Sunday, January 29, 2012

The Fire Inside

While hockey fans were enjoying the performance of Carl Hagelin at the All-Star Skills Competition; New York Ranger and New York Islander prospects were in action working on their own dream of being at an NHL All-Star game.

Saturday night was a mixed bag of performances once again as consistency seems to be the biggest roadblock for many of the prospects struggled with.

Rangers First Star Steven Fogarty

We can understand why every time Rangers scouts watch Steven Fogarty (2011, 3rd) play that they wish he would change his mind about attending Notre Dame next year and go play in the WHL.  It is hard to believe that this same young man was considered a long-term dream project when he was drafted.

Fogarty has shown great improvement as the season has gone on Saturday night was just another example of that improvement.  Fogarty with a 1-2-3 effort helped his Penticton Vees to an 8-1 win over the Salmon Arm Silverbacks.

The win was the 28th consecutive win for the Vees putting the team one win away from tying the BCHL record for most consecutive wins.  Fogarty, as he has the last three games has been an important part to each win.

The game's second star got his night going when he scored his 23rd goal of the season at 17:03 of the first period. The goal gave Penticton a 2-0 lead and proved to be the game-winning goal (Fogarty's sixth).

In the second period, Fogarty earned primary assists on Penticton's third and fifth goals of the game. Those assists were his 35th and 36th of the season as well as giving Fogarty, a three-game scoring streak (3-6-9) as the 6'3 center is now 23-36-59 on the season.

Ranger's Second Star Chris Kreider

We were afraid to jinx him and say that hopefully Chris Kreider (2009, 1st) is about to go on a roll. But the last two games against New Hampshire Kreider has been a force.

Kreider was named the game's third star after having a 1–1–2 performance to help seventh-ranked Boston College earn a weekend sweep of New Hampshire with a 4-3 over time win.

Kreider scored his 16th goal of the season (new career-high) at 16:08 of the first period, which gave Boston College a 2-1 lead at the time.  In overtime, Kreider earned the secondary assist on the game-winning goal scored by Barry Almeida.

It was Kreider's 14th assist and raised his season totals to 16-14-30.

Rest of the Ranger Prospects

Michael St. Croix (2011, 4th) was held scoreless as his Edmonton Oil Kings were not able to dig themselves out of a 3-0 hole as they lost to the visiting Vancouver Giants 3-2. Huge credit goes to Vancouver defense, which kept Edmonton offense ineffective for the first two periods of the game.

Christian Thomas (2010, 2nd) scored his 20th goal of the season but it was not enough as his Oshawa Generals fell to the Brampton Battalion 3-2. Thomas scored his goal at 1:10 of the first period to give Oshawa their only lead of the game.

Brampton clamped down on the defense in the second and third periods as a rallied for the win. Thomas is now 20-23-43 on the season as his Generals fell back into ninth place in the OHL's Eastern conference.

Scott Stajcer (2009, 5th) may not be too happy with a couple of his teammates as goalies are one player who can have their stats affected by the actions of others. We bring this up because Stajcer was sailing along in a second period with a 1-0 shutout of the Guelph Storm.

Then the refs got involved and the game went downhill from there. First Owen Sound lost one forward when he was slapped with a misconduct for objecting to a holding the stick call that was weak at best. 18 seconds into the first penalty saw the Attack be called for a delay of game that we will not say a word other than the mention that thanks to the extended five on three that Guelph had led to them scoring two goals and that was the game.

We are old school believing that when you don't notice the on ice officials; then you know they did a good job.  When you do then they didn't and no question we saw way too many suspect calls on both teams.

Any time penalties are the deciding factor in the outcome of the game then you have to wonder about the quality of those calling again.  There were bad calls going both ways, and that doesn't mean it's fair it just means the game was not decided by the players on the ice.

Stajcer gave up three goals while facing 23 shots as he took the 3-2 loss.  Stajcer saw his numbers dropped to -7-2-3 2.56 goals against and 0.923 save percentage.

Danny Hobbs (2007, 7th) was held scoreless as his UMass Minutemen dropped their second straight game to 11th-ranked UMass/Lowell 5- 2.  The loss dropped the Minutemen to 9-10-5 on the season.

Samuel Noreau (2011, 5th) was held scoreless as his Baie-Comeau Drakkar lost to the Moncton Wildcats 2-1.  The win allowed the Wildcats to pull within one point of the Drakkar for 10th place in the QMJHL standings.

Islanders First Star Brendan Kichton

Time to tell the truth as we glanced at the score of the Kootenay Ice/Spokane Chiefs game at the end of the first period, we actually said this game was over.  Kootenay held a 3-0 lead over the Chiefs and given everything from having traveled overnight to playing the defending WHL Champions; we gave the Chiefs no chance at winning this game.

Excuse us as we wipe the egg off our face as Brendan Kichton's (2011, fifth) 10th goal of the year coming at 3:10 of overtime gave the Spokane Chiefs a 5-4 win. Kichton also added a primary assist on his evening to improve his numbers to 10-40-50, which leads all WHL Defenseman as well as all Islander prospects.

Second Star Brock Nelson

Brock Nelson (2010, first) was involved the beginning as well as the end to help his North Dakota hockey game earn a weekend sweep over Wisconsin. Nelson with a 1-1-2 performance helped North Dakota to a 4-2 win.

Nelson had the primary assist on North Dakota's first goal of the game which came at 19:05 of the first. It turned out to be a bigger play than first realized as Wisconsin tied the score just 10 seconds later.

In the third, Nelson put the game away with his 19th goal of the season coming at 630 of the period, giving North Dakota a two goal lead.

Rest of the Islander prospects

Anders Lee ( 2009 6th) had two assists while teammate Robbie Russo (2011 4th) was scoreless as fourth-ranked Notre Dame defeated the Alaska Nanooks 4-2. Lee had a secondary assist on Notre Dame's second goal, which tied the game at two.

Lee also showed us what kind of teammate he was when he passed up an empty net to give the puck to teammate Riley Sheahan; it was Sheahan who had done all the hard work to gain the puck. Lee is now 14-13-27 for the season.

John Persson (2011, 5th) had an assist as his Red Deer Rebels lost 3-2 to the Brandon Wheat Kings. Persson had a secondary assist on the Rebels second goal but this is a game that Red Deer really needed to have.

The classic four-point game this was as Red Deer had a chance to pass Brandon in the standings for eighth place in a WHL's Eastern conference. Instead Brandon winds up with a four-point lead over Red Deer. Persson is 17-27-44 on the season.

Andrey Pedan (2011, 3rd) was scoreless as is Guelph Storm defeated the Owen Sound Attack 3-2. The win allowed Guelph to move up to sixth place in tthe OHL's Western Conference.

Pedan added four more PIMS to his stat sheet, giving him 105 on the year.

Scott Mayfield (2011, 2nd) was scoreless as his 15th-ranked Denver Pioneers doubled up on Alaska Anchorage 6-3.

( Hagelin- THE Michigan Wolverines, Fogarty- Penticton Vees, Kreider- Dennis Pause (RIP my friend), Kichton-Spokane Chiefs)

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