Robertson’s Two Points Helps Edmonton Win

Matthew Robertson (Andy Devlin/Edmonton Oil Kings)

Just the three New York Ranger prospects playing in the Canadian juniors were in action on Sunday. Matthew Robertson earned the game’s third star for the second straight game after a 1-1-2 performance.

Matthew Robertson scored his ninth goal of the season and then got the primary assist on the game-winning goal as his Edmonton Oil Kings knocked off the Medicine Hat Tigers 4-2. The win extends Edmonton’s regulation unbeaten streak to eight games (6-0-1-1) while increasing their lead over the Tigers for both the WHL’s Western Conference top seed and Central Divison to nine points.

It was another strong performance from the Rangers 2019 second-round selection as the young defenseman is playing his best hockey of the season right now. Robertson got the Oil Kings going when he scored his ninth goal of the season at 3:56 of the first period.

Matthew Robertson showed off his on-ice vision as he had pinched into the left offensive corner after dropping the puck off to Riley Sawchuk. When three Tigers defenders went to Sawchuk, Robertson came out from the corner taking a pass from Sawchuk and rifled a shot past Medicine Hat’s goalie.

In the third period with the score tied at 2-2 and his team on the power play, it was Robertson’s turn to feed Sawchuk as Sawchuk fired a one-timer past the Medicine Hat goalie for a 3-2 lead. Edmonton goes on for the win.

Robertson with his 1-1-2 night was a -1 off five shots and a cross-checking minor. The current leading prospect scorer, Robertson is now 9-18-27 after 42 games just six points away from tying his career-best set last season.

Hunter Skinner was scoreless and a -1 on just one shot as his London Knights defeated the Erie Otters 6-2. The win was the third straight for the Knights who trail the OHL Western Conference leaders the Kitchener Rangers by four points but hold two games in hand on the Rangers.

Nico Gross was scoreless as his Oshawa Generals dropped their second straight game 5-3 to the Ottawa 67’s. Gross would take a costly double-minor in the second period when he was called for cross-checking and “unsportsmanlike” conduct that Ottawa would score on the resulting power play.

The Swiss defender was a +1 on one shot with the four minutes in penalties.

Barron “Helps” Cornell Win

Morgan Barron (Cornell Sun)

Just seven New York Ranger prospects saw action on Saturday night and our favorite Morgan Barron had another strong game to lead his Cornell Big Red to a win.

Morgan Barron made sure that his top-ranked Cornell Big Red got off to a good start by setting up the game’s first goal and then adding a second assist to help beat Northern Michigan 3-1.

It was Barron’s sixth multi-point game of the season as Cornell extends their unbeaten streak to six games (3-0-3) and improve to 13-1-3. Big Red finishes their non-conference part of the schedule 5-0-2.

The first assist was an easy one as Barron led a “2-on-1” odd-man rush into the offensive zone that teammate Alex Green finished off with a goal just 1:04 into the contest. The game would be tied at 1-1 after the first period.

In the second, Barron led another “2-on-1” breakaway but he took the shot which the goalie stopped and the rebound came right back to Barron who took a second shot but teammate Cam Donaldson would deflect into the net for a 2-1 lead just 48 seconds into the second period.

The goal would prove to be the game-winning goal as Cornell added another goal in the third period. For Barron, the two assists improved his season totals to a team-best 9-11-20 after a 0-2-2 on four shots with a +1 and a cross-checking minor.

Barron also was 8-4 on faceoffs which led the team and even blocked a shot.

Tyler Wall (Rich Gagon)

Tyler Wall if you go only by the numbers looked to have struggled as his 13th-ranked UMass-Lowell River Hawks defeated the Merrimack Warriors 6-4. Wall stopped 35 out of 39 shots in earning his 13th win of the season.

To be fair to Wall, he had a pretty decent night going until one of his teammates took an elbowing major at 14:20 of the third period. Merrimack was already on the power play at the time so first, they scored on the “5-on-3”, then Merrimack would pull their goalie and score twice during the resulting “6-on-4”.

