Friday, January 18, 2008

The Friday Report

First Star

Tell me if you have heard this one before, Ryan Hillier scores a goal and an assist to help lead his Halifax Mooseheads to a 5-3 win over the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies.

When we did our mid-season goals, we asked for Hillier to have a big second half of the season and so far that is exactly what Hillier has done. 4 goals and 2 assists over his last 3 games has shown that Hillier wants to earn that Ranger contract.

In tonight's game, Hillier netted his 25th goal at 9:48 of the first period to give the Mooseheads a 1-0 lead. As the 2 teams traded goals after that, it was Hillier and his linemates P. J. Corsi and Brad Marchand who won the game for the Mooseheads.

The 3 used some nifty passing to set up what proved to be the winning goal. Marchand got the play started finding Hillier who showed he is more than just a goal scorer by putting the puck right on Corsi's stick who scored his 22nd goal of the season to give the Mooseheads a 4-3 lead.

For Hillier the 2 points gives him 53 on the season which remains tops among Ranger prospects.

Second Star

Another prospect who has been listening to the goals that we set for him is the Rimouski Oceanic's David Skokan. Skokan's goal was to have the kinds of games for the Oceanic that Skokan has had for Slovakia and the Ranger prospects.

Since returning to the Oceanic, Skokan has earned stars in 2 different games including a 3rd star for his efforts Friday evening against the Quebec Remparts in the Oceanic's 6-2 win.

Skokan's efforts include the 2 assists but once again an above 500 effort on his faceoffs going 14-8 to give him 4 straight games above 500. Skokan is now 1-4-5 in his return to the Oceanic to bring his season numbers to 9-18-27.

The only thing that Skokan is not doing is scoring goals but the way that he has been playing, it is just a matter of time before that happens.

Third Star

When we did the goal setting for Danny Hobbs, the main thing we wanted from him was to show us the form that led the Rangers to draft him in the last draft.

Guess Hobbs likes challenges as he had one of his better games of the season with an assist and a +2 as his Ohio Junior Bluejackets won their franchise record 5th straight game 5-2 over the Tri-City Storm in USHL action.

Hobb's assist was on the game winner as the Junior Bluejackets are now 5-0 for 2008. The win brings the Bluejacket record to 9-16-5 which is not earth shattering but after 30 games offering some real hope that the 2nd year franchise is in fact starting to turn a corner (last season record 13-40-7)

The Rest of the Prospects

In a game televised on CSTV, Carl Hagelin and his top ranked Michigan Wolverines rallied from down 2-0 to win on a goal scored with just 20 seconds remaining in regulation 3-2 over 8th ranked Notre Dame. Hagelin may not have scored but his play on the penalty kill was a major factor in why Notre Dame was 0 for 5 on their power plays including a 5 minute major.

If anyone thought that the 2 schools were rivals in football they should have seen this game as it was an exciting back and forth matchup which is going to make tomorrow's rematch a very heated matchup.

Tomas Zaborsky was scoreless but took a hooking minor in overtime that cost his Saginaw Spirit a game as they lost 5-4 to the Sudbury Wolves. This was a game that the Spirit should not have lost playing against the last place Wolves but the Spirit dug themselves a hole falling behind 3-1 before rallying to tie the game in the 3rd period.

Max Campbell was also scoreless as his Western Michigan Broncos lost their 4th straight 4-1 on the road to Bowling Green. It has been a frustrating season for the Broncos who had much higher expectations for this season.

Eric Hunter' missed his 3rd straight game with what is being described as a lower body injury. His University of Alberta Golden Bears could have used him as they saw their 11 game winning streak end as they lost 5-4 to the Calgary Dinos after an 8 round shoot out. Hunter is listed as day to day.

Antoine Lafleur did not dress for the Prince Edward Island Rocket as he is going to be out at least a week due to a pulled hamstring Lafleur suffered in his last start last Sunday. (Thanks to the Guardian for the information used in this report)

(Photos Courtesy of: Ryan Hillier/Halifax Mooseheads, David Skokan/Rimouski Oceanic and Danny Hobbs/Ohio Junior Bluejackets)

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