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ECHL Game Night: 12-04-15 - 12-06-15

With Lightning forward prospects Henri Ikonen and Brian Hart reassigned to Greenville last Wednesday, the Swamp Rabbits had a three-in-three Thursday through Saturday at home.

Dec 3: Cincinnati Cyclones 3 at Greenville Swamp Rabbits 4
Dec 4: Cincinnati Cyclones 7 at Greenville Swamp Rabbits 6 OT
Dec 5: Norfolk Admirals 3 at Greenville Swamp Rabbits 0

F Brian Hart, GRN: 3gp, 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 3 SOG
Season totals: 18 GP, 6-1-7, -3, 2 PIM, 34 SOG
Season totals (AHL): 3 GP, 0-0-0, -1, 2 PIM, 2 SOG

F Henri Ikonen, GRN: 3gp, 1-0-1, +1, 0 PIM, 1 SOG
Season totals: 3 GP, 1-0-1, +1, 0 PIM, 1 SOG
Season totals (AHL): 17 GP, 1-3-4, -3, 4 PIM, 14 SOG

Other Notables
G Allen York, GRN, injured reserve
Season totals: 4 GP, 0-4-0-0, 4.98 GAA, 0.858 SV%, 0 SO

D Charlie Dodero, GRN: 3gp, 0-0-0, -1, 2 PIM, 7 SOG
Season totals (ECHL): 16 GP, 0-3-3, -6, 22 PIM, 16 SOG

With top Lighting forward prospect Adam Erne returning from injury to the Syracuse Crunch lineup, Henri Ikonen was the low man on the pole and drew the reassignment to Greenville along with Brian Hart. Ikonen immediately made his presence felt in the Swamp Rabbits 4-3 win over the Cyclones Thursday night, scoring what would be the game winner with 5 minutes left in the 3rd on rebound put-in from the post. Neither Ikonen nor Hart would figure into the scoring for Friday night's wild 7-6 OT loss to the Cyclones or the 3-0 shutout loss to the Admirals on Saturday. Ikonen was recalled to Syracuse on Sunday, making his temporary assignment looking more like just an opportunity for him to get some quality ice time. Greenville has another 3-in-3 starting on Thursday with back-to-back games at home against Orlando and a Saturday night cross state trek to Charleston to play the Stingrays.

NHL Game Night: 12-5-15 Lightning at Sharks

Lightning survive bizarre Third Period to go 2-0 on California roadie.

TB-4
SJ-3

Ben Bishop allowed 2 goals on 26 shots for the win, but left the game in the Third Period after a (uncalled!) high stick by Hertl went into his mask. Reports are that Bishop has some redness but thankfully no cut, no damage to the eye, and no damage to the bone around the eye. Thank goodness, because he's playing at a really high level right now. Andrei Vasilevskiy allowed 1 goal on 8 shots in relief to get the Lightning across the finish line.

First Period
2:19 TB Kucherov (7), (Hedman)
11:20 TB Condra (3), (Sustr, Brown)

Second Period
13:35 SJ Tennyson (1), (Braun, Hertl)(PP)
16:44 TB Kucherov (8), (Stamkos)(PP)

Third Period
3:01 TB Boyle (6), (Brown)
8:26 SJ Ward (10), (Burns, Pavelski)(PP)
14:32 SJ Burns (10), (unassisted)(PP)

Nikita Kucherov and Victor Hedman were the game's first and third stars.

This was the tale of a really good, opportunistic, smart road game played by the Tampa Bay Lightning up until the 8:13 mark of the Third Period when all hell broke loose. The Lightning came out on the First Period and really caught San Jose flat, and turned possession into a slick goal by Kucherov and then a greasy goal off Condra's skate to develop the 2-0 lead. San Jose came back in the Second Period but the Lightning used a 5-on-3 goal by Kucherov to maintain the 2 goal margin. Early in the Third Period, Boyle potted a rebound goal set up by the scoring speed of J.T. Brown and this thing looked like it was going to be elementary. Then a post whistle scrum mysteriously led to Hedman alone getting called for cross checking and San Jose quickly got a cheap PP goal to pull within 4-2. Then Bishop leaves the game after scrambling from his crease holding his eye. Then Killorn takes a boarding call leading to the Lightning margin being cut to 4-3. Then the Sharks nearly score at the buzzer thanks in part to uncalled interference on Joe Thornton. So, what should've been an easy win after building a 3-goal margin turned into a big ball of anxiety.

I liked using Stamkos on the PK. A lot.

The victory gives the Lightning 10 points in this 10-game segment of the season with 3 games left to go. The California trip is already a success, and if they can manufacture a win tomorrow night against the Kings, or any points, they'll be set up well to pay down their debt and get back closer to playoff position. So, securing the 2 points tonight what tremendously important.

