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NHL Game Night: 3-9-17 Wild at Lightning

Lightning dominance overshadowed by centerman attrition.

MIN-1
TB-4

Andrei Vasilevskiy allowed 1 goal on 33 shots for a dominating victory. He gave Minnesota nothing. He was in absolute command and it took a goofy bounce for Minnesota to stave off his shutout bid. That's two straight games where Vasiy has only allowed a single goal. Hard to lose when you do that.

First Period
6:53 TB Kucherov (29), (Hedman, Palat)(PP)
11:01 TB Hedman (13), (Drouin, Dotchin)

Second Period
4:37 TB Sustr (2), (Kucherov, Johnson)

Third Period
16:02 MIN Scandella (4), (Brodin, Koivu)
18:51 TB Kucherov (30), (Gourde)(EN)

Vasilevskiy, Victor Hedman, and Nikita Kucherov were the game's three stars.

That was probably the most dominant game the Lightning have played against a quality opponent all season. The end result was never really in doubt and even as the Lightning were seeing their players drop like flies, their lower liners stepped up and continued to keep the game under total control. Unfortunately, it's dubious whether that kind of "next man up" success is replicable over the rest of the course of the season. Vladislav Namestnikov was the first to go down after going skates first into the board on a play that could be anything from a broken ankle to a knee. To my eyes, that looked like a season ender. Tyler Johnson was the next to go on a knee to knee hit from Nino Niederreiter. Johnson when down like a dropped sack of potatoes, and I'm hopeful he's the one of the three that can get back faster, but it didn't look great. Third to go was Cedric Paquette, who appeared to give himself a high ankle sprain tackling a Wild forward in the slot on a defensive zone play. That may come pretty close to ending his season given the slim number of games the team has left on the schedule. So, the Lightning are going to have to scramble just to find bodies at that position. McKegg can go back into the lineup and they'll probably immediately recall Matthew Peca. Ultimately, though, it may take Steven Stamkos donning the Superman cape and coming back from IR in the next 2 weeks and playing well just to keep the team's slim playoff hopes alive. It's either that or get Brian Bradley off the buffet line.

Luke Witkowski had 4 hits in 9:11.

Jake Dotchin had a helper and was +1 with 2 penalty minutes, 1 shot, and 2 hits in 16:33.

Gabriel Dumont had 2 hits and 1 blocked shot in 8:21. He was also 63% on 8 draws.

Yanni Gourde had a helper in 16:35 and was on the ice defending the 6 on 5 at the end of the contest.

Adam Erne had 2 shots, 4 hits, and 2 blocked shots in 14:20. He had a really strong First Period, drawing the penalty that led to Kucherov's opening goal, but once the carnage started in the Second Period, it seemed like the line shuffling hurt the continuity Erne was forming with his linemates.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

Liiga Game Day: 3-9-17

SaiPa 1 vs. KooKoo 7
Saku Salminen, SaiPa, DNP
Season totals: 39 GP, 3-4-7, -9, 41 PIM

KooKoo scored the first 7 goals on the game in a 7-1 slaughter that pitted the worst team in the league (SaiPa) against the second worst (KooKoo). Saku Salminen remained out with an injury. SaiPa dropped further into the basement, now 6 points behind KooKoo with just 2 remaining regular season games.

CHL Game Night: 3-8-17

Quebec Major Junior Hockey League

Acadie-Bathurst Titan 1 @ Saint John Sea Dogs 3 (Tuesday)

W Bokondji Imama, SJ: 0-0-0, E, 5 PIM, 4 SOG, 1 Hit
Season Totals: 61 GP, 38-14-52, +10, 89 PIM
2015-2016 Season: 48 GP, 7-12-19, -5, 86 PIM

W Mathieu Joseph, SJ: 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 3 SOG, 2 Hits
Season Totals: 51 GP, 34-40-74, +34, 53 PIM
2015-2016 Season: 58 GP, 33-40-73, +35, 57 PIM

Imama fought Luc Deschênes late in the second period. He’s still well off his career high for penalty minutes in season, set two years ago at 137. The Dogs lead the league at 94 points with five games remaining.

