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They played to win and won
Road Warriors and Ryan Graves advance

Jason Missiaen (
Posted by Jess Rubenstein
April 30, 2014 at 01:54 am

While the Rangers were making sure that New York Ranger fans had to shell out money for a game 7, their ECHL team and sole remaining prospect were winning and advancing to the next round. Kudos to the Baby Rangers for their efforts on Tuesday evening.

It was game 7 in Halifax as Ryan Graves (2013 4th) and his Val-d'Or Foreurs were seeking a spot in the QMJHL finals but they were facing the defending Memorial Cup Champions on their home ice. The Foreurs having won game 6 24 hours earlier to force this game also had to contend with a 1100 mile bus ride to Halifax.

The game started out OK for the Foreurs as they jumped out to a 1-0 lead 65 seconds into the game but Halifax would first tie the game at 7:06 and then take the lead on a power play goal at 12:37 both coming in the first period. It would also be all the scoring that the Mooseheads would do.

The Mooseheads would dominate the 2nd and 3rd periods holding the Foreurs to just 4 shots in the 2nd and 3 in the 3rd. The bad news for the Mooseheads was that the Foreurs would score twice on their shots in the 2nd period.

In the 3rd the Foreurs went into a defensive shell with all 5 skaters staying deep to deny the Mooseheads any room on offense. It was a risky move as the Mooseheads outshot the Foreurs 17-3 but they could not score.

The Foreurs move on to play the Baie-Comeau Drakkar in the QMJHL Finals with the winner earning a trip to the Memorial Cup. As for Graves, he played his part of being a "stay at home" defender to the letter. The Rangers will get their money's worth from Graves as the Mooseheads couldn't get close to the crease when Graves was on the ice.

Graves is already NHL sized at 6'4 225 and he will turn 19 on May 21st so the Rangers have plenty of time to work with Graves to develop and fine tune his skill set. I for one can't wait for Jeff Beukeboom to work with him this summer.

In Kalamazoo, the Greenville Road Warriors took no chances in game 6 with their series against the Kalamazoo Wings; finishing off the Wings in 6 games after a 3-1 victory. The Road Warriors who use the hashtag #Bleed Blue just like their parent team got productive efforts from their New York Ranger prospects.

Andrew Yogan (2011 4th) would give the Road Warriors a 1-0 lead with his first career playoff goal 7:08 into the first period. Fellow Ranger prospect Josh Nicholls (2012 UFA) would earn the only assist on the play with his 2nd assist of the playoffs.

The lead would stand going into the 2nd period but Kalamazoo would tie the game sending it into the 3rd period all tied up at 1-1. In the 3rd the Road Warriors would score to make it 2-1 with a goal at 18:04 and it would be Michael St. Croix who would put the dagger into the hopes of the Wings when he scored his first career playoff goal at 19:20 as he scored into an empty net.

Andrew Yogan would earn the only assist on the empty net goal to give him a 2 point evening. Jason Missiaen (2011 UFA) earned first star of the game as he stopped 35 out of 36 shots to lead the Road Warriors into the conference Semifinals against the Wheeling Nailers.

The other Ranger prospects were as follows:

D Samuel Noreau (2011 5th) scoreless on 0 shots and even

G Jeff Malcolm (2013 UFA) did not play

F Kyle Jean (2012 UFA) scoreless on 2 shots and +1


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