The Hartford Wolpack put an end to a five-game losing streak last night with a 5-2 win over the league-leading Springfield Falcons. Go figure. Here are the highlights.
Oscar Lindberg earned the First Star thanks to his two-goal night. With every passing game he appears to be more and more comfortable in North America and is really playing with confidence. Lindberg now has four goals and nine points in his last 11 games.
Jesper Fast's goal – seven seconds into the game – was the fasted in Hartford Wolfpack history. He earned the Second Star for an all-around solid game. Fast has struggled to gain some consistency and that is largely due to his ankle injury early in the season. He does have two goals in his last three games, and I think he's bound to have a very strong 2014.
Danny Kristo's goal was only his second goal in the last nine games, though I think he deserves better. Dylan McIlrath, J.T. Miller, and Kyle Beach all earned assists. Former Ranger Tim Erixon scored Springfield's second goal.
Keep reading for more prospect news and highlights, including yet another Anthony Duclair hat-trick.
Anthony Duclair scored a hat-trick on Thursday. Did I mention that it was his second one this season against Anthony Brodeur?
The three goals put him at 40, which ties him with Detroit Red Wings prospect Anthony Mantha (not everyone in Quebec is named "Anthony," I swear) for the QMJHL lead. He also earned a primary assist on a powerplay goal, giving him four points on the night and 71 on the season; good for second in the QMJHL. I've received a number of questions about Duclair concerning how he projects in the NHL and what seperates him from guys like Nigel Dawes and Evgeny Grachev; guys who put up big gaudy stats in juniors only to struggle against higher competition. The ultimate answer is that there are never any guarantees. Most first round picks are not guaranteed NHLers. A third rounder like Duclair? Forget it. You're not going to find many safe bets. That being said, I think there's a lot that separates Duclair from a guy like Nigel Dawes. There's a lot more to his game, and you see the versatility in that above video. A lot of the goals you've seen me post here are him rushing end-to-end or putting a nice wrist-shot on net. The first two goals in that video come from him hovering around the crease and taking some abuse to slot it home. He's capable of adding offense in a number of ways, and he rounds that out with a solid defensive game.
Cristoval "Boo" Nieves earned a primary assist in Michigan's 5-2 win over Michigan State last night. You can watch the highlights here. Nieves' assist comes on Michigan's first goal. After a rought first-half of the colegiate season, Nieves has slowly picked up his play. Michigan head coach recently put Nieves on a line with top Sabres prospect J.T. Compher in order to get him going, and it's working out pretty well so far. Nieves also had three shots in Michigan's 2-1 win against Michigan State on Thursday.
Steve Fogarty was one of the better forwards for Notre Dame in a poor 4-0 loss to 11th ranked Northeastern last night on NBCSN. Whereas other top ND forwards such as Jeff Costello and Bryan Rust had miserable games, Fogarty was one of only three ND forwards who was not on the ice for any Northeastern goals, he did a decent job in all three zones, and he put three shots on goal. I've seen a handful of people basically write off Fogarty, and I think it's extremely unfair and premature. He definitely has not had the production you'd want to see from him so far, but Notre Dame Head coach has used him in a checking role and he is only halfway through his sophomore season. Coach Jackson said this about Fogarty following a recent two-goal game:
“'He’s a more talented player than what his stats show,' Jackson said of Fogarty. 'When you see guys get it going, it helps their confidence and gives us more depth offensively.'”
Pavel Buchnevich returned to Severstal Cherepovets' lineup today after sitting out a few games with a shoulder injury. He earned two assists in a 3-2 win. According to Blueshirt Banter's Alex Nunn, it was a "confident" performance from Buchnevich.
Ryan Graves was +1 with two shots in Val d'Or's 6-3 win last night.
Greenville (ECHL) won 2-1 in the shootout last night. Jason Missiaen made 29 saves on 30 shots and was named First Star. Josh Nicholls was +1 with four shots and a shootout goal. Kyle Jean earned two shots. Sam Noreau earned one shot.
Thomas Spelling earned an assist in a 2-1 Sønderjyske win on Thursday.
Follow Me On Twitter: @Herman_NYRBlog
Email Me: AdamNYRBlog@gmail.com