Three Stars from Wednesday Night: Palmu Breaks Out for Owen Sound

There wasn’t much action around the CHL on Wednesday night, but enough action to garner another three stars in the rare mid-week games.

First Star: Petrus Palmu, Owen Sound – Quiet on the offensive side through the first two games of the 2016-17 OHL campaign for Owen Sound (no goals, one assist), Palmu broke out in the Attack’s third game of the season on Wednesday night with a goal and three assists in Owen Sound’s 7-5 win over Hamilton. He was on the ice for five of the seven goals Owen Sound scored while being on the ice for none of the five it allowed. A left-shot winger with strong hockey sense and plus-speed, Palmu would likely be property of a NHL club had it not been for his lack of side (5-foot-6, 165 pounds). He has 46 goals and 96 points in 117 games over two-plus seasons for Owen Sound. He played on Finland’s silver-medal winning squad at the 2015 U18 championships, a lineup that included NHL prospects Sebastian Aho, Patrik Laine, Markus Niemelainen, and Jesse Puljujarvi.

Second Star: Jared Bethune, Prince George – Consider this partly an acknowledgment of his efforts on Tuesday, when he notched a hat trick for the Cougars in a 7-6 win over Vancouver. He followed up that performance on Wednesday with a goal and assist in a 2-1 win over Kelowna. He opened the scoring with a goal 56 seconds into the game before assisting on what turned out to be the game-winner in the second period. A left-shot power forward, Bethune has nine points through four games in his third WHL season. At one point an NHL Draft prospect who received a ‘B’ rating from the Central Scouting Bureau, his stock dropped following early struggles in his junior career. However, it looks like he’s beginning to finally catch his stride in the league.

Third Star: Ty Edmonds, Prince George – Tuesday’s win for the Cougars was far from a bright spot for the team’s goaltending corps, allowing six goals in Prince George’s 7-6 win. Edmonds recovered Wednesday night with a 32-save effort in the 2-1 win over Kelowna, shutting the door in the third period by stopping all 15 shots he faced when the Rockets outshot he Cougars, 15-5.

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Three Stars from the Weekend: Keilly Out to Blazing Start for Charlottetown

So here we are – one weekend of CHL action down, many more to go in the months counting down to the Memorial Cup. Plenty of good of good hockey has been played since the OHL opened for business on Wednesday. Here was the best of the best:

First Star – Kameron Kielly, Charlottetown: It was a monster weekend for the right-shot forward to begin his fifth QMJHL season, fourth in Charlottetown. Kielly put up three goals and nine points in two wins for the Islanders. Five of the nine points came in Sunday’s 6-2 win over Moncton.

Second Star – Liam Herbst, Guelph: Playing in his first action for the Storm this past weekend after spending parts of three seasons in Ottawa, Herbst backstopped Guelph to a pair of wins to the tune of 75 saves on 77 shots. Forty of the saves came in Saturday’s 2-1 win over Saginaw, in which the Storm won despite being outshot, 41-23, by the Spirit.

Third Star – Vladislav Lukin, Tri-City: The 19-year-old right winger got things off on the right foot in Saturday’s opener, an 8-3 win over Spokane. Lukin factored in six of those tallies, scoring three times and assisting on three other goals. Michael Rasmussen, who scored three of his four goals on the night in the first period, had his first two goals of the night set up by Lukin. A 6-foot-1 Russian forward who turns 20 in January, Lukin scored 21 goals last season, his second season in the WHL.

#NoWinsForNolan

Brandon forward Nolan Patrick, the presumptive first overall pick in the 2017 NHL Draft, got points in each of his first two games to kick off the season, an overtime loss for the Wheat Kings followed by a Saturday tilt against Moose Jaw that was suspended due to fog.

On Friday, he got the scoring going with a goal at 8:57 of the first period before setting up Stelio Mattheos later in the period. However, Moose Jaw scored unanswered goals to win the game in overtime, 3-2. He set up Mattheos again on Saturday night, Brandon’s only goal as play was suspended in the second period.

