I’m not sure if the Western Hockey League has ever had Co-Players of the Week, let alone Co-Players from the same team, but the tandem of Brad Ross and Ryan Johansen are making a case for just that.
With Johansen posting his second career four-point night last night in the 6-5 overtime loss to the Saskatoon Blades, he now has 5-6-11 in four games while Brad Ross posted 5-5-10 in four games.
Their new linemate, Oliver Gabriel, posted 1-5-6 in four games, giving the line 11-16-27 in their past four games. (Oh, and their normal linemate…some guy named Nino…had a pretty good week too with 5-3-8 in his last three games.)
Ross should also be a candidate for Player of the Month for December as he posted 20 points in 11 games in the month.
Johansen now leads all rookie scorers in points (45) and assists (29) for the WHL. The goal he scored on the power play rush last night was nothing short of spectacular and should be a candidate for the WHL Plays of the Week.
The Saskatoon Blades have proven to me that they are the real deal and should be the top candidate from the Eastern Conference to battle for the WHL Championship.
I’ve seen them twice now, including a 5-1 win over the Calgary Hitmen in October, and they showed relentless pursuit of the puck and enough scoring ability to win most nights.
The Hawks have now faced the top two teams in the Eastern Conference and came away with 6-5 losses each time (in regulation against Calgary and last night in OT to the Blades). They were two of the most exciting games of the season, even if they did result in disappointment for Hawks fans at the end.
Derrick Pouliot didn’t see a lot of ice time last night for the Hawks, but I thought he played well when he saw the ice. Nothing flashy, but smart, patient hockey for the 15 year old 1st overall bantam selection. I’d expect him to possibly see more ice time tonight against the Everett Silvertips.
Speaking of Everett, they were also involved in a 6-5 game last night, winning in a shootout over the Tri City Americans at the Comcast Arena in Everett. Zack Dailey broke a 26 game goalless drought to score twice and then he got the winner in the shootout for the ‘Tips.
Everett is missing two key d-men at tournaments – Radko Gudas playing for the Czech Republic in the World U20’s and Ryan Murray at the World U17 Challenge.
Chris Francis will play in the 250th game of his career tonight…
That’s it for now…
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