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Juniors Game Night: 12-27-17

Western Hockey League

** Note: Brett Howden (Moose Jaw), Cal Foote (Kelowna), and Libor Hajek (Saskatoon) are away from their respective teams for the 2018 WJC tournament.

Moose Jaw Warriors 4 @ Swift Current Broncos 5 (SO)

D Oleg Sosunov, MJ: 0-0-0, E, 2 PIM, 3 SOG
Season Totals: 35 GP, 6-10-16, +25, 36 PIM
’16-‘17 Totals (MHL-Russia): 32 GP, 0-0-0, +1, 79 PIM

The WHL returned to action after the holiday break with a full slate of games on the slate. The Warriors jumped out to an early 3-0 lead, but faded in the 3rd allowing the Broncos to score four times, and eventually win it in the shootout. Justin Almeida (undrafted) scored two power play goals and Brayden Burke (undrafted) notched a goal and two assists for Moose Jaw. Flames camper and signee Glenn Gawdin along with Jets castoff Matteo Gennaro were the heroes for Swift Current, both scoring goals in the Broncos 3rd period rally and both scoring in the shootout.

United States Hockey League

Dubuque Fighting Saints 3 @ Green Bay Gamblers 2 (SO)

C Cole Guttman, DBQ: Did not play
Season Totals: 16 GP, 6-5-11, E, 21 PIM
’16-‘17 Totals: 53 GP, 27-27-54, +21, 18 PIM
Committed to: University of Denver

The USHL and the Fighting Saints returned to action after the holiday break, but Cole Guttman did not. Perhaps he hasn’t fully returned from his hiatus for the 2017 WJAC tournament, but Dubuque would get 3rd period goals from Dalton Hunter (Mercyhurst commit) and Adam Tisdale (Clarkson commit), and then a shootout marker from Logan Pietila (Michigan Tech commit, 2018 draft eligible) to give the Fighting Saints a gutsy road win over the Gamblers.

Minnesota State High School League

Edina Hornets 5 @ Centennial Cougars 2

F Sammy Walker, EDN: 1-1-2, 2 PIM, 1 SOG
Season Totals (HS): 10 GP, 11-14-25, 8 PIM
Season Totals (USHL): 4 GP, 0-0-0, -3, 4 PIM
’16-‘17 Totals (HS): 25 GP, 22-24-46, 6 PIM
’16-‘17 Totals (USHL): 4 GP, 0-0-0, -3, 6 PIM
Committed to: University of Minnesota

Play continued today in Day 2 of the Schwan’s Cup Gold Division tournament. Sammy Walker (pictured) and Max Borst (undrafted) each tallied a goal and an assist to pace the Hornets in a 5-2 victory over the Centennial High Cougars. After trading 1st period goals, the Cougars took its only lead of the game just 46 seconds into the 2nd. But the Centennial lead was short-lived as Jett Jungels (Northern Michigan commit) knotted the game at 2-2 just 45 seconds after the Cougars goal. From there, it was blood in the water for the Hornets with Borst scoring his would be game winner 45 seconds after the Jungels tally, and with Edina nursing a 3-2 lead at the game’s midpoint, Walker helped to put the game out of reach of Centennial, first assisting on future Minnesota teammate Ben Brinkman’s (Minnesota commit, 2019 draft eligible) goal, and then scoring an unassisted marker himself.

Edina draws the St. Michael Albertville Knights Thursday, after STMA beat Burnsville 5-2 earlier in the day.

Yan Records Three Points in Return, Crunch Beat Marlies

By Jeremy Houghtaling

Syracuse Crunch head coach Benoit Groulx liked what he saw in the first game after the Christmas break.

Dennis Yan recorded three points in his return from injury, Syracuse rebounded from an early deficit and a power play goal in the third period lifted the Crunch over the Toronto Marlies, 5-4, at the Onondaga County War Memorial Wednesday.

“I’m quite happy with this win, but the way we played overall?” Groulx said. “First of all, much better game than the last game here for our fans. Secondly, we had legs. That’s not easy when you have three days off. … I was happy with the legs and the energy we had tonight. (We were) executing pretty well and got better as the game went along. Overall, a good showing.”

AHL Game Night: 12/27/17 Marlies at Crunch

All Yan does is score.


Louis Domingue allowed 4 goals on 26 shots for the win. Sweet goal support.