So what looked like a 6-1 win became a 6-4 win and Wall’s stats took the hit. Wall saw his save percentage fall to 0.936 (seventh NCAA) and his goals-against drop to 1.97 (12th NCAA) while his 13 wins are 10th best in the NCAA.

Zac Jones (Massachusetts Athletics)

Zac Jones had a scoreless night as his 10th-ranked Massachusetts Minutemen defeated Vermont 3-1. Jones was a -1 on one shot and an interference minor as Massachusetts took both games of the weekend set.

The win keeps the Minutemen all alone in first place in the Hockey East conference with a 9-4-1 record and 16-7-1 overall record.

K’Andre Miller was scoreless on two shots with two blocked shots as his Wisconsin Badgers upset Michigan State 3-1. It was a good bounce-back win for Wisconsin after being shut out on Friday 4-0.

Miller in my book had a good weekend with two solid overall performances against a good Michigan State team.

Eric Ciccolini (Michigan Wolverines)

Eric Ciccolini was scoreless on one shot and blocked one shot as his Michigan Wolverines played to a 4-4 tie with sixth-ranked Penn State. The Wolverines picked up the extra point when they scored in the second overtime.

The ties extends Michigan’s unbeaten streak to four games as their record improves to 10-11-3 (5-7-2 Big Ten).

Simon Kjellberg and his Rensselaer Engineers dropped a 4-1 road decision to Yale in ECAC action. Kjellberg was scoreless on one shot as the Engineers fell into a third-place tie in the ECAC with three other teams.

Overall Rensselaer fell to 10-12-1 with a 7-7-1 ECAC record.

Riley Hughes (Northeastern)

Riley Hughes was ejected at 18:46 of the first-period for “grabbing the facemask” as his 12th-ranked Northeastern Huskies fell in overtime to the UConn Huskies. The details of the ejection remain fuzzy at press time but it appears that Hughes was reacting to a UConn player boarding either himself or a teammate (UConn player was also ejected).

Nico Gross and his Oshawa Generals saw their road game against the Owen Sound Attack postponed due to the weather. It is winter so it is a surprise that more games aren’t canceled due to the weather.

They are rescheduling the game for Monday weather permitting of course.

Pretty Quiet Night For Rangers Prospects

K’Andre Miller (Wisconsin Badgers)

It was a very quiet night for the New York Ranger prospects as ten saw action but only two registered any production on the night.

It is not often when I like the efforts of a prospect whose team was shutout but in K’Andre Miller’s case, Friday was one of his better overall games despite his Wisconsin Badgers getting shutout 4-0 by Michigan State. Miller was a -1 on four shots and two blocked shots as well as a “hitting after the whistle” minor.

Wisconsin really did not have much of a chance against the more experienced and deeper Michigan State team but Miller tried his best to give Wisconsin a chance in this game. Now the question is can Miller have games like this on a more consistent basis?

Hunter Skinner (London Knights)

Hunter Skinner didn’t score but his London Knights earned a 4-1 win over the Sudbury Wolves. Skinner was a +2 with no shots and three minor penalties including back-to-back roughing minors at the end of the third period.

Skinner is second among the Rangers prospects in North America with a 3-21-24 +23 in 41 games. His defense is vastly improved over the course of the season.

Simon Kjellberg earned a secondary assist as his Rensselaer Engineers continued their second-half improvement with a 3-1 road win over Brown. Kjellberg improved to 4-6-10 in 20 games this season.

The Engineers improved to 4-1 since the start of 2020 as they moved their record to 10-11-1 overall and 7-6-1 in the ECAC conference.

Nico Gross (Oshawa Generals)

Nico Gross earned a primary assist as his Oshawa Generals dropped a 4-2 home loss to the Mississauga Steelheads. Gross earned the game’s third star in the loss after setting up Oshawa’s first goal of the game.

The young Swiss defender took four shots and was a -1. On the season, Gross is 7-13-20 after 31 games.

Zac Jones was scoreless on three shots as his 10th-ranked Massachusetts Minutemen recorded a 4-0 shutout win over Vermont in Hockey East action. The win improved the Minutemen overall to 15-7-1 as they took sole possession of first place in the Hockey East conference with an 8-4-1 mark.

