"How is your German?" - Bruce Bennett
The Bridgeport Sound Tigers split the weekend at home, while New York Islanders prospects near and far piled up points.
The Bridgeport Sound Tigers were unable to make it a two-for-two weekend, with Kevin Poulin's rare clunker an important part of their 5-3 loss to Wilkes-Barre Sunday. Poulin conceded a natural hat trick to Paul Thompson, though it sounds like that was part of a second-period barrage that could have been worse.
The former too are certainly getting the opportunities -- powerplay, top-six roles. But that doesn't change the fact it's a good sign to see them producing when you expect them to be producing. (While we're gazing at the AHL though: Nino's Swiss compatriot Sven Baertschi is off to a 4-7-11 start in nine games for Abbotsford.)
Anyway, Niederreiter leads the Sound Tigers in scoring with 5-4-9 in eight games. Nelson is next with 4-3-7. They're followed by Nino's linemate Casey Cizikas, who has 3-3-6 in eight games as well. Those are three future Islanders whose full-time arrival seems almost as near as the end of a senseless lockout.
Did we say producing? This weekend, thy name is Ryan Strome (and Mitchell Theoret). Those two form a line with Brett Ritchie (Dallas) that, in the parlance of our times, "went off" this weekend. First was a 9-4 demolition of Guelph (Andrei Pedan was still serving a suspension), followed by a 6-4 win over Peterborough in which they figured in five of the goals.
Weekend tally: 2-8-10 for Strome (an even one goal and four assists in each game), 2-5-7 for Theoret, and oh, just nine goals and two assists for their linemate, Ritchie. Here's a writeup on the line.
Strome now leads the OHL in scoring with 12-21-33 in 19 games. Safe to say he's doing what he should be doing.
Also on the Niagara powerhouse, Jesse Graham has a goal, three assists, and a minus-8 in 19 games from the blueline.
Adam Pelech has been carrying the load for Erie, putting up 2-13-15 in 18 games. He's also at minus-8, but it's as a key defenseman on a last-place team with a minus-23 goal differential.
Pedan has 5-8-13 from the blueline in 15 games for Guelph. He'd have more games played, but he's serving a four-game suspension for kicking.
Loic Leduc has two assists and is minus-12 in 18 games for Cape Breton, which is 15th out of 20 teams in the Q.
Brenden Kichton continues to light it up, second in WHL scoring among defensemen with 7-13-20 in 18 games for Spokane.
Griffin Reinhart has just a goal and four assists in 17 games for Edmonton. Reinhart was selected for the WHL squad of the Subway Super Series, which will see the WHL team play a Russian squad Nov. 14-15.
Notre Dame lost at home, 3-2, to Western Michigan, but their Islanders prospects keyed the attempted comeback. Lee scored the first on a nice backhand streaking down the right wing. Then he set up Robbie Russo for the Irish's second goal.
Highlights of that one:
Lee leads Notre Dame with 5-4-9 after eight games. Russo is among several with four points, on a pair of goals (PPG, both of them) and assists.
Ville Pokka has 2-3-5 in 14 games for Kärpät.
Jesse Joensuu has 11-10-21 in 17 games for Ässät.
Justin DiBenedetto -- who elected to play in Europe before the lockout was officially underway -- is having fun in Austria, leading Salzburg in scoring with 6-12-18 in 16 games. (in the same league, Michael Grabner has 5-5-10 in 8 games for Villacher.)
Finally, speaking of NHLers in Europe: My goodness, they're dominating the Swiss league.