One prospect who doesn't get much fanfare is center Steven Fogarty, a 3rd round pick in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft. A lot of that is fair; as a sophomore with the University of Notre Dame he had only scored six goals in 55 games prior to last night. A lot of it is a matter of circumstance as well, though. The NCAA is lower scoring and and generally not too forgiving to underclassmen. Fogarty in particular has been assigned a checking role for the 15th ranked team in the nation, and so appearing on the scoresheet becomes that much harder. It's hard to quantify a checking center's proficiency and it's certainly not going to show up on most prospect stat sites, so it's a perfect recipe for a guy like Fogarty to fly under the radar.
Last night Notre Dame faced Lake Superior State University (Fun Fact: Kyle Jean's alma mater) last night and were down 1-0 after one period. Fogarty scored two consecutive goals in the second period, though, and Notre Dame would not lose the lead, going on to win 4-2. Here are the highlights of the game, with Fogarty's two goals coming at around the 35 second mark.
Aside from the offensive struggles, Fogarty missed some time due to injury. It's a nice game from him that will hopefully lead to a bit more consistency. Fogarty was a project from the beginning and Gordie Clark admitted as much when he drafted him. He's still got plenty of time to develop into a nice, two-way center.
Anthony Duclair was officially named an alternate captain for the Quebec Remparts, which is unsurprising though a nice honor. The big picture here, though, is that this season is a complete turnaround from last season, when Duclair was suspended by the team's then-captains. Though it was not a major red flag by any means, it was a part of the poor season that resulted in Duclair dropping to the Rangers late in the third round. A new coaching regime and new roster now view Duclair as a leader and role model, and that's very encouraging. Aside from the scouts who allowed him to fall, Duclair is giving the proverbial middle finger to his former captains, who placed an unfair blame on him and fellow teammate Adam Erne. Oh, and he scored an empty netter last night to increase his goal total to 37 and move to within one goal of the league-leading mark of 38.
Mackenzie Skapski played back-to-back on Friday and yesterday and came away with wins in both games. Friday's game was a nice change of pace for him, as Kootenay for once played a phenomenal game in front of him. He wasn't burdened with the familiar task of carrying the team on his shoulders. Still, he came up with some quality saves in the first period when the Ice were being outshot. He did let in one goal he'd probably like back and had more trouble than necessary with a one or two other shots, but overall he played a solid game, stopping 22 of 23 shots. I did not watch last night's game, but he was a bit busier, making 34 saves on 36 shots in a 5-2 win. Sam Reinhart's return from the WJC and some trading deadline additions have given the Ice a much needed boost, and his team might actually be in a position to make some noise in the playoffs; with Skapski playing a big part in that.
Adam Tambellini scored a goal in the Calgary Hitmen's 6-2 loss last night. It wasn't much to get excited about in terms of aesthetic appeal, but it was the type of goal that Tambellini has been praised for in the past. He used his size to get in a favorite position in the slot and put the garbage home. Tambellini now has six points in five games since joining the Hitmen. As a side note, one teammate of his, Jake Virtanen, is a projected first-round pick in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft and is someone I think worth monitoring from afar. A lot will depend on where the Rangers end up drafting and how Virtanen's stock moves about the rest of the way, but he fits the mold of players that Gordie Clark tends to love. If he's not the outright best skater in the draft, then he's pretty close. And the Rangers' scouting staff loves guys who can skate. He's got some skill and good hands but he plays really well into the gritty, North-South style much like JT Miller and Kreider do. Just something to think about.
Ryan Graves: Had three shots and four hits for Val d'Or in a 7-3 win.
Hartford Wolfpack: Off last night, but beat the Adirondack Phantoms 4-2 on Friday. Goals from Fast, Bourque, Yogan, and Powe. Two assists for Miller and one for Lindberg. I also recommend reading this article on Conor Allen, which covers his NHL stint and some other personal topics.
Greenville Road Warriors (ECHL): Won 3-0 last night. Jason Missiaen earned the First Star with a 40-save shutout. Josh Nicholls had one shot and was +1. Sam Noreau was +1 and earned four PIM.
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