Ryan Strome (Terry Wilson-OHL Images)
Thursday on the hockey side of things was quiet only 3 New York Islander prospects and 1 New York Ranger prospect saw action. Off the ice saw what appears to be the demise of the CHLPA as the best way to explain things was to say appearances and identities were not what they claimed to be.
First up Ryan Strome (NYI 2011 1st) led his Niagara IceDogs up against the Kitchener Rangers. The IceDogs were looking to bounce back after dropping 2 games last weekend.
It wasn't easy but Niagara came away with a 2-0 win over the Rangers thanks in large part to their 3 Islander prospects making plays.
The game was scoreless for all of the first and most of the second until Ryan Strome scored his 10th goal on a nice shot that went under the bar and in for a 1-0 Niagara lead. Mitchell Theoret (NYI 2011 7th) didn't get an assist on the play but he deserves as you will see in the highlights by heading to the net calling for the puck.
Theoret caused enough of a distraction that it opened up the door for Strome to score a pretty easy goal. The goal came at 17:38 of the 2nd and was all Niagara really needed.
Niagara would add an empty net goal at 18:47 of the 3rd with Strome (primary) and Theoret (secondary) getting the assists on the play. Strome earned the game's 3rd star for a 1-1-2 effort as he improved to 10-13-23 (4th overall in the OHL).
Theoret with his assist improves 4-5-9 on the season as he remains with Strome on the Niagara first line. Jesse Graham (NYI 2012 6th) didn't get on the scoreboard but he made a play that could have been a huge difference maker but you need to see the highlights (starts at 45 seconds into the clip).
Highlights are from the folks at TVCogecoOntario
Yes you can see at the 1:50 mark that Graham clearly used his hand to push the puck out of the way. But it is not something that can be called using video replay so high marks to Graham for making a play even if the refs missed it.
Prior to the game the IceDogs traded Brock Beukeboom to the Guelph Storm for 3 draft picks. Yes as in son of Jeff Beukeboom but more on that later.
Peter Ceresnak (NYR 2011 6th) and his Peterborough Petes took on the Oshawa Generals but this was a huge mismatch as the Generals had little trouble defeating the Petes 5-0.
Yes it was as ugly as the score shows as Ceresnak was a -1 and took a holding call that led to Oshawa's first goal of the game. Very little is going right for the Petes as they are at the bottom of the OHL standings with little hope of improvement.
Thankfully the "highlights" are fast and only take 1:45 with thanks to TVCogecoOntario for their use.
Friday Night Hockey
The NHL Network in the USA will televise those same Oshawa Generals as they take on Andrey Pedan (NYI 2011 3rd) and newly acquired Brock Beukeboom in a matchup of two of the top teams in the OHL. The game will begin at 7 PM EST/4 PM PST.
Quick note on younger Beukeboom who some Ranger fans think the Rangers will sign because his father coaches the CT Whale defenseman. First the Blues hold his rights so they would have to not sign him.
The second thing and sorry this is key is that younger Beukeboom was once a top prospect but sadly injuries have damaged his development. I like Brock as a player and person but he first has to show he can stay healthy which he has not.
The Few, the suspects, and the end of the CHLPA?
Like a house of cards the "CHLPA" appears to have fallen apart once the glare of both the media and the CHL was turned on the folks who reportedly ran it. Neate Sager of Buzzing the Net has a great recap that may make people wish settling the NHL lockout was this easy.
On Thursday former Montreal Canadian George Laraque resigned as the public face of the CHLPA after allegations about who was the leader of the CHLPA surfaced. Attorneys that were working for free in filing union certifications in 2 provinces also resigned and what is left is a mess.
The kids wind up the losers because any real hope at changes not only to the education programs administered by the CHL but also finding ways to work out a compromise with the NCAA so a child doesn't have to make life altering choices at 15 are at the moment gone.
And hockey suffers yet another black eye because while several with the CHLPA had good intentions but those running it hid in secrecy and we may never know what their intentions really were.