Sunday, October 28, 2012

A better kind of storm

Fogarty on the left (Penticton Vees)
While the East Coast was bracing for Sandy, New York Ranger and New York Islander prospects were making noise with their play. Our stars of the night made their points count in helping their team win.

First Star Steven Fogarty Notre Dame

The best thing about covering the prospects is getting to watch them as they work their way up the ladder towards the NHL. Steven Fogarty (NYR 2011 3rd) is a great example of why I think I have the best job of anyone covering the Rangers.

Fogarty was a blast to cover last year because you knew if the game was on the line; that Fogarty would make the play whether it was on offense or defense. Saturday night Fogarty made the first of what I expect to be several big plays playing for 9th ranked Notre Dame.

Saturday night on the road against 15th ranked Northern Michigan, Fogarty scored his first 2 goals at the NCAA level to help Notre Dame defeat Northern Michigan 3-2 and earned a sweep of the weekend series.

The goals were typical Fogarty; in the second period with the score tied at 1-1, Fogarty fired a wrist shot from the right faceoff circle that beat Northern Michigan's goalie Jared Coreau in the 5-hole to give Notre Dame a 2-1. Still in the second with the Fighting Irish on a power play, Fogarty put his 6'3 200 size to good use as he set up shop in the slot and shoved a rebound past Coreau for a 3-1 lead.

Fogarty earned the game's first star for his efforts as his 2nd goal proved to be the game winner (another first). Forgarty was also 7-5 on face offs, took 4 shots and was a +1.

Micheal St. Croix (Edmonton Oil Kings)
Second Star Michael St. Croix Edmonton

Michael St. Croix (NYR 2011 4th) continues to do what he does best which is make teams pay for taking penalties. St. Croix is a very big reason why the Edmonton Oil Kings are 2nd in the WHL on the power play at 33.8%.

Against the Kelowna Rockets, the Oil Kings were 2 for 6 on their power play chances and St. Croix was involved in both goals. In the 1st period with the Oil Kings trailing 1-0, St. Croix fed Henrik Samuelsson for his 7th goal to tie the game at 1-1.

In the 2nd with the Oil Kings trailing 2-1, St. Croix made Kelowna pay again as St. Croix scored his 9th goal of the season to tie the game up again. Edmonton would go on to win 5-3.

For St. Croix, the goal was his 100th of his WHL career as St. Croix continues to rewrite the Oil King record book with his stats. St. Croix was named the game's 2nd star for his 1-1-2 which gave him a 9-11-20 for the season.

That puts St. Croix 11th in the WHL in overall scoring but on the power play St. Croix is 2nd in power play goals (7th), 5th in power play assists (9th) and 3rd overall in power play scoring 7-9-16.

Andrey Pedan (OHL Images)
Third Star Andrey Pedan Guelph

Andrey Pedan (NYI 2011 3rd) makes the argument for me that if he stays out of the penalty box that he can do some serious damage helping his Guelph Storm win. Pedan's 5th goal of the season at 14:23 of the 3rd period tied the game at 3-3 as Guelph would go on to defeat the London Knights 4-3 in the shootout.

The win gives the Storm the 2nd best record in the OHL at 10-3-0-1 21 with a winning percentage of 0.750. Pedan is on a career best 5 game scoring streak (3-6-9) and is now 5-8-13 for the season.

Even better is for the 2nd straight game Pedan stayed out of the penalty box and while most Islander fans want to talk about Griffin Reinhart, Matt Donovan, and Scott Mayfield; Pedan at 6'3 220 could be a top pair defenseman. Pedan has a ton of potential and in the right situation could be a big asset on the blueline.

Rest of the Prospects

Griffin Reinhart (NYI 2012 1st) did not score in Edmonton's 5-3 win over Kelowna. Make sure you watch the World Under-20 Championships this winter as you will see why I am pretty sure he will be in an Islander uniform next season.

His defense is already NHL ready and he makes watching him play a pleasure. Talk about someone who is already mature beyond his years.

Adam Pelech (NYI 2012 3rd) according to Victor Fernandes (@GoErieHockey) of the blog Shootout had to leave Erie's game against Sarnia in the 3rd period with a left ankle injury.

Pelech injured the ankle while trying to block a shot. Fernandes further reports that the Otters believe that the injury appears to be a bruise but Pelech will have x-rays taken. Losing Pelech for an extended time would be a huge blow for the very young Otters as Pelech is the only veteran they have on the blueline.

The injury did sadly end Pelech's 4 game scoring streak (1-5-6) and might cost Pelech his chance to play against the Russians in the Subway Super Series.

Robbie Russo (NYI 2011 4th) was scoreless on 4 shots as well as "even" and Anders Lee (NYI 2009 6th) did not take any shots and was a -1 in Notre Dame's 3-2 win over Northern Michigan.

Cristoval Nieves (NYR 2012 2nd) was scoreless on 4 shots and an "even" as his 6th ranked Michigan Wolverines dropped a 4-3 decision to 3rd ranked Miami. The teams wind up splitting their weekend series as this rivalry will be missed when both teams join different conferences next year.

Scott Mayfield (NYI 2011 2nd) had a primary assist for his 2nd point of the season as his 5th ranked Denver Pioneers improved to 4-0 after a 5-2 win over Michigan Tech. Mayfield also took a roughing minor that he gets a pass on because he was dealing with a pest on Michigan Tech.

Peter Ceresnak (NYR 2011 6th) was scoreless but his Peterborough Petes stopped a 5 game losing streak with a 3-1 win over the Saginaw Spirit. The Petes even after the win still have the worst record in the OHL 3-7-2-1 for just 9 points.

The Niagara IceDogs had all 3 of their Islander prospects in the lineup as they took on the Barrie Colts. The IceDogs playing their 3rd game in 3 nights lost their 2nd straight game 4-1.

Ryan Strome (NYI 2011 1st) had a rough night as his 7 game scoring streak was stopped (4-7-11) but Strome was called for 2 minors that Barrie cashed in for goals. Mitchell Theoret (NYI 2011 7th) returned after missing 2 games to injury and Jesse Graham (NYI 2012 6th) were both scoreless.

Loic Leduc (NYI 2012 4th) was scoreless as his Cape Breton Screaming Eagles defeated the Drummondville Voltigeurs 4-1. Leduc was a +1 and a minor for roughing at the end of the game.

Guess not many want to fight a guy who is 6'6 210 like Leduc is for some reason.

Brendan Kichton (NYI 2011 5th) did not score but his Spokane Chiefs broke a 2 game losing streak defeating their rivals the Tri-City Americans 3-2. Tri-City has a player named Markus Messier on their team (think they are cousins) and it is a bit strange hearing that name after all this time.

Cody Rosen (NYI 2010 7th) was again the back up as his Clarkson Golden Knights played Niagara. The Golden Knights settled for a 4-4 overtime tie and are now 0-4-1 on the season.

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