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Rangers Prospect to Go Head-to-Head This Weekend

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: Roman Psurny and the Medicine Hat Tigers face Zdenek Bahensky and the Saskatoon Blades in WHL action on Friday.

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This weekend's slate includes matchups between Rangers prospects throughout the weekend, especially tonight with four meetings. Overall, Blueshirt prospects will face each other in seven contests this weekend. Three key matchups to keep tabs on are:

Friday, November 19 - Psurny vs. Bahensky
A battle of top WHL freshmen will take place as Roman Psurny and Medicine Hat travel to Saskatoon to challenge the Blades and rookie sniper Zdenek Bahensky. Bahensky is tied for second in the WHL rookie scoring ranks with 17 points (seven goals, 10 assists), while Psurny is nipping at his skate blades in fourth place with 16 points (six goals, 10 assists). This game is also a matchup of two of the WHL's best clubs. Medicine Hat ranks first in the Central Division with a 15-4-1 mark while the Blades own a 16-4-2 record and first place in the Eastern Division.

Saturday, November 20 - Montoya vs. Potter
Round Two in the Battle of Michigan, as Al Montoya and the #2 ranked Michigan Wolverines try to sweep the weekend series with their in-state rivals, the Michigan State Spartans. Montoya and the Wolverines bested Corey Potter and the Spartans at MSU on Thursday with a 4-2 decision. Montoya set a season best with 16 saves in the first period and dazzled throughout the game en route to his league-leading eighth win. This series has historically been tight one, as evidenced by the fact that over the last 25 meetings between U-M and MSU, 24 games have been decided by two goals or less, including five ties.

Sunday, November 21 - Callahan vs. Petruzalek
We shift gears to the Ontario Hockey League and a meeting between two of the Rangers most exciting prospects as Ryan Callahan and the Guelph Storm host Jakub Petruzalek and the Ottawa 67's. Callahan, a member of the 2005 U.S. World Junior Team, leads his club with 14 goals and 22 points while Petruzalek, the OHL's Rookie of the Month for October, leads all OHL freshman with 27 points (11 goals, 16 assists). The Storm will be playing their third game in four nights and the 67's will be finishing a string of three consecutive games, so both team should be on fumes when the final buzzer sounds.

Other matchups to take notice of this weekend:
Friday: Nate Guenin and #8 ranked Ohio State University travel to face goaltender Chris Holt and the University of Nebraska-Omaha Mavericks ... Michigan Tech and Jordan Foote head west to challenge #5 ranked Colorado College and Joey Crabb ... Brandon Dubinsky's Portland Winterhawks face WHL division rival Everett and Ivan Baranka.

Saturday: Tri-City captain Marcus Jonasen looks to break out against Baranka and the Silvertips in WHL action.

Golden Graham Goes for Nine Stright
Moncton Wildcats forward Bruce Graham looks to extend his eight-game point streak tonight against Atlantic Division foe, the Halifax Mooseheads. Graham, who also is riding a four-game goal streak (six goals), has posted 14 points (nine goals, five assists) over the hot streak, which dates back to October 29. The 6-6 center is currently tied for second in the QMJHL with 17 goals and ranks tied for second on the club with 26 points.

Lundqvist Faces Tough Test
Henrik Lundqvist and his Frolunda mates have been the toast of the Swedish Elite League to date, but Saturday's tilt against Timra will see what the league's top tender is made of.

Frolunda and Timra enter the matchup with identical 13-3-3 records, which place them atop the Elite League. Timra boasts a roster that includes Stanley Cup champion Fredrik Modin of Tampa Bay, Stanley Cup netminder Mikka Kiprusoff of the Calgary Flames, as well as Detroit sniper Henrik Zetterberg and Toronto defensemen Aki Berg. Lundqvist and Kirprusoff share the top spot on the goaltending charts with a 1.66 goals against average and have almost mirror statistics in several categories. Zetterberg enters the weekend as the league's third ranked scored with 10 goals and 11 assists for 21 points in 19 contests.
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