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Quick Strikes: Julien BriseBois signs goalie Atte Tolvanen to an AHL contract

A quick summary of the goalie pipeline, and more.

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The Headlines

Here’s some Tampa Bay Lightning goalie system news. Yesterday must’ve been an interesting day at the War Memorial. The Syracuse Crunch had goaltender Connor Ingram up for a hot second after news emerged that Martin Ouellette needed surgery for his fractured tibia and fibula. Then, after Ingram flew to Syracuse, he met briefly with Julian BriseBoise. Immediately after the meeting, Ingram was sent back to the Orlando Solar Bears, and a press release hit our mailbox saying that Northern Michigan University’s Atte Tolvanen was signed to an AHL contract.

First, the good news, Martin Ouellette’s surgery was successful, although he’ll likely remain out for the rest of the season and an undetermined amount of time after that.

Second, the weird news. This comes from writer Lindsay Kramer, who apparently doesn’t know how good goaltenders have it in Orlando. (Just ask Garret Sparks!) [Syracuse.com]

Ingram, a second-year pro, was demoted to Orlando a little more than two weeks ago for what the team termed an internal matter. He was recalled earlier this week when backup goalie Martin Ouellette suffered a season-ending leg injury against Charlotte on Wednesday.

BriseBois said he intended to go to St. Louis on Friday but instead swung through Syracuse to try to clear the air with Ingram. Without going into further details, BriseBois said it became apparent by the end of that meeting that it would be better off for everyone if Ingram returned to the Solar Bears for the rest of the season.

Third, the who is that?? news. Who is Atte Tolvanen? He’s an undrafted Northern Michigan University goaltender who is part of a Finnish hockey family including brothers Joona (a defender who currently plays in Poland) and Eeli (a forward for the Milwaukee Admirals). He is 24 years old, 6’0, and 187 lbs, and once scored a goal against Michigan Tech in a tense rivalry match. He also won the WCHA goalie of the year award for his record, 21-16-2 with five shut-outs.

Writer GeoFitz has this to say about him:

This is an audition for an NCAA goalie. It gives the team an opportunity to evaluate him up close. By signing him to an AHL contract instead of an ATO, they have more control over him for the rest of the year. If they like him, they could sign him to an ELC to be a back up next year in Syracuse or be an ECHL goalie.

Sounds like a fair bet and a breath of fresh air after the cloud of uncertainty around the backup position in Syracuse.

Other News

There was a game last night where the Tampa Bay Lightning dug themselves a 3-goal deficit in the first and couldn’t quite dig their way out of it. Read the full recap here.

Just as they have most games this season, the Bolts played well enough to win tonight. But one minute of dominance for St. Louis in the first period was enough to keep them from leaving with any points.

The Blues are one of the best teams in the Western Conference and they showed that tonight keeping pace with the Lightning for all 60 minutes. Tampa fans will point to the offside review as the reason for the loss. And it certainly played a huge part. But this was a close enough game that any number of moments could have been the difference.

During this game, Brayden Point scored his 40th goal of the season, making our team amazing and Point even more amazing.

The Syracuse Crunch also had a game, and Alex Barre-Boulet set a franchise record.

And Daniel Walcott was on the ice, making his season debut in Syracuse! The fans in Syracuse, as expected, were thrilled to have one of their favorite players back. And he appreciated the reception.

In this game, Ryan Lohin also made his debut. We wrote about him over here.

Next week, some fun things are happening in Syracuse:

And last but not least, this is mesmerizing:

And that’s what I have for today. Have a good Sunday, folks!