Saturday, November 8, 2008

Too Quiet a Night

It was a very quiet evening for Ranger prospects on Saturday evening as out of 6 prospects in action there is just one assist to show for the evening's efforts. One might chalk it up to being spoiled by the play of Chris Doyle and Evgeny Grachev who have been lighting up the scoreboard for a combined 29 points over the last 3 weeks.

Tonight's Star Tomas Kundratek Medicine Hat Tigers

If you are looking for any kind of numbers then the only one we have to offer you about Kundratek is his +4 as his Medicine Hat Tigers defeated the Brandon Wheat Kings 6-2 in WHL action. You do not get a +4 for just being in the right place and right time.

Kundratek has moved up to the top pairing for the Tigers as for the 2nd straight evening he has been the starting defenseman. An even better number tonight was the Tiger Penalty Kill as they held the Wheat Kings to 1 for 9 on the power play.

We keep saying that it is a matter of time before Kundratek starts scoring and when he does then look out.

The draft class of 2008 is really starting to look rock solid with all active prospects playing well.


Derek Stepan (2008 2nd) had the only point for Ranger prospects as his Wisconsin Badgers just whipped Michigan Tech 6-0 to win their 3rd straight game. Stepan had a secondary assist on Blake Geoffrion's second power play goal of the game in the third period which made the score 4-0.

Stepan is the second line (and second PP unit) right winger and it is very interesting to watch as his development progresses from game to game. We are really looking forward to Saturday Nov. 29th when his Badgers host the Michigan Wolverines and Carl Hagelin.

If everything stays the same then the 2 Ranger prospects are going to go directly head to head as Hagelin has been playing second line LW while Stepan has been the second line RW. The best prospect defensive player going against the most natural goal scorer.


Speaking of Carl Hagelin (2007 6th) as his 7th ranked Wolverines were able to salvage a split of their trip to Alaska by defeating the Alaska Nanooks 3-2. It was a very quiet evening for Hagelin who got some shots on goal but just could not solve the Nanook defense.

Give some credit to the Nanooks as they may not play pretty hockey but it is effective and they made Michigan look ineffective at both ends of the ice.


Danny Hobbs (2007 7th) and his UMass Minutemen are going to look back at losing to the Merrimack Warriors 3-1 and realize that they were very guilty of looking past the Warriors. Ranger fans know the danger of overlooking a beatable team as the Minutemen were looking ahead to next week's matchup with 3rd ranked Boston University.

The loss put an end to the Minutemen's 5 game unbeaten streak which was the 4th longest in the NCAA.

Hobbs was a -1 for the game as he only took one shot for the game. Hobbs has too good a shot to only wind up with just one. Yes we know he is still adjusting to playing at the NCAA level but we also know that Hobbs can do more as we know that the better the opposition the better Hobbs will play.


Antoine Lafleur (2007 2nd) was the back up goalie this evening as his Rouyn-Noranda Huskies had little trouble with the Saint John Sea Dogs winning 6-1 in QMJHL action.



Well if you were planning on watching Max Campbell (2007 5th) and his Western Michigan Broncos and did not want to know the score in their game against the Nebraska-Omaha Mavericks then you should have stopped reading.

Campbell saw his 3 game scoring streak come to an end as the Mavericks had little trouble with the Broncos winning 5-2. Campbell did not play bad and appears to be shaking away whatever struggles he was having.

We still think his confidence is shaken and it does not help when the team is getting whipped every other game.

(Kundratek Picture courtesy of Medicine Hat)

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