Thursday, November 8, 2012

The wild west

Griffin Reinhart (Edmonton Oil Kings)
A very light schedule for Wednesday night as just the Edmonton Oil Kings with New York Ranger's prospect Michael St. Croix (2011 4th) and New York Islander's prospect Griffin Reinhart (2012 1st) taking on the Kelowna Rockets.

This one was going to be a very good matchup because these 2 teams had one thing in common; they both are the only ones to defeat the Kamloops Blazers in regulation this season. Kelowna was already hot having a 3 game win streak but also went into the game with a shutout streak of 175:21 so of course mentioning it means the streak was ended.

It took Edmonton 4:38 to score and I wish I had the video because I am sure people will think I messing with them when I say the goal was scored by Stephen Shmoorkoff and it was his first career WHL point. Blame the media as they jinxed the Rockets by talking up the streak.

Edmonton took a 1-0 lead on the Shmoorkoff goal but Kelowna scored 2 goals in the next 2:52 to grab a 2-1 lead that they held until 24 seconds into the second period when Edmonton tied the game. I wish I can say that this was a really exciting game but the officiating sadly was disappointing.

I have to be honest as I can't explain how Kelowna was only called for 1 minor while Edmonton got hit 5 times. To me it took a little away from a very good performance by Jackson Whistle the Kelowna goalie who stopped 25 out of 27 and very much deserved the game's 1st star.

Whistle did a masterful job ending Michael St. Croix's 7 game scoring streak (6-5-11) as St. Croix had some solid scoring chances in this one. But Whistle had St. Croix's number each time he tried.

Reinhart was his typically stopper self as like I have said, Reinhart is a pleasure to watch and surprise so was Henrik Samuelsson who has been playing hockey not inciting riots like his father Ulfie was always doing.

If anything what one could take away from this game is that despite some great records in the league from Edmonton to Kamloops; the WHL has 6-7 teams that can be legit contenders for the WHL Championship.

In Owen Sound, the Guelph Storm shut out the Owen Sound Attack 3-0 and the reason I mention this is because this was the 4th and final game of Andrey Pedan's suspension. Pedan can return to action on Friday when Guelph hosts Sarnia.

Hopefully the message of the suspension sinks in for Pedan because the next time he pulls anything he is facing double digits. It is up to Pedan now because if he wants to be a part of what is shaping to be a good team then he needs to play hockey and think.

Thursday Hockey

The NHL Network USA will be televising Team OHL against Team Russia in Game 3 of the Subway Super Series starting at 7PM EDT/4PM PDT. Sorry Ranger fans but no Rangers are playing in these next 2 games but Ryan Strome (both) and Adam Pelech (Nov 12) will be playing.

It is turning into a pretty serious series now that Russia is sending their better junior plays. Check it out.

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