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Juniors Game Night: 1-1-18

Ontario Hockey League

** Note: Boris Katchouk (Sault Ste. Marie) and Taylor Raddysh (Erie) are away from their respective OHL teams for the 2018 WJC tournament.

Kitchener Rangers 5 @ Peterborough Petes 4 (OT)

W/C Christopher Paquette, PBO: 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 2 SOG, 2/2 FO
Season Totals: 32 GP, 10-4-14, -18, 6 PIM
’16-‘17 Totals (NIA/PBO): 66 GP, 19-29-48, +1, 28 PIM

The Petes battled back from 2-1 and 3-2 deficits to take a 4-3 lead early in the 3rd period, but Adam Mascherin (FLA, 2016 2nd round pick) would get the hat trick goal at 12:09 of the 3rd after scoring twice for the Rangers in the 2nd. Then Mascherin would score his 4th goal of game, his 28th of the season, at 2:37 into the extra session for the OT game-winner for Kitchener. Mascherin’s four goal outburst pulls him ahead of Boris Katchouk for 2nd on the OHL goals leaderboard behind 2017 Memorial Cup winning Windsor captain and now Barrie Colt pivot Aaron Luchuk, who signed an entry-level deal with Ottawa as a free agent on December 27th.

Juniors Game Night: 12-31-17

Quebec Major Junior Hockey League

Halifax Mooseheads 4 @ Cape Breton Screaming Eagles 1

C/W Otto Somppi, HAL: 0-2-2, +2, 0 PIM, 2 SOG, 18/27 FO, *Third Star*
Season Totals: 30 GP, 12-28-40, +26, 14 PIM
’16-’17 Totals: 60 GP, 17-24-41, -7, 28 PIM

The Mooseheads got goals from four players and Somppi (pictured) notched a pair of assists on 2nd period goals from Jake Ryczek (CHI, 2016 7th round pick) and Patrick Kyte (undrafted). Somppi, who earned Third Star honors, has already eclipsed his assist totals from last season and is one point off his career points in just half the games. He's on pace for an 80-point campaign, and his +26 rating leads all players in the Q, and his 28 assists ties him for 2nd in league. And while he does benefit from linemate Filip Zadina (2018 draft eligible), he is 1-3-4 in 3 games with Zadina off with the Czech Republic team at the 2018 WJCs.

Ontario Hockey League

** Note: Boris Katchouk (Sault Ste. Marie) and Taylor Raddysh (Erie) are away from their respective teams for the 2018 WJC tournament.

Owen Sound Attack 1 @ Barrie Colts 4

W Alexey Lipanov, BAR: Did not play
Season Totals: 32 GP, 11-17-28, +10, 10 PIM
‘16-‘17 Totals (VHL-Russia): 21 GP, 3-5-8, +5, 8 PIM

Colts netminder Leo Lazarev turned away 47 Owen Sound shots, backstopping Barrie to its 6th straight win. Lipanov wasn’t in the lineup for the Colts, and not sure if he was a healthy scratch or if he was injured in Owen Sound last night. Barrie’s offense was paced by Aidan Brown (undrafted), who notched two goals, while Nick Suzuki (VGK, 2017 1st round pick) was the lone goal scorer to solve Lazarev.

Western Hockey League

** Note: Brett Howden (Moose Jaw), Cal Foote (Kelowna), and Libor Hajek (Saskatoon) are away from their respective teams for the 2018 WJC tournament.

Brandon Wheat Kings 2 @ Moose Jaw Warriors 6

D Oleg Sosunov, MJ: 0-0-0, -1, 0 PIM, 2 SOG
Season Totals: 38 GP, 7-10-17, +29, 38 PIM
’16-‘17 Totals (MHL-Russia): 32 GP, 0-0-0, +1, 79 PIM

The high-octane Warriors offense continues en fuego coming back from the holiday, as Moose Jaw fires 44 shots and scores 6 goals on the backside of the home-and-home with the Wheat Kings. The WHL goal, assist and point leaders Jayden Halbgewachs (undrafted) and Brayden Burke (undrafted) were at it again, with Halbgewachs turning out a two-goal, five-point night, and Burke with a goal and three-points. Tristin Langen (undrafted) also netted two goals for the Warriors.

United States Hockey League

** Note: Cole Guttman (Dubuque) was placed on injured reserved on December 22nd following the completion of the World Junior A Challenge tournament.

