Friday, December 3, 2010

Tossing Some Teddy Bears

One of the coolest things about hockey is the Teddy Bear Toss. All over North America at this time of year, the Teddy Bear toss is used as a way help out those children in need.

The premise is simple when the home team scores their first goal of the game their fans get to throw teddy bears on the ice. In many cases it is the players who deliver the bears to kids in hospitals or in shelters.

Through out the years, for reasons we have never wanted to know, it always seemed that a New York Ranger prospect either scored or set up the teddy bear goal. Tonight the Oshawa Generals who held their teddy bear toss and New York Ranger prospect Christian Thomas (2010 2nd) who scored the Teddy Bear goal.

Thomas's 19th goal of the season at 4:34 of the 2nd period gave Oshawa General fans their reason to toss 3119 bears onto the ice and more importantly it gave the Generals a 1-0 lead in their game against Ethan Werek (NYR 2009 2nd)'s Kingston Frontenacs.

Werek was the center of attention in this game as he set up Nathan Moon for the tying goal on the power at 15:47 of the second period then somehow beat the clock to score his 15th goal of the season at 19:59 to give Kingston a 2-1 lead at the end of 2 period.

In the 3rd period, Oshawa tied the game at 2-2 and as regulation was ending Werek (from the General's side)  got away with a slash on New York Islander prospect Oshawa defenseman Calvin De Haan (2009 1st). De Haan was not injured but was held scoreless in the game.

Still in a game that featured 3 of the top prospects of the Rangers and Islanders, it was a 5th round pick who wound up being deciding the game as Tony DeHart (NYI 2010 5th) with just 28 seconds left in overtime set up the game winning goal for a 3-2 General win.

DeHart does not get the publicity but he has quietly improved to 2-12-14, +13 on the season. Thomas is now leading the Ranger prospects at 19-16-35 while Werek is 3rd at 15-14-29. With the win the Generals jumped past the Frontenacs for 2nd place in East Division.

In Brampton, Casey Cizikas (NYI 2009 4th) continues to show why he has been the Islander's best prospect as Cizikas was the 1st star of the game for the 2nd straight game thanks to his 4th game winning goal of the season (#14 on the season) and his 18th assist of the season leading his Mississauga St. Michael's Majors defeated the Brampton Battalion 3-2.

If there is any question as to which team is the best in the CHL then going 16-0-0-1 in your last 17 games like the Majors are makes a strong argument for you. Mississauga has not lost a game in regulation since October 22 as the OHL's number one offense (113 goals) is also the OHL's number one defense (60 goals allowed).

Jason Wilson (2010 5th) and his Niagara IceDogs extended their unbeaten streak to 4 games after defeating the Windsor Spitfires 5-3. Wilson was scoreless in the game as the IceDogs try to stay close to division leader Mississauga in the standings.

In Moncton, Kirill Kabanov (NYI 2010 3rd) returned to face his former team as his Lewiston MAINEaics
took on the the Moncton Wildcats. Yes Kabanov was scoreless, yes he was a -1 with 2 minors and yes his MAINEaics lost 4-3.

But here is the difference, Kabanov is a kid all of 18 and oh yes he has made some mistakes in his life but you know what last week when Kabanov's MAINEaics defeated it was the kid who acted like the adult saying the nice things.

Life is supposed to  be about 2nd chances and if Lewiston is willing to try to help Kabanov turn his life around then we are all for it. Lord knows how many mistakes as well as chances we have gotten so cross our fingers and hope that Kabanov sees the gifts he has.

Finally Islander prospect Blake Kessel (2007 6th) and his 5th ranked New Hampshire Wildcats had no problem with UMass-Lowell winning 3-0. Kessel was scoreless on 2 shots and a +1.


If you think the Rangers/Islanders rivalry is hard core then set your DVRs Friday night to CBS College Sports at 7:30 EDT/ 4:30 PDT as Islander 2008 2nd round pick Corey Trivino's 3rd ranked Boston University hosts Ranger prospect Chris Kreider (2009 1st)'s 8th ranked Boston College in game 1 of a weekend home and home.

Saturday the teams switch locales but CBS College Sports will bring that game live as well.

(Christian Thomas courtesy of Aaron Bell/OHL Images)

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