The Lipon & MacKinnon ShowWednesday, October 24, 2012
The Canadian Hockey League season is well underway and we’re starting to see some leaders emerge in all three leagues. So far the standout team has been the WHL Kamloops Blazers. Not only have they gone 13 games without a single regulation-time loss, but JC Lipon is leading the WHL with a staggering 32 points, which is 11 points more than the next best, non-Blazers player in the league. Here are some other players who stood out this week:
Hunter Garlent (Guelph Storm) – Garlent scored three goals and registered eight points in just three games en route to being named the OHL Player of the Week. That more than makes up for his otherwise slow start and leaves him with 10 points in 11 games. The 17-year-old had 16 goals and 42 points in 60 games during his OHL rookie season in 2011-12. He’s now in a four-way tie for sixth place on his team in points. The Storm have overwhelmed the competition with their offensive prowess; they lead the league with 59 goals and stand atop the Midwest Division with a 9-2-0-1 record.
(CAR - Kitchener Rangers) – Murphy has also heated up after a quiet start offensively. He scored two goals and registered six assists in his last three games, giving him nine points in 11 contests this season. Murphy set a career-high 79 points in 63 OHL contests in 2010-11 and recorded 54 points in 49 games last season. He also excelled in the 2012 playoffs with two goals and 22 points in 16 contests. The Rangers have done well defensively, but are last in the Western Conference with 33 goals. That anemic offensive output has left them with a 6-4-0-1 record.
(Halifax Mooseheads) – MacKinnon continued his strong play last week by adding another four goals and six points. He already has 24 points, including a staggering 15 goals in just 13 QMJHL games. MacKinnon is a name you’ll probably see quite a bit over the course of this season, but you’ll hear about him even more in 2013-14. He’s eligible to be selected in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft and there’s a good chance he’ll be claimed with the first overall pick.
Antoine Bibeau (Prince Edward Island Rocket) – Bibeau has gotten off to a strong start with a 2.02 GAA and .927 save percentage in eight QMJHL games. He’s been outperforming Maxime Lagace, who was the team’s starter last season. Bibeau has a 6-1-0-0 record, but the team hasn’t done as well without him between the pipes. Consequently, PEI has a 9-4-0-0 record this season and is behind MacKinnon’s Mooseheads in the Maritimes Division.
Colin Smith (COL - Kamloops Blazers) – Smith had three goals, 10 points, and a plus-seven rating in four games last week to earn the WHL’s Player of the Week award. Smith has a staggering 28 points in 13 games, which puts him behind only teammate JC Lipon in the WHL’s scoring race. Smith set career highs with 35 goals and 85 points in 72 games last season. The Kamloops Blazers own four of the top five spots in the scoring race and as a team they have a 12-0-0-1 record.
Jordon Cooke (Kelowna Rockets) – Cooke had a 1.00 GAA and .967 save percentage in two wins last week. That’s a strong turnaround for Cooke, who has a 3.19 GAA and .901 save percentage in 11 games overall this season. The 19-year-old netminder had a 2.79 GAA and .916 save percentage in the 2011-12 campaign. His Rockets currently have a 6-5-1-0 record, which is good for third place in the BC Division.