Omaha Lancers 1 @ Sioux City Muskateers 2 (0T1)

D Nick Perbix , OMA: 0-1-1, +1, 0 PIM, 4 SOG
Season Totals: 20 GP, 0-10-10, +12, 10 PIM
’16-‘17 Totals (HS): 25 GP, 10-30-40, 6 PIM
Committed to: St. Cloud State University

Perbix assisted on a 1st period Lancers goal by Mathieu De St. Phalle (Wiconsin commit) goal, but the Musketeers would knot that game in the 3rd and then win it 1:35 into the extra frame..

NHL Game Night: 12-31-17 Lightning at Blue Jackets

Kittens over cannons.

TB-5
CBJ-0

Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped all 21 shots he faced for the shutout to release the kittens on New Years Eve. Typical Vasilevskiy. Play a great opening frame of the period until the team gets its legs underneath it, and bathe in the waters of sweet goal support the rest of the way.

First Period
NO SCORING

Second Period
1:22 TB Johnson (11), (Point, Sergachev)
4:49 TB Johnson (12), (Point, Sergachev)
7:53 TB Kucherov (25), (Namestnikov)
8:45 TB Conacher (3), (Gourde, Hedman)

Third Period
10:36 TB Stamkos (17), (Hedman, Kucherov)(PP)

Tyler Johnson, Mikhail Sergachev, and Nikita Kucherov were the game's three stars.

After a few games were the Lightning struggled to get the goals they needed and a very sleepy effort against the Flyers, in a loss, maybe an eruption like we saw tonight in the Second Period was inevitable. The Lightning had another subpar First Period, getting outshot 12-5 and earning the wrath of Coach Cooper before annihilating the Blue Jackets like the Death Star in the middle frame. Buoyed by a couple of early goals by Tyler Johnson, the Lightning ultimately outshot Columbus by a staggering 23-6 margin in that period and the results speak for themselves. After a couple of seasons of seeming regression in his play, Johnson's had a rebirth on the wing for the Lightning this month. The position forces him to simplify his game and use his north-south oriented gifts to their maximum ability.

The victory clinches the Lightning's fourth successful 10-game segment of the season with 12 points earned over eight games. What's more, with two games left in the segment, if the Lightning get just two more points they will be a full segment ahead of playoff pace in their postseason quest, which is somewhat nuts.

Yanni Gourde had a helper and was +2 with 4 shots in 16:35. He was also 55% on 11 draws. Obviously, like the entire team, he showed way more energy than in the Philly game.

Jake Dotchin was +1 with 2 penalty minutes, 1 shot, and 1 blocked shot in 17:32.

Sergachev had a pair of helpers and was +3 with 2 penalty minutes and 1 shot in 17:57. Fancy stats people will point to 8 shot attempts as proof of his possession dominance tonight. Hence the star.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

AHL Game Night: 12-31-17 Crunch at Senators

Syracuse ends 2017 with plenty of fireworks.

SYR-5
BNG-0

Connor Ingram stopped all 29 shots he faced for his second career shutout. With Domingue up top, Ingram's had a nice start to his tenure as the #1 for the Crunch. Budaj's injury may not be as serious as originally feared, but for however long he has to mind the store Ingram's doing it with style so far.

First Period
15:18 SYR Peca (7), (Verhaeghe)

Second Period
NO SCORING

Third Period
2:25 SYR Stephens (7), (Yan, Thomas)
6:31 SYR Volkov (9), (Cirelli, Bodie)
14:22 SYR Volkov (10), (Bournival, McBain)(PP)
17:34 SYR Stephens (8), (Yan, Walcott)

Ingram, Alexander Volkov, and Matthew Peca were the game's three stars. Volkov with four goals in the two weekend games and Peca caps December with 5-10-15 in 13 games. Needless to say, these are two guys sliding their resumes on Yzerman's desk for a potential recall.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

2018 IIHF World Junior Championship: 12-31-17

2018 IIHF World Junior Championship

Switzerland 3 @ Czech Republic 6

D Libor Hajek, CZE: 0-2-2, +1, 0 PIM, 2 SOG
Tournament Totals: 4 GP, 1-4-5, +4, 4 PIM, 8 SOG

Hajek had a pair of assists, one on the power play, in the Czech Republic’s domination of the Swiss, scoring 6 and putting up 60 shots. Red Deer Rebel Kristian Reichel (undrafted), son of ex-NHL’er Robert Reichel, scored twice for the Czechs. Hajek fed Jakub Lauko (2018 draft eligible) for the opening goal just 2:38 into the match, and then followed it up by working with Martin Kaut (2018 draft eligible) on a power play marker by Martin Necas (CAR, 2017 1st round pick) to put the Czechs up 2-1. After the Swiss knotted the score at 3-3 with a power play goal of their own, the Czechs locked the nets and reeled off three straight goals from Kaut, Daniel Kurovsky (undrafted), and Reichel.

