Saturday, November 17, 2012

An Islander Friday

Robbie Russo (Matt Cashore/Notre Dame)
Sorry New York Ranger fans but Friday night belonged to the New York Islander prospects; mainly their defensemen prospects. There is no questioning that the Islanders have a very nice stockpile of young talented players but the real question is can the Islanders develop them?

First Star Robbie Russo Notre Dame

Robbie Russo (NYI 2011 4th) doesn't always get a lot of attention but if the sophomore defender for 8th ranked Notre Dame keeps playing like he did again 13th ranked Michigan that will change. Russo with a 2 goal game led the Irish to a 4-1 win and Notre Dame's first sweep at Michigan since 1978.

Russo got the Irish on the scoreboard with a power play goal as Russo fired a shot from the point that Michigan goalie Steve Racine never saw and it went in for Russo's 3rd goal of the season. Russo's other goal was an empty net goal as Russo intercepted a Michigan pass at the Irish blueline and fired it into the empty net for his 4th goal of the season.

Russo who had a very rough beginning to this series on Thursday turned into some of his best hockey while at Notre Dame. Russo was named the game's first star as Notre Dame improved to 8-3 (5-1 and 1st place in the CCHA).

Russo leads Notre Dame with 3 power play goals is now 4-3-7 on the season, 2nd on the team in goals and 3rd overall in scoring.

Scott Mayfield (Denver Pioneers)
Second Star Scott Mayfield Denver

Scott Mayfield (NYI 2011 2nd)
did a little of everything to help his 2nd ranked Denver Pioneers defeat in-state rival 14th ranked Colorado College 6-5. Mayfield scored his first goal of the season, was a +4 for the night and even tossed in some post-game sparring.

Denver jumped out to a 2-0 first period after Mayfield scored his first goal of the season, Colorado scored twice in the 2nd to tie the game. Denver then scored 4 straight goals to take a 6-2 lead in the 3rd but Colorado rallied with 3 in the 3rd to pull to within 1 goal.

That was a close as Colorado would get but the fireworks were just beginning as Denver goalie Juho Olkinuora started throwing punches at Colorado's Alex Krushelnyski at the final buzzer. Mayfield came to the aid of his goalie and was lucky he was called for a double minor for roughing or we would be talking about the 1 game suspension he would have received.

Not sure if I would want to be throwing punches with Mayfield who is 6'4 and at least 215. But it was still a good effort from Mayfield who appears to have more confidence in his game this season.

The Rest of the Prospects

Back to Notre Dame/Michigan as Anders Lee (NYI 2009 6th) was scoreless on 2 shots, +1, cross checking minor and 6-6 on faceoffs. Steven Fogarty (NYR 2011 3rd) was also scoreless with no shots, an "even" and was only credited with 2-1 on faceoffs which is not even close.

For Michigan, Cristoval Nieves (NYR 2012 2nd) was scoreless, taking just 1 shot and once again a -2. Nieves and his teammates are just not in sync as it appears that Michigan's annual mid-season slump has started early this year.

Still Nieves has to show more than just 1 shot a game if he wants the big minutes. He is young but it looks like Michigan needs him to grow up faster than normal to have a typical Michigan season.

Michigan falls to 4-6-1 (2-5-1 in the CCHA) and that is not normal for them.

Brady Skjei (NYR 2012 1st) and his 3rd ranked Minnesota took on rival Wisconsin in WCHA action. The 2 teams played to a 2-2 overtime tie in the first meeting of "the Border Battle."

Skjei had a quiet game but he was taking a regular shift for Minnesota so please don't worry about his game. Skjei is in good hands with Minnesota and their coaching staff.

Shane McColgan (NYR 2011 5th) and his Saskatoon Blades welcomed back goalie Andrey Markov after he defeated Team WHL on Thursday. Markov brought his hot play with him from the Subway Super Series by shutting out the Prince George Cougars 4-0.

McColgan had the primary assist on the Blade's 3rd goal for his 16th assist of the season and 21st overall point. If Markov is getting hot then the Blades could turn things around in a hurry.

Loic Leduc (NYI 2012 4th) and his Cape Breton Screaming Eagles extended their unbeaten streak to 3 games after defeating the Saint John Sea Dogs 5-2. Leduc was scoreless on 1 shot but a -2 and a minor for holding.

Andrey Pedan (NYI 2011 3rd)
and his Guelph Storm defeated the Mississauga Steelheads 7-2. Pedan was scoreless but a +2 with minors for high sticking and interference.

Not counting misconducts (and sorry I have no idea why misconducts are not included) and Pedan has 50 PIMs. Pedan is 5th in the OHL for penalty minutes.

Adam Pelech (NYI 2012 3rd) and his Erie Otters if they can figure out how to win close games will make some noise in the OHL. The Otters lost a heartbreaker 3-1 to the Kitchener Rangers.

Pelech was scoreless but the story of this game was his teammate backup goalie Devin Williams who kept his team in the game despite being out shot 56-30 as William gave up just 2 goals in his 5th appearance of the season.

We actually do have a Cody Rosen (NYI 2010 7th) sighting as the senior goalie for the Clarkson Golden Knights came on in relief in the 3rd period. Clarkson lost to Quinnipiac 5-2 to fall to 1-5-4 for the year.

Rosen in only his 2nd appearance of the season came in at 3:59 of the 3rd and stopped the 3 shots he faced. Wonder if Rosen will get another chance at starting as Clarkson can't afford to fall any deeper if they have any playoff hopes.

Finally one day after ending a 7 game losing streak Peter Ceresnak (NYR 2011 6th) and his Peterborough Petes lost to the Kingston Frontenacs 7-3. Not much one can say as both Ranger and Islander fans would understand the frustration that the Pete fans have been dealing with.

Losing stinks no matter what level of play it is.

No comments: