Friday, November 20, 2009

Going Toe to Toe

Typically when New York Ranger prospects go head to head with each other one player tends to get the better of the other. Rarely do we ever get to witness both prospects putting up numbers but we did in Chilliwack.

First Star (Tie) Roman Horak and Luke Walker

Last Sunday Roman Horak (2009 5th) and his Chilliwack Bruins took on Luke Walker's (Traverse City) Portland Winterhawks in Portland with Horak's Bruins winning 5-4 behind Horak's 2 goals. On Friday it was the Bruin's turn to be the hosts but the outcome was not much different.

The Bruins won this matchup 6-4 but what was different was that both player put up 2 goals and an assist each. The difference was that Horak got the game winner and had a +3.

Horak got the night going when he took a feed from defenseman Mitch Topping and beat Portland goalie Ian Curtis for Chilliwack's 2nd goal at 12:41 of the first period. Less than a minute later Luke Walker fed Chris Francis for a goal at 13:21 to cut Chilliwack's lead to 2-1.

That score carried over into the second period when Horak teamed with linemate Ryan Howse on a 2 on 1 shorthanded breakaway that Howse converted for a 3-1 Bruin lead.

Luke Walker then pulled the Winterhawks into a a 3-3 tie with 2 straight goals; the first came at 14:19 off a feed from Chris Francis. Then Walker being double shifted 4 minutes later tied the game at 18:04.

Chilliwack scored to take a 4-3 lead before the end of the 2nd period and in the third Horak and Howse team up again for a shorthanded goal this time it was Horak who scored at just 55 seconds into the 3rd period for a 5-3 lead that Chilliwack eventually turned into a 6-4 win for their 3rd straight win.

Horak, the game's "Second Star" finished with a career high 3 points scoring his 9th and 10th goals of the season with his 14th assist. Horak also was a +3 as he is now 10-14-24, +10.

Walker earned the game's "Third Star" in a losing effort with his 13th and 14th goals of the season and his 12th assist. Walker is now 14-12-26 as he is well on his way to topping his 29-23-52 of last season.

Second Star Luke Pither

Luke Pither (Traverse City) was the entire Barrie Colt offense during regulation as his 2 first period goals were all the Colts would score during regulation against the Brampton Battalion. The Colts though scored in overtime to earn their 10th straight win 3-2.

Pither scored his first goal on the power play at 11:18 of the first period; it was his 11th power play goal of the season and his 17th goal of the season.

Pither added his second goal of the night also on the power play at 16:44 for a 2-0 Barrie lead. It was power play goal number 12 and 18th overall (tops among Ranger prospects).

Pither earned the game's "First Star" for his efforts as he is now 18-17-35 good for 6th in the OHL. His 12 power play goals leads the entire OHL.

The Rest of the Ranger Prospects

We were concerned how Ethan Werek (2009 2nd) would do playing his 3rd game in 3 nights but he was fine. His Kingston Frontenacs on the other hand were not as they saw their 4 game winning streak come to a crashing halt 8-1 to the Kitchener Rangers.

Werek had an assist to extend his scoring streak to 7 games as he is now 15-12-27.

Mitch Gaulton (2008 6th) had 2 assists as his Erie Otters came back from down 4-2 in the 3rd period but lost in overtime 5-4 to the London Knights. Gaulton has a 4 game scoring streak of his own (1-4-5) but was a -3 for the evening.

Daniel Maggio (2009 6th) had an assist for his 13th point of the season while earning the game's "Third Star" for a strong 2 way game as Sudbury shut out the Saginaw Spirit. Maggio has been playing well even if the Sudbury team has been struggling.

Chris Doyle's (2008 5th) Prince Edward Island Rocket returned to action after having 2 games postponed last weekend when half the team came down with the flu. Doyle scored his 9th goal of the season and played a decent game but the Rocket lost to the Moncton Wildcats 5-4.

Doyle scored the Rocket's first goal of the game, was 5-3 on his faceoffs. registered 3 shots and 1 good hit.

Ryan Bourque (2009 3rd) and his Quebec Remparts also returned to action after fighting the flu bug but their game was still in the sick bad as they were spanked 6-1 by the Shawinigan Cataractes. Bourque was held to just 2 shots on goal.

Sam Klassen (2009 UFA) was a +2 as his Saskatoon Blades won their 4th straight 4-1 over the Moose Jaw Warriors. The Blades now have points in 12 straight games as they lead the WHL.

Tomas Kundratek (2008 3rd) had an assist for his 12 point of the season as the Medicine Hat Tigers held on to defeat the Prince Albert Raiders 6-4. Kundratek and his Tigers now have won 4 straight.

Kundratek is the only Ranger prospect (besides Goalie Scott Stajcer) without a goal on the season.

Carl Hagelin (2007 6th) and his 15th ranked Michigan Wolverines dropped their 5th game in a row to Bowling Green 4-2. It is the first time since 1988 that Michigan has lost 5 games straight.

Hagelin was held scoreless despite firing 4 shots.

Max Campbell (2007 5th) was held to just 1 shot as his Western Michigan Broncos were shut out 3-0 by top ranked Miami of Ohio. The killer was giving up 2 shorthanded goals to the best defensive team in college hockey.

Chris Kreider (2009 1st) was held to no shots and was a -1 as his 18th ranked Boston College jumped out to a 2-0 lead and then held on for a 4-3 win over the Maine Black Bears.

The Badger Brothers, Ryan McDonagh (2009 Trade) and Derek Stepan (2008 2nd) were both held scoreless as their 16th ranked Wisconsin Badgers were upset by St. Cloud State 4-1.

(Horak courtesy of the Chilliwack Bruins, Walker courtesy of the Portland Winterhawks, Pither courtesy of Aaron Bell/OHL Images)

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