Tuesday, January 8, 2013


Andrey Pedan (OHL Images)
There are always times when covering New York Ranger or New York Islander prospects that leave a person going "Huh?" Tuesday evening provided one for me as I had to admit that some of the penalty calls in the game between Andrey Pedan (NYI 2011 3rd) and his Guelph Storm and the Kitchener Rangers had me scratching my head.

First the easy part Kitchener defeated Guelph 6-2 and took sole possession of 4th place in the OHL's Western Conference from Guelph. The loss extended Guelph's winless streak to 4 games and Pedan did not score but was also a -1.

Pedan was not around for the end of the game as he was ejected at 10:56 mark of the 3rd period for Misconduct- 2nd fight. My issue is that according to the score sheet there was only 1 fighting major handed at during this scrum.

In fact here is all the penalties that were handed out for this scrum:

3 - GUE C. McNaughton, 10:56 - Fight-Inst. Upon, 5 min
3 - GUE A. Pedan, 10:56 - Instigator, 2 min
3 - GUE A. Pedan, 10:56 - Fighting, 5 min (PP)
3 - GUE A. Pedan, 10:56 - Misc-Instigating, (46.10) 0 min
3 - GUE A. Pedan, 10:56 - Game Misc-Second Fight, (46.6) 0 min

3 - KIT B. Thomson, 10:56 - Check to the Head, 2 min
3 - KIT B. Thomson, 10:56 - Instigator, 2 min
3 - KIT B. Thomson, 10:56 - Fighting, 5 min
3 - KIT B. Thomson, 10:56 - Misc-Instigating, (46.10) 0 min

Where is the 2nd fighting major for Kitchener? Unless Pedan was 3rd man in and jumped in to protect a teammate then there is no 2nd fight.

And if that is the case then it is not a fight that should get Pedan ejected. You have 2 instigator calls here but also a "check to the head" call that basically makes it clear why this fight got started in the first place.

If you want to eject Pedan for jumping in to defend a teammate then fine call him for that. To me protecting a teammate should never be hit with a misconduct when it is clear that the teammate as was the case here was the victim.

Michael St. Croix (NYR 2011 4th)and his Edmonton Oil Kings left points on the table that they might regret come playoff time. Now 3rd place Edmonton dropped a 2-1 decision to 10th place Kootenay.

St. Croix was scoreless and a +1 but sorry there is no excuse for losing games like this one against a team that is 8 points (after the win) out of a playoff spot. The loss cost Edmonton 1st place in the WHL's Eastern Conference as the Calgary Hitmen defeated Brandon and took the spot from Edmonton.

Brenden Kichton (NYI 2011 5th) and his Spokane Chiefs did just enough to earn a 4-3 win over the Seattle Thunderbirds. Kichton got the Chiefs going with his 12th goal of the season just 19 seconds into the game and on the power play no less.

A Seattle player was called for "delay of the game" just 9 seconds into the game and Seattle cashed in. For Kichton, it was his 5th power play goal and 12th overall goal as he is now 12-36-48 which leads all WHL defensemen.

A very rare Tuesday matchup saw top ranked Minnesota with Brady Skjei (NYR 2012 1st) hosting 3rd ranked Notre Dame with Steven Fogarty (NYR 2011 3rd), Robbie Russo (NYI 2011 4th) and Anders Lee (NYI 2010 6th). This one was a pretty good game that went the way of Minnesota who earned a 4-1 win.

It was a chance for Fogarty and Lee to be able to play in front of friends and family as the 2 Minnesota natives would have liked a better outcome. Going to cut Notre Dame some slack here as they had not played in 24 days and their first game back is on the road against the number 1 team in the NCAA.

Of the 4 prospects playing in this one; only Anders Lee recorded any points as he earned a secondary assist on Notre Dame's only goal. It was Lee's 7th assist on the season as the leading scorer for Notre Dame improved to 11-7-18 for the season.

For the rest of the quartet that played it was like this: Skjei 0-0-0 1 shot even, Russo 0-0-0 2 shots -2 and Fogarty 0-0-0 1 shot -1. Don't be surprised if these 2 teams cross paths again in the NCAAs.

Finally Cristoval Nieves (NYR 2012 2nd) and his struggling Michigan Wolverines lost again this time to Bowling Green 5-1. Over the last 8 years of covering Michigan, it is an annual tradition for the Wolverines to struggle during the first half of the season then turn it up to make the NCAAs.

Really doubt that will happen as Michigan's 22 straight years of earning an NCAA invite looks to be in serious trouble. Nieves had a secondary assist on Michigan's only goal of the game for his 11th assist and 14th overall point.

I would like to see Nieves take more shots but can't complain about his effort.

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