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Nico Gross

Barron’s Two Points Leads #4 Cornell To Win

Men’s hockey v. Colgate on January 25th, 2019. (Boris Tsang / Sun Assistant Photography Editor)

A busy Friday evening for the New York Ranger prospects as we are now a month into the NCAA season some trends are starting to show.  If you were looking for a lot of offensive production from the North American prospects then you are going to be disappointed in this season’s crop.

The one prospect who will most likely put up the best offensive numbers this season is going to be junior Morgan Barron of fourth-ranked Cornell.  Against Brown in the home opener, Barron had a 1-1-2 evening as “Big Red” earned a 4-1 win.

Barron recorded a secondary assist on Cornell’s first goal then scored their fourth goal of the game on the power play. On the first goal, it was Barron who sent a long pass up ice into the neutral zone to start the scoring play.

In the third period, Barron came down the left side of the offensive zone taking a pass and beating Brown’s goalie over the shoulder for his second goal of the season.  It was another strong game for the young power forward as he recorded his 1-1-2 off six shots on goal and was 5-2 on faceoffs.

After just three games, Barron is leading Cornell in scoring with a 2-4-6 mark. Cornell takes on Yale Saturday in a game that will be streamed live over ESPN+ starting at 7 PM eastern.

Hunter Skinner (London Knights)

It is not every day that a player who doesn’t score earns early mention but the London Knights’ Hunter Skinner’s only mentions in the box score was that he was a +1 on seven shots. Still, every time you turned around there was the young defenseman making plays. In London’s 4-3 win over the North Bay Battalion, Skinner was out there on the power play, on the penalty kill and of course as the top pair defender.

Hunter Skinner is improving with each passing game and right now is the leading scorer among North American prospects at 3-12-15. Saturday, Skinner and his Knights head to Owen Sound to play the Attack.

Nico Gross (Oshawa Generals)

Defenseman Nico Gross had a secondary assist on his Oshawa Generals’ first goal of the game as they edged the Ottawa 67’s 3-2. Gross like Skinner has been a pleasant surprise as he is trying to earn an entry-level contract from the Rangers with some improved play. Gross is second among the Ranger prospects with a 6-8-14 as he is the leading goal scorer.

Gross and his Generals are off Saturday as they return home for a Sunday contest

Matthew Robertson (Edmonton Oil Kings)

Matthew Robertson had a two-assist night but his Edmonton Oil Kings let a 3-0 lead slip away and fell to the Lethbridge Hurricanes 4-3 via the shootout. Robertson earned a secondary assist on the Oil Kings’ second goal then was credited with the primary assist on their third goal. Robertson also missed on his shootout attempt.

A very disappointing loss as the shootout point that Lethbridge earned allowed them to jump past Edmonton for first place in the WHL’s Central Division. For Robertson, the points improved his season totals to 4-5-9 in 14 games.

Edmonton hosts division rival Calgary on Saturday evening.

Tyler Wall (Rich Gagnon)

Tyler Wall had 30 saves on 31 shots as his 14th-ranked UMass-Lowell River Hawks skated to a 1-1 overtime tie with the Maine Black Bears. Wall gave up just one even-strength goal in the third period as his three-game winning streak became a six-game unbeaten streak (3-0-3).

Wall improves to 6-1-3 with a 1.55 goals against (5th NCAA) and a 0.949 save percentage (3rd NCAA) to help UMass-Lowell lead the Hockey East conference with a 3-0-2 record (6-2-3 overall). The same two teams play on Saturday evening starting at 6 PM eastern. You can stream this game if you have CBS All-Access.

K’Andre Miller (Wisconsin Badgers)

Defenseman K’Andre Miller was scoreless as his 12th-ranked Wisconsin Badgers knocked off the University of Nebraska-Omaha 5-2 in non-conference action. Miller was not credited with any shots on goal (he attempted four) but was a +2 and blocked two shots.

The two teams will play again on Saturday evening.

Defenseman Tyler Nanne and his Minnesota Golden Gophers played to a 1-1 overtime tie with Eric Ciccolini’s Michigan Wolverines in Big Ten action. Neither player scored as Nanne was a -1 on four shots with two blocked shots while Ciccolini was credited with two blocked shots.

Minnesota would earn the extra point by scoring in the second overtime period. The same two teams will play on Saturday in an early evening contest starting at 5 PM eastern. The game will be televised on the Big Ten Network.

