Connor McMichael zipped a shot past goalie Daniil Isayev on Thursday to help Team OHL defeat Team Russia 4-1 in the CIBC Canada Russia Series.
What a release by Connor McMichael. Assists to Quinton Byfield and Tyler Tucker. 3-0 OHL. pic.twitter.com/4Adfs09DT6— World Juniors Lauren (@laurkelly24) November 8, 2019
Thursday’s game caps off what has been an unreal week of work for McMichael. He played in two games for the London Knights including a six-point performance on Nov. 1 in which he scored the overtime winner in a 7-6 win over Erie. He was named the first star for the game and the second star on Sunday in a 5-1 win over Oshawa. McMichael chipped in a goal and an assist in that game.
That big week earned McMichael OHL On the Run Player of the Week honors for arleady the second time this season. He was also named to the CHL Team of the Week on Thursday.
With McMichael playing so well and seeing him torch a young goalie in a Russia jersey, one has to wonder if the next step is for McMichael to get an invite to the Canadian World Junior team, which opens camp in December.
“It helps I’ve been playing well throughout the season,” McMichael told the Windsor Star. “It gives you confidence coming into one of the biggest games to make the junior team. Since I was little, it would be a dream come true and this is another stepping stone in that direction.”
Other prospect notes
- It has been a slow start for Shane Gersich this season, but he finally scored his first goal on Saturday against Providence. He was in on a 2-on-1 with Axel Jonsson-Fjallby who fed him with a beautiful pass for the goal. In nine games this season, Gersich has one goal and three assists.
- Bobby Nardella earned the first two points of his professional career with two assists on Saturday against Providence. He followed that up with a third an assist in Sunday's game against Syracuse. Playing time has been a bit hard to come by for Nardella as the Bears have nine defensemen on the roster. He still seems to be performing well, but even with his three assists over the weekend it still seems unlikely he will see regular time. The Bears' top-four on defense is essentially locked in meaning there are five defensemen left all vying for the two spots on the third pair.
- Jonsson-Fjallby remains red hot with a goal and an assist over the weekend's trio of games. His goal Friday in Springfield was the fifth straight road game in which he had scored. He is currently tied for third among all AHL rookies in goals with five.
- Aliaksei Protas leads the WHL in points with 28 (12 goals, 16 assists) in 18 games to start the season. In four games over the past week, he tallied three goals and six assists. He was also named the first star in Prince Albert's 5-1 win on Saturday over Moose Jaw. It certainly looks like the Caps found a player with NHL potential with their third-round 2019 pick.
- Never has a player had a better nickname with a worse story. Protas ' nickname is the Viper, or the Viper of Vitebsk, a nod to his hometown in Belarus. So what's the story behind the nickname? There is none. I mean, there is literally no story. I asked him about it in the preseason, he wasn't even sure who gave it to him or how it started. Just all of a sudden his teammates started calling him Viper and that's it.
- Damien Riat was hit in the head with a puck on Saturday and is out for three weeks. There are no reports currently suggesting the injury is anything serious and, from what I can gather, the three-week timetable seems like a precaution. The bad news is that means he could not represent Team Switzerland in the Deutschland Cup, which began on Thursday.
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