Prospect Park: Nico Gross Earns First Star In General’s Win

In News, Prospect Park by Jess Rubenstein

Nico Gross (Oshawa Generals)

A busy Friday night saw all but one of the Ranger’s North American prospects in action. Yet the offensive star was one who coming into the season offered the least offense. Nico Gross helped his Oshawa Generals knock off the Hamilton Bulldogs 6-2 for the team’s fifth straight win.

Gross earned the game’s first star with a goal and an assist as the Generals spotted the Bulldogs a goal and then took control with four unanswered goals. Gross’s goal was the fourth of those goals as he fired a wrist shot from the point at 11:23 of the second. It was a power-play goal, Gross’s first power-play goal, and third overall this season.

Gross’s assist was a secondary one coming at 13:38 of the first which put the Generals up 2-1. The helper was his seventh of the season and gives him a 3-7-10 line. Gross also was a +1 on one shot and a minor penalty for tripping in the first period.

The skinny on the 18-year-old Swiss defender was that he was a “stay-at-home” defender with little offensive upside.  Gross is also viewed as a “smart” player who is eager to learn and very coachable. So far in 23 games this season, Gross has shown serious improvement in his offensive game.

So far Gross has been a top pair defender used on both special team units and in every situation. He has to be seen as a lock barring injury to earn a spot on Switzerland’s World Under-20 team this winter.

Tyler Wall (UMass-Lowell)

Tyler Wall earned the game’s second star in a losing effort as his UMass-Lowell River Hawks were edged 2-1 by the Rensselaer Engineers. The junior goalie stopped 21 of 23 shots as the River Hawks dropped the non-conference contest.

Best way to describe the loss is that Wall was “Lundqvisted” by the lack of goal scoring from his teammates.  It was the fourth straight start in which Wall gave up two or fewer goals but he is 2-1-1 in those games.

Overall Wall is 4-4-1 with a 1.78 goals against and 0.936 (which is ninth best in the NCAA).  Same two teams will play on Sunday afternoon.

Tyler Nanne had a secondary assist as his Minnesota Golden Gophers spanked the Michigan State Spartans 7-2. Nanne earned his point on the Gopher’s seventh goal to extend his scoring streak to four straight games.  The redshirt sophomore had a very slow start to the season but has seen his offense awaken as he improved his season totals to 1-3-4.

In addition to the point, Nanne was +1 on two shots on goal and was credited with seven shot attempts. Same two teams on Saturday night with the game televised on FSN Plus.

Riley Hughes had a secondary assist as his Victoria Grizzlies rallied from down 2-0 to earn a 7-2 win over the Alberni Valley Bulldogs. Hughes recorded his assist on a Grizzlies power-play in the third period. The assist helped the Grizzlies go up 4-2 as they blew the game open in the third period.

Hughes is 14-13-27 on the season for the Grizzlies as they improved to 18-8–0-1 for the season.

K’Andre Miller (Wisconsin Badgers)

K’Andre Miller and his Wisconsin Badgers played to a 1-1 overtime tie with the Michigan Wolverines in Big Ten action. Michigan earned the extra point when they scored during the second overtime. Miller was scoreless on three shots and a roughing minor.

The Big Ten Conference will follow a new overtime protocol and points system for the 2018-19 season, including the addition of a 3-on-3 overtime period. Any regular season conference game that remains tied after regulation will play the NCAA-mandated five-minute, 5-on-5 sudden-death overtime period. If the game remains tied, the two teams will then play a five-minute, 3-on-3 sudden-death overtime period. If the game is still tied following both overtime periods, then the game will move to a sudden-death shootout.  (From the Big Ten Conference)

Same two teams will play on Saturday night.

Adam Huska took the loss as his UConn Huskies dropped a 3-2 game to Boston University in the opening round of the “The Friendship Four”. The tournament is being played in Belfast Northern Ireland features two teams from Hockey East and two from the ECAC. Huska stopped 27 of 30 shots as he dropped his third straight start.

It has been a frustrating season for the junior goalie as he simply doesn’t have the talent around him to compete in the Hockey East. Huska falls to 3-5-1 with a 2.65 goals against and a 0.916 save percentage.

Huska needs a big season if he wants to leave school after this season. Right now it would be hard to see Huska earning anything more than an AHL deal from the Rangers. UConn will play in-state rival Yale Saturday starting at 10 AM EDT. You can watch the game on TSN, NESN Plus, or  ESPN+.

Joey Keane was scoreless on two shots with a -3 as his Barrie Colts got spanked by the Niagara IceDogs 6-2.