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RANGERS PROSPECT NOTES - October 31, 2004

by Staff Writer / New York Rangers


Be sure to check back regularly each week for updated Rangers prospect notes and quotes from the Blueshirt coaching and scouting staff.

PHOTO: Chris Holt turned aside 28 of 30 shots to lead Nebraska-Omaha past Michigan State, 5-2, in CCHA action on Saturday.

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NATIONAL COLLEGIATE ATHLETIC ASSOCIATION:

UNO's Holt Sparkles in 5-2 Victory Over Michigan State
After being outplayed and outworked on Friday, Nebraska-Omaha returned the favor at Michigan State by an identical 5-2 score on Saturday. UNO goaltender Chris Holt, who turned aside 39 MSU attempts one night prior, stopped 28 of 30 shots in Saturday's win.

Holt, a sixth round draft choice by the Rangers in 2003, has now registered a 5-1-0 mark, along with a 2.82 goals against average and a .899 save percentage in six games this season. The win marked Holt's first CCHA regular season road victory since last November. UNO's five victories this month matches the highest number of October victories since the 2000-2001 season.

The Mavericks, who have opened the 2004-05 season at 5-1-0, make the trek to Alaska next weekend with a CCHA set against 2-2-0 Alaska-Fairbanks. The 2-4-0 Spartans don't have as far to travel next weekend for their CCHA pair with 2-6-0 Ferris State.

* MSU head coach Rick Comley on the play of Holt and the Maverick penalty killing unit ... "I thought he played well tonight. Tonight, he made some good saves, especially at very important times, and their penalty kill did a very good job. We just could not get the puck through."

* UNO head coach Mike Kemp on the play of Holt ... "He had some huge saves tonight. He needed to come up big a few times, and when he had to he did. Tonight the shots weren't as tough as last night, but a game like that is good to get a goalie's confidence level up."

* Rangers amateur scout Rich Brown on Holt's performance in UNO's win ... "Chris was named the third star after stopping 28 of 30 shots. He was outstanding in the first period when he weas forced to make a half dozen difficult saves. He showed above average quickness and lateral movement, making a pair of backdoor saves on what appeared to be sure goals. He kept his rebounds under control and was quickly able to recover his positioning for the second shot. He handles and passes the puck extremely well for a young goaltender. His game has matured in the last 12 months and seems to be a lot more focused and poised under pressure. Overall, it was an impressive performance."

Montoya Sets Personal Shutout Streak, But Falls
Ferris State's Matt Rutkowski fluttered a shot that took a fortunate bounce over the pad of University of Michigan goaltender Al Montoya at 1:52 of overtime as Ferris State edged the Wolverines, 1-0, in CCHA action on Saturday. The loss snapped Michigan's five-game winning streak. Montoya has not yet won at Ewigleben Ice Arena home in Big Rapids, Michigan.

Montoya set a personal shutout streak record of 150:10 minutes, which began against Lake Superior State last week and stretched into overtime against FSU. A first rounder by New York in 2004, Montoya has now posted a 5-2-1 mark in eight games this season, along with a 2.22 goals against average and a .911 save percentage.

* Michigan head coach Red Berenson on game ... "I would have to say it wasn't a story of bad offense as it was good defense. This was a demonstration of top echelon goaltending. Both teams played well defensively. Montoya wasn't screened on the shot, it just took a fortunate bounce."

#11 Dartmouth Upset in Season Opener, 2-1
It certainly wasn't the way Dartmouth wanted to open its 2004-05 season. The Quinnipiac Bobcats upset No. 11 Dartmouth, 2-1, on Saturday night at Thompson Arena in Hanover, New Hampshire in the first of two games for the Big Green this weekend.

Dartmouth outshot Quinnipiac, 46-11, including 22-5 in the third stanza. It was the first game of the series between the two schools, but it won't be the last. Quinnipiac officially begins play in the ECACHL for the 2005-06 season. The Bobcats moved to the Division 1 level in 1998-99.

Dartmouth returns to action on Sunday as they host Connecticut.

Big Green junior forward Hugh Jessiman, a pre-season All-America candidate, was held scoreless in the opener.

Olver, Northern Michigan Down Notre Dame, 4-1
The Northern Michigan Wildcats stretched their unbeaten streak to five games (4-0-1) as they downed the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, 4-1, at the Joyce Center in South Bend, Indiana on Saturday in CCHA action. The two teams skated to a 1-1 tie on Friday.

NMU is now 4-1-1 overall on the season and 3-0-1 in the CCHA, while Notre Dame is 1-4-2 and 0-3-1 in the conference.

NMU forward and New York secdond rouner in 2004 Darin Olver collected a power play assist on the eventual game-winning goal in the second period. Olver has posted four assists in six games this season.

