Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Players of the week plus

The Beanpot a.k.a."The Chris Kreider Show" pushed back our schedule by a day but we have not forgotten our New York Islander or New York Ranger Prospect of the Week. The WCHA actually winds up doing our work for us as they named Scott Mayfield (NYI 2011 2nd) as their "Red Baron Rookie Of The Week" so we will use their press release to explain why Scott Mayfield is also our Islander prospect of the week.

Red Baron® WCHA Rookie of the Week

University of Denver defenseman Scott Mayfield, who contributed two assists, four hits and two blocked shots to help the Pioneers to a two-game home-ice sweep over league-leading and No. 1/2-ranked Minnesota last weekend, has been named Red Baron® WCHA Rookie of the Week for February 14.

A 6-4, 200-pound freshman from St. Louis, Mo., and a draftee of the NHL's New York Islanders, Mayfield assisted on teammate Jason Zucker's game-winning power-play goal at 4:02 of the third period last Friday evening (Feb. 10) at Magness Arena as No. 14 Denver collected a 5-3 victory over the Golden Gophers. Then last Saturday (Feb. 11) night, Mayfield earned an assist on Nick Shore's third period tally that evened the game at 3-3 and catapulted DU on to a 4-3 overtime win. He quarterbacked Denver to a 3-for-10 effort on the power-play over the weekend and also fired four shots on goal.

As a rookie, Mayfield has seen action in 29 of the Pioneers' 30 games this season with eight points (2g, 6a).

For our part, we made mention of Mayfield making plays as to why he stood out for us last week. I know it's no comfort for Islander fans and what they're going through once again with their team but honestly as we told Ranger fans over the years there is good times coming.

Scott Mayfield, Brock Nelson,  Ryan Strome, Anders Lee, and Robbie Russo have shown us that it's just a matter of time before the Rangers and Islanders will be playing for more than just bragging rights.

New York Ranger Prospect of the Week

It is been quite a week for Steven Fogarty (NYR 2011 3rd) as on Sunday, February 5th; Fogarty was in South Bend Indiana supposed to be checking out the facilities at Notre Dame where he plans on attending next season. The only problem is while New Yorkers were celebrating Super Bowl Sunday, Fogarty was in bed with the flu.

Two days later Fogarty still suffering from the flu was in the lineup for his Penticton Vees as they attempted to set a new BCHL record for most consecutive wins with 30. Call it mission accomplished as the Vees won 7-0 and Fogarty managed to have a primary assist.

On Friday, Fogarty and his Vees returned to Penticton to host the Salmon Arms Silverbacks on "Win Your Dinner" night where all the Vees had to do was win the game and the fans would earned a free meal. This one was no contest as Penticton won 10-1 with Fogarty getting what turned out to be the game-winning goal.

Saturday night, Fogarty had a three point evening (1-2-3) but for us and we believe that Penticton media as well awarded Fogarty the first star for his defense. Penticton almost gave away a 6-1 lead to the Westside Warriors before eventually winning the 32nd straight game 7-5.

Fogarty and his defense never gets enough credit for his work on the penalty kill generated 2 shorthanded chances; one that he just missed on and the other he set up his linemate for. In the third, with Penticton holding onto a 1 goal lead it was Fogarty who broke up play after play and set up his linemate for the empty net goal that sealed the win.

And once again Fogarty wound up with the game-winning goal as he had scored Penticton 6th goal of the game. Back to back games Fogarty earned his Ranger prospect leading 7th and 8th game-winning goals as overall Fogarty is 26-40-66.

Oh one more Fogarty as it just so happens that Fogarty is also on a 7 game scoring streak (6-10-16).

Game Action

3 Ranger prospects saw action on Tuesday night and 3 Ranger prospects saw their teams lose so we will make this as painless as possible.
Michael St. Croix (NYR 2011 4th) and his Edmonton Oil Kings were in Kamloops British Columbia to take on the WHL's best team in a battle of conference leaders. The Oil Kings lead for most of the game taking a 2-0 lead into the third.

The Kamloops Blazers scored 3 unanswered goals in the 3rd to earn a 3-2 win and open a 5 point lead over the Oil Kings for the best record in the WHL. St. Croix was held scoreless as he could not buy a break all night.

In Seattle, Shane McColgan (NYR 2011 5th) and his Kelowna Rockets took on the Seattle Thunderbirds and dropped a 4-3 decision by the shootout as they are now winless in their last four games. Kelowna was their own worst enemy allowing Seattle to score 3 unanswered goals in the first period and then having to fight uphill the rest of the game.

Kelowna did eventually tie the score and force overtime then the shootout but could not get a puck in in the shootout and took the loss. McColgan scoreless with a -1 and a two-minute minor for unsportsmanlike conduct.

Finally in the QMJHL, Samuel Noreau (NYR 2011 5th) and his Baie-Comeau Drakkar were whipped 9-1 by the Qu├ębec Remparts. Samuel Noreau was there and this is one of the games where less said is better.

Thank You

I just really want to say thank you to those of you who spoke up in support of the Chris Kreider story yesterday. It meant a lot to me seeing that the majority of Ranger fans are understanding what is going on with the franchise.

The Rangers sent a message of their own Tuesday not only with the victory over the Bruins but showing the Kreider highlights. Chris Kreider is going nowhere but Broadway and I think the Rangers made that crystal clear.

The message from the victory over the Bruins plus the 2 wins over the Flyers does not mean we can plan the parade down the Canyon of Heroes. But what it does to is show that the Rangers are for real and the team that you see in front of you is legitimate.

They may not win the cup this year and maybe will be disappointed if they don't but the one thing that is for sure this is not one of those run for the eighth seed and pray. Those days appear to be gone and I'm not kidding when I say things are going to get even better.

(Mayfield - NHL media, Fogarty - Penticton)

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