Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Chris Doyle Week

Monday kicked off what most likely is going to be Chris Doyle Week at Prospect Park as our friends at the QMJHL beat us to the punch by issuing the following press release:

BOUCHERVILLE, Monday, October 27, 2008 – P.E.I. Rocket forward Chris Doyle and Moncton Wildcats netminder Nicola Riopel today were named the TELUS offensive and defensive players of the week for the period extending from October 20 to 26.

Doyle helped the Rocket win two out of four games on the road by scoring two goals, including a game-winner, and adding six assists. Furthermore, he maintained a +1 rating. The New York Rangers’ fifth round pick in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft was a beast in the face-off circle, winning 67.9% of his draws. Doyle is currently eleventh in the QMJHL scoring standings with 22 points.

Yannick Riendeau (Voltigeurs), Sasha Famin (Wildcats) and Matthew Pistilli (Cataractes) were also considered.

The defensive player of the week is Nicola Riopel. It is already the second time this season that the Moncton goaltender is honoured. In three wins, the backstop allowed only three goals despite 102 shots directed his way. He registered a 1.00 goals-against-average and .971 save percentage while also posting a shutout. The Wildcats have yet to lose a game in regulation so far this season and are currently on a seven-game winning streak.

Brandon Gormley (Wildcats), Charles-Olivier Roussel (Cataractes) and Vincent Bourgeois (Juniors) were also strong candidates.

We send our best to Chris for his efforts this past week as it has been a long time since a Ranger prospect earned league honors for their play. As the current leading scorer among Ranger prospects; Chris has been playing some of his best hockey in his QMJHL career over the last month.

This also will be interesting week as the two players who earned the Player of the Week honors are scheduled to face each other on Thursday evening. What the QMJHL left out is that the goalie Riopal is 13-0-0-1 this season as his Moncton Wildcats are an eye-opening 14-0-0-2.

PEI has their work cut out for them but that is why they get to play the game. This is an excellent test for both team and Chris Doyle.

The College Polls

Losing to Boston University cost Carl Hagelin's Michigan Wolverines 3 spots in the weekly USA Today/USA Hockey men's poll as the Wolverines fell to 8th in the weekly poll. That is the lowest ranking the Wolverines have held in the 2 seasons in which we have covered them.

Tells you a lot about a hockey program when being ranked 8th is considered a low point. Michigan will be heading home to face Ohio State including a game that on Sunday at 12 PM EDT will be shown on the NHL Network.

If you have not gotten to see Carl Hagelin for yourself then set the DVR to record this one. Hagelin wears number 12 for the Wolverines.

On the other hand the only other college team with a Ranger prospect to even earn votes in the latest poll is Danny Hobbs and his UMASS/Amherst Minutemen who entered the poll with 3 votes good enough for 22nd.

The Minutemen are coming off an impressive 1-1 road tie against then 3rd ranked New Hampshire and a 6-0 shut out of RPI at home where Hobbs got his first goal in the NCAA.

This week UMASS will be facing Providence College at home on Halloween which should be a very good game to watch.

An Answer about Overage Players

Last week over at the Blueshirt Bulletin, Elsie asked about how the Canadian Juniors determined the status of overage players. Not being 100% we turned to Paul Krotz who is the Manager of Media and Information Services for the CHL/OHL and was kind enough to answer a couple of questions for us.

Here is what Paul said: The cut off for overage players competing in the league is determined by their birth year. There is no limit as to how many years a player can play in the league as long as he meets the age requirements as determined by their birth year.

Overage players playing in the AHL or ECHL can be returned to their junior teams. Teams can only play a maximum of three overage players.

Our thanks to Paul who along with Karl Janke of the QMJHL, Corey Flett of the WHL and Aaron Bell of the OHL help us bring you folks not only the stories but many of the great pictures you see here of the Ranger prospects.

(Picture credit: Chris Doyle/Nicola Riopal- QMJHL)

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