Sunday, March 16, 2008

Setting the Stage

Today's Star

Sunday looked like it was going to be another one of those frustrating days where Antoine Lafleur would keep his Prince Edward Island Rocket in the game but his teammates were not supporting their goalie. Whether it was defensive lapses or not generating any offense the Rocket were on their way to yet another loss.

Trailing 2-0 entering the 3rd period, PEI rallied to comeback and defeat the Moncton Wildcats 3-2 in overtime in their regular season finale. Lafleur made 28 saves to earn the game's 3rd star and perhaps the nod as the Rocket's starting goalie for the QMJHL playoffs.

The 2 goals that Lafleur was charged with, the first was a Wildcat player left all alone in front of the Rocket net and the second was a nice deflection that not even a NHL all-star would have stopped. It is hard to find fault with Lafleur when his teammates clearly were not supporting him (you should have heard the PEI announcers).

Lafleur though was doing his job keeping his team in the game stopping 16 of 17 shots in the first period and 13 legit scoring chances for the game. If Lafleur plays like this in the playoffs then he will give his Rockets a fighting chance provided his teammates match his efforts.

Jordan Foote

He does not have the huge numbers, the cute goal scoring dance or the flashy moves but he always had the lunch pail and "never surrender" attitude which is why we always rooted for Jordan Foote of Michigan Tech.

At 6'3 205, Foote was always the guy who did all the dirty work whether it was fighting along the boards or jamming up in the crease. It is a role that Foote did well and at times we wondered how Foote would have done if he went the CHL route as he has the body for the power forward position.

Foote's college career came to an end on Sunday as his Michigan Tech Huskies put up a great fight even to the last possible second but 2nd ranked North Dakota held them off for a 2-1 game 3 win and a 2-1 series win in their WCHA tournament.

The Huskies just like Foote came into this series as huge underdogs and for a while it even looked as if they were going to pull off the huge upset but it was not meant to be. Foote was scoreless in this game as well as the series.

We hope that the Rangers offer Jordan an ATO with Hartford as we believe that in the pro game he has something to offer the Rangers as there are 2 things that you can never teach: size and work ethic. With the Rangers full of smallish forwards there is no harm in taking a look at Foote but we will admit we have a bias as we have grown to like this hard working underdog.

The Rest of the Day in Prospect Action

Ryan Hillier had 2 assists as his Halifax Mooseheads dropped a 4-3 decision to the Saint John Sea Dogs in their regular season finale. Hillier finishes the regular season as the Prospect's Leading Scorer with 34-38-72 but that is a subject for tomorrow.

Bobby Sanguinetti had an assist as his Brampton Battalion had little trouble with the Kingston Frontenacs 5-3. Sanguinetti ends the regular season 29-41-70 +10

Tomas Zaborsky and his Saginaw Spirit needed a win over the Plymouth Whalers to secure the 7th seed in the OHL's Western Conference and they had to go to the shootout before finally earning a hard fought 4-3 win. Zaborsky had an assist to wind up his regular season 31-39-70 +14.

Finally Danny Hobbs saw his goal scoring streak end at 3 games but his Ohio Junior Bluejackets defeated the Green Bay Gamblers 6-4 in USHL action. With the win the Junior Bluejackets pulled to within 9 points of the final playoff spot in the East Division

Coming Up

Monday we will announce the winners in the statistical categories along with the CHL playoff matchups.

(Picture Credit: Lafleur/Blueshirt Bulletin (Dubi Silverstein), Jordan Foote/ Michigan Tech)

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