Feeling fresh with an exhausted backchecker ahead of him, Artem Sergeev decided to join the rush.
The Syracuse Crunch defenseman watched as teammate Vlad Namestnikov broke into the zone shorthanded, drew multiple St. John's IceCaps defenders to the left and slid the puck backdoor.
Sergeev easily tapped the eventual game-winner home with 2:32 remaining, as the Crunch rallied from a two-goal deficit to top the IceCaps, 3-2, at the Onondaga County War Memorial Wednesday.
"Vladdy has great vision," Sergeev said. "The goalie was looking at him, and he passed it to me. It was an empty net goal, pretty much."
Comeback Crunch start a positive streak for a change.
Kristers Gudlevskis allowed 2 goals on 28 shots for the victory. Since returning from the Olympics, Gudlevskis is 4-2-1 with 1 SO, a 1.97 GAA, and a .934 save percentage. Suffice it to say he's really taken off since that amazing performance against Canada in Sochi.
STJ Albert, (20) (MacKinnon), 4:14
STJ Chiarot, (5) (Gordon, Samson), 16:23
SYR Connolly, (18) (Smith, Angelidis), 0:32
SYR Angelidis, (11) (Paquette, Namestnikov), 2:43 (PP)
SYR Sergeev, (3) (Namestnikov), 17:28 (SH)
Artem Sergeev, Vladislav Namestnikov, and Mike Angelidis were the game's three stars. Now at 42 points in 46 games, Namestnikov has doubled his point production from a season ago when he had 21 points in 44 games. As with Gudlevskis' numbers, his continued production is impressive given how the rest of the roster has obviously labored a bit this season.
This was a far more impressive result than the 3-0 shutout of Adirondack given the IceCaps reside in 4th in the Eastern Conference at 20 games over .500 for the season. This is a result that gives you far more hope that this winning streak can actually be sustained.
Box score from TheAHL.com.
Quebec Major Junior Hockey League
Halifax Mooseheads 4 @ Charlottetown Islanders 1
Mooseheads lead best-of-7 first round series, 3-0
C/W Jonathan Drouin, HAL: 1-1-2, +1, 2 PIM, 0 Hits, 4 SOG, 13/29 FO, *Third Star*
Playoff totals: 3 GP, 4-5-9, +3, 4 PIM
Season totals: 46 GP, 29-70-108, +49, 43 PIM
2011-2012 Season: 49 GP, 41-64-105, +48, 32 PIM
Philippe Gadoury (undrafted) had a hat trick and Jonathan Drouin had a goal and an assist to lead the Mooseheads to a 4-1 Game 3 win and a commanding 3-0 series lead. Drouin has been a game star in all three games so far. Halifax outshot Charlottetown in Game 3, 42-17.
Quebec Remparts 2 @ Rouyn-Noranda Huskies 5
Huskies lead best-of-7 first round series, 2-1
C/W Adam Erne, QUE: Did not play.
Season totals: 44 GP, 20-40-60, -3, 61 PIM
2012-2013 Season: 68 GP, 28-44-72, +11, 67 PIM
Erne remains out while recovering from a lacerated spleen. He is due back by the end of the month if the Remparts are still alive.
Ontario Hockey League
North Bay Battalion 0 @ Niagara IceDogs 2
IceDogs lead best-of-7 Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, 2-1
D Dylan Blujus, NB: 0-0-0, -2, 4 PIM
Playoff totals: 3 GP, 1-0-1, E, 4 PIM
Season totals: 55 GP, 4-26-30, +12, 56 PIM
2012-13 totals: 68 GP, 2-27-29, -8, 57 PIM
Second-seeded North Bay finds themselves down 2-1 in the series after a shutout loss in St. Catherines on Tuesday. Brent Moran (2014), one of the top undrafted goaltender prospects, stopped 42 shots for the win.
