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NHL Game Night: 11-29-17 Lightning at Bruins

Tampa Bay's most putrid effort of the campaign.

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Andrei Vasilevskiy allowed 3 goals on 36 shots for the loss. Wasn't his fault. Other than maybe Paquette, there's no one else on the team I can honestly claim played like anything more than hot runny garbage.

First Period
7:27 BOS McAvoy (3), (Pastrnak, Marchand)
17:13 BOS Nash (2), (Heinen, Marchand)

Second Period
5:59 BOS Krug (4), (Spooner, McAvoy)
10:53 TB Sustr (1), (Coburn, Kunitz)

Third Period
2:10 TB Stamkos (11), (Kucherov, Sergachev)(PP)

It's a totally justifiable thing to point out this was Tampa Bay's 4th game in 6 nights as an explanation of why the team didn't seem to really have it's legs. The problem I had tonight is the Lightning seemed to have internalized that excuse and used it as a rationale for a pretty heartless exercise in going through the motions. The first 40 minutes of that game was awful. Shiftless. Lethargic. Unthinking. Unfeeling. Uncaring. And, really, that's a shame because they managed to sleepwalk to a 3-2 decision and may have been able to steal a point or two with an honest effort. And, that would've been a really sweet way to break up the pro-Bruins pep rally that NBCSN decided to throw on their airwaves tonight. Opportunity lost.

Halfway through segment three of the season the Lightning have only secured 4 points in 5 games. That means they'll have to win 4 of their next 5 just to have a successful 10 game segment to not dip into their insurance point stash. The team's struggles seem to have hit right about when Jake Dotchin went on IR, and my goodness did Dan Girardi stink out loud tonight, especially on the eventual GWG. Get well soon, young Jake.

Yanni Gourde had 2 hits in 10:23. I'm going to speculate his ice time got slashed because he's one of the ones who had a subpar effort level tonight.

Mikhail Sergachev had a helper and 2 penalty minutes with 2 hits in 16:30.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

AHL Game Night: 11-29-17 Crunch at Marlies

Crunch winning streak hits 4 games.

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Louis Domingue allowed 1 goal on 28 shots for the victory. He's been good since being acquired from the Arizona organization, and a .916 save percentage through 5 decisions has given the Crunch a solid backstop they can count on.

First Period
10:35 SYR DiDomenico (4), (Conacher, Bodie)

Second Period
9:00 SYR Lynch (5), (McNeill, Volkov)

Third Period
4:24 TOR Gauthier (1), (Liljegren, Dermott)(PP)
19:07 SYR Conacher (7), (McNeill)(EN)

Domingue and Kevin Lynch were the game's first and second stars.

Syracuse gets to 1 game under .500. You get the feeling once they crack even, they're primed to really make a run into playoff position.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

Juniors Game Night: 11-28-17

Western Hockey League

Saskatoon Blades 5 @ Tri-City Americans 2

D Libor Hajek, SAS: 0-1-1, +1, 0 PIM, 4 SOG
Season Totals: 25 GP, 7-13-20, -12, 22 PIM
’16-‘17 Totals: 65 GP: 4-22-26, -17, 81 PIM

Hajek setup Cameron Hebig (undrafted) for the Blades’ opening goal, a power play marker eight minutes into the game. Saskatoon got goals from five different players as the Blades scored early and often against the hometown Americans.

Victoria Royals 4 @ Moose Jaw Warriors 7

C Brett Howden, MJ: 1-3-4, +3, 0 PIM, 3 SOG, 18/29 FO
Season Totals: 18 GP, 11-17-28, +11, 18 PIM
’16-‘17 Totals: 58 GP, 38-43-81, +14, 73 PIM

D Oleg Sosunov, MJ: 0-1-1, +3, 2 PIM, 0 SOG
Season Totals: 26 GP, 6-6-12, +21, 32 PIM
’16-‘17 Totals (MHL-Russia): 32 GP, 0-0-0, +1, 79 PIM

Howden scored a goal and added three assists in the Warriors’ comeback victory over the visiting Royals. Victoria went up 3-2 early in the 2nd period, and then it was all Moose Jaw, scoring five of the next six goals. The Warriors were paced by Justin Almeida (undrafted), who notched a hat trick and led the Moose Jaw rally. Sosunov tag teamed with Howden, assisting on Jayden Halbgewachs’ goal.

