Right now if you are wanting to look for the prospects who are heating up then look no closer than the QMJHL where Ryan Bourque (2009 3rd) and Chris Doyle (2008 5th) play.
This is also the time of the season where we look closer at the prospects to measure what does not show up on the scoresheets like their heart and desire and again we have to point towards the boys from the "Q".
On Sunday, Ryan Bourque kept his own hot streak going with a goal and an assist in a losing effort as his Quebec Remparts lost to the Lewiston MAINEaics 4-2. Bourque was everywhere trying to help the Remparts comeback in this game.
Bourque was making plays at both ends of the ice as he was looking to make the play rather than react to it. He got called for 2 minors because of his aggressive play (the 2nd call was really weak) but he also had 4 shots and helped to keep Lewiston's power play to a 1 for 10.
Bourque was named the game's third star for his hard work as the Remparts remain 5th in the QMJHL and are 7-3 in their last 10 games.
If you recall the other day when we pointed out that Bourque was having a strange streak where he would put up points in 2 games then skip one and do it again as he had 3 such streaks. This was the first of his 2 games and since returning from Team USA; Bourque is 6-9-15 in his last 10 games.
Then there is Chris Doyle who is playing for the Victoriaville Tigres now as if there was a player who needed a change it was Doyle. We have gotten a couple of chances to chat with Chris this season with the latest being last night.
Want to talk about a player who was carrying the weight of the world on his shoulders and no matter what was having people finding fault with him? That has been the world of Chris Doyle the last couple of years and we can very clearly see the change in his as a player and a person since the December trade.
Last night was perhaps the most relaxed that we have seen Doyle in the 2 years watching him. He wants to be a Ranger and wants his chance to show that to the Ranger world.
Even better is a new found self-confidence that we felt he was lacking last season. When we told him that he was just one point behind Ethan Werek for the prospect scoring title; Doyle said he was going to be number 1 and on Sunday he pulled into a tie with Werek.
Doyle set up linemate Tomas Kubalik for his 26th goal of the season and a 7-0 Victoriaville lead as they went on to win 7-1 over the Chicoutimi Saguenéens. Doyle extended his scoring streak to 6 games (1--7-8) to go 19-34-53.
Even better is that Doyle's Tigres won their 5th straight game as they are starting to gear up for their own playoff run. The Tigres are 3rd in the QMJHL with the win.
Out west Sam Klassen (2009 UFA) and his Saskatoon Blades are in a dogfight with the Brandon Wheat Kings for the top spot in the WHL's Eastern Conference. After play on Sunday both teams have 84 points but the Blades have the top spot for now because they have 2 games in hand.
Klassen and his Blades traveled to Kootenay to play another hot team in the Ice and got no love on Valentine's Day losing 6-3. Klassen was a -1 and took a penalty for "delay of game" when he and Ice winger Matt Fraser did not get their fight going.
While the Blades were losing to the Ice, the Wheat Kings were beating up on Tomas Kundratek (2008 3rd) and his Medicine Hat Tigers 5-1. Kundratek had a roughing minor and a delay of game penalty to show for his night as the Tigers dropped their 3rd straight game.
Roman Horak (2009 5th) and his Chilliwack Bruins lost their 2nd straight game to the Vancouver Giants 6-1 to finish off their home and home series. Horak struggled in this game as he was scoreless and a -2.
In the OHL, Daniel Maggio (2009 6th) and his Sudbury Wolves continued their own free fall as they lost their 4th straight 5-0 to the London Knights. The Wolves are now tied for 7th place in the OHL's Western Conference with the Oshawa Generals and Niagara Ice Dogs.
2 out of those 3 teams with make the playoffs but right now the Wolves are not doing anything right going 2-8 in their last 10 games. Maggio like the rest of his team is struggling to find his game and in a 5-0 loss there was no positives to come out of it.
(Doyle and Bourque images courtesy of Katherine Ep)
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