Sunday, February 17, 2008

A Lesson for Everyone

Tonight's Star

Our Star of the evening did not score any points but it was his overall play that earned our notice as David Skokan of the Rimouski Oceanic sent a message that sometimes winning is also about those who do the dirty work that doesn't always show up in the scoresheet.

Skokan did not score any points as his Rimouski Oceanic defeated the Val-d'Or Foreurs 4-2 but he did earn the game's 3rd Star of the game. So what did Skokan do to earn his accolades for the evening you ask?

How about starting with going 11-5 on his face offs, then a +1, with 3 shots on goal that were all credited as "dangerous shots" then toss in one good hit and finished with a solid overall effort and there is our star.

Too often people look for goals, assists, shut outs and wins as the way to judge how a prospect did. Even we are guilty of as our first glance to the evening said that this was a bad evening for Ranger prospects. We were wrong because Skokan's hard work this evening was a major factor in helping Rimouski win.

The Rest of the Prospects

After an evening where he stopped 51 shots we wondered how Antoine Lafleur would do if he got the start tonight. The answer was that he did not do good at all as Lafleur lasted all of 8:03 giving up 4 goals on 11 shots. His Prince Edward Island Rocket wound up losing 5-4 to the St. Johns Fog Devils 5-4.

Lafleur escaped being credited with the loss when his Prince Edward Island Rocket scored their 4th goal of the game with 3 seconds remaining in the game. We were concerned how Lafleur would play after playing perhaps his best game of the evening given his inconsistent play all season. A case could be made that this was a bad coaching decision asking a goalie to play one night after facing 52 shots but once the puck is dropped it is up to the player and here Lafleur did not respond well.

In the OHL, Bobby Sanguinetti and his Brampton Battalion visited the Owen Sound Attack for the first time since Sanguinetti was traded from Owen Sound during last June. The Battalion defeated the Attack 4-1 as Sanguinetti earned an assist on what proved to be the game winning goal when his shot from the right point was deflected in by teammate Graham McNabb.

For Sanguinetti who spent his first 3 seasons in the OHL with the Attack it was a night of mixed emotions but he wound up with a +2 for the night as he improved his point total on the season to 21-36-57.

In the NCAAs, Carl Hagelin and his top ranked Michigan Wolverines earned the weekend sweep by defeating the Lake Superior State Lakers 4-2. Hagelin was scoreless but his Wolverines now have a 7 game unbeaten streak (3-0-4) as they get ready for in-state rival Michigan State and a chance to win the regular season championship.

Jordan Foote's Michigan Tech had to settle for the weekend split as they lost the second game of their weekend series with Minnesota Duluth 3-2. Foote was scoreless as the Huskies missed out on a chance to improve their standings in the WCHA playoffs.

Max Campbell's Western Michigan Broncos tried hard but they were out gunned by 8th ranked Michigan State and were swept in the weekend series losing 4-2. Campbell was scoreless but his young team was no match for the more experienced Spartans.

Eric Hunter was scoreless as his 2nd ranked University of Alberta Golden Bears rallied to come from behind to defeat the University of British Columbia 5-4.

Danny Hobbs was once again not in the lineup as his Ohio Junior Bluejackets lost to the Green Bay Gamblers 5-2.

Billy Ryan also was not in the Maine Blackbear lineup as they lost 1-0 in overtime to Boston University.

(David Skokan picture courtesy of the Rimouski Oceanic)

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