Sunday, March 23, 2014
That was the first Game Seven Michael McNicholas of Las Vegas ever played in last night.
Two years ago he skated for the USHL Muskegon Lumberjacks which did not make the playoffs. Last year, Michael was with the BCHL Naniamo Clippers who were eliminated in the sixth game of the first round – and Michael was a scratch in the final game.
Michael was moved over to the BCHL Vernon Vipers where he exploded in production.
Before Game Seven of Vernon Vipers vs Penticton Vees, hockey dad John McNicholas was asked how he felt before faceoff.
“Nervous,” he wrote back in a text.
Like all of us were when our hockey sons played in the biggest of games.
Michael scored from close range in OT last night, the decisive goal which eliminated a very strong Penticton team.
Now Vernon, Coquitlam Express and the Victoria Grizzlies will round-robin for a week to bring the field down to two teams. Then, the final two will go into a Best of Seven series.
When all of this over, Michael will prepare to play his college hockey at the University of New Hampshire this fall.
The Las Vegas Wranglers last night worked hard, moved the puck, scored early and stayed ahead of the Colorado Eagles for 99 percent of the game. Then, Colorado put on extreme pressure and scored a tying goal with 0:49 to play, then won in an OT/Shootout.
That was Alex Hudson (AAA Cal Senators, Riverside) moving around with the puck late in the game. The Wranglers got Bryce Reddick back into the lineup and he played well. Bryce came back from an upper body injury. Chris Francis had a ton of ice time and played well offensively and defensively. Defenseman Eddie Del Grosso did not play. He has been bugged with a knee problem.
On the Wranglers telecast last night, it was announced the club is down to its last five home games at The Orleans Arena.
Today Bakersfield is at Las Vegas for a 2 pm game.
There is plenty of Sunday hockey for Las Vegas skaters:
//Zach Pochiro will play in his second pro game for the ECHL Kalamazoo K-Wings who are on home ice against the Fort Wayne Komets in an afternoon game. Kalamazoo is a very strong team – an affiliate of the NHL St Louis Blues – and is expected to go deep into the playoffs.
//Gage Quinney and the WHL Prince Albert Raiders skate vs the Edmonton Oil Kings in Game Two of their Best of Seven
//Mike Trimboli and Utah State take on Northeastern at the US Nationals in Marlborough, Mass.
//Connor Nicholas and the NA3HL Topeka Capitals play a decisive Game Three against the Dallas Stars at the KC Expo Center. The winner of this playoff game will advance.
Sunday Notebook – While watching the Wranglers telecast last night, Eddie Samuels of Las Vegas said he and Colorado Eagles d-man Arthur Bidwill were teammates with the NAHL Fairbanks Ice Dogs. Bidwill is an ’87. “Very, very solid defensively,” Eddie said…Years ago Eddie and Eddie Del Grosso skated with Alex Hudson of the Colorado Eagles while playing for the AAA Cal Senators in Riverside, Ca.