Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The Life Of Luxury

Just 2 games involving New York Ranger prospects on the schedule for Tuesday night and one prospect took advantage of the spotlight to have one heck of a night.

The Edmonton Oil Kings were starting on a 4 games in 5 nights road trip and they were doing it in style. Getting to stay at the Westin Bayshore in Vancouver (a 4 star hotel on the waterfront) was a bit of a story for the media back in Edmonton but after an 8-2 blowout over the Victoria Royals; maybe the Oil Kings coaching staff might want to book all road trips with the best hotels.

It was exactly one month ago (October 8th) that Michael St. Croix (2011 4th) played what we called a truly horrible hockey game. No points, bad turnovers and a -2 as St. Croix had gone 5 games without either a goal or a point.

That was the last game that St. Croix did not score in as 11 games later, Michael St. Croix is now the hottest Ranger prospect with an 11 game scoring streak after a season high 2-2-4 performance against the Royals.  The game's first star has this thing about 3 points as St. Croix was involved in the first 3 goals scored by the Oil Kings tonight.

First St. Croix got the Oil Kings going when he set up Curtis Lazar for Edmonton's first goal of the game just 33 seconds into the first period. Victoria answered with a goal to tie the game then St. Croix teamed Aston Sautner to set up Corby Corbett's first WHL goal and a 2-1 lead that the Oil Kings never gave up.

In the 2nd period, St. Croix made it a 3 point night when he converted on the power play at 5:10 for his 6th goal of the season and a 3-1 Oil King lead. That goal would turn out to be the game winning goal but St. Croix was not done.

In the 3rd period with the Oil Kings already up 6-2, St. Croix earned his first 4 point night of the season (4th career) when he fired a blast into the net for his 7th goal of the season and 21st point of the season.

For St. Croix, the 4 points pushed him past Shane McColgan and JT Miller to become the new Ranger prospect scoring leader at 7-14-21. The 11 game scoring streak actually ties St. Croix's own high set last season.

Some credit has to go to St. Croix's coach Derek Laxdal who after the game on October 8th the very next night showed his young player that the coach still believed in him by sending him out as his starting center. The move paid off as St. Croix netted an assist to jumpstart his season.

Ironic as St. Croix will be playing Wednesday evening exactly 1 month to the day the scoring streak started.

In Peterborough, Andrew Yogan (2010 3rd) and Peter Ceresnak (2011 6th) saw their Peterborough Petes give the Oshawa Generals a 7-4 win for their new head coach Gary Agnew. What was ironic was that it was a prospect that the Rangers choose not to sign last year who led the Generals to their win.

Daniel Maggio (2009 5th) scored his first 2 goals of the season to earn first star honors as his Generals jumped all over the Petes in the 1st period scoring 4 goals and never were really threatened by the Petes the rest of the game.

Yogan had an assist for his 12th point of the season (4-8-12) and a modest 3 game scoring streak but was not much of a factor in this game. Peter Ceresnak was bumped down to second pair defense after the Petes traded for an overage defenseman was scorless as well.

The Petes are a head scratching team as they have some legit NHL talent on their roster but why nights like this happen we can not explain. We happen to like the Petes as their management is one of the best in the OHL but this is a team that is it's own worst enemy.

(St. Croix-Edomonton Oil Kings)

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