Omsk 3 @ Cherepovets 1
Karri Ramo, Omsk, Win, 23/24, 1.00 GAA, .958 sv%
Season totals: 29 GP, 16-12, 3 SO, 1.99 GAA, .914 sv%
Ramo got his season GAA back below 2 with a solid 3-1 win over Cherepovets. Former Lightning first rounder Alex Svitov had his 5th goal of the season in the win and added a helper, which was his 12th point of the season.
Kazan 5 @ Novosibirsk 1
Dmitri Kazionov, Kazan, 1-2-3, +2, 0 PIM, 3 SOG
Season totals: 37 GP, 12-4-16, +2, 12 PIM
The elder Kazionov played 13:48 in the match, opening the scoring for Kazan with his 12th goal of the season before tacking on a pair of assists in the third period.
Yaroslavl 3 @ Magnitogorsk 0
Vasily Koshechkin, Magnitogorsk, Loss, 20/23, 3.00 GAA, .870 sv%
Season totals: 35 GP, 17-15, 5 SO, 2.07 GAA, .923 sv%
Magnitogorsk managed just 18 shots on goal in their 3-0 shutout loss to Lokomotiv.
KHK MVD 1 @ Ekaterinburg 0
Denis Kazionov, Ekaterinburg, 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 1 SOG
Season totals: 34 GP, 4-3-7, -12, 10 PIM
The younger Kazionov brother played just 9:04 in the match. A first period goal from Yuri Babenko would be the only scoring KHK MVD would get or need thanks to a 25 save shutout by former Thrashers prospect Michael Garnett.
CSKA 2 @ Dynamo Moscow 3 (OT)
Johan Harju, Dynamo Moscow, 0-0-0, -2, 2 PIM, 0 SOG
Season totals: 38 GP, 3-9-12, -7, 28 PIM
Harju's linemate, Linus Omark, assisted on the overtime winner for Dynamo in what was an otherwise miserable night for the prospect and his line. Harju ended up playing just 9:50 in the match and was 79% on draws.
A crushing defeat for the Admirals.
Dustin Tokarski allowed 7 goals on 35 shots for the loss.
HER Aucoin, (15) , 10:48 (PEN/SH)
HER Aucoin, (16) (Giroux, Gordon), 5:13
HER Wellar, (1) (Aucoin, Miskovic), 8:17
HER Amadio, (1) (Bourque, Perreault), 10:27
NOR Parrish, (8) (Krajicek), 18:55
HER Helmer, (2) (McNeill, Perreault), 2:49 (PP)
HER Bouchard, (10) (Bourque, Miskovic), 13:30
HER Kane, (13) (Wilson, Gordon), 17:45
Box score from TheAHL.com.
USA 7 vs. Slovakia 3
C Richard Panik, SLO: 1-0-1, -2, 0 PIM, 3 SOG
Slovakia held a brief 2-0 lead early, and Panik's goal in the late second cut USA's lead to 4-3, but the floodgates opened from there. Panik's goal came on a tap-in from the side of the USA net. This is his second U-20 World Junior Championship (WJC). Last year he had two goals and five points in what was considered by many to be a disappointing showing throughout seven tournament games. Previous to that he had 10 points (four goals) in six games at the 2008 U-18 WJC and two assists in six games at the 2007 U-18 WJC. Slovakia next plays Sunday vs. Latvia, who lost 16-0 to Canada in their opener.
Steve Downie doles out coal to the visiting team.
Mike Smith allowed 3 goals on 27 shots for the win.
ATL 11:48, Antropov 10 (Kovalchuk, Afinogenov)
TB 13:34, Downie 7 (Lecavalier, Ohlund)
TB 4:44, Lundin 1 (Lecavalier)
ATL 16:54, Reasoner 3 (Hainsey, Bogosian)
TB 5:04, Tanguay 5 (Downie, Lecavalier)
TB 6:45, Malone 19 (St. Louis, Stamkos)
ATL 16:50, Kovalchuk 22 (Antropov, Bogosian)
The Lightning played a near flawless third holding the Thrashers to 0 shots for over 3/4 of the final frame before giving the obligatory cheap goal to Kovalchuk. Fortunately they'd already staked themselves to a two goal lead, thanks in part to the play of Steve Downie, who had 1 goal and 1 assist. Downie also made a key clear with a little under a minute left in regulation. He's starting to come on now, and if he keeps it up he could find himself with a nice little 40-50 point campaign at the end of the year. Future looks bright.
