Saturday, March 15, 2008

Can You Say Big Game Players

First Star

The other night when we were previewing this weekend and mentioned that the Vernon Vipers had to go on the road trailing in the series 3 games to 1 we said "Good Luck as we believe that series will end as well."

Greg Beller must have read what we said and boy has he proven us totally wrong. Last night we mentioned his star as part of the lesser known prospects who stepped up their game.

Tonight we are totally amazed at how for the 2nd night in a row when his team needed a goal to keep their season alive that Greg Beller stepped up. With the score tied at 1-1 with sudden death overtime and the end of his season staring him right in the face, Beller scored at 18:56 to give the Vernon Vipers a 2-1 win and a trip to Penticton on Tuesday for a winner take all Game 7.

One has to be happy for Beller who left Yale at mid-season when he was not being used by the Ivy League school. The BCHL is a high quality league that has helped to produce over 200 NHL players.

Second Star

One would think that after a 10-1 blowout the previous evening that Carl Hagelin's Michigan Wolverines would have an easy time in Game 2 of their CCHA series with the Nebraska-Omaha Mavericks right?

Not so fast as it was Hagelin's second period goal which gave the Wolverines a 2-0 lead that they used to had to fight tooth and nail to hold off Mavericks 2-1. Hagelin now has a 3 game goal scoring streak which is his first in his college career.

Hagelin earned the game's first star in his second game back at center and was a key part of the Wolverine penalty kill which held the Nebraska-Omaha power play (which came in producing at a 24% success rate) to 1 for 6 and 2 for 12 in the series.

Hagelin now has 10 goals on the season and with the win, Hagelin and his teammates are now headed to the CCHA semi-finals next Friday evening. Who they will play has yet to be determined.


Danny Hobbs had a goal (his 12th) in a losing effort as his Ohio Junior Bluejackets dropped a 6-3 decision to the Chicago Steel. The Steel are the team that the Junior Bluejackets are chasing for the last playoff spot in the USHL East Division and with the loss trail the Steel by 11.

Tomas Zaborsky did not score as his Saginaw Spirit lost in overtime to the Saute Ste Marie Greyhounds 3-2. For Zaborsky and his Spirit win pushed them into the 7th seed in the OHL's Western Conference setting up a "Must Win" game on Sunday with the Plymouth Whalers who are currently in the 8th seed.

The Spirit must win this game in order to keep the 7th seed as a tie or loss pushes Plymouth past them due to the Whalers having more wins. Zaborsky himself is trailing Ryan Hillier for the prospect scoring lead by one point with one game left for each.

Speaking of Sunday, Jordan Foote and his Michigan Tech Huskie's shocked the number 2 team in the NCAA North Dakota in overtime 3-2 to force a deciding game three in their series. While Foote was scoreless, his Huskies rallied from down 2-0 to force overtime with 6 seconds remaining in regulation and then scored at 1:59 of the overtime period.

That gives us a 0-2 record this week on predictions so we will refrain from predicting who will win the deciding game.

Bad Boy, Bad Boy

One prospect who does not get to play Sunday will be David Skokan of the Rimouski Oceanic as Skokan was suspended by QMJHL for one game for what was called "inappropriate gestures" during Friday's game against the Quebec Remparts.

We were informed that Skokan made some gestures using his stick and have no argument with what the QMJHL did. We love that Skokan plays with a ton of emotion but he crossed a line and has to pay a price for it.

It is a shame too because his Oceanic are going to miss Skokan when they play Baie-Comeau in the regular season finale. If the Oceanic win and Shawingan loses their game then the Oceanic will be the 6th seed out of the Telus Division.

Lose and the Oceanic will be facing the same Baie-Comeau in the first round.

A Very Busy Sunday

In addition to the Oceanic in action so will be both Ryan Hillier's Halifax Mooseheads and Antoine Lafleur's Prince Edward Island Rocket. Neither prospect's team has anything on the line but as individuals they do. Hillier can win the prospect scoring title as he leads by one and we expect Lafleur to get the start (and we hope) that might lead to his getting to play in the first round of the QMHL playoffs.

Bobby Sanguinetti's Brampton Battalion are in action but we do not expect Sanguinetti to play in a meaningless game so that might cost him his chance at the prospect scoring title. We have already explained what Tomas Zaborsky and his Saginaw Spirit have at stake.

(Credits: Greg Beller/Yale, Carl Hagelin/Michigan Wolverines)

1 comment:

Matty said...

Great Job Jess, thank you for keeping us updated ...