First Period
3:10 TOR Johnsson (11), (Kapanen)
4:22 SYR Yan (4), (Volkov)
10:53 SYR Yan (5), (Peca, Spencer)
15:04 TOR Mueller (7), (Timashov)
19:30 SYR Joseph (7), (Peca)

Second Period
1:45 TOR Gauthier (3), (Greening, Rychel)
17:46 SYR Lynch (8), (Yan, Stephens)(PP)
18:12 TOR Aaltonen (5), (unassisted)

Third Period
3:48 SYR Erne (9), (Joseph, Verhaeghe)(PP)

Dennis Yan and Matthew Peca were the game’s first and third stars. Yan got in his first game in four weeks and dropped 2-1-3 to raise his season scoring to 0.50 points a game, which is such a Dennis Yan thing to do. He has a very particular set of skills. Peca now has a personal seven game points streak with 3-9-12 in that span, as he lines up his case for a potential NHL cup of coffee.

Box score from

Juniors Game Night: 12-26-17

Minnesota State High School League

Edina Hornets 2 @ Minnetonka Skippers 5

F Sammy Walker, EDN: 1-0-1, 2 PIM, 1 SOG
Season Totals (HS): 9 GP, 10-13-23, 6 PIM
Season Totals (USHL): 4 GP, 0-0-0, -3, 4 PIM
’16-‘17 Totals (HS): 25 GP, 22-24-46, 6 PIM
’16-‘17 Totals (USHL): 4 GP, 0-0-0, -3, 6 PIM
Committed to: University of Minnesota

On the 15-minute bus ride on I-35W from Edina to Minnepolis, the Hornets were polishing up the Schwan’s Cup they won last year at the most prestigious high school holiday hockey tournament in the state of Minnesota. 64 boys teams, 60 girls teams, and over 200 games played in six days. It’s the Schwan’s Cup tournament at Ridder Arena on the campus of the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers. This year’s Gold Division Varsity Boys tournament is scheduled to run December 26-28.

Sammy Walker broke a 1-1 tie midway through the 1st period with his 10th goal of the season to give Edina its only lead of the game. The rest of the game would be nothing but Skippers as Joe Molenaar (uncommitted) scored shorthanded to knot the score at 2-2 at the 1st intermission followed by Matt Koethe (uncommitted) scoring twice early in the 2nd, as Minnetonka handed the Hornets their first loss of the season. The Skippers peppered Edina netminder Garrett Mackay (uncommitted) with 34 shots, 25 in the 2nd and 3rd periods, while the Hornet offense only mustered 16 total shots. Molenaar, Jack Bayless (uncommitted), and Josh Luedtke (Northern Michigan commit) each had a goal and an assist for Minnetonka High.

Edina drops to the losers bracket and draws Centennial High School out of Circle Pines, MN on Wednesday afternoon after the Cougars lost to Hill Murray in a shootout.

2018 IIHF World Junior Championship: 12-26-17

2018 IIHF World Junior Championship

Czech Republic 5 vs Russia 4

D Libor Hajek, CZE: 0-1-1, +1, 4 PIM, 2 SOG
Tournament Totals: 0-1-1, +1, 4 PIM, 2 SOG

A late rally by the Russian WJC squad fell short as the Czech Republic team held on for a 5-4 victory in the tournament opening match. Hajek started the game and played a whopping 9:24 in the first, leading all skaters by a wide margin. Hajek assisted on Ostap Safin’s (EDM, 2017 4th round pick) goal in the 1st to pull the Czechs ahead 2-1. Despite leading all blueliners in ice time along with Filip Kral (2018 draft eligible), Hajek’s ice time fell off as the game went along, getting just 5:32 in the 3rd. After the Czechs scored three straight, Russia scored twice in the last 2:12 of the game to pull within one, but couldn’t put the equalizer past Josef Korenar (undrafted), who stopped 34 of 38 Russian shots. The Czech Republic were paced by four skaters each with a goal and an assist, including Otto Somppi’s Halifax linemate Filip Zadina (2018 draft eligible), and by three assists from Martin Kaut (2018 draft eligible). The Czech Republic next plays Thursday against the Swedish squad, who easily won their opening match 6-1 against Belarus.

