Friday night was one of those nights where you just shake your head, look at the report and then toss it away because it was mostly very bad. 11 games involving New York Ranger prospects took place but the record for the night was 3-7-1 and in several cases bad losses.
Tonight's Star Craig Cunningham
Craig Cunningham (Traverse City) was the only Ranger prospect who could honestly say he stood out as for the 8th time this season Cunningham scored 3 or more points in a single game.
Tonight against the Kamloops Blazers, Cunningham was a huge part of a 2nd period comeback as Cunningham's Vancouver Giants roared back from down 3-0 to defeat the Blazers 5-3. Cunningham had a goal and 2 assists in the win while improving his stats to 18-33-51 for the season.
With the Giants trailing 3-1 in the second period, Cunningham scored his 18th goal of the season at 12:15 to cut the Blazer lead to just 1. 2:59 later at 15:14 while on the power play, Cunningham fed teammate teammate Kevin Connauton to tie the game at 3-3.
In the 3rd period with the score still tied, Cunningham earned his 2nd assist and 3rd point on the night when he was credited for a secondary assist on what proved to be the game winning goal. The goal scored at 10:01 of the 3rd period by Neil Manning.
Cunningham was named the game's First Star for his efforts as Cunningham moved into 3rd place in the WHL scoring race. Cunningham's December has been going quite well as going 4-6-10 in just 6 games.
The Rest of the Ranger Prospects
Carl Hagelin (2007 7th) scored his team leading 9th goal as his Michigan Wolverines defeated Notre Dame 4-1. The goal was Michigan's first of the game and Hagelin also took sole possession of the Michigan scoring lead at 9-6-15.
Tomas Kundratek (2008 3rd) had an assist on Medicine Hat Tiger's last goal of the game as the Tigers blew out the Regina Pats 7-2. For Kundratek it was his 17th assist of the season and 18th point overall.
In a game televised by the NHL Network, the Wisconsin Badgers with Derek Stepan (2008 2nd) and Ryan McDonagh (2009 Trade) skated to a 3-3 overtime tie with rival North Dakota.
McDonagh had a primary assist (his 8th) on Wisconsin's 3rd goal but he also took a costly crosschecking penalty that led to the game tying goal. Both Stepan and McDonagh showed exactly why both prospects are going to become solid players for the Rangers as they showed strong 2 way play.
Sadly the college game needs to improve on it's instant replay use as what could have been the game winning goal for Wisconsin was waved off when the refs thought the shot was directed by a high stick. A couple of angles indicated that the puck actually hit a North Dakota defender not a high stick.
Mitch Gaulton (2008 6th) scored his 3rd goal of the season but his Erie Otters were doubled up 6-3 by the Plymouth Whalers. Gaulton was also a -2 but we hope that Gaulton would look more often
Roman Horak (2009 5th) scored the only goal for his Chilliwack Bruins as they were whipped 7-1 by the Spokane Chiefs. This one was dreadful for the Bruins in all areas as Horak improved to 12-15-27 on the season.
Ryan Bourque (2009 3rd) had a very quiet game as his Quebec Remparts were defeated at home by the Victoriaville Tigres 4-3. Bourque was held to 1 shot, -1, 0-1 on faceoffs and 1 hit.
Chris Doyle (2008 5th) and his Prince Edward Island Rocket became the Saint John Sea Dog's 21st straight victim as they lost 4-1. The Sea Dogs now have the 3rd longest winning streak in QMJHL history.
Doyle had an assist (his 15th) on the Rocket's only goal while taking 4 shots, 3-1 on faceoffs and 2 good hits.
Ethan Werek (2009 2nd) and his Kingston Frontenacs fell behind the Oshawa Generals 4-0 and then eventually lost 5-2. Werek was scoreless and a -2 for the night.
Scott Stajcer (2009 5th) went from a great weekend last week to a horrible start on Friday night. Stajcer started against the Guelph Storm gave up 2 quick goals which led to his getting yanked.
His replacement was even worse giving up 2 goals in even less time so back went in Stajcer who gave up 4 more goals and took an 8-1 loss.
Max Campbell (2007 6th) and his Western Michigan Broncos were shut out by the Ferris State Bulldogs 3-0.
Luke Pither (Traverse City) and his Barrie Colts and Daniel Maggio's (2009 6th) Sudbury Wolves had their game postponed due to bad weather conditions. No makeup date has been announced.
We bring that up because people do not realize that sometimes these kids are on the road during some very lousy weather. This weekend we choose to stay home using the excuse that we could watch games on the PC and the TV because of freezing rain.
We bring this up because 14 members of the Fraser Valley Bruins along with their driver wound up taking a trip to the hospital when their bus was involved in an accident. Thankfully nobody was hurt seriously but if you have ever driven in the ice then you know how scary it can be.
Luke Walker Update
Andy Kemper the voice of the Portland Winterhawks reported this evening that Luke Walker took 50 stitches and had a plate inserted in his mouth area. Walker is going to miss both Winterhawk games this weekend but fully intends to attend the USA Evaluation Camp.
Check Us Out
We joined forces with the folks at HockeyIndependent.com to provide prospect coverage on all prospects everywhere. Our first look is at the Portland Winterhawks and we hope you add the folks at HI to your list of places to visit
(Cunningham courtesy of the Vancouver Giants)
56 minutes ago