Finland's starting goaltender Miika Wiikman was shelled in 40 minutes of play leaving Fredrik Norrena to pick up the pieces in a third period of mop up duty as Finland was steamrolled by the Czech Republic 6-2 today. Norrena gave up 1 goal in relief. Wiikman, you'll recall, is Lightning goaltending prospect Karri Ramo's tandem mate with HPK.
Here's a simply intriguing story wedged in the middle of Erik Erlendsson's Lightning Notebook in the Trib today. As reported earlier this week, Bruce Landon is heading to Tampa in December to attempt to hammer out an affiliation with the Lightning through 2010. On the face of it, it seems like a natural fit.
However, Erlendsson notes the (worthless, bottom feeding) Florida Panthers have been making noise about moving into a full affiliation in Orlando, former home of the IHL's Solar Bears. The Panthers currently share an affiliation with the Buffalo Sabres' affiliate in Rochester. Jay Feaster cannot allow the Panthers to set up shop in Central Florida thereby cutting into the Lightning's territorial base. So events may conspire that could see the Lightning set up AHL shop in Orlando.
Certainly, that situation would be a boon for Central Florida based fans of the team interested in seeing their young prospects develop. An AHL affiliate within driving distance would be fantastic for the Lightning fan base. On the other hand, one of the reasons that the Lightning and other clubs have balked at putting a team back in Orlando is the increased team travel costs. The AHL is primarily a Northeastern league, and distance is a disadvantage for the Orlando market. And, unfortunately, a decision to move to Orlando would hurt a Springfield market that has already had more than its fair share of being kicked while down.
The Lightning's contract with Springfield expires after this year, so we should see the resolution of this situation very soon.
As reported last night, Stan Lascek had four assists for Chicoutimi in a 6-0 win over PEI. With the four points, and only a goal and assist from teammate Maxime Boisclair, Lascek pulled into a tie with Boisclair for the QMJHL scoring lead with 49 points in 22 games (17-32-49). Lascek was the game's first star.
Speaking of Boisclair, in a recent edition of The Hockey News, Boisclair states that Tampa Bay moved him from his natural wing position to center during the Traverse City Prospects Tournament in September where he was trying out for the club, and because of the unfamiliarity with the position, Boisclair was extremely unhappy with his impact in the tournament. Boisclair was not offered a contract by the Lightning, but hopes to attend another NHL camp in the fall.
With the exception of Arthur Femenella, all Lightning NCAA prospects were in action Friday night. Femenella's team, the University of Vermont, did indeed play, but Femenella was scratched. Highlighting the night for Baby Bolts was Mike Lundin of Maine, who had an assist in a 9-2 Hockey East win over UMass-Lowell, and Matt Smaby, who had an assist as North Dakota beat WCHL opponent Minnesota Duluth 5-3. Also, P.J. Atherton, though scoreless, had a plus-two rating for Minnesota, who crushed Alaska-Anchorage 9-0. John Wessbecker (UMass), and Dusty Collins (Northern Michigan) both went scoreless i
And the Chiefs still haven't won a game.
It's good to see Justin Kelly in the lineup and scoring a goal for the Chiefs. He's a player Johnstown definitely needs. It's also good to see Chateau du Bow Wow's penthouse suite occupant, Adam Henrich, get a goal tonight. Still, Morgan Cey's pro debut was ruined in the shootout despite stopping a staggering 26 of 28 shots faced. The good news is with Kelly and Henrich in the lineup along with Greco and Egener already in place, the Chiefs managed 44 shots on goal tonight, perhaps showing signs of turning the corner.
Game sheet from ECHL.com.