Sunday, February 27, 2011

Not Doubting Thomas

Make sure you join us at from 12 PM until 4 PM as we break down trade deadline day in a chat with the Blueshirt Bulletin crew.

OK stop us if you have heard this one before, a Christian Thomas (NYR 2010 2nd) played hockey and scored a goal. Oh yea you have heard this one before about 46 other times before today.

Thomas and his Oshawa Generals were looking to extend their 6 game winning streak against the leaders of the OHL's Western Conference, the Owen Sound Attack. This one had all the makings of an offensive shoot out with 2 of the highest scoring teams in the OHL.

In the first period, Owen Sound jumped out to a early 1-0 lead  46 seconds into the game before Thomas answered with his 47th goal of the season at 7:42 on the power play. Owen Sound eventually took a 2-1 lead into the 2nd period where they added 1 more goal to go up 3-1.

Oshawa responded with 2 goals of their own in the 2nd period with Calvin De Haan (NYI 2009 1st) earning a secondary assist on the tying goal. The teams remained tied though 3rd period and overtime as the game wound up in the shootout.

Oshawa shoot first in the shootout missing on their first attempt as Owen Sound made theirs. Christian Thomas shot 2nd and made his attempt while Owen Sound missed on theirs. Oshawa missed on their 3rd attempt but Owen Sound did not gaining the extra point and a 4-3 win.

Oshawa goes from a 6 game winning streak to a 7 game unbeaten in regulation streak. The point the Generals earned cut Ottawa's lead in the East Division to 2 points (Generals have game in hand) and Niagara's lead for the 3rd seed in the conference to 5 points.

Thomas is now 47-36-83 on the season, De Haan 3-35-3 while Dan Maggio (NYR 2009 6th) and Tony DeHart (NYI 2010 5th) were both scoreless.

Elsewhere in the OHL, the Niagara IceDogs hopes of catching the Mississauga St. Michaels Majors for the top seed in the OHL's Eastern Conference took a double blow as first the IceDogs were shut out by the Bramption Battalion and then the Majors won their game.

Jason Wilson (NYR 2010 5th) had a quiet game as the IceDogs really looked like they had no legs playing their 3rd game in 3 1/2 days. Wilson and company never got much offense going held to single digits in shots in all 3 periods.

The loss dropped the IceDogs 8 points behind the Majors with just 8 games left in the OHL regular season because the Mississauga St. Michaels Major spanked the Belleville Bulls 6-1 behind Casey Cizikas (NYI 2009 4th) 2 assists.

Cizikas earned the games second star in part because his 2nd assist wound up being the one that set up the game winning goal.

Cizikas got the Majors going with a secondary assist on the Major's first goal at just 1:26 of the first period. A little more than 10 minutes later at 11:44, Cizikas set up Justin Shugg's 33rd goal and a 2-0 lead as the Majors never looked back.

Cizikas also was a +3 on the day as his 2 assists improved his stats to 29-34-63 and a +41 (4th in OHL behind 3 other Majors).

Ethan Werek (NYR 2009 2nd) and his Kingston Frontenacs continued their up and down performances with a down performance against the Guelph Storm losing 4-2. Werek scored his 22nd goal of the season but it came at 6:54 of the third with the Storm up 3-1.

The Frontenacs came close but the Storm scored at 17:11 to restore their 2 goal lead and eventual final score. Werek is starting to heat up with points scoring in 6 out of last 7 games (5-4-9) but his team just can not seem to get all on the same page..

In the QMJHL, Kirill Kabanov (NYI 2010 3rd) and his Lewiston MAINEaics look like they have run out of gas as they lost to the Drummondville Voltigeurs 5-4 in overtime. The MAINEaics are struggling finding ways to finish teams off going 3-6-1 in their last 10 games.

In the WCHA, Jason Gregoire's (NYI 2007 3rd) 17th goal finished off a 4 goal 2nd period as top ranked North Dakota had little trouble with Bemidj State 5-1. Gregoire has been on fired with a 10 game scoring streak (10-7-17) to help the Fighting Sioux to a 6 game unbeaten streak as they have taken over the lead in the WCHA standings.

Teammate Brock Nelson (NYI 2010 1st) was scoreless in the win.

Out west as for the 2nd straight weekend, Roman Horak (NYR 2009 5th) and his Chilliwack Bruins were playing 3 games in 2 1/2 days only this game was a big one as the Bruins were facing the team they were chasing in the standings for the final playoff spot in the WHL's Western Conference.

Chilliwack came into the game trailing Prince George by 6 points but holding 3 games in hand. In the first period it did not look like the Bruins had a chance as Prince George jumped out to a 2-0 lead. Horak started the turnaround when he started the play that got the Bruins back into the game.

On a Bruin power play, Horak teamed with Kevin Sundher to set up Robin Soudek's power play goal with just 53 seconds remaining in the first period. The goal cut the Cougar's lead to 2-1 but it gave the Bruins new life after being outplayed in the first period.

Horak's only point of the game was key as Chilliwack came back to first tie the game then win it in the shoot out 4-3. The extra point gained brings the Bruins to within 5 points of not only 8th place but also 7th as well.

For Horak it was his Ranger prospect leading 44th assist of the season and 66th point of the season. A loss here would have just about killed off any hope of a playoff spot. The Bruins have 11 games left to make up 5 points or they are finished for the season.

(Thomas/Aaron Bell of OHL Images)

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