The Czech Republic awaits the results of the final preliminary game of Russia vs. Sweden to see who they draw in the quarterfinals on January 2nd. The Russians can finish 2nd in Group B with a regulation win over the Swedes. Otherwise, the Czechs will finish 2nd in Group B.

2018 IIHF World Junior Championship: 12-30-17

2018 IIHF World Junior Championship

Czech Republic 6 vs Belarus 5

D Libor Hajek, CZE: 1-1-2, E, 0 PIM, 1 SOG
Tournament Totals: 2 GP, 0-2-2, +1, 4 PIM, 3 SOG

Hajek had a goal and an assist in the Czech Republic’s comeback victory against a spirited Belarus squad, and then called out his team in the post-game media for selfish and individual play.

Belarus opened the scoring in the first with a power play goal, and then just after the midpoint of the period, Daniel Kurovsky (undrafted) was given a 5-minute major and a 20-minute game misconduct for slashing defenseman Vladislav Gabrus (undrafted) in the groin. And while the Belarusians couldn’t capitalize on the resulting 5-minute power play, they did strike for the 2-0 lead just 48 seconds into the 2nd period, precipitating a goalie change in the Czech nets. The goalie change had its intended effect on the Czech skaters with Radovan Pavlik (undrafted) tallying the first of his two goals just 43 seconds after the goalie switch, followed by Hajek’s equalizer on a wrister from the high slot just 24 seconds after Pavlik’s goal.

The Czechs would put up three more goals in the 2nd period to take a 5-2 lead, the first being a power play marker from Halifax winger and top 2018 draft prospect Filip Zadina, then Hajek assisting on a Filip Chytil (NYR, 2017 1st round pick) goal, and finally Pavlik’s 2nd marker that resulted in a Belarussian goalie change.

Like the Czechs, the change in goal spurred Belarus offensively with Yegor Sharangovich (undrafted) netting his 2nd goal of the game, a power play score with just 75 seconds left in the 2nd period to cut the Czech lead to 5-3 going into the final frame. But the Czechs weren’t done with the undisciplined play, as Pavlik earned a 10-minute misconduct for unsportsmanlike conduct when he fired a shot into the Belarus net after the whistle for an icing call. Belarus cut the lead to 5-4 on the ensuing power play, but the Czech Republic reestablished the two goal lead with strike from Sherbrooke winger Marek Zachar (undrafted). Belarus tallied the false hope goal about 90 seconds later when defenseman Gabrus came back from the 1st period slash to the groin to score for Belarus, but they would get no closer.

The Czech Republic plays their final preliminary round match on New Year’s Eve against the Swiss team, looking to undergird their quarterfinal seed with a single loss to Sweden.

Denmark 0 vs Canada 8

F Taylor Raddysh , CAN: 0-1-1, +1, 0 PIM, 3 SOG
Tournament Totals: 4 GP, 2-2-4, +4, 2 PIM, 10 SOG

F Boris Katchouk, CAN: 0-1-1, +1, 0 PIM, 1 SOG
Tournament Totals: 3 GP, 2-2-4, +4, 2 PIM, 9 SOG

F Brett Howden , CAN: 2-0-2, +3, 0 PIM, 3 SOG, *Player of the Game*
Tournament Totals: 4 GP, 2-0-2, +3, 4 PIM, 9 SOG

D Cal Foote, CAN: 0-3-3, +4, 0 PIM, 1 SOG
Tournament Totals: 4 GP, 0-3-3, +5, 0 PIM, 1 SOG

Brett Howden (pictured) scored twice in Canada’s rout of the Danish WJC squad en route to Player of the Game honors for the Canadian team. Canada fired 44 shots at Denmark netminder Emil Gransoe (undrafted), putting up the snowman on the scoreboard. Cal Foote notched assists on both of Howden’s goals, giving Lightning fans a preview of a possible Tampa Bay future, along with a third assist on Drake Batherson’s (OTT, 2017 4th round pick) third period power play marker. Raddysh and Katchouk both assisted on the game’s opening goal by Robert Thomas (STL, 2017 1st round pick). Katchouk won a battle on the half wall and shoveled the puck behind the goal to Raddysh, who fed Thomas cutting to the Danish net. The stats lines for Raddysh and Katchouk are nearly identical in four games thus far, and the pair have had obvious chemistry since the beginning of the tournament, and no doubt Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds GM Kyle Raftis is paying attention amid continued rumors that the rebuilding Erie Otters is looking to move Raddysh by the OHL trade deadline.

