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Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Stingy on Defense

10/17/2013, 11:30am EDT
By Tom Robinson - Special to USAHockey.com

The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights allowed just two goals while going 3-0 at the Eastern Hockey League’s Columbus Day Showcase in Hudson, N.H.

The Knights shut out their first two opponents, allowing a total of just 27 shots, before rallying with the game’s final three goals in a 4-2 win over the New Jersey Rockets. Matt Cessna scored the game-winner.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton is allowing a league low 1.73 goals per game.

The New Hampshire Junior Monarchs, Northern Cyclones and Connecticut Oilers also went 3-0 at the showcase. The Walpole Express was 1-0-2. Riley Christensen’s hat trick helped the Cyclones finish with a 12-3 romp over the Washington Junior Nationals.

METRO SHOWCASE: Bryan Canter of the Frederick Freeze had a 39-save shutout at the Metropolitan Junior Hockey League’s Columbus Day Weekend Showcase, and then he made 20 saves in a 4-2 victory that ended an eight-game winning streak by the New Jersey Avalanche.

Brett Mecrones had four goals and four assists to help the Boston Junior Rangers win three games at the showcase. Boston had the only perfect record among 26 teams in the event.

STILL PERFECT: The Omaha Lancers — and goalie Cole Bruns — have made it through five United States Hockey League games without allowing a goal. Bruns, a 19-year-old from Prairie Grove, Ill., has stopped 117 shots in the longest shutout streak in USHL history.

Bruns made 28 saves each in a 2-0 win over the Sioux Falls Stampede Friday and a 7-0 romp over the Des Moines Buccaneers Saturday.

He was not the only standout for the Lancers. Tyler Vesel had a short-handed goal against Sioux Falls and then two goals and three assists against Des Moines. Matt Nelson assisted the Friday game-winner, scored his first goal Saturday and was a big part of the defense, including his play on nine penalty kills.

SUSPENDED GAME: Saturday’s USHL game between the Dubuque Fighting Saints and Cedar Rapids RoughRiders in Cedar Rapids was suspended with 8:02 left in the second period after a scary injury to Dubuque defenseman Dylan Chanter.

Chanter hit his head when he fell to the ice after losing his helmet in a fight. He was released from the hospital later that night.

USHL president and commissioner E.T. (Skip) Prince released a statement saying the league was grateful that Chanter was back in Dubuque and resting comfortably.

“We want to face squarely the questions that have arisen as to the circumstances that caused the injury — that is, that Mr. Chanter and a Cedar Rapids player were engaged in a short altercation, with the injury occurring when both players fell and Mr. Chanter’s head hit the ice,” Prince said in the statement. “The injury was the accidental and unintended outcome of an infraction that resulted in a fighting major penalty to both players.

“Still, it raises the question as to whether those penalties should have been, or should in the future be, even more severe in order to curtail them from occurring.”

The statement also pointed out that the USHL, working with USA Hockey and the National Hockey League, implemented a comprehensive Player Safety Initiative this season, designed “to reduce dangerous play in a number of areas, including, but not limited to, fighting.”

HOT GOALIES: The Flint Junior Generals are 10-0-1 in the North American 3 Hockey League with the help of goalie Nate Klebe, who gave up just one goal in 125 minutes in two weekend wins.

Klebe had 34 saves in regulation and overtime before getting a 2-1 shootout win over the Toledo Cherokee. He then had a 22-save shutout in a 6-0 win over the Michigan Mountain Cats.

Jude Hull helped the Topeka Capitals debut in the NA3HL with two wins by stopping 68 of 69 shots in the first two games. Hull had 35 saves in Sunday’s 4-0 shutout of the Dallas Junior Stars.

ONE-TWO COMBINATION: Lucas Lomax and Aaron McInnis share the team scoring lead with seven goals and five assists each while helping the Great Falls Americans to a 6-0 start in the American West Hockey League.

McInnis, the league leader at plus-16, had a hat trick in an 8-3 win over the Bozeman Ice Dogs Oct. 10. Lomax had a hat trick Saturday in an 8-1 win over the Billings Bulls.

ONE-TIMER: The Austin Bruins needed a shootout to protect the North American Hockey’s League’s best record (8-1-0) Saturday with a 3-2 win over the Brookings Blizzard, the league’s only winless team. … The Marquette Royales will put their 11-game winning streak and Minnesota Junior Hockey League Great Lakes Division lead on the line at home against the second-place Illiana Blackbirds in a three-game weekend series … Jimmy Morgan had his second hat trick of the season, including the game-winning goal, to help the West Sound Warriors improve to 6-0 in the Northern Pacific Hockey League with Saturday’s 4-3 win over the Eugene Generals.

Story from Red Line Editorial, Inc.

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