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2018 IIHF World Junior Championship: 12-28-17

2018 IIHF World Junior Championship

Sweden 3 vs Czech Republic 1

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

Hajek led all Czech blueliners in ice time with 21:28, and assisted on the team’s only goal against the Swedes, a power-play tally by Otto Somppi’s linemate at Halifax, Filip Zadina (2018 draft eligible). The goal drew the Czechs within one, but the Swedes scored two power-play goals of their own. Hajek’s ice time was eclipsed only by Zadina and the Hurricanes 2017 12th overall pick Martin Necas. The Czech Republic next plays Belarus on Saturday.

Juniors Game Night: 12-28-17

Quebec Major Junior Hockey League

Charlottetown Islanders 0 @ Halifax Mooseheads 9

C/W Otto Somppi, HAL: 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 2 SOG, 8/15 FO
Season Totals: 28 GP, 11-25-36, +24, 14 PIM
’16-’17 Totals: 60 GP, 17-24-41, -7, 28 PIM

The Q and Otto Somppi resumed play after the break for the holidays and Islander netminder Matthew Welsh (undrafted) pitched a 36-shot shutout, and Pascal Aquin (undrafted) scored both Charlottetown goals.

Ontario Hockey League

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

Sudbury Wolves 2 @ Barrie Colts 4

W Alexey Lipanov, BAR: 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 2 SOG, 4/11 FO
Season Totals: 32 GP, 11-17-28, +10, 10 PIM
‘16-‘17 Totals (VHL-Russia): 21 GP, 3-5-8, +5, 8 PIM

Barrie once each in the 1st and 2nd, and then let Sudbury draw even before Ben Hawerchuk (undrafted) scored with two minutes left in regulation to give the Colts the win. No doubt a tall order for Lipanov to come back after not making the Russian WJC squad.

Peterborough Petes 1 @ Guelph Storm 3

W/C Christopher Paquette, PBO: 0-0-0, -1, 0 PIM, 1 SOG, 1/1 FO
Season Totals: 30 GP, 10-4-14, -19, 6 PIM
’16-‘17 Totals (NIA/PBO): 66 GP, 19-29-48, +1, 28 PIM

Nate Ratcliffe (PHI, 2017 2nd round pick) scored twice for the Storm and the woes for the Petes continue even after a long holiday rest.

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.

Swift Current Broncos 2 @ Moose Jaw Warriors 8

D Oleg Sosunov, MJ: 1-0-1, +2, 0 PIM, 1 SOG
Season Totals: 36 GP, 7-10-17, +27, 36 PIM
’16-‘17 Totals (MHL-Russia): 32 GP, 0-0-0, +1, 79 PIM

The Warriors pasted a snowman on the board against the Broncos in the backside of the home-and-home series coming out of the break. Moose Jaw got goals from seven different players, with Jayden Halbgewachs (undrafted) scoring twice. With Swift Current’s Tyler Steenbergen (ARI, 5th round pick) off to the WJCs, Halbgewachs assumes sole lead in the WHL in goals scored with 37. Sosunov scored his 7th goal of the season as part of four-goal 3rd period.

United States Hockey League

Cedar Rapids Roughriders 3 @ Dubuque Fighting Saints 4 (OT1)

C Cole Guttman, DBQ: Did not play
Season Totals: 16 GP, 6-5-11, E, 21 PIM
’16-‘17 Totals: 53 GP, 27-27-54, +21, 18 PIM
Committed to: University of Denver

The Captain remained out of the lineup for the Fighting Saints for the second consecutive game, and wondering now if somehow Guttman might have gotten hurt in the championship game at the WJAC’s. Josh Maniscalco (Arizona State commit) scored in OT for Dubuque after serving a fighting major and 10 minute misconduct in the 1st for his tangle with Roughrider Will Zmolek (Bemidji State commit).