Morgan Barron and his top-ranked Cornell Big Red have to feel like they lost after settling for a 2-2 overtime tie against the Northern Michigan Wildcats. Barron was scoreless on five shots with a -1 and a 3-5 record on faceoffs.

Eric Ciccolini was scoreless on two shots as his Michigan Wolverines won their third straight with a 6-0 road shocker over sixth-ranked Penn State. Michigan improves to 10-11-2 on the season as they have gone 6-2 in their last eight games since going 1-7-1 in November.

Tyler Wall and his 13th-ranked UMass-Lowell River Hawks fell on home ice to fifth-ranked Boston College 3-2. Wall stopped 21 of 24 shots as the River Hawks blew a 2-0 first-period loss to fall to Boston College.

Despite the loss, Wall whose record fell to 12-4-4 remains third in the NCAA with a 0.939 save percentage but dropped to 11th in goals against with a 1.87.

Matthew Robertson was scoreless on one shot with a minor for an interference minor as his Edmonton Oil Kings lost in overtime 2-1 to the Prince Albert Raiders. The game was a battle of goalies with Prince Albert’s Max Paddock earning the first star and Edmonton’s Sebastian Cossa the second.

The overtime loss extends Edmonton’s unbeaten in regulation streak to seven games (5-0-1-1) as Edmonton has the best record in the WHL’s Eastern Conference.

Exhibition Hockey

Tyler Nanne and his Minnesota Golden Gophers took on Team USA’s Under-18 team in an exhibition match in Minnesota. The USA squad would come away with a 2-1 win thanks to a late goal in the third period.

Nanne was scoreless and a -1 as he was the third pair right defenseman for this one.

Robertson Earns Star In Oil Kings Shootout Win

Matthew Robertson (Edmonton Oil Kings)

A better Saturday night with nine of the Rangers North American prospects seeing action. While the offensive production still remained on the low side, five of the prospects saw their team earn wins.

Matthew Robertson was scoreless on four shots but was named the game’s third star on the road as his Edmonton Oil Kings earned a 3-2 shootout win over the Prince Albert Raiders. It says a lot in a game where both goalies earned the first two stars and Robertson got the third without recording a point.

It is an example of why sometimes stats don’t tell the entire story as the Oil Kings’s assistant captain played a good game defensively and was also looking for his offense.

The Oil Kings have the best record in the WHL and Robertson is a major reason why even if his stats do not always tell the entire story.

K’Andre Miller (Wisconsin Badgers)

K’Andre Miller had a secondary assist as his Wisconsin Badgers upset seventh-ranked Ohio State 5-2. For Miller, the assist improves his season totals to 6-6-12, not earth-shattering but makes the possibility of him leaving school after this season a bit of a head-scratcher at the moment.

The win gives Wisconsin a split of their weekend road season with Ohio State.

Simon Kjellberg had a secondary assist on his Rensselaer Engineers shutout Colgate 3-0. Kjellberg is 4-5-9 on the season after 19 games in his freshman season.

Tyler Nanne (Kristin Ostrowski)

Tyler Nanne was scoreless on one shot with one blocked shot as his Minnesota Golden Gophers shutout Michigan State 2-0. The win gave Minnesota a split in the two-game series.

Nanne is second on Minnesota with 39 blocked shots this season.

Eric Ciccolini was scoreless and a -1 on one shot as his Michigan Wolverines defeated 14th-ranked Notre Dame 3-1. The win gave Michigan a sweep of the weekend set as they improved their record to 9-11-2 overall and 4-7-1 in the Big Ten Conference.

Morgan Barron set up what proved to be the game-tying goal as his second-ranked Cornell Big Red had to settle for a 3-3 overtime tie with Union College. Call this one a loss for Cornell as the 12-1-2 Big Red tied a Union team that is 6-15-2 on the season.

For Barron, the assist was his ninth as Barron remains the leading scorer for Cornell at 9-9-18. Expect this tie to hurt Cornell in the polls as well as down the road in the “Pairwise” (seeding formula for NCAA tournament).

