Saturday, October 25, 2008

Not A Good Night

While Ranger fans were enjoying the come from behind win against Crosby and his Pens; the Ranger prospects for the most part were having a bad night. 4 Ranger prospects and their teams played with all 4 teams losing.

Star of the Night

Under normal circumstances when your team loses then it takes a special performance to earn a star from us. Earning the Gordie Howe Hat Trick is one of those ways and that is exactly what Chris Doyle did on Saturday evening.

Doyle and his Prince Edward Island Rocket were right back in Rouyn-Noranda facing the Huskies after playing there on Wednesday. In this matchup, the Rocket were not having to face their former teammate Antoine Lafleur who was the back up for this game.

The Rocket as they did on Wednesday lost to the Huskies; this time 4-3 as the Rocket could not dig themselves out of a 4-0 hole they had built. On the evening, Doyle scored his 6th goal of the season, added two primary assists and of course his first fight of the season to complete the Gordie Howe.

Doyle is no stranger to fighting as he had three fights last season but Doyle's fight if we understand the QMJHL rules on fighting this season may also earn him a one game suspension since Doyle was deemed the aggressor and also given a 10 minute misconduct.

With the Rocket trailing 4-0 in the 3rd period, Doyle scored his goal at 11:13 at even strength. Then during a span of 16 seconds starting at 18:30, Doyle set up 2 different teammates to pull the Rocket within one goal but unlike the Rangers, they were unable to get that tying goal.

Tonight the Rocket went for most of the game with just 2 centers as Doyle only took 5 face offs going 2-3. That led to the line on Doyle for the evening to look like this: 1-2-3, +2, 15 PIMs, and 5 shots on goal. After tonight Doyle is now 6-14-20 which is 8 points better than Michael Del Zotto of the Oshawa Generals.


Tonight was a night where 3 Ranger college prospects who played will want to quickly forget as all 3 saw their teams lose by 3 or more goals. This was one of those evenings where nothing really worked for the prospects or their teams but these nights do happen and it is always best to have them now instead of later in the season.

Carl Hagelin (2007 6th) had a primary assist on a power play goal for Michigan but the 5th ranked Wolverines got whipped by 7th ranked Boston University 7-2. The Wolverines were never in this one as they got behind to BU 4-0 after 2 periods and never could recover.

There will be several questions about how good Michigan really is as they have struggled since opening night. Tonight being their worst effort of this early season as the Wolverines were bad everywhere as their normally reliable penalty kill gave up 5 goals on 9 power play chances.

Hagelin gets a pass for this one as somehow Hagelin was not on the ice for any of the Boston University goals and was on the ice for both Michigan goals. It will be interesting to see how Michigan reacts to this out of character blow out loss.

Derek Stepan earned his second point of the season but his Wisconsin Badgers remain without a win on the season after losing to 6th ranked Minnesota 5-2 to fall to 0-5-1. As with Hagelin's Wolverines, Stepan's Badgers fell behind after 2 periods (3-0) and then could not comeback.

This one was more nasty as it went on as a total of 39 penalties were handed out for a combined 89 minutes in penalties. This game was in many ways an embarrassment for college hockey especially in the 3rd period when 4 players on both teams got called for penalties during one rather nasty scrum midway in the 3rd period.

It is getting almost to the point where we are really feeling bad for Max Campbell of Western Michigan as Campbell can not even buy a break these days. Western Michigan fell to 1-4-1 after losing to the Ferris State Bulldogs 5-2 as Campbell's line wound up a combined -6 (-2 each) for the night.

Campbell's line got caught in the Ferris State offensive zone as the Bulldogs scored just 59 seconds in the game to grab a 1-0 lead they would not give up. From there the night went south for Western Michigan as they gave up 4 more goals to trail 5-0 before they finally scored.

It also did not help Campbell's cause that he only wound up with one shot on goal. The easy thing would be to say that Campbell's game is just not there but anyone who have followed us over the years knows that every year there is always one prospect who struggles like Campbell is right now.

And because we have seen this happen over the years then we have some advice for Max; don't give up on yourself now because you can work your way out of this. If we were talking to Max, we would tell him that while it is understandable to be frustrated about what is happening to him; the key to recovery is to go back to the basic fundamentals.

Everyone one can imagine is trying to offer Campbell some advice just like we are here but the key is going to be for Max to just keep his game simple. If Max were to ask us then we would suggest that he just attack the net, just keep working hard, and keep things simple.

We still believe in Max so here is hoping that Max will believe in himself as well

(Chris Doyle courtesy of PEI)

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