Sunday, January 12, 2014

Entertaining Hockey Coast To Coast

Adam Pelech (OHL Images)
Sunday may not have had a lot of games played by the New York Ranger and New York Islander prospects but there was no shortage of offensive display. Sunday was very much an entertaining day of hockey even if the outcomes were not what were the desired ones.

The question many who follow the OHL have had was "How would the Erie Otters do in the 2nd half?" The surprise of the first half the Erie Otters saw their lead shrink while the World Under-20 Championships were going on but with all of their players back, so far the Otters have picked right back up where they left off. Adam Pelech (NYI 2012 3rd) had a career best 4 point game as the Erie Otters blasted the Windsor Spitfires 9-0 to extend their unbeaten streak to 6 straight.

Pelech got his night going with 2 primary assists on back to back goals, first on Dane Fox's 49th goal at 3:33 of the first period and then Andre Burakovsky's 24th at 6:04 giving Erie a running start. In the 2nd period, Pelech earned assist number 3 on a power play goal at 4:28 making it a 4-0 Erie lead.

Pelech's final assist was also a secondary assist and also on the power play on Erie's 9th goal of the game. It was a strong finish as Pelech wound up with a +5 to go along with his 4 point effort as Pelech finished off his week with 0-8-8 over 3 games to improve to 8-24-32. Teammate Troy Donnay (NYR 2013 UFA) was scoreless but he does most of his work on the defensive end.

The Otters posted back to back shutouts as they try to re-establish their lead in the OHL. Donnay was part of a 5 for 5 penalty kill.

Anthony Duclair (NYR 2013 3rd)
may not have scored any goals but he did record a primary assist as his Quebec Remparts defeated the Sherbrooke Phoenix 5-4. Duclair fired a game high 9 shots, 8 of them were considered "dangerous" scoring chances. Duclair's assist also gave him 66 points on the season tying his career high set 2 seasons ago.

In 2011-2012, Duclair in 63 games was 31-35-66 and this season it took him just 43 games for Duclair to equal that. How high he goes nobody knows but this season is already a winner for both Duclair and the Rangers.

In Kootenay after the Edmonton Oil Kings had scored at 3:12 of the 3rd period to take a 4-2 lead over the Kootenay Ice, it really looked as if Griffin Reinhart's (NYI 2012 1st) Oil Kings were on their way to their 7th straight win. Mackenzie Skapski (NYR 2013 6th) was looking at losing his 14th game of the season but all of a sudden, the Ice scored 2 goals 31 seconds apart to tie the game and then broke the tie with less than 9 minutes remaining to steal a 5-4 win.

For Skapski and the Ice, the win allowed them to jump into 7th place in the WHL's Eastern Conference. The Oil Kings on the other hand missed out a chance to pull to within 2 points of the Calgary Hitmen for the top spot in the same conference.

That is because Adam Tambellini's (NYR 2013 3rd) Calgary Hitmen dropped a 4-2 decision to the Kelowna Rockets in the battle of WHL conference leaders. Tambellini was scoreless and a -1 but to be fair to Tambellini; he was playing his 3rd game in 4 days for the 1st time this season.

Brady Skeji (NYR 2012 1st)
scored his 3rd goal of the season but his top ranked Minnesota Golden Gophers struggled to defeat Penn State 3-2. It was the 1st meeting of the two programs since Penn State started up it's hockey program and joined the Big Ten.

For Skjei, the goal improved his numbers on the season to 3-3-6.

Loic Leduc (NYI 2012 4th) missed his 3rd game with his upper body injury as his Rimouski Oceanic saw their 9 game unbeaten streak end.

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