NHL Game Night: 11-28-17 Lightning at Sabres

Release the kittens!

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Andrei Vasilevskiy had about as pedestrian a 34 save shutout as you can imagine. Buffalo was largely kept to the perimeter and had very few legit scoring chances all game. Vasiy surely deserved that defensive performance in front of him after having to play Superman against the Caps last time out.

First Period
16:29 TB Sergachev (6), (Johnson, Palat)(PP)

Second Period
12:08 TB Girardi (1), (Namestnikov, Kucherov)

Third Period
NO SCORING

Vasilevskiy, Mikhail Sergachev, and Victor Hedman were the game's three stars.

Kind of a boring game. Both teams played a fairly well structured defensive game so there weren't a ton of chances and certainly a paucity of odd man rushes, too. The Lightning did have the big possession advantage in the First Period that they turned into a power play and the eventual game winner. They also manufactured the insurance goal on a long shot through a tough screen by Stamkos in front. Both goals, really, were nothing flashy. Meat and potatoes shots through traffic that glanced off Buffalo defenders and in.

With all that said, it's a win the Lightning really needed to have. They now have 4 points through 4 games of this 10-game segment of the season, meaning they still need to collect 8 in the last 6 games to have a successful segment. Yes, the team has a ton of insurance points already banked if need be, but you don't want to dip into those. You want to stay on that .600 or better track the rest of the way. Steady does it.

Slater Koekkoek had 2 shots and 2 hits in 9:42. Looked nice and active again in the First Period. Got nailed to the bench the rest of the way for some reason.

Yanni Gourde had 2 shots and 2 hits in 19:53.

Sergachev had a goal and 1 shot in 12:38.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

Juniors Game Night: 11-26-17

Quebec Major Junior Hockey League

Halifax Mooseheads 4 @ Acadie-Bathurst Titan 5

C/W Otto Somppi, HAL: 2-1-3, +2, 0 PIM, 4 SOG, 8/25 FO
Season Totals: 19 GP, 10-16-26, +20, 14 PIM
’16-’17 Totals: 60 GP, 17-24-41, -7, 28 PIM

Somppi broke a 2-2 deadlock in the 2nd period with a power-play marker and added another goal early in the 3rd to stretch the Mooseheads lead to 4-2. The Titan then got three straight goals to pull out the rally and hand Halifax the heartbreaker.

Ontario Hockey League

Barrie Colts 3 @ North Bay Battalion 2

W Alexey Lipanov, BAR: 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 0 SOG, 7/16 FO
Season Totals: 22 GP, 9-12-21, +6, 2 PIM
‘16-‘17 Totals (VHL-Russia): 21 GP, 3-5-8, +5, 8 PIM

Lipanov was held pointless for the first time since returning to the Colts lineup, but Leo Lazarev (undrafted) stopped 33 Battalion shots and Barrie got goals from three different players to grit out road win in North Bay.

NCAA Game Night: 11-25-17

Vermont Catamounts 2 @ Dartmouth Big Green 1 (OT)

C Ross Colton, UVM: 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 3 SOG
Season Totals: 13 GP, 8-0-8, -6, 18 PIM
’16-‘17 Totals: 33 GP, 12-15-27, E, 22 PIM

Colton was back in the Catamounts’ lineup, but was scoreless in their OT win over Dartmouth.

No. 18 Boston University Terriers 3 @ Cornell Big Red 4

D John MacLeod, BU: Did not play
Season Totals: 5 GP, 0-1-1, -4, 4 PIM
’17-’18 Totals Totals: 36 GP, 2-5-7, +8, 30 PIM

MacLeod was scratched.

