Traverse City

Connolly Scores Twice in Traverse City Opener

The Lightning's 2010 1st round pick Brett Connolly tallied a first period and a third period goal in a 4-2 loss to the St. Louis Blues in the opening game of the 2010 Traverse City prospects tournament Saturday night. Connolly's first period tally was assisted by 2009 1st round pick Carter Ashton, as he and Connolly combined for 10 of Tampa's 26 shots on goal. James Wright and Mark Barberio assisted on Connolly's 3rd period marker with Wright sporting a team high +2 along with 3 shots of his own. 2010 3rd rounder Brock Beukeboom was the only other Lightning plus player in the game.

Dustin Tokarski stopped 31 of 34 shots in the loss. Radko Gudas had a huge hit in the 3rd period, while Teigan Zahn dropped the gloves for a 1st period bout against Cody Beach. Of the free agent invitees, forward Andrew Agozzino rang up 3 shots on goal.

Boxscore provided by Pointstreak

Lightning Prospects Drop Finale In Overtime

The Lightning prospects finished 0-3-1 at the Traverse City prospect tournament after falling in overtime this afternoon to the Columbus Blue Jackets prospects 6-5.

Columbus stormed out to a 3-0 first period lead before the Lightning responded with a goal from Matias Sointu off helpers from Luca Cunti and Mitch Fadden early in the second period. Luciano Aquino also scored a goal from Brady Leavold later in the period, but Columbus also notched a pair of goals of their own in the second stanza.

That set the stage for a furious third period comeback by the Lightning, which included an early goal by tryout Brett Parnham off assists from Cunti and Chris Lawrence. The Lightning then brought the game to even with a pair of power play goals midway through the third period from Aquino, off an assist from Mark Barberio, followed by an unassisted tally by Lawrence less than two minutes later.

Unfortunately, Columbus' Ryan Garlock converted a power play chance early in the extra session to finish off the Lightning's comeback hopes for good. Goaltender Dustin Tokarski fell to 0-2-1 after allowing 6 goals on 26 shots in the game. The Lightning prospects outshot Columbus 39-26 in the loss.

Box score from Pointstreak.

Lightning Drop to 0-3 At Traverse City

The Lightning fell to 0-3 at the Traverse City tournament this afternoon, dropping the matinee to the Rangers prospects 5-3.

The club fell behind 3-0 in the opening frame before Mitch Fadden scored an unassisted goal late in the second period, but the Rangers responded with two goals early in the Third Period to put the game out of reach for good. Kyle DeCoste scored an unassisted goal and captain Chris Lawrence added a late tally in garbage time from Luciano Aquino to make the final score slightly more respectable.

Goaltender Torrie Jung allowed 5 goals on 30 shots in the game, his first of the tournament. The Lightning outshot the Rangers prospects 37-30 in the losing effort.

Box score from Pointstreak.

Lightning Drop to 0-2 at Traverse City

The Lightning dropped to 0-2 at the Traverse City Prospect Tournament tonight, losing to the Red Wings by a final score of 5-2.

The Lightning forged a 2-2 tie with the Wings prospects on the strength of a Luciano Aquino unassisted goal at 2:53 of the Third Period, but quickly lost their footing when Justin Abdelkader answered with an unassisted power play goal for the Wings less than two minutes later. Detroit's prospects added a pair of empty-net goals late to seal the 5-2 win.

The Lightning were the first to get on the board tonight when Matias Sointu potted a power play goal off assists from point men Daryl Boyle and Ty Wishart. Goaltender Dustin Tokarski dropped to 0-2-0 on the tournament stopping 23 of 26 shots faced.

Box score from Poinstreak.

Punchless Bolts Drop TC Opener 1-0

The Lightning prospects turned in an impressive defensive effort but drop their first game 1-0 to the Thrasher prospects in the opening match of the Traverse City Prospect Tournament today. Dustin Tokarski started in net for the Bolt prospects and went the distance, stopping 20 of 21 shots and looked sharp throughout the match. The only black mark was defenseman Paul Postma's even-strength blast from the left point in the first period. Atlanta's Chris Carrozzi stopped 26 Lightning shots including a great left pad save on a Chris Lawrence turnaround from the slot with 46 seconds remaining. Lawrence is wearing the 'C' for the Traverse City squad.

Ty Wishart led all Bolt prospects with 6 shots on goal and was a visible physical presence on the blueline, using the hip and shoulder on more than one occasion. Wishart was paired with Norfolk Admiral Daryl Boyle, and saw plenty of PP time. Tampa's top line consisted of Mitch Fadden centering Lawrence and Dana Tyrell. Lawrence and Boyle both fired 4 shots at Corrozzi. Free agent backliner Jeff May was paired with Mark Barberio. Free agent invitee centerman Brett Parnham was the only scratch.