Shawinigan Cataractes 4 @ Drummondville Voltigeurs 3 (OT)

W Dennis Yan, SHAW: 1-0-1, -1, 0 PIM, 6 SOG, 0 Hits, *Third Star*
Season Totals: 60 GP, 43-28-71, +24, 52 PIM
2015-2016 Season: 62 GP, 32-37-69, +8, 86 PIM

Shawinigan built a 3-1 lead, but watched it evaporate by the end of the third period. They recovered in overtime to take the two points. The Cataractes sit in third on the league table at 85 points with five games remaining.

Ontario Hockey League

Sarnia Sting 3 @ Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds 6

W Boris Katchouk, SSM: 1-2-3, +4, 0 PIM, 5 SOG, *Second Star*
Season: 61 GP, 30-27-57, +15, 46 PIM
2015-2016 Season: 63 GP, 24-27-51, +7, 61 PIM

Katchouk scored his 30th goal of the season and was named second star in the Soo’s 6-3 doubling of Steven Stamkos’ former team. The Hounds are a point behind London for the Western Conference’s top seed though the Knights have a game in hand.

Western Hockey League

Saskatoon Blades 6 @ Calgary Hitmen 2

D Libor Hajek, SAS: 0-0-0, +1, 0 PIM
Season Totals: 56 GP: 4-21-25, -12, 66 PIM
2015-2016 Season: 69 GP, 3-23-26, -19, 76 PIM

Saskatoon had a 6-0 lead before Calgary got on the scoreboard late in the third period. On Tuesday, Jesse Shynkaruk (undrafted) scored his second goal of the game in overtime to life the Blades to a 2-1 win over Red Deer. Hajek had the primary assist on the overtime winner.

Victoria Royals 2 @ Kamloops Blazers 5

G Connor Ingram, KAM: Win, 27 saves on 29 shots
Season Totals: 42 GP, 25-13-2-2, 2.44 GAA, .927 sv%, 5 SO
2015-2016 Season: 61 GP, 34-15-5-4, 2.61 GAA, .922 sv%, 4 SO

Ingram broke a personal two-game losing streak with a 2-GAA win against Victoria. His .927 save percentage is second in the league to Flyers prospect Carter Hart (.928). Ingram has led the WHL in that category all season. Ingram remains second in GAA behind Hart (1.94).

Reworked Power Play Leads Crunch Past IceCaps


By Jeremy Houghtaling

The Syracuse Crunch’s power play adjustments paid off.

The Crunch scored three times with the man-advantage against the IceCaps, as Syracuse topped St. John’s, 4-2, at the Onondaga County War Memorial Wednesday.

For Crunch head coach Benoit Groulx, the key was putting Matt Taormina and Cory Conacher together to form a clear cut top power play unit.

“Tonight was a five-player effort, but we decided to put Taormina and Conacher together on the power play,” Groulx said. “They hadn’t played together in quite a bit, because we were trying many different things. I thought the two of them were very good on the power play — like (Matthew) Peca, like (Tye) McGinn, like (Erik) Condra.”

KHL Playoff Game Day: 3-8-17

KHL Western Conference Semifinals
(2) St. Petersburg 2 vs. (3) Dynamo Moscow 3 (OT)
Dynamo Moscow Leads the Series 1-0
Nikita Gusev, St. Petersburg, 1-0-1, E, 0 PIM, 9 SOG
Playoff totals: 5 GP, 3-3-6, +3, 2 PIM
Regular season totals: 57 GP, 24-47-71, +33, 8 PIM

Nikita Gusev had an even strength goal and a game high 9(!) shots on goal in SKA's 3-2 OT loss to Dynamo Moscow. Gusev played 23:00 in the contest. Undrafted 25 year old forward Maxim Karpov had a hat trick to lead Dynamo to the upset Game One win.

NHL Game Night: 3-6-17 Rangers at Lightning

Lightning Raanta'ed again.

NYR-1
TB-0 (OT)

Andrei Vasilevskiy allowed 1 goal on 34 shots for the painfully hard luck OT loss. He was overshadowed by Raanta at the other end, but Vasiy was equally brilliant in a high pressure goaltending duel.

