Charles Hudon exploded for seven points in two games this week. Archambault and Thrower both had fantastic weeks, while Bozon struggled to produce. Bennett, Didier, Kristo, and MacMillan all had this week off. Nyström returned to the line up and recorded two points.
Brady Vail started the week Friday night when the Windsor Spitfires faced off against the Sarnia Sting on national television. Vail looked pretty good early on, his tenacious forechecking created turnovers. He was matched up against possibly the best line in the OHL, Boucher-Sarault-Goldobin, and kept them at bay most of the game. Unfortunately, with just 13 seconds left on the clock, Sarnia scored to break the 1-1 tie. Vail played the puck carrier too passively, and ended up paying the price. The next night, Vail played defence for the third time this season due to injuries. He had a fairly solid game overall, and looked good rushing the puck. Vail struggled at times, which is to be expected. He managed an assist and finished with an even plus/minus. With Windsor battling injuries, don’t be surprised to see Vail play defence again this season.
Since returning from injury Olivier Archambault has been playing very good hockey. He’s been distributing the puck well and paying more attention to his own end of the ice. This week, Archambault wasted no time, he scored three points in his first game (Video). He was an integral piece in Drummondville’s come-from-behind win. They scored 3 straight goals in the third, including one with just a second remaining. Drummondville ended up the thriller in over time. Drummondville didn’t fare quite as well on Saturday, but Archambault had a great game. He competed very hard and picked up an assist. He went to the net and showed a physical side to his game. Archambault looked good on Sunday, too. He wasn’t able to pick up a point in a 3-0 victory, but created multiple plays and just missed what should have been a sure goal.
After a five game pointless streak Charles Hudon exploded offensively this weekend for seven points this weekend. However, his week didn’t start off on a great note. Hudon played centre this Wednesday night. He centred regular line mate, Guillaume Asselin and Simon Tremblay. Hudon won 44% of his faceoffs. He clearly struggled as he had trouble gaining the zone in the centre of the ice. Hudon’s struggles ended on Friday as he put up one of the most dominating performances I’ve seen in a while. He finished the game with two goals and two assists (Video). He could have easily doubled that total and he came very close to adding more goals seemingly every shift. His first goal of the game surpassed his career high of 25 goals. Hudon carried that momentum to Saturday, as he racked up three assists (Video). It was a great weekend for Hudon. Hudon and his team have struggled mightily the past two weeks and they appear to have gotten back on track.
Tim Bozon had a rough weekend. He struggled to find consistency in his game and only managed to pick up two points in three games. Bozon’s first game was on Wednesday night, he managed to pick up an assist with a nice pass behind the net. Unfortunately, that was the only time he was noticeable that game. Friday night was a different story. Bozon scored a goal after starting a rush and then sniping one top shelf. After that, he had many, many chances to score. He fumbled the puck a few times, and at one point he had all the time in the world, but lost it between his skates. Bozon’s struggles to finish continued on Saturday. He had quiet night up until the third, where he took over. He must have had ten chances to score, but couldn’t bury any of them. He was clearly frustrated and took it out by delivering a late hit right at the end of the game to Dylen McKinlay. Bozon had his fair share of chances this weekend, he just unable to finish. If he keeps getting chances like these, he’ll start putting them in the back of the net sooner rather than later.
The Saskatoon Blades have won 11 games in a row, and large part of that streak has been because of defenceman Darren Dietz. Tuesday saw him extend his streak of being a plus player to eight games, totalling a rating of +16. He also picked up an assist with a nice give and go play and then drove the net and acted as a screen. Dietz took over the lead in power play goals amongst defenceman in the entire CHL with a goal on Friday night. That same goal also surpassed his career high of 15 goals. Dietz had another great game, he looked solid at both ends of the ice and made some fantastic offensive plays. Despite his great play, his plus player streak ended at eight games. Dietz struggled out of the gate on Saturday night, as Medicine Hat scored two quick goals that Dietz was responsible for. As the night wore on, he increasingly became better, but it was probably the worst game he’s played in over a month.