Northern Michigan Wildcats 1 @ Nebraska-Omaha Mavericks 4

D Kristian Oldham, UNO: Did not play (backup)
Season Totals: 4 GP, 0-1-1, 3.45 GAA, .882 sv%, 0 SO
’16-‘17 Totals: 10 GP, 5-3-1, 3.38 GAA, .895 sv%, 0 SO

Oldham sat backup.

No. 6 Minnesota Golden Gophers 2 @ No. 4 Notre Dame Fighting Irish 5

D Ryan Zuhlsdorf, UMN: 0-0-0, -1, 2 PIM, 2 SOG
Season Totals: 16 GP, 0-6-6, +1, 26 PIM
’16-‘17 Totals: 37 GP, 2-3-5, +11, 35 PIM

Notre Dame swept its weekend series with Minnesota, winning 1-0 and 5-2.

*USCHO poll used for rankings

Juniors Game Night: 11-25-17

Quebec Major Junior Hockey League

Halifax Mooseheads 7 @ Saint John Sea Dogs 1

C/W Otto Somppi, HAL: 0-0-0, E, 2 PIM, 1 SOG, 9/14 FO
Season Totals: 18 GP, 8-15-23, +18, 14 PIM
’16-’17 Totals: 60 GP, 17-24-41, -7, 28 PIM

The Mooseheads put up a touchdown on the Sea Dogs behind an Arnaud Durandeau (Islanders 2017 6th round pick) hat trick.

Ontario Hockey League

Peterborough Petes 3 @ Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds 8

W Boris Katchouk, SSM: 0-1-1, +1, 0 PIM, 2 SOG, 0/1 FO
Season Totals: 25 GP, 22-17-39, +25, 8 PIM
’16-’17 Season: 66 GP, 35-29-64, +18, 46 PIM

W/C Christopher Paquette, PBO: 0-0-0, -2, 0 PIM, 1 SOG, 2/4 FO
Season Totals: 22 GP, 8-2-10, -13, 4 PIM
’16-‘17 Totals (NIA/PBO): 66 GP, 19-29-48, +1, 28 PIM

The Greyhounds put up a snowman for the second straight game, this time against the Petes. Sault Ste. Marie was paced by the two goal, three point performance of Jack Kopacka (Ducks 2016 4th round pick). It was a quiet night for Katchouk, who notched just a single assist.

Oshawa Generals 7 @ Barrie Colts 3

W Alexey Lipanov, BAR: 1-2-3, E, 0 PIM, 3 SOG, 4/13 FO, *Third Star*
Season Totals: 21 GP, 9-12-21, +6, 2 PIM
‘16-‘17 Totals (VHL-Russia): 21 GP, 3-5-8, +5, 8 PIM

The Generals pasted a touchdown on the Colts behind possible 2018 1st rounder Serron Noel’s three point night. Lipanov (pictured) had a hand in all three Colts goals, scoring a power play marker and notching the primary assists on two 3rd period scores. Lipanov has 4 points in two games after after returning to the lineup after missing a couple of games.

Sarnia Sting 4 @ Erie Otters 3

W Taylor Raddysh, ER: 2-0-2, E, 0 PIM, 6 SOG, 5/5 FO, *Third Star*
Season Totals: 24 GP, 13-22-35, +15, 16 PIM
‘16-‘17 Totals: 58 GP, 42-67-109, +67, 37 PIM

Raddysh scored twice for the Otters, a 2-1 go-ahead power play marker and the 3-3 equalizer late in the 3rd. But Swede Hugo Leufvenius (2018 draft eligible) scored the game-winner for the Sting just 45 seconds after Raddysh’s 2nd goal.

