As part of our expanding coverage of the New York Ranger prospects we will be including the Greenville Road Warriors of the ECHL who are the Ranger's affilate in that league. The ECHL which was once more of a "goons' league has become a serious "AA" level development league for NHL teams. What once was a rarity for a player to go from playing in the ECHL to playing in the NHL is becoming more common place.
Each NHL team is allowed to stock 8 players on an ECHL roster and for Greenville that includes forward Michael St. Croix (2011 4th) and goalie Jason Missiaen (2011 UFA). Both played key roles in helping the Road Warriors earn a 2-1 overtime win over the Kalamazoo Wings (St. Louis/Vancouver) on Wednesday evening.
It was St. Croix who got the puck in deep and to the K-Wing's net that led to the game willing goal in the overtime period. It was St. Croix's first career playoff point as it gave the Road Warriors a big 2-1 win as they took a 2-1 series lead.
Jason Missiaen was the goalie for the Road Warriors and he earned the game's second star as he stopped 35 out of 36 shots for his second win of the playoffs. In three games Missiaen is 2-1 with a 1.65 goals against and a 0.955 save percentage.
Because of the travel distances, this series is being played in the 2-3-2 format so Greenville in stealing home ice from the K-Wings could win this series and not have to travel back to Michigan. Game 4 will be Friday night.
In the QMJHL, Ryan Graves (2013 4th) and his Val-d'Or Foreurs dropped game four of their QMJHL semifinals series with the Halifax Mooseheads 5-4. The Mooseheads who dropped the first 2 games of this series on their home ice have reclaimed their home ice advantage by taking both games in Val-d'Or.
The Foreurs couldn't stop Jonathan Drouin of the Mooseheads as he had a 2-3-5 evening as Drouin tied Mario Lemieux's QMJHL record for QMJHL career playoff points when he recorded his 98th career point. Drouin's evening helped the Mooseheads tie the series up at 2-2 as the two teams won both their games on the other's ice.
Graves was scoreless on 1 shot and 1 hit but Graves took a costly tripping penalty in the first period that led to the Moosehead's first goal of the game. It was a rare error for the so far very steady defender. The series heads back to Halifax for game 5 on Saturday night.