K’Andre Miller (Minnesota Golden Gophers)
A very busy Saturday night saw 10 New York Rangers prospects hitting the ice with some very good performances. As we are getting closer to the Christmas holiday break for the prospects, some are making their case to be invited to their respective national team’s tryout camps.
If there were any doubts as to whether 2018 first-round pick defenseman K’Andre Miller was leaving the Wisconsin Badgers after this season then take a look at this play and you will know the answer.
Miller’s goal (his new career-best sixth) capped a comeback as his Wisconsin Badgers earned a 3-2 win over Eric Ciccolini’s Michigan Wolverines. For Miller, the goal extended his point streak to five games (3-3-6) as he played one of his best games this season. From a team-high six shots to a +1 and one blocked shot, Miller has shaken off a slow start and is looking to put the Badgers on his back.
What to like the most? For starters, those six shots were part of eight attempted and of those five were rated as “close-in” or to put it better “on the attack”. This is the K’Andre Miller who the Rangers drafted last year and the scary part is he is just getting started. Overall Miller is just 6-4-10 but don’t let that fool you as this is a young Wisconsin team and Miller himself is still just 19.
The win for Wisconsin evens their record at 7-7-1 (2-4-1 Big Ten) and if your TV programming includes the BTN Network then on Sunday afternoon you can see for yourself what Miller is all about as Wisconsin and Michigan will go at it again.
As for Eric Ciccolini, he dressed as the fourth-line right wing wasn’t much of a factor. He didn’t record a shot on goal and only attempted one for the game.
Tyler Wall stopped 34 out of 36 shots to help his UMass-Lowell River Hawks upset seventh-ranked Penn State 3-2 in overtime of the “Turkey Leg” Classic final. Wall was the reason the River Hawks were even in this one as Penn State dominated the game out-shooting UMass-Lowell 36-18.
If you watched the video clip then it is hard to fault Wall on either goal that he gave up, the first was the Penn State player all alone in front of him and the second goal was a power-play goal with the extra attacker and Wall was screened on the play.
If anything Wall was special in the third period when Penn State held a 13-3 shot advantage. With the win, Wall improves to 9-2-4 (3-1 against top 10 teams) with a 1.62 goals against (7th NCAA) and a 0.947 save percentage (4th NCAA).
Morgan Barron had a secondary assist as his second-ranked Cornell “Big Red” shut out Boston University to win the “Red Hot” Hockey Game at Madison Square Garden. Barron actually had a rather quiet game as compared to his typical game with just the assist on one shot and a +1 with an interference minor.
On his assist, Barron carried the puck from the sideboards in the offensive zone where he hit teammate Yanni Kaldis with a nice pass to start the scoring play. Barron was used more on faceoffs (8-3) than any other game this season.
For the season Barron is a team-best 6-7-13 +8 as Cornell improved to 9-0 on the season.
Riley Hughes (Northeastern)
Riley Hughes had a secondary assist as his 13th-ranked Northeastern Huskies “got to ring the Belpot” after winning the Friendship Four tournament 4-3 over the Colgate Raiders. The game which was played in Belfast Northern Ireland saw Hughes break a 13 game scoreless streak with his first NCAA assist.
The assist which came on Northeastern’s first goal gives Hughes a 1-1-2 mark after 16 games. Hughes is just a freshman and is used as a fourth-line right wing.
Hunter Skinner was scoreless on four shots as his London Knights won their sixth straight 4-1 over the Flint Firebirds. The Knights lead the OHL’s Western Conference with a 16-5-1-1 record.
Matthew Robertson was scoreless with a -4 as his Edmonton Oil Kings held off the Calgary Hitmen 5-4. The -4 brings Robertson’s season totals to a -13.
Zac Jones (Massachusetts Athletics)
Zac Jones was a -1 on four shots as his 10th-ranked Massachusetts Minutemen dropped a 2-1 decision to the Quinnipiac Bobcats. The teams split the weekend series with each team earning the road win.
Nico Gross was scoreless as his Oshawa Generals fell to the Ottawa 67’s 4-3. Gross had a quiet game which has not been the case for this season.
Simon Kjellberg was scoreless on three shots with a -1 on as his Rensselaer Engineers fell to the Merrimack Warriors 5-1. The Engineers are happy to see November end as they finished the month 2-5-1.