3/6 Recap: Jordon like Gordon; Eidsness leads to title

Jordon Southorn (-1) had a goal, assist, and a fight to complete his first Gordie Howe Hat Trick of the season in PEI's 5-3 loss to Lewiston. Southorn was aggressive with some big hits, rounded out by a semi-uneventful fight with Samuel Finn. The GHHT was the second of the season for Sabres prospects. Drew Schiestel registered the first back in late September. In the WHL, Tyler Ennis stayed warm with a goal and an assist as Medicine Hat lost to Regina, 4-3. Ennis now has a whopping 42 goals in 57 games this season (.74 gpg) to go along with 40 helpers. Last year, Paul Byron had 37 goals in 52 games (.71 gpg) while Nathan Gerbe led the way with 35 goals in 43 games (.81 gpg). Jacob Lagacé had a pair of assists as Chicoutimi defeated Montreal, 4-1. T.J. Brennan was -2 for the Juniors, who with the loss split the home-and-home series with the Sags. Paul Byron had an assist as Gatineau lost to Rimouski, 7-2. Despite the defeat, the Piques remain atop the Telus Western Division standings with an eight point lead over Montreal. Tyler Myers was +2 in Kelowna's 3-1 win over Chilliwack. The Rockets will square off with rival Vancouver on Saturday. J.S. Allard posted a shot on goal as Quebec defeated Shawinigan, 4-2. In the OHL, Nick Crawford was even as Saginaw defeated Guelph, 5-3. The victory allows the Spirit to leapfrog Plymouth into third place in the Western Conference. 2009 eligible Jordan Szwarz had three assists in the win. In the NCAA, Brad Eidsness made 22 saves in North Dakota's 2-1 win over Wisconsin. The victory over the Badgers clinches the MacNaughton Cup as the WCHA regular season champions while pushing the freshman's record to 22-8-4 on the year. Eidsness now has the most wins and best goals against average among WCHA goaltenders. At the Gutt, Drew MacKenzie picked up an assist just 1:30 into his return from mono in #7 Vermont's 6-4 win over #9 New Hampshire. In an ECAC playoff opener, Alex Biega had five shots on goal for Harvard in their 1-0 loss to Brown. The Crimson will look to force a Sunday game three with a win on Saturday. Also in Boston, Andrew Orpik registered one shot on goal as Boston College lost to Northeastern, 2-1 in overtime. Justin Jokinen had a shot on goal as Minnesota State smothered St. Cloud State, 5-1.
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Anonymous
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Saturday, March 07, 2009 ×

Like Fienhage, do you think Southorn can grow into that gritty, nasty defenseman we're hoping for?

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Kris Baker
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Saturday, March 07, 2009 ×

Southy has a grit element and traces of nastiness like a leader, but Fienhage stands out as the more aggressive player. Southorn showed good, NHL-style flow in the summer with his skating, and his physical game emerged out as the reg season started. It's getting to be more regular, as it seems like he's going for bigger hits lately. One in particular on Friday simply flattened a guy.

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Anonymous
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Sunday, March 08, 2009 ×

From an over/under rating, how do see his physical play if he turned pro today? Is he over/under Tallinder? Is he over/under Lydman? I think they both lack the consistent physical play that is needed to be a shutdown pairing and other than Butler/Rivet, there is no potential for that in the near future. I am hoping someone can step up eventually into that role.

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Kris Baker
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Sunday, March 08, 2009 ×

Baker's shutdown physicometer currently reads something like this:
Tallinder>Southorn=Lydman>Myers

I think Southorn and Lydman are similar in how they use their bodies.

Myers has that Pronger-esque quality to be that future shutdown rock. Couple his skating, reach, and projected mass with the fact that his shoulder will be at head height for most, and you have natural pops coming in the form of a player that the Sabres have never had.

Come to think of it, Myers and Southorn played some together over the summer. Both skate well, and both know how to play the body with a penchant for the big hit. I don't want to discount Schiestel or Brennan in this discussion, but I can definitely see a Myers-Southy future pairing.

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Kris Baker
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Sunday, March 08, 2009 ×

To the point about physical consistency, it should be noted that Southorn's game still needs to mature, but with his tools and another season in the Q, he'll definitely get there. He could be a top-3 overall defender in the league next year.

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