Another tough week for the Sound Tigers. After playing one of the best teams in the AHL, Hershey, just as well as anyone could expect and losing 3-2, they lost the next two games while being outscored 14-3. Against Hershey recent NHL callup Justin DiBenedetto [David Ullstrom, Jon Landry] was named 2nd star of the night as his 3rd period goal tied the game and capped a 2 goal comeback by BP. Rhett Rakhshani [Jesse Joensuu, Rob Hisey] scored the other goal on the night. Joel Martin struggled while facing one of the lowest shot totals of the year, giving up 3 goals on 14 shots. Also of note is Jon Landry, who had 7 points in 10 games while on PTO, had his contract run out and was signed by Worcester following this game.
Against Portland former Islander Mark Parrish came out in force with a 4 assist performance that earned him 3rd star of the night. Until almost the midway point the game was close, but 3 straight Portland goals in 3 minutes opened the flood gates on an 8-3 loss. Mikko Koskinen allowed 8 goals on 27 shots and was pulled for Martin with 10 minutes remaining. Eric Castonguay [Jeremy Colliton], Ullstrom [Colliton, Castonguay], Rakhshani [Colliton, Brett Motherwell] scored for Bridgeport. They closed the week out with a 6-0 loss to Providence in which they were held to just 20 shots. Martin had 29 saves on 35 shots.
On the bright side of things, Rakh has picked things up again. He has 3 goals and 4 points in the last 5 games after coming off an 11 game stretch in which he had 2 assists. After his 3 game 6 goal outburst, Ullstrom has cooled down again with 2 points in the last 5 games. Martin who had a promising beginning with BP while on a tryout deal is now 1-10 with a .873% SV% which is behind Mikko's .878. Mikko's SV% has not been above .900 in a single month since October.
Natural Born Kirills
Kirill Petrov and Yugra were eliminated 4-2 from the KHL Playoffs. On the bright side Petrov had a good series, scoring 2 goals and 2 assists for 4 points in 6 games, tied for the lead on Yugra. During the regular season he finished 8th in points on Yugra while averaging just south of 13 minutes a game. He also finished the regular season +1 and +2 in the playoffs.
Kirill Kabanov started off slow this week with no points in Lewiston's first 2 games. In the final 2 games he came alive, being named second star of the night against PEI with a 2 goal performance. The next night he notched two assists for Lewiston in their win over PEI the next night. On the season he has 10 goals and 15 assists for 25 points in 33 games.
Calvin De Haan had 2 assists in 4 games with the Generals this week. Tony Dehart had 3 assists in 4 games and was named second star of the night in a loss to Mississauga. De Haan has 3 goals and 36 assists for 39 points in 50 games. Dehart has 3 goals and 23 assists for 26 points in 52 games.
After a strong start to the week (2nd star, 3 assists in 2 games) Casey Cizikas missed the final 2 games of the week with a wrist injury. With Mississauga well in control (10 point lead on 2nd place) they aren't in a rush to bring him back. Cizikas has 29 goals, 35 assists for 64 points in 52 games.
In 4 games this week for Portland, Nino Niederreiter showed why he is one of the elite young players in the game today. A Hat trick, a third star of the night and 2 first stars, 7 goals and 2 assists for 9 points was his week. Nino has 36 goals and 25 points for 61 points in 49 games, topping his 60 point total from last season. [Game Winning Nino Goal]
The Brandon WheatKings have nearly completed an incredible comeback as they are currently in position to make the playoffs. This week David Toews had a goal and an assist in 3 games. His season total is 18 goals, 23 assists for 41 points in 55 games. Toews contribution to Brandons run can't be underrated as he had 13 points in 11 games and was a +5 for the month of February.
College And Europe
North Dakota won the WCHA regular season last week, but didn't have a let down finishing off the season with two more wins. Jason Gregoire had 5 goals and 3 assists this week including a hat trick to put him over 100 career points with UND. Brock Nelson finished strong too, including his first multi-goal game for a 2 goal 1 assist week. Gregoire finished the year with 21 goals and 16 assists for 37 points in 30 games. Brock finished the year with 7 goals and 9 assists for 16 points in 35 games.
A lot of people have asked about Brock Nelson considering he was a first rounder and hasn't been "tearing things up". But when you look at the end of year stats for UND, Brock finished in the top ten in points for UND. He also played in the most games of all UND freshman (all 3 of them), including more games than fellow Minnesota native (and 1st rounder) Derek Forbort. Hopefully his promising finish to the season is a sign of big things to come.
Can you guess who the CCHA Rookie Of The Month was for February? If you guessed Anders Lee of Notre Dame, you are correct. It wasn't hard considering he was twice named Rookie of the Week twice during the shortest month of the year. For those keeping track, that's his third rookie of the month award.
Matt Donovan had 1 assist this week as Denver split games with St Cloud State. On the year he finished with 7 goals, 19 assists for 26 points in 36 games topping last seasons 20 points.
Aaron Ness went down with an injury during Minnesota's first game and missed the second game. No report on the severity yet, but his being out is critical for Minnesota who lack puck moving defenseman. Ness finished the season with 1 goal, 12 assists for 13 points in 33 games.
Ohio State was bounced from the playoffs with two losses to Lake Superior State. Shane Sims had 1 assist in 2 games. He finished his senior year with 3 goals and 16 assists for 19 points in 37 games.
Corey Trivino had a goal and assist as BU closed out the season splitting games with Northeastern. Trivino finished the year with 8 goals, 17 assists for 25 points in 34 games. That's a ten point improvement on last year.
Blake Kessel had 2 assists in a 4-3 loss to BC. Kessel finished the year with 5 goals, 21 assists for 26 points in 34 games. [Kessel postgame]
Colgate did not play as they prepare for the playoffs.
As Lulea heads into the playoffs, Anders Nilsson solidified his hold on the starters position giving up 1 goal in his final 2 games while facing 56 shots. Nilsson finished the season 4th among all SEL goalies in SV% and 1st in GAA among goalies with more then 10 games. He also finished the season tied for 2nd in shutouts with 6 (along with Fredrik Norrena) just one behind the league leader.[Highlights from Nilsson's 36 save shutout] [Highlights from 1 goal loss]
Clarkson's season and playoffs are over after being knocked out by Havard in two games. Cody Rosen finished the year leading Clarkson in both GAA 1.94 and SV% .940. Cross your fingers that the Blues sign Paul Karpowich before the start of next season. If Rosen was included among the ECAC leader board (no idea why he isn't) he would lead the ECAC in SV% and tied for first in GAA.