Sunday, December 6, 2009

This Kind of Zero We Like

Tonight's Star Scott Stajcer

It was just the other night when we thought that Scott Stajcer (2009 5th) deserved a better fate after playing what we thought was his best effort against the Ottawa 67s on Friday. On Sunday Stajcer got his just reward as he earned his first OHL career shutout over Ethan Werek (2009 2nd) and the Kingston Frontenacs 2-0.

Stajcer stopped all 36 shots he faced as his Owen Sound Attack won their 2nd straight game and 4th win in their last 5 games. Stajcer himself has gone now 4-1 in his own last 5 starts.

The Scott Stajcer we have been seeing as of late is the one we were talking about during training camp. It is also ironic that Stajcer earned his shutout while facing the same goalie who's job he took in Tyler Beskorowany.

Our friends with the Frontenacs put up their game highlights and most of them center around Ethan Werek getting robbed by Stajcer than it is how well Stajcer played here. Still you will see a couple of very good saves by Stajcer on Werek as well as a couple of other Frontenacs.

With the win and shutout, Stajcer improves to 11-12-1-1, new career bests in Goals Against 3.35 and Save Percentage 0.911. We said it during the preseason and will repeat it here; Scott Stajcer has the potential to become the best Ranger goalie prospect and we expect to see more nights like this.

As you also saw from the highlights here, Ethan Werek did not play a bad game of his own. Give credit to Stajcer for most of it but in a couple of cases, Werek tried to rush his own offense which helped stop himself.

There was one moment when the 2 Ranger prospects actually exchanged some heated words with each other as in the 6 seasons of Prospect Park; it reminded us that we have never seen 2 Ranger prospects fight each other in a game.

Daniel Maggio (2009 6th) did not score but was a +2 as his Sudbury Wolves won their 3rd straight game 3-1 over the Brampton Battalion. Maggio's game has settled down over the last week as it looks like the Wolves are wanting him to play the offensive minded role for them.

In the QMJHL, Ryan Bourque (2009 3rd) was scoreless as his Quebec Remparts won in the shootout 6-5 over the Rimouski Oceanic. We hate sounding like a broken record but when Bourque plays center we believe his offense suffers.

Bourque just 1 shot on goal, went 4-10 on his face offs and registered just 1 good hit on the night. Bourque is a better winger than he is a center and that is where the Remparts will get the best out of him.

In the WHL, Roman Horak (2009 5th) did not score but his Chilliwack Bruins shut out Craig Cunningham (Traverse City) and the Vancouver Giants 4-0. The Bruins earned their 2nd straight win over the Giants but we expect both teams to be writing a couple of checks to the WHL to cover some fines we expect to see levied on both teams.

This game got out of hand late in the contest as when all was said and done both teams combined for 104 PIMs. The score also could have been worse if the Bruins had been better than 3 for 12 on the power play.

Finally Luke Walker (Traverse City) had 2 primary assists but his Portland Winterhawks could not hold a late 4-3 lead and eventually lost in the shootout 5-4 to the Spokane Chiefs. Walker registered his 14th and 15th assists on the season as he is now 15-15-30 +13 for the season.

As a reminder the Seattle Thunderbirds will be donating 100% of the proceeds from online ticket sales on Wednesday Dec 9th from 9 Am - 9 Pm to the Lakewood Police Independent Guild.

In case you have forgotten, the Lakewood Police Department had 4 officers murdered last Sunday. For more information please check here.

We also want to salute those who attended Saturday's game between the T-Birds and Everett Silvertips. Those fans donated over $10,000 to the Lakewood Police Independent Guild.

(Stajcer courtesy of OHL Images/Terry Wilson)

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