Sunday, September 23, 2012

Making the Rangers look good

Michael St. Croix (Edmonton Oil Kings)
With the NHL lockout wiping out first Traverse City and then the New York Ranger's training camp; the question about how would the Ranger prospects in the Canadian Juniors react to the disappointment was a fair one to ask?

In the case of Michael St. Croix (NYR 2011 4th) of the Edmonton Oil Kings; no problem at all. St. Croix is off to a pretty good start after a 2 goal effort helping his Edmonton Oil Kings to a rather easy 6-2 win over the Red Deer Rebels.

For the 2nd straight game, St. Croix scored in the game's first 2 minutes to give his team an early lead. St. Croix tucked a backhand past Red Deer goalie Patrik Bartosak at 1:29 for his 2nd goal of the season.

In the 2nd with Edmonton already up 3-1, St. Croix added a power play goal off his own rebound to make it 4-1 for the Oil Kings. It was St. Croix's 3rd goal of the season and his 2nd power play point.

Really have to hand it to St. Croix as he is playing as if he still hasn't earned his Ranger contract. St. Croix has plenty of incentive as he was not invited to attend Hockey Canada's summer camp for the Under-20 squad.

There is also a report (s/t to Neate of Buzzing the Net) where WHL commissioner Ron Robison said the 3 Canadian juniors leagues were working out an agreement where a select group of players would be released to attend NHL training camps if the lockout came to an end during the season.

It is very good to see St. Croix playing like this as sometimes prospects coast for a few games after signing their entry level contract. Chalk up another feather in the cap of Gordie Clark and the Ranger scouts.

Samuel Noreau (NYR 2011 5th) was ejected from his game as his Baie Comeau Drakkar were spanked 5-0 on the road by the Quebec Remparts. Not even going to try to defend it or explain it away because for some reason there is an almost epidemic of major cross-checking majors to start the season in all 3 leagues.

This early in the season I suspect that the QMJHL will come down hard on players so I think somewhere around 5 games for Noreau.

In the OHL, Andrey Pedan (NYI 2011 4rd)and his Guelph Storm were whipped by the London Knights 8-2. Pedan was called for 3 minor penalties and a fighting major.

One of the minors led to a London power play goal but the Knights were just too good that really there wasn't much the Storm could do to stop them.

Loic Leduc (NYI 2011 4th) registered his 1st point of the season as he set up teammate William Carrier for a goal late in the 3rd period. The goal broke a 3-3 tie but their Cape Breton Screaming Eagles could not hold the lead allowing the Moncton Wildcats to tie the game in the last minute of regulation.

The Screaming Eagles count not score in overtime and eventually lost in the shootout to lose the game 5-4.

Finally in Kennewick Washington, the Portland Winterhawks got 2 goals each from Nicolas Petan (leads the WHL in scoring 4-4-8) and Chase De Leo to double up the Tri-City Americans 4-2. The bus ride back to Portland will be a lot nicer after winning both road games this weekend.

Oliver Bjorkstrand had a secondary assist to bring his numbers 3-2-5 in 3 games. Seth Jones set up Petan's 2nd goal for his 1st WHL point and it turned out to be the game winner for the Winterhawks.

The Winterhawks were without Ty Rattie who was ejected from Saturday's game for cross-checking as his status in TBD (to be determined) which is WHL talk for he is about to get suspended. There are something like 8-9 players in the WHL who are facing suspensions so I fear that Rattie will get caught in this mess and should see something like a 3 game suspension.

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