Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Prospect Of the Week

It is the start of a New Year and we are pretty sure that 2007 did not go the way that Prince Edward Island Rocket's Antoine Lafleur was hoping for. The 2007 2nd round pick of the Rangers has been struggling for the first half of the season and for a while it looked like the season was going to be a lost cause for Lafleur.

That is until the final weekend of 2007 as Lafleur posted back to back solid wins against one of the QMJHL better teams the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles. That both wins were on the road made what Lafleur did that more impressive which is why Lafleur becomes the first Prospect Park Prospect of the Week for 2008.

On Saturday, Lafleur had 36 saves allowing just 2 goals to earn his 7th win of the season 4-2. Lafleur had to work hard for this win as his Rocket only had a 1-0 lead going into the third period with Lafleur making 21 saves.

In the third period, the Rocket added a goal to make it 2-0 before the Screaming Eagles came back to tie the game at 2. Lafleur made 15 of his 36 saves in this period as the Rocket scored twice in the games last 5 minutes for the win. Lafleur was named the game's first star by Cape Breton media.

On Sunday Lafleur had to work even harder as the Screaming Eagles fired 45 shots in regulation and overtime then 4 more in the shootout before Lafleur was able to help his Rocket sweep the weekend series 4-3. For Lafleur the wins helped to lower his GAA to 4.31 and perhaps get his season back on track.

We are hoping to see Antoine Lafleur's name back here real soon and we bet so do the Prince Edward Island Rocket.

Quick look ahead

Wednesday will have the World Under-20 quarterfinals with Canada facing Finland while Russia takes on host Czech Republic. The way the last couple of days have gone for the 2 gold medal favorites one has to think that both are ripe for possible upsets.

If one had to pick which team would be more prone for the upset, it would have to be Russia as they are going to be facing the host Czech Republic who will have a very loud home crowd urging them on. If the game is close going into the 3rd period then Russia might be in serious trouble.

As for Canada, if anything they have to be guilty of taking teams too lightly. Canada has scored most of their goals on the power play but have been struggling at even strength despite the firepower on their roster. Finland really is no match for Canada having gone 1-1-0-2 during the preliminary round.

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