Moncton Wildcats 3 @ St. John Sea Dogs 4 (SO)
D Mark Barberio, MCT: 0-1-1, -1, 2 PIM, 0 SOG
Season totals: 4 GP, 0-2-2, +1, 2 PIM
A bit of a slow start statistically for Barberio, who started and finished strong last year around a mid-season slump.
Sointu scored his first OHL goal late in the third, but it wasnâ€™t enough to keep the red-hot and conference-leading Greyhounds from winning their fifth straight to start the season. Kyle DeCoste did not play for the Soo. Itâ€™s possible he was suspended for his match penalty in the previous game.
Sudbury Wolves 4 @ Oshawa Generals 3 (OTO
G Michael Zador, OSH: Did not play.
Season totals: 3 GP, 1-1-1, 5.50 GAA, .842 sv%, 0 SO
After getting pulled in his previous outing, Zador watched from the bench as his back-up, Kevin Ballie, stopped 24 of 28 shots.
Not a great night statistically for Lightning prospects.
Sointu makes his North American debut ... Zador gets a win in Oshawa's season opener ... Barberio and DeCoste also in action.
Erik Erlendsson of the Tampa Tribune is reporting that the Tampa Bay Lightning have returned five prospect invitees to the their respective junior squads.
Goaltender Michael Zador was returned to Oshawa (OHL), while forwards Matias Sointu, Alex Hutchings, and Kyle DeCoste were returned to their OHL clubs in Ottawa, Barrie, and Sault Ste. Marie, respectively. Technically, DeCoste never participated in the Lightning training camp, having been excused last weekend due to a death in the family. Hutchings, a 2009 4th round pick, drew praise from Tampa head coach Rick Tocchet who called out Hutchings as being a player he particularly liked. The Lightning also returned defenseman Mark Barberio to Moncton (QMJHL), where he is expected to vie for QMJHL defenseman-of-the-year honors.
Tampa must sign DeCoste and Barberio to NHL contract before June 1, 2010 or face losing their rights to these players.
In recent CHL exhibition action:
Richard Panik (2009 2nd) had a goal and three assists in a 5-3 Windsor exhibition win over Plymouth Saturday afternoon. Panik has three goals and five assists in his first two North American games. And he's not even playing next to likely 2010 No.1 overall pick Taylor Hall yet. Panik couldn't be in a better situation. He's playing for a coach (Bob "The Boogie Man" Boughner) and GM (Warren Rychel) who were both hard-nosed, disciplined players and expect the same out of their Spitfire players. As the defending Memorial Cup and OHL champions, and expected 2010 champion for both, the Spits will be in Canada's spotlight and have targets on their backs all year. They'll get everyone's A-game defensively. This should help Panik speed his development for NHL play. Finally, he'll be surrounded by players such as Hall, Ryan Ellis, and Cam Fowler, which means he has a very high statistical ceiling. This will be fun to watch.
Goaltender Jaroslav Janus made his exhibition debut for Erie Saturday, stopping 31 shots in a 4-4 tie with Niagara. Janus can return to Erie this year as an overager, though there was speculation he'd go to Europe or be signed by the Lightning and placed in the Central League or assigned to an ECHL team. It's good to see him back with the Otters, even if it's just to get work before Tampa Bay's rookie camp this week.
The "other" 2009 Lightning first rounder, Carter Ashton, had an assist for Lethbridge in preseason action Friday.
Matias Sointu, who is making his North American debut with Ottawa this year, has one assist through two exhibition games for the 67's. Sointu missed most of last season with an injury in Finland.
The Q opens regular season play this week, so look for BoltProspects' Game Night summaries to appear shortly.