Thursday, November 25, 2021

A Special Wednesday Night Of Prospect Action

On Thanksgiving Eve, seven New York Ranger prospects saw action on a rare Wednesday night. Before I recap how those who played did, I want to post the highlights from a Sunday game featuring two of the top Ranger prospects as their teams faced each other. 

What made this so different and worth posting again is because in the 17 years that I have been doing this, never had two prospects recorded hat tricks in the same game. Brennan Othmann (3-1-4) and Will Cuyllle (3-0-3) put on a great show so enjoy this if you haven't seen this before and have a great Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family.

Game Action

Brennan Othman (OHL Images)
Brennan Othmann had an assist as his Flint Firebirds defeated the Saginaw Spirit 5-3 in OHL action on Wednesday evening. Othmann fed linemate Zacharie Giroux for an empty-net goal that clinched the victory for the Firebirds. 

Coming off a career-best four-point effort against Windsor on Sunday, Othmann was pretty much held in check by the Spirit who limited Othmann to just three shots for the game. 

For the season, Othmann is the new leader among the New York Ranger prospects with a 13-8-21 record in 15 games. 

Dylan Garand earned his WHL leading 13th win of the season as his Kamloops Blazers defeated the Seattle Thunderbirds 4-1. Garand really earned this win stopping 35 out of 36 shots faced to earn his fourth straight win. 

It is a shame the hometown selectors at times will ignore the efforts of the visiting team as Garand very much deserved a star and didn't get one. I know I am a broken record when I say where is Garand's NHL Entry-Level Contract but the Rangers could be making a huge mistake if they do not sign Garand.

Garand stopped all ten shots he faced in the first period, 11 out of 12 shots in the second and finished by stopping all 14 shots in the third period. 

By the numbers: Garand is 13-2 (1st in WHL), a 1.74 goals against (4th), 0.933 save percentage (2nd), and two shutouts (8th). Garand is expected to be invited to attend Hockey Canada's Under-20 camp in December and several are expecting him to be the starting goalie in the upcoming tournament.

Will Cuylle scored his prospect leading 14th goal but it wasn't enough as his Windsor Spitfires fell to the London Knights 5-2. The goal gives Cuylle a three-game goal-scoring streak (five) and a four-game point streak (5-2-7).

Cuylle opened the scoring for his Spitfires as he converted a beautiful feed from linemate Wyatt Johnson by coming straight down the slot and attacking the net. It was the perfect power forward's goal and Ranger fans will love Cuylle when he gets to Broadway. 

On the season, Cuylle is now 14-5-19 in 17 games.

Ryder Korczak was scoreless as his Moose Jaw Warriors behind a four-goal first period defeated the Prince Albert Raiders 4-1. Korczak took three shots and was 10-13 on faceoffs may not have had much offense but he made a couple of subtle defensive plays that won't show up on the scoresheet. 

Korczak twice when the Raiders were trapping his team in the defensive zone would "softly" dump the puck out of the zone. The puck would go about mid-way in the offensive zone allowing the Warriors to get badly needed line changes. 

What the puck didn't do is go all the way down ice to cause an "icing" call and during the third period when the Raiders were dominating play, it was what helped protect the lead. It may not sound like much but in the third period, the Raiders outshot the Warriors 23-9 threatening to mount a comeback.

I have a suggestion for the New York Rangers for the off-season, bring Talyn Boyko of the Kelowna Rockets to New York to have him work with not only Benoit Allaire but also Steve Valiquette as well. People might forget that Valiquette is 6'6 and might be the right guy to offer coaching help to the 6'7.5 Boyko.

I say this because after watching Boyko play tonight against the Spokane Chiefs, the young goalie could relate better to a guy who was one of the taller goalies when he played in the NHL. Boyko and his Rockets dropped a 2-1 decision to the Chiefs on the road.

There are times when I question how much confidence Boyko has in himself. It seems at times that Boyko puts himself in a hole when he surrenders an early goal. Sometimes he recovers and sometimes he doesn't. 

The second goal (a Spokane power play) there wasn't anything Boyko could do about it. Overall Boyko stopped 24 out of 26 and I really loved how Boyko played in the third period as he kept his team in the game.

But if you go by the numbers then it is a tale of two seasons for Boyko, with Tri-City he was 1-6-1 with a 4.49 goals against and a 0.887 save percentage. With Kelowna Boyko is 2-1 with a 2.55 goals against and a 0.904 save percentage. 

Jayden Grubbe was scoreless as his Red Deer Rebels dropped a 5-3 decision to the Edmonton Oil Kings. Grubbe missed about 10 minutes when he was shaken up late in the second period of the game after a collision with an Oil King player. 

While he returned to play in the third period, he just didn't look like his normal self. His skating looked OK but not his physical play as he wasn't using his body as he normally does. 

To give you an idea, Grubbe only took two shots for the game when he typically takes five or more shots. While they used him on the penalty kill, Grubbe did not play as many shifts on the power play, and when he did, did not see him setting up in the crease area.

Grubbe also was 10-11 on his faceoffs.

Brody Lamb and his Green Bay Gamblers dropped a 7-4 decision to the Dubuque Fighting Saints in USHL action. Lamb was scoreless and a -1 as his Gamblers saw their winless streak extend to seven games (0-6-0-1)

Did Not Play

Matthew Rempe of the Seattle Thunderbirds missed Wednesday's contest against the Kamloops Blazers as he was serving a one-game suspension. Rempe was suspended by the WHL after he took a charging major this past Sunday against the Everett Silvertips. 

It was the second suspension of the season for the 6'8 255 center. He was previously suspended on November 5th for two games for actions involving a fight Rempe got into against Tri-City.


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