Hunter Skinner’s London Knights saw their five-game unbeaten streak (4-0-0-1) ended on the road by the Saginaw Spirit 6-5. Skinner was scoreless on two shots with a +1 with a minor for “delay of game.

The young defenseman despite having the second-best scoring record among the Ranger prospects this season at 3-21-24 has gone five games without a point and has not scored any goals since October 27th (27 games). The good news is the supposed offensive-minded defenseman has been rock solid on defense this season as his plus/minus of +20 is good for 15th in the OHL.

Riley Hughes was scoreless and a -1 as his 13th-ranked Northeastern Huskies lost in overtime to New Hampshire 5-4. Hughes was used as the fourth line right-wing as he has been all season.

Zac Jones was scoreless on two shots as his 10th-ranked Massachusetts Minutemen lost to fourth-ranked Boston College 6-3. The two teams split the weekend series with the road team winning both games.

Tyler Wall got the night off as his 11th-ranked UMass-Lowell lost to RIT 3-2. It was only the second time this season that Wall did not get the start (both times UMass-Lowell lost).

Wall Becomes UMass-Lowell Leader In Wins

Tyler Wall (UMass-Lowell)

The second half of the 2020 North American Rangers’ prospect season got fully underway with ten prospects seeing action. There really wasn’t much to cheer about from a production standpoint as nine skaters produced just one secondary assist.

The one highlight was Tyler Wall earning his 52nd career win in goal for the UMass-Lowell River Hawks passing Dwayne Rolson. Wall stopped 25 out of 29 shots to help his 11th-ranked River Hawks defeat the RIT Tigers 6-4 in non-conference action.

It wasn’t Wall’s best game but RIT is an improved team in a conference few hear much about. Wall stopped seven of eight in both the first and second periods followed by 11 of 13 shots in the third.

The senior goalie improved his season record to 12-3-4 with a 1.81 goals against (7th NCAA) and a 0.941 save percentage (Tied 3rd NCAA). Wall and his teammates will face RIT on Saturday night looking for a sweep of the two-game series.

Eric Ciccolini had the only prospect point of the night, a secondary assist on Michigan’s first goal as they upset 14th-ranked Notre Dame on the road 3-0. For Ciccolini, it was his seventh assist and eighth overall point for the young freshman forward.

Zac Jones’ efforts did not show up on the scoresheet as he was scoreless and shotless but his 10th-ranked Massachusetts Minutemen upset fourth-ranked Boston College on the road 3-1. Boston College dominated this game controlling the shots and tempo but Jones helped his team on the attack with some excellent stickhandling getting the puck up ice and out of harm’s way.

The win lifted Massachusetts into a three-way tie for first place in the Hockey East conference with Northeastern (Riley Hughes) and UMass-Lowell (Tyler Wall). The same two teams will travel to Massachusetts for a rematch on Saturday evening.

Morgan Barron was scoreless on four shots and 3-1 on faceoffs as his second-ranked Cornell Big Red defeated Simon Kjellberg’s Rensselaer Engineers 3-0. The win kept Cornell in a tie for first place in the ECAC with Clarkson while Rensselaer saw a two-game winning streak end.

Cornell travels to Union on Saturday while Rensselaer will host Colgate.

Nico Gross was a +1 with a double-minor for roughing as his Oshawa Generals earned their second straight win, 4-3 over the Sarnia Sting. Oshawa remains in third place in the OHL’s East Division, 15 points behind first-place Ottawa.

Hunter Skinner was scoreless on two shots with a +1 and a slashing minor as his London Knights defeated the Barrie Colts 5-2. The Knights won their fifth straight game to pull within a point of the OHL Midwest Division leaders Kitchener with a game in hand.

Matthew Robertson was scoreless on four shots with a tripping minor as his Edmonton Oil Kings lost via the shootout to the Saskatoon Blades 2-1. The loss changed a four-game winning streak to a four-game unbeaten streak (4-0-0-1) as the Oil Kings still hold the WHL’s best record at 28-7-5-3.

