Michigan State Spartans 0 @ No. 1 Minnesota Golden Gophers 1
G Adam Wilcox, MIN: Win, 19 saves on 19 shots, shutout, *Second Star*
Season totals: 25 GP, 18-2-5, 1.96 GAA, .931 sv%, 3 SO
2012-2013 totals: 39 GP, 25-8-5, 1.88 GAA, .921 sv%, 3 SO
Wilcox got his third shutout of the year and kept pace behind national leader Michael Garteig of Quinnipiac for the wins lead as Minnesota blanked visiting Michigan State, 1-0. Wilcox matched last year’s shutout total and got his save percentage back over .930. Wilcox hasn’t suffered a loss since Thanksgiving.
*USCHO poll used
Quebec Major Junior Hockey League
Halifax Mooseheads 3 @ Blainville-Boisbriand 4 (SO)
C/W Jonathan Drouin, HAL: 1-1-2, -1, 0 PIM, 6 SOG, 1 Hit, 14/26 FO, *Second Star*
Season totals: 31 GP, 21-50-71, +28, 34 PIM
2011-2012 Season: 49 GP, 41-64-105, +48, 32 PIM
Drouin was reportedly spectacular on Saturday night, scoring a goal and an assist, but Halifax lost in a shootout, 4-3. Drouin had his shootout attempt saved by first star Etienne Marcoux (undrafted). Drouin, who hit the 70-point mark for the season in the game, was second star.
Ontario Hockey League
London Knights 5 @ Barrie Colts 4
D Jake Dotchin, BAR: 0-0-0, E, 9 PIM
Season totals: 46 GP, 9-20-29, +22, 96 PIM
2012-13 totals: 66 GP, 4-18-22, E, 81 PIM
Dotchin (pictured) fought Chandler Yakimowicz (2014) and was charged with an instigator penalty. Yakimowicz, a rookie with one assist to his name, apparently had a questionable hit on Colt center Zach Hall, so Dotchin jumped in. Dotchin reportedly went down injured in the fight and Yakimowicz threw another punch. Per hockeyfights.com, Dotchin has four fights in his OHL career and he’s received an instigator on three of them.
Kingston Frontenacs 2 @ Saginaw Spirit 4
W Henri Ikonen, KGN: 0-1-1, E, 0 PIM
Season totals: 38 GP, 14-36-50, +13, 33 PIM
2012-13 totals: 61 GP, 22-29-51, +2, 30 PIM
Ikonen’s assist gave him 50 points for the season. He’s one off his career high, set in considerably more games last year.
Guelph Storm 1 @ Windsor Spitfires 3
D Slater Koekkoek, WSR: 0-1-1, +2, 0 PIM
Season totals: 47 GP, 12-29-41, +40, 30 PIM
2012-13 totals: 42 GP, 6-23-29, -24, 28 PIM
Koekkoek reached the plus-40 mark in an upset win over Guelph on Saturday night. The Windsor captain finished plus-2 in the game and had the lone assist on the game-winning goal, scored with just over three minutes left in regulation. He was on the ice for Windsor’s empty-netter to seal the victory.
Syracuse starts February with a moral victory after facing some extreme adversity.
ECHL loaner Allan York allowed 2 goals on 31 shots before allowing 2 of 3 Norfolk shooters to convert in the penalty shot session for the SO Loss. That's better goaltending, statistically, than Syracuse has been getting lately. With their preferred backup option experiencing plane trouble, the Crunch had 40-something year old John Parks backing up York for the price of 3 crisp $100 bills and one personalized, authentic, Crunch alternate jersey, which he got to keep. These extraordinary circumstances, of course, made it a remarkable moral victory that Syracuse got a point out of the game. And, luckily, with Ben Bishop feeling well enough for the Lightning, Kristers Gudlevskis has been returned to the Crunch moving forward.
SYR DiSalvatore, (4) (Tyrell, Angelidis), 10:20
NOR Ezekiel, (1) , 9:57
NOR Eminger, (1) (Ezekiel, Laganiere), 15:39
SYR Tyrell, (5) , 2:05 (SH)
NOR- Grant, Etem
Dana Tyrell was the game's second star.
