11/2 Recap: Cat, Grigo post numbers; Girgensons pots first

Dan Catenacci notched a season-high four points Friday as Owen Sound won at Erie 6-3. Catenacci's haul, which also included the game winning goal, vaults him into a tie for eighth in OHL scoring with 10 goals and 22 points through the Attack's first 15 games. The Attack and Otters complete the weekend set on Saturday.

Mikhail Grigorenko recorded four assists Quebec defeated Acadie-Bathurst 8-3. Grigorenko, whose four helpers was a personal best in 74 regular season games since arriving in the QMJHL, currently places fifth in league scoring with 11 goals and 30 points. Adam Erne ('13) paved the way for the Remparts with a hat trick. Quebec goes back at it Saturday with a visit to Rimouski.

Alex Lepkowski went without a point in Barrie's 6-4 loss to Sudbury. The Colts continue their road trip Saturday in Sault Ste. Marie.

Brady Austin was a team-best plus-two as Belleville lost in overtime 4-3 to London. Illinois native Alex Broadhurst buried a rebound for the OT winner for the Knights. The Bulls return to action Saturday in Saginaw.

In the WHL, Andrey Makarov made 34 saves as Saskatoon won in overtime at Kootenay 3-2. Makarov improved to 7-9-0-0. He has yet to lose an OT decision. The Blades visit Lethbridge on Saturday.

Colin Jacobs finished -1 as Prince George lost in the shootout to Kamloops 2-1. It could be time to mix in some different moves as the big center missed in his shootout attempt for the second straight weekend.

Logan Nelson logged a -2 rating as Victoria was handled by Portland 6-2. The Royals remain in Rose City for Saturday's rematch.

In college play, Jake McCabe and Brad Navin each captured their first goal of the year as Wisconsin lost their home opener in overtime 5-4 to Colorado College. Navin connected from in front of the net to make it to give Wisconsin an early 2-0 lead. In the third period, McCabe buried a one-timer as the Badgers took a 3-2 lead. Wisconsin and CC square off again on Saturday with the Badgers looking to gain a series split.

Christian Isackson punched three shots on goal as Minnesota earned a 3-2 victory over Minnesota State. The sophomore wing, who nearly added to his goal total early on when he whiffed during a two-on-one break, skated with Erik Haula and Nate Condon to form one of the Gophers' scoring lines. The Gophers and Mavs finish the series Saturday in Mankato.

Mark Adams finished +1 as Providence edged Vermont 3-2. The two teams will tangle again on Saturday as the Friars go for their second straight Hockey East sweep.

Judd Peterson did not score as Cedar Rapids was beaten by Tri-City 2-1. The RoughRiders remain at home for Saturday's tilt with Omaha.

Linus Ullmark made 27 saves as MODO J20 defeated Brynas 5-2. Ullmark recovered from Wednesday's shellacking to improve to 7-4-0 this season with a 2.58 GAA and .897 save%.

Joel Armia directed five shots at the net as Assat lost to Lukko 4-3. Armia has collected eight goals and 12 points through 19 games, well ahead of his pace of 2+5 at the same point a year ago.

In the AHL, Zemgus Girgensons scored his first professional goal and Marcus Foligno notched the shootout clincher as Rochester continued their excellent early season play in a 3-2 triumph over Hamilton. The Amerks move to 6-2-1 on the year heading into Saturday's rematch in Hamilton.

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Bring Back Palffy
Saturday, November 03, 2012 ×

Watched the game last night. Some inexpert observations:

* The Amerks are sort of the anti-Sabres, in terms of character. They're a fast, tough team that wants to make simple plays out of their own zone. They players mostly appear to have a genuine appetite for forechecking. You get the feeling that, if a line brawl were to break out, not every single player would get creamed.

* The Amerks defensive corps made some individual "whoopsies," but for the most part were easily the most impressive grouping of players from both teams. Pysyk is the real deal -- great vision. Biega looks like an NHL player, too. He's really fast and decisive.

* Foligno looked bored.

* I'm not quite sure what I'm supposed to love about Hodgson. Athletically, he doesn't even stand out in the AHL. He doesn't seem to have an above-average motor. I'm still awaiting evidence of his superior vision. I'd love to get behind him. Somebody tell me they're confident this guy is a top-two pivot.

* Zemgus needs to get faster and stronger. I was very excited; thought the scant few points were surely a hockeydb mistake. They are not a mistake. I'm glad he's a crazy Latvian with great heart and desire, but really does look like the guy who was barely point-per-game in the USHL. This can't be the best place for him. As far as NHL impact, we're talking fall 2015 at the soonest, right?

* Evan Rankin is a good hockey player. Evan Rankin could be a third/fourth-liner with some skill in the bigs.

* Luke Adam reminds me a little like Ales Kotalik out there, in that he has the mindset of a pure goal scorer without having the aptitude to be truly elite in his chosen niche. Honestly, at this point, as disappointing as this is, Kotalik seems like a ceiling for the guy.

* Tarnasky is a despicable, hideous monster and I love him.

Kris Baker
Sunday, November 04, 2012 ×

Nice post. I agree with a lot of it.

Pysyk is indeed the real deal. I think he's ahead of McNabb on the depth chart when training camp opens.

I still think Adam will have a role, be it in Buffalo or elsewhere. This is a big year for him to show he can produce with good linemates, be responsible every shift away from the puck, and find some fire along the way. Tropp being gone for the year presents an opportunity for Adam....and a need for the team's depth.

I'm ok with Girgensons thus far. I'd like him to be able to get more ice time, and he will once this labor stuff breaks, but he doesn't look too far out of place for being the youngest kid in a very strong league. If we approach it from that perspective, and set benchmarks along the way outside of points, then I think he's right where we imagined he'd be 10 games in. He's simple in his lane and isn't losing much on the walls. It's way too early to pass judgment because you really need another month to see gradual growth to see if it's working or not. Watching a lot of AHL and WHL this year, I like where he's at. Seeing UVM as a team that will struggle this year, again, I'm ok with where's he's at.

I've seen most of all but two Amerks games thus far. I still think Hodgson will be an effective, efficient center with more experience. The skating still has time to improve. One of the things I like about Catenacci is that he can mix elements of Hodgson's polished passing with Ennis-like speed.

The Amerks needed a guy like Tarnasky. Having Freddy Roy on the other side has been fun to watch. They push the other checking line pretty hard for time.


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