Jonathan Marchessault was +1 with 1 hit and 1 blocked shot in 6:03. With all the penalty killing and the size the Sharks have, this wasn't a game that Jonathan ended up being used in a lot.

Nikita Nesterov was +1 with 1 hit and 1 blocked shot in 8:48. Honestly, he's been quiet since coming back from Syracuse, and that's been a good thing. He's being efficient in his time that he does get on the ice.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

Juniors Game Night: 12-5-15

Quebec Major Junior Hockey League

Charlottetown Islanders 3 @ Saint John Sea Dogs 4

W Bokondji Imama, SJ: 0-1-1, -1, 0 PIM, 0 SOG, 2 Hits
Season totals: 26 GP, 3-9-12, E, 36 PIM
2013-2014 Season: 59 GP, 13-15-28, +2, 137 PIM

W Mathieu Joseph, SJ: 0-2-2, +1, 2 PIM, 6 SOG, 1 Hit
Season totals: 26 GP, 12-12-24, +10, 31 PIM
2013-2014 Season: 59 GP, 21-21-42, +18, 46 PIM

Mathieu Joseph had two assists against Charlottetown and his brother, defenseman Pierre-Olivier Joseph, helping the Sea Dogs to a 4-3 win.

Cape Breton Screaming Eagles 6 @ Shawinigan Cataractes 2

W Dennis Yan, SHAW: 0-0-0, -3, 0 PIM, 7 SOG, 2 Hits
Season totals: 26 GP, 22-22-44, +1, 31 PIM
2014-2015 Season: 59 GP, 33-31-64, +23, 71 PIM

Dennis Yan had his eight-game point streak snapped. He hasn’t finished on the plus side of even in a game since November 14 – a span of seven games.

Ontario Hockey League

Oshawa Generals 4 @ Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds 5 (OT)

C Anthony Cirelli, OSH: 1-1-2, -2, 2 PIM, 7 SOG, *Second Star*
Season totals: 24 GP, 6-14-20, -9, 17 PIM
2014-15 totals: 68 GP, 13-23-36, +34, 22 PIM

Cirelli went 14/27 on faceoffs for the Gens. The next highest amount of faceoffs taken was 16. The Soo tied the game with four seconds remaining in regulation, then won it in overtime with Cirelli in the box serving a tripping penalty. Former Lightning draft pick and two-time player, Drew Bannister, coaches the Greyhounds.

North Bay Battalion 2 @ Saginaw Spirit 5

W Mitchell Stephens, SAG: 1-2-3, +1, 0 PIM, 4 SOG, *First Star*
Season totals: 9 GP, 7-4-11, +3, 6 PIM
2014-15 totals: 62 GP, 22-26-48, -17, 44 PIM

Stephens has five points in two games since returning this weekend from a broken foot. He was also 11/16 on faceoffs Saturday.

Western Hockey League

Regina Pats 3 @ Moose Jaw Warriors 4 (SO)

C Brayden Point, MJ: Did not play
Season totals: 19 GP, 18-25-43, +9, 8 PIM
2014-15 totals: 60 GP, 38-49-87, +6, 46 PIM

Point has now missed eight straight games with a shoulder injury. He’s still considered day-to-day.

Vancouver Giants 1 @ Everett Silvertips 3

D Ben Thomas, VAN: 0-0-0, -1, 0 PIM
Season totals: 31 GP, 2-9-11, -15, 21 PIM
With Vancouver: 17 GP, 2-6-8, -5, 11 PIM
With Calgary: 14 GP, 0-3-3, -10, 10 PIM
2014-15 totals: 60 GP, 7-24-31, +16, 28 PIM

Vancouver fell in Everett, 3-1. Thomas is scoreless in his last five games.

United States Hockey League

Sioux City Musketeers 4 @ Team USA 7

D Ryan Zuhlsdorf, SC: 0-2-2, -2, 4 PIM
Season totals: 21 GP, 0-17-17, -8, 24 PIM
2014-15 totals: 56 GP, 3-19-22, +25, 58 PIM
(University of Minnesota signee)

Team USA swept the visiting Musketeers this weekend, winning Friday night and again Saturday. Kieffer Bellows (2016), son of former Lightning player Brian Bellows (Boston University commit, 2016 draft eligible), had a goal and four assists Saturday. His teammate Clayton Keller (Boston University commit, 2016 draft eligible) had a goal and five helpers.

NCAA Game Night: 12-5-15

Vermont Catamounts 3 @ No. 11 Boston University Terriers 5

D John MacLeod, BU: 0-0-0, -2, 0 PIM, 1 SOG
Season totals: 15 GP, 1-0-1, -1, 14 PIM
2014-2015 totals: 37 GP, 2-7-9, +19, 58 PIM

BU avenged a Friday loss to Vermont with a 2-goal win Saturday.

