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Lightning Prospect Performer of the Week

by Jamie Kelly / Tampa Bay Lightning

Brett Connolly, the Lightning’s first-round pick, 6th overall, of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, is the Lightning Prospect Performer of the Week for the period ending November 18.

The high-flying, right-winger from Campbell River, British Columbia, has been steadily improving week-by-week in the American Hockey League and this week proved to be his best yet as he was the Crunch’s most consistent offensive producer, notching three goals and five points through three games.

Connolly registered a point in all three games his team played this week, helping the Crunch to three consecutive victories and a 10-2-1-1 overall record as they sit tied for first in the Eastern Conference.

The 6-foot-2, 200-pound winger uses his size, skill and finesse to create scoring chances, and that worked in his favor this week as he started by scoring a goal in the Crunch’s 6-1 win against the Bears on Friday night.

Connolly followed that up by reeling off a pair of multi-point games the following two nights. Connolly scored one goal and added one assist in the Crunch’s decisive 5-2 win against Adirondack Saturday night. The next night was seemingly identical to the previous game, as he once again collected a goal and an assist in the Crunch’s 5-2 victory, this time against Hershey.

Connolly’s offensive efforts didn’t go unnoticed, as he was named the first star in the Crunch’s victory Saturday night and the second star in their win on Sunday.

Now ranking fourth on the Crunch in scoring, Connolly has produced six goals and 12 points in 14 games this season, slowly proving himself as a go-to offensive contributor on one of the top teams in the AHL.

Connolly played in 68 games last season with the Tampa Bay Lightning where he recorded four goals and 15 points along with 30 penalty minutes.

Connolly also represented Canada in the 2012 IIHF World Junior Championships where he was named an assistant captain and provided veteran leadership as well as timely production as he notched five goals and six points in six games, en route to a bronze medal finish.

He will look to extend his goal scoring streak to four games on Friday when the Crunch host the Senators.

Honorable Mentions:

J.T. Brown – (Forward) – Syracuse – AHL – The undrafted free agent signed out of the University of Minnesota-Duluth last season had a break-out week for the Crunch. Brown dished out four assists in three games, including a two-assist effort in the Crunch’s 5-2 victory against Adirondack Saturday night. Brown now has one goal and six points in 10 games and will be looking to build some momentum off his three-game point scoring streak.

Mark Barberio – (Defense) – Syracuse – AHL – The big rearguard, drafted out of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League in the sixth round, 152nd overall, of the 2008 NHL Entry Draft, tallied one goal and four points in three games this week for the Crunch. Barberio’s stellar week was highlighted by a one goal, one assist effort in his team’s 6-1 victory against Hershey on Friday night. Barberio now has three goals and 11 points in 14 games as he sits tied for fifth in league scoring among defenseman.

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