Sunday, October 21, 2012

A Saturday Surprise

Samuel Noreau (New York Rangers)
On a mostly quiet Saturday night for the New York Ranger and New York Islander prospects; just one really stood out perhaps because he is understanding that he has a golden opportunity to earn a professional contract but needs to stand out this season.

Tonight's Star Samuel Noreau Baie-Comeau

In the early part of the 2012-2013 season; the prospect who has been the biggest surprise has been defenseman Samuel Noreau (NYR 2011 5th) of the Baie-Comeau Drakkar. The prospect who was drafted and fell into the category of project player has worked hard to become a Top 4 defenseman for the Drakkar.

The one time goon has worked on every area of his game and while I am not ready to say he is now NHL material; what I will say is that I would give him a AHL contract today. If Noreau continues on this pattern of improvement then who knows, maybe an NHL career could be possible.

On Saturday evening, it was Noreau scoring his 3rd goal of the young season and adding a primary assist on another goal to help his Drakkar earn a 7-2 win over the Saint John SeaDogs. It was Noreau's first game winning goal in his career and it was a power play goal to boot.

Noreau's goal was the only one in the 2nd period of the game against the defending QMJHL champions coming at 19:20 of the period and it gave the Drakkar a 3-1 lead after 2 periods. Noreau's assist was also a power play point coming on the Drakkar's final goal of the game.

Noreau was 1-1-2 (3-4-7 on season) on 3 shots, a -1 and had 1 hit.

Rest of the prospects

Michael St. Croix (NYR 2011 4th) had a secondary assist on Edmonton's first goal, was a -1 and took 3 minor penalties while Griffin Reinhart (NYI 2012 1st) was scoreless and a +1 as their Edmonton Oil Kings defeated the Medicine Hat Tigers 4-2.

The Oil Kings spotted the Tigers a 2 goal lead after 1 period then roared back with 4 unanswered goals to earn the win. St. Croix's assist gives him a 8-10-18 record after 13 games which is ahead of the pace he had last season (4-8-12).

Shane McColgan (NYR 2011 5th)
set up the first goal for his Saskatoon Blades but it was not enough as the Everett Silvertips defeated the Blades 3-2. McColgan's assist gives him points in 6 out of his last 8 games and a 2-9-11 stat for the season.

The problem is that other than a 3 game winning streak, the Blades just aren't playing well enough to win games.

In Spokane, Brendan Kichton (NYI 2011 5th) was scoreless as his Spokane Chiefs defeated the Prince George Cougars 3-2. The win was the 8th on the season against 3 losses as the surprising Chiefs are off to a great start.

Spokane at 8-3 has the 2nd best win percentage in the WHL's Western conference and 4th best overall in the WHL.

In Erie, Adam Pelech (NYI 2012 3rd) has a primary assist on his Erie Otter's first goal of the game but the Otters lost 3-2 to the Windsor Spitfires. For Pelech it was his 7th assist of the season as he improves to 2-7-9.

But once again my favorite rant is Erie was playing it's 3rd game in 3 nights which has been an almost automatic loss for them. The Otters have played 12 games so far this season; 8 of them on the road

Take a peek at Pelech's stats and see how many times his Otters have played back to back games.

The Niagara IceDogs with their trio of Islander prospects extended their unbeaten streak to 4 games after a 4-2 win over the Kingston Frontenacs. Ryan Strome (NYI 2011 1st) had a secondary assist to extend his scoring streak to 5 games (3-4-7) and 8-9-17 overall.

Mitchell Theoret (NYI 2011 7th)
saw his 4 game goal scoring streak come to an end and Jesse Graham (NYI 2012 6th) was scoreless.

The Guelph Storm extended their own unbeaten streak to 8 games after handing the Saginaw Spirit an 8-5 loss. Andrey Pedan (NYI 2011 3rd) had 2 primary assists in this game but was also a -2 with a slashing minor to earn his 38th PIM.

The assists were Pedan's 3rd and 4th of the season as Pedan is now 3-4-7 on the season.

Forgive the corny cliche but 8th ranked Denver Pioneers shot down the Air Force 5-2 in Denver on Saturday evening. Scott Mayfield (NYI 2011 2nd) recorded his first point of the season; a secondary assist on what turned out to be the game winning goal.

Mayfield was also a +2 on 1 shot but took 2 minor penalties in the 2nd period. He needs to do a little cleaning up with his game as Denver can't afford for him to turn into the American version of Andrey Pedan.

If one wishes to believe the stat sheet then Brady Skjei (NYR 2012 1st) played on top ranked Minnesota's 4th line as a right wing in Minnesota's 3-2 win over Michigan Tech. At the time this was written there has not been any confirmation on which position Skjei played.

In either case, Skjei did not take any shots and was "even" for the game.

Cody Rosen (NYI 2010 7th) was once again the backup goalie for the Clarkson Golden Knights. The Golden Knights lost 3-1 to Holy Cross to fall to 0-3 on the season.

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