First Period
NO SCORING

Second Period
NO SCORING

Third Period
NO SCORING

Overtime
3:56 NYR Zibanejad (9), (McDonagh)

Vasilevskiy was the game's first star.

The Lightning played very hard wire to wire and just lost to a hot goaltender. You can complain about decision-making with the puck late in the Third Period and into Overtime, but many nights you blow doors off with a 3:2 shot attempt/possession advantage and Vasilevskiy playing that well. The shame is the Lightning are in a spot where they just can't surrender the odd point on a night like this and realistically stay alive for the playoffs.

Luke Witkowski had 5 penalty minutes, 1 shot, and 1 hit in 7:54. That fight was an epic. We're talking about one that rightfully should go alongside some of those old Rudy Poeschek v. Paul Laus brawls.

Jake Dotchin had 3 shots and 2 hits in 20:25.

Gabriel Dumont had 2 penalty minutes for a nasty boarding call, 1 shot, and 1 hit in 7:15. He was also 43% on 7 draws.

Yanni Gourde played 10:09. Blank stat line doesn't tell the tale, because he was active at both ends of the rink. This was probably his best NHL game in his time in the Lightning organization.

Adam Erne had 2 penalty minutes, 6 shots, and 2 hits in 11:32. 6 shots in under 12 minutes tells you what you need to know. He was very active tonight. Looked really good.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

CHL Game Night: 3-5-17

Quebec Major Junior Hockey League

Cape Breton Screaming Eagles 1 @ Saint John Sea Dogs 5

W Bokondji Imama, SJ: 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 2 SOG, 1 Hit
Season Totals: 60 GP, 38-14-52, +10, 84 PIM
2015-2016 Season: 48 GP, 7-12-19, -5, 86 PIM

W Mathieu Joseph, SJ: 1-0-1, E, 2 PIM, 2 SOG, 0 Hits
Season Totals: 50 GP, 34-40-74, +34, 53 PIM
2015-2016 Season: 58 GP, 33-40-73, +35, 57 PIM

Joseph scored his 34th goal of the season one game after accumulating five points in one game. Joseph is second on the Dogs in scoring with 74 points. Matthew Highmore (undrafted) has 87 points in 10 more games played. Imama is in fourth on the team in scoring.

Halifax Mooseheads 1 @ Charlottetown Islanders 3

C/W Otto Somppi, HAL: 0-0-0, -1, 0 PIM, 3 SOG, 15/24 FO
Season Totals: 57 GP, 15-24-39, -8, 26 PIM
2015-2016 Season: 59 GP, 13-33-46, -15, 25 PIM

Halifax continues to have trouble scoring. Mathieu Joseph’s brother, Pierre-Olivier (2017), was scoreless for Charlottetown.

Sherbrooke Phoenix 5 @ Shawinigan Cataractes 4 (OT)

W Dennis Yan, SHAW: 0-0-0, -2, 0 PIM, 2 SOG, 3 Hits
Season Totals: 59 GP, 42-28-70, +25, 52 PIM
2015-2016 Season: 62 GP, 32-37-69, +8, 86 PIM

Sherbrooke won a back-and-forth game with a goal 1:02 into overtime.

Ontario Hockey League

Erie Otters 7 @ Niagara IceDogs 9

D Erik Cernak, Erie: 0-0-0, -1, 0 PIM, 4 SOG
Season Totals: 45 GP, 3-15-18, +28, 47 PIM
2015-2016 Season: 41 GP, 4-11-15, +7, 35 PIM

C Anthony Cirelli, Erie: 0-2-2, +2, 0 PIM, 4 SOG, 9/18 FO
Season Totals: 46 GP, 21-36-57, +31, 12 PIM
With Erie: 19 GP, 8-13-21, +11, 4 PIM
With Oshawa: 26 GP, 13-21-34, +18, 8 PIM
2015-2016 Season: 62 GP, 21-38-59, -15 27 PIM

W Taylor Raddysh, Erie: 1-2-3, -1, 0 PIM, 3 SOG
Season Totals: 53 GP, 38-64-102, +65, 31 PIM
2015-2016 Season: 67 GP, 24-49-73, +19, 18 PIM

Raddysh surpassed the 100-point mark with three points Sunday against Niagara, a team the Otters beat 10-1 Friday.

Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds 2 @ Kitchener Rangers 1

W Boris Katchouk, SSM: 0-0-0, E, 2 PIM, 4 SOG
Season: 60 GP, 29-25-54, +11, 46 PIM
2015-2016 Season: 63 GP, 24-27-51, +7, 61 PIM

Bruins pick Zachary Senyshyn scored his 41st goal of the season late in the third period to give the Soo the win.

Western Hockey League

Kootenay Ice 2 @ Moose Jaw Warriors 11

C Brett Howden, MJ: 0-4-4, +3, 0 PIM
Season Totals: 52 GP, 34-40-74, +13, 54 PIM
2015-2016 Season: 68 GP, 24-40-64, -7, 61 PIM

Howden led the Warriors with four points Sunday in their destruction of Kootenay, 11-2.

ECHL Game Night: 3-5-17

Adirondack Thunder 3 at Kalamazoo Wings 6

F Brian Hart, KAL, 1-0-1, E, 0 PIMS, 3 SOG
Season Totals (ECHL): 20 GP, 2-2-4, -2, 4 PIMs, 35 SOG
Season Totals (AHL): 33 GP, 3-4-7, E, 26 PIMs

F Cameron Darcy, KAL, 1-2-3, +2, 0 PIMS, 2 SOG
Season Totals (ECHL): 7 GP, 2-7-9, +7, 2 PIMs, 16 SOG
Season Totals (AHL): 34 GP, 3-4-7, -3, 14 PIMs

Other Notables
G Nic Riopel, KAL, W, 60:00 MINS, 25/28
Season Totals: 25 GP, 14-9-0-1, 2.82 GAA, 0.904 SV%, 1 SO

One streak that didn't end in Toledo last night was Nic Riopel's red hot surge between the pipes. The K-Wings returned home Sunday for the final frame of a weekend three-in-three, and crushed one of the best teams in the league 6-3. Riopel received some of that sweet, sweet goal support, allowing three Thunder markers, but winning his 10th game in his last 11 starts. Cam Darcy scored and added two assists for his first three point game since joining Kalamazoo. His goal was a nice forehand-to-backhand move in front of the goalie. Fellow Bolt Prospect Brian Hart scored his 2nd K-Wing goal of the season late in the 3rd period, when he rocketed a empty netter from within his own zone. Kalamazoo now sits just 3 points behind Quad Cities for 3rd in the division, and it's advantageous to slip into that 3rd place slot to avoid having to play Toledo in the first round of the playoffs. The team gets a week off before another big weekend hosting those league-best Toledo Walleye for back-to-back games Friday and Saturday.

CHL Game Night: 3-4-17

Ontario Hockey League

Sarnia Sting 5 @ Erie Otters 3

D Erik Cernak, Erie: 0-0-0, -2, 0 PIM, 1 SOG
Season Totals: 44 GP, 3-15-18, +29, 47 PIM
2015-2016 Season: 41 GP, 4-11-15, +7, 35 PIM

C Anthony Cirelli, Erie: 0-1-1, E, 0 PIM, 4 SOG, 11/19 FO
Season Totals: 45 GP, 21-34-55, +29, 12 PIM
With Erie: 19 GP, 8-13-21, +11, 4 PIM
With Oshawa: 26 GP, 13-21-34, +18, 8 PIM
2015-2016 Season: 62 GP, 21-38-59, -15 27 PIM

W Taylor Raddysh, Erie: 1-0-1, E, 0 PIM, 10 SOG
Season Totals: 52 GP, 37-62-99, +66, 31 PIM
2015-2016 Season: 67 GP, 24-49-73, +19, 18 PIM

Raddysh scored his 37th goal of the season to give him 99 points for the year.

Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds 6 @ Guelph Storm 0

W Boris Katchouk, SSM: 0-1-1, +1, 2 PIM, 2 SOG
Season: 59 GP, 29-25-54, +11, 44 PIM
2015-2016 Season: 63 GP, 24-27-51, +7, 61 PIM

Matthew Villalta (2017) shut out last-place Guelph, 6-0, to improve his record to 21-2-0 for the year.

