Linkorama: Week 12

Linkorama is back after the huge weekend series in Minneapolis. This week, updates on 6 recruits, 8 alumni and the current team featured in multiple news outlets.

Recruits

Alex Petan played four games since our last update netting 2 goals and 3 assists while the Coquitlam Express (BCHL) went 2–1–1 moving themselves into a tie for fourth place in the Coastal Conference. Petan was named 2nd star for his performance (including 1 goal) in a 3-3 tie with Surrey on Friday and 3rd star (1 goal and 1 assist) in a 5–4 loss to Cowichan Valley. Now midway through the season, the Coquitlam Express have to be pretty happy with where they sit.

Jujhar Khaira played three games since our last update netting 2 goals and 4 assists while the Prince George Spruce Kings (BCHL) went 1–1–1 moving themselves into a tie for fourth place in the Interior Conference. Khaira led all scorers with 3 points, including 1 goal, in the Spruce Kings' 3–3 tie with the Westside Warriors.

Walker Hyland had an assist in Alberni Valley's (BCHL) 4–4 tie with Langley last Saturday.

Pheonix Copley earned two huge victories for the Tri-City Storm (USHL), allowing only 3 goals on 79 shots. On Saturday, Copley helped the Storm hold on for a 3–2 victory over Des Moines by stopping 17 of 18 shots faced, ending a four-game losing streak. Earning a second start in as many games, Copley stopped all but one of the 43 shots he faced as the Storm routed Sioux City 7–1. Since Tri-City made the trade for goaltender Adam Wilcox, Copley has outperformed him when given the opportunity. Wilcox: 1–4 with a 3.39 goals against average and .903 save percentage. Copley: 3–1 with a 1.76 GAA and .953 SV%.

Chris Leibinger had an assist in Traverse City's (NAHL) 4–2 win over Kalamazoo last Sunday.

Reid Sturos had 2 assists as Alexandria (NAHL) split their weekend games with Austin (3–2 W) and Coulee Region (4–3 L).

Alumni

Andy Sutton received an 8-game suspension for the hit we talked about in last week's linkorama. Sutton has been in the news a lot this week complaining about the appeal process for suspensions. Joe Yerdon (@JoeYerdonPHT) at Pro Hockey Talk broke things down and thinks Sutton has a point.

John Scott and his wife are expecting, sorry ladies. Okay, back to hockey. John Scott was in the lineup for Chicago (NHL) Wednesday night in Minnesota for the first time in over two weeks. His performance last night probably cost the Blackhawks 1 point as his inability to chase down a puck and get the icing call set up the Wild's first goal and gave them new life. Luckily for him and the Blackhawks, Patrick Kane helped give Chicago the win in overtime and the two points.

Chris Conner had one interesting week. After a slow start to his career with the Detroit Red Wings (NHL), he had 3 straight games with a point. He started off with an assist in his first game home game at Joe Louis Arena. He followed it up with his first goal as a Red Wing versus the Winnipeg Jets in front of over 20,000 fans at Joe Louis Arena. Then on Tuesday, Conner made his return to Pittsburgh to face his old Penguins teammates. That "homecoming" resulted in another win for the Red Wings and another point for Conner. He was clearly making an impression on Detroit executives that he belonged until news broke this morning that he had a hand injury and would be out at least two weeks. It was bittersweet to see him do so well in his last 3 games with the big club only to be put on the shelf with an injury. Hopefully, he'll be back and can pick up where he left off, putting up points like his first goal (see the video below) and hustling his way into the the lineup.

Deron Cousens scored his first two goals of the season as the Florida Everblades (ECHL) routed the Elmira Jackals 8–2. His versatility is helping the Everblades through a rough patch of injuries. Head Coach Greg Poss actually moved Deron to Forward while they deal with so many call-ups and injuries, and so far it's working.

Eric Kattelus scored a goal in Kalamazoo's (ECHL) 6–5 OT loss to Chicago and followed that up with an assist on a shot from the point to help the K-Wings defeat the Toledo Walleye 5-4 in a shootout. Kattelus has 10 points in 24 games, which is 13 points fewer than his teammate and failed Michigan Tech walk-on Trent Daavettila.

Riley Nelson helped the Colorado Eagles (ECHL) rally past the Idaho Steelheads after giving up two early goals. Nelson also chipped in during the rematch with Idaho later that week with a goal and 2 assists as the Eagles defeated the Steelheads 5–1. He capped off the week with 2 more goals in a big win over Utah Wednesday night. The recent unbeaten streak for Colorado now has them in a tie for second place in the Mountain Division. Nelson has 4 goals and 4 assists over that 5-game stretch.

Tyler Shelast recorded his first point for the Trenton Titans (ECHL) on a beautiful pass to Matt Germain to set up the Titans' second goal in a 3–2 overtime victory over the Reading Royals.

Malcolm Gwilliam helped set up the game winning goal as the Evansville IceMen (CHL) defeated the Bloomington Blast 2–1 on Sunday. That victory keeps the IceMen in first place in the Turner Conference.

Other Items

Here is a direct link to the December 12 edition of the Mel Pearson Show on Mix 93 (broadcast live every Monday at 8:45 AM on 93.5FM WKMJ and rebroadcast every Monday at 5:30 PM on 920AM WMPL).

Stephen Anderson (@steander), Michigan Tech hockey beat writer for The Daily Mining Gazette, talked to Bill Muckalt for his weekly column and got a few quotes about what happen near the end of Saturday's game. Stephen posted his preview for tonight's game vs Northern Michigan.

Dan Myers (@CHNDanMyers), writer for College Hockey News, wrote a nice article on how Michigan Tech is still learning many things as they find their way out of the bottom of the standings.

Roman Augustoviz (@RomanStrib), Gophers hockey beat writer for the Star Tribune, had a few articles this weekend on Michigan Tech's series with Minnesota: Gophers falter in another Friday night blight and Gophers pull away for split with Huskies.  Each article has some great pictures of the action and some quotes from various participants. He also had a blog post discussing possible punishment for the coaches involved in Saturday's shouting match.

Chris Eckes (@ChrisEckes) at Pride On Ice, whom we mention weekly for his WCHA power rankings, had a piece on last weekend's series with the Gophers.

In case you missed it, Tech Hockey Guide put together a nice summary of the events that took place in the Final Period of Saturday night's game between Michigan Tech and Minnesota. There is also video of the final 3 minutes, audio from Coach Mel Pearson and quote from Pearson, Bill Muckalt and Don Lucia.

Matt Wellens (@mattwellens) of The Mining Journal has a nice article on what Mel Pearson brings to the Michigan Tech–Northern Michigan rivalry that will be renewed this Friday in Marquette.

Polls and Rankings*

Polls: USCHO.com Poll (↔ NR) , USA Today Poll (↔ NR)

Computers: KRACH Rankings (↑ 29), Pairwise Rankings (↑ 28), USHSHO.com (↔ 33/↑ 30)

NCAA Power Rankings: Inside College Hockey (↔ Bubble-licious), College Hockey Weekly (↑ NR), Bleacher Report (↑ First Five Out)

WCHA/Michigan Power Rankings: Hockey State of Mind (↑ 8), Goon’s World (↔ 8), Pride On Ice (TBD)†, College Hockey News (↑ 8), Michigan College Hockey (↑ 6)

*Michigan Tech's ranking and their change in ranking from the previous week is in parentheses

†Not updated yet; we'll update the links when it becomes available