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KHL Game Day: 1-18-15

Khanty-Mansiysk 1 vs. Nizhnekamsk 5
Nikita Gusev, Khanty-Mansiysk, 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 1 SOG
Season totals: 43 GP, 16-10-26, +3, 12 PIM

Nikita Gusev was scoreless in 16:33 in Yugra's 5-1 loss to Nizhnekamsk. Nizhnekamsk got 1 goal and 1 assist by ex-Crunch Dan Sexton in the victory.

Magnitogorsk 3 vs. Kazan 1
Vasily Koshechkin, Magnitogorsk, Win, 38/39, 1.01 GAA, .974 sv%
Season totals: 40 GP, 26-6-5, 4 SO, 1.76 GAA, .937 sv%

Vasily Koshechkin had a masterful 38 save performance in Magnitka's 3-1 victory over Ak Bars Kazan. Ex-Predators third rounder Denis Platonov had 1 goal and 1 assist to lead the way for Magnitka.

NCAA Game Night: 1-17-15

St. Lawrence Saints 5 @ No. 4 Harvard Crimson 1

F Brian Hart, HAR: 0-0-0, -1, 15 PIM, 1 SOG
Season totals: 16 GP, 5-4-9, E, 17 PIM
2013-2014 totals: 30 GP, 7-8-15, -8, 20 PIM

Hart was ejected from the game for a check to the head early in the third period.

Niagara Purple Eagles 0 @ No. 3 North Dakota 5

F Brendan O’Donnell, UND: 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 2 SOG
Season totals: 21 GP, 9-4-13, +7, 25 PIM
2013-2014 totals: 34 GP, 7-11-18, +7, 10 PIM

North Dakota crushed the Purple Eagles for the second straight night, winning 5-0 on Saturday. They won 7-1 on Friday. After having three points in each of his last two games, O'Donnell was scoreless on Saturday.

No. 20 Merrimack Warriors 3 @ No. 12 Quinnipiac Bobcats 1

F Matthew Peca, QU: 0-1-1, -1, 2 PIM, 3 SOG
Season totals: 24 GP, 4-18-22, -4, 21 PIM
2014-2015 totals: 40 GP, 12-26-38, +4, 16 PIM

Merrimack completed a home-and-home weekend sweep over the higher ranked Bobcats, winning 3-1 on Saturday. Peca had an assist in each game. QU fell to 15-8-1 with the two losses. Merrimack is 13-6-2.

Wisconsin Badgers 2 @ No. 16 Minnesota Golden Gophers 5

G Adam Wilcox, MIN: Win, 24 saves on 26 shots
Season totals: 20 GP, 11-6-2, 2.45 GAA, .910 sv%, 3 SO
2013-2014 totals: 38 GP, 26-6-6, 1.97 GAA, .932 sv%, 4 SO

The Gophers put 50 shots on Badger goaltender Joel Rumpel (undrafted), beating him with five to earn a 5-2 win. Adam Wilcox continues to lead the Big 10 in goals against average.
*USCHO poll used

ECHL Game Night: 1-17-15

Gwinnett Gladiators 7 at Florida Everblades 2

D Artem Sergeev, FLA: DNP
Season totals: 25 GP, 6-9-15, +6, 10 PIM, 39 SOG

Other Notables
G Allen York, FLA, 36:38 MIN, 2 GA, 16 SH, 14 SV
Season totals: 22 GP, 15-3-0-3, 2.61 GAA, 0.902 SV%, 3 SO

F Jeff Costello, FLA: 0-1-1, E, 0 PIM, 3 SOG
Season totals (ECHL): 26 GP, 8-7-15, -1, 26 PIM, 65 SOG
Season totals (AHL): 3 GP, 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM

F Mike Aviani, FLA: 0-0-0, -1, 2 PIM, 2 SOG
Season totals (ECHL): 27 GP, 5-10-15, +1, 24 PIM, 50 SOG
Season totals (AHL): 2 GP, 0-0-0, E, 2 PIM

Gwinnett opened up a can of whoop'em on Everblade goalie Andy Iles, scoring the game's first 5 goals on 10 shots. Iles was lifted at 3:22 in the 2nd period for Allen York who allowed two more goals on 16 shots. Jeff Costello assisted on Florida's first goal. Lightning defensive prospect Artem Sergeev has now missed 5 of the team's last 6 matches. The Everblades hit the road for a three-in-three next weekend.

