New York Rangers college prospects show off clutch scoring ability

Noah Laba, Colorado College
Noah Laba in action (Colorado College / credit: Casey B. Gibson)

Eight New York Rangers draft picks were in action this weekend as the NCAA season continued with several prospects leading their respective teams to victory.

Sophomore center Noah Laba was the overtime hero Saturday night, as he scored the game winning goal to help Colorado College Tigers complete a 3-2 rally against Minnesota Duluth.

The 2022 fourth-round pick had a two point night as he set up the tying goal in the second period. Laba had four shots on goal Saturday and a +2 rating while going 14-5 on faceoffs. Though he didn’t record any points during Friday night’s loss, the Rangers prospect was strong at the dot, going 12-5 with two shots and a +1 rating. His nine goals, seven assists, and sixteen points leads the Tigers in goals, points, and game-winning goals.

With the series split, Colorado College improves to 11-8-1 on the season and were ranked number 18 in the latest Men’s Division I Poll. The team will return home to Ed Robson Arena for a series against Miami University on Friday, January 19th and Saturday, January 20th.

New York Rangers college prospects

Hank Kempf
Cornell’s Hank Kempf warming up before the game (Photo: Alan Selavka)

Defenseman Hank Kempf scored his first goal of the season on Saturday for Cornell as they upset Arizona State 4-1 in non-conference play. The junior pinched in from the blueline and fired a shot from the left faceoff circle to beat the Sun Devils goaltender at 15:10 of the first period.

Kempf would finish the game with three shots on goal and a +3 rating. In Friday’s 3-2 overtime victory, he did not record any stats and was a -2. The 2021 seventh-round pick now has one goal and three assists for four points in fifteen points on the season. Cornell improved to 8-4-3 overall and climbed up to number 14 in this week’s Men’s Division I poll. The Big Red will host Princeton University at Lynah Rink in Ithaca, New York on Friday, January 19th for Fan Appreciation Night before defending national champion Quinnipiac University comes to town on Saturday, January 20th.

In other ECAC conference play, Harvard captain Zakary Karpa had two shots on goal on Friday night in a 5-3 loss to Brown. The junior center was 8-9 on faceoffs. The Crimson earned a 1-0 victory against rival Yale Bulldogs on Saturday. The 6th round pick of the New York Rangers in 2022 went 13-8 from the draw on Saturday, finishing the game with two shots on goal. With the win, Ted Donato became the third head coach in Harvard Men’s hockey history to earn 300 wins. The team is now 2-10-3 on the season and will return home this weekend for a pair of games against Rensselaer Polytechnic University and Union College.

University of Nebraska Omaha Mavericks upset the North Dakota Fighting Hawks in NCHC action by a score of 5-4 in overtime on Friday night. Defenseman Victor Mancini was credited with three shots on goal for the game, but had a -2 rating. The junior had one shot on goal during Saturday’s 3-1 loss. Omaha is 11-7-2 after the weekend split and entered this week’s Men’s Division I poll at number 19. The Mavericks take on Denver University at Baxter Arena on January 19th and 20th.

Right wing Brody Lamb scored on Friday night for the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers in their 4-2 victory over Robert Morris.

The sophomore improved his season totals to a career best nine goals, seven assists, and sixteen points, though he was not able to add any stats during Saturday’s 4-1 win. The Golden Gophers moved up two spots to number 10 in the polls, and will continue Big 10 conference play against Ohio State on January 19th and 20th.

Goaltender Hugo Ollas started his first game since December 8th for the Merrimack College Warriors on Saturday. The junior netminder stopped twenty four of twenty five shots against in a 4-1 win against the University of Massachusetts Minutemen. Ollas improved to 4-5 on the season with a 2.70 goals against average and .909 save percentage. Merrimack College have a 10-10-1 record and will have a home-and-home series against the Boston College Eagles next weekend.

The Hockey East games of the week saw 2023 draft picks Gabe Perreault and Drew Fortescue faceoff against the Providence College Friars. Perreault had two assists in the 7-1 victory with three shots on net and a +3 rating. Fortescue did not record any stats. Perreault scored a goal and assist on Saturday, but it was not enough as Boston College lost 4-3. Perreault improved his season totals to six goals, and a team leading twenty four assists and thirty points in nineteen games played. The Eagles dropped out of the top spot in the Men’s Division I Poll on Monday. Their record is 14-4-1 on the season, and they will continue conference play against Merrimack University next weekend.

Jaroslav Chmelar did not play for the Providence College Friars as he is recovering from wrist surgery. The Czech native is not expected to return until late February or early March. Providence has a 11-6-2 record and will host Alaska Anchorage at Schneider Arena on January 19th and 20th. The Friars stayed at number 9 in Monday’s USCHO poll.

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