Sunday, February 17, 2013

Dial 9 for McColgan

Shane McColgan (Steve Hiscock)
A mostly quiet Saturday night for the New York Ranger and New York Islander prospects led to a mixed bag of results. One result turned out to be a really pleasant surprise as the Saskatoon Blades pulled off an impressive rally to win.

First Star Shane McColgan Saskatoon Blades

Friday evening it was a fight that Shane McColgan (NYR 2011 5th) got into that fired up his Saskatoon Blade teammates. On Saturday night it was McColgan's play that led a rally to help his team win their 11th straight game.

The Saskatoon Blades were in Medicine Hat to take on the Tigers and the game did not start well for the Blades. Medicine Hat scored a goal exactly 1 minute into the game and then followed it up with a 2nd goal at the 4:58 mark.

The Tigers were able to make that lead last with some help from the Blades who repeatedly shot themselves in the foot by taking penalties. If the Blades's penalty kill had not played well then the comeback would have never happened.

In the 3rd it was a Blade power play that got the team going as McColgan would earn a secondary assist on Nathan Burn's goal at 7:20 to make it a 2-1 game. 1:53 later at 9:13, with the Blades on another power play it was Josh Nicholls tying the game at 2-2 off a feed from McColgan.

Medicine Hat retook the lead 3-2 at 10:56 but the lead would only last 1:14 when at 12:10 McColgan would cash in a rebound to force another tie. The Blades would take the lead for good at 14:09 capping off a 4 goal 3rd period outburst.

McColgan was named the game's 1st star for his 1-2-3 efforts as the Blades earned their 11th straight win. The win coupled with Prince Albert's 4-3 loss to Moose Jaw gives Saskatoon a 2 point lead in the WHL's East Division.

For McColgan, the points improved his season totals to 15-42-57 and with 14 games left McColgan has a good shot at topping his point totals from his time with the Kelowna Rockets.

Mitchell Theoret (OHL Images)
Second Star Mitchell Theoret Barrie Colts

Mitchell Theoret (NYI 2011 7th)) is having no trouble at all adapting to playing on the 1st line of the Barrie Colts. In his 2nd game on the line Theoret earned the game's 3rd star for a 1-1-2 effort as his Barrie Colts shut out the Mississauga Steelheads 3-0.

Theoret and his teammates had to be scoreboard watching as their win kept the Colts in first place of the OHL's Eastern Conference by a point over the Belleville Bulls (who have a game in hand). Theoret earned a secondary assist on Barrie's 2nd goal of the game and then added an empty net goal which sealed the win.

Theoret is 23-30-53 which are career bests for the forward from Montreal.

The rest of the prospects

Ryan Strome (NYI 2011 1st) had 2 primary assists while Jesse Graham (NYI 2012 6th) had a secondary assist as their Niagara IceDogs lost to the Owen Sound Attack 3-2. Really feel for Strome who is finishing his OHL career on a team that has no other real scoring options than Strome's line.

Other teams are trying to contain Strome and when they do then Niagara is not that hard a team to beat. Strome's 2 assists add to his season's totals of 31-47-78 (6th in the OHL). Jesse Graham's assist gives him a 2-25-27 season but he also has a -19.

If I am Graham's coach then I am telling him that any hockey future for Graham has a better chance if Graham moves to forward. He is simply no big enough or strong enough to be a top 4 defender.

Graham is an excellent skater who if he moves up will adjust with little trouble.

Adam Pelech (NYI 2012 3rd) and his Erie Otters just can't find a way to follow up a good win with a 2nd one which is a big reason why they aren't going to make the OHL playoffs. On Saturday the Otters lost to the Kitchener Rangers 4-2 in a game that really was not as close as the score.

Kitchener out shot the Otters 48-22 including a 23-4 2nd period. Pelech was scoreless and a -2 for the night as the magic number for elimination is 5.

At least the Otters did not embarrass themselves like Andrey Pedan's (NYI 2011 3rd) Guelph Storm did in their 7-4 loss to the Plymouth Whalers. Pedan was scoreless and a -2 as his Storm teammates jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the 1st period chasing the Whaler's starting goalie.

However in the 2nd period it was the Storm who fell apart as Plymouth scored 5 times to take a 5-3 lead and then held off the Storm. The Storm gave this game away from taking a 5 minute major penalty to going just 2 for 8 on their power play (Plymouth was 2 for 4 and added a shorthanded goal too).

Then there is Brenden Kichton (NYI 2011 5th) and his Spokane Chiefs who traveled to play the Tri-City Americans but left their game back in Spokane .. The Americans scored 4 goals in the 1st period as they cruised to a 6-0 win.

This is one of those games where less said the better. Spokane has to play Portland on Monday in Portland.

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