Sunday, October 14, 2012

Saturday night delight

Anders Lee (CCHA)
Plenty of action from the New York Ranger and New York Islander prospects as players who their teams count on to contribute did so which made for an entertaining Saturday night of hockey. It is nice to have an evening where picking who gets a star is a hard decision.

First Star Anders Lee Notre Dame

Anders Lee (NYI 2009 6th) set up the game's first goal just 1:14 into the game then added a goal to help his 13th ranked Notre Dame Fighting Irish win the 2012 Ice Breaker Tournament with a 3-2 win over the Nebraska-Omaha Mavericks. It was Lee's first points of the 2012-2013 as the newly appointed captain of the Fighting Irish led by example.

Lee fired a shot that hit the boards and rebounded to the front of the net where it went in off a teammate at 1:14 for a 1-0 lead. After the Mavericks tied the score midway of the 1st period; Lee put his team ahead to stay when he picked up a rebound and wristed a shot that went in at 15:56 of the 1st.

Lee is being asked to do a lot this season, first as the captain of the team but also shifted back to center after 2 seasons as a winger. At 6'3 230, Lee looks more like a linebacker coming on a blitz than a hockey player.

Lee finished the evening with the 1-1-2 on 3 shots, a +2 with 1 blocked shot and 7-7 on his faceoffs.

Brady Skjei (New York Rangers)
Second Star Brady Skjei Minnesota

Minnesota Golden Gopher coach Don Lucia took a page from Michigan Wolverine coach Red Berenson when he sent out freshman Brady Skjei (NYR 2012 1st) as one of his starting players. Lucia had to be pleased with the results as Skjei responded with his first 2 points of his NCAA career to help Minnesota to a 7-1 win over Michigan State.

Skjei earned the game's 3rd star in just his 2nd game in the NCAA as the youngster from Lakeville Minnesota got on the scoreboard with a secondary assist on Minnesota's 5th goal just 30 seconds into the 2nd period. In the 3rd, Skjei scored his first career NCAA goal at 15:42 of the 3rd period on the power play.

It was Skjei's first shot of the game as the young defender finished 1-1-2 and +1. Skjei looked more at ease as the 1st game jitters were out of the way.

Blowouts like this weekend (Minnesota out scored Michigan State 12-2) will give Skjei more ice time as the season progresses. Minnesota established that they are a legit contender for the NCAA title and Skjei will be a part of it.

Ryan Strome (OHL Images)
Third Star Ryan Strome Niagara

The Islander's 2011 1st round pick Ryan Strome had a strong effort with a 1-1-2 game against the Sarnia Sting but the Sting got the win in overtime 4-3. The game's second star, Strome did what he could to end Niagara's 3 game losing streak but a badly timed major penalty led to a power play that carried over into overtime.

Now Niagara is on a 4 game winless streak but they can't blame Strome as he did his part. First Strome set up his new linemate fellow Islander prospect Mitchell Theoret for a goal that tied the game at 1-1 in the first period.

In the second it was Theoret returning the favor setting up Strome for his 6th goal of the season and his 13th point of the season. At 6-7-13, Strome has points in 9 of the 10 games he has played in and sits 8th in the OHL in overall scoring.

Honorable Mention Mitchell Theoret

Got to give Mitchell Theoret (NYI 2011 7th) a major stick tap for realizing the opportunity that he has been handed by Niagara head coach Marty Williamson. Placed on Niagara's top line to be a grinder/protector, Theoret is taking full advantage of it.

2 games, 2 goals (and an assist) and Theoret is showing he wants to stay on this line instead of being a 3rd liner. As a 7th round pick, Theoret knows that he needs to have a monster season to earn himself a contract.

Always glad to see a player who busts his butt to make the most of his opportunities. In 2 games Theoret has more points than he did in his first 6.

Rest of the Prospects

Jesse Graham (NYI 2012 6th), the 3rd Islander prospect on the IceDogs was a -1 and did not score.

