|Mitchell Theoret (OHL Images)|
What they do instead is hand out roughing minor or unsportsmanlike calls so unless you did deep then you don't see any fights. Hey it is New Years Eve (well Day by the time you read this) and I had to work.
It was an interesting matchup between the Niagara IceDogs who have New York Islander prospects Mitchell Theoret (2011 7th) and Jesse Graham (2012 6th) taking on the Erie Otters who have Islander prospect Adam Pelech (2012 3rd).
With both teams missing key players to both the World Under-20 and the Under-17 Challenge; it was left to those who remained behind. It was an entertaining game with plenty of scoring along with both starting goalies getting yanked but in the end it was a 7-4 win for the IceDogs.
The game started innocently enough with both teams trading power play goals early in the first period and Jesse Graham getting a secondary assist on Niagara's first goal.
Erie would score 2 more goals in the first period capped off by Adam Pelech's 6th goal at 12:48 which gave Erie a 3-1 lead after one period. In the second, Niagara answered back with 3 goals of their own (Mitchell Theoret had a secondary assist on Niagara's 2nd goal) to take a 4-3 lead.
Erie responded with another goal to tie the game at 4-4 (Adam Pelech had secondary assist) very late in the period. In the 3rd period it would be Mitchell Theoret who broke the tie with his 18th goal of the season.The goal gave Niagara a 5-4 lead and they would tack on 2 more goals for the 7-4 win.
The goal also proved to be the game winner which was Theoret's 2nd of the season. Late in the game, Pelech and Theoret would square off looking to fight but they were separated costing both players the Gordie Howe Hat Trick.
Both got roughing minors with Theoret adding on an unsportsmanlike so I will give them both Marty Howe Hat Tricks for their attempted fight. By the numbers Pelech was 1-1-2 -2 2PIM (6-25-31), Graham was 0-1-1 +2 2PIM (2-13-15) and Theoret was 1-1-2 +3 4PIM (18-24-42 18th in OHL).
Michael St. Croix (NYR 2011 4th) was scoreless and a +1 as his Edmonton Oil Kings defeated the Brandon Wheat Kings 6-2. The win gave Edmonton a 4 point lead at the top of Eastern Conference standings.
Brenden Kichton (NYI 2011 5th) had a goal and an assist but his Spokane Chiefs gave up 4 unanswered goals in the 3rd period to lose 6-3 to the Tri-City Americans.
The win cut the Chiefs lead over the Americans to 4 points in the WHL's US Division. Kichton who leads all WHL defensemen in scoring is now 10-34-44 on the season.
USA Vs Czech Republic Preview
Really simple go back and look at the tape of how Team USA played against Slovakia and that is exactly how they need to play. Keep it simple, keep it basic and most of all; jump all over them and don't let up for second until you hear the final buzzer.
I hate it when people go blah blah blah this is what they can do so forget that and if you want to win then establish your tempo, force the Czechs to play your game and it doesn't matter if it is 12-2 or 3-2; you keep going and don't you dare go into a prevent defense.
Finally I am sure most of you have seen this clip but I am going to play this mainly for the younger players and prospects who read this. If you really want that NHL dream contract then busting you butt today will hopefully save you from playing in the lower level leagues where stupidity like this is more the norm.
Happy New Year To Everyone except for those responsible for the NHL lockout. While I wish everyone else a great happy and safe New Year; for the NHL owners and leader I wish for them