 

 

Kicking Around the Minors: USHL Hosts Prospects Game

A look at some of the happenings around the hockey world at the minors, collegiate, and junior levels:

*The USHL/NHL Top Prospects game was held on Tuesday night, the East prospects taking down the West, 6-2.

*Ross Colton was the MVP for Team East, scoring three goals and assisting on two others. Colton, a University of Vermont commit, has 33 points in 27 games for Cedar Rapids. Wade Allison, a Western Michigan commit, had a goal and an assist to earn honors for the West. He has 13 goals and 17 points in 32 games for Tri-City.

*Michael O’Leary (Dubuque) had a goal and three assists for Team East.

*Hingham, Mass. native Luke McInnis scored an empty-net goal with 1:18 left in the game. McInnis is the son of former Bruin Marty McInnis. He is committed to BC, where his father played.

*Other players representing New England in the game included Matt Filipe (Lynnfield, Mass./Northeastern), John Leonard (Amherst, Mass./UMass), Matt Gosiewski (Wilton, Conn./Harvard), Jake Ryczek (Ludlow, Mass./Providence), Matt Steeves (Bedford, N.H./Notre Dame), and Jack Adams (Boxford, Mass./Princeton).

Three Stars

*Sam Vigneault, Clarkson University. Vigneault scored two goals in Clarkson’s 3-1 win over St. Lawrence. The sophomore forward leads Clarkson with eight goals and 16 points for the Golden Knights (9-9-2).

*Antoine Samuel, Baie-Comeau (QMJHL). Samuel made 37 saves on 39 shots to lead Baie-Comeau to a 3-2 win over Chicoutimi. The 18-year-old netminder has a .920 save percentage in five games since being traded from Shawinigan.

*Kody McDonald, Prince George (WHL). McDonald scored three goals in Prince George’s 6-2 win over Seattle. He now has 11 goals this season, surpassing his total from 2014-15, his rookie season in the WHL, when he scored nine goals.

Finland Wins Second Gold in Three Years

A look at the happenings across minor league, college, junior, and amateur hockey from Tuesday:

*Finland won its second Gold Medal in three seasons with a 4-3 win in the title game of the World Junior Championships in Helsinki. After Andrei Svetlakov scored for Russia to tie the game, 3-3, to force overtime, Kasperi Kapanen scored 1:33 into the extra period.

*Team USA beat Sweden, 8-3, to win Bronze and earn its first medal since 2013. Bruins prospects Anders Bjork and Ryan Donato scored two goals apeice while Brandon Carlo had a goal and an assist. Matthew Tkachuk (2-1–3) joined Bjork and Donato as the multi-goal scorers for the Americans.

*Red Deer (WHL) extended its winning to three with a 4-3 win over Prince Albert on Tuesday. Bruins first round pick Jake DeBrusk – who posted a 5-5–10 line in his first four games, after he was traded to Red Deer from Swift Current – was held off the scoresheet for the first time in a Rebels sweater, but still managed a plus-two, landing four shots on net. Red Deer (27-13) is tied with Lethbridge for first place in the WHL’s Eastern Conference.

*Yale defeated UMass, 3-2, in overtime. Junior forward and Blackhawks prospect John Hayden scored the winner 3:13 into overtime, with Bruins prospect Rob O’Gara picking up the assist. It was just the fifth point of the season for O’Gara, whose numbers are down from 2014-15, when he was third on the team with 21 points.

Three Stars of the Night

Ryan Bowen, Moose Jaw (WHL). The Gordie Howe hat trick (goal, assist, fight) is an endangered species. So you have to appreciate it when it comes around. Bowen, a right winger in his first full season in major junior, scored two goals, assisted on another and logged five minutes in the penalty box for fighting in the Moose Jaw Warriors 4-2 win over Medicine Hat. Bowen, who turned 17 last month, will be eligible for the 2017 NHL Draft.

Paul Berrafato, Holy Cross. Berrafato made 10 of his 16 saves in the third period of the Crusaders’ 2-0 win over American International, their unbeaten streak to 10 games (9-0-1). The sophomore is 11-4-1 in 17 games (15 starts). Berrafato’s 2.06 GAA ranks ninth nationally among goaltenders who have played 15 or more games this season.

