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Quick Strikes: Carter Verhaeghe wins AHL scoring title for Syracuse Crunch

Meanwhile in the NHL, everything is dark.

Carter Verhaeghe
Credit: Christian Bonin -

The Bolts

The Tampa Bay Lightning are down 3-0 in their first-round playoff series to the eighth-seed Columbus Blue Jackets. There’s nothing good to say about any of this. Nikita Kucherov will be back for game four on Tuesday night, but the odds of a 3-0 series comeback (especially with the way the team is playing) doesn’t seem likely. [Raw Charge]

Everybody ropes, everybody rides. That was the mantra the Lightning adopted in the locker room entering this series. The meaning alluding to everyone on the team buying in and doing all the little things right. A saying that has only embodied the Tampa Bay Lightning for two periods this series.

It’s been bad.

For everyone.

The Prospects

On the bright side, the Syracuse Crunch are doing great. They won the North Division and will play the Cleveland Monsters in the first round, a best of five series.

And 23-year-old center prospect Carter Verhaeghe (stolen from Toronto via the Islanders) won the AHL scoring title, putting up 34 goals, 48 assists, for 82 points in 76 games. Verhaeghe was also second in 5v5 points on the season.

Verhaeghe and 21-year-old QMJHL free agent teammate Alex Barre-Boulet also shared the league lead in goal-scoring. [The AHL]

Verhaeghe and Barre-Boulet each tallied 34 goals to earn the Willie Marshall Award; they join Tyler Johnson (2012-13) as the only Crunch skaters ever to lead the AHL in goal-scoring. Named to the AHL All-Rookie Team earlier this week, Barre-Boulet finished the season with 68 points in 74 games, good for first among all league rookies. The 21-year-old native of Montmagny, Que., signed as a free agent with Tampa Bay on Mar. 1, 2018.

The Game

In other hockey news, the Women’s World Championships in Espoo, Finland had their final yesterday, and dramatic is the nicest way of putting how the final went. Basically, home team Finland won their first ever championship in overtime... Until the referees called it back. Team USA “won” in a shootout. For full details of the shenanigans and what exactly happened, check out a recap of the game put together by our sister site at Pension Plan Puppets. [Pension Plan Puppets]

To only add confusion, Team USA also apparently took a penalty on that play, although at first nobody knows why or when—eventually turns out it was on Alex Rigsby for tripping, which is utterly bewildering in every way. If the goal wasn’t good due to goalie interference, Finland should be getting the penalty, but if it was a tripping call on Rigsby I’m genuinely bewildered at what the rationale is for waving off a game-winning goal. The Finns are absolutely livid, and understandably so—I am too.