Merry New Year Jackets! Time for the weekly review – even though I waited a day to get through the holiday. Without further ado, here we go.
Starting off in Springfield. As usual, after the holiday break the Falcons got back to it starting with a game against Albany and it was pretty much all Devils until the last two minutes of the game. With the Devils holding a 2-0 lead, Ryan Johansen would tap in the rebound of a Tim Erixon point shot for his 11th. The Devils would score two more times to make it 4-1 until the 18:00 mark of the third period. Matt Calvert would pick up his own rebound to make it 4-2. Just 90 seconds later Matt would help Cam Atkinson score his team leading 16th of the season when his blast would bang off the boards right to a crashing Atkinson to make it 4-3. Curtis McElhinney would make 25 saves in the loss.
Saturday night, in a game that was broadcast by Bluejackets.com, it’d be a ugly one as the Falcons would let the Whale take a 4-0 lead including a shorthanded breakaway by ex-Jacket prospects Chad Kolarik. The Falcons would finally strike when captain Ryan Craig would score his seventh goal of the season after taking a check from behind. Later in the period, Ryan Russell would score his second of the season when JAM either faked a shot (or it was just a tap pass for Russell) to fire it over the Whale’s goalie’s shoulder. McElhinney would take the loss again stopping 6 of 30 in the 4-2 loss with most of the goals being rough ones.
To close out the weekend on Sunday, the Falcons welcomed the Norfolk Admirals hoping for the season sweep. The game would be all Falcons with the Birds taking a 4-0 lead. Ryan Johansen would open the scoring when he tapped in a David Savard shot for his second of the weekend. Nick Drazenovic would score his ninth of the season when he’d take a Tim Erixon pass and then fire a wrist shot from the slot that appeared to tap off Igor Bobkov’s pad/skate into the net. Matt Calvert would strike again when he outworked an Admirals player throwing the puck in front and, after bouncing off a few skates, Matt would find it and fire it past Bobkov. In a interesting number fluke, the players that wear 9,10,11 had scored leaving us to ask “who wears 12 for Springfield?” Well, that’d be who made it 4-0 Falcons when captain Ryan Craig struck again for his eighth of the season off a pretty pass play. Ryan had set up Cam Atkinson in front but Cam would only recover the rebound finding Craig in front so he could tap it into an empty net. Emerson Etem would score his ninth of the season to spoil Allen York‘s shutout bid 2:47 into the third on a shorthanded goal. York would make 25 saves in the win – his first of the season. On the weekend, Cam Atkinson would lead the way with a goal and four assists, Matt Calvert would be right on his tail with two goals and two assists. Other Falcons with multiple points included Tim Erixon with three assists, a rare Theo Ruth mention as he’d pick up two assists and Nick Drazenovic scoring a goal and a assist.
For the first time in weeks, a Jackets prospect would dress for the IceMen with Anton Blomqvist dressing in two of the team’s three games picking up his first point of the season with an assist in a loss to Cincinnati on Saturday.
Josh Anderson-London Knights(OHL)
Season Stats 39GP 11-15-26 +12 35PIM
After the Holiday break, the London Knights would pick up right where they left off going 3-0 last week. This stretches their winning streak to 24 straight games, just one away from the OHL record. Starting off on Thursday against Windsor, Josh would score his 11th goal of the season and it’d be a pretty one, Josh would intercept a pass and take it from just before his own blueline going the length of the ice before snapping off a wrist shot from the circle. For his second point of the night, Josh would start the rush getting the puck to Chris Tierney who’d find Brett Welychka for his third goal of the night. The game would end in a 9-4 Knights victory. Josh would be held off the scoresheet in the Knights wins over Plymouth and Sarnia.