Simon Kjellberg was scoreless as his Rensselaer defeated St. Lawrence 6-2 in ECAC action. Kjellberg was a +2 on three shots with three blocked shots and a slashing minor.

Rensselaer will host Clarkson on Saturday evening starting at 7 PM eastern. That game will be streamed via the ESPN+ app.

Riley Hughes was scoreless as his 13th-ranked Northeastern skated to a 1-1 overtime tie with Merrimack. Hughes did not record any stats in this game.

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Wall Stops 40 In UMass-Lowell Win

Tyler Wall (Rich Gagnon/UMass-Lowell)

Ten New York Ranger prospects took to the ice on Friday evening with once again goalie Tyler Wall of UMass-Lowell leading the way. The senior goalie who was the Rangers’ sixth-round pick in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft, Wall is looking to force the Rangers to offer him an NHL contract.

Wall and his UMass-Lowell River Hawks were in Vermont to take on the Vermont Catamounts in Hockey East conference play. Coming off tying his career-high of 40 saves, Tyler Wall equaled that by recording his second straight 40 save effort to help his River Hawks earn a 2-1 win.

Giving up just a third-period goal, Wall kept his team in it despite the River Hawks being out-shot 41-24 for the game. Tyler Wall earned the game’s first star in large part with a 16 save third period when Vermont out-shot UMass-Lowell 17-5.

Overall Wall improved his season totals to 5-1-2 with a 1.49 goals against and a 0.952 save percentage. Nationally Wall is second in both goals against and save percentage while fourth in wins. The same two teams will play on Saturday night.

Morgan Barron (Eldon Lindsey/Cornell Athletics)

Junior forward Morgan Barron led his fifth-ranked Cornell Big Red as they got their regular season underway with a road series against Michigan State. Barron who is serving as Cornell’s captain is looking to improve off last season’s 15-19-34 which led the team. Against Michigan State, Barron had two primary assists as Cornell rallied for a 3-2 win.

With Cornell trailing 2-1 in the second period, Barron fired a shot that was blocked but found it’s way to teammate Yannis Kaldis who fired a shot that tied the game at 2-1. It was the only even-strength goal of the game and it came at 9:15 of the period.

Still in the second but on a power play, Barron found teammate Max Andreev at the top of the right circle for what proved to be the game-winning goal. Barron finished 0-2-2 on three shots with a +1 and a minor penalty in the first period for hooking.

The same teams will face each other on Saturday evening.

Zac Jones (Thom Kendall/UMass Athletics)

Defenseman Zac Jones led his third-ranked Massachusetts Minutemen up against fellow prospect Riley Hughes 19th-ranked Northeastern Huskies in Hockey East action. Jones and the Minutemen rallied from down 2-0 to earn a 6-3 win with Jones earning a primary assist.

The freshman defenseman Jones is quickly making the Rangers look like geniuses for finding him in the 2019 third-round. Every time I watched him play, Jones has found a way to make outstanding plays. Against Northeastern, Jones would find John Leonard on the right side of the crease for a goal while his team was on a two-man advantage.

Jones’ assist starts at the 36-second mark and is well worth the look.

Overall Jones is 2-6-8 in six games good for second in team scoring after a 0-1-1 +1 on two shots. As for Northeastern’s Hughes, he was scoreless with no shots on goal and was 0-1 on faceoffs. The two teams will face each other again on Saturday evening only this time at Massachusetts.

Hunter Skinner (Terry Wilson/ OHL Images)

Hunter Skinner had a two-assist effort as his London Knights had to rally for a 7-6 overtime win over the Erie Otters. The Knights let a 3-0 first period lead slip away and needed a late third-period power-play goal to force overtime. Skinner had the primary assist on that tying goal.

Skinner also earned a secondary assist on London’s fourth goal of the game, an even-strength goal. On the season, Skinner is 3-11-14 in 13 games which leads all North American Ranger prospects in scoring.

Nico Gross had a goal as his Oshawa Generals had little trouble knocking off the Kingston Frontenacs 5-1. Gross got his team going with his sixth goal of the season, a power-play goal at 5:45 of the first period.

Four of Gross’s six goals have come on the power play as he improves to 6-7-13 in 15 games. The twitter copy of his goal is hard to view but it is a typical Gross goal. He “one-times” a shot from just above the right face-off circle.

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Eric Cicolini had a primary assist on his Michigan Wolverines’ first goal but it wasn’t enough to help them defeat the 13th-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes 3-2. The Wolverines are an offensively challenged team as Ciccolini is their second-leading scorer with a 0-4-4 stat line.

