Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Players of the Week

Press Release

CALGARY, AB. - The BOSTON PIZZA WHL Player of the Week is defenceman Colby Robak of the Brandon Wheat Kings.
Robak picked up seven points, scoring four goals and three assists to go with a +6 rating in two games over the last week, helping the Brandon Wheat Kings win their 2009 Husky WHL Eastern Conference Semi-Final best-of-seven series over the Medicine Hat Tigers 4-0.

On Wednesday, April 8th, the Wheat Kings hosted the Medicine Hat Tigers in game three of the best-of-seven series at Westman Place in Brandon. Robak scored a goal and an assist as the Wheaties downed the Tigers 6-1 to take a 3-0 strangle hold in their Husky WHL Eastern Conference Semi-Final. He was also named the games 2nd Star.

In game four of the series on Friday, April 10th, at the Westman Place in Brandon, Robak scored his first career hat-trick netting three goals and adding two assists as the Wheat Kings defeated the Tigers 6-2 to advance to the next round of the 2009 WHL Playoffs. He was also named the games 1st Star. The Wheat Kings will now face the Calgary Hitmen in the Husky WHL Eastern Conference Championship Series starting this week in Calgary.

Robak, an 18-year-old from Gilbert Plains, Manitoba, is currently playing his third season with the Brandon Wheat Kings. The second round – 46th overall selection of the Florida Panthers at the 2008 NHL Entry Draft is coming off a career year offensively picking up 42 points (13 goals, 29 assists) in 65 regular season games played.

The WHL has also nominated Dustin Tokarski of the Spokane Chiefs for the ADT CHL Goaltender of the Week Award. Tokarski posted a 3-1-0-0 record this past week, allowing just seven goals on 158 shots for a 1.270 goals-against average and .956 save percentage.

Tokarski, a 19 year-old from Watson, Saskatchewan, is in his third season of play in the WHL with the Spokane Chiefs. Last season he was named the Memorial Cup MVP and recently helped lead Team Canada to its fifth straight World Junior Gold medal. He led all WHL goaltenders with a 1.97 goals-against average and .937 save percentage through the 2008-09 WHL regular season.

Press Release

Toronto, ON – The Ontario Hockey League today announced that forward Eric Tangradi of the Belleville Bulls is the Boston Pizza OHL Player of the Week for the week ending April 12. Tangradi scored four goals and three assists for seven points with a plus-minus rating of plus-6 in two games.

Tangradi was at his best offensively on Tuesday night in the 5-2 game five win for the Bulls over their second round playoff series opponent the Niagara IceDogs. He was part of every Bulls goal with a five-point game including four goals and adding one assist as first of the game. His only other five-point game this season came on November 19 when he scored two goals and three assists in an 8-1 win over the IceDogs and was later named the Boston Pizza OHL Player of the Week for the week ending November 23. On Thursday night Tangradi counted two assists in the sixth and final game of the second round series with the Bulls prevailing 5-2. Belleville will now face the Brampton Battalion for the Bobby Orr Trophy in the Rogers Eastern Conference Championship Series.

Tangradi, a 20-year-old from Philadelphia, PA, is in his third OHL season with the Bulls. He set career-best numbers and ranked eighth in the regular season with 88 points including 38 goals and 50 assists in 55 games with a plus-minus rating of plus-39. The Bulls captain is currently tied for first in playoff scoring with eight goals and 12 assists for 20 points in 11 games. A Pittsburgh Penguins prospect, Tangradi was selected in the second round, 42nd overall by the Anaheim Ducks at the 2007 NHL Entry Draft.

Honourable mention this week goes to Evgeny Grachev of the Brampton Battalion. The OHL’s Rookie of the Year scored two goals and three assists for five points in three games, helping the Battalion advance to the Rogers Eastern Conference Championship series. Adam Henrique of the Windsor Spitfires scored a hat-trick as first star of the game Saturday in a 4-2 win over the Plymouth Whalers. The game six win brings the Spitfires to the Rogers Western Conference Championship series where they will face the London Knights. In goal, Mike Murphy of the Belleville Bulls posted a goals-against-average of 2.00 and a save percentage of .945 in his two wins.
(Nathan also is a writer for Maineiacs Post to Post and the Maine Hockey Journal. He can be reached at fourniern@students.nescom.edu)

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