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NCAA Game Night: 10-6-18

#13 Minnesota Gophers 1 @ #1 Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs 1

F Cole Koepke, UMD: 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 2 SOG, 0/2 FO
Season Totals: 1 GP, 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM

D Ryan Zuhlsdorf, MINN: 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 0 SOG, 0/1 FO
Season Totals: 1 GP, 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM
’17-‘18 Totals: 38 GP, 0-9-9, +1, 40 PIM

F Sammy Walker, MINN: 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 2 SOG
Season Totals: 1 GP, 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM

The top-ranked Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs opened the 2018-19 campaign against in-state rival Minnesota Golden Gophers Saturday night in the first half of a home-and-home series that featured three Lightning prospects, two of which made their NCAA debuts as freshmen. The two teams battled to a 1-1 tie per new NCAA rules for non-conference contests that remain unsettled after a 5-minute 5-on-5 overtime session.

Freshman Gophers forward Sampo Ranta (COL, 2018 3rd round pick) notched his first collegiate goal in the 1st period with assists from senior Thomas Novak (NAS, 2015 3rd round pick) and Walker's former teammate at Edina High School defenseman Clayton Phillips (PIT, 2017 3rd round pick). Ranta was teammates with both Walker and Koepke at Sioux City last year, where Koepke edged the Finnish winger as the Musketeers scoring leader.

After a scoreless 2nd period, Peter Kreiger (undrafted) knotted the game on a power-play marker early in the 3rd. Bulldog forwards Koby Roth (undrafted) and Riley Tufte (DAL, 2016 1st round pick) helped set up the game-tying goal. These two teams will square off in St. Paul Sunday afternoon to complete the season series.

Alberta Golden Bears 4 @ #9 Denver Pioneers 6 (Exhibition)

F Cole Guttman, DEN: 0-3-3, +2, 2 PIM, 4 SOG, 6/12 FO
Season Totals: 0 GP, 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM

Lightning prospect Cole Guttman notched three assists and was 50% on draws in exhibition play Saturday night making his freshman NCAA debut for the ninth-ranked University of Denver Pioneers against the visiting Golden Bears from the University of Alberta. Guttman assisted on the first two goals of the game, one a power play marker by Norwegian Emilio Pettersen (CGY, 2018 6th round pick), before setting up the 3-3 equalizer just prior to the end of the 2nd period. Pettersen scored twice for the Pioneers with Denver also getting tallies from Jarid Lukosevicius (undrafted), Michael Davies (undrafted), Jaakko Heikkinen (undrafted), and Ryan Barrow (undrafted). After falling behind 2-0 in the 1st period, Alberta responded with three straight to take a brief 3-2 lead in the 2nd behind a pair of goals from Steven Owre (undrafted). The Golden Bears also got scores from Riley Keiser (undrafted) and Luke Philp (undrafted). Denver opens its 2018-19 NCAA campaign next weekend against the Air Force Academy and the University of Alabama-Huntsville.

*USCHO poll used for rankings

CHL Game Night: 10-6-18

Quebec Major Junior Hockey League

Halifax Mooseheads 2 @ Baie-Comeau Drakkar 3

C/W Gabriel Fortier, BC: 0-1-1, +1, 0 PIM, 3 SOG, 10/20 FO, 3 Hits, *Third Star*
Season Totals: 8 GP, 4-8-12, +11, 7 PIM
17-18 Totals: 66 GP, 26-33-59, -11, 59 PIM

Fortier had an assist on a Yaroslav Alexeyev (undrafted) goal in the final two minutes of regulation to help the Drakkar to a 3-2 win over the visiting Mooseheads. Fortier, B-C’s captain, was given the game’s third star for the effort. Chicago pick Alexis Gravel was first star for Halifax, stopping 37 of 40 shots.

Ontario Hockey League

Kitchener Rangers 4 @ Sarnia Sting 3

C Alexey Lipanov, KIT: Did not play
17-18 Totals (BAR, SBY): 55 GP, 14-25-39, -14, 10 PIM

Lipanov is waiting on paperwork to be completed to make him eligible for OHL play this year. On Saturday, his teammates beat Steven Stamkos’s former team, 4-3. Rickard Hugg (undrafted) had a hat trick for Kitchener.

NHL Game Night: 10-6-18 Panthers at Lightning

Opening night Vasilarceny as the Lightning continue to torment PantherNation.

FLA-1
TB-2 (SO)

Andrei Vasilevskiy allowed just 1 goal on 43 shots and 2 of 2 shooters in the penalty shot session for the SO victory. The Lightning could've easily been down 3 or 4 goals coming out of a particularly terrible looking opening frame were it not for how sharp Andrei was from the word "go".

First Period
5:58 FLA MacDonald (1), (Trocheck, Huburdeau)

Second Period
NO SCORING

Third Period
10:45 TB Cirelli (1), (McDonagh)(SH)

Overtime
NO SCORING

Shootout
FLA- NONE
TB- Miller, Kucherov

Vasilevskiy and Anthony Cirelli were the game's first and second stars.