Matthew Robertson was scoreless as his Edmonton Oil Kings rallied for a 4-3 win over the Saskatoon Blades. With the win, the Oil Kings have the best record in the WHL at 11-1-3 as they are unbeaten in regulation in 11 games (9-0-2).

K’Andre Miller was scoreless as his Wisconsin Badgers dropped a 4-2 decision on the road to 12th-ranked Penn State. I am really wondering if Wisconsin is trying to push Miller out the door after this season the way they are using in. Miller’s strength is his skating and he is at his best when he is attacking.

Against a very good skating Penn State team, Miller rarely got a chance to attack. Even stranger was the idea to use Miller as a forward on the power play. Yes, Miller has a big body but he isn’t a power forward and should be controlling the attack from the point.

Miller had just two shots on goal and just three attempted for the game. I know Wisconsin is trying to rebuild but Miller is a first-round pick for his offensive skills so why not use them?

The Wisconsin/Penn State game was part of a hockey doubleheader on the Big Ten Network and the second game was crazy.

Tyler Nanne and his Minnesota Golden Gophers were hosting fourth-ranked Notre Dame and on paper, this should have been a Notre Dame blowout win. Nanne is one of the few seniors on a team starting 11 true freshmen so of course, you know what is coming.

The scoresheet said the game ended in a 2-2 tie but in the Big Ten conference, you play a “5-on-5” overtime sudden-death overtime period. If nobody scores then you play a “3-on-3” period to earn the extra point.

Nanne was scoreless on one shot as Minnesota scored at 3:22 of the second overtime to earn the extra point. The same two teams play on Saturday night.

Wall’s 40 Saves Keys UMass-Lowell’s OT Win

K’Andre Miller (Wisconsin Badgers)

With ten New York Rangers prospect in action on Saturday night, there was almost no offense and it was the lone prospect goalie who really stood out. Out of nine skaters, there was just one goal and one assist in terms of offensive production.

Tyler Wall tied a career-high with 40 saves as his UMass-Lowell River Hawks earned a road win over seventh-ranked Providence College in overtime 3-2. Wall only surrendered two power-play goals with one of them coming with the River Hawks down two players.

Tyler Wall (Rich Gagnon/UMass-Lowell)

The senior goalie stopped 10 out of 11 shots in the first period as his teammates could only manage three shots on the Providence goalie. In the second it was 12 out of 13 saves while his team could only muster six on Providence.

Wall would stop all 13 shots in the third period and then added five more saves in overtime to help his team earn the upset win. Tyler Wall improved to 4-1-2 (4th NCAA) on the season lowering his goals against to 1.52 a game (8th NCAA) and improved his save percentage to 0.947 (4th NCAA).

The last time Wall had a 40 save game was in his freshman season when he did it against Minnesota-Duluth. Considering that Wall has knocked off a number one and a number seven so far this season says a lot about his improved play. The River Hawks head to Vermont for a weekend series starting next Friday.

K’Andre Miller had a goal as his sixth-ranked Wisconsin Badgers defeated the 14th-ranked Clarkson Knights 4-3 to earn a split in their weekend series. For Miller, the goal was his third on the season as he scored on a breakaway in the first period. The even-strength goal was Wisconsin’s third of the game as it came at 7:08 of the second as it gave the Badgers a 3-0 lead.

It was a pretty goal as Miller fooled the Clarkson goalie with a deke and then tapped a backhand into an open net.

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Miller is 3-0-3 on the season as his team improved to 4-2 on the season. Wisconsin heads to Penn State with a two-game set next Friday, you can watch Miller live on the BTN network starting at 6 PM ET (3 PM PT).

Nico Gross (Oshawa Generals)

Nico Gross recorded a secondary assist as his Oshawa Generals dropped a shootout decision to the Hamilton Bulldogs 3-2. Gross collected his 12th point of the season (5-7-12) on Oshawa’s first goal at 19:07 of the first period. Gross also took two minors in the game (boarding and cross-checking) that his teammates killed off.

Matthew Robertson was scoreless on two shots as his Edmonton Oil Kings spanked the Seattle Thunderbirds 6-2. Robertson also took an interference minor in the third period.

Hunter Skinner was scoreless with just one shot as his London Knights lost via the shootout 6-5 to the Erie Otters. The road loss dropped the Knights to a 5-4-1-1 record on the season.

Eric Cicolini did not score as his Michigan Wolverines lost to in-state rivals Western Michigan 4-1. The road lost gave the teams a split of the weekend set as Cicolini was moved up to third-line left-wing but only managed one shot and was a -1.

