Saturday, January 26, 2008

A Much Better Night

First Star

Friday Night was not a good night for Ranger prospects as only one goal was registered and that was by Western Michigan University's Max Campbell. We pointed out how his coach Jim Culhane sent a message to his struggling freshman by using him as the starting center.

The result was Campbell's first goal since November so the question was would we see a repeat performance on Saturday Night? The answer was a very resounding yes as Campbell earned the game's second star by scoring another goal and adding an assist as Western Michigan was able to earn a 3-3 overtime tie on the road against Ferris State.

As Campbell did on Friday evening, it was a difference making goal in the 3rd period that Campbell scored. The goal was Campbell's 5th on the season and he added his 11th assist to cap off his evening.

The season has not gone as planned for Western Michigan so as they build towards the future it is clear that Campbell is going to be a big part of it. That is a good sign for both Campbell and the Rangers who will reap the benefits of Campbell's development.

Second Star

It has been a long time since we had a Jordan Foote sighting as the 2004 6th round pick set a career high with his 3rd goal of the season in helping the Michigan Tech Huskies earn a huge 5-2 upset win over 3rd ranked Colorado College.

Foote's goal was scored at 1:18 of the first period and it set the tone for perhaps the biggest win the Huskies have had all season. We have called Foote one of the hardest working prospects the Rangers have and this is why.

Foote helped his Huskies become the first team to earn a 3 point weekend against Colorado College. By tying on Friday and winning on Saturday, Foote and his teammates showed that their won/loss record is not a true reflection of how good a team they are.

This season the Huskie's have defeated Michigan State and forced number one Michigan to 2 overtimes before losing. With senior leadership coming from players like Foote nobody is going to want to face them when the WCHA playoffs start.

Third Star

It is not often that we have gotten to mention Danny Hobbs one of the Rangers two 2007 7th round picks who is playing for the Ohio Junior Bluejackets so it is always nice to send him some props for a good job.

Hobbs set up what proved to be the winning goal as his Junior Bluejackets held off the Cedar Rapid Roughriders 4-3. For Hobbs it was his 10th assist of the season one off what Hobbs had all of last season.

One of the goals we set for Hobbs in the second half was to step up his game and Hobbs has responded. One also has to notice that as Hobbs has started scoring his Junior Bluejackets have also started winning. Let us hope both continue.

The Rest of the Prospect Report

Carl Hagelin set up the game tying goal to help his top ranked Michigan Wolverines avoid being swept by in-state rival and 5th ranked Michigan State. The game ended in a 2-2 overtime tie which could very well result in Michigan falling out of the number one spot in the men's college hockey poll after 5 weeks on top.

Normally this kind of assist earns a prospect a star but the real story behind the assist is that Hagelin centered the puck to teammate Matt Rust who knocked the puck into the air and a Michigan State defender put the puck into his own goal.

David Skokan was scoreless and went 9-11 on his faceoffs as his Rimouski Oceanic edged the Shawinigan Cataractes 3-2.

Ryan Hillier and his Halifax Mooseheads played a lot better than they did on Friday night when they were whipped 11-6 but Hillier was scoreless as the Mooseheads dropped a 3-2 decision to the Val-d'Or Foreurs.

Bobby Sanguinetti has now gone 7 games without a goal and 3 straight without any points as his Brampton Battalion lost to the Barrie Colts 2-1.

Tomas Zaborsky is also struggling as he has now gone 6 straight without a goal as his Saginaw Spirit gave up a late goal to the Guelph Storm to lose 3-2.

Eric Hunter did not score but his University of Alberta Golden Bears came back from down 2-0 to score a 3-2 shootout win over the Regina Cougars.

Billy Ryan missed his 4th straight game as his Maine Blackbears lost to Boston College 4-2.

(Pictures courtesy of Max Campbell/ Western Michigan, Jordan Foote/Michigan Tec, Danny Hobbs/Ohio Junior Bluejackets)

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