Tyler Nanne and his Minnesota Golden Gophers no mincing words played a brutal game losing to the Michigan State Spartans 4-1. The score doesn’t even come close to telling the story of this game.

Rangers fans will know this kind of effort as Minnesota fell behind 4-0 after two periods being outshot 18-7. A 19 shot third-period netted Minnesota their only goal of the night.

Nanne was scoreless on one shot with a -2 and a tripping minor.

K’Andre Miller was scoreless on three shots as his Wisconsin Badgers lost to fifth-ranked Ohio State 4-2. Wisconsin put up a good effort but Ohio State was too deep and more experienced than the Badgers.

Lundkvist’s Two Points Not Enough To Stop Russia

Nils Lundkvist (Matt Zambonin/HHOF-IIHF Images)

For the seven New York Ranger prospects in action on Saturday, the results were a mixed bag. For the New York Ranger fans, those same results suggest some very talented prospects are on their way. The World Under-20 Championships are down to the medal games on Sunday, sadly none of the five Rangers prospects are going to win gold.

Nils Lundkvist had a 1-1-2 effort but Russia scored at 3:24 of overtime to knock Sweden from the unbeaten ranks and into Sunday’s third-place game.

Sweden vs. Russia (SF) – 2020 IIHF World Junior Championship from IIHF on Vimeo.

It looked like Sweden was going to have their way with Russia scoring just 16 seconds into the contest but after losing their best forward due to a “checking to the head” major penalty, the game changed. Russia was able to take advantage of the major to build a 3-1 lead before Sweden could respond.

And it was Lundkvist who set up Sweden’s second goal while they were on the power play. Lundkvist has been the power play QB for the Swedes and on this play (starts 1:45 on the clip), he has the puck near the right faceoff circle when he feeds it back to forward Samuel Fagemo who beats the Russian goalie for the goal at 14:54 of the first.

Lundkvist would finish the period in the penalty box when he took a slashing minor at 18:25 as Russia led 3-2. The Swedes would score the only goal in the second period sending the game into the third tied at 3.

Karl Henriksson #22 (Photo by Andrea Cardin/HHOF-IIHF Images)

In the third period, Lundkvist would score his only goal of the tournament when he snapped a shot from the right mid-point that somehow found it’s way into the back of the Russian net. The goal (starts at 3:44 of the clip) was a beauty as he somehow got the shot to go in on the left side of the post.

That would give Sweden a 4-3 lead that they were unable to protect as Russia would force overtime by tying the game with 1:25 left in regulation. For the game, Lundkvist was 1-1-2 on two shots with a -2 and the slashing minor. He played 34 shifts for a total of 20:37 (36-second average shift).

Teammate Karl Henriksson had a quiet game as because it was a penalty-filled game, Henriksson only played 13 shifts for a total of 9:28 (43-second average). Henriksson was a -1 on one shot.

Sweden will play Finland in the third-place game on Sunday.

Morgan Barron (Cornell Sun)

In Las Vegas, Morgan Barron scored twice as his second-ranked Cornell Big Red rallied to earn a 2-2 double-overtime tie with 14th-ranked Providence in the finals of the Fortress Invitational (Providence would win the tournament after a 1-0 win in the shootout round).

For Barron, the two goals were typical of the junior power forward. The first goal came when Barron attacked the Providence goal, setting up in front and powered a shot past the Providence goalie.

The second goal came with Cornell trailing 2-1 in the third and having pulled their goalie for the extra attacker. Barron would blast a “one-timer” into the Providence net to tie the game and force overtime.

For the game, Barron was 2-0-2 on five shots +2 and an interference minor. He was 6-7 on faceoffs for the game.

Overall Barron remains Cornell’s leading scorer with a 9-8-17 line after 13 games.

Tyler Wall (UMass-Lowell River Hawks)

Tyler Wall in his first start back from the holiday break stopped 24 out of 25 shots to earn his 51st career win tying him with Dwayne Roloson for the UMass-Lowell Div. I school wins record.  Wall helped his 13th-ranked UMass-Lowell River Hawks earn a 3-1 road win over the Merrimack Warriors.

