Saturday, January 21, 2012

A Night For Bad News

Friday night was more about bad news than it was about outstanding performances for both New York Ranger and New York Islanders prospects. The first bit of bad news was announced before anybody even stepped on the ice as each team had bad news about first-round pick.

The New York Rangers saw their 2010 first-round pick Dylan McIlrath be suspended for eight games as a result of the hit McIlrath delivered during a game against the Victoria Royals on January 18th. If you missed it here is the link to our report from earlier this evening which has a video clip of what McIlrath did.

McIlrath will be eligible to return to play on Friday, February 10th when Moose Jaw Warriors play the Calgary Hitmen.

The New York Islanders found out that there 2011 first round pick Ryan Strome be out at least two weeks possibly three after undergoing surgery for a broken nose and other facial fractures. Strome was a victim of a sucker punch during a game last week and his loss is a huge one for the Niagara IceDogs who also are going to be missing Jeff Beukeboom's son Brock whose out with concussion like symptoms.

Ranger Star Danny Hobbs

It's been a rough senior year for Danny Hobbs as the Rangers 2007 7th round pick has been fighting some nagging ankle injuries that caused to miss a few games but he was healthy on Friday night. His UMass Minutemen were glad to see him back healthy as Hobbs registered his first career hat trick in helping UMass beat Vermont 4-3.

Hobbs opened the scoring with his 7th goal of the season at 8:39 of the first period giving UMass a 1-0 lead and was the only scoring in the period. In the 2nd, Vermont scored twice to take the lead after two periods 2-1.

In the third period, Hobbs tied the score just 59 seconds in with his 8th goal of the season. With UMass on the power play, Hobbs broke the tie with his 3rd goal of the night at 10:23.

UMass as we said went on to win the game 4-3 as Hobbs earned the game's 1st star for his efforts. For Hobbs the three goals also extended a scoring streak that now is up to 6 games (5-4-9) and overall Hobbs is 9-9-18 on the season.

We have the rest of the Ranger prospect report right here.

Islander's Star Brendan Kichton

Sometimes there comes along a player who the first time you watch him, you don't think much of his abilities or his potential. That is why you never want to make a judgment call on a prospect good or bad until you have seen him play in different situations.

That basically is how Brendan Kichton (NYI 2011, 5th)  has won us over as the Spokane Chiefs defender has shown us there is more to him than meets the eye. Kichton and his Chiefs were in Kennewick Washington to take on their arch rivals, the Tri-City Americans.

Last Saturday night in Spokane, Kichton and his Chiefs defeated the Americans with Kichton playing a huge role in that win. The rematch Friday night was just as good a game as the last time they met.

Kichton who leads all WHL defensemen scoring also happens to be pretty good defensive player himself. His play on the penalty kill was a big reason why Tri-City could not score on any of the five power plays they had.

But when Spokane was given their 6th power-play of the game it was Kichton who cashed it in. Kichton took a pass right at the blue line and one-timed it towards the Tri-City goal.

The puck deflected off one American and then a second as it somehow found its way into the back of the goal. It was Kichton's 8th goal of the season and 44th on the season (8-36-44)

The goal at 10:56 gave Spokane a 2-1 lead and proved to be the game-winning goal as Spokane added another "pinball like" goal while shorthanded to make it a 3-1 game.

Kichton was named the third star as the Chiefs were able to keep pace with the Vancouver Giants in the battle for the fourth seed in the WHL's Western Conference. As for how the other Islander prospects did as well as an updated injury report can be found right here.

(Hobbs – UMass athletics, Kichton – Spokane Chiefs)

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