Saturday, December 6, 2008

Something About Saturdays

Tonight's First Star Carl Hagelin

One thing we have known for over a year is that when it comes to clutch goals that Carl Hagelin (2007 6th) has a way of scoring them. Hagelin either loves the drama of the late game goal or just is that lucky.

From the goal against Notre Dame or Saturday's game tying goal against in-state rival Michigan State, Hagelin knows how to score highlight reel goals.

Setting the stage as with Michigan trailing 3-2 with less than 3 minutes remaining in the 3rd period; Hagelin breaks in with teammate Brandon Burlon on a 2 on 1 breakway. Burlon fed Hagelin as Hagelin chipped the puck over MSU goalie Jeff Lerg to tie the game.

This was a must win for Michigan as the struggling Wolverines could not afford to lose to a 4-11-3 Michigan State team given the way their league the CCHA was starting to shape up. Hagelin's goal (his 5th of the season as well as earning him the game's 3rd star) allows Michigan to remain in 4th place with a 7-5 conference record.

Hagelin overall is 5-10-15 which puts him 3rd in scoring for the Wolverines. An interesting article in the Ann Arbor News offers Hagelin's thoughts on the sudden offensive upsurge to Hagelin's game.

If you wish to see Hagelin's heroics then the NHL Network in the USA will repeat this game at 12 EDT/9 PDT.

Tonight's Second Star Derek Stepan

Got to feel bad for Derek Stepan (2008 2nd) as under any other circumstances, Stepan would have been the first star in both this report as well as yesterdays.

On Friday, Stepan had a goal and an assist and then followed it up with a 2 assist game on Saturday as Stepan's Wisconsin Badgers continued their hot run with a 7-2 whipping of Alaska-Anchorage. With the win, the Badgers earned a sweep of the weekend series and the team that started the season 0-6-1 moved into first place of the WCHA at 7-5 (9-7-2 overall) as they begin the holiday break.

Wisconsin might not want the winter holiday break to begin as the Bagers have a 5 game winning streak and Stepan himself has a 3 game point streak (1-4-5).


The Rest Of the Prospects

Max Campbell (2007 5th) continues his improving play as the sophomore from Strathroy, Ontario now has goals in 3 straight games but it was not enough as his Western Michigan Broncos lost to 4th ranked Miami of Ohio 4-2.

Campbell's goal actually was the highlight of the game for the Broncos who fell to 2-9-4 on the season. The goal was scored at 18:19 of the second period to tie the game at 1-1.

Campbell with 6 goals is now the leading goal scorer for WMU who will now face Miami on Sunday at 4 PM EDT/1 PM PDT on ESPNU in part of the Bronco's annual Teddy Bear game.

Antoine Lafleur (2007 2nd) in many ways can understand what Henrik Lundqvist goes though on many nights. Last season, Lafleur got hardly defensive support while with the Prince Edward Island Rocket facing close to 34 shots a game.

On Saturday Lafleur got to find out what it was like to get run over repeatedly as his Rouyn-Noranda Huskies lost to the Chicoutimi Saguenéens 3-1 in QMJHL action. We watched this game and on 4 different occasions Lafleur was not just hit, he was knocked down and nothing was called.

One play really angered us as Lafleur was knocked down, his goal stick wound up flying into the corner and Lafleur spent a couple of minutes on his back trying to recover. We are not talking just bumped but knocked down. Would someone please tell us when it became alright for someone to hit a goalie in his crease?

Tysen Dowzak (2008 UFA) continued his good play with a +2 as his Kelowna Rocket improved to 7-3 in their last 10 games with a 5-2 win over the Chilliwack Bruins.

Tomas Kundratek (2008 3rd) and his Medicine Hat Tigers played what could best be described as a tired game as they were whipped 5-1 by the Brandon Wheat Kings. This one is a game where the Tigers were looking forward to heading home after a long road trip and left early.

Finally this one has nothing to do with Ranger prospects other than a brief mention of Antoine Lafleur but it is too good not to share so from Karl Jahnke of the QMJHL as 2 QMJHL goalies recorded goals on Saturday evening:

December 6, 2008 – Peter Delmas of the Lewiston MAINEiacs and Maxim Gougeon of the Rimouski OcĂ©anic put their names in the record books tonight as both goaltenders managed to record goals.

Peter Delmas was credited with a goal at 3:56 of the second period after he deflected the puck into an empty net after a delayed penalty call.

Maxim Gougeon recorded his goal by shooting the puck from his own crease into an open net at 17:52 of the third frame.

Before tonight’s games, the only goaltender in QMJHL history to score a goal had been Antoine Lafleur, then of the P.E.I Rocket (September 2005).

(Carl Hagelin courtesy of the Michigan Wolverines, Derek Stepan courtesy of the New York Rangers)

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