October 15 2012 12:31PM
I don't know about you, but I spent my weekend watching hockey. The Abbotsford Heat returned to action following a fairly successful 2011-12 campaign. The Western Hockey League continued to provide fun games. Heck, the NCAA finally returned and we got a fleeting glimpse of The Big Jankowski against grown men.
Also, the lockout is now a month old, but hockey continues to occur.
The Heat won both their games this weekend by a combined 10-3 score. Danny Taylor played both games and was really good. Leland Irving didn't even dress for either game, which may be related to his try-out contract or may be a reflection of under-performance at training camp. Historically, Irving hasn't blown the doors off at camp.
Sven Baertschi was really good. He scored two really nice goals and set up other nice goals. Four points in two games. Roman Horak matched his goal-scoring total from last year in two games. Lance Bouma checked some guys. T.J. Brodie had three assists. Ben Street had three points. Max Reinhart had one assist, but was very effective – particularly in the first game. Dustin Sylvester also had a four point weekend.
Heck, Chris Breen was pretty good this weekend, too. It's hard to imagine the Heat having a better opening weekend.
The Heat's minor league affiliate, the ECHL's Utah Grizzlies, also won both their weekend games. James Martin had two assists, while Bryan Cameron, Gaelan Patterson and Mitch Wahl each had an assist.
Junior and College
Swift Current's Coda Gordon has 13 points in 10 games. He also has yet to take a penalty. Portland's Tyler Wotherspoon has 5 points in 9 games and is second on his team with a plus-8. (He plays with Seth Jones, though.) Vancouver's Brett Kulak has an identical scoring pace. Red Deer's Turner Elson was recently named captain and is scoring on a point-per-game pace (5 in 5).
Mark Jankowski had a pair of goals in his NCAA debut during an 8-2 Providence College win against Sacred Heart. If you've never heard of Sacred Heart, it's because they were the last-place team in the Atlantic Hockey conference last year. Jon Gillies had 14 saves on 14 shots over two periods of action. They were less good in a 4-2 loss to Boston University the next night, but Gillies was third star of that game in a loss.
Boston College lost their first regular season game since January 21 with a 3-1 loss to Northeastern. Johnny Gaudreau had an assist.
Karri Ramo is 8-4-2 with a 2.31 goals against average and a .916 save percentage. His team is really, really missing Roman Cervenka, though. Among East Conference teams only Metallurg Magnitogorsk and Amur Khabarovsk have scored less than Avangard Omsk, and the Metallurgs have played two fewer games.
Anton Babchuk has scored once for Donbass Donesk for his only point this year. He plays 20 minutes per game and his only goal was a power-play goal. (For reference, Clay Wilson has four times as many points as Babchuk.)
Joni Ortio is 5-5-3 with a 2.35 goals against average and a .919 save percentage, along with two shut-outs. His team, HIFK Helsinki is 6-5-3 overall and is in a playoff spot, but primarily because they've played more than every other team in the league. His teammate, Markus Granlund, has 5 points in 14 games. He probably misses his brother.