Simon Kjellberg did not score as his Rensselaer Engineers lost to Union College 2-1 in ECAC hockey action. Kjellberg only had one shot as the Engineers fell to 2-1 on the season. The Engineers are off until November 8th when they will host St. Lawerence in an ECAC conference matchup.

Tyler Nanne was scoreless as his Minnesota Golden Gophers were shutout 2-0 by eighth-ranked Minnesota-Duluth. Nanne managed one shot as the Gophers dropped their second straight to fall to 3-3 on the season. Nanne and the Gophers head home to host Notre Dame next Friday for their Big Ten opener.

That game will be televised on BTN starting at 8:30 ET (5:30 PT) or after the end of the Wisconsin/Penn State game.

Riley Hughes was scoreless as his 11th-ranked Northeastern fell on the road to 14th-ranked St. Cloud State 2-1. The two teams both nicknamed the “Huskies” would split their weekend set. The Huskies head home for a game against fellow prospect Zac Jones and his fifth-ranked Massachusetts in Hockey East action next Friday.

Exhibition

Junior Morgan Barron and his third-ranked Cornell “Big Red” defeated the US Under-18 team in an exhibition match 3-0. Barron who is the captain of the “Big Red” had a secondary assist on the game’s first goal. Cornell will start its regular season next Friday on the road at Michigan State.

Third Star Gross Helps Generals Earn Win

Nico Gross (Oshawa Generals)

A busy Friday night saw 10 New York Ranger prospects in action but there was little in terms of production. Just three assists on the night from the nine skaters who played isn’t a good thing but the season is still young.

Defenseman Nico Gross had two secondary assists as his Oshawa Generals rallied for a 4-3 win over the Mississauga Steelheads. Gross earned the game’s third star for his defensive play as well as the two assists.

For Gross, the assists came on the Generals second and third goals of the game as the Generals snapped a two-game losing streak. After 12 games the Swiss defenseman is 5-6-11 which is best among all North American prospects. Considering that Gross set his career-best of 3-17-20 last season in 56 games, it is safe to think that topping 20 points won’t be all that hard.

I am hoping that Nico keeps this up and forces the Rangers to sign him because he is an even better defensive defenseman than he is on the offensive side.

Hunter Skinner (London Knights)

Offensively Hunter Skinner is right behind Gross after recording an assist to help his London Knights earn a 5-1 win over the Saginaw Spirit. Skinner had the primary assist on London’s first goal as his shot from the point hit the Saginaw goalie and teammate Connor McMichael batted the rebound in.

Got to like how Skinner can get his shot on goal from anywhere on the ice. The assist gives Skinner a 2-8-10 mark after 10 games which are second best behind Nico Gross’s 5-6-11.

Tyler Wall and his UMass-Lowell River Hawks opened Hockey East play with a 3-3 overtime tie against David Quinn’s old team Boston University. Wall stopped 33 out of 36 shots but it is hard to blame him for any of the three goals that he gave up.

Tyler Wall (UMass-Lowell)

In the first after his River Hawks did not score on a power play, BU caught the River Hawks napping as they scored off a breakaway for a 1-0 lead. Wall stopped eight shots in the first period. In the second, BU got one goal shorthanded and then one on a power-play to take a 3-0 lead.

Wall would make 14 saves in the second then shut down BU in the third and overtime stopping 11 shots. Wall is 3-1-2 on the season with a 1.46 goals against and a 0.945 save percentage. Both numbers are good for ninth overall among NCAA goalies.

Matthew Robertson was scoreless on three shots and a minor for interference as his Edmonton Oil Kings defeated the Medicine Hat Tigers 4-2. Robertson is 3-3-6 with a -5 in nine games this season.

Zac Jones (Massachusetts Athletics)

Zac Jones was held scoreless on two shots as his fifth-ranked Massachusetts defeated American International 4-1. Jones is second on the team in scoring with a 2-5-7 after five games.

Eric Ciccolini was scoreless on one shot and “even” as his Michigan Wolverines shutout in-state rival Western Michigan 4-0. Ciccolini is 0-3-3 in five games which are good for third on the team.

Tyler Nanne was scoreless on one shot as his Minnesota Golden Gophers dropped a 5-4 decision to eighth-ranked Minnesota-Duluth. Nanne was injured in last week’s game was used as the third-pair defenseman. Nanne is 1-1-2 after five games.

