|Michael St. Croix (Edmonton Oil Kings)|
It was CN Hockey Hooky day in Edmonton and close to 7000 Edmonton area school kids got to take in an afternoon game as the Edmonton Oil Kings played host to the Kootenay Ice. The Oil Kings did their part to send the kids home happy after a 4-2 win thanks to a 3 goal outburst in just a 1:25 in the 2nd period.
Michael St. Croix (NYR 2011 4th) got things rolling when he grabbed a rebound and sent it across the crease for T.J. Foster to put in for a 2-0 Edmonton lead at 2:06 of the 2nd period. The Oil Kings then added one goal just 7 seconds later to make it 3-0 and finished it off at 3:31 for a 4-0 lead.
St. Croix with the assist is now on a 7 game scoring streak (4-6-10) and if you don't think getting your best scorer going is important then look at the Edmonton Oil Kings who have won their last 6 straight games. A red hot scorer changes the entire game as while teams are looking to stop St. Croix; the ice is opening for the rest of his teammates.
Griffin Reinhart (NYI 2012 1st) was scoreless but a +1 on the game. For the Islander prospects that was the best news they would get all day.
Edmonton also got good news when Calgary the team chasing them lost to Swift Current which gives Edmonton a 7 point lead in the WHL's Eastern Conference.
Shane McColgan (NYR 2011 5th) and his Saskatoon Blades aren't on the roll that the Edmonton Oil Kings are but after defeating the Brandon Wheat Kings 5-1 for their 2nd straight win; they will take it. McColgan got his Blades going when he set up linemate Nathan Burns for the Blade's 1st goal of the game.
It gave the Blades a 1-0 lead that only lasted 29 seconds but it set the stage for the Blades to score 4 unanswered goals to earn the win and jump past the Medicine Hat Tigers into 7th place in the WHL's Eastern Conference. The Blades have games in hand on 3 teams in front of them so it is not impossible for the Blades to jump as high as 4th in the Eastern Conference Standings.
McColgan is 11-35-46 for the Blades this season.
Now for the Islander prospect bad news starting with the suspensions that were handed out by the OHL. Adam Pelech (NYI 2012 3rd) of the Erie Otters was given a total of 4 games for a kneeing major he received during Erie's game with Saginaw on January 23rd.
Pelech has already served 2 games of his suspension and will be eligible to return on February 3rd. Andrey Pedan (NYI 2011 3rd) was suspended for 1 game for a slew foot on January 26th but since he has already sat out 1 game then he can return to play.
Excuse the rant but how while the OHL is handcuffed by their own rules which meant Pedan who has been suspended on a few occasions could not be given a longer suspension. The OHL needs to start looking at repeat offenders like Pedan and forget the "one gamers" if they want to take the dirty play out of the game.
And if there is a lightning storm outside and you are close to Mitchell Theoret (NYI 2011 7th), run as far away as you can get because I can guarantee that Theoret will be the one struck by lightning. Theoret has been snakebit by injuries this year and it got him for at least the 3rd time this season.
Theoret missed his Barrie Colt's game with Owen Sound due to an ankle injury suffered last Saturday against Peterborough. I like Theoret and his game but the injury bug is going to scare away pro teams.
Third Time Is The Charm
I have been saying this from the very beginning of this season that this will be the Portland Winterhawks's year after losing in 2 straight WHL finals. It is kind of easy to pick them now because they have handled all sorts of adversity so I can't help but to think how sweet it was for Portland on Wednesday.
First the Winterhawks became the number one team in the CHL after being named so in this week's CHL Mastercard Top Ten. Then Wednesday evening the Winterhawks became the first team in the CHL to clinch a spot in the WHL's playoffs when they rallied from down 0-2 to defeat the Kamloops Blazers 5-2.
Finally thank you to those of you who took the time to send wishes, thoughts and prayers as my wife underwent surgery on Wednesday. You have thought that being so experienced at surgeries as I am would prepared me to be on the other side but I was so very wrong.
I don't give Colleen enough credit for allowing me to follow this insane dream of mine but she has for over 9 years now. I have been many things in my life but nothing is more frustrating than to have to watch someone who has put up with so much since 1983.
The early word is that all is well and looks good but we won't know for sure for another couple of weeks. Thank you for all the support we got today, it helped and did a lot to cushion the fears we were dealing with.