Simply put, Dalton Thrower had a fantastic week. His team is in the midst of an 11 game win streak and Thrower, like Dietz, has been a big part of that. Particularly in this week’s trio of victories. Thrower’s offensive ability shined this week, even though he only put up a lone assist. That lone assist came with 30 seconds left, when Saskatoon was trailing by a goal. Thrower held the puck in and the Blades went on to win in over time. Thrower had a great game on Friday. He made pinches at the right time and never got exposed defensively. Thrower’s best game of the week came on Saturday night. He created offence every shift and was heavily involved in the play. He was extremely effective at holding the zone and winning puck battles. Thrower seems to play his best when he’s playing a tough brand of hockey, while playing under pressure. Hopefully he can continue to play this way as he’s had an up and down year.
Mac Bennett was not in action this week, as the Michigan Wolverines had the week off. Bennett is currently riding a three game point streak, in which he has amassed onegoal and two assists. He has set a career high in goals with five this year. Bennett will be back in action February 22nd against Ohio State.
Similar to Bennett, defenceman Josiah Didier also had the week off. Didier has been playing on the third line with offensive defenceman, Joey LaLeggia. They complementeach other well and have had success together. Didier has doubled his career high in assists this season with six. He will play his next game against fellow Habs prospects, Mark MacMillan and Danny Kristo on February 22nd.
Danny Kristo had this weekend off as well. He is currently fourth in WCHA scoring with 39 points. He is tied for first for WCHA conference play goal scoring with 14. If Kristo continues the pace that he’s scoring at, he should easily surpassed his previous high in goals, assists, and points. Kristo faces off against Didier’s Denver Pioneers next Friday.
Fellow University of North Dakota forward Mark MacMillan has been struggling to produce lately. He has one point in his last nine games. Like Kristo, he had this week off. MacMillan has set a career high of nine goals this year. He has also added nine assists and is only five points off his previous total.
Colin Sullivan returned to Boston College’s line up just in time for the Beanpot after missing three games due an upper body injury. Sullivan played on the third pairing and didn’t see a whole lot of ice as his team won 6-3. He spent all three of his games on the bottom pairing. Despite only putting up a lone assist, Sullivan has had a successful freshman year so far. Next year he should see an expanded role.
Dustin Walsh started off the weekend with an awful game. He was on the ice for all four of Cornell University’s goals, and was unable to create any offence even though he was playing on the top line. Saturday night was a different story. Walsh recorded a goal and two of assists. He set up the game winning goal in the third period. Walsh is fighting for a contract this summer, if he plays like how he did on Saturday, it could be a very difficult decision for who to sign and who to let go.
With the International break over Sebastian Collberg and the Frölunda Indians resumed their season. Collberg’s first game came against fellow Habs prospect, Magnus Nygren. Collberg played on the third line and had five shots on goal. He was unable to pick up a point. On Saturday, Collberg was blanked across the boards in a 6-1 loss. Collberg has now been held pointless for six straight games now, hopefully he can began to find put the puck in the back of the net soon.
Magnus Nygren returned to action as well. He had four shots on goal against Sebastian Collberg’s Frölunda Indians, but was unable to pick up a point. On Thursday, Nygren scored a goal off of a wicked slap slot. That goal put in the league lead for powerplay goals and goals amongst defenceman. Nygren was held pointless on Saturday and was -1 in a 2-1 loss.
Forward Erik Nyström returned to the line up after missing five games. In his first game back he scored the game winner. He was battling in front of the net and picked up the loose puck and buried the rebound. He spent that game on the fourth line. On Thursday, Nyström was -1 and registered two shots on goal. He picked up an assist in a 2-1 loss. He spent that game on the second line. Since being loaned to Karlskrona HK, Nyström has managed to pick up three goals and four assists in 18 games.
Daniel Přibyl’s four game point streak came to an end this week. Over that time he scored four goals and four assists. He played his first game on Wednesday, and came out flying. Přibyl looked great early on and made multiple good plays. He got robbed of an assist when he took a shot and it deflected in. It was waved off due to supposed goaltender interference. Přibyl managed to get an assist in his second game of the week. He played his final game of the week on Sunday. He was held pointless, but played a solid game. He looked great down low. Přibyl has spent most of his time this season playing fourth line centre. In the last six games or so, Přibyl has been centring the third line.