K’Andre Miller (Wisconsin Badgers)

K’Andre Miller was scoreless on three shots with a -3 as his sixth-ranked Wisconsin Badgers were upset at home by 12th-ranked Clarkson. While Miller is only 2-0-2 this season, Chris Peters of ESPN.com has an excellent feature on Miller. It is a very good read so go check it out.

Simon Kjellberg was scoreless with no shots on goal as his Rensselaer Engineers opened ECAC conference play with a 3-2 road win over Union College. Kjellberg has been a good two-way contributor on defense going 2-2-4 with a +3 in five games this season.

Riley Hughes (Northeastern)

Riley Hughes was scoreless as his 11th-ranked Northeastern Huskies defeated 14th-ranked the St. Cloud State Huskies 4-1 on the road. Hughes was used as the fourth-line right wing didn’t record any shots on goal. Hughes is 1-0-1 after five games.

Saturday if you aren’t doing anything then check out Morgan Barron and his third-ranked Cornell Big Red as they host the US Under-18 team on ESPN+. The game starts at 7 PM EST as Barron I believe when the smoke clears will have a monster season topping his 15-19 of last season. This young man looks like the Rangers power forward of the future, Barron has size, skill, and skating talent.

Jones Three Point Night Keys Minuteman Win

Zac Jones (Massachusetts Athletics)

Friday night was a busy night with eight New York Ranger prospects seeing action and a pretty good night from the defensive prospects. Zac Jones (2018 third) led the way with a three-point evening to lead his fourth-ranked University of Massachusetts Minutemen to their second win of the season.

It was Jones’s 19th birthday and he was in the middle of all the action for the Minutemen as they defeat Union College 6-1. The freshman defenseman was 1-2-3 setting up what turned out to be the game-winning goal. With the Minutemen up 1-0 in the second, Jones set up Bobby Trivigno for a power-play goal at 10:33 of the second. You will like this one as Jones spots Trivigno on the right side for a one-timer.

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That proved to be the game-winning goal for the Minutemen. With seconds remaining in the second period, Jones picked up his second point when Reed Lebster deflected a Jones shot for the point for Massachusetts’s third goal of the game. The even-strength goal came at 19:50 and put the Minutemen up 3-1.

In the third with Massachusetts up 4-1, Jones capped off his birthday with his second goal of the season and third point of the night. Teammate Anthony Del Gazio won a faceoff back to the point and Jones fired a snapshot that beat Union’s goalie for a 5-1 lead at the 38-second mark of the third period.

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The 1-2-3 night came on four shots and with a +2 as Jones improves to 2-3-5 after three games. The same two teams play Saturday afternoon.

Eric Ciccolini (Michigan Wolverines)

Forward Eric Ciccolini (2019 seventh) was named the game’s third star after his first two NCAA points as his Michigan Wolverines defeated Lake Superior State 4-0. Ciccolini was listed as an extra forward when the game started but was playing a regular shift by game’s end.

Ciccolini earned two secondary assists on Michigans’ first two goals as the 6′ 170 lb. forward got his first point on a power-play goal. Ciccolini’s first assist was more due to his keeping the puck in the offensive end as he swept at the puck and it wound up on the goal scorer’s stick for a 1-0 lead.

The second assist was Ciccolini winning a puck battle below the goal line which led to the puck getting out to the point where Michigan scored for a 2-0 lead. Michigan goes on to win 4-0 for their first win of the season.

The same two teams will play on Saturday evening.

Simon Kjellberg (RPI)

Defenseman Simon Kjellberg (2018 sixth) had a goal and assist in a losing effort as his Rensselaer Engineers dropped a 5-2 decision to the UConn Huskies. The Huskies would score the game’s first four goals before Kjellberg would get his team on the scoreboard in the third period. Kjellberg would add an assist on the Engineer’s second goal.

In the clip, Kjellberg’s goal starts at 1:20, a nice shoot from the middle of the blueline that found it’s way into the UConn goal.

Kjellberg is Rensselaer’s leading scorer after three games with a 2-2-4 mark. His team will host Canisius on Saturday evening.

Matthew Robertson (Edmonton Oil Kings)

Matthew Robertson (2019 second) had a goal to help his Edmonton Oil Kings earn a 5-1 win over the Red Deer Rebels. Robertson recorded a power-play goal in the second period for Edmonton’s fifth goal of the game and his third goal of the season.

The young defenseman has a four-game scoring streak going 3-3-6 which is also his total points on the season.