Omaha Lancers 5 @ Des Moines Buccaneers 3

D Nick Perbix , OMA: 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 3 SOG
Season Totals: 18 GP, 0-7-7, +11, 10 PIM
’16-‘17 Totals (HS): 25 GP, 10-30-40, 6 PIM
Committed to: St. Cloud State University

Perbix was back in the Omaha lineup after silver medaling in the WJACs and taking the holiday break, but the Black Hawks blanked the Lancers behind last year’s Slovakian WJC goalie Matej Tomek’s 31-save shutout.

Minnesota State High School League

Edina Hornets 5 vs St. Michael-Albertville Knights 1

F Sammy Walker, EDN: 1-1-2, 0 PIM, 1 SOG
Season Totals (HS): 11 GP, 12-15-27, 8 PIM
Season Totals (USHL): 4 GP, 0-0-0, -3, 4 PIM
’16-‘17 Totals (HS): 25 GP, 22-24-46, 6 PIM
’16-‘17 Totals (USHL): 4 GP, 0-0-0, -3, 6 PIM
Committed to: University of Minnesota

Walker and Jett Jungels (Western Michigan commit) tag-teamed on a couple of shorties to help the Hornets pull away from the Knights and win their final game of the Schwan’s Cup Gold Division tournament. Edina took a 2-0 lead into the first intermission, but STMA cut the lead in half before Jungel scored his first of the game at even strength to reestablish a two-goal Hornet lead. Jungel then assisted on Walker’s shorthand marker with nearly 3 minutes left in the 2nd, and then Walker assisted on Jungel’s shorthanded tally just 19 seconds into the final frame. Edina’s win placed them 3rd in eight-team tournament, with St. Thomas Academy winning the Schwan’s Gold Cup in a shootout win over Minnetonka.

Edina plays next on January 2nd against the Burnsville Blaze.

NHL Game Night: 12-28-17 Canadiens at Lightning

Patient Lightning outlasts punchless Habs.

MTL- 1
TB- 3

Andrei Vasilevskiy allowed 1 goal on 32 shots for the victory. It says everything about where he has progressed in his career that beating Carey Price in a goaltending duel is a non-story.

First Period
NO SCORING

Second Period
3:40 MTL Gallagher (15), (Hudon, Morrow)(PP)
19:48 TB Stamkos (14), (Kucherov, Hedman)

Third Period
0:30 TB Point (15), (Johnson, Palat)
4:45 TB Stamkos (15), (Namestnikov, Palat)(PP)

Steven Stamkos, Brayden Point, and Nikita Kucherov were the game’s three stars.

As with the Minnesota game, the Lightning found themselves tonight having to maintain poise and patience in a low scoring game where chances were finding iron more than paydirt. There’s going to be plenty of games like this to come in the postseason, so it’s good for the team to continue getting comfortable playing in and winning a few games like this. Ultimately, the Lightning got the big swing with goals in the last minute of the Second Period and first minute of the Third Period... mental bugs that Montreal surely has to be sore about. Then, unlike the Minny game, the Lightning enlisted Espo’s Rule as an ally with Stamkos’ hiccup quick finish on the insurance marker.

Yanni Gourde was 70% on 10 draws in 13:04. It’s a thin stat line, but gosh a faceoff percentage like that is a real breath of fresh air to see.

Jake Dotchin was +1 with 2 penalty minutes, 2 hits, and 3 blocked shots in 17:08. It was a very poised performance by the entire D in Stralman’s absence, albeit against a Montreal team that couldn’t find its offense with GPS and a seeing eye dog at the moment.

Mikhail Sergachev was +1 with 2 shots, 1 hit, and 2 blocked shots in 18:49. A stat line like that isn’t glamorous, but I’ll happily take that most every night for the rookie. The gaudy offensive numbers are the bonus. The quality, well-rounded minutes are what you need.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

2018 IIHF World Junior Championship: 12-27-17

2018 IIHF World Junior Championship

Slovakia 0 vs Canada 6

F Taylor Raddysh , CAN: 1-0-1, E, 0 PIM, 4 SOG
Tournament Totals: 2 GP, 2-1-3, +2, 2 PIM, 7 SOG

