Two New York Islander prospects and one New York Ranger prospect saw action for their teams on Saturday and both sets came way empty-handed. It was a frustrating day for the prospects and their teams as they had opportunities but just didn't cash in on them.
We are going to start in Niagara as the host IceDogs prepared to play game two against the London Knights. Niagara got off to a pretty good start. Thanks in part to Islander prospect Ryan Strome (2011 1st) as Strome in the first period helped Niagara with two power-play assists (primary, secondary) which helped Niagara jumped out to a 2-0 lead,
Unfortunately for Niagara, London scored a late power-play goal to cut the lead to just 2-1 at the end of one period. Niagara can really blame themselves because they never cashed in on the multiple chances that they were given.
In the meantime, London especially in the second and third periods were being outshot 31-14, but London Goalie Michael Houser was just awesome in net. Houser topped 39/42 shots he faced for the game and gave his team time time to find their offense, which they did over a 2:42 span as the Kinghts were able to tie then eventually take the lead over Niagara.
Niagara actually closed the score to within 1 at 4-3 in the second period but couldn't get that tying goal despite outshooting London 15-5. Final score was London 5 Niagara 3 tying the series up at 1-1. The other Islander prospect in this game, Mitchell Theoret (2011 7th) had a pretty quiet night, no points and a hooking call that gave London a power-play opportunity.
Game four of the series will be Monday evening starting at 7 PM local time.
The RBC Cup got underway on Saturday with New York Ranger prospect Steven Fogarty (2011 3rd) is leading his Penticton Vees into tournament action as a representative of the Pacific region.
This year's Cup is being played in Humboldt Saskatchewan and the format features for champions out of the four regions plus the hosting in a round robin format. Fogarty and his teammates took on the Soo Thunderbirds who are representing the central region.
The Vees found themselves upset by the Thunderbirds 2-1 thanks to an outstanding performance from Thunderbird Goalie John Kleinhans who stopped 44 out of the 45 shots he faced to earn star of the game for the Thunderbirds. It is very hard to say anything bad about the Vees who did everything right, including limiting the Thunderbirds to just 15 shots on goal for the game.
They just could not figure out a way to defeat Kleinhans which is absolutely brilliant with his game. As for Steven Fogarty he put on a great performance in his own right as it was good enough as Fogarty was named player of the game for the Vees even though he did not score.
Fogarty was doing his thing defensively helping his Vees just totally shut down the Thunderbirds, especially in the third period when the Thunderbirds were held to just three shots. There is an omen though, according to those who follow the RBC Cup.
In the last eight years, two other teams representing the Pacific region drop their opening game matchup and those two teams wound up winning the RBC cup. We'll find out if history repeats itself, starting tomorrow when the Vees take on the host Humboldt Broncos.
(Strome- Aaron Bell of OHL images, Fogarty, courtesy Penticton Vees)
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