Prospects Thread 2011-12

Talk about your favorite prospects and the happenings of the Canucks AHL affiliate, the Utica Comets.

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Re: Prospects Thread 2011-12

Postby Fred » Tue Mar 06, 2012 1:44 pm

From Canucks Army http://canucksarmy.com/

Today is the day AHL teams submit their "Clear Day Rosters." What that means is that, as of today, the Chicago Wolves roster is frozen in effect, and they'll be unable to add additional players barring an emergency injury or recall situation. Here's what the AHL says about the by-law:


Each Clear Day roster consists of a maximum of 22 players. According to AHL by-laws, only those players listed on a team’s Clear Day roster are eligible to compete in the remainder of the 2011-12 AHL regular season and in the 2012 Calder Cup Playoffs, unless emergency conditions arise as a result of recall, injury or suspension.
Teams may also add signed draft choices and players signed to amateur tryout contracts, provided that their respective junior or college seasons are complete.


The full Chicago Wolves clear day roster and some analysis after the jump.



Here are the 22 names listed by the Chicago Wolves on their clear day roster:

•Matt Climie (G)
•Eddie Lack (G)
•Nolan Baumgartner
•Byron Bitz
•Kevin Connauton
•Kevin Doell
•Mike Duco
•Dustin Friesen
•Andrew Gordon
•Darren Haydar
•Jordan Henry
•Mark Mancari
•Mark Matheson
•Tim Miller
•Victor Oreskovich
•Ryan Parent
•Adam Polasek
•Steve Reinprecht
•Anton Rodin
•Yann Sauve
•Jordan Schroeder
•Bill Sweatt

The first thing that should jump out to you is the absence of Chris Tanev's name on the roster. While Tanev has found himself in the press-box of late (to our chagrin) - that the Canucks opted not to make him eligible for the Calder Cup playoffs speaks volumes about their plans for him. Chris Tanev is a Canuck, he'll spend the balance of this season with the team and will remain with the big club for the duration of the postseason. Pretty exciting!


The presence of Steve Reinprecht on this list will raise eyebrows, as a month ago, Mike Gillis virtually assured Matt Sekeras and Blake Price that Reinprecht would join the Canucks for the postseason. While it's possible, even likely, that the Canucks will call up Reinprecht on the very first day of the postseason, he needed to be placed on the roster freeze list just to be eligible to finish the AHL regular season, even if it's only to stay "fresh." In other words Reinprecht's presence on this list tells us nothing about the team's plans for the veteran centre - and it'll be curious to see if he plays a single AHL playoff game, or if he'll end up joining the Canucks shortly after April 7th (the final day of the regular season).


While exceptions to the roster freeze are made, the fact that Darren Arhchibald was left off the postseason roster is disappointing. Archibald impressed at the young-star tournament in Penticton in September, and scored a goal in his first career AHL game before tailing off and being sent down to Kalamazoo of the ECHL. It looks like, barring injury, Archibald will remain in the East Coast league for the duration of this season at least.


The other really notable omission: big, athletic fourth liner Stefan Schneider - who has played well for the Wolves in 38 games this season, appearing exclusively in a checking role. While he isn't on the "Clear Day Roster" I'd expect him to play in the postseason if and when Reinprecht is recalled.


The Canucks can add signed draft picks to the Wolves roster during the playoffs. Prospects who are in college can't be signed without forgoing their eligibility, and of the team's college prospects, only Joe Cannata is a senior. While he's likely to be signed and added as a "black-ace" of sorts when his season at Merrimack is finished, I doubt he'll see any game action in the Calder Cup Playoffs this spring.


Of the team's Major Junior prospects, I'd expect both Nicklas Jensen and Frank Corrado (who are signed) to join the Wolves when their respective teams season's end. Players like Alexandre Grenier and Alex Friesen could be added to the roster as well, although, it's a long-shot since the team would need to sign those players first, and both players are on team's with Memorial Cup ambitions.
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Re: Prospects Thread 2011-12

Postby Southern_Canuck » Wed Mar 07, 2012 6:07 am

Tuesday Mar 6

OHL

Brampton 2 Sudbury 4
Corrado 0 points, even

GP 54 G 3 A 22 P 25 PIM 79 +31

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Re: Prospects Thread 2011-12

