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Liiga Game Day: 1-5-16

KalPa 3 vs. TPS 1
Jonne Tammela, KalPa, 0-3-3, +3, 0 PIM, 1 SOG
Season totals: 22 GP, 4-5-9, +8, 14 PIM

The full box score was delayed on the Liiga website by a couple of days, but it was worth the wait. Jonne Tammela had assists in triplicate in KalPa's 3-1 win over TPS.

Juniors Game Night: 1-6-16

Western Hockey League

Vancouver Giants 1 @ Edmonton Oil Kings 3

D Ben Thomas, VAN: 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM
Season totals: 43 GP, 4-13-17, -15, 26 PIM
With Vancouver: 29 GP, 4-10-14, -5, 16 PIM
With Calgary: 14 GP, 0-3-3, -10, 10 PIM
2014-15 totals: 60 GP, 7-24-31, +16, 28 PIM

Thomas was scoreless Wednesday in the Giants’ loss in Edmonton. Dallas second rounder Brett Pollock had a goal and two assists for the Oil Kings.

KHL Game Day: 1-6-16

Vladivostok 2 vs. Magnitogorsk 0
Vasily Koshechkin, Magnitogorsk, Loss, 33/35, 2.00 GAA, .943 sv%
Season totals: 39 GP, 17-13-7, 2 SO, 2.21 GAA, .922 sv%

Veteran KHLer Konstantin Makarov scored his 13th and 14th goals of the season to lift Vladivostok to a 2-0 win over Magnitogorsk. Vladivostok goaltender Igor Bobkov, an ex-Ducks pick, stopped 22 shots for the shutout.

Podolsk 2 vs. St. Petersburg 4
Nikita Gusev, St. Petersburg, 0-1-1, +2, 0 PIM, 6 SOG
Season totals (St. Petersburg): 20 GP, 8-13-21, +5, 2 PIM
Season totals (Khanty-Mansiysk): 23 GP, 7-7-14, +6, 4 PIM
Season totals: 43 GP, 15-20-35, +11, 6 PIM

Nikita Gusev assisted on Vadim Shipachykov's Third Period game winning goal in SKA's 4-2 win over Podolsk. He played 18:24 in the match and tied Shipachykov with a team-high 6 shots in the game. Through 43 games, Gusev has 35 points which is just 2 off his point total in 55 games last season. He is also 6 goals shy of his totals from last year, though. Ex-Canucks pick Sergei Shirokov also had 1 goal and 1 assist for SKA in the victory.

Novgorod 3 vs. Kazan 2 (SO)
Carter Ashton, Novogorod, 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 2 SOG
Season totals: 37 GP, 10-8-18, +2, 51 PIM

Carter Ashton was scoreless in 17:16 in Novgorod's 3-2 SO win over Ak Bars Kazan. All three shooters in the penalty shot session tallied for Novgorod, including former NHLer's Alexander Frolov and Nikolai Zherdev. Zherdev also had 1 goal and 1 assist in regulation play.

Juniors Game Night: 1-5-15

Quebec Major Junior Hockey League

Shawinigan Cataractes 2 @ Sherbrooke Phoenix 1 (OT)

W Dennis Yan, SHAW: 0-1-1, +1, 0 PIM, 2 SOG, 0 Hits
Season totals: 33 GP, 25-26-51, +2, 42 PIM
2014-2015 Season: 59 GP, 33-31-64, +23, 71 PIM

Yan (RDS photo) had the lone assist on Sens prospect Gabriel Gagné’s overtime goal that gave the Cataractes a 2-1 win in Sherbrooke.

Western Hockey League

Moose Jaw Warriors 4 @ Medicine Hat Tigers 2

C Brayden Point, MJ: Did not play
Season totals: 19 GP, 18-25-43, +9, 8 PIM
2014-15 totals: 60 GP, 38-49-87, +6, 46 PIM

Point has not re-joined the team yet after captaining Team Canada at World Juniors. He is currently the subject of “should we or shouldn’t we?” trade discussion for Moose Jaw. (Point trade story from DiscoverMooseJaw.com).

NHL Game Night: 1-5-16 Lightning at Flames

The hole gets deeper.

TB-1
CGY-3

Ben Bishop allowed 2 goals on 23 shots for the loss. Can't fault him for the goals (a 2-on-1 and a tip by an unmarked man in front). Can't fault him for the lack of goal support, either.

