Gabe Perreault soaring among New York Rangers prospects
Many of the top New York Rangers prospects were in NCAA action this past weekend, with some of them even squaring off against one another.
High-flying 2023 first-round pick Gabe Perreault and 2023 third-round selection Drew Fortescue of the Boston College Eagles faced off against fellow prospect Hugo Ollas and the Merrimack College Warriors in Hockey East conference play.
The Warriors jumped out to an early two goal lead in the first period Friday at Lawler Rink in North Andover, Massachusetts. However, that’s not how the game would end as Perreault would earn the primary assist on Boston’s go-ahead goal in the final minute of the second frame while on the power play. He added a secondary assist in the third once again on the power play as the Eagles scored five straight en route to a 6-4 victory.
New York Rangers prospects
Perreault finished the game with two assists, one shot on goal, and a +1 rating. Defenseman Drew Fortescue did not record any points or shots for the game, though he was called for a holding minor in the second period.
Gabe Perreault capped off a three goal fist period for the Eagles on Sunday afternoon. After being sprung for a breakaway off a pass from line mate Will Smith, the freshman backhanded the puck through the five hole at the 7:52 mark.
The freshmen line would strike again in the third period for Boston College’s fifth goal of the game, with Perreault earning the secondary assist on Will Smith’s goal at 1:39. With his two points in the 6-2 win, Perreault has more multi-point games (13) than single-point or scoreless games combined (8) this season. He has seven goals and twenty seven assists for thirty four points in twenty one games. His point totals are best on the team and ties him for third overall among all players in the NCAA as only an 18-year old.
Drew Fortescue did not record any points on Sunday, but did finish the game with a +1 rating. Boston College improves their record to 16-4-1 on the season. The top two ranked teams in the country will renew the Green Line Rivalry and Battle of Commonwealth Avenue, as number two ranked Boston College Eagles will face Boston University Terriers on January 26th and 27th.
After serving as the backup on Friday night, Hugo Ollas was the starting goaltender for Merrimack on Sunday afternoon when the Warriors travelled to Conte Forum on the Boston College campus. The junior goaltender had a rough afternoon, surrendering six goals on forty one shots against. Ollas record dropped to 4-7 on the season while his goals against average increased to 3.03 with a save percentage of .902. After being swept in the series, Merrimack is now 10-12-1 and will looks to rebound against Northeastern University Huskies on January 26th and 27th.
Jaroslav Chmelar remained out of the lineup for the Providence College Friars. The 2021 New York Rangers fifth-round pick is recovering from wrist surgery and isn’t expected back until later February or early March. Chmelar had five goals and nine assists for fourteen points in sixteen games played before being sidelined. The Friars split their series against Alaska Anchorage, winning 2-0 on Friday before being shutout 4-0 on Saturday. The Friars are 12-7-2 on the season and will continue Hockey East play against UMass Lowell River Hawks on January 26th and 27th.
Harvard captain Zakary Karpa had a shorthanded secondary assist on Friday as the Crimson won 6-3 over Rensselaer. The 2022 sixth-round selection of the New York Rangers finished with one shot on goal while going 13-6 on faceoffs. The junior from Newport Beach, California was scoreless in a 5-4 overtime loss to Union College on Saturday. He had one shot on goal, and was 10-10 on faceoffs. Karpa has struggled to produce offensively this season with only two goals, and two assists for four points in sixteen games played on the year. Harvard has also fallen below expectations as their record sits at 3-11-3 overall on the season. They will host Cornell University on Friday, January 26th.
As for Cornell University, the Big Red improved their chances of qualifying for the NCAA tournament by climbing to number fifteen in the PairWise Rankings with ECAC conference wins this weekend over Princeton University and Quinnipiac University. Junior defenseman Hank Kempf, the seventh rounder in 2021 had one shot on goal and was +5 in Friday’s 6-2 win with two blocked shots and a +1 rating and two penalties on Saturday’s 3-2 OT win. Kempf is not known for producing much offensively, with only one goal and three assists for four points in seventeen games played on the season. He has two goals and twelve assists in 80 career NCAA games. Cornell improved to 10-4-3 on the season and will continue ECAC play against Harvard on January 26th and at Darmouth College on January 27th.
Another junior New York Rangers defensive prospect, Victor Mancini and the University of Nebraska Omaha Mavericks lost twice this weekend against Denver Pioneers. The 2022 fifth-round pick had three shots on goal, two blocked shots, and a -1 rating Friday with an assist, two shots on goal, and a +1 rating during Saturday’s game. With the assist, Mancini improved his totals to three goals, four assists, and seven points in twenty two games played on the season. The Mavericks are 11-9-2 overall and will have a pair of games against St. Cloud State on January 26th and 27th.
In other NCHC play, Noah Laba continued his scoring streak for the Colorado College Tigers. The sophomore had a goal and assist in Friday’s night’s comeback 2-1 victory of Miami RedHawks. The sophomore center scored the game-tying goal on the power play by deflecting teammate Chase Foley’s shot twenty one seconds into the period.
The fourth round selection of the Rangers in 2022 made the defensive play which led to the game winning goal to finish with one goal, one assist, and three shots on goal while going 7-9 on faceoffs and being named the first star of the game.
Laba found the back of the net again during Saturday’s 4-2 win for his eleventh goal of the season, and went 11-5 on faceoffs. His eleven goals, and nineteen points lead the team. The Tigers improved to 13-8-1 on the season and will face Western Michigan January 26th and 27th.
2021 fourth-round pick, Brody Lamb and the Minnesota Golden Gophers swept the Ohio State Buckeyes, winning 5-2 Friday and 6-3 on Saturday. The sophomore forward did not record any stats in the first game of the series, but added an empty net goal on Saturday to go along with an assist and +2 rating to improve his totals to ten goals, eight assists, for eighteen points in twenty four games played. Lamb had a solid overall game showcasing his hard work and sandpaper going into the corners and outworking his opponents to win puck battles. Minnesota 14-6-4 on the season and will travel to East Lansing, Michigan next weekend for a paid of games against Michigan State Spartans.