Friday, October 9, 2009

A Krispy Kreider

For those who are counting it took New York Ranger 2009 1st round draft pick all of 2 games before making an impact on the 12th ranked Boston College Eagles. It may have only been an exhibition game but we are pretty sure that the USA Under-18 team is already sick of playing teams with Ranger prospects on it.

First Star

Chris Kreider scored 2 goals including the eventual game winner as the Eagles doubled up the US Under-18 team 6-3 on Friday night. It was a rock solid performance for the freshman left winger in only his second game at the NCAA level.

Kreider's first goal of the night came with at 19:31 of the first period as it gave the Eagles a 2-0 lead to end the first period. The second goal though we wish we had video to show you as it is the kind of goal that Rangers fans are going to love.

With the Eagles up 3-1 and on the penalty kill, Kreider dove to poke the puck out of the defensive zone which was a nice play but Kreider then showed the speed that Rangers raved about on draft day. Kreider out skated everyone and beat US goalie Andy Iles for the goal and a 4-1 Boston College lead.

Kreider was used on both special teams, got credited for 4 shots and was a +2 for the night. It may have been just an exhibition game but Kreider is responding to what Jerry York is asking of him to do. It will be interesting to see how Kreider plays once the Eagles start play in the Hockey East conference games.

Now we are going to tell people to circle this date, October 18th at 5 PM EDT as Kreider is going to make his official debut against Vermont and this game will be carried on ESPU. Do not miss you chance to see Kreider in action.

Second Star

This is a first for us as never before have a Ranger first and second round pick earned first and second star in the same evening. Give all the credit to the Ranger scouting staff as 2009 2nd round pick Ethan Werek in his return to the Kingston Frontenac lineup was the game's second star.

Werek scored his 4th goal of the season at 2:20 of the first period and it held up to be the game winning goal as the Frontenacs defeated the Ottawa 67's 3-1. Werek also added an assist on the Front's 3rd goal to give him 4-3-7 in 7 games played this season.

Werek was returning to the Frontenac lineup after missing the last game with the flu and he made the 67's ill with his play. The Frontenacs were outshot 41-28 including 11-6 in the 3rd period but were able to hold off the 67's.

Third Star

Well any worries about Sam Klassen (UFA 2009) suffering from training camp hangover we think have been taken care of after Klassen has put back to back solid efforts to help his Saskatoon Blades win 2 in a row this time 6-3 on the road over the Red Deer Rebels.

Klassen who earned the game's 3rd star scored his 1st goal of the season as he scored off his backhand at 10:26 of the 3rd period to give the Blades a 5-3 lead. But that is not what earned Klassen our star as his +4 performance along with his leading a defensive shutdown of the Rebels in which the Blades held the Rebels to just 5 total shots over the last 2 periods of the game (41-17). The effort also gives Klassen a mini-scoring streak of 2 games (1-3-4) but the normally defensive minded defender will take it.

The Rest of the Ranger Prospects

It was a battle of Ranger prospects from the Czech Republic as 2009 5th round pick forward Roman Horak's Chilliwack Bruins got the best of 2008 3rd round pick defenseman Tomas Kundratek's Medicine Hat Tigers 5-4 in overtime. Horak very much got the better of the play as he set up Chilliwack's 2nd goal of the game, was a +2 overall and 4 PIMs.

Kundratek was mostly quiet playing well on the Tiger penalty kill but not able to must a lot of offense for the Tigers who went 1 for 8 on the power play. Horak on the other hand was very active including taking a roughing minor.

Daniel Maggio (2009 6th) was also quiet as his Sudbury Wolves lost on the road to the Saginaw Spirit 5-3 to extend their winless streak to 3 games. Maggio after a 6 game scoring streak to start the season has gone scoreless in his last 2.

It would be a major upset to many folks but not for those who know the Alaska Nanooks as the Nanooks (who gave the Rangers Chad Johnson) shut out Carl Hagelin (2007 6th rd) and his 3rd ranked Michigan Wolverines 2-0 in the first game of the Kendall Auto Hockey Classic in Alaska.

The Nanooks are one of the better defensive teams in college hockey and have been for the last couple of years. They have done this to Michigan twice in the last 2 years so it is not a shock to us anymore.

Hagelin was held to just 3 shots but helped Michigan to kill all 5 Alaska power plays.

The Owen Sound Attack are a team in trouble as they have gone winless in their last 6 games to fall to an OHL worst 1-7-1-0. For Scott Stajcer (2009 5th) it also means his struggles continue as well as Stajcer gave up 6 goals on 35 shots as Owen Sound lost 6-3 on the road to the Windsor Spitfires in OHL action.

Now while we are not going to hold Stajcer blameless but Owen Sound struggles in every area not just goaltending. Giving up 3 power play goals on 10 attempts can not be laid at the feet of the goalie.

It is time for Stajcer to get a night off as he has started 8 of the 9 Attack games as his numbers are heading in the wrong direction at 1-5-1, 4.31 GAA, 0.875 save percentage. Give him a game off to get his head back together as we have seen this before as like a repeat of the nightmare that Antoine Lafleur went though in the season after he was drafted.

Ryan Bourque (2009 3rd) also had a quiet evening as his Quebec Remparts dropped a 3-2 decision in overtime. Bourque was held to 3 shots, went 0-3 on faceoffs but did record 2 good hits.
Luke Walker (Traverse City) and his Portland Winterhawks saw their 5 game winning streak come to an end at the hands of the only WHL team to beat them the Tri-City Americans. The Winterhawks lost 3-1 as the more experienced American's took over the game in the 2nd and 3rd periods holding the Hawks to just 14 total shots.

Walker was held scoreless.

Craig Cunningham (Traverse City) was also held scoreless as his Vancouver Giants lost to the Kelowna Rockets 2-1. Cunningham was held in check by a strong Rocket defense.

Mitch Gaulton (2008 6th) missed his 2nd straight game with what is being called an upper body injury. His Erie Otters got shut out by the Oshawa Generals 3-0 on the road.

Gaulton is listed as day to day.

(pictures: Kreider: Boston College, Werek: Kingston Frontenacs, Klassen: Saskatoon Blades)

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