Monday, January 10, 2011

Coming Back then Coming Back Some More

Sunday was one of those days where you actually had to stick around for the entire game because in most of the games how it started was not how it ended. In 3 of the games played on Sunday the team that led after the first period did not win the game.

Nino Niederreiter (NYI 2010 1st) and his Portland Winterhawks looked as if they were going to get blown out of their own building in the game's first 7 minutes. Against the Everett Silvertips, the Winterhawks gave up 3 goals in the first 7:11 and looked like a last place team.

The yank was given starting goalie Mac Carruth as Keith Hamilton replaced him but Ryan Johansen got Portland on the board at 8:33. Everett made it 4-1 at 13:46 and this one looked like it was over.

Oliver Gabriel started the comback when he scored a shorthanded goal at 17:20 so the Winterhawks ended the first period just down 4-2. After a scoreless second period where the Winterhawks out shoot the Silvertips 18-4, the Winterhawks mounted a comeback in third period as Tyler Wotherspoon picked a great time to score his 1st goal of the season at 9:42 to make it 4-3.

Portland pushed hard to earn that tying goal and it was Nino Niederreiter who delivered at 16:22 with his 14th goal of the season and Portland forced overtime. Nobody scored in overtime and it was Nino's fellow Swiss Sven Bartschi who was the only one who converted on his shootout attempt to send Portland home 5-4 winners.

In Chilliwack Roman Horak (NYR 2009 5th) is playing like he wants to prove that his performance at the just finished World Under-20 Championships was not who he is as Horak put up 3 assists including setting up Dylan McKinlay overtime winner to give Chilliwack a 5-4 overtime win over the Seattle Thunderbirds.

Horak who had a disappointing tournament has come back with a chip on his shoulder which is good for a Chilliwack team that in this case blew a 2 goal lead in the 3rd period. While Horak was gone the Bruins fell all the way to last place in the WHL's Western Conference so every game counts now for them.

Horak moved into second place among Ranger prospects as he improved to 15-27-42 on the season. Horak now has a 3 game scoring streak 0-5-5.

Maybe someone should have criticized Jason Wilson (NYR 2010 5th) sooner as Wilson's 8th goal of the season tied the game up at 2-2 as Wilson's Niagara IceDogs defeated an Ethan Werek-less Kingston Frontenacs 6-2.

Wilson's goal came at 7:20 of the second period starting the IceDogs on a 5 goal run to give him goals in back to back games for the second time this season but more importantly, Wilson a 2-6-8 run over his last 8 games.

The win helped the IceDogs to within 7 points of the Mississauga St. Michael's Majors for first place in the OHL's Central Conference. For the Frontenacs, it was bad enough not having Werek for 10 games now but they have gone 3-7 in their last 10.

The Oshawa Generals are going to look back to this game against the Peterborough Petes with some regrets should they fail to keep home ice advantage in the first round of the OHL playoffs. The Petes are at the bottom of the OHL's Eastern Conference jumped out to a 2-0 lead lead, lost it then score 2 more straight to steal a 4-3 win from the Generals.

Calvin De Haan (NYI 2009 1st) had 2 assists for the Generals so he is not to blame but Dan Maggio (NYR 2009 6th) took 2 penalties with a misconduct and Christian Thomas (NYR 2010 1st ) scoreless with 2 minors as well.

We had almost forgotten about Corey Trivino (NYI 2008 2nd) and his 15th ranked Boston University Terriers but they returned from their holiday break with a harder than should have been 4-2 win over Vermont.  Trivino scored his 4th goal of the season as he sealed the game with an empty net goal with 37 seconds remaining in regulation.

Ryan Bourque got a second night off to recover from the World Under-20 championships by his Quebec Remparts as they had little trouble with the Baie-Comeau Drakkar 4-1.

(Niedereiter/Portland Winterhawks, Horak/Chilliwack Bruins, Wilson and De Haan/Aaron Bell and Terry Wilson/OHL Images)

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