Monday, December 7, 2009

Something about "3's"

Not sure what is causing all the 3 point efforts from the New York Ranger prospects as of late; but whatever it is please let them keep it up. Add Tomas Kundratek to the list as Kundratek's 3 assists helped his Medicine Hat Tigers hold off the Lethbridge Hurricanes 4-3.

The game which was originally scheduled for ironically Saturday night was made up on Monday evening in Lethbridge and the Tigers almost gave this game away. The Tigers jumped out to a 3-0 lead and then had to hold on for dear life as the Hurricanes almost came all the way back in the 3rd period.

Kundratrek got his night going when he fed Tristian King for a power play goal at 13:37 of the first period for a 1-0 Medicine Hat lead. It was Kundratek's 14th assist on the season and 6th on the power play.

Kundratek then had a secondary assist on an even strength goal at 7:58 of the second period for a 2-0 Medicine Hat lead. It was assist #15 for the young defender from the Czech Republic.

And then Kundratek earned his 3rd assist of the night when he fed rookie sensation Emerson Etem for Etem's 21st goal of the season. It was Kundratek's 16th assist and 7th on the power play and a Medicine Hat 3-0 lead.

The 3rd period belonged to the Hurricanes as they fought to get back into the game but Medicine Hat was able to hang on for the win.

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Normally we take Monday's off since nobody has been playing but since we had a game why not a quick look at the latest college poll. For us the main poll is the USA Today/USA Hockey version which is not a slight against the USCHO.com poll but both polls tend to mirror each other.

This week turns out to be a rather interesting poll as Ranger prospects are represented by 3 teams in this week's poll. Maybe it is because of which teams are moving towards the top of the poll that we wanted to bring the poll up.

Boston College with 2009 First Round pick Chris Kreider jumped from 14th to 10th in this week's poll. When people want to bring up Kreider's lack of big numbers, we want to point out that (a) Kreider is only a freshman but has been playing on the Eagle's top line and (b) the Eagles have been playing against some of the better programs in college hockey and Kreider has held his own.

Do we wish he had big numbers? Yes of course we would. Did we like the pick in the first place? No but this is not Hugh Jessiman at Dartmouth as Boston College is a top program in the USA.

Derek Stepan (2008 2nd) and Ryan McDonagh (2009 Trade) saw their Wisconsin Badgers jump from unranked to 11th in this week's poll after 2 weeks of some very solid hockey. Wisconsin is one of the best defensive teams in college hockey and toss in now that Derek Stepan with 11 points in his last 4 games in on fire.

The Badgers only give up 2 goals a game and score almost double that themselves; we mention this because Stepan and McDonagh are going to make ideal additions to the Ranger system.

Danny Hobbs (2007 7th) and his UMass Minutemen on the other hand have been the surprise team early in the season but the last 2 weeks have fallen back to Earth. UMass has dropped from 9th in the polls to 15th after losing their last 3 straight games.

The difference though has been that the losses have come to 3 teams ranked in this poll (#8 Quinnipac, #9 UMass Lowell, and #10 Boston College) so it is not as if the Minutemen are playing weak opposition.

(Kundratek courtesy of the Medicine Hat Tigers, Kreider courtesy of Dennis Pause)

1 comment:

Adam said...

Jessiman came from Dartmouth not Cornell where he ended up breaking his ankle his senior year, severly stunting his development. Dartmouth has produced Stempniak, David Jones, TJ Galiardi, Grant Lewis, Ben Lovejoy, and Nick Johnson in the past few years. All considered decent prospects/players where most should or will be playing in the nhl and Jessiman was at the time the best out of all of them (most played together at one point or another). Yes, he was drafted too high but his "bust" label was not due to playing at Dartmouth but to injuries at critical times and loss of confidence.