Saturday, November 30, 2013

TJ Yocum and Chase Smith have each worked hard in the net for the AA Las Vegas Jr Wranglers 18u at the Silver Stick Regional this weekend over at the Las Vegas Ice Center.

This morning, the Anthony Greener-coached Jr Wranglers take on a hard-skating, awesome Orange County Hockey Club 18u who beat them 8-0 earlier this year and is 2-0-0 this weekend. Las Vegas is a much better team now, however, than the one which played OC in September. This Las Vegas team looks like it’s about explode in goal scoring.

Faceoff this morning is 9:45 am and will be covering live.

At the rinkboards yesterday was Las Vegas defenseman Erik Fischer. He’s been out of the game for over a season and is now working at a restaurant inside of the Cosmolitan Hotel Casino here on the casino strip.

“I’m in the real world now – working every day,” he said. “I miss hockey, yes.”

Erik, a very hard skater who also worked on the point during power plays, played for the Eddie Samuels-coached AA Las Vegas Ice Cats 16u, then with the Rob Pallin-coached AA Las Vegas Jr Wranglers 16u and last played in junior hockey for the WSHL Ogden Mustangs.

“The different between midget hockey and junior hockey is huge. In juniors, you are playing for coaches who have to win the games and you are playing before large crowds instead of parents in small arenas. The intensity is there and the hitting is at a higher level,” Erik said.

Hitting is what Jason Zucker, who likes to prowl around enemy nets, was facing when he skated last night with the NHL Minnesota Wild against the Colorado Avalanche. Pushing, shoving after the whistle went on all game long by the Av’s when Zucker got tight in the attack areas.

Cory Ward of Las Vegas has been scoring big goals practically every game for Bemidji State. He has 9 goals, which gives him 18 goals total in his first two seasons of NCAA hockey.

Gage Quinney of Las Vegas and the WHL Prince Albert Raiders were down 5-0 at the 7:00 minute mark of the second period when the Raiders — on the road — rallied to beat the Regina Pats 7-6 in OT last night. Gage was a big part of the comeback, scoring his 3rd goal of the season.

The WHL Prince George Cougars are reporting that Zack Pochiro of Las Vegas is out with a concussion. He has 10 goals this season.

We dare anyone to order and drink all of a ‘large’ coffee at the Ice Center. It’s mountain-sized, far larger than the venti we usually get at Starbucks. Good stuff.