Postby Southern_Canuck » Wed Mar 07, 2012 7:19 pm

Wednesday March 7

AHL

Milwaukee 2 Chicago 5
Lack 25 saves on 27 shots

Schroeder, (16) (Davies, Sweatt)
Rodin, (6) (Bitz, Matheson)
Rodin, (7) (Mancari)
Duco, (10) (Baumgartner, Bitz) (EN)
Haydar, (14) (Henry, Lack) (EN)

ECHL

Cincinnati 5 Kalamazoo 6 (OT)
Anthony 1 assist, +3
Archibald 1 goal, +4 (10th)
Rai did not play

QMJHL

Blainville-Boisbriand 4 Victoriaville 3 (SO)
Honzik did not play (Whitney 26 saves on 29 shots, 1 save on 2 shots in shootout)

Acadie-Bathurst 0 Halifax 7
Hannay did not play (concussion)
Grenier 1 assist, +1

WHL

Saskatoon at Prince Albert
Tochkin did not play (out for season)

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Re: Prospects Thread 2011-12

Postby Fred » Thu Mar 08, 2012 1:18 pm

Joseph Labate Learning Quickly

angus_j
March 08 2012 09:04AM
If you have read my articles here at the Canucks Army for the past few months, you are aware of Vancouver’s collection of unheralded college prospects. Back in October, I profiled 2011 draft pick Joseph LaBate, even going so far as to compare him to David Backes. LaBate’s freshman season at the University of Wisconson has gone according to plan – he is playing a top six role for a strong college program, and his regular season recently wrapped up. He finished with five goals and 20 points in 34 games for the Badgers.


The University of Wisconson has churned out some impressive NHL talent in recent years. The notables include Derek Stepan (Rangers), Craig Smith (Predators), Brendan Smith (Red Wings), Jamie McBain (Hurricanes), Jake Gardiner (Leafs), Ryan McDonagh (Rangers), and they currently have the best skater in college hockey in puck-moving defenseman Justin Schultz (Ducks). Coach Mike Eaves has done a great job preparing these guys for the NHL, as the majority of them have spent little to no time in the AHL. Leading up to the 2011 draft, LaBate was pegged as a bit of a project pick (as most 6’4” 18-year-old skaters are), but his overall improvement this season is extremely encouraging.


I have seen bits and pieces of his games on television and the internet, but to get a more thorough picture of how his game has developed, I decided to reach out to Chuck Schwartz from Bucky’s Fifth Quarter, a blog covering all things related to University of Wisconsin sports.

Angus: How has Joseph’s season gone so far? Is his play improving?


Schwartz: Joseph has had a fine freshman season. He finished the regular season (34 games) with 20 points, which is around where most had projected him this season. I checked back on my projections and had him at 18 points through 37 games before the regular season started.


He's clearly improved. While he was impressive out of the gates, he's started to play at both ends of the ice which can be demanding in the Mike Eaves system. He's played big time minutes at times and has hung in there in arguably the best college hockey league in the country.


What role does he currently fill with the Badgers? Where do you see him playing next year and beyond?


He's been shuffled around recently as the coaching staff looks for balance throughout the top few lines. At times he's played on the top unit with Mark Zengerle, and at other times he's played on some lower lines but he's widely considered a top six forward on this roster. He's also on the second power play where he is the big body out front screening the goaltender.


Next season he'll fill much of the same role. Wisconsin returns everyone up front, and LaBate will be looked upon to add to his game in all areas. He's played both center and left wing this season, but it's clear that his future is on the wing. He will play in that role on one of the top two lines for the Badgers as his career progresses.


What current or former NHLer (or Badger) does he compare to in terms of playing style?


I'm atrocious at player comparisons, so I'm not even going to make an attempt. In my view it isn’t fair to pigeonhole LaBate, I just don't want to contribute to the development of an unfair reputation, good or bad. I will say that he has a projectable NHL frame and the requisite skill set to play in the league.


How far away is he from the NHL? Does he need the full four years at college?


It's always hard to answer this type of question as players respond to strength and conditioning programs differently. There are a few things holding LaBate back right now, and it starts with his strength. He's got that frame that I mentioned, but he needs to fill it out with muscle. Wisconsin has one of the best strength and conditioning coaches in the country with Jim Snider, and it would be best to see him in that program for at least three seasons.


