February 11 2016

by Paul Zwambag on February 11, 2016
Image courtesy of SeattleThunderbirds.com

Mathew Barzal continues to score goals, Dryden Hunt is the WHL scoring leader and Jakub Vrana has a four game point streak…

We're going around the CHL to begin the ramblings, since the WHL plays games all throughout the week, let’s start with their Monday night games.

Kelowna Rockets Rourke Chartier (SJS) recorded a hat-trick against the Seattle Thunderbirds Monday night, it was Rourke's second hat trick of the season, and was his first goals scored since January 29th.

Luke Gingras (2016 draft eligible) of the Saskatoon Blades scored a hat-trick against the Medicine Hat Tigers in their 7-1 victory on Tuesday night.

Reid Gardiner (undrafted) was passed over in both the 2014 and 2015 draft, he is looking to prove he is worth some sort of late round draft pick this coming 2016 draft. Gardiner scored twice to lead the Prince Albert Raiders to victory against the Brandon Wheat Kings. Gardiner is currently fifth in WHL scoring with 34 goals, 40 assist for 74 points.

Mathew Barzal (NYI) has four goals, two assists in the two games on Monday and Tuesday. On Tuesday night, Barzal put up a hat-trick to help defeat the Kelowna Rockets 6-0. Logan Flodell (undrafted) recorded the shutout, his second of the year, for the Seattle Thunderbirds.

Moose Jaw Warriors overage left winger Dryden Hunt (undrafted) scored another hat-trick Wednesday night to defeat the Prince Albert Raiders 4-2. Hunt has scored hat-tricks in two straight games, and this is his third of the season. Hunt has taken over the scoring lead with 38 goals, 44 assists for 82 points in 55 games played (1.49 pts/GP). Hunt is another player who has been overlooked in previous drafts, maybe he will get noticed enough to get a contract with an NHL team. He is one point away from his career high in the WHL and he has also scored back-to-back 80+ point seasons.

Brayden Burke (2016 draft eligible) had a four point night (one goal, three assists) for the Lethbridge Hurricanes, who were victorious over the Saskatoon Blades 7-4 on Wednesday night. Burke leads the league in assists with 60 and is third in scoring with 80 points.

Tri-City Americans Evan Sarthou (2016 draft eligible) recorded his first shutout of the season against Kootenay. Sarthou has won five of his last six starts, the one game he didn’t win he was pulled after the first period, giving up three goals on seven shots. Since the beginning of January Sarthou has 10 wins and 4 losses.

Another overage left winger, Adam Helewka (SJS) scored a hat-trick in a 4-1 victory over Medicine Hat. Helewka is currently on an eight game point streak (9-2-11). Jake DeBrusk (BOS) also setup three goals for the Red Deer Rebels. Since being traded to the Rebels on December 27th, DeBrusk has eight goals and 15 assists for 23 points in 19 games played.

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Off to the OHL for some Wednesday night junior hockey action, Kevin Labanc (SJS) continues to put the puck in the net, recording a hat-trick Wednesday night against the Owen Sound Attack. Since the beginning of the calendar year, Labanc has 15 goals, 24 assist for 39 points in 16 games played. In that span, Labanc has three hat-tricks and has only been held off the score-sheet in two games. Mackenzie Blackwood (NJ) had a 42 save shutout for the Barrie Colts, his third of the season, Blackwood has won four straight games.

Travis Konecny (PHI) has a seven game point streak (5-8-12) and since being traded to Sarnia Sting he has 12 goals, 16 assists for 28 points in 16 games played. Konecny’s big change is the amount of shots he is firing at the net since joining the Sting. In those 16 games he has 72 shots on goal (4.5 S/GP)

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Next up is the Wednesday night hockey in the QMJHL, who haven't had a game since Saturday. Victoriaville's Pascal Laberge (2016 draft eligible) had a good showing in the CHL/NHL Top Prospects game last week and he continues to stay hot. Laberge sets up three goals on Wednesday night to defeat the Quebec Remparts 7-4. He is currently on a six game point streak (3-11-14)

Mathieu Bellemare (2016 draft eligible) records his third shutout of the season Wednesday, only 19 shots against to defeat the Halifax Mooseheads 6-0. Bellemare now has 24 wins in 38 games played for the Gatineau Olympiques.

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The AHL is far busier during the week than the CHL, six games on Tuesday and seven games Wednesday night.

Let's start with Tuesday night, Zachary Fucale (MTL) records a 39-save shutout for the St. John's IceCaps defeating the Syracuse Crunch 4-0, his first shutout in 29 games played this season.

Frank Vatrano (BOS) was sent back to Providence January 22nd, since his demotion Vatrano has nine goals, six assists for 15 points in seven games played. He scored two goals against the Albany Devils with a career high 10 shots on goal, as well as the game winner in a tight 3-2 victory.

Oliver Bjorkstrand (CBJ) scored his eighth and ninth goals of the season to force the game into overtime, where the Lake Erie Monsters defeated the Chicago Wolves 3-2. Bjorkstrand had been pointless in five straight games, but has since recorded an assist and these two goals in his last two games. Danny Kristo (STL) of the Chicago Wolves recorded two goals as well, to give him four points in his past three games.

Matt Murray (PIT) has finally turned up a winning streak since mid-January. He has won two straight games, a 42 save effort February 5th and Tuesday night's 34 save effort to beat the Utica Comets 4-3 in overtime. Murray had a six game win streak back at the end of December and beginning of January, but then lost four straight. Murray is showing signs he is back to his stellar goaltending, it also helps the baby Pens are putting up more goals to help their goaltender out.

Bakersfield Condors Andrew Miller (EDM) recorded two assists Tuesday night against the Stockton Heat. Miller has one goal, four assists in two games this week.

Jason Dickinson (DAL) tallied a goal and two assists against the Manitoba Moose, to help lead the Texas Stars to a 3-2 victory on Tuesday. The Stars played a back-to-back with the Moose again on Wednesday and won the second game 7-6 in a shootout, Dickinson put up another goal and two assists, to continue his point streak to four games (3-4-7).

This leads us into the rest of Wednesday night's games, Hershey Bears left winger Jakub Vrana (WSH) continues to light up the score-sheet, recording two goals and an assist in a 7-6 loss to the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. Vrana was able to continue his point streak, which is now at four games (5-5-10). Riley Barber (WSH) also had a three point night, one goal and an assist, and also extended his own point streak to five games (7-6-13). Moving to the other side of the ice, Bridgeport's Bracken Kearns (NYI) recorded two goals, to give him five goals in his past three games.

Lehigh Valley put up a beating against the Binghamton Senators, defeating them 7-2 at home. Taylor Leier (PHI) recorded a hat-trick and Phil DeSimone (PHI) had three assists of his own.

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Quick NHL notes, Justin Bailey (BUF) has been recalled and will look to make his NHL debut tonight with the Buffalo Sabres.

Jacob de la Rose (MTL) has been recalled to the Montreal Canadiens, de la Rose has already had two stints in the NHL, 33 games in 2014-15 and three games this season. He didn’t get on the score-sheet this season, but last season he had six points, four goals and two assists.

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And a quick update on the three top draft prospects, Auston Matthews is on an 11 game point streak, scoring 10 goals, seven assists for 17 points (1.55 pts/GP). Patrik Laine has been held off the score-sheet in his past three games. Laine’s countrymen Jesse Puljujarvi has also slowed down, he has two assists in the month of February, five games in total.