Thunder’s Back!

By on September 24, 2014
(53) Luke Witkowski, here last year in the pre-season vs. Nashville, last night was a goal short of the proverbial Gordie Howe hat-trick by inking an assist and fight on the score-sheet. (photo Jeff Griffith-USA TODAY Sports)

(53) Luke Witkowski, here last year in the pre-season vs. Nashville, last night was a goal short of the proverbial Gordie Howe hat-trick by inking an assist and fight on the score-sheet. (photo Jeff Griffith-USA TODAY Sports)

Tampa, Fla. — It was a light but excited crowd on hand at the new Amalie Arena in downtown Tampa last night.   We can only hope they brought a Russian name translation manual. Many curious Lightning fans came to see some of the Bolts prospects up close.

Young goalie prospect Andrei Vasilevskiy did not disappoint making 28 saves and  the Lightning came out on top with a 4-2 win over the Nashville Predators.   Although it was only the first pre-season game, the fans that attended got quite a show!  A pair of goals by #42 Jonathan Marchessault  with both assists coming from #90 Vladislav Namestnikov.

Also lighting the lamp for the Bolts were #86 Nikita Kucherov with assist from #90 Vladislav Namestinkov and #42 Jonathan Marchessault.  The Lightning got a goal when veteran Valtteri Filppula got the puck in front and the Nashville net-minder deflected it away.  But the puck went right on the tape of #8 Mark Barberio who blasted a slapshot  with 14 minutes gone in the third.  The secondary assist was to #53 Luke Witkowski, who was just a goal away from a Gordie Howe hat-trick.  

We were also treated to a full rounded good old fashioned hockey fight, sticks down, gloves off when Bolts prospect #53 Luke Witkowski, who just might become a Rocket Sports & Entertainment fan favorite,  squared up with Predators prospect #75 Jonathan-Ismael Diaby at 11:57 into the second period.  

Unfortunately, with 26 seconds left to play in the second period #77 Linesman Tim Nowak went down in front of the Lightning bench, and had to be helped off the ice.  The remaining 26 seconds of the second period were continued after intermission.   The Lightning came out victorious 4-2 over the Predators with 35 shots on goal!

It looks like we have a lot to be excited about Tampa, our Bolts are back in full swing, lighting the lamp, blocking shots, checking hard and dropping the gloves.  So come out to the Amalie Arena formerly known as the Tampa Bay TimesForum and “Be the Thunder!”   The puck drops at home again on Friday September 26th at 7:30 against the Dallas Stars!!!

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