I don't know if he needs all four seasons at Wisconsin, but I don't think he'll be in the NHL until after his four years of eligibility expire. Players in his mold tend to take a little bit longer to develop as they are growing into their bodies. I think he's about three years away from making the NHL. I'll take a guess and say he'll stay at Wisconsin through his junior season (year three), turn pro and spend a year in the AHL before cracking the Canucks lineup.


Does he have NHL upside? What type of player would he become at the high end? How about the low end?


No question he has NHL upside. LaBate has scouts drooling when they look at the skill set that he has given his size. At the high end, he's a second line left winger in the NHL. I think he's got the package to play in the top six eventually down the road, although he's going to have to improve his overall speed. On the low end, I think he can be a dime-a-dozen forward who is up and down between the NHL and AHL.


I really like the future of this kid.


Any other thoughts on LaBate?


I was talking with a scout this weekend in Minnesota who noted that he feels like LaBate is going to be a force in the WCHA. To be fair, he's stuck on a pretty mediocre team this season, so he's not getting the level of publicity that some of the other freshmen on better teams are. LaBate is going to be a dominant player at Wisconsin very soon.


The thing that should be exciting for Canucks fans is to take a look at the players that Mike Eaves is producing at Wisconsin. The Badgers are consistently in the two or three college programs in terms of numbers of alumni playing in the NHL. Wisconsin has had 21 former players play in the NHL this season. They are basically their own farm club to the NHL. Eaves has played and coached in the league and there isn't a college coach in the country that prepares his players for the rigors of professional hockey like Eaves does.

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Re: Prospects Thread 2011-12

Postby Southern_Canuck » Thu Mar 08, 2012 7:52 pm

Fred wrote:What role does (Labate) currently fill with the Badgers? Where do you see him playing next year and beyond?

He's been shuffled around recently as the coaching staff looks for balance throughout the top few lines. At times he's played on the top unit with Mark Zengerle, and at other times he's played on some lower lines but he's widely considered a top six forward on this roster. He's also on the second power play where he is the big body out front screening the goaltender.


I like to hear that.

Fred wrote:Wisconsin has one of the best strength and conditioning coaches in the country with Jim Snider, and it would be best to see (Labate) in that program for at least three seasons.


Sounds positive for Labate.

Thursday March 8

QMJHL

Halifax 1 Moncton 7
Hannay did not play
Grenier 0 points, -2

OHL

Mississauga 2 Niagara 0
Friesen 0 points, -1

Sudbury 0 Barrie 7
Corrado 0 points, -2

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Re: Prospects Thread 2011-12

Postby Southern_Canuck » Fri Mar 09, 2012 8:21 pm

Friday March 9

ECHL

Chicago 2 Kalamazoo 5
Anthony 1 goal (8th), +1
Archibald 1 assist, +1
Rai did not play

ECAC Tournament

Quinnipiac 2 Colgate 4
Price 0 points, +1

Yale 2 Harvard 1 (OT)
McNally 0 points, -2

Hockey East Tournament

Merrimack 1 Maine 2
Cannata 41 saves on 43 shots (0.953!)

WCHA Tournament

Alaska-Anchorage 1 Minnesota 2
Matson 0 points, even

Wisconsin 1 Denver 0
Labate 0 points, +1

QMJHL

Baie-Comeau 2 Victoriaville 5
Honzik 24 saves on 26 shots

OHL

Niagara 5 Ottawa 1
Friesen 0 points, +1

Belleville 1 Sudbury 3
Corrado 0 points, +1

WHL

Swift Current at Prince Albert
Tochkin out for season

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Re: Prospects Thread 2011-12

Postby Fred » Sat Mar 10, 2012 12:52 pm


Wolf Prowl went away for a bit, but now it's back! After a tough finish to February, the Wolves got back to their winning ways this week.

Weekly Wrap

The Wolves' stuggles continued on Saturday, going down 6-0 to archrival Milwaukee. Matt Climie was in net for all six goals, his worst outing of the season. The Admirals had 18 shots in the first, scoring two goals. The Wolves actually had more shots the rest of the way (21-20) but got no results, while giving up 4 goals the other way. Byron Bitz, Mark Mancari and Adam Polasek were all -3. This was the last visit of the regular season to Milwaukee for the Crimson and Gold.


