Jacksonville Sports Day

HOCKEY: Tampa Bay to Host Girls’ Hockey Clinics; Lightning, Panthers Signings

Danick Martel

Girls’ hockey will take center stage on Friday, Aug. 16 when the Tampa Bay Lightning and the National Women’s Hockey League team up to host street hockey and on-ice clinics at the Brandon Ice Sports Forum.

Hosting the clinics is Lightning Made, the Lightning Community Hockey Department that is growing the game at all ages, genders, and levels.

The NWHL will be represented at both clinics by a pair of players serving as guest coaches: Taylor Accursi, a member of the Buffalo Beauts who played collegiately at Mercyhurst; and Mallory Souliotis, a defender out of Yale who is entering her second season with the Boston Pride.

The street hockey clinic will begin at 6 pm and the on-ice session is set for 7:45 pm.

The street hockey clinic is free of charge and will be a great opportunity for girls who are newcomers to the game to learn from the pros. The NWHL coaches and Lightning Made staff will teach participants stickhandling, shooting, passing, and other basic hockey skills. The clinic will end with a scrimmage, and every girl will go home with their very own stick and ball and a ticket voucher to a Lightning hockey game. Equipment will be provided.

The later session will give girls’ hockey players a chance to get on the ice with Accursi and Souliotis. The pros will impart their knowledge and experience through skill-based drills and games, promoting development and fun.

“I’m very proud and excited to bring a dose of NWHL hockey to the girls of the Tampa Bay community,” said Souliotis. “The Lightning have done great work advancing our sport in their region. I can’t wait to play some street and ice hockey with all the young players. It will be a lot of fun!”

The Lightning will continue its girls’ hockey celebration with a full-day event on Saturday at the RDV Ice Den in Orlando. Accursi and Souliotis will also be present for Saturday’s activities.

The NWHL’s participation in these efforts to advance girls’ and women’s hockey in Tampa Bay are part of the Jr. NWHL Summer Clinic Series, a slate of youth hockey events coming to a number of cities across the U.S. this summer.

TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING NOTES: Tampa Bay has re-signed forward Danick Martel to a one-year, two-way contract. Martel, 5-foot-8, 176 pounds, played in nine games with the Lightning last season, recording two assists.  He also skated in four games for Tampa Bay’s top affiliate, the Syracuse Crunch, and recorded one assist.  Martel was claimed off waivers by the Bolts from the Philadelphia Flyers on September 22, 2018. The Drummondville, Quebec native has played in 13 career NHL games between the Lightning and the Flyers, recording two assists.  He has also appeared in 203 career AHL games with the Crunch and the Lehigh Valley Phantoms, notching 68 goals and 121 points with a plus-19 rating.  Martel has also skated in 18 career Calder Cup Playoff games, all with the Phantoms, and registered five goals with nine points.  Martel, 24, was originally undrafted and was signed by Philadelphia as a free agent on March 10, 2015. The Lightning also signed free agent forward Gemel Smith to a one-year, two-way contract. Smith, 5-foot-11, 195 pounds, played in 17 games last season with the Dallas Stars and Boston Bruins, recording two goals and three points.   Tampa Bay re-signed forward Cedric Paquette to a two-year contract… and forward Carter Verhaeghe to a one-year, two-way contract….goaltenders Scott Wedgewood and Spencer Martin, as well as forward Chris Mueller, have been inked to one-year, two-way deals.

FLORIDA PANTHERS NOTES: The club has agreed to terms with goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky on a seven-year contract. Bobrovsky, 30, appeared in 62 games with the Columbus Blue Jackets, posting a 37-24-1 record, .913 save percentage, 2.58 goals against average and a league-leading, career-best nine shutouts. In the postseason, the 6-foot-2, 182-pound native of Novokuznetsk, Russia, played in all 10 of Columbus’ playoff games, owning six wins, a .925 save percentage and 2.41 goals against average. The All-Star netminder is a two-time recipient of the Vezina Trophy (2012-13, 2016-17), awarded annually to the NHL goaltender who is “adjudged to be the best at his position”. In 2016-17, Bobrovsky owned a league-best .931 save percentage and career-best 41 wins. In each of his last two seasons, Bobrovsky has registered 37 wins.  “I am very excited to join the Panthers organization. It’s a big day for me and my family. I am looking forward to performing for Panthers fans! I want to thank Owner Vincent Viola, President Matt Caldwell, GM Dale Tallon and Coach Q for trusting me and giving me an opportunity to win the Cup with them in South Florida. I can’t wait to put the Panthers uniform on and start winning!” The Panthers also agreed to terms with forward Joel Lowry and goaltender Philippe Desrosiers on one-year, two-way contracts as well as defenseman Tommy Cross and defenseman Ethan Prow.


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