Two weeks ago, Carolina Hurricanes fourth round pick from this year’s draft, Trevor Carrick of the Mississauga Steelheads, was benched for a couple games after his team suffered a rough 8-0 loss at the hands of the Guelph Storm. Carrick was only on ice for a powerplay goal against, so I thought the benching was a bit odd, but Mississauga’s coaching staff clearly saw something wrong with him in that game and was consequently benched. When a a player has to ride the pine for a game or two, many say that it messes with their confidence and can derail the rest of their season.
Carrick returned to the lineup in both fo Mississauga’s games last week and recorded a point in each of them. He also scored his sixth goal of the season in Friday’s game against the Niagara Ice Dogs, so it doesn’t look like confidence is a big issue for him. I still think it’s a little odd that Carrick was benched in the first place because from my viewpoint, he is having a very solid season and has made considerable improvements from last year. I’m probably not the most informed person about him or the Steelheads, though. Either way, he is back in the lineup now and producing which is good news for the Hurricanes. Unfortunately, the Steelheads lost both of their games this week and gave up an astonishing 56 shots in one of them which is probably a sign that Carrick’s defensive play may have been what got him benched. Then again, if a team gives up that many shots in one game, it’s more indicative of a team’s entire defensive play rather than one player. I don’t have access to watch these games and there is only so much information available, so I’m doing my best here folks.
Moving on, let’s take a look at the week that was for the rest of the Hurricanes CHL prospects.
Ryan Murphy, Kitchener Rangers – 3 GP, 0 G, 1 Pt
This wasn’t as big of a week for Murphy compared to some of his other performances but he still recorded an assist in Kitchener’s 5-4 win over teh Plymouth Whalers. Unfortunately, Murphy was also on ice for two goals against in that game and another one in Kitchener’s 3-1 loss to London. Murphy would be held off the scoresheet in Kitchener’s shootout win over Windsor, but I’m sure he is fine with the Rangers winning two of their three games on the week rather than his point total. Murphy was also invited to Canada’s World Junior camp so there is a chance we may get to see him play on a bigger stage come Christmas time.
Brock McGinn, Guelph Storm – 2 GP, 0 G, 1 Pt, 2 PIM
A relatively quiet week for McGinn with him having only one assist, but that’s been about the norm from him on the season and his overall point total still improves to 21 in 29 games. That’s very solid for someone in his type of role, although only six of those points are from goals. As a team, Guelph rebounded nicely after a rough set of games the week before. They squeaked out a 3-2 win over Brampton while dominating them on the shot count 34-19 but dropped their next game to the London Knights, a team who is riding a 15-game winning streak. McGinn was slightly at fault for one of the two goals he was on-ice for in that game, though as he failed to pick up a player coming out of the penalty box, who was the eventual goal-scorer.
Trevor Carrick, Mississauga Steelheads 2 GP, 1 G, 3 Pts
It seems like Carrick has been the top performer quite a few tiems this year. I don’t know if that speaks more about his play or the rest of the pool under-performing. Probably a little of both. Anyway, Carrick made the most of getting back into the lineup last week by scoring his sixth goal of the season on Friday against Niagara in a 6-4 loss. Mississauga had an ugly performance that night after falling behind 3-0 early, but Carrick did score a ncie goal. He made a good play at the Niagara blue-line to keep the puck in, set up a play down low and picked up a loose puck in the slot and beat the Niagara goaltender. He also recorded an assist in this game, granted it was secondary and all he did was throw the puck at the net but good things tend to happen when players do that. Carrick also recorded an assist in Niagara’s shootout loss to London on Sunday afternoon after one of his point shots was deflected past the goaltender. He also scored in a marathon 19 round shootout that London ended up winning. Like I said earlier, tough week for the Steelheads but a good week for Carrick.
Keegan Lowe, Edmonton Oil Kings – 1 GP, 1 G, 1 Pt
Lowe is nursing an ankle injury right now but he did pick up his fifth goal of the season in the one game he did play in. It was a long wrist shot from deep in the slot with a screen in front, which is typically what you see from most defenseman. This one looked stoppable from my viewpoint but that doesn’t really matter in the end. It’s unfortunate that Lowe has struggled with injuries this season because he has been good when he is in the lineup.
Tyler Stahl, Victoria Royals – 2 GP, 0 G, 0 Pts, 4 PIM
Another player who has trouble staying in the lineup is Tyler Stahl, who did play two games with the Victoria Royals this week. He didn’t record any points in either of them and didn’t play in the third one. I’m not sure why but I would guess that the two penalties he took in their 2-0 over Prince George had something to do with it. One of them was an unnecessary interference call and a possible hit to the head. Stahl’s penalties have no doubt been very frustrating for the Royals this year. He is the team’s captain and really needs to be in the lineup but he also needs to stay out of the penalty box. The good news is that Victoria recorded points in all three of their games and won two of them. They are still five points behind Kelowna in their division but they are in the top half of the Western Conference of the WHL now.
Victor Rask, Calgary Hitmen – 2 GP, 0 G, 0 Pts, 2 PIM
After immediately making an impact in his first couple of weeks, Rask didn’t seem to do much in either of the Hitmen’s games this past week. He was also a -2 in their 4-0 loss to Saskatoon and he didn’t look very good on the first goal he was on-ice for. He was able to win a face-off but he quickly got knocked off the puck and the rest of Calgary just seemed to break down after that. Better games are ahead for him, though. On a lighter note, Rask also starred in his first music video.
Austin Levi, Plymouth Whalers – 0 GP
Didn’t play in any of Plymouth’s games and he has been somewhat underwhelming ever since returning to juniors.
Daneil Altshuller, Oshawa Generals – 3 GP, 5 GA on 71 shots
Altshuller ended up taking the loss in Oshawa’s game against Sarnia despite not starting the game. Ken Appleby was quickly relieved after giving up two goals in eight minutes and Altshuller went into relieve him. He gave up an extremely weak goal on the first shot he faced but stopped the remaining 11 thrown his way. The Generals managed to battle back and make it a 3-2 game late, but they couldn’t get the win, making the one goal Altshuller gave up the game-winner. He was much better in each of Oshawa’s next games, giving up only four goals on 59 shots and helping the Generals get wins over Peterborough and Kingston. He was much more relied on in the former game, as he was called upon to stop 34 shots and only allowed two goals on the powerplay while staying perfect at even strength. His save percentage is continuing to trend in the right direction.
Matt Mahalak, Plymouth Whalers – 0 GP
Didn’t play in any games this past week as the Whalers are rolling with Alex Nedeljkovik as their starter for the time being. Knowing how goalies work, Mahalak will find his way back to his former position soon.