Minnesota State Mavericks 2 @ No. 14 Bowling Green Falcons 2 (OT)

W Jimmy Mullin, MSU: 0-0-0, -1, 0 PIM, 2 SOG
Season totals: 11 GP, 1-0-1, -4, 0 PIM
2013-2014 totals (Miami): 19 GP, 1-6-7, 23 PIM

Bowling Green and Minnesota State tied 2-2 for the second straight game. The Mavericks had to force overtime Saturday, however.

*USCHO poll used

Crunch's Lead Slips Away in Loss to Comets


By Jeremy Houghtaling

The momentum shifted dramatically in the last seven minutes.

Despite leading most of the game by netting a pair of power play goals, the Syracuse Crunch’s lead slipped away. The Utica Comets scored four times in the final 6:13 to stun the Crunch, 4-2, at the Onondaga County War Memorial Saturday.

“We sat back on our heels and they came at us,” said Crunch captain Mike Angelidis. “They got pucks in, they were making good plays and cycling, and they had their foot on the gas. We sat back. You can’t do that when you have the lead. You have to keep your foot on the gas.”

AHL Game Night: 12-5-15 Comets at Crunch

Crunch choke.

UTI-4
SYR-2

Kristers Gudlevskis allowed 3 goals on 32 shots for the loss.

First Period
SYR McGinn, (4) (Erne, Peca), 18:58 (PP)

Second Period
SYR Tambellini, (8) (Taormina, Blunden), 17:02 (PP)

Third Period
UTI Jensen, (4) (Vey, Archibald), 13:47
UTI Hamilton, (3) (Ehrhardt), 17:01
UTI Friesen, (4) (Zalewski), 17:55
UTI Grenier, (4) (Bancks), 19:43 (EN)

Gudlevskis and Jeff Tambellini were the game's first and second stars.

After being in control most of the night, Syracuse allowed 3 goals in the last 3 minutes of the game to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

Liiga Game Day: 12-5-15

KalPa 2 vs. Blues 3
Jonne Tammela, KalPa, 0-0-0, -1, 0 PIM, 4 SOG
Season totals: 18 GP, 3-1-4, E, 14 PIM

Jonne Tammela was held off the board in 13:38 of ice time in KalPa's 3-2 loss to Blues.

Juniors Game Night: 12-4-15

Quebec Major Junior Hockey League

Moncton Wildcats 4 @ Saint John Sea Dogs 3

W Bokondji Imama, SJ: 0-0-0, E, 2 PIM, 1 Hit
Season totals: 25 GP, 3-8-11, +1, 36 PIM
2013-2014 Season: 59 GP, 13-15-28, +2, 137 PIM

W Mathieu Joseph, SJ: 1-0-1, +2, 2 PIM, 1 Hit
Season totals: 25 GP, 12-10-22, +9, 29 PIM
2013-2014 Season: 59 GP, 21-21-42, +18, 46 PIM

Saint John had a 3-1 lead entering the third period, but gave up three goals to the visiting Wildcats. Conor Garland (Coyotes) and Cameron Askew (NYR) both had two goals for Moncton.

Shawinigan Cataractes 7 @ Quebec Remparts 6 (OT)

W Dennis Yan, SHAW: 1-3-4, -1, 0 PIM, 4 SOG, 2 Hits, *Third Star*
Season totals: 25 GP, 22-22-44, +4, 31 PIM
2014-2015 Season: 59 GP, 33-31-64, +23, 71 PIM

Dennis Yan had four points, including the overtime-winner, as Shawinigan won an old fashioned QMJHL barnburner, 7-6.

Ontario Hockey League

Windsor Spitfires 1 @ London Knights 6

W Cristiano DiGiacinto, WSR: Did not play (suspended)
Season totals: 24 GP, 11-14-25, +15, 40 PIM
2014-15 totals: 63 GP, 21-24-45, -16, 100 PIM

DiGiacinto is serving a 5-game suspension for “bullying actions.”

Peterborough Petes 4 @ Kingston Frontenacs 3 (OT)

D Dominik Masin, PBO: 0-3-3, +1, 0 PIM, 2 SOG, *Second Star*
Season totals: 28 GP, 2-10-12, +19, 28 PIM
2014-15 totals: 48 GP, 7-19-26, -13, 68 PIM

D Matt Spencer, PBO: 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 1 SOG
Season totals: 29 GP, 3-10-13, +5, 27 PIM
2014-15 totals: 67 GP, 6-24-30, -15, 64 PIM

Peterborough responded to a 6-2 home loss Thursday vs the Fronts with an overtime win on Friday. Dominik Masin had three assists in a game for the second time this season and now has a 3-game point streak. Masin, who was named to the Czech Republic World Juniors Evaluation Camp roster this week, didn’t start hitting his offensive stride last year until January.