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

F Brett Howden , CAN: 0-0-0, +1, 0 PIM, 4 SOG
Tournament Totals: 2 GP, 0-0-0, E, 2 PIM, 4 SOG

D Cal Foote, CAN: 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 0 SOG
Tournament Totals: 2 GP, 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 0 SOG

Jonah Gadjovich (VAN, 2017 2nd round pick) scored twice for Canada and OHL points leader Jordan Kyrou (STL, 2016 2nd round pick) racked up a 3-point night, while Colton Point (DAL, 2016 5th round pick) pitched a 20-save shutout against the Slovakian WJC squad. Taylor Raddysh continued his strong early tourney showing, notching a power play marker, as the Canadian offense threw 52 shots at the Slovak goalie from St. Cloud State, David Hrenak (undrafted). Cal Foote saw his ice time blossom to almost 20 minutes amid a couple of injuries to Canada’s backline. Canada gets a day off on Thursday before the highly hyped first ever outdoor WJC game pitting Group A rivals USA vs Canada at New Era Field in what the weatherman predicts to be very cold and possibly snowy game time conditions.

Juniors Game Night: 12-27-17

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 4 @ Swift Current Broncos 5 (SO)

D Oleg Sosunov, MJ: 0-0-0, E, 2 PIM, 3 SOG
Season Totals: 35 GP, 6-10-16, +25, 36 PIM
’16-‘17 Totals (MHL-Russia): 32 GP, 0-0-0, +1, 79 PIM

The WHL returned to action after the holiday break with a full slate of games on the slate. The Warriors jumped out to an early 3-0 lead, but faded in the 3rd allowing the Broncos to score four times, and eventually win it in the shootout. Justin Almeida (undrafted) scored two power play goals and Brayden Burke (undrafted) notched a goal and two assists for Moose Jaw. Flames camper and signee Glenn Gawdin along with Jets castoff Matteo Gennaro were the heroes for Swift Current, both scoring goals in the Broncos 3rd period rally and both scoring in the shootout.

United States Hockey League

Dubuque Fighting Saints 3 @ Green Bay Gamblers 2 (SO)

C Cole Guttman, DBQ: Did not play
Season Totals: 16 GP, 6-5-11, E, 21 PIM
’16-‘17 Totals: 53 GP, 27-27-54, +21, 18 PIM
Committed to: University of Denver

The USHL and the Fighting Saints returned to action after the holiday break, but Cole Guttman did not. Perhaps he hasn’t fully returned from his hiatus for the 2017 WJAC tournament, but Dubuque would get 3rd period goals from Dalton Hunter (Mercyhurst commit) and Adam Tisdale (Clarkson commit), and then a shootout marker from Logan Pietila (Michigan Tech commit, 2018 draft eligible) to give the Fighting Saints a gutsy road win over the Gamblers.

Minnesota State High School League

Edina Hornets 5 @ Centennial Cougars 2

F Sammy Walker, EDN: 1-1-2, 2 PIM, 1 SOG
Season Totals (HS): 10 GP, 11-14-25, 8 PIM
Season Totals (USHL): 4 GP, 0-0-0, -3, 4 PIM
’16-‘17 Totals (HS): 25 GP, 22-24-46, 6 PIM
’16-‘17 Totals (USHL): 4 GP, 0-0-0, -3, 6 PIM
Committed to: University of Minnesota

Play continued today in Day 2 of the Schwan’s Cup Gold Division tournament. Sammy Walker (pictured) and Max Borst (undrafted) each tallied a goal and an assist to pace the Hornets in a 5-2 victory over the Centennial High Cougars. After trading 1st period goals, the Cougars took its only lead of the game just 46 seconds into the 2nd. But the Centennial lead was short-lived as Jett Jungels (Northern Michigan commit) knotted the game at 2-2 just 45 seconds after the Cougars goal. From there, it was blood in the water for the Hornets with Borst scoring his would be game winner 45 seconds after the Jungels tally, and with Edina nursing a 3-2 lead at the game’s midpoint, Walker helped to put the game out of reach of Centennial, first assisting on future Minnesota teammate Ben Brinkman’s (Minnesota commit, 2019 draft eligible) goal, and then scoring an unassisted marker himself.

