Sunday, December 1, 2013

The two headed monster strikes again

Adam Pelech (OHL Images)
Saturday night saw a bit of everything from big goals to defensive stands to ejections from the New York Ranger and New York Islander prospects. The story leading us off has to be the Erie Otters who won their 4th straight game to increase their hold on the best record in all of the CHL.

The Otters have Adam Pelech and Troy Donnay (who will be featured in the next issue of the Blueshirt Bulletin) patrolling the blueline for the Otters and yes they are more than getting the job done.

First Stars Adam Pelech and Troy Donnay Erie Otters

There are several reasons why the Erie Otters have the best record in major junior hockey, they have the "wonderkid" Connor David, they have solid goaltending from Oscar Dansk and Devin Williams, and they have a rock solid blueline corp starring Adam Pelech (NYI 2012 3rd) and Troy Donnay (NYR 2013 UFA) who get the job done at both ends of the ice. Pelech is a strong 2 way defender who's play this season should earn him serious consideration from Hockey Canada for the Under-20 team.

Donnay is the "stay at home" defender who is using his 6'7 frame to turn the defensive crease into a "no-man's land" for opposing teams. Saturday the Erie Otters were hosting the Mississauga Steelheads in the 2nd half of a "home and home" series but were not very nice hosts. A scoreless first period was highlighted by the Otters holding the Steelheads to just 3 shots on goal.

Troy Donnay (OHL Images)
In the second period, the Otters would blow the game open with a 5 goal outburst that included Adam Pelech scoring his 7th goal of the season as the Otters would go on to win 7-1. Pelech's goal was a shot that went in off the skate of a Steelheads defender was the Otter's 2nd of the game and would prove to be the game winner (Pelech's 4th of the season).

In the meantime Donnay was scoreless but a +2 as part of a defensive effort that held the Steelheads to just 19 shots for the entire game. Pelech improves to 7-13-20 as the Otters win their 4th straight to improve to 23-4-0-1 and to think this was the same team that won only 19 games last season.

Victor Crus-Rydberg (OHL Images)
Second Star Victor Crus-Rydberg Plymouth Whalers

Victor Crus-Rydberg (NYI 2013 5th) had a goal and an assist but it wasn't enough to prevent his Plymouth Whalers from dropping a 3-2 shootout decision to the Owen Sound Attack. Crus-Rydberg did his best to try to get his team a win but got little help. Crus-Rydberg got the Whalers on the board first when he set up
Gianluca Curcuruto's 2nd goal of the season at 7:13 of the first period cashing in a Whaler power play.

In the 2nd period with the score tied 1-1, Crus-Rydberg would register his 7th goal of the season when Curcuruto returned the favor and set him up for a power play goal at 12:14 to give Plymouth a 2-1 lead. Owen Sound would tie the score and the 2 teams played through the 3rd period and overtime before the shootout. Crus-Rydberg shooting 2nd would miss on his attempt which was the only thing he didn't do right for Plymouth.

Crus-Rydberg is 7-17-23 which is 2nd on the Whalers.

The rest of the prospects

Brady Skeji (NYR 2012 1st)
and his top ranked Minnesota Golden Gophers would earn a series sweep when they held off the 13th ranked Wisconsin Badgers. Skeji scored his 2nd goal of the season on a laser shot from the blueline that somehow made it through a bunch of traffic. Check out the video highlights starting at the 52 second mark: (courtesy Minnesota Golden Gophers)

The more I watch of him the more I see a Ryan McDonagh clone with a more developed offensive game. Skeji is 2-2-4 on the season.

Kyle Burroughs (NYI 2013 7th)
had 2 secondary assists as his Regina Pats whipped the Moose Jaw Warriors 7-1. Burroughs is 2-19-21 on the season for the Pats.

Ryan Pulock (NYI 2013 1st) had a rough night of it with 1 assist but a -4 as his Brandon Wheat Kings lost to the Prince Albert Raiders 5-4 in overtime. Pulock had the primary assist on Brandon's 2nd goal of the game for his 16th assist of the season (10-16-26).

However Pulock was on the ice for all 5 Raider goals (not that he was at fault for all of them).

Griffin Reinhart (NYI 2012 1st) would have the primary assist on what turned out to be the game winning goal to help his Edmonton Oil Kings earn a 5-1 win over the Kootenay Ice. Edmonton would score their 5 goals on 32 shots on goalie Mackenzie Skapski (NYR 2013 6th) who fell to 7-6-2 3.17 goals against and a 0.898 save percentage.

Reinhart registered his 8th assist and 10th point of the season.

Jesse Graham (NYI 2012 6th) recorded his 2nd assist as a member of the Saginaw Spirit but was also a -2 as the Spirit lost to the Oshawa Generals 5-2. Oshawa scored 4 goals in the 1st period and cruised from there. Graham is 6-12-18 overall on the season.

Adam Tambellini (NYR 2013 3rd)
barely lasted to the 5 minute mark of the 1st period as he was ejected for a "contact to the head" major and the resulting game misconduct. Tambellini's North Dakota would gone to defeat St. Lawrence 3-2.

Robbie Russo (NYI 2011 4th) was scoreless on 3 shots and a -1 as his 10th ranked Notre Dame Fighting Irish fell in the finals of their own Shillelagh Tournament to Northeastern 3-2. Notre Dame simply could not stay out of the penalty box giving Northeastern 8 total power plays.

Steven Fogarty (NYR 2011 3rd) missed his 5th straight game due to his undisclosed injury.

Doyle Somerby (NYI 2012 5th) and his Boston Terriers got to play in the annual "Red Hot Hockey" game at Madison Square Garden defeating 14th ranked Cornell 3-2. Somerby was scoreless on no shots with minors for tripping and holding.

Eamon McAdam (NYI 2013 3rd) was "DNP" for his Penn State Nittnay Lions as they lost to Union 4-3.

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