Sunday was rebound day, as the Wolves knocked off conference-leaders Oklahoma City 4-1. Eddie Lack got the win. Mark Mancari made amends for his tough night against Milwaukee by scoring a hat trick of goals.


The Wolves were given the chance to seize their revenge on Wednesday, as the Admirals made the trip to the Windy City. Chicago made the most of it, winning 5-2. Eddie Lack had another strong start in net, while Anton Rodin scored his first two goals of 2012. The latter, scored in the 3rd period, was the winner.


Chicago is now 32-22-2-3, good for 5th in the West, just one point back of division-leading Charlotte.


Standouts


Lack is playing outstandingly well, and has been for some time. He's surrendered just 17 goals against in his last 11 games.


Mancari set up Rodin's game winner on Wednesday, giving him 4 points in two games.


Darren Haydar scored goals in both wins, the first time he'd scored since January 20th.


Lowlights


Lots of stinkers on Saturday - the aforementioned terrible plus/minuses are representative of the all-around poor effort. All the scorers have been struggling of late, although the two wins show promise that those troubles may be on their way out.


The powerplay has only scored 3 goals in the last month. With as much talent as they do, it's rather mystifying why they aren't having much success.


Lineup Notes


Monday was roster 'clear day' for AHL teams. It's like the AHL trading deadline; with some exceptions, 22 players must be declared as the team's roster for the remainder of the season and into the playoffs. Before setting their roster, Wolves GM Wendell Young made one move, bringing in Jordan Henry from the Abbotsford Heat for little used defenceman J.P. Testwuide. Henry's expected to bring a physical net-clearing presence.


Darren Archibald was returned to Kalamazoo of the ECHL on Monday. He played in two games during his week-long recall, but picked up no points.


Kevin Doell, Ryan Parent and Victor Oreskovich all remain out with injuries, but all three were named to the clear day roster. This can be read two ways: either they are all close to a return, or it's roster shenanigans. More likely it's the latter - the team also listed Archibald, Mike Davies, Matt Clackson, Antoine Roussel and Stefan Schneider as 'emergency replacements', meaning they can be used in the case of injury.


The Hunting Ahead


A double header weekend in Charlotte - games Saturday and Sunday against the Checkers - is followed by a mid-week game at home vs Peoria.
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Re: Prospects Thread 2011-12

Postby Southern_Canuck » Sat Mar 10, 2012 10:37 pm

Saturday March 10

AHL

Chicago 3 Charlotte 1
Lack 26 saves on 27 shots

Haydar, (15) (Duco, Mancari) (PP)
Gordon, (4) (Roussel, Duco)
Haydar, (16) (Duco, Bitz) (PP)

ECHL

Chicago 2 Kalamazoo 0
Anthony 0 points, even
Archibald 0 points, even
Rai did not play

NCAA

Quinnipiac 4 Colgate 2
Price 1 assist, -1

This Series is tied.

Yale 3 Harvard 4 (2OT)
McNally 3 assists, -1

Series even.

Merrimack 5 Maine 2
Cannata 28 saves on 30 shots

This Series is evened up after this penalty filled game!

Alaska-Anchorage 3 Minnesota 7
Matson 1 assist, +1

Minnesota wins their series.

Wisconsin 1 Denver 3
Labate 0 points, even

Series tied.

WHL

Prince Albert at Swift Current
Tochkin out for season

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Re: Prospects Thread 2011-12

Postby Southern_Canuck » Sun Mar 11, 2012 5:36 pm

Sunday March 11

AHL

Chicago 0 Charlotte 4
Lack 42 saves on 45 shots

NCAA (all games are the deciding games of best of three series)

Quinnipiac 0 Colgate 4
Price 0 points, +1

Yale 2 Harvard 8
McNally 1 assist, +3

Merrimack 1 Maine 2
Cannata 30 saves on 32 shots

Merrimack is out of the Hockey East Tournament despite Cannata making 99 saves on 105 shots (0.943) over the three game series.

Wisconsin 2 Denver 3 (OT)
Labate 0 points, even

I think that's it for Wisconsin's season...