Gianluca Curcuruto-Plymouth Whalers(OHL)
Season Stats 35GP 1-14-15 +4 18PIM
Gianluca and the Whalers would go 2-1 last week with the loss being win number 23 of the London Knights winning streak. Gianluca would pick up a assist in a 4-2 win over Saginaw. With the game tied at two, Gianluca slapped a pass to Alex Aleardi who found Tom Wilson down in front for Wilson’s eighth of the season. Curcuruto would pick up no points in a loss to London and win over Windsor.
Martin Ouellette-Maine(Hockey East)
Season Stats 10GP 2-5-2 .915 Sv % 2.27GAA 1 Shutout 0-1-1 2PIM
Martin and the Bears were off to Florida to take part in the Florida Hockey Classic held at Germain Arena. The Bears would open the tournament against fellow Jackets prospect Drew Olson and the Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs. It was a Jekyll and Hyde weekend for Martin – he was phenomenal on Friday stopping all 31 shots he faced for his first shutout since December of 2010. He also picked up an assist on Ryan Lomberg’s goal when Martin directed the puck to Steven Swavely who caught Lomberg coming out of the box. Saturday would be UUUUGGGGLLLLYYY for Martin – he didn’t even make it 11 minutes into the game stopping only three of six in that time. The kicker is that after giving Cornell a 3-0 lead, Maine would come back and win 6-4 earning freshman goalie Matt Morris all tournament honors and co-Hockey East rookie of the week.
Season Stats 19GP 5-5-10 22PIM
Last week Kevin and the Wolverines took part in the annual Great Lakes Invitational. This is an event that, like the Plymouth-London game mentioned above, was supposed to be held outdoors if not for the lockout (thanks NHL). Saturday, Michigan would face Michigan Tech losing to the Huskies 4-0. With both Michigan and Michigan State losing, it would be the first time since 1980 that neither of the schools were in the GLI final. Sunday would go a little better for Michigan with them cruising past the Spartans winning 5-2. With the game tied at two, AJ Treais would fire a blast from the point – it bounced off the post after Phil Di Giuseppe tried to hit it and then bounced to Lynch for his fifth of the season and the game winner.
Season Stats 19GP 6-4-10 16PIM
Seth and the Gophers would host the Mariucci Classic last week welcoming Air Force and Boston College. Seth was held off the scoresheet in the Gopher’s 4-0 win over Air Force on Friday night. Sunday would be the good one as the fourth ranked Gophers would welcome the number one ranked Boston College Eagles and Boston College must have pre-gamed for New Year’s because the Gophers demolished the Eagles 8-1 with Seth making it 6-0. With the Gophs leading 5-0 just after a power play had finished, Minnesota defenseman Ben Marshall would fire a blast from the point and in usual Seth fashion he’d tip the puck past for his new career high sixth goal of the season. Mike Reilly missed the Classic while playing with Team USA and the World Juniors.
Season Stats 20GP 1-5-6 20PIM
Drew and the Bulldogs also headed to Florida to take part in the Florida Hockey Classic. Drew, like everyone on Duluth, would be held scoreless in the team’s 1-0 loss to Maine and Martin Ouellette. Saturday they’d faceoff against Ferris State losing 6-2. Drew picked up his fifth assist of the season on Caleb Herbert’s goal that made it 2-1 Bulldogs (wait both teams are called Bulldogs ummm Duluth I mean).
Anton Forsberg-Sodertalje SK(Sweden)
Season Stats(stat ranks in parenthesis) 20GP 13(T5th)-7 .934 Sv%(2nd) 2.00 GAA(2nd) 3SO(T3rd)
What a week for Anton and SSK, Anton would go 2-0 with both wins being 1-0 shutouts. Starting off on Thursday, Anton would make 36 saves in a win over Leksands IF following it up with a 32 save shutout of Orebro Hockey. If my math is right, Anton will enter next week with a shutout streak of 139:04.
Wondering where the World Junior Championship updates are? I made a executive decision to wait until the tournament is over and give them a post all to themselves. As for the rest of the prospects next week we should be back to normal with most of the prospects getting back to action.