Canada has completed preliminary play, winning Group A with a record of 3-0-1-0 and will most likely draw the Swiss squad in the quarterfinals on January 2nd.

Juniors Game Night: 12-30-17

Quebec Major Junior Hockey League

Cape Breton Screaming Eagles 2 @ Halifax Mooseheads 5

C/W Otto Somppi, HAL: 1-1-2, E, 0 PIM, 3 SOG, 8/12 FO
Season Totals: 28 GP, 12-26-38, +24, 14 PIM
’16-’17 Totals: 60 GP, 17-24-41, -7, 28 PIM

Somppi (pictured) notched two power play points, a goal and an assist, in the Mooseheads’ 5-2 win over the Screaming Eagles. Alexi Gravel (2018 draft eligible) made 29 saves and Xavier Parent (2019 draft eligible) scored twice.

Ontario Hockey League

** Note: Boris Katchouk (Sault Ste. Marie) and Taylor Raddysh (Erie) are away from their respective teams for the 2018 WJC tournament.

Barrie Colts 4 @ Owen Sound Attack 3 (SO)

W Alexey Lipanov, BAR: 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 4 SOG, 3/5 FO
Season Totals: 32 GP, 11-17-28, +10, 10 PIM
‘16-‘17 Totals (VHL-Russia): 21 GP, 3-5-8, +5, 8 PIM

The Colts scored twice in the 3rd to rally from a 3-1 deficit at the second intermission to force overtime and the eventual shootout. Ben Hawerchuk (undrafted) scored in the shootout to go along with his regulation goal and assist to pace Barrie to victory. Lipanov remains pointless since being cut from the Russian WJC pre-tournament selection camp.

Ottawa 67’s 4 @ Peterborough Petes 5

W/C Christopher Paquette, PBO: 0-0-0, +1, 0 PIM, 2 SOG, 3/6 FO
Season Totals: 31 GP, 10-4-14, -18, 6 PIM
’16-‘17 Totals (NIA/PBO): 66 GP, 19-29-48, +1, 28 PIM

The Petes finally get the monkey off their back, but not without a bit of drama, finally breaking their winless streak behind Pavel Gogolev’s (2018 draft eligible) hat trick. Gogolev opened the scoring just 18 seconds into the game, and would then break a 1-1 tie 6:34 into 2nd with his second of the game. That’s when Ottawa’s Tye Felhaber (undrafted) would notch a natural hat trick in the space of 4:22 of the 2nd period to propel the 67’s to a 4-1 lead, and it certainly looked like more of the recent woes for Peterborough. But, the Petes hunkered down in the 3rd, scoring three unanswered starting with Gogolev’s third of the game.

Western Hockey League

** Note: Brett Howden (Moose Jaw), Cal Foote (Kelowna), and Libor Hajek (Saskatoon) are away from their respective teams for the 2018 WJC tournament.

Moose Jaw Warriors 7 @ Brandon Wheat Kings 4

D Oleg Sosunov, MJ: 0-0-0, +3, 2 PIM, 1 SOG
Season Totals: 37 GP, 7-10-17, +30, 38 PIM
’16-‘17 Totals (MHL-Russia): 32 GP, 0-0-0, +1, 79 PIM

A game removed from pasting up a snowman on the scoreboard, the Warriors put up the touchdown against the Wheat Kings as Ryan Peckford (2018 draft eligible) scored twice and added an assist for Moose Jaw, and Brayden Burke (undrafted) scored and added three assists of his own. Moose Jaw has now won 80% of their 38 games thus far this season, going 29-6-1-2 as the top team in the WHL, and is on a 8-1-0-1 run in their last 10 games.

United States Hockey League

** Note: Cole Guttman (Dubuque) was placed on injured reserved on December 22nd following the completion of the World Junior A Challenge tournament.

Omaha Lancers 4 @ Fargo Force 3 (SO)

D Nick Perbix , OMA: 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 4 SOG
Season Totals: 19 GP, 0-7-7, +11, 10 PIM
’16-‘17 Totals (HS): 25 GP, 10-30-40, 6 PIM
Committed to: St. Cloud State University

Cole Gallant (uncommitted) knotted the game at 3-3 with about 3 minutes left in regulation for the Lancers to send the match to overtime and the eventual shootout. Perbix failed to convert in the shootout, but Noah Cates (PHI, 2017 5th round pick) finally solved WJAC Team USA U19 goalie Ryan Bischel (Clarkson commit) as the eighth shooter to earn the extra point for Omaha.

