As it has been the trend for this season, the New York Ranger prospects had one heck of a Friday evening starting with the 2 goal, 1 assist, +2 evening from Max Campbell of Western Michigan. Campbell's 15th and 16th goals of the season helped the surging Broncos to a 5-2 win over Bowling Green.
For Campbell, it was a career best evening as the sophomore from Strathroy Ontario earned first star of the game thanks in part for scoring the game winning goal at 2:08 of the 3rd period.
Campbell's efforts helped put the Broncos into a position that nobody thought possible, the Broncos with a win on Saturday would host a first round matchup in the CCHA playoffs. The team picked by coaches and media to finish dead last has gone 8-5-2 since Jan 1.
Campbell is a big reason why as the Bronco's leading goal scorer got the Broncos going as they were trailing 2-0 when Campbell deflected a point shot in at 15:00 of the second period and that led to 5 straight Bronco goals.
As has been the case this season, Campbell's game winner was on the power play and his 11th power play goal of the season. Campbell is second among Ranger prospects in power play goals trailing Chris Doyle but only playing half as many games.
Campbell also assisted on the last Bronco goal, an empty netter to bring his season totals to a very respectable 16-12-28. Campbell and his Broncos will face Bowling Green on Saturday in a game that will be tape delayed in the US on the NHL Network on Sunday.
Second Star Carl Hagelin
Carl Hagelin also had a 3 point evening as his 3rd ranked Michigan Wolverines had no trouble whipping Ferris State 6-1. Unlike Campbell, Hagelin had one goal and two assists for his points this evening as the sophomore from Sodertalje, Sweden tied his own career high with the effort as well as his 6th multi-point game of the season.
Hagelin's goal was his own typical effort, he created the goal himself with his hard work and is a prime example of why we are high on his potential. It was Hagelin's 11th goal of the season and tied his efforts from last season.
Our friend Matt Trevor of Michigan reports:
Carl Hagelin (Sodertalje, Sweden) single-handedly created Michigan's third goal. FSU had possession in its own zone and wrapped the puck around the right wing. Hagelin beat a Bulldog forward to the puck and dashed out into the right circle where he snapped a shot over Nagle's blocker at 16:33.
Hagelin then in the second period assisted on Matt Rust's goal as Rust deflected a Hagelin shot into the net. The other Hagelin assist came on Michigan's last goal and was a secondary assist.
Hagelin is now 11-15-26 on the season which is a career high for him. Hagelin and his Michigan Wolverines will finish their CCHA regular season on Saturday against the same Ferris State team in a game to be televised by CBS College Sports.
The Rest of the Prospects
Normally we do not talk about what prospects of other teams do but the performance that Medicine Hat's Tyler Ennis put on had to be the best individual performance we watched all season. Tyler Ennis scored all 6 Medicine Hat goals as the Tigers whipped on Prince Albert 6-2.
Ennis who was selected by the Sabres in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft with the 26th pick is all of 5'9 170. With Prince Albert leading 1-0 in the second period, Ennis scored the games next 5 goals and made the rest of his teammates a bunch of spectators.
One can not blame him as Ennis scored highlight reel goals all night long with our favorites being his 4th and 5th goals of the night. Please take the time to enjoy this efforts at http://www.tigershockey.com/multimedia/mc.php then click on Tigers vs. Raiders.
As for Tomas Kundratek, his was the quiet night as other than being on the ice for Ennis's first goal was not a factor against the Raiders.
Tysen Dowzak and his Kelowna Rockets just might be the headcases of the WHL. On one hand they can take on and beat the very best in the WHL then in the next game they will lose to some of the worst in the same league as they did on Friday evening against the Red Deer Rebels.
For the 3rd time in the last 12 days, Dowzak's Rockets lost to a team that will not make the playoffs and in this case it was a clear looking past another team as the Rockets have been getting ready to play the best team in the WHL on Saturday in the Calgary Hitmen.
Dowzak was like Kundratek quiet with next to nothing to write home about.
In the OHL, Michael Del Zotto and his London Knights hosted Mitch Gaulton and his Erie Otters in the Knight's "House of Pink" game. The Knights wore pink uniforms which were to be auctioned off to help raise money as part of breast cancer awareness.
The Knights had a rough go of it as the Otters who are fighting for an OHL playoff spot forced the more talented Knights to overtime until the Knights won 3-2. The Otters in overtime were no match for a unit that featured 2 top ten 2009 first round picks and 2 2008 first round picks.
Del Zotto got a secondary assist on the game winning goal to give him numbers of 11-45-56 on the season. Gaulton was held scoreless for the Otters who despite the loss moved closer to clinching their first OHL playoff spot since 2005.
Evgeny Grachev had another record setting evening as his prospect leading 35th goal also tied the Brampton Battalion record for most goals by a rookie (previously held by Raffie Torres now with Columbus). Grachev and his Battalion team had no problem defeating the Niagara IceDogs 6-0.
Grachev's goal came at 19:38 of the 3rd period well after the Battalion had put the game away.
Derek Stepan and his Wisconsin Badgers are picking the wrong time of the season to go into a slump as the Badgers dropped their 3rd straight game this time to Minnesota State 4-3 in overtime.
Stepan was held scoreless as his Badgers blew a 3-1 lead in this game. The Badgers are putting themselves into a position where the only way they will earn an NCAA invite will be if they win the WCHA's automatic bid.
Daniel Hobbs returned to the UMass Minutemen lineup as his Minutemen were spotted a 3-0 lead by Boston University and got blasted 6-3. No excuses here for this kind of effort as Hobbs helped with the damage by taking an interference call that led to the Terriers scoring their 6th goal of the game.
Antoine Lafleur can get used to being a backup goalie it appears as his Rouyn-Noranda Huskies won their 3rd straight game with Mikael Audette in goal over the Baie-Comeau Drakkar 4-2. Lafleur can only blame himself for this as he was given chance after chance to keep the starting job but never came up with the consistency he needed.
Shame too as Lafleur very much has the talent but for whatever reason just can not figure out how to put it together.
(Pictures- Campbell/Western Michigan, Hagelin/Michigan)