I’m back again with the week in review this time featuring some international competition. Let’s get right to it!
Starting off in Springfield the Falcons would go 3-0 last week. Starting off on Friday against Albany the Falcons picked up a 5-3 victory with Jonathan Marchessault scoring his first two goals since October 12 – a span of 12 games. Two minutes into the game Blake Parlett found Captain Ryan Craig in Gretzky’s office; he got the puck to Marchessault in the slot who promptly fired a shot to make it 1-0. Later in the first when the Devils goalie would try to play the puck, Alex Aleardi stole the puck and found tough guy Dalton Smith who shot into the empty net for his first of the year. 17 seconds into the second period, Jake Hansen found Craig in the slot for his second of the season – pushing him into fifth all time in Falcons goal scoring. The Devils scored two second period goals to make it 3-2; but 5:46 into the third, Marchessault struck again after taking a cross-rink pass from Blake Parlett for his second of the night. After another Devils goal, Frederic St. Denis shot from just over the blueline to make it 5-3 Falcons. Jeremy Smith made 19 saves to earn the win.
Saturday night, the Hartford Wolfpack came to town and, as usual, when these two teams get together there were fights, kerfuffles and even a few brouhahas. Starting with the Pack’s (and 2010 Blue Jackets Traverse City invite) Michael Kantor – the first drop of the gloves came against Dalton Smith. Four minutes after getting out of the box, Kantor dropped the gloves again – this time with Lukas Sedlak. Now to actual hockey for a bit. Ilari Melart scored his first North American goal when, fresh from the penalty box, he scored on a breakaway (no seriously) going five hole. Four minutes later Frederic St Denis struck on a backhand to make it 2-0. Five minutes later, Andrew Joudrey brought the heat with a shot in front to make it 3-0 Falcons. With six minutes remaining in the third, the real brawl finally happened and resulted in 127 minutes in penalties being handed out with the Codys (Bass and Goloubef) and AHL contract only Tim Miller each receiving 15 minutes in penalties. Late in the third period with the Falcons on a power play, Patrick McNeil fired a blast from the point to make it 4-0, Mike McKenna would only have to make 15 saves for his, and the Falcons, first shutout of the season.
Sunday, the Falcons would travel to Providence for a game against its arch-rival the Providence Bruins. It was a match the baby birds would win handily, notching a 5-2 score.
Quickly in Evansville – the IceMen bounced around Indiana and Ohio going 1-2-0-1. In the four games Thomas would pick up an assist in Evansville’s 6-2 loss to the Toledo Walleye. Thomas Larkin continues to be a physical presence – picking up seven penalty minutes and getting into a fight with Cyclones captain David MacDonald.
Oscar Dansk-Erie Otters (OHL)
Season Stats 15GP 10-3-1 2.64GAA .903Sv% 2SO
Oscar returned to the Otters crease and well… it did not go well for him. Starting off with an 11am faceoff against Kitchener, Oscar stopped 18 of 23 in 47:26 of action before getting the hook for backup (1A?) Devin Williams. Here are Oscar’s postgame comments from Victor Fernandes. Oscar went back into the crease on Friday against Josh Anderson and the Knights where Oscar stopping 27 of 31 in a 4-0 loss. Devin Williams alternated back in the crease on Saturday picking up a 5-2 win over Sudbury.
Josh Anderson – London Knights (OHL)
24 GP 10-9-19 +9 46PIM
Josh Anderson was held scoreless in two Knights games this week but earned an assist on a goofy goal in the Subway Super Series. Josh played in game three (game one for the OHL) which ended as a 5-2 loss to Team OHL. In the second period, with the OHL trailing 2-1, Josh got the puck to Chris Bigras who flipped the puck and it looked like (at least to the Russians) it was going to go out of the rink but it didn’t and Brock McGinn skated in and fired a shot past the Russian goalie. I was able to watch the game online and Josh was noticeable all night long earning more ice time as the game went along. He earned rave reviews from the play by play team – they said he could get a look from Team Canada for the World Juniors. If you asked me, I’d have thought Josh was a big time longshot prior to this speculation. Josh did a interview with Terry Doyle after the game (Josh’s interview starts at 2:20 into the audio).
Nick Moutrey-Saginaw Spirit (OHL)
Season Stats 25GP 7-9-16 +5 28PIM
Nick and the Spirit open the week in the Soo where Nick scored a pretty one. He got the puck from Sergei Tolchinsky when the little Russian tried to get fancy and Nick took the puck and got it to Jimmy Lodge. Lodge raced up ice, curled in near the faceoff circle, and found Nick who was serving as trailer. Nick would take the shot and go blocker side for his 7th of the season. The Spirit won the game 4-2 and Nick was named second star.