Barrie Colts 6 @ Sudbury Wolves 3
Colts lead best-of-7 Easter Conference Quarterfinals, 3-0
D Jake Dotchin, BAR: 1-0-1, E, 0 PIM
Playoff totals: 3 GP: 2-1-3, +1, 6 PIM
Season totals: 63 GP, 11-25-36, +22, 121 PIM
2012-13 totals: 66 GP, 4-18-22, E, 81 PIM
Dotchin scored a shorthanded goal for the Colts, helping Barrie to a 3-0 series lead over Sudbury with a 6-3 Game 3 win.
Kingston Frontenacs 4 @ Peterborough Petes 2
Frontenacs lead best-of-7 Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, 3-0
W Henri Ikonen, KGN: 0-1-1, +1, 2 PIM
Playoff totals: 3 GP, 1-4-5, +3, 2 PIM
Season totals: 54 GP, 25-45-70, +17, 49 PIM
2012-13 totals: 61 GP, 22-29-51, +2, 30 PIM
Kingston is one win away from advancing to the Eastern Conference Semifinals after a 4-2 win in Peterborough on Tuesday. Ikonen’s assist came on an empty net goal with 30 seconds left.
KHL Eastern Conference Semifinals
(6)Novosibirsk 2 vs. (1)Magnitogorsk 3
Magnitogorsk Wins the Series 4-0
Vasily Koshechkin, Magnitogorsk, Win, 30/32, 2.01 GAA, .938 sv%
Regular season totals: 51 GP, 30-12-8, 9 SO, 1.88 GAA, .940 sv%
Playoff totals: 9 GP, 8-1-0, 0 SO, 1.90 GAA, .935 sv%
Magnitogorsk completed their second round sweep of Novosibirsk, disposing of the Eastern Conference sixth seed 3-2 in Game Four. Metallurg was led by 2 goals by former Blue Jackets draft pick Sergei Mozyakin. Magnitogorsk has lost just one time in the first two rounds of this season's playoffs.
(4)Ufa 3 vs. (2)Astana 2 (OT)
Ufa Leads the Series 3-1
Andrey Vasilevskiy, Ufa, Win, 38/40, 1.84 GAA, .950 sv%
Regular season totals: 28 GP, 14-8-5, 3 SO, 2.21 GAA, .923 sv%
Playoff totals: 11 GP, 7-4-0, 0 SO, 2.20 GAA, .927 sv%
Ex-Canucks draft pick Kirill Koltsov's power play goal 5:03 into Overtime delivered Ufa a 3-2 Game Four win over Astana and a commanding 3-1 lead in their second round series. The stellar play of Lightning prospect Andrey Vasilevskiy allowed Ufa to overcome a 27-40 shot deficit in the contest to take the victory. Astana got an assist from former Lightning defenseman Mike Lundin in defeat.
Lethargic Lightning manufacture a point.
Ben Bishop allowed 3 goals on 32 shots before allowing 1 of 3 to convert in the penalty shot session for the SO Loss. He played solidly tonight, and it's just regrettable the team has stopped converting for him in shootouts.
3:57 OTT Karlsson (20), (Greening)
5:07 TB Kucherov (9), (Johnson, Brown)
8:12 OTT Spezza (19), (Michalek, Karlsson)
8:56 OTT Turris (22), (Stone, Erik Karlsson)
13:26 TB Hedman (12), (Filppula, Palat)(PP)
5:44 TB Stamkos (21), (Palat, Callahan)(PP)
Tom Pyatt was the game's third star.
I could complain about a point being left on the table with the Lightning unable to convert a 4-on-3 PP opportunity in Overtime. But, no, I think I'll take the point and run tonight. The fact is the Lightning played flat, stupid hockey for the first 33 minutes of tonight's game and they were lucky not to be down by 3 or 4 goals by the time they woke up and got their heads in the games. The turnovers were awful. The defensive zone coverage was awful. Bishop and luck kept them within 2 goals and Ottawa's lack of discipline gave them the power play opportunities to steal a point away from a night they played poorly. So, I'll take it and move on.
Mike Kostka was +1 with 2 shots, 2 hits, and 1 blocked shot in 17:29. He was crafty tonight at both ends of the rink and looks due for some more points soon. He was patient when he needed to be and opportunistic when chances came his way, and looked really good tonight.