Kristo scored four points in two games this week. Dietz kept his momentum going with a four point weekend, including a three point game and Archambault registered four points in three games. Bozon, Hudon and Nygren struggled to produce, while Bennett returned from injury and scored two points.
The Windsor Spitfires continued to explode offensively with 15 goals this week. Brady Vail was only able get involved in the offence twice, notching two goals. Despite scoring so much, Windsor allowed 15 goals and only were able to pull out a single win in three games. Vail’s first goal came on Thursday night, he scored with a second left in the game to make it 9-4. He made a nice pass to gain the offensive zone and then went straight to the net. Due to inclement weather, the Spitfires’ second game of the week was postponed until Saturday. Vail was able to find the back of the net again, by going the net hard. Vail was unable to get a point in a 3-1 loss to Kingston and had a poor game overall. Lately, Brady Vail has been playing with much more purpose and it seems to have worked as he’s began to play better.
After being held pointless for three straight games Olivier Archambault exploded offensively for four points in his first two games of the week. Archambault scored a pair of power play goals on Thursday night (Video). His first goal was a hard wrist shot from inside the slot and his second was a very similar goal. With his first goal of the game, he surpassed his career high of 20 goals in 23 less games. Against Val-d’Or on Friday, Archambault picked up two assists. He distributed the puck much better than he normally does and kept his feet moving over those two games. Archambault’s third and final game of the week was played on Sunday. He came out flying and dominated the first few shifts. Unfortunately, he slowed down as the game wore on and became a non-factor. It was much better performance from Archambault this week, hopefully he’ll continue the strong play.
Charles Hudon continued to struggle this week. He was held pointless in both of his games, which brings his pointless streak to four games. It’s the longest regular season scoring drought that he’s had since the beginning of his rookie season. Hudon’s first game was played Wednesday night, his team got absolutely dominated but he had his fair share of chances. Multiple times he had a golden opportunity to score, but couldn’t finish. Hudon’s struggles continued against Victoriaville on Friday night, as he made many miscues without the puck, including one that lead to a breakaway. He was visibly frustrated as he played selfishly as the game wore on. Hudon has been the definition of consistency this year, so I’d expect him to come back with vengeance next week.
Following a fantastic week that saw Tim Bozon manage eight points in four games, he wasn’t nearly as productive this weekend. Bozon only notched a lone assist in a weekend in which his team scored a total of 13 goals in two games. Bozon’s only point came on Thursday night, he went hard to the net and got reward after taking a few whacks at the puck. Bozon was unable to extend his point streak to ten games, but it wasn’t because he didn’t have chances. The goalie made a highlight reel save on Bozon’s breakaway. He had a spectacular dash through the offensive zone, but lost the puck because the goaltender made a quick poke check. Bozon amassed five goals and ten assists over his point streak.
Darren Dietz continued his tear this week with two goals and two assists. The Blades played four games this week and Dietz shined in all of them. He started off the week with a fantastic game against Moose Jaw, he finished with a +4 rating. Despite multiple scoring opportunities, Dietz’s four game point streak ended. His first point of the week game from a beautiful cross ice pass against Prince Albert. On Friday night, against Swift Current, Darren Dietz exploded offensively with a pair of goals and an assist (Video). He played a fantastic game and could have easily scored a few more goals. His final game of the week came against Lethbridge. He was held pointless but was instrumental in two of his teams goals, by leading a rush and then acting as a screen and then by holding the puck in at the blue line. Dietz finished the game with a +2 rating. Dietz has four goals and seven assists in his last eight games. Over that same span he is a combined +15 rating. Hopefully Dietz can keep up the strong play heading into next week.
As soon as Dalton Thrower started to find consistency in his game, he began to struggle. He started off the week on a bad note. He was directly responsible for two goals against and really couldn’t be bothered to play defence at all. Thrower had a great bounce-back performance the next night. He was held pointless but was on the ice for four of his teams goal’s. He also picked up an assist. On Friday, Thrower struggled defensively again. The good news is he was very engaged physically, he laid multiple bone-crushing hits. He continued the gritty play in his last game of the week, he had a fight (Video) and multiple hits. Thrower has been having trouble offensive as of late, hopefully he can find a way to produce soon, as he’s been held pointless four out of his last five games.