Wall had to keep his team in the game as they got off to a slow start kept the Warriors off the scoreboard until 15:30 of the third period. The win moved the River Hawks into a first-place tie in the Hockey East with Northeastern.

For Wall who has also been named a candidate for college hockey’s Mike Ritcher award improves to 11-3-4 with a 1.69 goals against (fifth NCAA) and a 0.945 save percentage (second NCAA).

Here is a postgame interview with the senior goalie.

Simon Kjellberg was scoreless as his Rensselaer Engineers made it two straight wins thanks to a 3-0 shutout of St. Lawrence in ECAC action. Kjellberg was credited with three shots but took “back-to-back” interference minors in the first period.

The Engineers improved to 8-10-1 (5-5-1 ECAC) on the season.

Hunter Skinner was scoreless on three shots as his London Knights scored with 54 seconds left in overtime to defeat the Flint Firebirds 4-3. The win was the fourth-straight for the Knights who improved to 23-12-1-1 on the season.

Robertson Helps Oil Kings Earn Shutout Win

Matthew Robertson (Andy Devlin/Edmonton Oil Kings)

The holiday break is over but with the World Under-20 Championship still going on just five New York Rangers prospects were in action on Friday evening. All five prospects saw their teams come away with a win making for a good start for their 2020.

Matthew Robertson earned the game’s “second star” as his Edmonton Oil Kings shutout the Moose Jaw Warriors 5-0. Robertson had a strong game with two assists on five shots and a +2 to help the Oil Kings win their second straight game.

The Rangers second-round pick in the 2019 NHL Entry Draft, Robertson would earn the primary assist on the only goal his team would need when teammate Brendan Kuny would cash in the rebound of a Robertson shot for an even-strength goal at 3:48 of the second period. It would start the Oil Kings on a four-goal second period that put the game out of reach before it even reached the third period.

Robertson would earn his second assist on the Oil Kings fourth-goal of the period when he was credited with a secondary assist on the Oil Kings’ fourth goal. For Robertson, the points improve his season totals to 8-16-24 as he takes over as the prospect’s leading scorer on the season.

Edmonton improves to a WHL best 26-7-5-2.

Simon Kjellberg (RPI)

Defenseman Simon Kjellberg broke a seven-game goalless streak as his Rensselaer Engineers pulled off an upset of sixth-ranked Clarkson 3-1. The road win was just the Engineer’s seventh win of the season (7-10-1) but it helped improve the team’s ECAC record to 4-5-1.

Kjellberg would get his team on the scoreboard first when he found a loose puck in the offensive zone, moved past one defender and surprised the Clarkson goalie with a shot that was low and inside the right post. For Kjellberg, it was his fourth goal of the season coming just 1:23 into the game and the goal would be the only score until the third period.

On the night Kjellberg had the goal on just two shots and was a +1. For the season, Kjellberg improves to 4-4-8.

Morgan Barron (Cornell Athletics)

At the Fortress Invitational in Las Vegas, Morgan Barron, and his second-ranked Cornell Big Red knocked off seventh-ranked Ohio State 5-2 to advance to the finals of the tournament. Barron would record a secondary assist on his team’s fifth goal of the game to go along with two shots, a +1 and a 3-2 line on his faceoffs.

For Barron, it was his eighth assist as he improved to 7-8-15 in 12 games which leads Cornell in scoring. Cornell improves to 11-1 on the season and they will face 14th-ranked Providence on Saturday for the Fortress Invitational tournament championship.

Hunter Skinner was scoreless as his London Knights defeated the Mississauga Steelheads 3-1. Skinner recorded two shots to go along with a +2 and a roughing minor. The win was the third straight for the Knights who are playing without their coach Dale Hunter as he continues to coach Team Canada at the World Under-20 Championship.

Riley Hughes was scoreless as his 12th-ranked Northeastern Huskies knocked off UConn 5-2 in Hockey East action. Hughes was the fourth-line right wing recorded three shots as the Huskies took over first place in the Hockey East with a 7-4-1 conference record (12-5-2 overall).