Nick was held scoreless in a 4-3 overtime loss to Plymouth on Friday. On Saturday, Nick had his second multi-point game of the season (and the month!) with two assists in a 6-2 win over Sarnia. Nick’s first assist came with just seconds remaining in the second when he assisted on Sean Callaghan’s seventh of the season. Midway through the third period, Nick earned point number two with an assist on Justin Kea’s 11th goal of the season. The Spirit would go on to win the game 6-2. (Sorry folks no highlights)
Kerby Rychel-Windsor Spitfires (OHL)
Season Stats 24GP 15-22-37 +12 15PIM
A busier week than normal for Kerby as he played in the Super Series with Josh, then played in a three in three with the Spitfires. The schedule is likely why Kerby only played in one game of the Super Series. Kerby got Team OHL on the board when he fired a shot after coming off the bench for a line change. Kerby was named Team OHL’s player of the game (International Tournaments do a player of a game for each team instead of the three stars). Here’s Kerby’s post game comments from Sportsnet.
Friday night it was off to Guelph for a nationally televised game (in Canada at least – looking at you NHL Network). Kerby helped open the scoring when he worked a give an go with Josh Ho-Sang and Brady Vail with Vail finishing it to make it 1-0. Late in the game, with the Spits leading 3-2, with 41 seconds remaining Kerby got the puck to Nick Ebert whose shot was stopped; but Ho-Sang corralled the puck and went for the wrap around to score his 12th goal of the season. Windsor won the game 4-2.
Kerby and the entire Spits team was held scoreless in it’s 4-0 loss to London.
Windsor has won 10 of its last 12 with the two losses coming to the Knights. Kerby and the Spitfires closed out the week with a game against the Plymouth Whalers. Kerby and the Spits trailed all game until Kerby scored his 15th goal of the season with 1:33 remaining to make it 2-1.
Peter Quenneville-Brandon Wheat Kings (WHL)
Season Stats 9GP 4-3-7 -8 2PIM
Peter and the Wheat Kings were another busy group this week playing four games – all on the road – including a back to back against Kootenay. On Tuesday, Peter welcomed Dillon Heatherington and the Broncos. Peter had a big game picking up an assist and then scoring the game winner in the shootout. Peter’s assist came with the Kings trailing 1-0. Peter passed to brother John who found Rihard Bukarts for his 6th of the season. The game ended up going to a shootout with Peter shooting second for the Wheat Kings. He came in with speed, faked a shot and curled it around the Broncos netminder. The Wheat Kings would go on to win the game 3-2.
Peter was held scoreless in a 4-3 overtime loss to Medicine Hat.
Peter scored in the King’s next game – a 7-3 defeat by the Kootenay Ice. Peter struck with the Kings trailing 5-0. Late in the second period, Peter was part of a three-on-one with Peter finishing to make it 5-1. Unfortunately, the Wheat Kings would ultimately fall 7-3, and lose again during the rematch the next night with Peter held scoreless.
Oliver Bjorkstrand-Portland Winterhawks (WHL)
Season Stats 26GP 18-27-45 +18 14PIM (4th in WHL Scoring)
It was a light week for the Winterhawks as they only played two games with the Hawks going 1-0-1-0 with Oliver picking up three assists. Of note, Oliver got an assist on Derrick Pouliot’s 7th goal of the season. Later with the Hawks up 5-3 Oliver won a board battle and got the puck to Taylor Leier who found Nic Petan in front for his 14th of the season. The Hawks won the game 6-4. Oliver added another assist in a 5-4 overtime loss to Seattle. Oliver picked up an assist on Brendan Leipsic’s 17th goal of the season that gave the Hawks a 4-3 lead but it wouldn’t last – the TBirds scored three minutes later.
Dillon Heatherington-Swift Current Broncos (WHL)
Season Stats 29GP 2-21-23 +15 31PIM
Dillon and the Broncos opened the week with a game against Brandon and Peter Quenneville. Dillon was held scoreless but he shot first in the shootout (I was as confused as you are reading this). However, “The Big Plus” skated in with speed, faked a slapshot and fired with the Wheat Kings goalie stopping it (highlights above with Peter’s update).
Dillon and all the Broncos were held scoreless in a 1-0 loss to Prince Albert on Friday night.
The team closed out the week in Moose Jaw for a game with the Warriors. Dillon’s first assist came off a slapshot that bounced off a Warriors player but Andrew Johnson was at the doorstep to make it 3-2. Just under two minutes later, Dillon chipped the puck out with Broncos tough guy Tanner LeSann winning a race for it finding Zac Mackay who chipped it past the Warriors goalie. The Broncos won the game 5-4 in Overtime. This was Dillon’s fourth multipoint game this season after having five all of last season.
