Tuesday, February 7, 2012

A little of everything

Tuesday had a little of everything involving 5 New York Rangers and 1 New York Islander prospect.From an afternoon "educational" game to three prospects fighting for playoff positioning to 1 Ranger prospect becoming part of history in a small town in British Columbia.

It was the third Annual CN hockey hooky of the day as the Edmonton Oil Kings hosted the Kootenay Ice in an afternoon matchup in front of 5000 local Edmonton schoolkids. 'The Predator" Michael St. Croix (NYR 2011 fourth) made sure the schoolkids got to go home happy with another first star performance after he registered a goal as well as an assist to spark a 3-1 Edmonton win.

The Ice lead for most of the game scoring a first period goal and that goal held up until late in the second period. At 17:52, St. Croix set up Griffin Reinhart for the tying goal to send the game into the third period tied at one.

In the third it was St. Croix with his 34th goal of the season giving the Oil Kings their first lead of the game at 7:42 while on a 4 on 3 power-play. That goal also improved to be the game-winner as Edmonton added another goal to send the school kids happy.

St. Croix improves to 34-48-82 which leads all Ranger prospects in both goals as well as points. St. Croix also is fifth in the WHL for scoring and the game-winning goal was St. Croix's sixth tying him with Steven Fogarty for the Ranger prospect lead.

The Oil Kings continue to lead the WHL's Western Conference and pulled within two points for the overall WHL lead. St. Croix also tied his career-best with his 48th assist tonight.

BCHL history was made Tuesday night when Steven Fogarty (NYR 2011 third) and his Penticton Vees whipped the Chilliwack Chiefs for their 30th straight win 7-0. The win breaks a 22-year-old BCHL record as the Vees had little trouble with the Chiefs and this might sound crazy with a 7-0 score but the Vees defensive effort just swarmed all over the Chiefs giving them next to nothing in scoring chances.

Fogarty had an assist thanks to a shot of his hitting the post and dropping right at the feet of his teammate who had a wide-open net to tap it in. Fogarty (24-38-62)was playing with a case of the flu that is going through his team.

Despite suffering from the flu, Fogarty was more impressive on the defensive end especially on the penalty kill as he has been part of the unit and is killed off 38 straight power plays. John Tortorella is going to be like a kid at Christmas when he sees a 6'3 200 lbs+ manchild whose defensive game will be well polished by the time he shows up in New York.

We did get a little bit of bad news as Fogarty did reaffirm his decision to attend Notre Dame next year. As somebody who's watched the Notre Dame program for the last two years is not a bad decision by Fogarty and is much as we understand the Rangers logic behind wishing Fogarty playing in the WHL; Notre Dame will be as good for Fogarty as Plymouth is for JT Miller.

Friday night the Vees return home and there will be a promotion that if the Vees win then all fans in attendance will earn a free quarter lb. hamburger with fries. It's been 94 days since the Vees last lost good luck to the owner of that restaurant.

In Peterborough, Christian Thomas (NYR 2010 second) and his Oshawa Generals took on the Peterborough Petes featuring Andrew Yogan (NYR 2010 third) and Peter Ceresnak (NYR 2011 sixth) in a battle for sixth place in the OHL's Eastern Conference.

Peterborough came into this game with a one point lead over Oshawa but Oshawa came into the game having defeated Peterborough in all five of their previous meetings this season. Make it six straight wins for Oshawa as they defeated Peterborough 5-2 and jumped past Peterborough into sixth place.

This is going to be one of those nights where the numbers really will not tell the story as Christian Thomas had a primary assist on Oshawa's first goal the game a power-play goal and that would be all he scored.

Andrew Yogan responded by setting up Peterborough's first goal which tied the score but unfortunately for Yogan he wound up with a -3 when he was on the ice for two empty net goals. Sometimes they should have a separate category for empty net goals.
Thomas (23-26-49) has quietly built up an eight-game scoring streak (5-6-11) as his Generals moved in the sixth place by one point over Peterborough. The problem with Oshawa though is that they've been playing 500 hockey as of late so they will probably give the spot right back in the next game.

Andrew Yogan (24-23-47) we can't blame for how the Petes are playing as when he scoring they start losing and we can't explain that but somebody needs to figure out before they play themselves out of a playoff spot. Teammate Peter Ceresnak was scoreless and the -1 for the evening for the Petes were gone 3-7 in their last 10 games.

Finally we have the only Islander prospect to play on Tuesday night Andrey Pedan (NYI 2011 third) and his Guelph Storm who were looking for a chance to take advantage of the games in hand and cut into the Windsor Spitfires lead for the seventh seed in the OHL's Western Conference while creating some space with ninth seed Sault Ste. Marie.

Gueph was facing the Kitchener Rangers and this was a game of streaks. The Rangers scored the game's first goals then the Storm came back by scoring the next three to take the lead. But then the Rangers proceeded to score the game's next four goals to earn a 6-3 win.

It was the fourth straight loss for the Storm and while Pedan had a goal (8-15-23) he was also a -4 and took two minors both of which resulted in Kitchener power-play goals. There's nothing much to say about Pedan as is a talented player but I would not want him on my team.

(St. Croix-Edmonton Oil Kings, Fogarty- New York Rangers, Thomas- Oshawa Generals)

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