Tyler Nanne (2015 fifth) was scoreless as his Minnesota Golden Gophers defeated the Niagara Purple Eagles 3-2 in overtime.

K’Andre Miller (2018 first) was scoreless as his Wisconsin Badgers knocked off second-ranked Minnesota-Duluth 6-2. Miller took two shots and was a +2 on the night. Wisconsin will look to sweep Minnesota-Duluth on Saturday evening, a game you can catch on Fox Sports Wisconsin.

Hunter Skinner (2019 fourth) was scoreless as his London Knights dropped a 4-2 decision to the Windsor Spitfires. The defenseman is 2-5-7 after eight games second among Ranger prospect scorers.

Nico Gross (2018 fourth) and his Oshawa Generals saw their nine-game winning streak ended by the Sarnia Sting 9-5. The Generals were due for a bad game after playing so well to open the season. Gross is the leading scorer among the Ranger prospects with a 5-4-9 mark after 10 games.

Goalie Tyler Wall (2016 sixth) did not play as his UMass-Lowell River Hawks lost in overtime to Colgate 4-3. Wall is expected to get the start on Saturday evening when the same two teams meet again.

Wall Leads UMass-Lowell To Big Upset Win

Tyler Wall (UMass-Lowell)

The first major upset of the 2019-2020 NCAA Men’s Hockey season took place when goalie Tyler Wall led his UMass-Lowell River Hawks to a 3-2 win over defending NCAA champions the Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs. The senior Wall stopped 32 out of 34 shots as the River Hawks built a 3-0 lead and then held off a furious third-period comeback from the Bulldogs.

Wall had a pretty easy first period facing only four shots but made one very tough save to keep the game scoreless. In the second, Wall stopped all 13 shots he faced including two breakaways while his teammates scored three times. It was the third period where Wall played his best despite giving up two goals (one was a power-play) on 17 shots.

It might have been Wall’s biggest win knocking off the team that is holding down the top spot in the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine Men’s College Hockey Poll. Wall improves to 3-0 on the season with a 1.33 goals against and a 0.939 save percentage. The same two teams will face each other on Saturday evening.

Zac Jones (Massachusetts Athletics)

2019 third-round pick defenseman Zac Jones had a happy NCAA debut as the freshman from Glen Allen, Va recorded his first NCAA goal and assist to help his fourth-ranked Massachusetts Minutemen win their season opener 5-3 over the Rensselaer Engineers. Jones earned his first NCAA point when teammate Mitchell Chaffee slammed home a rebound of a Jone’s shot.

The goal at 10:48 of the second period put the Minutemen up for good in the game 2-1. Jones would score his own goal 69 seconds later off a blast from the high slot. It was a power-play goal giving the Minutemen a 3-1 lead. Jones overall was 1-1-2 on six shots and a +1. The Jones goal starts at the one minute mark of the clip

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Massachusetts is off until Tuesday when they open up their Hockey East season on the road against Northeastern.

Nico Gross (Oshawa Generals)

Defenseman Nico Gross (2018 fourth) set a new career-high in goals when he earned his fifth goal as his CHL leading Oshawa Generals remained unbeaten with a 5-4 road win over the Sudbury Wolves. This one wasn’t easy at all as the Generals trailed 3-0 into the third period.

Gross’s goal was a power-play goal as he fired a blast from the right face-off circle at 10:30 of the third period for Oshawa’s second goal of the game. Gross is 5-4-9 in nine games after his goal on three shots and a +1.

The Generals are off until next Friday when they will host Sarnia Sting.

Tyler Nanne (Minnesota Golden Gophers)

Tyler Nanne (2014 fifth) score the Minnesota Golden Gophers’ first goal of the season but it wasn’t enough to prevent the Gophers from dropping a 3-2 decision to Colorado College. In the season opener for both teams, Nanne’s goal at 1:53 of the game stood for almost 50 minutes of game action.

The third-generation prospect who is also cousin to Hartford’s Vinni Lettieri has overcome a heart condition to be able to play hockey at the NCAA level. Nanne is 5’11 185  and a righthanded shot.

Nanne is entering his senior season and is serving as one of the co-captains on the team. The same two teams will meet on Saturday evening.

K’Andre Miller (Wisconsin Badgers)

Sophomore K’Andre Miller (2018 first) had a quiet debut to his season going scoreless as his 15th-ranked Wisconsin Badgers dropped their season opener to sixth-ranked Boston College 5-3. Miller who was suspended for a violation of team rules last week was credited with only one shot and was a -2 for the game.

