Saturday, January 18, 2014

These prospects are so much fun to watch

Ryan Pulock (
With almost a full week off the New York Ranger and New York Islander prospects returned to action with some entertaining and solid performances to light up a Friday night. With several prospects playing strong games then it was a matter of if you blinked then you missed out.

Tonight's Star Ryan Pulock Brandon Wheat Kings

Ryan Pulock (NYI 2013 1st) and his Brandon Wheat Kings are sneaking up on the WHL's Eastern Conference and some of the credit should go to their captain who has elevated his game over the last ten games. In a key WHL Central Division matchup, Pulock and company were hosting the Swift Current Broncos with the lead in the division at stake. The Broncos entered the game with a 2 point lead over the Wheat Kings and for a good part of the game it looked as if the Broncos were going to expand on that lead.

Pulock had a 1-2-3 +3 effort that earned him the game's 2nd star as the Wheat Kings rallied from down 3-1 to earn a 6-5 win that moved them into first place of the Central Division. Pulock's play in the 3rd period was a huge reason why the Wheat Kings were able to rally for the win.

Trailing 4-3, Pulock scored his 14th goal of the season at 3:05 of the 3rd period at even strength to tie the game. It was a nice heads up play by Pulock who jumped into the play and snuck down the right side of the offensive zone taking a pass and tucking the puck in for the easy goal. At 10:21, Pulock would earn his 3rd point of the night when he fired a shot from the point that bounced off the Bronco's goalie right onto the stick of Ryan Pilon who had a wide open net to score the go ahead goal for the Wheat Kings.

Pulock's first point of the night was a secondary assist on the Wheat King's 1st goal of the game. For Pulock, his offense has heated up over the last 10 games as he had gone 4-8-12 to improve to 14-25-39 on the season.

The Rest of the Prospects

Adam Pelech (NYI 2013 3rd)
recorded 3 secondary assists on 3 straight goals for his Erie Otters as the Otters scored 6 straight goals to defeat the Kingston Frontenacs 6-3. Pelech, Connor Brown and Connor McDavid combined for as true a natural hat trick as you will ever see. With the Otters trailing 2-0 and on a power play, Connor Brown off a feed from Connor McDavid and Pelech scored to make it 2-1 at 16:46.

The Otters went right back on the power play and the trio once again combined to score this time at 18:40 and a tie game. In the 2nd period, the Otters found themselves on the power play and the trio made it a 3-2 game at 7:58 and the Otters never looked back.

Pelech with his 3 helpers now has a 6 game scoring streak (0-14-14) as Erie extends their unbeaten streak to 7 games (6-0-1). Pelech is now 8-27-35 on the season for the Otters. Teammate Troy Donnay (NYR 2013 UFA) did not score but got into his 4th fight of the season.

Mackenzie Skapski (NYR 2013 6th)
stopped 22 out of 23 shots to help his Kootenay Ice earn a 6-1 win over Kyle Burroughs (NYI 2013 7th) and his Regina Pats. For the first time since October, Skapski has earned back to back wins as the Ice with the win moved to within 1 point of Regina in the WHL Eastern Conference standings.

Skapski improves to 13-13-2-1, 2.97 goals against with a 0.911 save percentage. Burroughs was scoreless with a -1 and a minor for slashing that the Ice converted for a goal.

Griffin Reinhart (NYI 2012 1st)
had a primary assist as his Edmonton Oil Kings blasted the Prince George Cougars 8-0. Reinhart is 2-10-12 as his Oil Kings remain 4 points behind the Calgary Hitmen for the WHL's Eastern Conference lead.

Adam Tambellini's (NYR 2013 3rd)
Calgary Hitmen kept pace by defeating the Red Deer Rebels 5-1. Tambellini was scoreless in this one as he is 1-4-5 in 4 games since joining the Hitmen.

Taylor Cammarata (NYI 2013 3rd)'s 5th goal of the season was also the game's only goal as his top ranked Minnesota Golden Gophers defeated Ohio State 1-0 in the Hockey City Classic which was held outdoors at TCF Bank Stadium. For Cammarata it was his first goal in 5 games as he improves to 5-9-14 on the season.

I have to say I was impressed by Jake Bischoff's (NYI 2012 7th) improvements on defense as this is what is keeping him in the lineup. If Bischoff's offense gets going then he is going to be a solid contributor. Brady Skjei (NYR 2012 1st) just makes me think of a better skating Ryan McDonagh.

The main difference is that Skjei is not as physical as McDonagh is but both are very much chess players on the ice.

Loic Leduc (NYI 2012 4th) returned to the Rimouski Oceanic with a secondary assist and 2 hits as his Oceanic defeated the leaders of the QMJHL the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada 6-3. Leduc missed a little over a week with an upper body injury recorded his 1st point as a member of the Oceanic on Rimouski's 5th goal of the game.

Leduc overall is 3-6-9 as the Oceanic pulled to within 2 points of the Armada and 1 point of 2nd place Baie-Comeau.

Doyle Somerby (NYI 2012 5th) recorded his second assist of the season as his Boston University Terriers lost to 3rd ranked Boston College 6-4. Somerby was credited with a secondary assist on Boston University's 1st goal of the game.

Ryan Graves (NYR 2013 4th)
was scoreless as his Val D'Or Foreurs let a 5-3 lead slip away in the 3rd period and lose to the Victoriaville Tigre 6-5 in the shootout.

Steven Fogarty (NYR 2011 3rd) was scoreless as his 15th ranked Notre Dame defeated Lake Superior State 6-3. Robbie Russo (NYI 2011 4th) did not play as he was suspended by the school for academic reasons.

Sorry but a college junior who is also the team's leading scorer on defense deserves a kick in the ass for this. No excuse here as Notre Dame is not just any school when it comes to grades as Russo if he gets a grade changed could be reinstated but if not then his season (and very likely college career) would be over.

Victor Crus Rydberg (NYI 2013 5th)
was scoreless as his Plymouth Whalers were shutout 1-0 by the Sudbury Wolves.

Jesse Graham (NYI 2012 6th) was scoreless as his Saginaw Spirit edged the London Knights 2-1.

Goalies Eamon McAdam (NYI 2013 3rd) of Penn State and Stephon Williams (NYI 2013 4th) were both "DNP" for their respective teams on Friday night.

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