March 20-27 Prospect Week in Review
The Springfield Falcon’s losing streak extended to 12 games before winning there first game since February 28th and what a win it was. The Falcons took the Worchester Sharks behind the woodshed beating them 7-2. Before losing again last night, Springfield’s leading scorer for the week was super rookie Tomas Kubalik with 5 points including a 4 points in the win. 2 players had 4 points last week both being defensemen, Nick Holden had 4 assists while rookie David Savard scored his 8th of the season and added 3 assists, Ben Guite had 3 assists in the 7-2 win. Kubalik has 50 points on the year which remains among the rookie scoring leaders in the AHL, while Savard is 3rd among rookie Dmen only 4 points out of first with 33. The Falcons recieved help from college free agents who could be seen in Columbus at least at Rookie Camp if not being invited to Traverse City(making the trip again this year). Fresh out of UMass goaltender Paul Dainton started all 3 games this week with David LeNeveu injured and Gustav Wesslau suffering from the flu, Dainton stopped 96 of 104 shots he faced. Wade McLeod and Aaron Bogosian each scoring there first career professional goals with Dainton also had a assist.
Michael Ratchuk and the Fort Wayne Komets completed the CHL regular season last week and after a 5-15-1 start the Komets were one of the hottest clubs in the CHL going 26-12-7 since Christmas. Ratchuk had 2 assists in 4 games last week and finished the year with 13 points in 22 games with the Komets including 6 on the power play. The Komets will play in state rival the Bloomington Prairie Thunder in the best of 5 first round series.
The Canadian Hockey League playoffs started last with all of the prospects series but one playing the first 2 games. Dalton Smith and the Ottawa 67′s are the lone series that have played 1 game with game 2 being played tonight(3/28). Smith had a assist in the 67′s game 1 overtime loss to Sudbury. The Saginaw Spirit are tied with first round opponent Guelph winning game 1 and losing game 2. Prospects Brandon Archibald and Dalton Prout have no points in the series with both being a -1. As we all know when a game becomes a blowout the penalty minutes will go up, thats what happened with Dalton Prout down 3-0 he took a unsportsmanlike conduct/cross checking double minor. Then in the 3rd period it got worse as Prout took a coincidental roughing minor then a fighting major later in the period. Prout is 3rd in the OHL in playoff penalty minutes with 13, teammate Peter Hermenegildo leads with 17.
In the QMJHL when I asked a local blogger about what coach Gerard Gallant might do with his normal goalie rotation in the playoffs he said he’d probably go with 21 year old Jacob DeSerres who was a teammate of Matt Calvert’s during the Wheat King’s Memorial Cup run last year. Through 2 games thats exactly what he’s done and the combined score of the games is 17-1 now ok after a shutout I understand letting him go but come on Turk the Eagles were 78 points behind you in the Standings! Let him get some playoff experience, sorry i’ll get off my soapbox and move on. Petr Straka and the Rimouski Oceanic are down 0-2 in there first round series with the Gatineau Olympiques, Straka had a assist in game 2. Michael Chaput and the Lewiston MAINEiacs are tied a 1 game apiece in there series with the Moncton Wildcats. After being held scoreless in game 1 Chaput had a goal and a assist in a 2-1 win to tie the series. Chaput has won the second most faceoffs in the playoffs winning 32 of the 52 he’s taken. Ryan Johansen has been adding to his season ending point streak in the playoffs picking up 5 points(1-4-5) in 2 playoff wins. Johansen has points in 13 straight games(11 Regular Season, 2 Playoff) and has 27 points in that span. Johansen is tied with 5 other players for the WHL playoff scoring lead.
The bad thing about the NCAA hockey tournament is that it’s over almost as quickly as it begins, the tournament’s first and second rounds were completed this weekend and the Frozen Four is set. The Blue Jackets had 7 prospects begin the weekend with hopes of making it to St. Paul but only 3 remain. First the ones who completed there seasons, raise your hand if you had Cam Atkinson and BC playing Miami and it’s 2 CBJ prospects in the National Championship game(What am I the only on who filled out a bracket?). After winning the National Championship last year Atkinson and the Eagles bowed out in the first round losing 8-4 to Colorado College, Atkinson scored his 31st goal of the season in the game. Atkinson ended the season with 31 goals and 21 assists for 52 points just 1 point less than what he had last year, Cam is the first Eagle since Brian Gionta to have back to back 30 goal seasons. Just 2 days after the loss Atkinson signed a 2 year entry level deal with the Jackets and will report to Springfield to finish the year. Atkinson finished his career with 68 goals(22th) and 124 points(47) which both rank in the top 50 in Eagles history. BC coach Jerry York now has to replace 4 of his top 5 scorers from this season. The Miami Redhawks did the same thing as the Eagles making it to the Frozen Four last season then losing in the first round to New Hampshire. Neither Blue Jackets prospect had a point in the loss and both were a -1 in the 3-1 loss to the Wildcats. Both Vogelhuber and Weber had career years scoring wise and Vogelhuber is 4th in scoring among returning players next year. Will Weber could be the Redhawks captain next year as he served as a assistant captain this season and only fellow junior Aiden Hirschfeld return from this year’s leadership group(or at least players with a letter on there jersey).
Allen York and RPI had the roughest route to the Frozen Four and they made it about as far as most people thought they would. The Engineers had to face the #1 ranked North Dakota Fighting Sioux and lost 6-0 with York making 34 saves. York ended his junior year 18-11-4 with 2 shutouts and a .924 save percentage. York ranks among the top 10 in most categories at RPI but the rumors are swirling in New Jersey that York might also join Atkinson in leaving school early. Here’s another article making a good case for York leaving school early saying that he could step right in as the Jacket’s back up as early as next season.
Now to the players who will play for a chance at the National Championship, Drew Olson and Minnesota-Duluth and Michigan with prospects Matt Rust and Kevin Lynch on Michigan. Minnesota-Duluth first played Union in the first round shutting out the Dutchmen’s top ranked power play which clicked at just over 30%(hope the Jackets scouted them to see what works cause 30% is insane). The next day the Bulldogs faced off against Yale in a battle of Bulldogs winning 5-3. Jackets prospect Drew Olson had no points in the games and was even, the Bulldogs now face the Notre Dame Fighting Irish in a national semi-final taking place in the arena where the Bulldogs were upset by Bemidji St in the WCHA’s Final Five. The Wolverines road was a little bit weirder than the Bulldogs, Jackets prospect Matt Rust had no points and took a penalty just 17 seconds into overtime but it was Kevin Lynch who was the star of the game. Lynch scored the game tying goal and then scored the eventual game winner even if it took officials 10 minutes to figure if it was a goal or not. The next night the Wolverines won again beating the Colorado College Tiger the team that shocked BC giving Michigan it’s 24th appearence in the Frozen Four. Neither Lynch or Rust had a point in that game but his 2 goals the night before earned Lynch a spot on the All Tournament team for the West Region. People are making a big deal about how the NCAA basketball tournament is 2 unknowns in 1 matchup and 2 powerhouses in the other well the Frozen Four is no different. The 2 unknowns are Minnesota-Duluth facing off against Notre Dame the teams have combined for only 6 Frozen Four appearences with no championships while Michigan will face off with North Dakota those 2 teams have combined for 43 Frozen Four appearences and 16 National Championships.
As for next week the college prospects get a week off to prepare while the Canadian Junior playoffs continue with a few series possibly being over by Thursday. The Komets first game is Saturday so we’ll see how that series is going. As always thank you reading and i’m also up for comments and be sure to follow @CBJprospects for the latest updates.