Martin Ouellette-Maine Black Bears (Hockey East)
Season Stats 11GP 6-4-1 1.99GAA .934Sv% 2SO
Another short but successful week for Martin and the Black Bears as they defeated the #7 team in the country – the Boston College Eagles. Martin made 33 saves in a 5-1 win. The Eagles snapped Martin’s 88:37 shutout streak with a late first period goal. The win was Martin’s sixth of the season and he was named second star in the victory. Here are Martin’s post game comments. Martin and the Black Bears get back to a normal schedule next weekend when they travel to Vermont for a series against the Catamounts. The team Martin picked up his first shutout of the season against them on November 8th.
Seth Ambroz, Mike Reilly-Minnesota Golden Gophers (Big 10)
Season Stats SA: 12GP 3-5-8PIM MR: 12GP 5-4-9 10PIM
Seth, Mike and the Gophers welcomed Minnesota-Duluth to town for a Friday-Sunday series in which they earned a split. On Friday after a early Bulldogs goal, it was all Gophers scoring six straight. Seth picked up two assists while Mike picked up an assist. Seth’s first assist came on Tom Serratore’s second goal. Seth won a board battle and got the puck to Travis Boyd who found Serratore who fired a shot from the slot. Later, with the Gophers leading 4-1, Seth laid a hit on a Bulldog and got the puck to Serratore who got the puck to Travis. Boyd, after some maneuvering, fired a shot to make it 5-1.
Mike earned his assist on the power play when Kyle Rau dropped the puck to pointman Mike Reilly who found Michael Brodzinski for his third of the season.
The teams played on Sunday and it was an ugly one. The Gophers lost 6-2 with Mike scoring the Gophers’ first while Seth was the big bad power forward he is. With the Gophers trailing 3-0 and on the power play Kyle Rau found Mike at the point. He blasted a shot past the Bulldogs netminder (even though the Gophers play by play guys think it was tipped). Seth made the statsheet when he was involved in a scuffle when the Gophers got frustrated trailing 5-1. Seth only earned a roughing call with the Bulldogs Carson Soucy.
TJ Tynan-Notre Dame Fighting Irish (Hockey East)
Season Stats 14GP 2-8-10 E 12PIM
TJ and the Irish were off to Lowell for a series against the River Hawks. On Friday TJ and his teammates were shutout by Hockey East’s top goaltender – Lowell’s Connor Hellebuyck – losing 1-0. The Irish got more of the same on Saturday when they fell 3-1 with TJ picking up an assist on the Irish’s only goal. In the second period, TJ took a pass from Andy Ryan deep in the Irish’s zone, skated it into the Hawks zone with four Hawk defenders focusing on him before finding Bryan Rust who skated in and scored his third of the season. Next week, the Irish will host its Shillelagh Tournament hosting Alabama-Huntsville on Friday playing in either the championship/consolation game against either Western Michigan or Northeastern.
Alexander Wennberg-Frolunda (SHL)
Season Stats 24GP 8-1-9 -1 4PIM
Alexander and the Indians went 1-0-0-1 last week with Alexander picking up his first two goal game in the SHL. Starting off against HV71, with the game tied at one, Dick Axelsson skated in firing a shot and Alexander picked up the rebound for his first goal. Alexander’s next would be a pretty one when he skated with speed and snapped off a shot that hit the post and then went in to make it 4-1. Alexander’s second goal would be the gamewinner in a 5-3 Indians win. Wennberg was held scoreless in a 3-2 shootout loss to Vaxjo Lakers.
Anton Forsberg-MODO (SHL)
Season Stats 12GP 8-4 1.94GAA .937SV%
Anton again only played in one game last week with Linus Ullmark playing in a loss to Vaxjo. Anton got in the team’s second game last week against Orebro Hockey stopping 33 of 35 in a 2-1 loss.
Daniel Zaar-Rogle BK (Allsevskan)
Season Stats 24GP 7-5-12 E 10PIM
Daniel had a good week last week picking up three assists in two games. Starting off against Mora, Daniel picked up two assists in a big 5-1 win. Daniel’s first assist came on the goal that made it 4-0 when Daniel got the puck to Jacob Johansson who found Dennis Everberg as he was crashing the crease. In the third period, Daniel got the puck from Viktor Lindgren and made it look like he was going to shoot but he ended up passing to Victor Berglind who’d blast a shot to make it 5-0. Daniel picked up another assist in a 3-2 shootout loss to Timra. On the goal that took the score to 1-1, Daniel came off a faceoff and stick handled the puck before snapping a shot that Dennis Everberg picked up the rebound of to tie it at one.
There you have it – another week in the world of Blue Jackets prospects. I’ll be back next week with a live look at the Springfield Falcons plus how Josh Anderson did in game two with Team OHL. Dillon Heatherington will be suiting up for Team WHL in its two games against the Russians on Wednesday and Thursday so stay tuned for that as well!