Saturday, October 11, 2008

From Feast to Famine

Yesterday there were 5 possible players worthy of being the First Star of the Night among Ranger prospects but a day later nobody stood out. That in it's own way is the beauty of prospect development as the ups and downs is how one can measure the growth of a prospect.

What we want to point out is that just because no star was awarded that it means the play was bad. It just means nobody stood out with their performance nothing more.

Carl Hagelin Michigan Wolverines (NCAA)- The Wolverines got a reality check this weekend as even though the 2nd ranked Wolverines came away with a weekend sweep of the St Lawrence Saints (tonight was a 5-3 win), it was very close to being 2 different upsets.

Hagelin had a secondary assist on the first Michigan goal as well as leading the Michigan penalty kill to shutting out the Saint power play. Michigan will be facing Northern Michigan next weekend on the road.

Max Campbell Western Michigan (NCAA)- Campbell had a quiet night as his WMU Broncos dropped a 2-1 home decision to the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) Tigers. RIT played a strong defense which kept the Broncos from getting any flow to their offense.

Next up for the Broncos will be a road trip to the University of Minnesota-Duluth next weekend.

Derek Stepan Wisconsin (NCAA)- The numbers will be misleading as Stepan's Wisconsin Badgers lost to New Hampshire 5-1 on the road. New Hampshire is a program on the rise and even though you will see a -2 next to Stepan, neither minus was due to his play just happening to be on the ice.

It was a quiet night for Stepan as his play was up and down which is to be expected from a freshman making to adjustment to NCAA Division 1 hockey.

Stepan's education in college hockey is not going to get any easier as next weekend his Badgers get WCHA league play underway with a road trip to the University of Denver next weekend.

Daniel Hobbs UMass (NCAA)- Like his fellow freshman Stepan, Hobbs is getting an education on how to adjust to college hockey life. Unlike Wisconsin though, Hobbs and his UMass Minutemen were rude hosts as they upset 4th ranked North Dakota 3-2 in another game where the score is misleading.

North Dakota held the edge in offensive play all night long firing 42 shots on UMass goalie Dan Meyers while limiting the Minutemen to just 16 shots. Hobbs must have thought he was back in Columbus Ohio with the Junior Bluejackets as being outshot and outplayed was a common event for the JR. Bluejackets.

UMass is off until the 21st when they travel to Renssaler and New Hampshire.

Evgeny Grachev Brampton Battalion (OHL)- Stop us if you have heard this one before, team jumps out to a 4-0 lead and then has to hold on for dear life as the other team puts on a furious rally only to lose 4-3.

No not the Ranger/Flyer game but the outcome of the Brampton/Sudbury as the Battlion were the team that gave up 4 goals and then wound up one goal short in their comeback. Grachev has a secondary assist in this game but the real story is how the Troop have now lost 4 straight games including all 3 on this road trip.

Next up for the Troop will be a rematch with Sudbury on Monday on the Canadian Thanksgiving.

Michael Del Zotto Oshawa Generals (OHL)- Unlike the other Ranger prospects, when Del Zotto has a quiet night it makes it that much harder for his Oshawa Generals to win. Del Zotto was held scoreless and missed on his shoot out attempt as his Generals were able to edge the Owen Sound Attack 4-3 in the shootout.

The Generals had to rally from down 3-1 to force the game first in overtime and then into the shootout. The shoot out round took 9 rounds until the Generals were able to escape with the win.

Chris Doyle Prince Edward Island (QMJHL)- Doyle's Rocket made it 2 straight on the road as they defeated the Chicoutimi Saguenéens 4-2 in QMJHL action. Doyle was very quiet as he went 4-6 on his faceoffs and only took one shot on goal.

Doyle needs to play at the higher levels every night if he wants to earn a Ranger contract and not have many nights like tonight.

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