Western Hockey League

Medicine Hat Tigers 0 @ Kelowna Rockets 4

D Cal Foote, KEL: 0-0-0, +3, 0 PIM, 0 SOG
Season Totals: 25 GP, 5-18-23, +8, 20 PIM
‘15-‘16 Totals: 71 GP, 6-51-57, +39, 41 PIM

Fresh from the BC Major Midgets and the World U17 Hockey Challenge, Kelowna’s 16 year old netminder Roman Basran pitched a 38 save 4-0 shutout against Medicine Hat. Foote was on the ice for three of the Rockets’ four goals.

Prince Albert Raiders 3 @ Moose Jaw Warriors 2 (SO)

C Brett Howden, MJ: 0-0-0, +1, 0 PIM, 4 SOG, 11/26 FO
Season Totals: 17 GP, 10-14-24, +8, 18 PIM
’16-‘17 Totals: 58 GP, 38-43-81, +14, 73 PIM

D Oleg Sosunov, MJ: 0-0-0, -2, 0 PIM, 2 SOG
Season Totals: 25 GP, 6-5-11, +18, 32 PIM
’16-‘17 Totals (MHL-Russia): 32 GP, 0-0-0, +1, 79 PIM

Curtis Meger (undrafted) stopped 31 Moose Jaw shots and three more in the shootout, including Brett Howden to lead the Raiders to a 3-2 victory. Prince Albert was paced by Jordy Stallard (Jets 2016 5th round pick), who scored the Raiders’ first goal, and converted their only shootout goal to seal the win..

United States Hockey League

Sioux City Musketeers 4 @ Dubuque Fighting Saints 5

C Cole Guttman, DBQ: 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 0 SOG
Season Totals: 15 GP, 5-5-10, -1, 21 PIM
’16-‘17 Totals: 53 GP, 27-27-54, +21, 18 PIM
Committed to: University of Denver

RW Sammy Walker, SC: Did Not Play, High School
Season Totals (SC): 4 GP, 0-0-0, -3, 4 PIM
Season Totals (Edina-HS): 2 GP, 0-4-4, 0 PIM
Season Totals (UMHSEHL): 20 GP, 16-25-41, 14 PIM
’16-‘17 Totals (Edina-HS): 25 GP, 22-24-46, 6 PIM
Committed to: University of Minnesota

Clarkson University commit Adam Tisdale (undrafted) bagged a hat trick to lead the Fighting Saints to a 5-4 win over the Musketeers.

Note: Sammy Walker has returned to Edina High School for the fall/winter season.

Team USA 1 @ Omaha Lancers 6

D Nick Perbix , OMA: 0-1-1, +1, 2 PIM, 1 SOG
Season Totals: 15 GP, 0-6-6, +5, 8 PIM
’16-‘17 Totals (HS): 25 GP, 10-30-40, 6 PIM
Committed to: St. Cloud State University

Perbix notched a power play assist on the Lancers’ 6th goal as Omaha easily handled the NDTP Team USA squad.

NHL Game Night: 11-25-17 Lightning at Penguins

Lightning fall to schedule, refs, and Pens. Maybe not in that order.

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Petr Budaj allowed 5 goals on 34 shots for the loss. Maybe you can quibble about the 5th goal, but I can't get too mad at the guy when he's facing breakaways and 5-on-3 power plays all night. That said, the past two games illustrate the gap between Budaj and Vasilevskiy pretty vividly.

First Period
14:36 PIT Rust (3), (Jarry)(SH)
18:03 PIT Kessel (10), (Crosby, Hornqvist)(PP)
19:26 PIT Crosby (8), (Kessel, Schultz)(PP)

Second Period
2:22 PIT Kessel (11), (Sheahan)
6:52 TB Palat (7), (Sergachev, Gourde)(PP)

Third Period
4:41 PIT Crosby (9), (Kessel, Schultz)(PP)
13:54 TB Conacher (1), (Killorn, Johnson)

Glass half empty: the Lightning have suddenly lost 3 of their last 4 games and lose back-to-back games in regulation for the first time in this campaign. Offensive chances that were being potted efficiently in the first 20 games of the season are suddenly not going in and the Lightning defense, with Dotchin out at the pairings scrambled, hasn't been good enough to compensate.

