With the finish of the World Under-20 tournament the focus returns back to the entire prospect effort as the second half of the season begins in earnest.
Mitch Gaulton (2008 6th) playing with an protective covering on his finger had an assist as the Erie Otters were able to hold off the Plymouth Whalers 7-3. Still according to Victor Fernandes of Shootout, Gaulton left the game in the 2nd period and did not return.
For Gaulton, the assist extended his scoring streak to 4 games (1-5-6) as Gaulton has found his scoring touch which would make this injury that much more frustrating for the kid. Gaulton appears to have gotten the message that he needs to elevate his offensive game to earn a professional contract from the Rangers.
Gaulton improved to 4-18-22 on the season.
Scott Stajcer (2009 5th) saw his 4 game winning streak come to an end as Stajcer and his Owen Sound Attack fell to the London Knights 4-3. Stajcer stopped 24 0f 28 shots as his record fell to 15-15-2-1 on the season.
Chris Doyle (2008 5th) was scoreless as his Victoriaville Tigres had little trouble with the Acadie-Bathurst 7-3. Doyle took 5 shots and was a credited with one good hit. We hope Chris gets going soon as his numbers are nothing close to where they were last season.
Sam Klassen (2009 UFA) and his Saskatoon Blades took their 6 game winning streak into Kootenay on the final leg of a very long road trip. The Blades had been on the road since prior to the World Under-20 Championships so it is not a shock that they struggled and lost their "get away" game.
The Blades lost 8-1 as the Ice took over the game with a 5 goal second period outburst and the Blades simply waved the white flag. Nobody likes to end a road trip this way but it is also understandable to be away from home for over 2 weeks.
Tomas Kundratek (2008 3rd) and his Medicine Hat Tigers do not have that excuse as they were also beaten on the road but only 5-1 by the Moose Jaw Warriors. Kundratek and Co were just terrible especially in their own zone and deserved the beating they got.
It took Roman Horak (2009 5th) all of 33 seconds to get back in the swing of things for the Chilliwack Bruins as he earned a secondary assist on the Bruin's first goal of the game. Chilliwack jumped on the Prince George Cougars and never looked back winning 5-2.
Horak who we feel was badly misused by the Czech Republic team reverted right back to the same form that we were used to seeing. One assist for his 30th point of the season and a strong +3.
We are going to visit with Roman, Luke Walker and a now sure shot Top Ten 2010 draft pick this weekend in Nino Neiderreiter. With all due respect to the other CHL leagues, the WHL remains our favorite place to watch Ranger prospects develop.
(Gaulton courtesy of Mark Bell/Erie Otters)
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