Friday, January 25, 2008

Not the Best of Nights

Tonight's Star

This was a Friday night that the Ranger prospects and player development folks would like to forget happened.

Out of 8 prospects in action, there was a grand total of one goal scored with no assists and just 2 wins to show for the evening.

One thing we will say though is that we really liked what Jim Culhane the coach of Western Michigan did to help Max Campbell out. Last weekend the young freshman really struggled going -3 last Friday and then on ice for both goals against in a heartbreaking 2-1 overtime loss to Bowling Green.

So what does Coach Culhane do to show confidence in the young freshman? He gives him his first start and Campbell repaid his coach's faith by scoring the tying goal 1:01 of the 3rd period as his Western Michigan Broncos broke a 6 game losing streak with a 4-3 win over Ferris State.

For Campbell it was his 4th goal of the season but just his first since Nov 17th. Campbell has been going though the growing pains that most freshmen tend to go though but his coach has stuck with him. The goal itself was a matter of Campbell deflecting a shot from teammate defenseman Nathan Ansell.

Whether it helps jumpstart Campbell's second half we do not know but we will root for the young man from Strathroy Ont and his tying goal earns him our star of the night.

The Rest of Prospect Action

Eric Hunter returned to action but was scoreless as his University of Alberta Golden Bears defeated the Regina Cougars 4-2 in Canada West Action. Hunter had missed the previous 4 games with a lower body injury.

Jordan Foote also did not score but his Michigan Tech Huskies earned a 2-2 overtime tie with Colorado College.

Carl Hagelin and his top ranked Michigan Wolverines saw their 9 game winning streak come to an end as 5th ranked Michigan State shut them out 1-0. This game lived up to all the hype as the battle of 2 excellent goalies (first and second stars) was everything one could expect. The 2 teams will have a rematch Saturday night.

If Maple Leaf scouts were watching Bobby Sanguinetti and his Brampton Battalion they were very disappointed as Sanguinetti was scoreless and a -2 as his Battalion lost to the Mississauga St. Michael's Majors 6-2. Note to those who believe that rumor forget it, the Rangers are not going to trade one of their prized prospects on a Sundin rental.

Tomas Zaborsky also was scoreless as his Saginaw Spirit dropped their second game in a row losing to the Sarina Sting 4-2. As we mentioned last night if Zaborsky scores the Spirit have a much better chance of winning.

When you lose 11-6 there is only one way to describe it as and that is a true life butt kicking. That is what is what happened to Ryan Hillier and his Halifax Mooseheads as they were smoked by the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies. Hillier was scoreless and reportedly got himself a misconduct which ended his night midway in the 3rd period.

Speaking of Hillier though, we found this rather excellent story on Halifax Moosehead Brad Marchand along with his best friends Ryan Hillier and Andrew Bodnarchuk here. Hillier's father built a pretty good size ice rink along with lights in their backyard. The evening was bad but this story is worth checking out.

Danny Hobbs was also scoreless as his Ohio Junior Bluejackets lost to the Lincoln Stars 4-1.

Antoine Lafleur remains out with his hamstring pull as his Prince Edward Island Rockets defeated the Drummondville Voltigeurs 3-1.

Billy Ryan missed his 3rd straight game as his Maine Blackbears skated to a 3-3 tie with Boston College.

The best thing of about a bad night in hockey is that you do not have to wait very long to turn things around as just about everyone who played tonight will get to play on Saturday.

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