Glass half full: this might've been considered a schedule loss from the word "jump". Back-to-back playing against Washington and Pittsburgh, two of the league's best teams, with Budaj slated to go in net? Tough spot. The Lightning actually played better than the score indicates and dominated most of the First Period until they overplayed their hand on the backside of a four minute minor leading to Rust's shorthanded goal. Pittsburgh then got the benefit of... look, everybody knows the Pens get some ridiculously soft calls in their favor and the Pens got gifted a couple of extended 5-on-3 power plays tonight. I'm not going to tell you the Lightning deserved to win this one, although they led in scoring chances for much of the night. What I will tell you is the zebras may have robbed the Lightning of a chance to compete and at least have a chance to steal a road point or two.

Slater Koekkoek had 3 shots in 16:19. I thought he played a pretty strong game supporting the play in the offensive zone and he got some nice IT in garbage time.

Yanni Gourde had a helper and was -1 with 1 shot and 1 hit in 14:28. Wish he'd get himself more shots.

Mikhail Sergachev had a helper and was -1 with 2 penalty minutes, 2 shots, 1 hit, and 2 blocked shots in 17:17. Like Koekkoek, he was strong in the offensive zone supporting the play and on the power play he plunked his hard wrister off Palat and into the back of the net for an apple.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

AHL Game Night: 11-25-17 Crunch at Penguins

Streaking Crunch run it to 3 in a row.

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Connor Ingram allowed 3 goals on 33 shots for the victory.

First Period
1:39 SYR Walcott (1), (Verhaeghe, Cernak)
2:58 WBS Tiffels (1), (Quinney, Johnson)
7:39 WBS Blueger (3), (Haggerty, Johnson)
17:28 SYR Verhaeghe (3), (Bodie, McBain)(PP)

Second Period
10:56 SYR Bournival (7), (unassisted)(SH)
16:50 SYR Peca (2), (Erne)

Third Period
7:15 WBS Corrado (2), (Simon, Thomas)

Carter Verhaeghe and Matthew Peca were the game's first and second stars. After going 19 games without a goal, Peca now has a goal in two of his last three tilts. He also has a gaudy 6 points over that three game span.

Syracuse moves to 2 games under .500 with the victory. If they can get their record back to level, then the push to get back into playoff contention can begin.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

NCAA Game Night: 11-24-17

UConn Huskies 4 @ Vermont Catamounts 1 (Tuesday)

C Ross Colton, UVM: Did not play
Season Totals: 12 GP, 8-0-8, -6, 18 PIM
’16-‘17 Totals: 33 GP, 12-15-27, E, 22 PIM

Colton was not in the lineup for a rare Tuesday college game. There was nothing in the game notes about an injury. Perhaps he was ill.

Northern Michigan Wildcats 3 @ Nebraska-Omaha Mavericks 4

D Kristian Oldham, UNO: Did not play (backup)
Season Totals: 4 GP, 0-1-1, 3.45 GAA, .882 sv%, 0 SO
’16-‘17 Totals: 10 GP, 5-3-1, 3.38 GAA, .895 sv%, 0 SO

Oldham sat backup Friday.

No. 6 Minnesota Golden Gophers 0 @ No. 4 Notre Dame Fighting Irish 1

D Ryan Zuhlsdorf, UMN: 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 4 SOG
Season Totals: 15 GP, 0-6-6, +2, 24 PIM
’16-‘17 Totals: 37 GP, 2-3-5, +11, 35 PIM

The Irish improved to 5-0 in the Big 10 (11-3-1 overall) with a shutout win over the Gophers Friday. Colorado native Cale Morris (undrafted) stopped 44 shots for the shutout – his third of the season.

*USCHO poll used for rankings

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