Every hockey league except for that one league is now in action. There are a lot of Flames prospects in action. Most of them played this weekend. Actually, everybody except for John Ramage. Here’s an update.
AHL and ECHL
The Heat haven’t lost in regulation! They lost a tight shootout game to Chicago on Friday night, then came back and won in convincing 4-1 fashion on Saturday (on national television). Sven Baertschi? Pretty good – six points in four games. Roman Horak? Four goals in four games. The top line of Ben Walter, Dustin Sylvester and Baertschi has combined for 18 points in four games, but they’ve gotten production from all four lines. And the penalty-kill, led by Max Reinhart, has killed off 13 man-advantages and are the only team in the AHL without a power-play goal against.
The Utah Grizzlies, the minor league affiliate of Calgary’s minor league affiliate, split a pair of games with the Alaska Aces, who are an orphan team with no parent (or grand-parent) clubs. Mitch Wahl has four points in four games, but before you get too excited, he did the exact same thing last year in the ECHL (40 points in 38 games) and it didn’t translate to the AHL at all. Defender James Martin, the #7 man for the Heat last year who hardly played, has three assists this year, as does forward Gaelan Patterson. Ryan Howse has no points in two appearances.
Edmonton G Laurent Brossoit had a win and a shootout loss this week, allowing six goals against over the two starts. So far he has a 5-1-1-2 record, a 2.92 goals against average and a .890 save percentage this season. He also has three assists, more than several players on his team that don’t spend their entire game playing in goal.
Portland D Tyler Wotherspoon had two assists in Portland’s only game this weekend. Overall he has seven points in 10 games and is a very impressive plus-9 (second on the team behind Nic Petan and Oliver Bjorkstrand). Red Deer winger Turner Elson, recently named captain, has five points in seven games. He went pointless in two weekend games and was minus-1.
Swift Current F Coda Gordon has 15 points in 14 games and is tied for the team lead in scoring with Adam Lowry. He had two assists in four games this week, but was minus-5 overall. Over in Vancouver, blueliner Brett Kulak has five points in 10 games. He didn’t put up any points this weekend, but he was plus-2 in Vancouver’s loss to the Calgary Hitmen.
The Quebec Remparts on the QMJHL went 2-1-0 on their three-game weekend set, beating Saint John and Drummondville and losing to Victoriaville. Ryan Culkin missed Sunday’s game in Drummondville due to a reported foot injury. Through 11 games, Culkin has 12 points. As a rookie two years ago, he scored 11 points in 40 games.
Finally, Patrick Sieloff and the Windsor Spitfires beat the Erie Otters twice (on Thursday and Saturday) and lost to the Brampton Battalion on Friday. Sieloff has three points and is a minus-3 through 13 games, but has been a difference-maker for the Spitfires due to his raw physicality. A hit on Otters rookie Hayden Hodgson on Thursday prompted Erie captain Adam Pelech to jump him, earning a major penalty and a game misconduct. The Spits scored twice on the ensuing power-play and won the game 2-1.
Boston College won both their games on the weekend, starting with an impressive come-from-behind overtime win over Massachusetts on Friday and capped by a 3-0 shutout win over Northeastern at home on Saturday as they raised their NCAA Championship banner. Sophomore phenom Johnny Gaudreau scored a goal and an assist in each game, including the dramatic overtime winner on Friday night. Bill Arnold had a goal in the comeback effort on Friday as well.
Providence College went the distance this weekend, tying Miami 1-1 on Friday and losing in overtime 4-3 the following evening. (Their lone conference game was a loss against Boston University last weekend.) Mark Jankowski has reportedly been solid but not Gaudreau-esque; he has three points this year, but two of them are from the opening night thrashing of Sacred Heart. He’s also minus-2, but remember he’s also one of the youngest players in his conference.
The Wisconsin Badgers (and captain John Ramage) were off this weekend.
The Michigan State Spartans beat Niagara on Friday 3-2 and tied them 3-3 on Saturday in non-conference play (they won the shootout, but it won’t be reflected in their record). Matt Deblouw scored his first college goal in Saturday’s game. Through four games Deblouw has two points and is minus-3, but he’s also second on his team in shots on goal.
Nick Larson and the Notre Dame Fighting Irish split a pair of games with Minnesota-Duluth, losing 3-1 on Thursday and winning 4-1 on Friday. Larson had an assist in Friday’s game. He’s one of three seniors on the Fighting Irish, who boast 11 NHL draftees (including Blue Jackets pick T.J. Tynan).
HIFK Helsinki’s Markus Granlund has eight points in 14 games. He’s also plus-4. Joni Ortio has started all but one game for HIFK, posting a 6-6-3 record with a 2.31 goals against average and a godly .919 save percentage. If he had more goal support, his record wouldn’t be so lousy.
I don’t count Roman Cervenka, Karri Ramo or Mikael Backlund as “prospects,” but they’re all apparently doing quite well with their various European hockey clubs. Backlund in particular has three goals and seven points in four games with Vasteras so far.