Saturday night was one of those evenings where the less said about it then the better off everyone will be. 11 New York Ranger prospects took to the ice and just one of them had a really good night.
Luke Walker and Roman Horak gave us a great show in Portland but only 1 won so when you go 2-9 then it is a bad evening.
Tonight's Star Carl Hagelin
Carl Hagelin (2007 6th) and his Michigan Wolverines are facing the very real possibility of not making the NCAA tournament this season ending a run of 19 straight post-season appearances. When your team is barely over 500 then your only real hope on earning a bid is going to be to win the CCHA tournament for the automatic bid.
On Saturday night Hagelin had a career evening with 2 goals and 2 assists in leading the Wolverines to a 6-1 win over Max Campbell and his Western Michigan Broncos. Hagelin who's previous single game best was 3 points on a couple of occasions had one of those nights where everything was perfect for him.
Hagelin got his evening going when he set up Chad Langlais's goal just 26 seconds into the game. Just 3:18 later Hagelin set up Matt Rust for Michigan's 2nd goal and eventual game winner.
In the 3rd period Hagelin scored the first of his 2 goals when he put in his 11th of the season at 9:51 of the period for a 4-1 Michigan lead. Then just 3:09 later Hagelin scored his 12th and Michigan's 5th goal of the game.
Hagelin improved his season to 12-13-25 as the Michigan junior has a shot at topping his career bests of 13-18-31 set last season. Hagelin now also has a 4 game scoring streak going as he has gone 3-6-9 during this streak.
The Rest of the Ranger Prospects
Roman Horak (2009 5th) and his Chilliwack Bruins were in Portland to face Luke Walker (Traverse City) and the Portland Winterhawks. It was a lot of fun to watch the former linemates go act it with each other as both played like they had something to prove.
If the WHL playoffs were to start today then these 2 teams would be facing each other in the first round and this game was played like a playoff match up. Portland dominated the first period jumping out to a 2-0 lead (with Walker earning an assist on Portland's first goal) .
Chilliwack scored a goal in the 2nd period to cut Portland's lead in a game that was chippy from the very start. We have to say that Luke Walker out played Horak in this one at both ends of the ice as the more we see Walker the more we like what we see.
In fact this Portland team is a very young one with 3 players on it who could very well go in the first round of the 2010 NHL draft. The best of the bunch Swiss phenom Nino Niederreiter scored a huge goal in the 3rd period to give Portland back their 2 goal lead.
Neiderreiter we believe is going to wind up as no less than a Top 10 pick but his improved play is going to push him into the top 5. Neiderreiter in our eyes is the best prospect to come from Switzerland in years.
As for Horak he took 2 shots, was his typical monster on faceoffs and showed a willingness to play a physical game. He really needs to add to his upper body to get stronger.
Portland won the game 3-1.
Max Campbell (2007 5th) of Western Michigan was held scoreless in the loss to Carl Hagelin's Michigan Wolverines. Campbell was held to just 3 shots on goal for the game.
Ethan Werek (2009 2nd) scored his 20th goal of the season but it was not enough as his Kingston Frontenacs lost 5-2 to the Ottawa 67's. Werek's goal puts him on a pace for 40 for the season.
Daniel Maggio (2009 6th) and his Sudbury Wolves traveled to Belleville to face the Bulls but appeared to leave their game back in Sudbury as they were whipped 7-0.
Scott Stajcer (2009 5th) got the start for the Owen Sound Attack but was pulled just 6:26 into the game after giving up 2 goals on 5 shots. That was the second straight game where Stajcer got yanked and while last night it worked for a Owen Sound win; this time it failed as Owen Sound dropped a 5-1 decision to the Saginaw Spirit.
Danny Hobbs (2007 7th) and his UMass Minutemen got whipped by New Hampshire 7-2. Hobbs had a very quiet night with no shots.
Sam Klassen (2009 UFA) and his Saskatoon Blades returned home for the first time since before Christmas but lost 3-1 to the Lethbridge Hurricanes. Klassen had a quiet evening going scoreless and just one minor to report.
Tomas Kundratek (2008 3rd) and his Medicine Tigers came back from down 2 goals on 2 occasions but eventually fell in the shootout 6-5 to the Regina Pats. Kundratek also was scoreless in the game.
Mitch Gaulton (2008 6th) missed what wound up being a great comeback as his Erie Otters rallied from down 5 goals in the 3rd period to force overtime before losing 8-7 in the shootout to the London Knights.
We are under the impression that Gaulton's injured finger was the reason why he did not play.
(Carl Hagelin courtesy of the Michigan Wolverines)
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