Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Prospects Update

Here's a look at the Southwest Prospects this week.

Colin Jacobs (Seattle Thunderbirds, WHL)

Times have not been good for Seattle and Colin as the Thunderbirds continue to struggle near the bottom of the Western Conference as the team is currently 3-7-1 through 11 games which is currently 9th in the Western Conference on ahead of the Prince George Cougars and dead last in the U.S.A. Division. The Thunderbirds have lost 4 of their last 5 including games against the Everett Silvertips which could be important as they will most likely be fighting it out with Chilliwack and Prince George for the last playoff spots in the Western Conference.

As for Colin, he's been struggling being pointless in their last 3 and his last goal coming against the Portland Winterhawks on October 10, he's also been starting to pick his hitting in the game with his 6'2" 194 frame and the number of penalty minutes have been steadily increasing as he's currently up to 22 penalty minutes.

He's continuing to use as size to bring his physical play up to help bring any kind of positive momentum to the team to help their season and his performance as this may be the one of the only ways to keep the team competitive this season.

In addition, he hasn't been that much of a defensive liability, but the team did have a bad night when they lost to the Prince Albert Raiders 6-4 back on October 13. The only part of good news they have had was a 4-2 win over the lowly Prince George Cougars where the PP was really strong with the PP going 2-5 in the game including scoring the empty netter in the final minute to clinch the win.

Someone will need to step up it all over the ice to get them out of the Western Conference basement, or it's starting to look like it may be a very long season for the Thunderbirds.

Coming up for Seattle, a home game against the Brandon Wheat Kings and then the long 6 game road trip against the entire Central Division which includes the Calgary Hitmen who made it to the WHL Championship Series last season.

Also the Edmonton Oil Kings who are much improved and the Medicine Hat Tigers who will be looking to go on top of the Eastern Conference, currently the Tigers are just 2 points of co Conference Leaders Moose Jaw and Calgary.

10/23: VS. Brandon Wheat Kings 9:35 PM

10/25: @ Calgary Hitmen 3:00 PM

10/27: @ Red Deer Rebels 8:00 PM

10/28: @ Edmonton Oil Kings 8:00 PM

10/30: @ Lethbridge Hurricanes 8:00 PM

10/31: @ Medicine Hat Tigers 8:30 PM

11/1: @ Kootenay Ice 7:00 PM

Nick Lazorko (Winkler Flyers, MJHL)

Scoring wise, Nick is on a slower pace then in previous seasons. Currently through 17 games this season, Lazorko currently has only 14 points so far this season (5 G, 9 A). Part of the reason is that they wanted him to increase his physical presence on the ice with his 6'0" 180 pound frame this season. He's also been on a 5 game goal scoring drought since scoring twice in a game on October 9 against the Dauphin Kings, he's only had 2 assists in that time.

His penalty minutes are also up with the number of hits he's been throwing out their. However, he did take it to far with a slashing major which later turned into a 10 minute miscoundnct where he got tossed back on October 15 against the Winnipeg Saints when the Saints were leading 5-1 in the middle of the 3rd period. His actions almost got him suspended for a couple of games, but because this was first offense this season, he didn't get a suspension.

The last few games have been very rough for the Flyers where they have lost the last 4 games where they have been crushed in most of the games, it started in Selkirk with a 7-0 lost to the Steelers, a 6-1 loss to the Winnipeg Saints back on Thursday night.

However, the worst loss came against the expansion Steinbach Pistons 9-2 back on Saturday where the Pistons had a 6 goal 3rd period to pull away. Last night against the Dauphin Kings with a 5-3 lost where the team looked better but still lost to the team that's going to host the 2010 RBC Cup this season.

Like Colin Jacobs for the Seattle Thunderbirds, he's been a bit slow in the scoring department as of late by scoring just 2 assists and having a 5 game goal scoring drought. Part of it has been the Flyers getting crushed in recent games where they have been outscored 27-6 in the last 4 games. which include getting shutout against Selkirk and a 9-2 loss against the Steinbach Pistons. Last night, the Flyers looked better, but still a 5-3 loss against the Dauphin Kings increased their losing streak to 5.

Nick has also been increasing his physical play, however he took it to far in the game against the Winnipeg Saints where a 5 minute slashing major and 10 minute misconduct penalties took his total penalty minutes to 37 for the season. To get them out this funk, playing physical led by Lazorko and company to get back up in the Addison Division standings.

A ton of PP Time for the Winnipeg Saints helped to make it a 6-1 final against the Flyers. The Flyers will be hungry to get back up in the Addison Division Standings with them looking up at the Selkirk Steelers and the Winnipeg South Blues.

Out in the Sherwood Division, the Duphin Kings have been running away with the Division lead by winning 15 of their 17 games so far this season and have an impressive 13 point lead in the Sherwood Division. Duphin will be hosting the RBC Cup this season coming up in May and they want to make sure that the Kings will be tough to beat this season and in the National Championship at the end of the season

The team is looking for answers on the road as 4 of the final 5 games in October will be on the road as next up for the Flyers is the 2 time MJHL Defending Champion Portage Terriers coming up tomorrow night. After a Sunday home game against OCN, it's 3 straight on the road as they will play the Winnipeg Saints and a pair against the Swan Valley Stampeders coming up on 10/30 & 31.

10/22: @ Portage Terriers 7:30 PM

10/25: VS. OCN Blizzard 3:30 PM

10/27: @ Winnipeg Saints 7:30 PM

10/30: @ Swan Valley Stampeders 7:30 PM

10/31: @ Swan Valley Stampeders 7:30 PM

Chris Brown (Michigan Wolverines, NCAA (CCHA)

Not much to report from Chris Brown as they have had some time off since the trip to Alaska. If you remember, Brown had 2 goals in the teams first win of the year against Alaska Anchorage. They will return home for the team's home opener tomorrow night against the Niagara Purple Eagles before a road trip which includes Boston University and a weekend set against Lake Superior.

After the 3 game road trip, it's a pair of games against the very tough Miami of Ohio who are currently on top both major polls. The USA Today NCAA Hockey Poll and the USCHO poll.

10/22: VS. Niagara 6:35 PM

10/24: @ Boston University 6:00 PM

10/30: @ Lake Superior 6:05 PM

10/31: @ Lake Superior 6:05 PM

11/6: VS. Miami of Ohio 6:35 PM

11/7: VS. Miami of Ohio 6:35 PM

Austin Smith (Colgate Red Raiders, NCAA (ECAC))

The recent home weekend against Nebraska Omaha had a loss and a tie last weekend. Back on October 15, a 1-1 tie where Kurtis Bartliff scored the only goal in the 1-1 tie on Friday night. Then on Saturday, it's was the team's 1st loss of the season as Nebraska Omaha in a 4-1 loss which snapped a streak of 14 games in a row dating back to the end of last season where the last 14 straight games in a one goal result or less.

Austin Smith was pretty much a non-factor in either game except for a couple of penalties during the weekend as he stays on 2 points from the 2 goal game he had in the opening weekend against RIT.

Coming up for Colgate, a couple of non conference games continue as a battle with UMass-Lowell on the road before a 4 game home stand which has the Army Academy and Harvard who's looking to be a big player in the ECAC this season

10/23: @ UMass-Lowell 6:00 PM

10/30: VS. Army Academy 6:30 PM

10/31: VS. Niagara 6:30 PM

11/6: VS. Harvard 6:00 PM

11/7: VS. Dartmouth 3:00 PM

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