The St. John's IceCaps season opened with three games in three nights. They split the three games, finishing with a 1-1-1 record. These three games saw Connor Hellebuyck pick up his first pro win, Scott Kosmachuk score his first pro goal and a few veterans play the game we've become accustomed to. In significant injury news, Peter Budaj was cut near his eye and forced to leave the opening game. Connor Hellebuyck played in relief and acquitted himself well.
The Winnipeg Jets CHL prospects had an up and down week. Nikolaj Ehlers was held to one goal in three games. His team is struggling too. Local fans have been saying he looks visibly frustrated. Frustration aside, his lone goal was a beauty. Defenseman Jan Kostalek was the leading goalscorer among the Winnipeg Jets QMJHL prospects with two.
Jimmy Logde played three games and picked up three points in the process, including two goals. He is surely hoping to sustain this pace going forward.
Chase De Leo picked up two assists and teammate Nic Petan picked up one. Unfortunately Petan was the victim of a brutal hit and forced to exit their second game early. Here is to hoping he is okay and rebound quickly. Also in the dub, Axel Blomqvist returned to action after missing four games due to a similarly brutal hit. He scored a goal in the first of the week's three games and added another in the third. That goal came at 19:03 of the third and took Vic to overtime. They eventually won.
Josh Morrissey picked up and assist this week, Eric Comrie stopped near infinity pucks and Nelson Nogier played a sound defensive game.
Ehlers first goal of the season:
Horrible Hit on Nic Petan:
Opening weekend in the NCAA saw a handful of Winnipeg Jets prospects make their college debut. Matt Ustaski, Jack Glover, Tucker Poolman and CJ Franklin each saw their first action. Ustaski scored a goal too. Franklin picked up an assist. Poolman and Glover each played a game and sat another. The rookie defenders appear to be getting worked in slow.
Among the more veteran prospects, Jason Kasdrof was a standout. He missed most of last season with an injury, but he appears to be in fine form to start the year. Kasdorf stopped 62 of 67 shots for a .925 save percentage. Aaron Harstad scored a goal. Peter Stoykewych scored a goal and added an assist. Tanner Lane also recorded an assist. The quick production from that last trio is interesting and none of them have been prolific offensively. They each finished last year with nine points.
1) Eric Comrie had an incredible week, playing three game and stopping 94 of 98 shots against. Quick math says that is a .959 save percentage. Tri-City went 2-1-0-0 across the three games and they were shut out in the lone loss, so it was at no fault to Comrie.
2) Connor Hellebuyck stopped 57 of 61 shots for a .934 save percentage and a GAA of 2.12. He won his first start and took his relief effort to overtime, finishing 1-0-1. He has taken an early step towards solidifying his role with the IceCaps. The fact that Jussi Olkinuora allowed six goals in his start will surely help his cause as well.
3) Eric O`Dell has wasted no time getting back to business in the AHL. He posted two goals and two assists for four points in the IceCaps opening weekend. He is making an early case for a call up to a Jets roster that remains shorthanded due to Evander Kane's injury.