Greetings, all! It’s time for another week in review!
It was a light week for Cleveland and the Monsters’ road trip so this should be our first full recap in a while.
The Monsters are again playing away from home and this time it’s off to Milwaukee for a school day game. After a scoreless first, Akim Aliu made it two games in a row with a goal. Later in the second, John Ramage found Brett Gallant in the slot who fired to make it 2-0 Monsters. Just under two minutes later, Miles Koules scored his first of the season to the disbelief of the play-by-play guy (I don’t know what happened folks, but it was funny). That made it 3-0 off a pretty passing play for an all PTO goal. Early on the third with a delayed penalty, Joe Pendenza passed to Sonny Milano who shot but was stopped. That allowed Ramage to fire off the rebound for his fourth of the season. A few minutes after the Ads’ third goal, Gallant completed the Gordie Howe Hat Trick when he took on Mike Liambus and both earned unsportsmanlike conducts. This was the fourth time the pair have fought since Brett got to the Land of Cleve. Milano capped the scoring with a shot from just above the circles. Anton Forsberg made 29 saves for his 17th win of the season.
Next it was off to Chicago for a game against the Wolves who were riding an eight-game home winning streak. After another scoreless first, the Monsters struck first when out of a board battle, the Monsters raced down the ice with Daniel Zaar and Jordan Maletta leading the charge. Maletta took a pass at the blueline and fired a shot to make it 1-0 on his 10th of the season. The Wolves scored early in the third before Aliu kept his hot streak going when he scored in his third games in a row. Late in the third the Wolves tied it when James Wisniewski scored on a five on three to send the game into overtime. Late in OT it was Forsberg who got the game winner underway. Anton made a save and poke checked the puck ahead to Jamie Sifers who skated on a two on one with Maletta. Sifers passed to Maletta whose shot was stopped but Jamie gathered the rebound, fired and then fired again off another rebound to score the game winner. Forsberg made 33 saves in the victory.
Finishing the trip out west, the Monsters headed down to San Antonio for a game against the old Monsters. The Rampage took a 2-0 lead before the Monsters got on the board in the second. Milano stickhandled through the zone before finding Marc-Andre Bergeron who made it 2-1. After another Rampage goal, Pendenza scored late in the second off a pretty pass from Milano. After another Rampage goal in the third, it was another all PTO goal as Alex Petan scored to make it 4-3 Rampage. The Monsters’ loss snapped a 12-game winless streak for the Rampage. Forsberg made 29 saves.
Kole Sherwood-Flint Firebirds (OHL)
Season Stats 57GP 33-48-81 +16 55PIM (8th in OHL Scoring)
Kole and the Firebirds opened the week against in-state rival Saginaw and the Spirit built a 3-2 lead before Kole got on the scoresheet. Off the draw, Kole passed to Mathieu Henderson. His shot was stopped but Nicholas Caamano scored to tie it. Kole added another assist on Ryan Moore’s goal to give Flint a 4-3 lead but the Firebirds would lose in a shootout. Kole missed on his attempt. In the loss, Kole had 13 shots in the game.
Up next against Kitchener, Kole had another multipoint night. In the second with the Rangers leading 1-0, Kole passed to Ryan Moore whose shot was tipped by Nicholas Caamano to tie it at one. After Connor Bunnaman completed the hat trick and the team added another Birds goal, Kole added another assist. The helper came on Alex Peter’s goal but it was a little chaotic so it’s hard to tell where Kole figured into the score. The Birds would lose in OT.
Kole was held pointless to close out the week against Windsor.
Dante Salituro-London Knights (OHL)
Season Stats 26GP 10-10-20 +11 16PIM
Dante went without a point in the Knights’ first two games this week but not for lack of trying. In the two games, Dante hit six posts. Finally, Dante snapped a four-game pointless streak. Starting off in the second, and with the Knights leading 3-1, Cliff Pu fired a shot that was stopped before Dante picked up the rebound to make it 4-1 Knights. Dante picked up another assist later in the game on Mitch Vane Sompel’s goal to make it 6-2 Knights, but it didn’t make the highlights. Here are Dante’s postgame comments from the game.
Pierre-Luc Dubois-Blainville-Boisbriand Armada (QMJHL)
Season Stats 46GP 21-32-53 +20 76PIM
PLD opened the week against Rimouski. In the shutout win, Pierre picked up an assist on Tobie Paquette-Bisson’s goal to make it 3-0 in a 6-0 Armada win. The shutout helped fellow CBJ prospect Vitaly Abramov as he has been chasing Rimouski’s Tyler Boland for the league’s points leader.
Up next was a game against Chicoutimi and PLD finished the scoring. Late in the third with the Armada leading 2-1, PLD gathered the puck and skated out of the zone before firing a shot from just over the blueline. His shot hit the post and PLD picked up the rebound and scored to make it 3-1 Armada.
Closing out the week against Shawinigan, in the first with the Armada leading 1-0, PLD took a pass and started a two on one with PLD passing to Shaun Miller who buried to make it 2-0 Armada. Later in the game with the Armada up 4-2, PLD gathered a dump in and wrapped around the net before finding Alexander Katerinakis to make it 5-2 Armada. In the win Pierre was named second star. This game snapped an eight game penalty streak for PLD during which he collected 26 penalty minutes.