Barrie Colts 3 @ Peterborough Petes 6

W/C Christopher Paquette, PBO: 0-1-1, +1, 0 PIM, 2 SOG, 13/23 FO
Season Totals: 60 GP, 18-28-46, E, 26 PIM
With Petes: 22 GP, 6-11-17, +9, 12 PIM
With Niagara: 37 GP, 12-17-29, -7, 14 PIM
2015-2016 Season: 57 GP, 5-11-16, -6, 18 PIM

D Matt Spencer, PBO: 1-0-1, +1, 0 PIM, 1 SOG, *Third Star*
Season Totals: 54 GP, 7-19-26, +10, 49 PIM
2015-2016 Season: 60 GP, 5-19-24, -4, 46 PIM

W Jonne Tammela, PBO: Did not play
Season Totals: 2 GP, 1-0-1, +1, 2 PIM
2015-2016 (Finland): 37 GP, 5-8-13, +10, 16 PIM

Spencer has goals in two of his last three games after going 24 games without one.

London Knights 1 @ Windsor Spitfires 4

W/C Mitchell Stephens, LDN: 1-0-1, E, 0 PIM, 4 SOG
Season Totals: 45 GP, 22-29-51, +21, 24 PIM
With London: 23 GP, 11-12-23, +7, 10 PIM
With Saginaw: 22 GP, 11-17-28, +13, 14 PIM
2015-2016 Totals: 39 GP, 20-18-38, -3, 14 PIM

London fell in Windsor, 4-1. Stephens had the Knights’ only goal.

Western Hockey League

Lethbridge Hurricanes 5 @ Saskatoon Blades 4 (OT)

D Libor Hajek, SAS: 0-0-0, -3, 2 PIM
Season Totals: 54 GP: 4-20-24, -14, 65 PIM
2015-2016 Season: 69 GP, 3-23-26, -19, 76 PIM

Braylon Shmyr (undrafted) had a hat trick for Saskatoon, but it wasn’t enough to beat Lethbridge.

Medicine Hat Tigers 3 @ Moose Jaw Warriors 5

C Brett Howden, MJ: 0-1-1, +2, 0 PIM
Season Totals: 51 GP, 34-36-70, +10, 54 PIM
2015-2016 Season: 68 GP, 24-40-64, -7, 61 PIM

Moose Jaw snuck by the Tigers, 5-3. Howden hit the 70-point mark for the first time in his career.

Kamloops Blazers 1 @ Prince George Cougars 6

G Connor Ingram, KAM: Loss, 51 saves on 57 shots
Season Totals: 41 GP, 24-13-2-2, 2.45 GAA, .927 sv%, 5 SO
2015-2016 Season: 61 GP, 34-15-5-4, 2.61 GAA, .922 sv%, 4 SO

Ingram’s goals allowed in the last four games: 6, 4, 5, 6. This is after consecutive shutouts.

NCAA Game Night: 3-4-17

Maine Black Bears 1 @ No. 14 Vermont Catamounts 5

C Ross Colton, UVM: Did not play
Season Totals: 32 GP, 11-15-26, +1, 22 PIM

Colton, UVM’s leading scorer, was out of the lineup for the third straight game with an apparent wrist injury. Vermont swept its Hockey East opening round series with Maine, 2-0. They face Boston College next.

Denver Pioneers 3 @ Nebraska-Omaha Mavericks 0

D Kristian Oldham, UNO: Did not play
Season Totals: 10 GP, 5-3-1, 3.38 GAA, .895 sv%, 0 SO

Oldham sat backup to Evan Weninger again. Evan Cowley (Panthers) had the shutout for Denver.

No. 5 Minnesota Golden Gophers 4 @ Michigan Wolverines 1

D Ryan Zuhlsdorf, UMN: 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 1 SOG
Season Totals: 33 GP, 2-3-5, +12, 35 PIM

Minnesota launched back into first place in the Big 10 and clinched a conference playoff bye in the process.

*USCHO poll used for rankings

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