Speaking of which, Matt Smaby: 7 hits. He's not fancy. He's not pretty. He's a blunt instrument, like a hammer, and you need to have guys like that to be successful. I'll take one Matt Smaby over a dozen smallish figure skaters like Lukas Krajicek, because Smaby can change the tone of a game with the way he plays. For instance, he folded up Evander Kane's shoulder like an Oragami crane in the third simply by locking up Evander, leaning on him, and finishing his check with authority. It was not a flashy play. He didn't break the glass. But he knocked Kane out for a couple of shifts.
Zenon Konopka was -1 with 2 penalty minutes, 1 shot, and 2 blocked shots.
Paul Szczechura had 1 shot, 1 blocked shot, and was 50% on draws in 16:04.
James Wright had 7 penalty minutes and 1 hit in 9:31. He actually picked a fight with 12 foot tall Boris Valabik. Brave? Certainly? Smart? Lets just say that, in my opinion, a guy like Little or Kane would've been more in his weight class. Thank goodness the linesmen stepped in fast.
Blair Jones was +1 with 2 blocked shots in 14:10. He had his stick in the passing lanes all night long and he was absolutely driving the Thrashers insane on the forecheck and on the penalty kill. He's a lot like Smaby. He's not pretty or flashy. In fact, he lost his balance and face planted himself into the boards at one point on the third, which was mildly amusing. He's a blunt instrument. But you need guys like that on your checking line. See: Dingman, Chris, circa 2003-2004. It's guys like Downie, Smaby, and Jones that really have me high on the future right now. Guys like Stamkos, for instance, are not playing as well as they can. Hedman's still acclimating to the NHL. So, it's not the big draft picks who are the show right now. It's Downie, and Smaby, and Jones, and I love it.
Victor Hedman was +1 with 2 penalty minutes and 3 blocked shots in 24:16. He also perfectly executed the sleeper hold on Bryan Little at one point in the game.
Christmas means hockey in Russia...
Omsk 2 @ St. Petersburg 4
Karri Ramo, Omsk, DNP
Season totals: 28 GP, 15-12, 3 SO, 2.03 GAA, .913 sv%
Ramo got the day off as Omsk squared off with St. Petersburg, which sits in first in the KHL's Western Conference. Former NHL star Alexei Yashin assisted on all 4 goals for SKA.
Dynamo Riga 4 @ Dynamo Moscow 5
Johan Harju, Dynamo Moscow, 0-1-1, -1, 0 PIM, 1 SOG
Season totals: 37 GP, 3-9-12, -5, 26 PIM
Harju assisted on Linus Omark's 17th goal of the season in the second period, and played 16:40 in the match while going 46% on draws. Former Lightning draft pick Vadim Epanchintsev also had a helper in the game for Dynamo Moscow.
Kazan 4 @ Novokuznetsk 0
Dmitri Kazionov, Kazan, 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 0 SOG
Season totals: 36 GP, 11-2-13, E, 12 PIM
The older Kazionov was scoreless in Kazan's blanking of Novokuznetsk, playing 12:31 in the match. Kazan was led by a pair of goals from former NHLer Niko Kapanen. For anyone wondering whatever happened to former Lightning first rounder Nikita Alexeev, the big winger has 1 goal and 2 points in 23 games with Kazan, and has averaged just 10:06 in ice time per game. Kazionov, by comparison, has averaged 13:09 per match.
KHK MVD 2 @ Magnitogorsk 0
Vasily Koshechkin, Magnitogorsk, DNP
Season totals: 34 GP, 17-14, 5 SO, 2.04 GAA, .924 sv%
Like Ramo, Koshechkin also got Christmas Day off. Former Chicago Blackhawks first rounder Pavel Vorobiev scored the winning goal for KHK MVD.
Spartak Moscow 3 @ Ekaterinburg 2 (SO)
Denis Kazionov, Ekaterinburg, 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 2 SOG
Season totals: 33 GP, 4-3-7, -12, 10 PIM
The younger Kazionov played 11:30 in the loss for Ekaterinburg.