Not sure why the New York Ranger prospects and their teams are struggling but this so far has been a very disappointing start to the prospect season. There was just two prospects in action on Wednesday and while one saw his team drop it’s second straight road game, the other’s team gave up five goals in the third period to lose.
Until this evening goalie Brandon Halverson (2014 Second) of the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds had been given a pass for his inconsistent play this season due to an ankle injury suffered back at Traverse City. Consider the pass rescinded as Halverson gave up five goals on 36 shots as his Greyhounds blew a 4-1 third period lead and lost 6-4 to the Saginaw Spirit. This is on top of Halverson giving up six goals on Sunday and maybe it is time for the Rangers to dispatch goalie coach Beniot Allaire to help Halverson get his game back on track.
This one was a frustrating one to accept as Halverson had been sailing through the first two periods giving up just one goal on 25 shots. In the third giving up four goals on just 12 shots is tough to accept. Two goals came from near the blue line, a third from beyond the face off circle and the fourth goal was a legit impossible one to stop as it was a rebound shot that the Greyhound blue line should have prevented.
But giving up 11 goals in his last two starts just can not cut it as Halverson saw his numbers fall to 3-6 with a 4.00 goals against and a 0.877 save percentage. Halverson is way better than these numbers are as he is playing his way off Team USA’s Under-20 team and that would be a giant shame as Halverson rightfully deserves to be the starter.
However these numbers are the kind that will yank that spot from him.
Meanwhile Ryan Gropp (2015 Second) and his Seattle Thunderbirds are in the middle of a six game road trip through the WHL’s Central Division and it has not been a good trip. After getting the trip off to a good start with a win against Kootenay on Halloween, the Thunderbirds have after Wednesday’s 4-2 loss to the Edmonton Oil Kings dropped three straight.
Gropp on the road trip had a great start (2-1-3 against Kootenay) but scoreless in two games while taking a minor on Tuesday which led to a Red Deer power play goal. Against the Oil Kings Gropp scored his goal of the season while taking five shots but was a -2 for the game. Seattle needs Gropp to score on a more consistent basis for their hopes of a long playoff run to come true.
Gropp and his teammates have two games remaining on this road trip to finish at 500 otherwise it is going to be a long bus ride home to Seattle on Sunday.