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Quick Strikes: USA beats Canada for their first hockey gold in 20 years

And the Lightning make a quick visit to Syracuse!

Olympics: Ice Hockey-Women Team Final - USA-CAN
United States players celebrate after defeating Canada in the women’s ice hockey gold medal match during the Pyeongchang 2018 Olympic Winter Games at Gangneung Hockey Centre.
David E. Klutho-USA TODAY Sports

The Bolts

The Tampa Bay Lightning and Ottawa Senators seem to have found a loophole in the CBA. Both teams were able to send down players who required waivers without them ever clearing waivers. The rule is that if you are re-claiming a player off waivers, you get to send him down to the AHL directly.

The Ottawa Senators were able to claim and send down Chris DiDomenico after he was claimed by the Lightning shortly before he was waived and re-claimed by the Senators. Wednesday, the Lightning did the same thing with Gabriel Dumont. Dumont will report to the Syracuse Crunch. [Raw Charge]

Initially brought in to be a depth scorer for Ottawa, in 23 games with the Senators Dumont scored 1G/1A, and will likely be an excellent addition to the Crunch lineup for their push toward playoffs. In last season’s playoff run, Dumont wore the Crunch “A”, and scored 5G/6A for 11 points in 22 playoff games.

Erik Karlsson and the Tampa Bay Lightning have been flirting for a very long time now and it’s gotten to the point where everyone is telling them to just hook up already. [NESN]

Who are three players who might find themselves leaving Tampa Bay by the NHL Trade Deadline? [The Hockey Writers]

Normally one would not Yzerman to move depth players at the deadline, but even a small trade would change the landscape of the team in a hurry. For example, the Lightning have carried eight defensemen on their roster for the majority of the season. If they trade for a defenseman, they would need to either move or waive one of their current players to make room.

The renaissance of Ryan Callahan has been fun to watch, his confidence hasn’t been higher in some time. [Tampa Bay Times]

“It’s not necessarily getting points. It’s just getting feels for thepuck helps your confidence tremendously,” Callahan said. “That confidence is back to where I can make plays with the puck and make those plays that maybe earlier in the year weren’t happening for me.”

The Prospects

The Lightning were on their way to Ottawa when their plane had to make an emergency landing due to fog. Where did they park for the night? Syracuse! [Tampa Bay Times] [Syracuse]

But this had a feel-good story to it. There were 17 players and coaches who have spent time with the Crunch in their career, with several checking out their favorite local haunts. Cooper went to the Crunch’s arena War Memorial to catch up with some old co-workers.

With Dumont and Matthew Peca being assigned to the Crunch, the team all of a sudden has two stars for their playoff push. [Syracuse]

Peca had been with the Lightning and was re-assigned to Syracuse. He has played in 42 games with Syracuse this season, registering eight goals and 31 points.

Dumont was claimed by the Lightning off waivers from Ottawa. Earlier this season, the Senators claimed Dumont from Tampa Bay when the Lightning tried to assign him to Syracuse.

Peca’s impact was felt almost immediately as the 24-year-old scored in Syracuse’s 2-1 win over Rochester. [Syracuse]

Carter Verhaeghe led the Crunch with a two-point performance, while Mitchell Stephens and Matthew Peca potted the team’s goals. The win advances Syracuse to 31-18-2-3 on the season and moves the Crunch into third in the North Division, ahead of the Amerks.

The Crunch take four points out of a possible six in another (mostly) successful week. The goalies have especially come up big, being the difference in three close games. [NHL dot com]

Syracuse won two of three road games in Week 20. The Crunch improved to 30-18-2-3 to keep pace in the North Division playoff race. They are in fourth place with 65 points, but trail Rochester by one point and Utica by three.

Lightning goalie prospect Connor Ingram is a perfectionist (that’s a good thing). [Auburn Pub]

“It went right to left, I slid in and missed my post on the left side and it was a wide open net. You’ve got to do whatever you can to get there, and luckily he just shot it right into my stick,” Ingram said. “I’m not going to take credit for it. It’s a pretty fluky thing that’ll happen.”

The Game

The United States (FINALLY!) beat Team Canada for the gold medal in women’s hockey. The game was close the entire way but the USA eventually triumphed in the shootout. [Play-by-play: Pension Plan Puppets] [Post-game: ESPN]

Jocelyne Lamoureux: scores

Meghan Agosta: stopped

The USA takes gold 20 years from their last Olympic gold.

“I can’t put it into words,” defenseman Kacey Bellamy said. “This whole year is for everyone that came before us. This is for Julie Chu (former USA team captain) and for all our families at home, the schools that we went to, everyone supporting us.”

New Jersey is an underrated playoff team, Taylor Hall might by the most underrated Hart candidate, and Nico Hischier is the most underrated Calder trophy candidate despite his great season. What I’m saying is everything is underrated in the garden state. [All About the Jersey]

Nico Hischier was the #1 overall pick and given how much he has outperformed what was his main competition at that pick, Nolan Patrick (6G, 9A), he’s not been a disappointment by anyone’s reckoning. However, with linemate Taylor Hall getting Hart buzz in the twittersphere, and several rookies having extremely impressive showings in 2017-18 so far, Hischier has gone largely overlooked in just how great his season has been.

The Montreal Canadiens made a trade, selling on... Jakub Jerabek? Okay. Jerabek is now a Washington Capital for the low low price of a 2019 fifth-round pick. [Habs Eyes on the Prize]

The 26-year-old was in his first season in North America after coming over this summer from the KHL. He played 25 games in the NHL, scoring one goal and adding three assists. He played in 17 games with the AHL’s Laval Rocket scoring one goal and adding 10 assists.

He has been a healthy scratch lately, and it became clear that the Canadiens would rather pick up something for him as he was drawing some interest around the league.

The Arizona Coyotes traded Tobias Reider and Scott Wedgewood to the Los Angeles Kings in exchange for Darcy Kuepmer. Kuemper — a pending UFA — also signed a two-year extension with the Yotes. [Jewels from the Crown]

First, let’s talk about the guy LA is losing. With plenty of options available over the summer, the Kings opted for one of several low-cost, medium-risk, medium-reward options rather than splurging for Ryan Miller, Jonathan Bernier, or another former starter. Except Kuemper, like Ben Scrivens before him, turned into a high-reward option, putting up a .932 save percentage in 19 games behind Quick.

Highlight of the Night: the gold medal winning goal.