Sunday, January 1, 2012

Hello 2012

It was the rather interesting way to kick off 2012 for the five New York Rangers and one New York Islander prospect who saw action on New Year's Day.

Unlike the NHL where the trading deadline is still almost two months away, the trading deadline in the OHL is about nine days away and it looks like there will be some very tough decisions to be made.  So our Sunday hockey report begins with the two players who might find themselves playing for other teams by next week.

Christian Thomas the Rangers 2010 2nd round pick and his Oshawa Generals were facing off against Scott Stajcer the Rangers 2009 5th round pick and his Owen Sound Attack. Right now the only thing that both players have in common is that neither will be playing in the OHL next season. 

Thomas and the Generals entered Sunday's game in 9th place of the OHL's Eastern Conference; they were 5 points behind 8th placed Mississauga.  At the same time the Generals were also only 11 points from 3rd place it went it is turning into a crowded field. 

On the flip side are Scott Stajcer and his Owen Sound Attack who are in position to get as high as fourth place in the OHL's Western Conference. Both teams could actually help each other depending on what their long-term or short time plans were.

Oshawa could sure use an experience goaltender like Stajcer wwhile put a time as on the attack in their offensive woes might disappear.   So on Sunday the two teams met, as the two future teammates went against each other.  Give this round to Thomas 4-3; as he earned the game's first star thanks in part to a 1-1-2 effort.

Thomas started out with a secondary assist on  Oshawa's 2nd goal of the game at 19:39 of the first period.  It gave Oshawa a 2-1 lead after the 1st period but in the 2nd Owen Sound was able to tie the game up entering the 3rd.

In the third period, Oshawa regained the lead on an early goal then Thomas scored his 16th goal of the season making it a 4-2 game. It was a huge goal as Owen sound rallied back to cut the lead down to just one goal but the attack could get no closer as Oshawa won 4-3.

The win was the 3rd straight for Oshawa and 3rd straight loss for Owen Sound. Thomas thanks to his 1-12 is now 16-16-32 and Thomas was credited for the game winner (his 2nd.

Stajcer on the other hand gave up 4 goals while facing 33 shots as his record falls to 6-6-2-2, 2.53 goals against and a  0.925 save percentage.

In Peterborough, Andrew Yogan's 18th goal is season at 18:56 of the third period tied the score at 3-3 and forcing overtime which the Peterborough Petes thanks to a penalty shot awarded were able to secure a 4-3 overtime win over the Sudbury Wolves.

As Yogan improves to 18 -16 -34 on the season the win also helped the 7th placed Petes pull to within 1 point of the 6th placed Wolves. Big win thanks to a big goal by Yogan.

In Guelph, Andrey Pedan (NYI 2011 3rd) and Guelph Storm could not take advantage of Owen Sound's loss as they felt 4-3 to the Kitchener Rangers. Pedan had a primary assist on Guelph's 3rd goal But he took a high sticking penalty in the first that Kitchner used to score a power play goal with.

Pedan is now 6-13-19 for the Storm.

Out west, Shane McColgan (NYR 2011 5th) and his Kelowna Rockets returned home from their holiday break to face the Calgary Hitmen. The Hitmen were able to shut out the Rockets 2-0.

Finally, Micheal St.Croix (NYR 2011 4th) and his Edmonton Oil Kings returned home from their holiday break only to suffer a 5 to 2 loss to the Regina Pats.

The Oil Kings were missing six regulars from their lineup due to the various ongoing competitons and Regina to full advantage of it.  Regina scored the first four goals of the game and were a little more than three and half minutes away from a shutout.

St. Croix scored his 23rd and 24th goals to break the shutout and make the score look a little closer. St. Croix has a five game scoring streak going on (6-6-12) as he has moved up all the way too third in the WHL scoring race with his Ranger leading 24-38-62 stats.

St Croix is closing in on his career highs in goals and assists needing 3 more goals to tie and 13 more points to tie that mark as well.

(Thomas- Aaron Bell of OHL Images)

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