Friday, October 30, 2009

Plenty of Helpers

When the New York Rangers used their 2009 3rd round pick on Ryan Bourque there was no question that they were looking at one of the top young playmakers to come out of the USA Hockey program.

Despite his having 6-3-9 for stats so far as a member of the Quebec Remparts; our belief remained that Ryan Bourque's best potential was as a playmaking forward. On Thursday evening Bourque showed exactly why we had that belief.

Ryan Bourque had a career high 4 assist evening as his Quebec Remparts defeated the Moncton Wildcats 5-2. It was a truly impressive performance for the 18 year old from Boxford Ma.

Bourque got his night going when he fed Kelly Tessier for a power play goal and a 1-0 Quebec lead at 4:20 of the first period. At 13:54 of the same period, Bourque this time set up teammate Marc-Olivier Vallerand for another power play goal and a 3-0 lead.

That assist proved to be the game winning one as the team's traded goals in the second and third periods with Bourque earning secondary assists on both Quebec goals. For his efforts, Bourque earned the game's second star for his 4 assists and a +2.

What is interesting to note is that despite the 4 assists, Bourque never got credited for a shot on goal in this game.

Luke Pither (Traverse City) also earned a second star for a goal and two assists (+2) as well) as his Barrie Colts blew out the Niagara Ice Dogs 7-0 in OHL action. For Pither it was his 7th multi-point game of the season (11-10-21).

It took Pither all of 18 seconds to get on the scoresheet as he fed teammate Byran Cameron for a 1-0 Barrie lead and eventual game winning goal. Pither added a secondary assist on Barrie's second goal at 6:56 also in the first period.

In the second period Pither scored his 11th on the power play at 6:55 for Barrie's fourth goal of the game. For the Colts it was a great performance as they got 7 goals from 7 different players in the win.

Scott Stajcer (2009 5th) got the night off as his back up Jordan Binnington got the start and led the Owen Sound Attack to a huge 5-4 upset shootout win over the Windsor Spitfires on the road. Too bad the Attack do not give Stajcer this kind of support on a regular basis.

Finally we want to send out our congratulations to Craig Cunningham (Traverse City) of the Vancouver Giants for being named to Team WHL for the Subway Super Series against Russia. Cunningham very much was a deserving pick as 7th leading scorer in the WHL (9-14-23) which is also tops among Ranger prospects.

The Subway Super Series is used by Hockey Canada to help decide who earns an invite to tryout for Canada's Under-20 team. Cunningham joins Ethan Werek as the only Ranger prospects who are getting to face Russia in this series.

Now before anyone wonders why; to earn an invite you have to be Canadian, under 20 and playing in one of the 3 CHL leagues.

Right now it looks like Derek Stepan, Ryan Bourque and Chris Kreider are remain in the hunt for Team USA. Roman Horak is expected to join the Czech Republic team with a possibility that the Rangers will release Evgeny Grachev from Hartford to join Russia.

The odds are stacked against both Cunningham and Werek making the Canadian team.

(Bourque courtesy of the Quebec Remparts)

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