If the playoffs started today, Norfolk would be the 4 seed in the Eastern Conference. So, again, with an ECHL loaner and "some dude" off the street as backup, that's not an unimpressive result for the Crunch. It shows what this team is capable of pulling off when focused. Let's hope that with the disastrous month of January behind them and Gudlevskis back in the fold, Syracuse can parlay that into a good month of hockey. They face Rochester next on Wednesday.
Box score from TheAHL.com.
In the first five minutes of the third period, the Syracuse Crunch seized the momentum.
With Cedric Paquette serving a five-minute major penalty for boarding, the Syracuse penalty killers turned tide on Norfolk and scored the game-tying goal with less than 18 minutes remaining in regulation.
The Crunch searched for the go-ahead goal throughout the third period and overtime, but couldn't complete the comeback, falling to the Admirals in a shootout, 3-2, at the Onondaga County War Memorial Saturday afternoon.
"I thought our penalty killers were outstanding tonight," said Syracuse coach Rob Zettler. "I thought those guys were gaming it out, played hard, blocked shots and got us a game-tying goal, which is huge."
Lightning pass a big gut check moment in Montreal.
Ben Bishop allowed 1 goal on 29 shots for the victory. I don't know about you, but one of my takeaways from today's game is that I'm more fired up about Ben Bishop than ever before. He beat one of the best 2-3 goaltenders in the league across the rink in Price. He did it after getting kneed in the back of the head in the last game and, frankly, he probably wouldn't have played today if Lindback had been available because of it. He responded physically when Brandon Prust speared him during a TV timeout in the Second Period. And, he managed to tune out a hostile Montreal crowd that was all over him after the Prust incident. And, the Lightning really, really needed to have this win to stop the 2 game skid they were on at a key moment of this season. If anyone had any questions about Bishop's physical or mental toughness, this game went a lot toward answering those. It's just one regular season game, but it tells me that when/if the Lightning reach the postseason it's an environment where Ben Bishop may very well thrive.
5:58 TB Thompson (4), (Hedman, Brown)(SH)
7:25 MTL Brière (9), (Gionta)
4:36 TB Thompson (5), (Hedman, Killorn)
The Lightning clearly understood the importance of this game and they came to the rink with renewed purpose. J.P. Cote and Radko Gudas helped set a physical tone early and the Lightning kept working hard for 60+ minutes to secure the 2 points and make sure a small losing streak didn't snowball into one of those disastrous 6 game losing streaks that can really wreck your season at this time of year. They dominated the game from a possession standpoint, they had more and better chances, and they stuck to the program even with Price playing extremely well for Montreal.
The victory in the game gives the Lightning 6 points halfway through this 10-game segment of the season, which is exactly where they want to be. They widened their gap on Montreal to 5 points with the Canadiens being the first Wild Card team and they widened their gap on 9th place, for the moment, to 11 points. Losing this game would've made the situation much more bleak on all of the above fronts. Now the Lightning will look to close out this road trip strong against Minnesota and then I strongly expect Stamkos-palooza to happen Thursday at home against the Toronto Maple Leafs, which would hopefully give Steven 2 games to get re-acclimated before he heads off to the Olympics.
Mark Barberio had 1 shot and 2 blocked shots in 15:50. He had a pretty good game. He was assertive offensively and no big mistakes defensively. I'd be happy with a lot more nights like the game he had today. He's now just 4 games from graduation from prospect status on the website.
J.P. Cote had 5 penalty minutes and 1 hit in 6:24. Like I said, his hit on Gallagher on the opening shift of the game set the tone, and he kept it going with a decent effort in his fight against Prust. He didn't play a ton of minutes, but they were leadership minutes.
J.T. Brown had a helper and was +1 with 2 shots and 3 hits in 13:41. He was the recipient of his helper after PK Subban tipped a centering feed from Nate Thompson into his own net, shorthanded. You make your own luck.
Nikita Kucherov had 2 penalty minutes and 3 shots in 15:02. He played center between Killorn and Purcell with Valtteri Filppula out of the lineup injured. He looked fantastic in the role in the First Period, setting up a slew of dangerous chances, but his play seemed to tail off a bit as the game wore on and Habs seemed to watch Kucherov a little closer.