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Lightning Round: Tampa Bay’s prospects Cole Guttman and McKade Webster won the NCAA men’s hockey title

Auston Matthews became the first player since Mario Lemieux in 1995-96 to score 50 goals in 50 games

2022 NCAA Division I Men’s Ice Hockey Championship Photo by Richard T Gagnon/Getty Images

The Tampa Bay Lightning’s prospects Cole Guttman and McKade Webster have won the NCAA Division I men’s hockey championship after the Denver Pioneers beat Minnesota State 5-1 in the championship game at TD Garden, Boston last night. With the ninth title in their history, the Pioneers have tied Michigan’s NCAA team for the most titles ever.

Cole Guttman was drafted in 2017 as a 180th overall pick. He spent four previous seasons playing for the University of Denver, scoring his career high in the NCAA this season — 45 (19+26) points in 40 games. Guttman hasn’t been signed by the Lightning yet, however the organization has time until only August 15 before losing his rights. The 23-year-old forward finished his senior season and will potentially join the Syracuse Crunch for the next season. Guttman made our Top 25 Under 25 list in 2020 at 22nd place and the honorable mentions in 2021 [Raw Charge]

Guttman is entering his fourth season with the Denver Pioneers after a decent but not great season last year. That was pretty much in keeping with the rest of the Pioneers, who struggled to meet their pre-season expectations. The 22 points Guttman put up did lead the Denver hockey squad so he will be expected to pace the team again this season. Five of the eight goals he scored were on the power play, which shows he is opportunistic, but it would be nice if he pumped up his even strength scoring as well.

McKade Webster was drafted as a seventh round pick in 2019 by the Lightning from the Green Bay Gamblers of the USHL. He spent two previous seasons with Denver, scoring 14 (6+8) points in 38 games this year. Unlike Guttman, the 21-year-old Webster will likely remain in the NCAA for the next season as the Lightning have time until 2024 to sign him.

On their path to the championship, the Pioneers defeated another Lightning prospect, Dylan Duke, and his Michigan 3-2 in the Frozen Four semifinals. Yet another Lightning’s prospect Sammy Walker and the Minnesota Golden Gophers had been eliminated in another semifinal by the Minnesota State. Another notable player is Denver’s goaltender Magnus Chrona, a former Lightning’s draft selection, whose rights were traded to the San Jose Sharks in exchange for defenceman Fredrik Claesson one year ago.

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The Syracuse Crunch continued their successful weekend with 1-0 win against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. Gemel Smith scored the only goal of the game, Max Lagace recorded his third shutout of the season.

Hockey News

A total of 12 games were played in the NHL last night.

For the first time since April 6, 1989 the scoring in the NHL were higher than in the MLB in a single day.

After scoring twice against the Montreal Canadiens, Auston Matthews became the first player since Mario Lemieux in 1995-96 to score 50 goals in 50 games. He’s also two goals away to become the first player since Steven Stamkos in 2011-12 to score 60 goals in a single season.

The Toronto Maple Leafs clinched a playoff berth on Saturday night.

The New York Rangers have also clinched their playoff spot after defeating the Ottawa Senators 5-1.

The Florida Panthers have won their seven straight game, holding their lead in the Atlantic Division. Jonathan Huberdeau extended his point streak to 11 games.

The Colorado Avalanche tied their franchise record for most wins in a single season with 52 of them after beating the Edmonton Oilers.

Max Pacioretty scored in his return, helping his team to beat the Arizona Coyotes and return into a wild card spot.

The Detroit Red Wings have been officially eliminated from the playoff contention for the sixth consecutive season.