First Star Ryan Bouque
If you are looking for a reason why Team USA has a great shot at repeating as gold medalist then start with perhaps the hottest prospect not only for the New York Rangers but perhaps all of the Canadian juniors in Ryan Bourque (2009 3rd). Bourque had 2 goals to help his Quebec Remparts win their 5th straight game 4-2 over the Moncton Wildcats.
Bourque got his Rempart's going when he scored his 19th goal of the season at 14:26 of the 2nd period for a 1-0 lead. Moncton tied to game 19 seconds later but Quebec scored 2 straight to jump out to a 3-1 lead.
Moncton got one goal back before the period ended to make a 3-2 game. The 3rd period was back and forth as Bourque and Co. fought hard to keep Moncton at bay until Bourque sealed the game with his 20th goal of the season at 19:57 with an empty netter.
The 2 goals by Bourque extended his goal scoring streak to 3 games (4), his scoring streak to 6 games (7-1-8) and moved him up to 14th in the QMJHL at 20-19-39. Bourque also is tied with Christian Thomas for the Ranger prospect scoring lead.
The talented freshman for Notre Dame Anders Lee (NYI 2009 6th) earned the game's first star with his 10th goal and 8th assist of the season leading his 11th ranked Notre Dame to a 5-2 win over Northern Michigan. It is only fitting that the talented freshman sends the Fighting Irish on their holiday break since it was Lee who carried the Irish to their opening night win.
Against Northern Michigan , it was Lee who scored the game winner when he broke a 2-2 tie at 10:46 of the 3rd period to help Notre Dame win their 11th game of the season. Lee led the Irish with 8 shots.
Lee has been a huge blessing as the 6'2 220 power forward is 3rd leading scorer for the Irish. We would be surprised if Lee stays more than 2 seasons before turning pro.
When your team is on an extended winless streak it is hard to find ways to remain positive but it is also a very good way to separate the prospects who want to win from those going through the motions. David Toews (2008 3rd) made the decision to go from North Dakota to the WHL because he felt it would best prepare him for an NHL career.
He went from an annual NCAA contender to a team that is at the bottom of the WHL but not once has he regretted his decision which says a lot about character. Even more so is that Toews has continued to work hard and on Sunday helped his Brandon Wheat Kings end a 11 game winless season against the Prince Albert Raiders.
Toews had 2 assists including setting up what proven to be the game winner as Brandon broke open a close game with a 3 goal third period. For Toews, it was his 10th and 11th assists of the year as he is showing he can put up offense.
The Rest of the Prospects
Christian Thomas (NYR 2010 2nd) scored his 23rd goal of the season but his Oshawa Generals lost 3-2 in overtime to the Brampton Battalion. Teammate Tony DeHart (NYI 2010 5th) returned to the lineup after being a health scratch and was a +1 with 4 PIMs.
Brock Nelson (NYI 2010 1st) picked a very good time to score his 2nd goal of the season as it was a game tying goal for his 5th ranked North Dakota Fighting Sioux as it tied the game at 2-2. The Fighting Sioux went on to a 3-2 win over Minnesota State.
Jason Gregoire ( NYI 2007 3rd) missed his 4th straight game with an undisclosed injury for North Dakota.
Aaron Ness (NYI 2008 2nd) was scoreless as his Minnesota Golden Gophers played 2nd ranked Minnesota-Duluth to a 2-2 overtime tie.
Daniel Hobbs ( NYR 2007 7th) was scoreless as his UMass/Amherst Minutemen saw their 3 game unbeaten streak end at the hands of the 6th ranked Maine Black Bears 4-1.
Did Not Play
Ethan Werek (NYR 2009 2nd) Kingston Frontenacs upper body injury missed 2nd game
Scott Stajcer (NYR 2009 5th) Owen Sound Attack unknown injury missed 10th game
Dan Maggio (NYR 2009 6th) Guelph Storm ankle missed 7th game
Casey Cizikas (NYI 2009 4th) Mississauga St. Michael's attending Hockey Canada camp
Calvin De Haan (NYI 2009 1st) Oshawa Generals attending Hockey Canada camp
(Images Bourque/NHLMedia.com, Lee/New York Islanders, Toews/Brandon Wheat Kings)
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