Latest Pairwise Rankings for Frozen Four Tournament
#8 Minnesota
#17 Merrimack
#20 (tied) Harvard
#25 Colgate

QMJHL

Chicoutimi 3 Victoriaville 5
Honzik 30 saves on 33 shots

OHL

Niagara 5 Kingston 2
Friesen 1 goal (24th), even

Oshawa 5 Brampton 2
Jensen 1 goal (25th), +3

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Re: Prospects Thread 2011-12

Postby Fred » Mon Mar 12, 2012 12:33 pm

PATRICK McNALLY

Canucks prospect Patrick McNally (drafted in the 4th round of the 2010 NHL draft), has followed up on his Yandle-esque senior year of Prep hockey with a stellar freshman campaign for the Harvard Crimson this season. Jeff Angus looked at his development a few months ago, and generally speaking McNally has successfully reigned in his freelancing style, while remaining a standout offensive defenseman.

Late last week, McNally's play was recognized by the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) who nominated him as one of three finalists for the conference's "Rookie of the Year" award. Read past the jump for analysis of his chances at winning the award.

Here's a list of Mcnally's frosh accomplishments from ECAChockey.com:

Harvard freshman, Patrick McNally is another finalist for the league’s top rookie award. McNally tied for fifth among rookie scorers in ECAC Hockey play netting 0.68 points per game (4g-11a-15pts). He was ECAC Hockey’s highest-scoring freshman defenseman in league games. The Glen Head, N.Y. native tied for fourth in the ECAC Hockey scoring among all defensemen. In overall contests McNally is the nation’s second-leading scorer among freshman defensemen with 0.76 points per game (5-17-22). McNally helped Harvard hold 15 of its final 16 league opponents to three goals or fewer and limit eight of the final 13 to two goals or fewer and rank fourth in ECAC Hockey in scoring defense. He was also a key player on league’s top power-play, which ranks second nationally and led the nation for most of the regular-season.

That's an awful lot more impressive than my list of freshman accomplishments, which, included but were not limited too: refining my awful taste in women, setting a conference record for skipped classes, vomiting in several back alleys, discovering Mogwai and Dostoevsky, and being busted for smoking in my room on several occasions. College is fun.

While McNally's freshman season has been impressive, and his potential is tantalizing, he'll likely have to settle for "it's an honour just being nominated" status. Our buddy and College Hockey aficionado Ryan Lambert explains:

The reason I'd be shocked if Patrick McNally wins the ECAC Rookie of the Year award is simple: If you think the NHL media bases its awards solely on statistics, wait until you see the people in college hockey. You also need to keep in mind that conference awards like these are based only on in-conference games.

And that is the reason McNally won't win: He "only" put up 4-11-15 in 22 games from the blue line. That's five behind Quinnipiac's Matthew Peca in the same number of games, and not an appreciable enough lead over the other D in the conference (Union's Shayne Gostibehere and Colgate's Spiro Goulakos, both of whom had 14 in 22 and considerably cooler names).

None of this is to say McNally isn't a good defenseman who has all the look of possibly developing into a very strong quarterback on the power play. But Is he the rookie of the year in his league? Probably not.

Fortunately for Vancouver — and I'm sure you might have guessed at this — these awards mean absolutely nothing. For instance, Cory Schneider lost the Hockey East Rookie of the Year award to a goaltender named Peter Vetri in 2004-05. Vetri is currently playing in the FHL, which I don't know what that is.

So forget the superficial awards: that McNally's rookie season of division I NCAA hockey has been this productive is great news for the Canucks. Patrick McNally is still a few years away from contributing at the professional level, and one assumes he'll finish his degree before joining the Canucks or their AHL affiliate - I mean, he does attend Harvard. But the team can afford to wait, with the emergence of the likes of Tanev, Gragnani, Sauve, Connauton, Corrado and McNally this season; the Canucks suddenly find themselves boasting an impressive pool of young blueliners.
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Re: Prospects Thread 2011-12

Postby dbr » Mon Mar 12, 2012 1:16 pm

Hah - didn't think I'd beat you to it Fred. I enjoyed Drance's article on Nicklas Jensen a bit more as it has more depth in terms of his style of play and demeanour on the ice.

