Pretty big week for Ryan Pulock. On Sunday he and former Belleville Bull Alan Quine signed their entry-level deals with the New York Islanders. Despite being sent down on Monday as one of the final cuts of the Islanders, the first rounder from this past June made a mark in his first game back in the WHL.
The Wheaties and the Edmonton Oil Kings combined for seven goals in the second period of their Wednesday contest—the only goals scored during the game came in the second, in fact—with Pulock's second of the contest just squeaking past the goal line with two seconds left in the period. He factored in on all four goals, all of them coming on a dominant Wheaties powerplay. They went 4-for-8 in the game but converted on all four chances they were given by the Kings (of the Oil variety) in the middle frame.
Couple more notable performances from this game: Edmonton Oilers prospect Mitch Moroz recorded his first WHL hat-trick, and Brandon goaltender Curtis Honey made 33 saves on 36 shots, including a penalty shot attempt by former Phoenix Coyotes first rounder Henrik Samuelsson early in the first period.
No. 2 Star - Andrey Alexeev, Saginaw Spirit (OHL)
In the Ontario Hockey League, meanwhile, diminutive Russian Andrey Alexeev scored the game winner with just 29 seconds left in the third period to clinch the Spirit's second win on the year. He had also opened the scoring with an unassisted marker in the first period and assisted on Nick Moutrey's second of the season in the second.
Saginaw probably put in their best 60-minute effort on the season. Goaltender Jake Paterson saw below 40 shots for the first time all season, making 29 saves on 32 Sarnia attempts, including 11 in the third period.
No. 3 Star - Madison Bowey, Kelowna Rockets (WHL)
We're going to stay away from Portland for the third star (for now). The Kelowna Rockets had a goaltender-assisted road win in Everett. Young Jackson Whistle made 29 saves as the Rockets put up a decisive 6-3 victory and staying unbeaten in regulation despite getting outshot by a slight margin by the 'Tips. Daniel Cotton was chased after a rough first period, allowing three goals on eight shots, two of them coming in off the stick of big Washington Capitals prospect Madison Bowey.
Bowey also assisted on a Zach Franko goal early in the second against a fresh Austin Lotz, effectively sealing the victory, although Everett stormed back with a pair of powerplay goals in the period. Nick Merkley, the rookie, scored two goals for the Rockets assisted by Tyson Baillie, and if we need remind you, Baillie will be first-time eligible for the NHL Draft in June. He already has six points in four contests.
Honourable Mention - Daniel Sprong, Charlottetown Islanders (QMJHL) - The early leader for the starting right wing position in the QMJHL's All-Name Team, the Islanders' first round pick from this June's draft scored a goal and an assist for the rebuilding franchise as they continue to win. The Islanders are now 6-0-1 this season after a tough 5-3 win in Gatineau. Down 3-1 in the third with half a period left, overage import Matej Beran scored a pair tie the score (the second goal was assisted on by Sprong) before Troy Vance scored with 1:01 left. The Islanders would score an empty netter to seal it.
Honourable Mention - Nic Petan, Portland Winterhawks (WHL) - It doesn't seem to matter who the Winterhawks put in their lineup. The top offensive guys will find ways to score. Last year's scoring leader Nic Petan now has 12 points in his first five games this year after a two-goal, two-assist performance at home to Spokane. Might be worth noting that the current leading scorer, Mitch Holmberg, put up three assists for the Chiefs in the same game, but the 'Hawks came away with a dominant, 6-4 home victory.
Potent Notables… Kings prospect Valentin Zykov with a goal and an assist of his own, albeit in a loss for Baie-Comeau… Canucks first rounder from June Bo Horvat tallied in his return to OHL action… Devils prospect Ryan Kujawinski scored the OT winner for Kingston with 40 seconds to go in Belleville… In the 'dub again, Ben Walker scored the only goal for the Royals and Patrik Polivka had a 28-save shutout in a 1-0 win in Prince George… A pair for first-time eligible in 2014 Reid Gardiner for Prince Albert in a 4-1 win against Red Deer, but projected first rounder Leon Draisaitl shut out… Swift Current's Coda Gordon scored the winning goal and assisted the insurance goal in a win over the Blades… back to Portland, they actually got their six goals by way of three two-goal performances: Petan's, Oliver Bjorkstrand's and 2014-eligible Alex Schoenborn. Bjorkstrand has six goals in his last two games.