That was ugly as sin, but I'll take it. The Lightning looked rusty, out of sync, and just plain bad for the first 20 minutes of tonight's contest and were frankly lucky not to get blown out of their own barn. Vasilevskiy held them in it and they got progressively better over the course of the contest, but there were still far too many mental errors and old Lightning bugaboos for my taste. Turnovers. Players passing out of shooting opportunities in prime real estate around the slot and circles. Penalties in bad situations. It wasn't good. Chalk it up to the weirdness of opening night, but unless you're wearing #88, you shouldn't be happy with how you played tonight. They'll be no shortage of film for Jon Cooper to point to to teach them up after tonight's near debacle that thankfully wasn't.

If there was one silver lining, I think it was the team's response coming out of the First Intermission. I'm a little squeamish about the lack of changes to this roster and the potential for staleness that plagued this team two seasons ago when they missed the playoffs. I didn't get that complacency vibe from the team tonight. They knew they stepped in it in the First Period and they showed some resolve to try to correct their habits immediately. That's good to see from a team that now has to get back to the regular season grind of systematically trying to get 12 points every 10 game segment of the season. It's a grind that requires leadership and mental toughness, and they showed some of that tonight even though they didn't have their A (or even their C) game for a good portion of the night.

Mathieu Joseph was -1 with 2 shots and 3 hits in 13:50. Looked a hot runny mess in the First Period, like most of his teammates, and then got a lot better from there on out. Thought for sure he was going to score on one shift in the Second Period.

Anthony Cirelli had the big SH goal and 2 shots and 1 hit in 15:15 and was 57% on 14 draws. Played a good game and got rewarded for it with some puck luck on his goal.

Adam Erne had 2 hits and 1 blocked shot in 8:32. Mixed it up physically at times, but didn't have a ton of ice time to be more impactful with.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

AHL Game Night: 10-6-18 Crunch at Bears

Crunch come out of opening night number one with a Boulet.

SYR-3
HER-2

Eddie Pasquale allowed 2 goals on 32 shots for the victory.

First Period
3:45 HER O'Brien (1), (Williams, Barber)
7:49 SYR Verhaeghe (1), (Barre-Boulet, Volkov)(PP)
19:03 HER Sgarbossa (1), (Barber, Williams)

Second Period
14:02 SYR Raddysh (1), (Andreoff, Colton)

Third Period
5:26 SYR Barre-Boulet (1), (Foote, Dumont)(PP)

Alex Barre-Boulet was the game's first star. He and Taylor Raddysh celebrated their first pro goals tonight while fellow rookie Ross Colton notched his first pro point.

Quality outcome against a really quality opponent to open the campaign.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

Syracuse Announces Opening Night Roster

On Friday, the Syracuse Crunch announced their 24 player roster for their Saturday night season-opening tilt against the Bears in Hershey. The roster includes goaltenders Eddie Pasquale and Connor Ingram, along with defensemen Hubert Labrie, Matthew Spencer, Cameron Gaunce, Cal Foote, Dominik Masin, Erik Cernak, and Oleg Sosunov. The forward corps includes Dennis Yan, Alex Barre-Boulet, Boris Katchouk, Andy Andreoff, Otto Somppi, Jonne Tammela, Taylor Raddysh, Brady Brassart, Troy Bourke, Carter Verhaeghe, Colton Ross, Gabriel Dumont, Mitchell Stephens, Alexander Volkov, and Olivier Archambault.

Not listed on the opening roster are defensemen Daniel Walcott and Ben Thomas, and forwards Michael Bournival, Alexey Lipanov, and Kevin Lynch. Lipanov was returned to juniors to the Kitchener Rangers, who recently acquired his OHL rights from Sudbury.

CHL Game Night: 10-5-18

Quebec Major Junior Hockey League

Charlottetown Islanders 3 @ Baie-Comeau Drakkar 8

C/W Gabriel Fortier, BC: 1-1-2, +3, 0 PIM, 2 SOG, 8/13 FO, 0 Hits, *Second Star*
Season Totals: 7 GP, 4-7-11, +10, 7 PIM
17-18 Totals: 66 GP, 26-33-59, -11, 59 PIM

Yaroslav Alexeyev (undrafted) had his second hat trick in three games for the Drakkar, and Fortier added a goal and an assist as Baie-Comeau defeated Charlottetown, 8-3. Pierre-Olivier Joseph (Coyotes) had a goal and a helper for the Islanders. Alexeyev has nine goals already this season to lead the league. Four of the top five point-getters in the Q so far play for the Drakkar. Fortier is No. 5.

Rimouski Oceanic 4 @ Drummondville Voltigeurs 1

D Radim Salda, RIM: Did not play
17-18 Totals (SJ): 62 GP, 10-31-41, -37, 78 PIM

The Salda watch continues. According to Mikael Lalancette of TVA Sports, Salda still hasn’t received his international release to play.