Having followed the Generals closely this season, and covered a handful of games: I'd proffer that Jensen's two-way play has appreciably developed over the course of this season.

..

"To make it to the next level you have to focus on your play both ways," Jensen explained post game. "I'm naturally more of an offensive player... But that's what I'm trying to do, just get better defensively." My impression is that Jensen's efforts to improve in his own end have paid off. He made a couple of good reads to break up Brampton's puck-possession, and was strong along the boards allowing the Generals to clear the zone on several occasions.

Jensen's offensive skill set is a known quantity: he's got an NHL caliber shot, a solid collection of power-moves down-low in the offensive zone (though he'll need to get stronger to pull those off in the show) and his puck moving ability is stand-out. His defense has also come a long way over the past six months or so. That said, the knock on the Danish winger heading into last June's NHL draft was his penchant for inconsistency.

..

Jensen has dropped the gloves this season (and looked good doing it), and improved his defensive game, but I'm still not sure he's done enough to shed that "needs to compete harder" label. Despite Jensen's productive game on Sunday, he went quiet for stretches relative to his line-mates, who seemed to be constantly skating through or around the opposition.

The "compete level" canard isn't something I generally put a lot of stock in. After all: would you rather employ a smart, skilled player or Ryan Jones? Without the puck, for example, Jensen is calculating and doesn't show a lot of pace or urgency. In the defensive end of the rink that can work to his advantage, and he smartly picked off several Brampton passes simply by being in the right position. On offense, however, he'll certainly need to work harder to get open if he wants to be a thirty goal scorer in the NHL.

Jensen has had a successful season, and he had a strong game on Sunday. But, when you see what he can do on the ice: feathering tape-to-tape passes to his line-mates through defenders in the neutral zone, or unleashing his powerful wrist-shot in the slot, it seems like he should be a force of nature at the major junior level. For all of his potential, he's not as dominant as one reasonably suspects he could be.
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Re: Prospects Thread 2011-12

Postby Fred » Mon Mar 12, 2012 1:39 pm

Yeah I'd say the Jensen article was a better and seems to be more knowledgeable assessment. It's nice to see how they're all progressing
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Re: Prospects Thread 2011-12

Postby Southern_Canuck » Tue Mar 13, 2012 4:28 am

Monday March 12

QMJHL

PEI 3 Halifax 6
Hannay did not play (concussion)
Grenier 1 assist, even

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Re: Prospects Thread 2011-12

Postby Southern_Canuck » Tue Mar 13, 2012 4:58 pm

Tuesday March 13

Just a few games left in the CHL season - OHL and QMJHL play 68 games, and WHL play 72.

Oshawa (Jensen) has 4 games left and have clinched a playoff berth - currently 7th in the East
Sudbury (Corrado) has 4 games left and has clinched - currently 5th in the East
Niagara (Friesen) has 3 games left and has clinched - currently 1st in the East
Halifax (Hannay, Grenier) has 3 games left and has clinched - currently 2nd in the Maritimes
Victoriaville (Honzik) has 2 games left and has clinched - currently 3rd in Telus East
Prince Albert (Tochkin) has 4 games left and is out of the playoff picture

Every team but one in the QMJHL makes the playoffs! (this year, PEI) Wow, did not know that...

OHL

Oshawa 4 Peterborough 3
Jensen 0 points, even

Barrie 5 Sudbury 4 (SO)
Corrado 0 points, -2

WHL

Prince Albert at Saskatoon
Tochkin out for season

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Re: Prospects Thread 2011-12

Postby Southern_Canuck » Wed Mar 14, 2012 9:56 pm

Wednesday March 14

AHL

Peoria 3 Chicago 1
Lack 23 saves on 25 shots

Mancari, (26) (Matheson, Bitz)

They outshot Peoria 39-25, but couldn't get the better of Jake Allen...

ECHL

Toledo 3 Kalamazoo 1
Anthony 0 points, even
Archibald 0 points, -1
Rai 1 assist, +1

QMJHL

Saint John 6 Halifax 1
Hannay did not play (concussion)
Grenier 1 goal (24th), even

OHL

Oshawa 2 Belleville 3 (OT)
Jensen 0 points, -2

WHL
Prince Albert at Regina
Tochkin out for season

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