us tonight.”

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