Friday, October 12, 2012

First time for everything

Mitchell Theoret (OHL Images)
Thursday night was a light one for the New York Islander and New York Ranger prospects but we got a couple of first's in to make the evening interesting.

Mitchell Theoret (NYI 2011 7th) returned to the Niagara IceDog lineup after missing the last 2 games with a "upper body injury." Theoret found himself playing on the first line with fellow Islander prospect Ryan Strome (2011 1st) and scored his first goal of the season.

The goal was unique because the primary assist went to Strome and the secondary to the 3rd Islander prospect on the IceDogs defenseman Jesse Graham (2012 6th). It was the first time that all 3 Islander prospects combined on a scoring play.

Unfortunately the goal was not enough to prevent the IceDogs from dropping their 3rd straight game 4-3 to the Ottawa 67's. Thanks to the folks at TVCogecoOntario, here are the highlights from the game.

Theoret's goal starts at the 1:26 mark and the 3rd replay shows it best.

The goal coming just 16 seconds into the 3rd period brought the IceDogs to within a goal at 2-3. Theoret playing with the playmaker Strome has an opportunity to rack up a ton of points if he plays the role of the grinder on Strome's line.

While the goal was Theoret's 1st of the season (1-1-2), Strome's assist was his 6th of the season (5-6-11) and Graham's 2nd (0-2-2). The IceDogs are back on the road for 2 games this weekend as part of a 3 game in 3.5 day stretch.

"Boo" Nieves (
Cristoval "Boo" Nieves (NYR 2012 2nd) made his "official" debut with the 3rd ranked Michigan Wolverines and it was a rocky start for the 6'3 forward from Kent, CT. Nieves was a -2 on 3 shots and a minor for "embellishment" as his Wolverines were upset in their home opener by the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) Tigers 4-3 in overtime.

Nieves was used as the right wing on the 4th line by the Wolverines as the freshman found out fast that the game is much faster than at the USHL level. Nieves got his feet wet which is the way Michigan coach Red Berenson has used most of his freshman during his 28 years as head coach.

Everything these days for Nieves is going to be a test for him; how he responds will go a long way in deciding how fast Nieves works his way up the depth charts. Michigan hosts RIT again on Friday night so he doesn't have long to wait for his next chance.

Peter Ceresnak (NYR 2011 6th) and his Peterborough Petes registered their own first of the season on Thursday evening as they recorded a point for the 2nd straight game despite losing 4-3 in overtime to the Kingston Frontenacs.

Ceresnak didn't score but this one is going to bother the Petes because they know that they have been their own worst enemy this season. Against the Frontenacs, the Petes just were not strong enough defensively especially in the 2nd period.

Ceresnak had his partner changed for this game as he played with Trevor Murphy rather than Slater Koekkoek. It is a change that hopefully will bring Ceresnak out of his shell rather than play second fiddle.

Ceresnak is fighting himself these days which tends to make things tougher for younger players as the more they press then the more they wind up making mistakes. Ceresnak has not learned to let the game come to him and if he does then he just might turn things around for himself and his team.


Friday night starting at 7 PM Eastern hockey returns to the US TV even if it is not NHL hockey. Steven Fogarty (NYR 2011 3rd) makes his debut for the 13th ranked Fighting Irish of Notre Dame as they play Maine in the opener of the Ice Breaker Tournament.

Fogarty joins Islander prospects Anders Lee (2009 6th) and Robbie Russo (2011 4th) as the Irish play their final season as members of the CCHA. Next season Notre Dame will join the Hockey East but this year they look to earn another NCAA tournament invite.

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