Saturday, December 31, 2011
2011 Out With A Bang And A Whimper
We're going to start in South Bend Indiana, where 6th ranked Notre Dame was playing host to 9th Boston University. Both teams were playing without key members of their team but at least in the case of Notre Dame they got strong performances from their two New York Islander prospects.
Anders Lee (NYI 2009 6th) broke out of a 9 game goal scoring slump with two goals as he led the Fighting Irish to a 5-2 win over Boston University. For Lee, His first goal of the evening came on the power play at 1:12 of the second and tied the game at 1-1. Notre Dame was able to add two more goals to end the 2nd period leading 3-1.
In the third period, it was Lee who kept up the pressure adding his second goal of the game this time at 3:30 this one at even strength. That was Lee's 14th goal of the season and it was also when fellow Islander prospect defenseman Robbie Russo (NYI 2011 4th) joined in fun himself.
Russo got the 1st of his own 2 point evening with a secondary assist on Lee's goal.
Less than 3 minutes later Russo earned a 2nd secondary assist on Billy Maday's goal scored at 6:23 for a 5-1 lead that put the game out of reach.
Lee improves to 14-8-22 while Russo to 3-8-11 on on the season.
Brock Nelson (NYI 2010 1st) registered his 15th goal of the season as his North Dakota Fighting Sioux defeated the Crimson of Harvard 7-3. It was not all that pretty of the game to watch but getting the win is what matters.
Nelson improves to 15-8-23 on the season which ties him for the team lead in scoring.
Scott Mayfield (NYI 2011 2nd) was scoreless as his 15th ranked Denver Pioneers defeated in-state rival Air Force 7-1 with no trouble at all. Mayfield was used as the top pair defender in this one and showed a marked improvement with his overall game over the last month.
Would like to see some more offense out of him but 1 step at a time also works.
Heading out west to the WHL in the state of Washington, we first start in Kennewick Washington as Brendan Kichton and his Spokane Chiefs paid a visit to their own in state rival, the Tri-City Americans.
Kichton was held scoreless as US Divison leaders Tri-City earned a 4-1 win to open up a 19 point lead in the standings over the Chiefs.
In Everett Washington, the Moose Jaw Warriors really did not have much trouble defeating the Silvertips 5-2. The Warriors limited the Silvertips to just 24 shots as Dylan McIlrath (NYR 2010 1st) had a quiet night concentrating more on his defense.
McIlrath did get into his six fight of the season which ties him with Samuel Noreau.
In the OHL, where Andrey Pedan (NYI 2011 3rd) and his Guelph Storm paid a visit to Mitchell Theoret (NYI 2010 7th) and his Niagara IceDogs. It was a quiet and for the uneventful being until the Storm exploded for four goals in third and won the game 4-1.
Heading of north to Canada and the 2012 World Under-20 Championships; let everybody else will bring out their list of what went wrong and we will address it next week.
Right now the thing that matters is that Canada defeated team USA 3-2 so they move on while the USA has to deal with the embarrassment of being in the relegation round.
JT Miller (NYR 2011 1st) and his linemates were the only real bright spots out of this part of the tournament. Miller had an assist on team USA's first goal of the game for his third point of the tournament. On the Canadian side there was Ryan Strome (NYI 2011 1st) who over the the last couple games despite his scoring as taken some very sloppy and very poor penalties.
Strome finishes the preliminary round with a very good 3-5-8 gets to rest until Tuesday when Canada will take on the of winner of Russia/Czech Republic.
Joining Canada on the sidelines will be Johan Sundstrom (NYI 2011 2nd) and Team Sweden who roared back from being down 3-0 to beat the Russians for 4-3 in overtime to claim the other bye into the semifinals. Sundstrom went 1-3-4 with a +4 which is not bad in we'll get to see how he handles a pressure situation.
The surprise for ranger fans has to be that only Peter Ceresnak (NYR 20116th) and Team Slovakia has a shot at winning a medal. A third period rally pushed Slovakia Switzerland 6-4 and a date against them and with the winner getting a base Canada in the semifinals.
As for team USA, they do not play again until Tuesday when the face Latvia then finish up against Switzerland.
Seeya 2011 Hello 2012
This past year 2011 was a mixed bag for me and that it was ever a time I mean really thank you all of you for being here for me this was it. You guys carried me when I was hurt you get me up and going when I wanted to quit.
It is a strange world out there, we lost some very good and caring people over the last few months so if we walk away from this last year with one lesson that we learned is to not take the blessings we have for granted.
I have some great friends in each day and with each day I am making new ones.
So maybe 2012 why don't we set ourselves a goal and make that goal to do some nice for a stranger. It doesn't have the fancy it can be as simple as saying hello or holding a door.
Something is easy as just trying to be nice to the next person might be a gift more valuable than you realize. I know if not for the kindness from guys here; on facebook or on twitter that my recovery would have been much harder than it was.
I say thank you for all you've done for me because I could not have this without you.
(Lee courtesy of the CCHA)