Thursday, December 27, 2007

Holiday Over


Even though the World Under-20 Championships are taking center stage for the next couple of weeks, the rest of the Ranger prospects are returning to action.

Tomas Zaborsky had a slow start to his season and while others have been getting most of the publicity, Zaborsky has quietly building one of the more consistent seasons among prospects.

In his return to action on Thursday, Zaborsky had 2 assists as his Saginaw Spirit won their 4th straight 4-2 over the Plymouth Whalers.

For Zaborsky, the 2 assists were his 18th and 19th of the season but more importantly continued his scoring steak which is now at 5. This is the 3rd streak of the season of 5 games or more.

Zaborsky for the season is now 18-19-37 but we feel it is important to mention that since Oct 21st, Zaborsky has points in 19 of 22 games going 16-11-27 over that period. Ignoring Zaborsky would be a mistake as this is a solid 2 way player.

Ryan Hillier was a player we felt deserved at the very least deserved an invite to the Team Canada evaluation camp. Canada's loss will be the Halifax Moosehead's gain. For the 2nd year in a row, Hillier is now perhaps the most experience player the Mooseheads have.

The Mooseheads were missing 7 of their normal starting lineup for various reasons as they faced the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles in their return from their holiday break. Hillier had an assist on what Matthew Wuest called a great play in his game blog as the Mooseheads first blew a 2 goal lead then won the game 6-5 in overtime.

If we were to pick a game for "Game of the Year" this one would have gotten some serious consideration as the Mooseheads despite being shorthanded put on one of the best shows in a long time. IF Telus (who provides free web TV coverage of the QMJHL games) add this to the archives then I will post the link as this is a game worth watching.

Crossing the Atlantic

Day 2 of the World Under-20 Championships offered Ranger fans a look into the crystal ball as the day was highlighted by Alexei Cherepanov scoring off an assist from Artem Anisimov.

Cherepanov made his World Under-2o debut after missing the opener due to bronchitis as Russia had a much tougher time with a very determined Kazakhstan squad than they expected barely winning 5-4.

Call this a case of Russia making the mistake of taking someone lightly and it almost cost them. Cherepanov's goal in the 2nd period tied the score at 2 but this game wound up going all the way down to the wire.

Cherepanov and Anisimov combined for 14 of Russia's 60 shots but Anisimov also took what could have been a disastrous charging penalty with just 42 seconds remaining in regulation as Russia was hanging on to a 5-4 lead.

Canada shut out David Skokan's Slovakia 2-0 on the strength of 2 power play goals. While people are raving about Canada's defense shutting down another squad what is being overlooked is that Canada is struggling to score at even strength. As for Skokan, he led Slovakia with 4 shots on goal and one minor for hooking.

David Kveton was not in the lineup for the Czech Republic as they defeated Denmark 5-2. It is doubtful we will be able to find the reason why Kveton was not in the lineup.

Coming up

Friday will be day 3 of the World Under-20 with just Bobby Sanguinetti and Carl Hagelin as the only Ranger prospects in action there. Back in North America, a few more Ranger prospects will also be ending their holiday break as well.

Stay with us as we will bring you all the results.

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