Saturday, November 10, 2007

All QMJHL All the Time

First Star
This has clearly already been a season of firsts for Ranger prospects as tonight all three stars were earned by Ranger prospects playing in the QMJHL. The First Star though was a no doubter as Ryan Hillier had perhaps his best game so far this season.

Hillier had a 4 point evening with 1 goal (his prospect leading 15th) and 3 assists as his Halifax Mooseheads badly beat the Val-d'Or Foreurs 10-2. It earned Hillier the game's "Third Star" as this was a textbook backside kicking by the Mooseheads.

It was a night of "4" s for Hillier as he was a +4 and went 4-0 on face offs but he only had 3 "good hits". With the 4 point night, Hillier is now 15-13-28 which keeps him in second among prospect scorers one point behind Bobby Sanguinetti for the overall prospect scoring lead.

Ryan Hillier has come a long way in gaining recognition from Ranger fans but we still have to caution everyone that Hillier needs to carry this start though the entire season. Do not get us wrong as we really do like Ryan but he has to show that he can do this all season long.

If Hillier does then the Rangers will have found themselves a very solid 2 way forward.

Second Star
David Skokan and his Rimouski Oceanic also had a easy win whipping on the Baie-Comeau Drakkar 7-2. The prospect who is best known as a defensive specialist showed his offensive flair in this game especially on the power play.

Skokan scored his 6th goal on the season while on the power play along with his 11th assist also on the power play. For Skokan, his goal got the Oceanic going after they had spotted the Drakkar an early 2-0 lead.

Skokan was also 5-5 on his face offs, a minus 1 and 3 good hits which translate into an overall solid performance for the 2007 7th round pick of the Rangers.

On the season, Skokan is now 6-11-17 in 24 games. Quietly Skokan is working his way toward a career season for the Oceanic.

Third Star

For the first time this season Antoine Lafleur has posted back to back wins in net for his Prince Edward Island Rocket. Perhaps it is a sign that the 2007 2nd round pick who has been badly struggling this season.

Saturday night The Rocket outscored the Acadie-Bathurst Titan 6-4 as Lafleur had 33 saves facing 37 shots. It was not the picture perfect performance but it was what a goalie is supposed to do which is give his team a chance to win the game.

Lafleur only gave up one even strength goal this evening as the Rocket's lack of a penalty kill helped to keep the Titan in the game. Lafleur improved his record to 5-11 and if he gets his game together then the Rocket will become a force in the QMJHL.

Other prospects

Tomas Zaborsky's point streak is now up to 7 games in a row as Zaborsky's 10 goal of the season helped his Saginaw Spirit edge the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds 3-2.

During this streak, Zaborsky is 8-4-12 to bring his season totals to 10-12-22 which puts him on a pace for a 39-47-86 point season.

Jordan Foote was scoreless and a -2 as his Michigan Tech Huskies were defeated 4-1 by St. Cloud State on home ice and were swept in their weekend series.

Carl Hagelin did not score but his 2nd ranked Michigan Wolverines defeated Alaska 4-2 to sweep their weekend series at home.

Max Campbell also did not score as his Western Michigan Broncos lost to Northern Michigan 4-3 in overtime and wound up with a weekend split on the road.

Billy Ryan's Maine Black Bears played much better against Providence on Saturday but still lost this time 1-0 to also be swept for the weekend.

The teams were different but the score was the same as Danny Hobbs and his Ohio Junior Bluejackets lost 3-1 this time to the Cedar Rapids Roughriders.

Finally while it was a rare game that Eric Hunter did not score as was the case against the Saskatchewan Huskies but his University of Alberta Golden Bears once again won a thrilling overtime game this time 5-4.

While Hunter did not score it was not a lost weekend after all for the 2006 6th round pick of the Rangers as he was named the Canada West Hockey - Husky WHL Graduate of the Month for October 2007.

It was a well deserved award as Hunter the leading scorer in the Canada West Conference was 7-7-14 in 8 games in October.

(Lafleur's picture courtesy of The Blueshirt Bulletin)

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