Thursday, October 20, 2011

And A Ranger Game Broke Out

It was supposed to be a battle of 2 New York Ranger prospects but somehow it turned into a version of the Rangers/Canucks game from Tuesday night.

Michael St. Croix (NYR 2011 4th) and his Edmonton Oil Kings were hosting Dylan McIlrath (NYR 2010 1st) and his Moose Jaw Warriors in what we kind of expected to be a Edmonton blowout. Moose Jaw was missing 2 of their top scorers but it was a Henrik Lundqvist imitation by Moose Jaw goalie Luke Siemens that kept the score like it was.

Edmonton won 2-1 only because of Siemens and that Edmonton could just not finish plays as both their goals were individual efforts thanks to Griffin Reinhart (your hint that here is a sure Top 10 pick in the 2012) who scored the goals.

Reinhart has perhaps the best point shot of all the 2012 draft prospects and he put it on display. Twice Reinhart put the puck where Siemens could not stop it and it was impressive to watch.

Michael St. Croix benefited from Reinhart's efforts as he earned assists on both goals. The first was a primary as St Croix fed Reinhardt for a power play goal at 13:20 of the 2nd period to tie the game at 1-1.

In the 3rd as the game was looking it was heading to overtime, Reinhardt fired a shot that we do not believe Siemens ever saw with just 1:32 left in regulation to give the Oil Kings a 2-1 lead and eventual win.

St. Croix got a secondary assist on this goal for his 6th assist of the season as well as extending his scoring streak to 5 games. St. Croix has gone 2-5-7 during his streak to improve to 3-6-9 good for 3rd among Ranger prospects in scoring.

Dylan McIlrath showed us nothing on offense in this one which disappointed us since here was a time for McIlrath to step his game. Defensively it was a typical McIlrath game as he was making life miserable for anyone who came into his area.

In the end though Edmonton gets the win to improve to 7-3-1-1 16 points which is good to a 3 way tie in the WHL's Central Division. Moose Jaw falls to 6-3-1 which is 4th in the WHL's East Division.

Also in the WHL, John Persson (NYI 2011 5th) and his Red Deer Rebels came from behind with 3 third period goals to defeat the visiting Kamloops Blazers 4-2. Persson was scoreless in this one as the Rebels won their 3rd straight game.

In the BCHL, Steven Fogarty (2011 3rd) was scoreless as his Penticton Vees lost 4-3 to the Trail Smoke Eaters. This one was also a horror story despite the close score because Penticton came into this game 7-1-0-1 and in first place in the BCHL's Interior Conference.

Trail was 1-7-1 and winless at home this season until they defeated the Vees. Fogarty was just not active enough for us as the message needs to get out to the prospects that if you are not skating hard then do not expect to score.

Thursday should be a fun day for us as Christian Thomas and the Oshawa Generals visit the Peterborough Petes with Andrew Yogan and Peter Ceresnak. It is a good matchup with plenty of soap opera material tossed in for good measure.

Speaking of soap operas, Owen Sound will play as well so who starts in goal for them (Scott Stajcer or Jordan Binnington) remains to be seen. And so the Islanders do not feel left out, Ryan Strome and his Niagara IceDogs look to escape the cellar of the OHL's Central Division.

Oh yea the Rangers are in Calgary with surprise surprise Roman Horak (NYR 2009 5th) in their lineup. We liked Roman and are happy to see that he took full advantage of his opportunity to earn a roster spot in the NHL.

The 20-year-old Horak has been the undisputed surprise of the Calgary Flames's camp

Not going to complain about getting Tim Erixon for Horak's rights as we too would make that deal ourselves cause you could not walk away from a player with Erixon's skill set. Just nice to see one of our favorite prospects earn an NHL job and it is ironic that Horak is the first member of the 2009 Ranger draft class to make it to the NHL.

Gordie Clark tells us that in today's NHL world that if you get 1 prospect to make it to the NHL then your draft is a winner. The 2009 draft class has produced 4 players with contracts and Chris Kreider will make it 5 when he finally leaves BC.

If 5 out of 7 picks make it to the NHL then wonder what Clark would call that?

(St. Croix/Edmonton Oil Kings)

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