Saginaw Spirit 4 @ Flint Firebirds 3 (SO)

W Mitchell Stephens, SAG: 1-1-2, +1, 0 PIM, 4 SOG
Season totals: 8 GP, 6-2-8, +2, 6 PIM
2014-15 totals: 62 GP, 22-26-48, -17, 44 PIM

Mitchell Stephens (pictured) played his first game since October 16 when he broke his foot and scored once and added an assist in a shootout win in Flint. Stephens, who was named to Team Canada’s World Junior Evaluation Camp roster, had his shootout attempt saved.

Western Hockey League

Saskatoon Blades 1 @ Moose Jaw Warriors 6

C Brayden Point, MJ: Did not play
Season totals: 19 GP, 18-25-43, +9, 8 PIM
2014-15 totals: 60 GP, 38-49-87, +6, 46 PIM

Point was expected to return from a shoulder injury this weekend, but he was scratched Friday night. He told TSN he saw doctors and physiotherapists in Calgary and “should be ready to go.” Point was named to Canada’s World Junior Evaluation Camp roster this week.

Kootenay Ice 0 @ Vancouver Giants 4

D Ben Thomas, VAN: 0-0-0, +1, 2 PIM
Season totals: 30 GP, 2-9-11, -14, 21 PIM
With Vancouver: 16 GP, 2-6-8, -4, 11 PIM
With Calgary: 14 GP, 0-3-3, -10, 10 PIM
2014-15 totals: 60 GP, 7-24-31, +16, 28 PIM

Ryan Kubic (2016) made 25 saves for his third shutout of the season. At “just” 5-11, Kubic probably isn’t an option for the Lightning down the road.

United States Hockey League

Dubuque Fighting Saints 3 @ Omaha Lancers 2

G Kris Oldham, OMA: Loss, 40 saves on 43 shots
Season totals: 12 GP, 8-3-1, 2.26 GAA, .928 sv%, 1 SO
2014-15 totals: 33 GP, 21-6-4, 2.49 GAA, .908 sv%, 1 SO
(University of Nebraska-Omaha signee)

Oldham made 40 saves, but took the loss for Omaha Friday. It was Oldham’s first loss since November 13. The Lancers were outshot 43-15 Friday.

Sioux City Musketeers 2 @ Team USA 5

D Ryan Zuhlsdorf, SC: 0-1-1, -3, 2 PIM, 0 SOG
Season totals: 20 GP, 0-15-15, -6, 20 PIM
2014-15 totals: 56 GP, 3-19-22, +25, 58 PIM
(University of Minnesota signee)

Team USA got two goals from Boston College commit Zach Walker (2016) and one from Boston University pledge Kieffer Bellows (2016), son of former Lightning forward Brian Bellows, to beat Sioux City, 5-2. Tampa Bay prospect and Minnesota commit Ryan Zuhlsdorf has three assists in his last four games.

NCAA Game Night: 12-4-15

Vermont Catamounts 4 @ No. 11 Boston University Terriers 2

D John MacLeod, BU: 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 2 SOG
Season totals: 14 GP, 1-0-1, +1, 14 PIM
2014-2015 totals: 37 GP, 2-7-9, +19, 58 PIM

Martin St. Louis’ alma mater scored twice in the third period to break a 2-2 tie and beat BU in Boston, 4-2.

Minnesota State Mavericks 2 @ No. 14 Bowling Green Falcons 2 (OT)

W Jimmy Mullin, MSU: 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 4 SOG
Season totals: 10 GP, 1-0-1, -3, 0 PIM
2013-2014 totals (Miami): 19 GP, 1-6-7, 23 PIM

Bowling Green scored twice in the final quarter of the third period, including the game-tying goal with seven seconds left shorthanded with the goalie pulled. That won’t sit well with the Mavs.

*USCHO poll used

Erne Returns, Lifts Crunch to 5-1 Win Over Senators


By Jeremy Houghtaling

For Adam Erne, it was just another game.

After missing six weeks with an injury, the Crunch rookie forward registered a goal and an assist in his return to lead Syracuse to a 5-1 win over the Binghamton Senators at the Onondaga County War Memorial Friday.

“Obviously, you get some butterflies before the game, but it’s just another game,” Erne said. “You want to prove yourself and get goals. The goal is to play in the NHL, and you have to prove yourself to do that. It can’t be a one time thing, it’s something you have to bring every night.”

Crunch head coach Rob Zettler believed pairing Erne with veterans Mike Angelidis and Jeff Tambellini gave the line a whole new dimension.

“He was maybe the best player on the ice tonight,” Zettler said. “He was really good. He skated really well. He looked really fast out there and was making plays.”

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