Edina draws the St. Michael Albertville Knights Thursday, after STMA beat Burnsville 5-2 earlier in the day.

Yan Records Three Points in Return, Crunch Beat Marlies


By Jeremy Houghtaling

Syracuse Crunch head coach Benoit Groulx liked what he saw in the first game after the Christmas break.

Dennis Yan recorded three points in his return from injury, Syracuse rebounded from an early deficit and a power play goal in the third period lifted the Crunch over the Toronto Marlies, 5-4, at the Onondaga County War Memorial Wednesday.

“I’m quite happy with this win, but the way we played overall?” Groulx said. “First of all, much better game than the last game here for our fans. Secondly, we had legs. That’s not easy when you have three days off. … I was happy with the legs and the energy we had tonight. (We were) executing pretty well and got better as the game went along. Overall, a good showing.”

AHL Game Night: 12/27/17 Marlies at Crunch

All Yan does is score.

TOR-4
SYR-5

Louis Domingue allowed 4 goals on 26 shots for the win. Sweet goal support.

First Period
3:10 TOR Johnsson (11), (Kapanen)
4:22 SYR Yan (4), (Volkov)
10:53 SYR Yan (5), (Peca, Spencer)
15:04 TOR Mueller (7), (Timashov)
19:30 SYR Joseph (7), (Peca)

Second Period
1:45 TOR Gauthier (3), (Greening, Rychel)
17:46 SYR Lynch (8), (Yan, Stephens)(PP)
18:12 TOR Aaltonen (5), (unassisted)

Third Period
3:48 SYR Erne (9), (Joseph, Verhaeghe)(PP)

Dennis Yan and Matthew Peca were the game’s first and third stars. Yan got in his first game in four weeks and dropped 2-1-3 to raise his season scoring to 0.50 points a game, which is such a Dennis Yan thing to do. He has a very particular set of skills. Peca now has a personal seven game points streak with 3-9-12 in that span, as he lines up his case for a potential NHL cup of coffee.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

Juniors Game Night: 12-26-17

Minnesota State High School League

Edina Hornets 2 @ Minnetonka Skippers 5

F Sammy Walker, EDN: 1-0-1, 2 PIM, 1 SOG
Season Totals (HS): 9 GP, 10-13-23, 6 PIM
Season Totals (USHL): 4 GP, 0-0-0, -3, 4 PIM
’16-‘17 Totals (HS): 25 GP, 22-24-46, 6 PIM
’16-‘17 Totals (USHL): 4 GP, 0-0-0, -3, 6 PIM
Committed to: University of Minnesota

On the 15-minute bus ride on I-35W from Edina to Minnepolis, the Hornets were polishing up the Schwan’s Cup they won last year at the most prestigious high school holiday hockey tournament in the state of Minnesota. 64 boys teams, 60 girls teams, and over 200 games played in six days. It’s the Schwan’s Cup tournament at Ridder Arena on the campus of the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers. This year’s Gold Division Varsity Boys tournament is scheduled to run December 26-28.

Sammy Walker broke a 1-1 tie midway through the 1st period with his 10th goal of the season to give Edina its only lead of the game. The rest of the game would be nothing but Skippers as Joe Molenaar (uncommitted) scored shorthanded to knot the score at 2-2 at the 1st intermission followed by Matt Koethe (uncommitted) scoring twice early in the 2nd, as Minnetonka handed the Hornets their first loss of the season. The Skippers peppered Edina netminder Garrett Mackay (uncommitted) with 34 shots, 25 in the 2nd and 3rd periods, while the Hornet offense only mustered 16 total shots. Molenaar, Jack Bayless (uncommitted), and Josh Luedtke (Northern Michigan commit) each had a goal and an assist for Minnetonka High.

Edina drops to the losers bracket and draws Centennial High School out of Circle Pines, MN on Wednesday afternoon after the Cougars lost to Hill Murray in a shootout.