First Period
3:56 CGY Stajan (4), (Giordano, Brodie)

Second Period
15:30 CGY Jones (8), (Giordano)

Third Period
18:21 TB Stamkos (17), (Stralman, Filppula)
19:02 CGY Bouma (1), (Wideman, Russell)(EN)

They might as well have not gotten off the bus. They came out flat as a pancake, which they compounded with some pretty bad turnovers in the First Period. Calgary gets the early goal on the odd man rush, and from that point on the game never felt within reach. Calgary was too good defensively, and although the Lightning outshot the Flames 31-24, you could probably count the number of real scoring chances they had on one hand. The Lightning had nothing on the rush. Nothing off counters. No odd man rushes. And they were incapable of threading anything threatening through Calgary's defensive zone coverage inside the Flames zone. It was a clinic.

The Lightning finish Segment Four of the season with just 11 points in 10 games. Their overall season deficit climbs 1 point to 6 points overall at approximately the halfway point of the season. It's going to take a Herculean effort by the team in the second half just to make the postseason, and frankly they don't look like they have it in them. To reach 96 points, the Lightning have to play .643 hockey the rest of the way (with the extra 2 games at the end of the year factored in). That's pretty difficult stuff. What that means for the future of Steven Stamkos, Jonathan Drouin, and a few others in the organization? Nothing good, I would venture to guess. The frustrating thing is the Lightning probably left 5 points on the ice in this segment between the collapse in Washington, the power play futility against Vancouver, and the poor shift after taking the lead in Toronto. The deficit could be a very manageable 2 points right now. Instead, it's gone up to 6, and the fat lady is already starting to warm up on January 5th.

Jonathan Marchessault had 1 shot and 1 hit in 9:29. He's become sort of a power play specialist for the Lightning in the past couple of weeks, and when you get no power plays, the specialist's effectiveness tends to slide.

Nikita Nesterov had 1 shot, 2 hits, and 1 blocked shot in 19:45. He also had 4 other shot attempts he couldn't get on net. Calgary's defense climbed into his head with their shot blocking, and he ultimately froze on a great chance late in the game from the slot when he should've shot immediately. Not good.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

Drouin Looks to Turn Focus Back to Hockey


By Jeremy Houghtaling

Jonathan Drouin wants to put the focus back on hockey.

Three days after being assigned to the Syracuse Crunch, the 20-year-old forward refused to comment on his agent Allan Walsh going public with a request to be traded from the Tampa Bay Lightning. Drouin is finally feeling 100 percent and ready to play hockey -- wherever that is.

“I’m not going to answer any questions about the trade request,” Drouin said in the brief press conference before an optional skate Tuesday. “It’s between my agent and (Tampa Bay GM Steve Yzerman). The only thing I can do is play hockey here.”

KHL Game Day: 1-4-16

Khabarovsk 0 vs. Magnitogorsk 1
Vasily Koshechkin, Magnitogorsk, Win, SO, 33/33, 0.00 GAA, 1.000 sv%
Season totals: 38 GP, 17-12-7, 2 SO, 2.22 GAA, .921 sv%

Vasily Koshechkin posted his second shutout of the season to help Magnitogorsk edge Amur Khabarovsk 1-0. Ex-Blue Jackets pick Sergei Mozyakin assisted on the lone goal of the contest.

Dynamo Moscow 5 vs. St. Petersburg 1
Nikita Gusev, St. Petersburg, 0-0-0, -1, 0 PIM, 4 SOG
Season totals (St. Petersburg): 19 GP, 8-12-20, +3, 2 PIM
Season totals (Khanty-Mansiysk): 23 GP, 7-7-14, +6, 4 PIM
Season totals: 42 GP, 15-19-34, +9, 6 PIM

Nikita Gusev was scoreless in 17:39 of ice time as SKA St. Petersburg got thumped by Dynamo Moscow 5-1. Dynamo got a pair of goals from Calgary native Mat Robinson in the victory.

Novgorod 4 vs. Togliatti 0
Carter Ashton, Novgorod, 1-1-2, +1, 0 PIM, 3 SOG
Season totals: 36 GP, 10-8-18, +2, 51 PIM

Carter Ashton had an even strength goal and power play helper for Novgorod in support of their 4-0 shutout win over Lada Togliatti. Ashton played 17:52 in the match. Ex-NHLer Alexander Frolov also had a goal for Novgorod.