Lundqvist And Henriksson Key Swedish Win

Nils Lundqvist (NHL.com)

As the holiday break starts to end and the 2020 World Under-20 Championship is underway, our vacation is over so it is back to work. As one of the few who didn’t watch Russia’s 6-0 spanking of Canada, I was watching three New York Ranger prospect in action in Group “B” action.

Switzerland vs. Sweden – 2020 IIHF World Junior Championship from IIHF on Vimeo.

Sweden with Ranger prospects Nils Lundqvist (2018 first) and Karl Henriksson (2019 second) dominated Switzerland with Nico Gross (2018 fourth) for a 5-2 win that wasn’t really as close as the score shows. Both of the Swedish prospects played solid roles in helping Sweden earn their second win of the round-robin stage and 50th straight win in the stages.

In the second period with Sweden already up 2-0 and on the power play, (1:47 of the video clip) Nil Lundqvist let go with a blast from the point that teammate Nil Hoglander deflected in to give Sweden a 3-0 lead. This goal at 1:28 would prove to be the game-winning goal.

Still in the second Karl Henriksson made it a 4-0 lead for the Swedes when he converted a perfect setup from teammate Lucas Raymond. His goal starts at the 2:02 mark of the video clip. For Henriksson, the goal made up for a missed opportunity on a breakaway earlier in the period.

The Swedes took their foot off the gas in the third period up 5-1 and (3:50 on the clip) Nico Gross took advantage to score a goal for the Swiss. It was a nice move from Gross who took a pass and made a couple of moves before shooting from the top of the slot for his goal.

Karl Henriksson (Photo by Matt Zambonin/HHOF-IIHF Images)

For the game, Lundqvist had the assist on three shots for a +1 as he played an even 20:00 on 30 shifts averaging 40 seconds a shift. Lundqvist was excellent as the Swedes used him to quarterback the power play and start the offense from the point. I really love his shot as he kept it low and on goal. And as much as I liked his offense, I was also impressed at how fast he got back on defense, never getting caught out of position and maybe of the three first-round picks in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft, it is Lundqvist who looks more ready for the NHL than either Vitali Kravtsov or K’Andre Miller.

Karl Henriksson was a pest as in addition to his goal, he was disruptive on defense always covering his checks. It was surprising that he was only credited with one shot and only playing 11:08 in 22 shifts averaging 30 seconds a shift. For Henriksson, this was a bounce-back game after a weak game against Finland.

Henriksson is a couple of years away from even serious consideration about his coming over to North America. He needs to hit the gym to add muscle for strength and balance. Henriksson in my view would benefit from coming over and playing Canadian junior if he is serious about an NHL career.

Nico Gross (Photo by Matt Zambonin/HHOF-IIHF Images)

Nico Gross was wearing an “A” for the Swiss as he played 15:39 on 27 shifts with his goal on two shots. He was used as a third pair defender in his fourth time as a member of the Swiss Under-20 team.

Hunter Skinner had a primary assist on his London Knight’s first goal but that was pretty much the only highlight as the Knights after taking a 2-0 lead surrendered the next seven goals to the Kitchener Rangers to lose 7-2. Skinner was a -2 on three shots as he upped his season totals to a prospect best 3-20-23.

Matthew Robertson was scoreless on three shots and a +1 with a minor for holding as his Edmonton Oil Kings spanked the Red Deer Rebels 8-3. The Oil Kings trailed 3-2 a minute into the third period before they scored six unanswered goals for the win. Edmonton is unbeaten in their last 10 games (9-0-1) as they have the best record in the WHL at 24-6-5-2.

Tyler Nanne had a primary assist as his Minnesota Golden Gophers knocked off Bemidji State 5-2 in the opener of the Mariucci Classic. Nanne was 0-1-1 +4 on three shots and one blocked shot as Minnesota advances to face St Cloud State on Sunday

Robertson’s Eighth Helps Edmonton Keep Winning

Matthew Robertson (Edmonton Oil Kings)

Matthew Robertson recorded his eighth goal of the season which turned out to be the game-winner as his Edmonton Oil Kings spanked the Medicine Hat Tigers 7-1. In a battle of WHL Central Division rivals, this one was a first-round knockout thanks to the Oil Kings scoring three times in the game’s first 4:20 and then cruised the rest of the way.