Thomas Scores Game-Winner in Shootout, Crunch Top Comets


By Jeremy Houghtaling

Ben Thomas didn’t think the shot was in until he heard the roar.

The Syracuse Crunch defenseman deked and shot from his backhand in the 11th round of the shootout. The puck went off Comets goalie Thatcher Demko’s blocker and popped over his shoulder and into the back of the net.

Connor Ingram made a save at the other end, and Syracuse topped Utica, 3-2, at the Onondaga County War Memorial Saturday.

“I went to the backhand there and I saw it go off his blocker and I thought he saved it,” Thomas said of his first pro shootout attempt. “Then I turned to the corner and heard everyone cheering. When I looked back it was in the net.”

AHL Game Night: 12-30-17 Comets at Crunch

Crunch dispose of rival Comets in a lengthy shootout.

UTI-2
SYR-3 (SO)

Connor Ingram allowed 2 goals on 17 shots before stopping 8 of 11 in a lengthy penalty shot session for the SO victory. With Budaj's injury moving Domingue up to the big league, Ingram's got a window of opportunity here to prove his worth until and if BriseBois brings in another goaltender to help bolster the Crunch.

First Period
9:59 SYR Volkov (7), (Verhaeghe, McNeill)
15:41 UTI Carcone (7), (Archibald, Brisebois)

Second Period
14:15 UTI Roy (1), (Chatfield)

Third Period
5:28 SYR Volkov (8), (Joseph, Cirelli)

Overtime
NO SCORING

Shootout
UTI- Archibald, Holm, Cassels
SYR- Volkov, Joseph, Erne, Thomas

Alexander Volkov and Ben Thomas were the game's first and third stars. Volkov had quite a night with both goals in regulation and the opening marker for Syracuse in the Shootout.

Syracuse continues to slowly creep up onto the heels of Rochester and Toronto atop the division. They're now 7 points back of Toronto with a game in hand and 9 points back of the Americans with a pair of games in hand.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

NHL Game Night: 12-29-17 Flyers at Lightning

Lightning lose sloppy game, and possibly their backup goaltender.

PHI- 5
TB- 3

Petr Budaj allowed 4 goals on 33 shots for the loss before exiting with what appeared to be a significant left leg injury caused by an accidental collision with a sliding Scott Laughton. I thought the fourth goal exposed some of Budaj’s athletic limitations, but he actually played a very good game before the unfortunate injury. I’d expect Louis Domingue recalled for what may be an extended stint from Syracuse. He’s had NHL experience with Arizona and is a bigger goalie who fits what Frantz Jean teaches. I think he’ll do a good job for Tampa Bay if he gets the call. Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped all 4 shots he faced in relief.

First Period
7:27 TB Stamkos (16), (Kucherov, Hedman)(PP)

Second Period
6:56 PHI Simmonds (12), (Couturier, Voracek)(PP)
10:03 PHI Gostisbehere (8), (Simmonds, Giroux)(PP)
15:37 TB Point (16), (Palat, Kucherov)
19:48 PHI Couturier (18), (Giroux, Konecny)

Third Period
1:53 PHI Manning (4), (Giroux, Konecny)
8:58 TB Johnson (10), (unassisted)(SH)
19:27 PHI Filppula (9), (Voracek, Couturier)(EN)

Tyler Johnson was the game’s third star.

Not much to love about this game. The Lightning got outpossessed and outworked and Philly earned the goals they manufactured with the elbow grease expended. Other than Point, nobody in blue appeared to have any jump and only the fluke luck of Provorov’s broken stick on Johnson’s SH goal game them a chance to net points at the end, which they frankly didn’t deserve tonight.

Slater Koekkoek played 8:09. If you blinked you might’ve missed him.

Yanni Gourde was -1 in 16:14 with 1 shot, 1 hit, and 1 blocked shot. He was also 42% on 12 draws. I think you want more from an energy guy like Gourde in a game like this.

Jake Dotchin was -1 with 2 hits and 1 blocked shot in 13:12. I’m surprised his IT went down against this opponent. I wonder if fatigue was an element of that.

Mikhail Sergachev had 3 shots, 2 hits, and 1 blocked shot in 15:53.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

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