John Hayden, Yale. The junior scored twice, the latter being the winner in overtime in Yale’s 3-2 win over UMass on Tuesday. Hayden, a 2013 third-round pick by Chicago, has five goals in his last three games.

Kicking Around the Minors: Khokhlachev, Griffith, Czarnik Continue Hot Streaks

A look at the the happenings from around minor league, college, and junior hockey over the weekend:

*The Providence Bruins returned home from a six-game road trip on Sunday, beating Rochester, 5-2. The Bruins, who play 10 of their next 12 games at the Dunkin Donuts Center, began the two-game homestand on a winning note after the 1-5 roadie.

*Alex Khokhlachev, sent down on Saturday after a one-game stint in Boston, tied a season high with four points, scoring two goals. The left-shot center is on a tear, with 7-9–16 totals in 12 games since returning from a hand injury at the beginning of December.

*P-Bruins leading scorer Seth Griffith, sent down along with Koko following a one-week stint in which he saw action in two NHL games, assisted on three goals, including both of Khokhlachev’s. He leads the Baby B’s with 30 points in 25 games.

*Both Griffith and Khokhlachev rank in the top 10 in scoring in the AHL, with Griffith (10-20–30) tied for sixth and Khokhlachev (11-18–29) tied for ninth.

*Austin Czarnik had three assists for the second time in three games. The rookie out of Miami (Ohio) has seven helpers in his last three games, despite having just one goal in his last seven. Czarnik has 18 points in his last 12 games.

*Providence had four powerplay goals in six opportunities. The Bruins have seven goals in their last 15 man-advantage situations. The powerplay unit is the best in the AHL, its success rate currently standing at 24.1 percent.

*Posting a minus-one rating, defenseman Tommy Cross was a minus for the fifth time in his last seven games. He has just one point since the start of November and four since putting up seven in his first six games of the season. The 26-year-old is on a one-year deal that pays $600,000, and will be a restricted free agent this summer.

*Matt Irwin scored 4:27 into the game to open the scoring, extending his goal-scoring streak to three games. The 28-year-old defenseman, in his fifth AHL season, is a plus-four since the start of December. Irwin, who was signed to a one-year deal by the Bruins over the summer and began the season on the NHL roster, playing two games, should be atop the pecking order if Claude Julien is in need of a blueliner.

*Colton Hargrove scored for a third consecutive contest with his tally at 9:49 of the second period. Hargrove has four goals and six points in his last three games.

*Malcolm Subban stopped 27 of 29 shots, shutting out the Amerks in the final 40 minutes, making 18 saves. He hasn’t allowed more than three goals in a game since Nov. 20, a streak of 13 games.

*In World Junior quarterfinal action on Saturday, Team USA advanced to the medal round for the first time since 2013 with a 7-0 win over the Czech Republic. Auston Matthews had a hat trick while Bruins prospects Brandon Carlo and Ryan Donato notched assists.

*It was learned over the weekend that Bruins forward David Pastrnak suffered a finger injury during the tournament, though Julien said the injury isn’t serious. Pastrnak hasn’t played since Oct. 31, missing nearly two months of action before a rehab stint in Providence preceded the World Juniors go-around. The 19-year-old has two goals and four points in 10 games this season.

*Pastrnak finishes the tournament with a goal and four points in foue games. Bruins 2015 top draft pick Jakub Zboril finished with a point. Eighteen-year-old goaltender Daniel Vladar didn’t see any action in the tournament.

*Defending champion Canada was eliminated by Finland, 6-5. The Fins will face Sweden, who beat Slovakia, 6-0, in its quarterfinal match. Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson had two points in the win.

*Jake DeBrusk posted a game-high five points (3-2) in Red Deer’s 10-0 win over Brandon in WHL play on Saturday night. DeBrusk has five goals and 10 points in four games since being traded to Red Deer from Swift Current. He had just a goal and three points in eight games leading up to the trade.