Miller is a 6’4 211 lefthanded defenseman from Hopkins, Mn. Wisconsin will travel to face Merrimack on Saturday.

Defenseman Hunter Skinner (2019 fourth) had a secondary assist as his London Knights rallied from down 3-0 only to fall in overtime 5-4 to the Owen Sound Attack. It was a frustrating loss on home ice for the Knights who saw their three-game winning streak turn into a four-game unbeaten streak.

Skinner is 2-4-6 in six games for the Knights who travel to Saginaw for a Saturday matchup against the Saginaw Spirit.

Right wing Eric Ciccolini (2019 seventh) made his NCAA debut with the Michigan Wolverines as they skated to a 1-1 overtime tie with 11th-ranked Clarkson. Ciccolini who is a freshman was dressed as an extra forward for the Wolverines was scoreless on two shots and a minor for interference.

Defenseman Simon Kjellberg (2018 sixth) was a healthy scratch for his Rensselaer Engineers in their loss to Massachusetts.

Tyler Wall Earns Second Win

Tyler Wall (Rich Gagon)

Three New York Rangers prospects saw action on Sunday with all three getting to see their teams earn wins. It wasn’t a pretty day but wins are wins no matter how they happen.

Tyler Wall got the start for his UMass-Lowell River Hawks as they hosted the University of Alabama-Huntsville Chargers. The River Hawks were looking for the sweep of the weekend set and got it with a 3-1 win. Wall stopped 12 of 13 shots to earn his second win of the season while earning the game’s third star for his efforts.

13 shots may not seem like a whole lot but Wall held a shutout until 7:20 of the third period surrendering a power-play goal. The senior goalie may not have faced a lot of shots but he was credit with six “close” saves as well as stopping two breakaways.

Wall and the River Hawks hit the road for a two-game set as they will take on the defending NCAA champions and current top-ranked Minnesota-Duluth starting next Friday.

Defenseman Nico Gross (2018 fourth) tied his career-best when he recorded his fourth goal of the season to help his Oshawa Generals edged the Saginaw Spirit 4-3. Gross scored on the power play in the second period to give his team their third goal of the game. Gross snapped a beauty of a shot from the right point at 13:59.

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It is really looking like being one of the first cut from the Rangers training camp has lit a fire under Gross who until this season never really looked for his offense. Now Gross is 4-2-6 after seven games as his Generals are the last unbeaten team in all of the three CHL leagues with a 7-0 record.

Oshawa is off until Thursday as they head to North Bay to face the Battalion.

Defenseman Tyler Nanne and his Minnesota Golden Gophers opened their 2019-2020 season skating to a 2-2 overtime tie with the Mount Royal Cougars. Nanne was scoreless on no shots as the starting right defenseman. Nanne is a senior this season and will be serving as one of the two co-captains for the Gophers.

Minnesota will begin its regular season play on the road against Colorado College next Friday.

Freshman Eric Ciccolini (2019 seventh) was a healthy scratch for his Michigan Wolverines as they played Windsor in an exhibition match.

Wall Wins In Season Debut

Tyler Wall (UMass-Lowell)

It was the start of the 2019-2020 season for goalie Tyler Wall (2016 sixth) and his UMass-Lowell River Hawks. The senior goalie is looking to reclaim the starting goaltending job on a very young River Hawks team. With just three seniors on this year’s roster, it could be the most challenging of years for Wall.

Wall got the year off right stopping 18 out of 19 shots to help his team earn a 5-1 win over the University of Alabama-Huntsville Chargers. For Wall, the win was his 41st of his River Hawks career as he looks to build off his 11-7-3 season of a year ago.

Wall stopped nine shots in the first, allowed his only goal in the second period while making four saves and finished off the game with five saves in the third period. If Wall has any hope of earning a Rangers contract then he has to post good goals against and save percentage numbers. The Rangers know that playing with such a young team is going to be a tough chore in as tough a league as Hockey East is.

The River Hawks host the Chargers again on Sunday but it is doubtful that Wall will get the start. Too early in the season to ask him to play back-to-back games.

Defenseman Nico Gross had a secondary assist as his Oshawa Generals doubled up the Hamilton Bulldogs 6-3. Gross earned his assist on the Generals fifth goal as he earned his fourth point of the weekend. It was a pretty good game for Gross in addition to his assist, he was a +2 on two shots and no penalties. Gross is 3-2-5 +5 6 PIMs in six games played as his Generals remain unbeaten at an OHL best 6-0.