The Oil Kings got on the scoreboard just 2:25 into the contest and on the faceoff after the goal, Robertson would carry the puck into the offensive zone. He would drop the puck off to Carter Slouch who passed over to Josh Williams. While this was going on, Robertson headed right to the net where Williams would hit him with a pass.

Robertson was in clean on Medicine Hat’s goalie and he fired a shot over the goalie’s stick side for the goal and 2-0 lead.

For Robertson, the goal extends his point streak to four games (2-3-5), improves his season totals to 8-12-20 as he recorded the goal on three shots with a +2 and two minors on the night. The eight goals also lead the North American prospects.

Edmonton extends their unbeaten streak to eight games (7-0-1) as they have the best record in the WHL at 22-6-5-2.

Riley Hughes (Northeastern)

Riley Hughes was scoreless on two shots as his 12th-ranked Northeastern Huskies defeated Dartmouth 6-4 in non-conference action. Hughes and the Huskies head to the holiday break with an 11-5-2 (6-4-2 Hockey East) record.

Hughes finished his first half with just one goal in 18 games but remember he is just a freshman playing on a very good team so he will get his opportunities down the road. Northeastern is off until Friday, January 3rd when they host UConn in Hockey East play.

Robertson’s Oil Kings Extend Unbeaten Streak To Seven Games

Matthew Robertson (Andy Devlin/Edmonton Oil Kings)

Just two New York Rangers prospects were in action on Friday night, the last weekend before the holiday break. Nico Gross was away trying to earn a spot on Switzerland’s Under-20 team for the 2020 World Under-20 Championships.

Normally this is where you see the results of the Rangers prospects in action but going to interrupt this post with a request. Anyone looking to be a hero and help save someone’s life? Former NHL player and coach Steve Ludzik is in need of a life-saving liver transplant.

Ludzik is one of the really good guys in hockey as he has been helping those suffering from Parkinson’s Disease with his Steve Ludzik Foundation. But now it is his turn to need help as Ludzik has suffered from primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC) for the past 30 years and has now reached stage 4 cirrhosis of the liver, requiring him to seek out a life-saving liver transplant.

They are looking for someone who has an “O” blood type and is in good health. Those interested in more information can contact Heather Lannon at 416-340-4800 ext. 7715 or visit uhntransplant.ca to learn more about becoming a donor.

In Edmonton, Matthew Robertson went 1-1-2 as his Edmonton Oil Kings spanked the Swift Current Broncos 5-1 to extend their unbeaten streak to seven games (6-0-1). After a scoreless first period, Robertson helped the Oil Kings on the scoreboard with a secondary assist on the game’s first goal.

The even-strength goal at 3:40 of the period was Robertson’s 12 assist of the season and 18th point. In the third with the score 3-1 and Edmonton on the power play, Robertson recorded his seventh goal of the season when he let loose a blast from the blueline. The goal at 14:07 of the third put away the game for Edmonton.

Robertson’s goal starts at 1:33 of the video clip

Robertson is 7-12-19 on the season as his Oil Kings at 21-6-5-2 have the best record in the WHL.

Hunter Skinner (London Knights)

Going to give Hunter Skinner and his London Knights a pass for their 5-3 loss to the Sarnia Sting. The Knight playing 24 hours after their game with Niagara was postponed in the second period after Niagara’s goalie was injured in a freak but a scary-looking injury to his leg .

The Knights fell behind in this one 4-0 13 seconds into the second period before mounting a comeback that saw them cut the lead to 4-3 before Sarnia scored an empty-net goal for the final score. Skinner was scoreless on two shots and a -1.

Skinner who did not get an invite to USA Hockey’s Under-20 selection camp leads the Rangers prospects in scoring at 3-19-22 in 29 games with a +15.