Juniors Game Night: 1-3-16

Quebec Major Junior Hockey League

Saint John Sea Dogs 3 @ Cape Breton Screaming Eagles 1

W Bokondji Imama, SJ: Did not play
Season totals: 28 GP, 4-9-13, -1, 50 PIM
2013-2014 Season: 59 GP, 13-15-28, +2, 137 PIM

W Mathieu Joseph, SJ: 0-0-0, +1, 0 PIM, 4 SOG, 2 Hits
Season totals: 35 GP, 20-19-39, +15, 41 PIM
2013-2014 Season: 59 GP, 21-21-42, +18, 46 PIM

Joseph had his 12-game point streak snapped, but Saint John got the win in Sydney, 3-1. Joseph is quickly approaching last year’s scoring totals.

Chicoutimi Sagueneens 3 @ Shawinigan Cataractes 4

W Dennis Yan, SHAW: 1-1-2, +1, 2 PIM, 2 SOG, 2 Hits
Season totals: 32 GP, 25-25-50, +1, 42 PIM
2014-2015 Season: 59 GP, 33-31-64, +23, 71 PIM

Yan scored his 25th goal of the season in a 4-3 home win over the Sags.

Ontario Hockey League

Saginaw Spirit 1 @ Windsor Spitfires 7

W Mitchell Stephens, SAG: Did not play (WJC)
Season totals: 9 GP, 7-4-11, +3, 6 PIM
2014-15 totals: 62 GP, 22-26-48, -17, 44 PIM

W Cristiano DiGiacinto, WSR: 1-2-3, +3, 0 PIM, 3 SOG
Season totals: 33 GP, 14-20-34, +22, 53 PIM
2014-15 totals: 63 GP, 21-24-45, -16, 100 PIM

Windsor scored a big win over visiting Saginaw, 7-1. DiGiacinto scored his first goal in three games. Stephens did not play for Saginaw as he is returning from World Juniors.

Western Hockey League

Vancouver Giants 5 @ Prince George Cougars 3

D Ben Thomas, VAN: 0-1-1, +1, 0 PIM
Season totals: 42 GP, 4-13-17, -15, 26 PIM
With Vancouver: 28 GP, 4-10-14, -5, 16 PIM
With Calgary: 14 GP, 0-3-3, -10, 10 PIM
2014-15 totals: 60 GP, 7-24-31, +16, 28 PIM

Thomas followed up his goal and fight Saturday with an assist Sunday, so in a way he completed a Gordie Howe Hat Trick over the weekend.

United States Hockey League

Lincoln Stars 1 @ Sioux City Musketeers 6

D Ryan Zuhlsdorf, SC: 0-3-3, +1, 0 PIM 4 SOG
Season totals: 25 GP, 0-22-22, -2, 30 PIM
2014-15 totals: 56 GP, 3-19-22, +25, 58 PIM
(University of Minnesota signee)

Zuhlsdorf was thought to have scored his first goal of the season, but a scoring change took it away from him. He ended the night with three assists. He caught Mattias Goransson (UMass-Lowell commit) of Tri-City for the USHL scoring lead among defensemen despite playing five fewer games.

AHL Game Day: 1-3-16 Crunch at Marlies

Crunch at least get a point out of Toronto.

SYR-2
TOR-3 (OT)

Kristers Gudlevskis allowed 3 goals on 35 shots for the OT loss. Even in defeat, that's another strong effort by Gudlevskis, who continues to show improved consistency this season.

First Period
TOR Hyman, (7) (Bailey, Brennan), 3:50
SYR Erne, (5) (Tambellini, Taormina), 15:27 (PP)

Second Period
NO SCORING

Third Period
TOR Brennan, (13) (Soshnikov), 1:12 (PP)
SYR Taormina, (7) (Richard, Blunden), 17:27

Overtime
TOR Panik, (9) (Leivo, Brennan), 3:30

Matt Taormina was the game's second star.

I'm not a big believer in moral victories, but to have two very competitive games in the barn of the league's best team is a positive for Syracuse. We'll see what they get out of Jonathan Drouin after he reports to the team in Tuesday. There's a window here for the Crunch to make a little run, and I hope they get a mad as hell Drouin at the center of that little run.

Adam Erne has 3 goals in his last 3 games. Part of me is incredibly interested to see what Erne could do on the end of some Drouin setups as a duo for now and into the future in the NHL.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

Liiga Game Day: 1-3-16

Pelicans 1 vs. KalPa 4
Jonne Tammela, KalPa, 0-0-0, +2, 0 PIM, 0 SOG
Season totals: 21 GP, 4-2-6, +5, 14 PIM

Jonne Tammela was scoreless in 16:12 of ice time in KalPa's 4-1 thumping of Pelicans Lahti. Tammela, who has been receiving more ice time lately, is up to an average 14:21 of ice time for the season. Undrafted 21 year old Joni Nikko led the way with a pair of goals for KalPa.

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