Defenseman Matthew Robertson missed his second game with what is being called “a minor injury”. It is hoped that Robertson will return to action on Tuesday when his Edmonton Oil Kings visit the Regina Pats.

K’Andre Miller

By now the word has gotten out that 2018 first-round pick K’Andre Miller was suspended by the University of Wisconsin hockey team for “violation of team rules”.ย Since none of us know the circumstances that led to the suspension it would be rather silly to freak out over it.ย 

It happens more than people realize as it could as minor as oversleeping and missing a meeting. Start worrying when Miller misses several games.ย 

 

Gross’s Hat Trick Propels Generals

Nico Gross (Oshawa Generals)

The first big surprise of the 2019-2020 New York Rangers prospect season came from defenseman Nico Gross of the Oshawa Generals. The 2018 fourth-round pick recorded his first-ever OHL hat trick to lead his Oshawa Generals to a 5-1 win over the North Bay Battalion. Gross who had all of three goals last season equaled that in one game.

Gross got his first goal of the season off a nice “two-man” play with teammate Oliver Suni. Gross handed off the puck to Suni and then just stood at the right faceoff circle as Suni gave the puck back to a wide-open Gross. Gross would let go a blast from the spot which beat the Battalion’s goalie for the goal.

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The goal came just seconds after the Generals saw a power-play end at 14:09 of the first period and gave the Generals a 1-0 lead.

In the second with the Generals already up 2-1, Gross recorded his second goal of the game, this time a power-play goal. This time Gross snuck in from the left point and teammates Oliver Suni found him alone in front of the net. The goal at 15:24 put the Generals up 3-1.

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And for the hat trick goal, in the third Gross was the recipient of an unselfish teammate who passed up an empty net to get Gross the hat trick. Stick tap to Brett Harrison who had a wide-open net but gave the puck to Gross who scored into the empty net for the Generals fourth goal of the game.

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Nico Gross was named the game’s first star as his Generals improved to an OHL best 5-0. Gross finished the game 3-0-3 +2 on four shots an a minor for “delay of game”. The Generals are the last unbeaten team in the OHL and head to Hamilton for a Saturday game against the Hamilton Bulldogs.

In London, Hunter Skinner was scoreless on two shots with a +1 and a minor for holding as his London Knights shut out the Ottawa 67’s 3-0. The game wasn’t as close as the score shows as the Knights just dominated at both ends of the ice firing 47 shots on net while holding the 67’s to just 18 shots for the game. The Knights improved to 3-2 on the young season and will be off until next Friday.

Matthew Robertson was not in the Edmonton Oil Kings lineup as they took on the Winnipeg Ice in Winnipeg. No word as to why Robertson was not playing as he was in the lineup for Edmonton’s last game on Wednesday against Swift Current. Robertson was a -2 for that game but not a word anywhere regarding his status. I will update if I can find out anything.

Quiet Night For Defensive Trio

Matthew Robertson (Edmonton Oil Kings)

With the NCAA hockey season still a couple of weeks away, there are only three New York Ranger prospects playing at the CHL level. All three are defensemen and on Friday night they all had quiet nights for their respective teams.

Defenseman Matthew Robertson (2019 2nd) made his 2019-2020 debut for his Edmonton Oil Kings as they played the Calgary Hitmen on the road. Wearing an “A”, Robertson was scoreless on one shot with a -1 and a minor for “delay of game”. His Oil Kings lost in overtime 4-3 to the Hitmen as they saw their record fall to 2-0-1 after three games.

Edmonton heads home to host the Lethbridge Hurricanes on Sunday afternoon.

Defenseman Hunter Skinner (2019 4th) and his London Knights had little trouble defeating a shorthanded Erie Otters team 6-2 for their first win of the season. Skinner who got the start was scoreless with a +1 but no shots on goal were recorded.

Skinner who was 2-1-3 after his first two games not recording a shot on goal was a surprise considering he had five shots each in his first two games. London improves to 1-2 on the season and hit the road for a game against the Hamilton Bulldogs on Saturday evening.

Defenseman Nico Gross (2018 4th) was scoreless as his Oshawa Generals held off the Mississauga Steelheads 6-5 on Friday to remain unbeaten at 3-0. Gross took a cross-checking minor in the second period which led to a Steelheads goal and had one shot on goal.

On Thursday, Gross was also scoreless as the Generals defeated the Niagara IceDogs 4-3 in overtime. Gross had two shots on goal in this contest.

The Generals head home for a Sunday night game against the Kingston Frontenacs.