Friday, October 21, 2011

Happy Endings The Mc Style Way

After the New York Rangers had used their 2011 5th round pick on forward Shane McColgan; we asked Regan Bartel the voice of McColgan's Kelowna Rockets what McColgan needed to do in order to earn the Ranger contract.

Bartel who also writes Regan's Rants put it simply; "Score consistently" and give Bartel a stick tap for that as while Kelowna has struggled; McColgan has scored in 8 out of the 9 games he has played in.

McColgan thanks to his 2nd goal of the season and his 10th assist helped Kelowna end a 6 game winless streak 6-3 over the Vancouver Giants. McColgan extended his personal scoring streak to a prospect best 7 games as he took over the Ranger prospect scoring lead as well.

McColgan's points came on Kelowna's 3rd goal of the game as a secondary assist and his goal was Kelowna's 6th and final goal of the game. The assist was McColgan's 101st of his WHL career (second stick tap to Reagan Bartel for that tidbit)

Scott Stajcer (2009 5th) and his Owen Sound Attack badly needed not only a win but a strong performance defensively as they took on the Barrie Colts. Having given up 49 goals in 12 games (3rd worst in the OHL), the defending OHL champs were a sub 500 team at 5-7.

Stajcer was in his 3rd start since rejoining the Attack after traveling to Europe with the Rangers took a shut out deep into the 3rd period as the Attack defeated the Colts 4-2. Stajcer stopped 26 of the 28 shots in winning his first OHL start since November 17th 2010.

It was not a perfect performance but Stajcer got defensive support from his teammates which helped matter a lot for the Attack. Stajcer improved to 1-2 3.67 goals against and a 0.880 save percentage.

Christian Thomas (2010 2nd) and his Oshawa Generals took to the road to face the Peterborough Petes with Andrew Yogan (2010 3rd) and Peter Ceresnak (2011 6th) in a battle for the lead in the OHL's East Divison.

For the Generals, they were looking to extend their unbeaten in regulation streak to 6 games while the Petes have been stumbling a bit after a great start to their season.

We called the game the battle of halves as Oshawa won the first half and the Petes but Oshawa did enough in their half to win 3-2.

For us the key points we were looking for was (a) has Andrew Yogan learned from his healthy scratch, (b) Christian Thomas heating up and (c) how is Ceresnak adapting to the OHL.

(A) Yogan avoided the penalty box for the 2nd game in a row and scored the Pete's first goal of the game. Yogan has a 6 game scoring streak goal but also a 4 game goal scoring streak (4-3-7 overall) but we like how Yogan has responded to coach Mike Pelino's public benching.

(B) Thomas set up the General's 2nd goal of the game to give him a modest 3 game scoring streak (1-4-5) but we still see signs of Thomas pressing a little. Thomas we would like to see him relax a bit as the goals will start going in.

(C) Ceresnak is adjusting well to the North American game and the more we watch the more we like of him. For a European player, we like how he is not afraid to shoot the puck from the point and the Petes are using him in every situation which is another plus.

The Niagara IceDogs are almost in panic mode as the team that was ranked 2nd in the first CHL poll of the year has stumbled their way to a 3-6-0-1 start. Injuries have been a factor and not getting Ryan Strome (NYI 2011 1st) back until 8 days ago hurt too.

Strome is back and has scored in all 4 games he has played in since rejoining the IceDogs. Against the Ottawa 67's, Storme set up Freddie Hamilton for what turned out to be the game winning goal as the IceDogs defeated the 67's 4-1.

Strome is 4-2 in the 4 games since his return but the player who seems to have benefited the most since Strome's return is Mitchell Theoret (NYI 2011 7th). Theoret was named the game's 3rd star as he scored his 3rd goal in his last 4 games.

Theoret improved to 3-4-7 after scoring the IceDogs 3rd goal of the game. The IceDogs are off until Saturday when they host JT Miller and the Plymouth Whalers as the Ranger and Islander 2011 first round picks meet.

(McColgan/Kelowna Rockets, Thomas and Theoret/OHL Images/Aaron Bell + Terry Wilson)

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