Robbie Russo (NYI 2011 4th) and Steven Fogarty (NYR 2011 3rd) were both scoreless in Notre Dame's 3-2 win over Nebraska-Omaha. Russo took 2 shots, was a +1 and blocked 1 shot while Fogarty did not take any shots, was 3-3 on face offs and took a slashing penalty.

Shane McColgan (NYR 2011 5th) had a secondary assist as his Saskatoon Blades broke a 5 game losing streak with a 5-2 win over the Lethbridge Hurricanes. McColgan's assist came on Saskatoon's 2nd goal which gave them a 2-1 lead that they did not give back.

McColgan improves to 1-6-7 which is not earth shattering as McColgan badly needs to go on a monster run if he wants a Ranger contract.

Brendan Kichton's (NYI 2011 5th) 3rd goal of the season; a power play goal at 19:18 of the 1st period got his Spokane Chiefs going as they defeated the Vancouver Giants 5-2. For Kichton, he improves his stats to 3-7-10 in 8 games as the Chiefs earn their 6th win of the season (6-2-0-0).

Peter Ceresnak (NYR 2011 6th) and his Peterborough Petes may be stretching things by saying they are unbeaten in their last 3 regulation games (1-0-1-1) but 4 points in their last 3 games is way better than the 2 they earned in their first 6.

Ceresnak was scoreless as the Petes dropped a 5-4 decision in the shoot out to the Owen Sound Attack. The Attack happen to have the 2nd best record in the OHL and the Petes got a point on the road so call it a win for the struggling Petes.

Ceresnak is pointless after 9 games so he needs to get some offense going soon if he hopes to earn a Ranger contract.

Samuel Noreau (NYR 2011 5th) was scoreless on 2 shots and had a hit as his Baie-Comeau Drakkar got a bit of revenge on the Rimouski Oceanic shutting them out 2-0 on their ice. Friday evening it was the Oceanic who got the win.

Noreau is not putting up earth shattering numbers but you can see a clear difference between Noreau and Ceresnak. Noreau is playing like he wants the Ranger contract, with a sense of both purpose and urgency while Ceresnak isn't.

Someone needs to show Ceresnak the Ranger's defensive depth chart and explain to him the golden opportunity he might be blowing.

Adam Pelech (NYI 2012 3rd) made up for taking 2 third period minors by scoring his 1st goal of the season 8 seconds after his 2nd penalty ended. The goal at 10:15 of the 3rd tied the game up at 3-3 but Pelech's Erie Otters could not hold off the Mississauga Steelheads.

The Steelheads scored with 2:20 remaining in regulation to earn a 4-3 win over the Otters. For Pelech it was his first goal in his last 28 games going back to February 3rd 2012.

Cody Rosen (NYI 2010 7th) got to watch from the bench as his Clarkson Golden Knights lost for the 2nd evening in a row to the Colorado College Tigers 5-4. It was the same score as Friday evening as Clarkson dropped to 0-2.

Hello Lancers

Want to say hello to the fans of the Omaha Lancers of the USHL where New York Islander prospect defenseman Jake Bischoff (2012 7th) is spending the season with. Jake is on twitter for Islander fans to follow at @jakethesnnake22.

Currently Jake is sitting out with an upper body injury so going to have to wait a bit before we can get a look at him. Been told he is a hard worker so look forward to getting to check him out.

Bischoff next season will be joining Brady Skeji at Minnesota but for now he is with the Lancers. The USHL is a pretty good league that has been getting better with each passing year.

Take a look at the list of players who once played in the USHL and made it to the NHL. Not a bad list and toss in that Bischoff will be attending Minnesota says something about him.


Scott said...

Jess, interesting link back to the old nabe in today's NYTimes:

Greetings again from Vermont.

Jess Rubenstein said...

Thanks Scott. sad to see that nothing has changed in the Heights.