9/29 Recap: Budik bats in winner; Luukkonen wins

We've talked in the past about Vojtech Budik becoming a more assertive skater, and the need to show it more in his contract year. Sometimes, it takes an overtime session to force the issue.

Budik jumped up into the play Friday and scored the game-winning goal to thrust Prince Albert to a 6-5 victory over Calgary.

The marker is Budik's first of the year in his third contest. It's his fifth career goal in 129 Western Hockey League games, and his second-ever game-winner. It's the first overtime goal of his career.

There are differences in opinion regarding Budik's expectations as he continues his development at the junior level. All camp long, he has been preaching his need to be a stay-at-home defenseman who relies on a crisp first pass out of the zone and getting shots off when the play flows up ice.

The extra space in overtime allows him to skate more. Some, like myself, are hoping that trait emerges more at even-strength as he logs a heavy dose of minutes this season on the Raiders blueline.

In Finland, Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen earned the start for LeKi in the Mestis season opener, stopping 27 of 29 shots to backstop a 4-2 victory over Peliitat. The calm, poised 18-year-old netminder is expected to play a lot of minutes at a good level of play this season. He's off to a nice start.

Elsewhere, Brandon Hagel posted one assist and a shootout miss as Red Deer got past Brandon 5-4. Hagel now has points in all three games this season for a total of three goals and three helpers.

Cliff Pu finished with four shots on goal and a minus-1 rating as London was blanked by Kingston 5-0 for their first shutout loss since Dec. 5, 2014. Pu, who centered a line with Max Jones (ANA) and Robert Thomas (STL), got off to a hot start a season ago with nine points in his first five games, but so far has garnered just two assists in his first three appearances with the Knights this season.

Austin Osmanski logged a minus-1 rating with one shot on goal as Mississauga lost to Hamilton 2-0.

In the QMJHL, Vasily Glotov notched four shots on goal as Shawinigan dropped a 3-1 decision to Quebec. After getting a pair of assists in the first 15 minutes of the season opener, Glotov has since been shutout in his last 11 periods.

In AHL preseason action, CJ Smith scored in overtime to propel Rochester to a 3-2 victory over Toronto. Hudson Fasching and Kyle Criscuolo scored regulation markers for the Amerks, while Adam Wilcox (13 saves/13 shots) and Jonas Johansson (9 saves, 11 saves) split the goaltending duties. Casey Nelson produced a game-high nine shots on goal.

Next Post »