See the boxscore for the remainder of individual stats, but the real story was the goaltending battle between Tokarski and Corrozzi. The Lightning three stars of the game were Tokarski, Wishart, and Boyle.

This game will be shown as tape delay Sunday night at 8pm ET on the NHL Network. The Lightning play their next game Sunday night at 7:30pm CT against the Detroit Red Wings prospects.

In-game reports courtesy of Mike Morreale who is blogging the Traverse City tournament at

Rumble, May To Coach At Traverse

When Lightning prospects last took the ice, Tampa co-owners Oren Koules and Len Barrie squared off behind the benches in an intra squad scrimmage to close last month's Prospect Camp in Victoria, BC. But when Tampa prospects take to the ice September 13th in Traverse City, MI for the 8 team tournament, the owners will leave the coaching to the professionals. The Lightning announced that Norfolk Admirals head coach Darren Rumble will lead the year's Traverse squad along with Norfolk assistant coach Alan May.

It was also confirmed that the remaining player on Tampa's roster will be free agent invitee Luciano Aquino. The 5.10, 200 lbs right winger put up a gaudy 41-50-91 in 74 games last year for the IHL's Fort Wayne Komets enroute to winning the IHL Rookie-of-the-Year honors. Aquino is a 2005 7th round pick of the New York Islanders and is no stranger to offensive proclivities. He was a point-per-gamer for the ECHL's Utah Grizzlies in the 2006-07 season, and put up a tawdry 2.25 point-per-game average in his shortened final junior campaign for Brampton. Aquino's Fort Wayne teammate Matieu Curadeau recently signed a two-way AHL/IHL contract with Norfolk, and Aquino, who lists Tampa's Martin St. Louis as his favorite NHL player, will be given a long look by the organization whose system lacks an explosive right wing sniper.

Bolts Name Traverse City Roster

Erik Erlendsson of the Tampa Tribune published the Lightning's Traverse City Prospects Tournament roster today. And while Steven Stamkos is a glaring omission from the roster, it is composed mostly of 2007 and 2008 Lightning draftees including Finnish forward Matias Sointu. Recently acquired top defensive prospect Ty Wishart highlights the roster that also includes six free agent invitees and two Norfolk Admirals free agent signees. Five of the six free agent invitees are from the WHL, including Tri-City's surprisingly undrafted Kruise Reddick and Tyson Barrie's and Torrie Jung's Kelowna teammate Lucas Bloodoff.

There's one more unconfirmed player whose name has yet to be released.

Torrie Jung, Dustin Tokarski

Ty Wishart, Kevin Quick, Daryl Boyle, Mark Barberio, Michael Ward, Scott Jackson, Jeff May

Dana Tyrell, Mitch Fadden, Chris Lawrence, Luca Cunti, Kyle De Coste, James Wright, Matias Sointu, Lucas Bloodoff, Kyle Bortis, Brady Leavold, Brett Parnham, Kruise Reddick

Norfolk Free Agent Signees
Free Agent Invitees

Lightning TC Review: Positives Despite Results

Since Jay Feaster took over as general manager of the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2002, two things have stood out as being top priorities with the organization—winning and work ethic.

Success is earned.

In this meritocracy system, Feaster will do whatever it takes to win, and if a player doesn’t perform up to expectations, he is in danger of losing his spot on the depth chart, if not the roster.

Starting off their pro careers on the right foot is essential for young prospects in the organization, such as the 20 that finished eighth out of eight teams in last week’s Traverse City (TC) prospects tournament in Michigan. Individual performances aside, winning is priority number one with the club and the last-place finish is not sitting well with the general manager.

“I am not pleased with the results,” Feaster made sure to tell Bolt Prospects before providing player evaluations.

Final Traverse City Statistics

Bolt Prospects has been the only site archiving the Lightning's Traverse City statistics since the team began participating in the tournament. This post is to archive this year's statistics, which come courtesy of Pointstreak, and to link to past years statistics for comparison purposes.

Feaster's Thoughts on Traverse City

Crisdotero also blogged some quotes from Lightning GM Jay Feaster today regarding the play of the team's prospects at the Traverse City tournament.

Feaster expresses disappointment at the play of goaltender Riku Helenius, citing the year he lost last season to a shoulder injury as the reason and calls Andy Rogers' tournament a mixed bag.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, Feaster raves about the play of forward Radek Smolenak and admits several organizations expressed praise for Smolenak's play and lauds defenseman Mike Lundin's strong play in the tournament.

Bolt Prospects will have more on the Lightning organization's reaction to the Traverse City tournament later this week.

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