2018 IIHF World Junior Championship: 12-26-17

2018 IIHF World Junior Championship

Czech Republic 5 vs Russia 4

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

A late rally by the Russian WJC squad fell short as the Czech Republic team held on for a 5-4 victory in the tournament opening match. Hajek started the game and played a whopping 9:24 in the first, leading all skaters by a wide margin. Hajek assisted on Ostap Safin’s (EDM, 2017 4th round pick) goal in the 1st to pull the Czechs ahead 2-1. Despite leading all blueliners in ice time along with Filip Kral (2018 draft eligible), Hajek’s ice time fell off as the game went along, getting just 5:32 in the 3rd. After the Czechs scored three straight, Russia scored twice in the last 2:12 of the game to pull within one, but couldn’t put the equalizer past Josef Korenar (undrafted), who stopped 34 of 38 Russian shots. The Czech Republic were paced by four skaters each with a goal and an assist, including Otto Somppi’s Halifax linemate Filip Zadina (2018 draft eligible), and by three assists from Martin Kaut (2018 draft eligible). The Czech Republic next plays Thursday against the Swedish squad, who easily won their opening match 6-1 against Belarus.

In somewhat of a surprise, Bolt prospect Alexey Lipanov was among the last to be cut from the Russian WJC team, and won’t be in the lineup for the Russians for this tournament.

Canada 4 vs Finland 2

F Taylor Raddysh , CAN: 1-1-2, +2, 2 PIM, 3 SOG
Tournament Totals: 1-1-2, +2, 2 PIM, 3 SOG

F Boris Katchouk, CAN: 1-1-2, +2, 2 PIM, 2 SOG
Tournament Totals: 1-1-2, +2, 2 PIM, 2 SOG

F Brett Howden , CAN: 0-0-0, -1, 2 PIM, 0 SOG
Tournament Totals: 0-0-0, -1, 2 PIM, 0 SOG

D Cal Foote, CAN: 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 0 SOG
Tournament Totals: 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 0 SOG

Taylor Raddysh and Boris Katchouk led the Canadian WJC team to its tournament opening 4-2 victory over Finland. Both Raddysh and Katchouk each had a goal and an assist, and Carter Hart (PHI, 2016 2nd round pick) backstopped 29 saves on 31 Finnish shots. Katchouk opened the scoring just 5:34 into the match on a controversial goal when he streaked in alone on Finnish netminder Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen, with the puck trickling over the line as the net was coming unmoored after a collision between the two players. The goal was ruled good after a review by the officials. Less than 30 seconds later, with the Canadians on the power play, Raddysh took a feed in front of the net from Jordan Kyrou (2018 draft eligible) and spun to jam the puck past Luukkonen, but a pad save popped the puck to the stick of Sam Steel (ANA, 2016 1st round pick), who rifled it into the open net. Later in the 2nd period, Katchouk attempted to feed Raddysh off the rush, but the play was broken up but Raddysh was able to collect the loose puck and spun and ripped a wrist shot from the top of the circles past Luukkonen.

One might look at Cal Foote’s blank stat line and only 12:55 in ice time and think he had minimal impact, but he had most spectacular play of the game when he dove behind Hart to swipe the puck off the goal line with his hand to save a goal and keep the Canadian lead at 4-2. The Canadians play next on Wednesday in Slovakia’s opening tournament match.

Crunch Struggle Out of Gate in Loss to Comets


By Jeremy Houghtaling

Captain Erik Condra believes the Syracuse Crunch's confidence was a little too high.

After a dominating 8-2 performance in Belleville Friday, Syracuse struggled out of the gate in a 2-1 loss to the Utica Comets at the Onondaga County War Memorial Saturday. The loss snaps Syracuse’s six game home win streak.

“I just think we thought it was going to be easy like last night and it just wasn’t,” Condra said. “They’re a hardworking team. They took our coach (Trent Cull) and they play our system. He’s got them working hard. We weren’t ready for that, and then it was too little, too late.”

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