In somewhat of a surprise, Bolt prospect Alexey Lipanov was among the last to be cut from the Russian WJC team, and won’t be in the lineup for the Russians for this tournament.

Canada 4 vs Finland 2

F Taylor Raddysh , CAN: 1-1-2, +2, 2 PIM, 3 SOG
Tournament Totals: 1-1-2, +2, 2 PIM, 3 SOG

F Boris Katchouk, CAN: 1-1-2, +2, 2 PIM, 2 SOG
Tournament Totals: 1-1-2, +2, 2 PIM, 2 SOG

F Brett Howden , CAN: 0-0-0, -1, 2 PIM, 0 SOG
Tournament Totals: 0-0-0, -1, 2 PIM, 0 SOG

D Cal Foote, CAN: 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 0 SOG
Tournament Totals: 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 0 SOG

Taylor Raddysh and Boris Katchouk led the Canadian WJC team to its tournament opening 4-2 victory over Finland. Both Raddysh and Katchouk each had a goal and an assist, and Carter Hart (PHI, 2016 2nd round pick) backstopped 29 saves on 31 Finnish shots. Katchouk opened the scoring just 5:34 into the match on a controversial goal when he streaked in alone on Finnish netminder Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen, with the puck trickling over the line as the net was coming unmoored after a collision between the two players. The goal was ruled good after a review by the officials. Less than 30 seconds later, with the Canadians on the power play, Raddysh took a feed in front of the net from Jordan Kyrou (2018 draft eligible) and spun to jam the puck past Luukkonen, but a pad save popped the puck to the stick of Sam Steel (ANA, 2016 1st round pick), who rifled it into the open net. Later in the 2nd period, Katchouk attempted to feed Raddysh off the rush, but the play was broken up but Raddysh was able to collect the loose puck and spun and ripped a wrist shot from the top of the circles past Luukkonen.

One might look at Cal Foote’s blank stat line and only 12:55 in ice time and think he had minimal impact, but he had most spectacular play of the game when he dove behind Hart to swipe the puck off the goal line with his hand to save a goal and keep the Canadian lead at 4-2. The Canadians play next on Wednesday in Slovakia’s opening tournament match.

Crunch Struggle Out of Gate in Loss to Comets

By Jeremy Houghtaling

Captain Erik Condra believes the Syracuse Crunch's confidence was a little too high.

After a dominating 8-2 performance in Belleville Friday, Syracuse struggled out of the gate in a 2-1 loss to the Utica Comets at the Onondaga County War Memorial Saturday. The loss snaps Syracuse’s six game home win streak.

“I just think we thought it was going to be easy like last night and it just wasn’t,” Condra said. “They’re a hardworking team. They took our coach (Trent Cull) and they play our system. He’s got them working hard. We weren’t ready for that, and then it was too little, too late.”

NHL Game Night: 12-23-17 Wild at Lightning

Despite looking like a dental procedure, the Lightning head into the holiday break with a big win.


Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped all 22 shots he faced to give all of us the gift of holiday kittens. Enjoy.

First Period

Second Period

Third Period
17:18 TB Girardi (2), (Point)
18:10 TB Johnson (9), (Dotchin)
19:07 TB Kucherov (24), (Namestnikov, Girardi)(EN)

Vasilevskiy, Dan Girardi, and Tyler Johnson were the game's three stars. How in the blue hell Brayden Point didn't get a star for hand delivering the GWG is beyond me.

I wouldn't want to have to sit through too many more games like that, but tonight's victory was a positive from the standpoint that it showed the Lightning are capable of winning another style of game. The Lightning had complete control of the contest for the opening ten minutes of the First Period when the penalty bug bit them. The subsequent 50 or so minutes of hockey was an unending cacophony of special teams play as both teams paraded en masse to the penalty box. Did it make the game aesthetically displeasing? Sure. Did it make more than a few fans want to choke the refs? Probably. The good news is the struggling Lightning PK managed to blank six Wild power plays to get well after some disastrous play against the likes of Las Vegas in the last week. And, after a night that sometimes resembled a root canal a la the game against Ottawa when the team also couldn't hit the net to save their lives, Girardi's tap in goal off the excellent feed from Point may have been a floodgates moment that ends that particular malady less than six periods after it began. Good.

Tampa Bay heads into the holiday break with 54 points in 35 games. They need just four points in the next five games to clinch another successful 10-game segment of the season and if they can manage six of the next 10 points they'll be a full segment ahead of minimum pace to make the playoffs. Impressive.

