Sunday, March 18, 2012

Going out in style

So while the New York Ranger and New York Islander prospects were looking to see who was going to play who and where in both the CHL playoffs and NCAA tournament; it was a guy playing his final game as a Junior who stole the show on Sunday.

Andrew Yogan (NYR 2010 3rd) the overage forward of the Peterborough Petes was playing his final game as a Junior and made sure it was a memorable exit with a 4-1-5 effort along with a +4 and a fight (for the Gordie Howe Hat Trick) to lead his Peterborough Petes to an 8-6 win over the Oshawa Generals in their season finale.

Have to give Yogan the credit for going all out in a game that had no playoff implications and for Yogan the end of a stage in his career. Safe to say that Yogan will be joining the CT Whale by the middle of the week especially after a performance like today's.

Whatever reason Yogan had to playing like he did we can only hope that he continues that play once he joins the Whale. This was a totally different Andrew Yogan from what we were used to seeing as he dropped the gloves to fight Oshawa's Scott Laughton in the first period and received 17 PIMs (10 minute misconduct for jersey violation).

That was only Yogan's 2nd fight all season and if he was trying to send the Rangers a message then odds are it was a good one.

In the second period after serving his penalty time, Yogan went to work starting with the game tied at 3-3. Yogan set up Derek Mathers for Peterborough's fourth goal of the game at 13:19, giving Peterborough the lead for good.

Yogan was just getting started as just 35 seconds later with Peterborough on the power play Yogan made it a 5-3 game with his 38th goal of the season. Then just 2:25 after that Yogan made it a 6-3 game with an even strength goal for his 39th.

Oshawa slowed the bleeding with a goal of their own allowing them to only trail by two goals 6-4 at the end of two periods. In the third, Yogan got his hat trick as well as his 40th goal at 2:33 to bump the Peterborough lead back up to three goals at 7-4.

Christian Thomas (NYR 2010 2nd) who had scored one of Oshawa's earlier goals made it 7-5 when he set up Andy Anderoff at 13:36. Oshawa would make it a one goal game with just over a minute remaining in regulation at 18:52 and then pulled their goalie to try and tie it.

Andrew Yogan finished them off firing a shot from deep in his own defensive zone into the empty net for his fourth goal of the game and 41st of the season to seal the win 8-6.  It was Yogan's first-ever five point game as well as first-ever four goal game as he was named the game's first star for his efforts.

Yogan finishes the season 41-37-78 which is good for second among Ranger prospects in goals scored, Yogan also had nine power-play goals and two game winners. Teammate Peter Ceresnak (NYR 2011 6th) was scoreless as well as a -1 for the game as he finished his rookie season in the OHL 6-9-15 and he too is expected to join the CT Whale this week but we really would be surprised if he saw game action.

As for Christian Thomas who finished the game 1-1-2 -2, he finishes the regular season 34-33-67, that was good for third place in goals and fourth in points. Thomas and his Oshawa Generals did make the OHL playoffs and will face the Niagara IceDogs in the first-round.

Speaking of those Niagara IceDogs, they too were in action on Sunday in what looked like a meaningless game but could be something to file away for later use. The IceDogs with Islander prospects Ryan Strome (2011 1st) and Mitchell Theoret (2011 7th) were taking on the Mississauga St. Michael's Majors.

The IceDogs came away with a 2-0 win over the Majors, if you want to go by the numbers Niagara just dominated this game outshooting the Majors 48-14 but while Niagara won today's battle, if the teams were to meet in the playoffs then perhaps the war might turn out different.

Last year we saw the Majors take out the IceDogs in quick order by shutting down the IceDog's offense. The Majors turned Ryan Strome into a nonfactor and we are pretty sure that Strome got to hear how if only he had scored then Niagara might have won.

Neither Islander prospect scored in this one so Strome finishes his regular season 30-38-68 which led Islander prospects in goals but with second in points. However had Strome played a full season and not miss time playing for Hockey Canada or being injured then there's no question in our mind that Strome would've blown away the rest of the Islander prospects.

Theoret had a career year for him 12-9-21 for the season new highs in goals and points. As we ready mentioned Niagara will be hosting Oshawa for the first-round of the OHL's Eastern Conference playoffs playoffs against Oshawa.

The original plan was to break down the Islander versus Ranger prospect battles but game action took up too much space so we look at that tomorrow.

NCAA invites handed out

Selection Sunday and because college hockey uses a system known as Pairwise (here's how it works) there are almost no surprises as to who gets invited and who doesn't. It is a very flawed system which rewards conferences with big names but at the same time the selection committee looks like they set up the brackets more about who would put butts in the seats.

Boston College (Chris Kreider) gets the number one overall seed and deserves it so they remain in the Northeast bracket. North Dakota (Brock Nelson) earned the number one seed in the West regional and Denver (Scott Mayfield) despite their loss got a third seed and will play in the Midwest regional.

Should be a fun tournament to watch even if it is on ESPN3 and ESPNU, hopefully down the road the NBC sports network or the CBS version will gain the television rights as college hockey will not grow it is buried by ESPN.

(Andrew Yogan- Peterborough Petes)

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