After missing a month due to a knee injury Mac Bennett return to Michigan Wolverines’ lineup this weekend. His return wasn’t ideal, he finished with a rating of -3, and an assist in a 7-4 loss. He picked up a power play assist with a nice pass cross ice pass. He struggled defensively, as he got burned on multiple occasions with his worst being losing the puck his own zone, and sending the Notre Dame player in for a breakaway, in which he scored on. Bennett had a much better game on Saturday night. He picked up a goal from a nice solo dash and rocket of a wrist shot, the goalie had no chance. He finished the game with even plus/minus. Bennett played on the top pairing with Jacob Trouba. He currently has a three game point streak (one goal, two assists). After a great start to the season, Bennett’s production slowed down, so hopefully this is a sign of things to come.
Josiah Didier’s weekend was a tough one. Didier’s Denver Pioneers tied their rivals, Colorado College in a 1-1 game. The next night, they lost a heart breaker, after scoring three straight goals in the third, erasing a three goal deficit. Colorado College scored the game winning goal with just ten seconds left in overtime. Didier assisted on the game-tying goal. This assist doubled his career of three assists set last season, in 18 less games. Just like last week, Didier played on the bottom pairing with Joey LaLeggia. Didier has two assists in his last three games, let’s hope he continues to produce.
It was a very eventful weekend for University of North Dakota forward Danny Kristo. UND played their first every outdoor game against the University of Nebraska Omaha, and Kristo shined. His team won both games and is probably the single biggest reason for their success this weekend. On his first game of the weekend, Kristo notched a goal and an assist. His assist came from having his head up, he realized he was going to get body checked, so he made a nice pass that eventually led to a goal. His goal came from getting multiple chances in tight, before eventually pulling it to his back hand and sliding the puck around the goalie. Saturday night saw UND play their first outdoor game ever, and Danny Kristo shone. His mark was made in more ways than on the scoreboard. He made a fantastic play by blocking the defender from the loose puck so Mitch MacMillan could score. He didn’t pick up a point on that play, but it might have been the best play of the game. His assist came from a pass to the point, and his goal came from slipping past the defenders to get a breakaway and shooting low blocker side. With Kristo’s four points this weekend, he moved up to fourth in WCHA scoring, three points back of the lead with 39 points.
Fellow UND forward, Mark MacMillan also had a great weekend. He didn’t find his way on the score sheet, but was a physical presence and a biggest reason why North Dakota only surrendered three goals this weekend. Friday night saw MacMillan centring the third line with his brother, Mitch MacMillan, and Colten St. Clair. He wasn’t overly involved in the play offensively, but played extremely well in his own zone. MacMillan was much more involved offensively Saturday night. He deked through three Nebraska Omaha players, and then went straight to the net. Eventually a goal was score as he was screening the goalie. Even though MacMillan didn’t up an assist, it was a fantastic play. Just a few shifts later he rang one off the post. He was forechecking hard which caused the defenders to make multiple mistakes. MacMillan’s production lately has been disappointing to say the least. He has been held pointless eight times in his last nine games. With the he’s been play, don’t be surprised to see start producing again soon.
Dustin Walsh only played a single game this weekend. It was a originally scheduled for Saturday night, but got postponed until Sunday due to inclement weather. Walsh was moved up to the top line where he had most of his success this year. He had 3 shots, but didn’t register a point in a 1-1 tie. Walsh currently has seven goals and seven assists in 17 games this season.
Due to the Euro Hockey Tour Sebastian Collberg had the entire week off. Collberg inked a one-year contract with Frölunda. Collberg will see an expanded role for Frölunda next season as the Swedish World Junior coach, Roger Ronnberg, will be taking over coaching duties for Frölunda. Collberg’s first game next week will against Magnus Nygren’s Färjestads BK on Tuesday.
Magnus Nygren had the opportunity to represent Sweden at the Euro Hockey Tour: Oddset Games. It was a poor week for not only Nygren, but Sweden as well. Nygren was held pointless in three games, while his country lost of the games that they played. Sweden only managed to score three goals all week and finished in last place.
Similar to Collberg, Daniel Přibyl did not play any games this week due to the Euro Hockey Tour. He is currently riding a four game point streak, in which he has amassed a total of 4 goals and 4 assists. Přibyl will play his game in over a week on Wednesday.