For those of us who love the old school of hockey then when the phrase "Gordie Howe Hat Trick" comes up then you take notice as it sadly is becoming a lost art. The "Gordie Howe" is when you have a goal, an assist and a fight in the same game.
Tonight's First Star: Chris Doyle
Chris Doyle has had a lot to deal with this season; starting with a 4 game suspension for abusing an official. Toss in pending criminal charges and the Ranger's 2007 5th round pick has had to play under a microscope.
On Friday night Doyle recorded his first "Gordie Howe Hat Trick of the season as Doyle's Prince Edward Island Rocket defeated their rivals the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles 7-4. Doyle got his evening going when he cashed in a feed from Benjamin Casavant for his 7th goal of the season to tie the game at 1-1.
In the second period, Doyle dropped the gloves for his second fight of the season with Screaming Eagle Jan Piskacek in a bout that was more wrestling than punches thrown. Still one thing that can always be said about Chris Doyle is that he is more than willing to protect his teammates.
In the 3rd period Doyle set up the insurance goal when he fed Jarrad Struthers for the Rocket's 6th goal at 18:18 of the 3rd period for a Rocket 6-4 lead that finished off the Screaming Eagles.
Second Star: The Badger Brothers
We have a luxury that Ranger fans are not enjoying which is getting to see the Badger Brothers Derek Stepan (2008 2nd) and Ryan McDonagh (2009 Trade) working together this season as a hint of what is going to happen when both become Rangers. It is going to be a lot of fun to watch these 2 very talented prospects grow into players.
Friday night the Minnesota State found out that the Badger Brothers get things done at both ends of the ice. Derek Stepan scored his first goal of the season on a nicely done backhand shot at 11:02 of the first period.
Ryan McDonagh earned a secondary assist on the goal which was the first of his 2 assists on the night. McDonagh's second assist came on the Badger's last goal of the game as he fed Jordy Murray for his first goal of the season.
On the evening, the Brothers combined for 1-2-3, on 7 shots and a combined +3. Stephan and McDonagh helped to keep Minnesota State to an 0 for 8 on the power plays.
Third Star Luke Walker
The toughest game to win is the one at the end of a long road trip. Most teams have a habit of mailing their effort because they are thinking about just going home. To prevent that a team needs their leadership to step up and set the standard for their younger teammates.
Luke Walker was exactly that on Friday night as Walker scored 2 goals (his 9th and 10th) while earning the game's First Star in leading his Portland Winterhawks to a convincing 5-1 win over the Kootenay Ice.
Walker has become a real leader for the Winterhawks and that on ice leadership was just as much a factor as his 2 goals. Walker's hard work helped a very tired Winterhawk team find it within themselves to end a very long road trip with a 4-2 record.
Roman Horak's (2009 5th) 3rd goal of the season broke a 2-2 tie and turned out to be the game winning goal as Horak's Chilliwack Bruins went on to a 4-2 win over the Prince George Cougars.
Daniel Maggio's (2009 6th) 5th goal of the season was all his Sudbury Wolves needed as they shut out the Sarnia Sting 4-0. In just 11 games Maggio has already matched his career high in goals which is not bad for the prospect expected to be a defensive stopper
The Rest of the Ranger Prospect Report
Mitch Gaulton (2008 6th) got a secondary assist on what proved to be the game winning goal as his Erie Otters defeated the Niagara Ice Dogs 3-2. With the assist, Gaulton (1-5-6) equaled his entire offensive output of last season in just 10 games.
Ethan Werek (2009 2nd) was held scoreless but his Kingston Frontenacs scored in overtime to edge the Saginaw Spirit 5-4. It was a very entertaining game as it went back and forth all game long.
Scott Stajcer (2009 5th) gave up 5 goals while facing 31 shots before being removed as his Owen Sound Attack got shelled by the Windsor Spitfires 8-4. Stajcer lasted about 35 minutes but the score here does not indicate how big a blow out this really way.
Sam Klassen (2009 UFA) was a -3 as his Saskatoon Blades saw their 6 game winning streak come to a crashing halt 6-2 to the Swift Current Broncos. Credit the Broncos who jumped all over the Blades from the start and never let up for a minute.
Chris Kreider (2009 1st) earned his first point at the NCAA level as the freshman for Boston College notched an assist as his 15th ranked Boston College upset 10th ranked Notre Dame 3-2 on the road for their first win of the season. Kreider earned a secondary assist on Boston College's 2nd goal of the game.
Max Campbell (2007 5th) was scoreless but his Western Michigan Broncos are 3-0 on the season as they defeated Alabama-Huntsville 2-1. Do not discount this win as Alabama-Huntsville already holds a win over Notre Dame this season.
Daniel Hobbs (2007 7th) also was scoreless as his UMass Amherst Minutemen also moved to 3-0 with a 5-3 win over the Maine Black Bears. Hobbs had a very quiet night as the 3rd line left winger.
Craig Cunningham (Traverse City) scored his 8th goal of the season as his Vancouver Giants finally defeated the Everett Silvertips after losing their first 2 meetings. Cunningham is 8-12-20 on the season tops among all Ranger prospects.
Tomas Kundratek (2008 3rd) missed his second straight game with the flu but his Medicine Hat Tigers did not miss him at all. The Tigers battered the Red Deer Rebels 9-2.
(Chris Doyle Courtesy of Katherine Ep, Derek Stepan and Ryan McDonagh Courtesy of Melody Hasse)
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