Wichita Thunder 4 at Allen Americans 6

F Danick Gauthier, WIC: 0-0-0, -1, 0 PIM, 2 SOG
Season totals (ECHL): 38 GP, 15-18-33, -2, 37 PIM, 118 SOG
Season totals (AHL): 1 GP, 0-0-0, -2, 2 PIM

D Daniel Milan, WIC: Recalled to Syracuse
Season totals: 36 GP, 0-10-10, -6, 82 PIM, 35 SOG

The Americans backed up Friday's 8-2 drubbing of the Thunder with a 6-4 victory Saturday night. Wichita rallied from a 3-0 deficit to knot the score at 3-3 before the end of the 1st period, but the Americans scored the next three to seal the match. Wichita heads out to Rapid City for a back-to-back next weekend.

NHL Game Night: 1-17-15 Avalanche at Lightning

Misdemeanor theft in Tampa Bay.

COL-2
TB-3 (SO)

Ben Bishop allowed 2 goals on 40 shots and stopped 2 of 3 in the penalty shot session for the SO win. Put simply, he outdueled Varlamov to win this game for the Lightning.

First Period
1:58 TB Callahan (15), (Killorn, Stralman)(PP)

Second Period
0:51 COL O'Reilly (8), (MacKinnon, Hejda)

Third Period
4:08 TB Stralman (3), (Filppula)
19:53 COL MacKinnon (9), (Landeskog, Johnson)

Overtime
NO SCORING

Shootout
COL- Duchene
TB- Kucherov, Callahan

Bishop and Ryan Callahan were the game's first and third stars.

Really, this was a game the Lightning probably didn't deserve to get points out of. Varlamov's second goal allowed was extremely soft, giving the Lightning a 1 goal lead that Bishop very nearly made stand up with some outstanding play. But, let's not delude ourselves. The Lightning looked pretty shabby the last 40 minutes of this game as the Avs upped their intensity level and the Lightning failed to match it. I think it's indicative of one of the major flaws that needs to be corrected before playoff time (even larger than the alleged "softness" flaw). The Lightning are built for speed and using that speed to create puck possession and protect their puck moving blueliners. When faster teams like the Oilers and Avs over the past couple of games get against the Lightning and are able to win races to 50/50 pucks, the Lightning are not good positionally without the puck in terms of gap control and separating the other team from the puck. They're not built for it and they're kind of clueless how to handle it, and it's just something that they'll need to continue to work on and get better with as they gain experience. Fortunately, as they do, they've got an elite caliber netminder in Ben Bishop at their backs.

Cedric Paquette was -1 with 1 shot and 2 hits in 15:23. He was also 40% on draws. He was on the ice for MacKinnon's 6-on-5 greasy goal at the very end of regulation, but beyond that he was strong on the forecheck and the PK. Another plus night for #13.

Jonathan Drouin had 2 shots and 1 hit in 12:17. There was one shift where he undressed 3 of the 5 Avs on the ice and nearly set up a score. One of these days the coaching staff is going to find just the right combination/role to utilize the special talent this guy brings to the table.

Nikita Nesterov had 2 shots and 1 hit in 16:59. He took a puck to the face in the First Period that required stitches, but he gutted it out and had another good game contributing in all three zones.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

AHL Game Night: 1-17-15 Crunch at Sound Tigers

Crunch rebound quickly to crush Sound Tigers.

SYR-6
BRI-2

Kristers Gudlevskis allowed 2 goals on 26 shots for the victory. One silver lining of the spanking the Crunch took against the Senators was that Gudlevskis got some quality PT in garbage time, and he carried that momentum over to tonight.

First Period
SYR Mormina, (2) (Marchessault, Angelidis), 8:47 (PP)
SYR Koekkoek, (3) (Marchessault), 8:58

Second Period
SYR Blunden, (11) (Blujus), 5:29
BRI Courtnall, (3) (Langkow, Pelech), 12:25
SYR Richard, (6) (Blujus, Blunden), 15:56
SYR Namestnikov, (8) , 17:24 (SH)

Third Period
SYR Angelidis, (13) (Blunden, Marchessault), 6:56
BRI Persson, (5) (Stretch, Lashoff), 14:41 (PP)

Mike Blunden, Jonathan Marchessault, and Vladislav Namestnikov were the game's three stars.

The other silver lining of the debacle against Bingo is the Crunch had time to collect themselves and get some continuity going with the skeleton lineup in the final 40 minutes of the game, and that also carried over into tonight's game.

Ex-Lightning 7th rounder Justin Courtnall had a goal against the organization that drafted him. Wow, that was a name from the past I wasn't sure I'd ever hear again.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

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