Capitals’ Prospects in Portland

by Caitlin LoCascio

Winger Brad Church began the season down with the ECHL’s Richmond Renegades, but since he was called up, has continued to play some of the best hockey we have ever seen from him here in Portland. He works incredibly hard and knows how to get in the other team’s face without drawing an unnecessary penalty. The Pirates just finished a run of seven games in nine days and it was admirable to see Church continue working at 100% despite the visible fatigue the entire team was feeling.

When defensemen Dean Melanson joined the Pirates late last season, I used my usual wait-and-see approach. On paper, he looked to be a good match. But, as any hockey fan knows, past numbers and playing styles can also mean nothing. It did not take too long for me to decide that he was a good fit and I liked him a lot. When I read that the Capitals signed him to a proper contract over the summer, I was excited. I do not know what has happened, but he is not the same player he was last year, and play like we saw this weekend, especially from a team’s captain, is unexcusable. Dean Melanson can be a good player – he has proven this many times – but right now his play is sloppy, half-hearted (at best), irresponsible and the whole team is suffering for it. I am not out to get the guy; I want nothing more than a chance to stand up and cheer for him. But right now, that is just not the case.

Defenseman Nate Forster suffered a concussion last week and will be out until at least the beginning of March. Wingers Chris Corrinet (Achilles’), Marti Read more»

Wheeling Nailers Update

by Ron Valerino

Wednesday, February 6Cincinnati 1 – Wheeling 3

The Cyclones made their final visit of the season to Wheeling and the Nailers looked to avenge a 1-0 home loss to Cincinnati just six days earlier. Dylan Gyori started the scoring for the Nailers at 1:44 of the opening period to give the Nailers a 1-0 lead. J.P. Soucy and Chris Wells assisted on the goal. In the second period the Nailers extended their lead to 2-0 on a Chris Wells goal at 10:51. David Koci tallied his first point as a Nailer this season by picking up an assist on the Wells goal, Arpad Mihaly got the other assist.

At 16:45 of the second period the Cyclones scored their lone goal of the game to get the score to 2-1. The Nailers began the third period with a two-man advantage power play and took advantage by scoring the final goal of the game. Gyori scored his second goal of the game to give the Nailers a 3-1 lead and eventual win. Kurt Drummond and J.C. Ruid assisted on the goal. Joel Laing made 31 saves on 32 shots for the win.

Saturday, February 9Wheeling 4 @ Atlantic City 2

This game marked the last visit of the regular season for the Nailers to Atlantic City. The Nailers won for the first time in Boardwalk Hall their last visit, 4-3 in a shootout. Atlantic City took a 1-0 lead just 3:35 into the game on a power play goal. Mark Moore tied the game 1-1 for the Nailers at 15:19 of the opening period with J.C. Ruid assisting. The Boardwalk Bullies out shot the Nailers 14-8 in the second period but neither team managed to break the 1-1 tie. Atlantic City took their second and fi Read more»

Calder Corner for the Week Ending 2/10

by HF Staff

The Calder Corner

4 Games
McDonald: 5 Assists (15,16,17,18,19)
ATL 2 Games
Tjarnqvist: 1 Assist (11)
Kovalchuk: 1 Goal (27)
Heatley: 3 Assists (26,27,28)
Nurminen: 2 Games 75 Shots 71 Saves 1st NHL Win, Loss
BOS 3 Games
Boynton: 2 Assists (9,10)
CAL 2 Games
Hentunen: 1 Goal (2) Read more»

Fussey blew the doors off for Hitmen

by Aaron Dowding

On Feb.6 Owen Fussey skated all over the Lethbridge Hurricanes with a five-point night. Fussey had four goals in the third period alone and one assist in the second for a final of 7-3.

Sebastien LaPlante and Hurricanes golatender Blake Ward held the game scoreless for half of the first when Ryan Getzlaf finally broke the ice after a centering pass by Chad Wolkowski.

The second goal for the Hitmen came when Scott Borders of the Hurricanes was injured on the ice. The ref failed to blow the play down and the Canes already had a man in the box.

With the five on three the Hitmen capitalize on a scramble in front.

The score was growing and so was the tension when finally Wes Rypien of the Hitmen jumped a Cane’s player and received five for fighting and a game misconduct.
22 seconds into the major the Cane’s made it a one goal deficit when WHL leading scorer Nathan Barrett put in his 34th goal of the year. He would add another goal and assist for a point total of 86.

Also scoring for Lethbridge was Jackson for his 29th of the year.

Early in the third period the game was blown wide open when Fussey hacked at a rebound until it finally found the back of the net, shorthanded.

Less than five minutes later with the score 4-3 Fussey let a rocket go from just over the blueline for his 31st of the year.

Less than two minutes later Fussey scored again for his third of the night. Still he wasn’t finished,in front of 5109 fans at the Dome, he picked up a rebound and scored his fourth of the night with only 38 seconds left in the game.

T Read more»