Yanni Gourde had 1 shot in 13:02 and was also 36% on 11 draws.

Jake Dotchin had a helper and was +1 with 5 hits and 1 blocked shot in 17:11. Big rebound from a subpar Ottawa performance.

Mikhail Sergachev had 2 penalty minutes, 5 shots, and 1 blocked shot in 15:20. He was all over the offensive zone like a rash at times.

Box score and extended statistics from

AHL Game Night: 12-23-17 Comets at Crunch

Crunch goalscoring runs dry against rival Utica.


Louis Domingue allowed 2 goals on 25 shots for the hard luck loss.

First Period

Second Period
0:54 UTI Chaput (9), (Molino, Wiercioch)
5:16 SYR Condra (4), (Peca, Verhaeghe)
16:54 UTI Molino (2), (Cassels)

Third Period

Domingue was the game's second star.

After scoring eight against Belleville, it's crazy the Crunch offense ran aground tonight. They almost went shotless in the First Period, ultimately being awarded just one shot on frame in the opening 20 minutes, and things just never got rolling from there beyond the obligatory 15 shot score-effects effort in the Third Period.

Box score from

2018 IIHF World Junior Championship: 12-22-17

2018 IIHF World Junior Championship

Canada 8 vs Switzerland 1 (Pre-Tournament Exhibition)

F Taylor Raddysh , CAN: 0-0-0
Tournament Totals: ---

F Boris Katchouk, CAN: 0-1-1
Tournament Totals: ---

F Brett Howden , CAN: 0-0-0
Tournament Totals: ---

D Cal Foote, CAN: 0-0-0
Tournament Totals: ---

Canada completed its two-game WJC pre-tournament exhibition with an 8-1 victory over the Swiss squad at the FirstOntario Centre in Hamilton, Ont. Dillon Dube (CGY, 2016 2nd round pick) and current WHL goal-scoring leader Tyler Steenbergen (ARI, 2017 5th round pick) paced the Canadians with each a pair of goals. Current OHL points leader Jordan Kyrou (STL, 2016 2nd round pick) scored and added a couple of assists, as Canada pelted the Swiss goalie tandem of Philip Wuthrich (undrafted) and Matteo Ritz (undrafted) with a staggering 61 shots. Canada’s stifling defense allowed a total of just 7 shots for the entire game. Katchouk was the lone Bolt prospect to hit the scoreboard, assisting on a Jake Bean (CAR, 2016 1st round pick) marker in the 2nd period. The Canadians got out to a 3-0 lead before Guillaume Maillard (undrafted) scored for the Swiss. Canada opens tournament play on Boxing Day against the Finnish team the 2018 WJC tournament site in Buffalo, NY.

Libor Hajek made the Czech Republic WJC team, and opens against the Russian squad as the first game on Boxing Day. Bolt prospect Alexey Lipanov is currently with the Russian team in Buffalo, expecting to announce their final roster on Dec 23rd. If Lipanov makes the final roster cut, that will make six total Bolt prospects across three different teams participating in the 2018 World Junior Championship.

AHL Game Night: 12-22-17 Crunch at Senators

The Crunch get a visit from the snowman with the merlot hat. Not purple. Merlot.


Louis Domingue allowed 2 goals on 29 shots for the win. Goal support!

First Period
3:39 BEL White (5), (Werek)
5:42 SYR Masin (5), (Peca, Verhaeghe)
11:27 SYR Bournival (9), (Volkov, Condra)
15:22 SYR Condra (3), (Joseph, Cirelli)
15:59 SYR Bodie (3), (Peca, Volkov)

Second Period
3:34 SYR Stephens (6), (Bournival, Volkov)
11:56 SYR Joseph (6), (Masin, Condra)
14:27 BEL Murray (4), (Reinhart, Blunden)(PP)
17:41 SYR Peca (6), (Verhaeghe, McBain)(PP)

Third Period
13:22 SYR Bodie (4), (Verhaeghe, Joseph)(PP)

Matthew Peca, Erik Condra, and Mat Bodie were he game's three stars. Condra returned to the lineup and the Crunch were clearly a little spicy from their loss on Wednesday against Laval. Eight goals later they surely feel a little satisfaction.

Box score from

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