Ontario Hockey League

Saginaw Spirit 4 @ Kitchener Rangers 3 (OT)

C Alexey Lipanov, KIT: Did not play
17-18 Totals (BAR, SBY): 55 GP, 14-25-39, -14, 10 PIM

Lipanov did not suite up for his new team, Kitchener, on Friday night. He was sent back to juniors earlier in the week by AHL Syracuse and traded by Sudbury to the Rangers shortly thereafter. Sudbury is 5-2 this year so far after struggling last year, while Kitchener “fell” to 3-0-1 after Friday’s OT loss. Lipanov is in Kitchener, but like Salda, has to wait on paperwork to be completed, which can take a while.

CHL Game Night: 10-3-18

Charlottetown Islanders 2 @ Rimouski Oceanic 4

D Radim Salda, RIM: Did not play
17-18 Totals (SJ): 62 GP, 10-31-41, -37, 78 PIM

Salda remains out of the Oceanic lineup though he is still listed with the club. He was with Saint John last year. Pierre-Olivier Joseph (Coyotes), captain of the Islanders and brother of Lightning rookie Mathieu Joseph, had an assist for Charlottetown in the game.

Lightning Set Opening Night Roster: Four Prospects Make Squad

Tampa Bay trimmed down their training camp roster to twenty-four on Sunday, and with forward Ryan Callahan expected to start the season on injured reserved, this should be the team's final cuts. Four Bolt prospects, all forwards, will start the 2018-19 campaign with the big club, including camp standouts Adam Erne and Mathieu Joseph. Joining those two include Anthony Cirelli and Danick Martel, the latter being a waiver wire claim during camp by the Lightning. Cirelli was an in-season call up from the Crunch during the 2017-18 season, and played 18 regular season games and 17 playoff games for the Lightning totaling seven goals and seven assists in those 25 contests. Erne has played 49 NHL games over the past two seasons for the Bolts, while Martel notched four games for the Flyers last season.

Forwards Alexander Volkov and Mitchell Stephens, along with defenseman Erik Cernak were the team's final three cuts, and all had very strong camps in their own rights. They were reassigned to the Syracuse Crunch and are expected to play pivotal roles for Tampa Bay's top minor league affiliate.

The Lightning open the 2018-19 season at home on October 6 against the Florida Panthers.

CHL Game Night: 9-29-18

Quebec Major Junior Hockey League

Baie-Comeau Drakkar 3 @ Blainville-Boisbriand Armada 4 (SO)

C/W Gabriel Fortier, BC: 0-1-1, +1, 0 PIM, 3 SOG, 9/19 FO, 5 Hits
Season Totals: 5 GP, 3-5-8, +9, 7 PIM
17-18 Totals: 66 GP, 26-33-59, -11, 59 PIM

Yaroslav Alexeyev (undrafted) had a hat trick for the Drakkar, but the Armada prevailed in the skills competition. Fortier added an assist to his season totals. He did not participate in the shootout.

Rouyn-Noranda Huskies 5 @ Rimouski Oceanic 2

D Radim Salda, RIM: Did not play
17-18 Totals (SJ): 62 GP, 10-31-41, -37, 78 PIM

Nikita Kucherov's last QMJHL team completed a 2-game sweep of Rimouski with a 5-2 win Saturday. Salda is still waiting to make his Oceanic debut. As of last weekend he had yet to receive his international release to play this season. He was with Saint John last year.

NHL Preseason Game Night: 9-29-18 Lightning at Panthers

Heck, even the preseason Governor's Cup is ours, too.

TB-3
FLA-2

Andrei Vasilevskiy allowed 2 goals on 33 shots for the victory. The final tune up before live fire went well.

First Period
11:00 FLA Huberdeau (1), (Hoffman)
12:01 TB Conacher (1), (Martel)

Second Period
8:49 FLA Hoffman (1), (Barkov)(PP)

Third Period
6:31 TB Joseph (1), (unassisted)
13:11 TB Miller (1), (Sergachev, Stamkos)

J.T. Miller was the game's first star.

Torturing the Panthers is a pleasure in every season.

Now the Lightning will turn their attention to finalizing their roster. Adding more intrigue into the scenario are the impacts of injuries to Tyler Johnson and the recovering Ryan Callahan, which may allow a few more bubble players like Cory Conacher and/or Alexander Volkov to slip through to opening night. Regardless, it looks like Mathieu Joseph is in after scoring a key tying goal in tonight's encounter as the icing on the cake to his Orlando performance.

Joseph had a goal and was +1 with 3 shots and 1 hit in 15:07.

Danick Martel had a helper and was +1 with 2 shots, 1 hit, and 1 blocked shot in 13:21.

Anthony Cirelli had 2 shots and 2 blocked shots in 15:05 and he was 40% on 15 draws.

Volkov had 1 shot and 1 hit in 16:48.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

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