Monday, October 29, 2012

Stepping up on Sunday

Samuel Noreau (P.E.I. Guardian)
Sunday hockey for New York Ranger and New York Islander prospects was mainly good news for the Rangers and possibly bad news for the Islanders. If you are a Ranger fan then you really have to appreciate the work of Gordie Clark and the Ranger scouts as they find the diamonds in the rough.

Samuel Noreau (NYR 2011 5th) is a prospect who even I wondered about why he was picked in the 2011 NHL entry draft by the Rangers. Other than his size and a willingness to fight, Noreau was being used as a 3rd pair defender on a bad Baie-Comeau Drakkar team which didn't raise Noreau's stock.

If you want to give credit then share it between the Ranger's player development program and the player himself. The Rangers to their credit have learned to invest in their prospects and I am not talking money.

On Sunday Samuel Noreau and his Baie-Comeau Drakkar hosted the Victoriaville Tigre looking to extend their unbeaten streak to 7 games. The Drakkar jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the game's first 5 minutes and cruised to a 5-1 win.

Noreau had a interesting game, a primary assist on the Drakkar's 5th goal, 3 shots on goal, a +3 and a fight to boot. Forget the numbers but look at the effort and Noreau so far has shown the most improvement among the Ranger prospects.

Noreau is now 3-5-8 on the season and his Drakkar are 5-0-0-2 in their last 7 games.

Michael St. Croix (NYR 2011 4th) must have heard the critics asking what has he done at even strength as the "Predator" struck again for a 1-1-2 as his Edmonton Oil Kings took advantage of a very tired Vancouver Giant team defeating them 5-1.

St. Croix had the primary assist on Edmonton's first goal when T.J. Foster scored an even strength goal at 5:28 of the 1st period. It was St. Croix who finished the scoring as Foster returned the favor and set up St. Croix for his 10th goal of the season.

St. Croix is on his 3rd four game scoring streak of the season (5-3-8) as he is now 10th in the WHL in scoring at 10-12-22. Teammate Griffin Reinhart (NYI 2012 1st) did not score but was a +3 and you know maybe they do need to keep track of things like breaking up plays, forcing turnovers or other defense related stats.

Reinhart's best work never shows up on a stat sheet but I seriously doubt that Edmonton would have the best record in the WHL's Eastern Conference if not for Reinhart. He is going to be a rock solid defenseman when he gets to the NHL.

I am going to take the blame for jinxing Andrey Pedan (NYI 2011 3rd) as I should know better than to praise him. On Sunday Pedan's 5 game scoring streak came to an halt when Pedan was ejected at 7:02 of the 2nd period for "kicking" as his Guelph Storm were beaten by the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds 6-2.

No excuse for that kind of match penalty for Pedan to take as he hurt his team. Guelph was trailing 1-0 when Pedan was ejected and the Greyhounds took advantage of it scoring 3 goals in a span of 1:21. Now it will be interesting to how the OHL office looks at this as well as other incidents from the game.

Peter Ceresnak (NYR 2011 6th) and his Peterborough Petes are on a 2 game winning streak after defeating the Oshawa General in the shoot out 3-2. Ceresnak did not score but played some decent defense as Oshawa dominated the game in every area except the scoreboard.

Peterborough can thank their goalie Michael Giugovaz for this win as Giugovaz stopped 45 out of 47 shots during regulation and overtime then 2 more in the shootout. Giugovaz has been the goalie in all 4 of Peterborough's win so hopefully he can keep this up.

Finally in Minnesota as expected Brady Skjei (NYR 2012 1st) sat out the Golden Gopher's game with Canisius. Nothing to worry about as Minnesota rested a few players who were "dinged up" and Skjei is expected back in the lineup next Friday.

No comments: