Each week, World Hockey Hub highlights a few of the most exciting upcoming games in youth hockey. From the hottest rivalries to the biggest tournaments, we focus on matchups that will impact the landscape among top teams in the sport.
‘07 Chicago Mission, SSM battle for supremacy
The 2007-birth year is set for some fireworks when the No. 1 Chicago Mission (23-6-2) head to Minnesota for a matchup with No. 2 Shattuck-St. Mary’s (15-4-3) on Nov. 11. Heading into these tilts, Shattuck is in the midst of an eight-game unbeaten streak.
|Friday, November 11 @ 6:00 p.m. CT|
Shattuck-St. Mary’s Ice Arena
With this being the first game in a three-game series, bragging rights won’t be the only thing on the line. These matchups could have serious implications when it comes to the top 10 rankings for the U.S.
Chicago bested SSM 2-1 back on Sept. 16 at the Minnesota Blades showcase. Despite that low score, Shattuck should be prepared for the explosive offense Chicago possesses with a current plus-80 goal differential.
Shattuck consists of nine players with 10 or more points, led by Gavin Katz’s 16 goals and 13 assists. Their main advantage, however, lies in net with Marlborough, Mass. native Garrett Glaser. The last line of defense will be crucial in attempting to skate away with a win.
If Glaser’s 8-2-1 record and 1.57 goals-against-average are any indication, it will take all of Mission’s firepower to remain on top.
Pete’s Pick: Shattuck has the ability to skate with Chicago and put up a fight, so I see them taking at least one game out of the three. But Chicago’s offense will be too much over three games, so the Mission take the series 2-1.
Craig’s Pick: It always seems to be a low-scoring affair when these two teams get together. Shattuck gets Mission at home, but the Sabres are just 3-3-1 in games with five goals or fewer scored this season. Five goals or less? Mission wins. Six goals or more? Shattuck wins. Mission takes the three-game series 2-1.
Dynamo looks to top CSKA in ‘06 Moscow matchup
No. 1 CSKA Moscow (14-1-0) and No. 3 Dynamo Moscow (8-2-0) will both bring extensive streaks into their meeting this weekend.
|Sunday, November 13|
Winners of six straight, CSKA lit the lamp seven times in their last win against HC Balashikha.
Dynamo’s defense stood tall in a 5-0 shutout of Khimik last weekend, increasing their streak of victories to four.
Back on Sept. 11, CSKA edged Dynamo 3-2 in a thriller of a game. After Eduard Mishkov opened the scoring for Dynamo, Maxim Zaitsev tied things up just about a minute-and-a-half later with a top-shelf snipe. Kurban Limatov would add a tally for a 2-1 Dynamo lead but Ivan Okunev’s two goals towards the end of the game would propel CSKA to the victory.
This will be a skill vs. skill matchup, with both squads made up of players who pile up the points. Statistically, CSKA’s numbers jump off the page a bit more. Taking up the top of the stat sheet are the likes of Arseny Vorobyov (14 goals, 16 assists), Nikita Frolov (6 goals, 18 assists) and Ratmir Aubakirov (11 goals, 10 assists).
For Dynamo, they are supplied with the one-two punch of Ivan Ryabkin (7 goals, 14 assists) and Bogdan Kiselev’s seven goals and nine assists.
Pete’s Pick: Both rosters are composed of a decent amount of skill, but CSKA has a bit more polish to their game at both ends of the rink. As a result, I see them taking this one 4-2.
Craig’s Pick: CSKA’s top scorers were severely limited when these two teams first met eight weeks ago, and they still found a way to win with Ivan Okunev tallying two goals. I expect forwards like Arseny Vorobyov, Ratmir Aubakirov, Nikita Frolov and even Alexey Dontsov to get loose in the rematch and run away with this one a bit.
‘07 Western Canada RINK Hockey showdown
No. 8 RINK Hockey Academy Winnipeg (9-2-0), current owners of a four-game win streak, will face off against RINK Hockey Academy Kelowna (9-6-0) on Saturday.
|Saturday, November 12 @ 5:00 p.m. ST|
This matchup provides a solid opportunity for Winnipeg to not only build their resume in the World Rankings, but also solidify their position at the top of their group in the CSSHL. Sitting first with 37 points, they currently are 15 points ahead of second place Okanagan Hockey Adademy.
Winnipeg knows it has the ability to come out on top, as they won a 4-1 game against Kelowna back on Oct. 16. They too, will look to this game as a measuring stick opportunity. With their astounding offensive flair, a complete 60 minute defensive effort will be key for Kelowna to have any chance of a win.
The schedules of both programs continue to be full of CSSHL matchups, so it will be vital to bank as many points as possible in these games for playoff implications later on in the season.
Pete’s Pick: Winnipeg dispatched Kelowna with ease last time out, and I think it will be another victory for them in this one. They have absolutely dominated league play and have been in a decent groove the last few outings. Kelowna may put up a fight, but Winnipeg’s ability to fill the net will be too much for them to overcome.
Craig’s Pick: Winnipeg dominated play much more than the 4-1 score would indicate from last month. The boys from Manitoba put 51 — yes, fifty-one — shots on goal the last time these two teams met. RINK Winnipeg has outshot its opponent in every game this season as well. I think they do it again against their RINK family rivals, winning even more decisively than the first meeting.
Laval looks to settle score vs. Montreal
If these names look familiar to you, that is because we featured the first matchup of these 2011-born teams in our games of the week preview back on Oct. 24.
This week, the No. 7 Patriotes Laval (6-1-3) will square off against National Montréal (8-0-0) for a chance at redemption.
|Sunday, November 13|
In their last outing against one another, Laval opened the scoring thanks to a Tyler Stephen goal. Shortly after, Montréal would knot things up at 1 with Jonah Puma finishing off a pretty passing play. Taiyo Turcotte’s first goal of the season at the end of the first period gave Montreal a 2-1 lead. With Laval scoring the only goal of the second period, things were all even 3-3 heading into the final frame. Turcotte sniped his second goal of the game for a 3-2 lead before Thomas Thibault would pad it minutes later for the eventual 4-2 final.
The last win by Montréal was a testament to the strength of their club, led by the scoring prowess of Leo Fernandez Pisanu’s 13 points (4 goals, 9 assists) across nine games. Laval’s offense is largely supplied by Shawn-Anthony Senat (7 goals, 4 assists) and Keironn Davis Diakite (4 goals, 7 assists).
A victory for Laval would not only strengthen their ranking nationally among the top teams in Canada, but also would inch them closer to vying for the top spot in their LHEQ group, currently occupied by Montréal.
Pete’s Pick: While I almost went with my gut in saying Laval might get their revenge, logic tells me that Montreal will come out with some extra fire in their bellies to continue their win streak. They will use a victory here to state their case that they are one of the top teams in all of Canada and could very well find themselves in the top-10 come next rankings.
Craig’s Pick: If Shawn-Anthony Senat gets on the scoresheet by way of goals or assists, Laval wins. He’s the team’s leading scorer and main supplier of offense. I like the Patriotes to win the second matchup in the season series, but only if Senat gets going offensively.