Vitaly Abramov-Gatineau Olympiques (QMJHL)
Season Stats 64GP 46-55-101 +13 74PIM (Tied for 1st in QMJHL scoring)
The race for the Q scoring race entered its final two weeks and Vitaly helped his case a lot this week. Starting off a busy week against Val-d’Or, the Foreurs took a 1-0 lead before the meteor would strike. In the second, Vitaly streaked down the wing before firing a shot. Yakov Trenin stole the puck and fired before Vitaly gathered the rebound, went behind the net and sent off a shot that bouncef off the goalie and in to make it 1-1 in a 2-1 win. Vitaly was named second star.
Up next against Rouyn-Noranda, it was ugly for Gatineau but Vitaly still picked up a point. In the second with the Olympiques trailing 3-0, Vitaly picked up an assist on Yakov Trenin’s goal to make it 3-1 in a 7-2 loss.
Up next against Shawinigan, Vitaly was part of every Olympiques goal in the win. First up Vitaly found Zack MacEwan who got the puck to Alexander Landreville to make it 1-0. Late in the game with the Cats goalie pulled, Vitaly gathered a loose puck just above his own blueline and skated in and around a Cats defender before firing a shot just above the blueline to make it 2-0. It was his 46th goal of the season and 98th point of the season.
Closing out the week,and needing three points to catch Tyler Boland for the lead, Vitaly took on the Quebec Ramparts who Vitaly had ripped apart for 13 points in three games so far this season. Only 46 seconds into the first, the magician would get to work. Vitaly kept the puck in the zone and passed to Yakov Trenin who found Alexander Landreville. He fired a shot to make it 1-0. Later Abramov took a pass from Trenin behind the net and then passed to the point before taking the puck back and passing to MacEwan at the opposite dot who fired to make it 2-2. Late in the game with the score tied at four, off a power play, Vitaly took a rink wide pass from MacEwan and shot. The attempt was stopped but Yakov Trenin picked up the rebound to make it 5-4. The game ended up tied and went to a shootout and Gatineau would win it. In the 5-4 win Vitaly would be named first star.
Going into the Q’s final week of the regular season, Vitaly is tied with Tyler Boland for the league lead and both have two games left to play. Vitaly is also second in goals but he would need four goals to catch Giovanni Fiore who has 50 total. Vitaly is the first Olympique to score 100 points since somebody named Claude Giroux in 07-08. Over the last two years, no player in the Q has scored more goals, points or taken more shots than Abramov.
Calvin Thurkauf-Kelowna Rockets (WHL)
Season Stats 57GP 33-35-68 +33 81PIM
Calvin opened the week against Victoria. In the second with the Rockets leading 2-0, the Swiss Beast got one. 22 seconds after the goal, Cal Foote passed to Calvin just above the blueline and Calvin skated into the zone before weaving into the slot and firing a shot that beat Griffen Outhouse (no seriously) and ended his night. The game got wild as the Royals roared back to make a game out of it but Kelowna won 4-3 with Calvin named as second star.
Up next against Vancouver, Calvin had himself a night. Starting off in the second with the Rockets again leading 2-0, Calvin sent a pass to Dillon Dube and he scored his second of the night off a one timer. Later in the second period, Calvin fought off two Giants in the corner and found Leif Mattson who made it 6-0. In the third, “Merkauf” combined for the first time when Calvin dropped a pass to Nick Merkley who fired a shot that knuckled off a stick to Reid Gardiner. Gardiner scored to make it 7-0 in an 8-1 Rockets win. Calvin was named third star.
Closing out the week against Victoria, Calvin picked up an assist when he found Gardiner to make it 1-0. After two straight Royal goals, Calvin assisted again when he took a pass and found Dillon Dube in front who tipped the puck in to make it 2-2 in a 4-3 overtime win. Calvin was again named third star.
Sam Ruopp-Prince George Cougars (WHL)
Season Stats 53GP 4-20-24 +24 51PIM
We haven’t talked much about Sam this year. The whole “big bruising defensive defenseman” thing hampers that, but this week he scored a pretty one. After going pointless against Portland, he inched closer to setting a new career high with a goal against Tri-City.
Early in the second with the Cougars leading 3-1, Sam got the puck at the blueline and spun around a defender before firing a shot that made it through a screen (including one of the American’s own players) to make it 4-1 in a 6-1 win.
Sam went pointless in the Cougars final game last week.
Keegan Kolesar-Seattle Thunderbirds (WHL)
Season Stats 51GP 26-30-56 +26 99PIM
Keegan just keeps rolling along starting with a game against Spokane. In the first with the Chiefs leading 1-0, Keegan took a pass from Mathew Barzal and found Alexander True who fired to make it 1-1. Keegan added a goal in the third but for some reason it didn’t make the highlghts. In the win, Keegan was named first star and extended his point streak to 15-games which was the longest current streak in the league.
In the TBirds next game…Keegan had his point streak snapped. During the streak, Keegan went 14-12-26 and had eight multipoint games.
Closing out the week against Portland, Keegan hopefully got going on a new streak. Starting off in the second, Keegan took a pass and threaded the needle through the Portland defense to find Alexander True. True passed to Ryan Gropp in front to make it 3-1 Seattle. Late in the game with the Birds leading 5-3, and on a five on three power play, Keegan passed to Donavan Neuls who passed to Ethan Bear who hammered a shot to make it 6-3 TBirds. In the win, the TBirds only dressed 16 skaters in this game. The team is 10-1-2-0 when dressing less than the standard 18.
There you have it folks, a trip around the US and Canada for the latest on the Jackets prospects. As for next week, we’ll recap the end of the CHL seasons. We’ll also have a live update on the Monsters as I’ll be heading to the Q for Anton Forsberg bobblehead night.