Blueshirt Duo Helps Harvard Rout National Under-18 Team
One night after opening its 2004-05 season with a 2-2 tie vs. Brown, Harvard routed the United States Under-18 National Team, 7-2, in an exhibition game on Saturday.

Blueshirt prospects Rob Flynn and Dylan Reese, who each collected an assist in Friday's tie, jumped onto the scoresheet again on Saturday with a goal and an assist apiece.

Harvard has now completed its exhibition slateand takes to the road for its first full ECAC travel series, with a visit to Cornell and Colgate next weekend.


CANADIAN HOCKEY LEAGUE:

Ottawa Blanks Saginaw, Petruzalek Adds to Rookie Point Lead
Ottawa rookie forward Jakub Petruzalek continued his torrid start to the 2004-05 season as his two goals helped lead the 67s to a 5-0 win over host Saginaw on Saturday in OHL action. The right winger was named the first star of the game.

Petruzalek, New York's ninth round choice in the 2004 NHL Draft, leads all OHL rookies and all Blueshirt prospects with 24 points (eight goals, 14 assists) in 15 games this season.

Baranka, Everett Skate Past Dubinsky, Portland
Portland forward Brandon Dubinsky would certainly trade his one and assist for a win on Saturday as the Winterhawks dropped a 4-2 decision to Ivan Baranka and the Everett Silvertips in WHL action on Saturday.

With the two points, Dubinsky, a second round pick by the Rangers in the 2004 Draft, concluded the weekend with two goals and an assist and has now posted seven points (four goals, three assists) and 40 penalty minutes in 14 games this season.

Baranka, a Blueshirt second rounder in 2003, collected a power play assist in the win and has now recorded four points (one goal, three assists) and 20 penalty minutes in 15 games.

Jonasen Helps Lead Tri-City Past Spokane
Tri-City left winger Marcus Jonasen tallied a power play goal and added an assist as the Americans edged Spokane, 4-3, in OT on Saturday in WHL play.

Jonasen, a third round selection by the Blueshirts in the 2002 NHL Draft, now leads Tri-City with five goals and 10 points, while ranking third on the club with five assists in 12 games.

Bahensky, Byers Battle in WHL East Division Tilt
The Saskatoon Blades added to their lead in the WHL's East Division with a 2-1 OT win over division rival Prince Albert on Saturday. Saskatoon has now won five straight games and have only one loss in their last 10 games. The Raiders, who sit in third place in the East, entered the game unbeaten in its last two matches (1-0-1). The game marked the first of 10 meetings between the two teams on the season. In 2003-04, Prince Albert held a 6-2-1 edge in nine meetings.

Saskatoon's Zdenek Bahensky and Prince Albert's Dane Byers each collected a pair of roughing penalties on the night. Bahensky has registered six goals and eight assists for 14 points, along with 22 penalty minutes in 15 games. He ranks second in goals scored by WHL rookies and fourth on his club with six goals and places third on his team with eight assists. Byers, has posted two points and 38 penalty minutes in 71 games this season.


AMERICAN HOCKEY LEAGUE:

Lundqvist, Frolunda Fall to Linkopings, 5-3
Henrik Lundqvist turned aside 25 of 30 shots in a rare 'off night' for the netminder as Frolunda dropped a 5-3 decision to Linkopings HC on Saturday in Swedish Elite League play.

Despite the loss, Lundqvist has posted an 11-4-0 record, along with a league-leading 1.74 goals against average and a .937 save percentage in 15 games. His 898:21 minutes of action and his 388 saves also lead the Elitserien.


AMERICAN HOCKEY LEAGUE:

Wolf Pack Win Again, Improve to 6-0-0
After falling behind 1-0 early in the first period on a power play goal by Portland's Boyd Gordon, the Wolf Pack responded with four unanswered goals in the second period by Maxim Kondratiev, Ryan Hollweg, Blair Betts, and Jeff MacMillan and skated to a 4-1 win over the host Pirates. It was the first tally of the season for all four players. Jason LaBarbera made 21 saves in the first meeting of the season between the Wolf Pack and the Pirates. Hartford has now opened the season at 6-0-0.


EAST COAST HOCKEY LEAGUE:

Checkers Set Club Record with 5-4 Win
The Charlotte Checkers set a new, modern-day club record for most wins to start a season (4-0-0) after defeating the Columbia Inferno, 5-4, on Saturday at Cricket Arena in the club's 2004-05 home opener. Juris Stals scored a pair of goals for the Checkers including the game winner with just 2:55 to go in the contest. The win was the Checkers fourth straight as they delighted the crowd of nearly 7,200 on opening night. Eddie Pershin, Mike Harder, Kenton Smith also scored goals for the Checkers, while goalie Alex Westlund won his third straight contest with 20 saves.
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