Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The Ups and Down Day

Tonight's Star Mitch Gaulton

The road to recovery for Mitch Gaulton (2008 6th) has bumpy but as the path smooths out there are signs about why the Rangers gambled on the Erie Otter defenseman.

Prior to his original elbow injury that led to his Tommy John Surgery, several scouts were projecting Gaulton to break out in the 2007-08 season on the offensive side.

On Wednesday with the Otters trailing 2-1 in the 3rd against the Niagara IceDogs, Gaulton fired a shot on goal that teammate Brandon Biggers was able to cash in on the rebound to tie the game up which sent the game to first overtime then to the shootout.

The Otters eventually won the game 3-2 to move into 6th place in the OHL's Western Conference. For Gaulton it was his 3rd point in 9 games (1-2-3) since returning to the Otter lineup.


Evgeny Grachev (2008 3rd) scored Brampton's only goal as the Battalion saw their 12 game winning streak come to an end with a 3-1 loss to the Belleville Bulls. This was the battle of the OHL Eastern Conference Divisional leaders and the Battalion might regret this loss down the road.

The Battalion entered this game tied with the Bulls for the top spot in the conference but the loss moved the Bulls up by 2. The Battalion though have 2 games in hand but winning this one would have been a difference maker.

For Grachev, his goal was his 30th on the season which is tops among Ranger prospects, it also was his 4th straight game with a point to give him points in 16 out of his last 17 OHL games. Since returning to Brampton after the WJC, Grachev is 11-12-23 in 15 games and now is 30-28-58 0n the season.


Tomas Kundratek (2008 3rd) and his Medicine Tigers can only blame themselves for losing in overtime 6-5 to the Prince George Cougars. The Tigers had a 5-2 lead 25 seconds into the 3rd period and from that point on the Cougars owned the game scoring 3 goals in the 3rd and then finished the Tigers off in overtime.

Kundratek had an assist in the loss as well as coming close to his first WHL fight when he took a roughing call in the first period. Over the last 2 Tiger games, we are seeing a more aggressive Kundratek that might not be a good idea for Kundratek's development.


Chris Doyle (2008 5th) could make a claim that he is Ranger ready as his Prince Edward Island Rocket lost to the Drummondville Voltigeurs 10-3. There really is not much one can say about this other than to say, recall what happened to the Rangers last Friday and that is what you have here.

Doyle had an assist in the loss to remain the Ranger's prospect scoring leader at 23-37-60.

(Gaulton picture courtesy of Mark Bell/Erie Otters)

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