It's another day another dominant performance for Devin Shore this week. Once again, he played a huge role for the University of Maine as he become more and more of a bright spot for the future of the Dallas Stars. Alex Guptill got back on the scoresheet, but continues to be a bit snakebitten in the goalscoring department,
The Maine Black Bears played another three games this week, one against New Brunswick at home and a home and home set against the University of New Hampshire Wildcats.
Shore started the week off with a bang. After New Brunswick went up 3-0 in the first period, Maine battled back to tie the game and send it to overtime. While Shore didn't register a point during the regulation comeback, he sealed the game on an overtime powerplay. Even though he finished minus-1 on the night, he went 8 for 13 on the faceoff dot, and the game winning goal erases any concern about the game he was having. He's been deadly on the powerplay this season and showed why again against New Brunswick.
He was quiet in Maine's first game against New Hampshire, however. While he put eight shots on goal and went 14 for 24 on the faceoff dot, both good stats, he ended the night at a minus-2. You'd like to see him rise to the occasion a bit more against UNH, a team who is fighting with Maine for playoff position; his eight shots indicate that he was still driving the play and doing what he could to help out on the score sheet.
Shore wouldn't be kept at bay much longer, however, as he exploded with a four-point effort in the second game of the set. After UNH went up 1-0 on the powerplay in the first period, Shore got it right back with an even strength tally just two minutes later.
Again, UNH went up in the second period and the score would stay 2-1 until the third. He really took over the game in the last frame, getting primary assists on Maine's game-tying, go-ahead and empty net goals. It's good to see him come out and dominate in the third period with his team down when they most needed it. He continues to impress; there's not much more I can really say about what he's doing this year. With this awesome run of games, and a nomination for the Hobey Baker Award as NCAA hockey's best player, Shore is propelling himself up the Dallas depth chart, forcing himself into the conversation about top prospects.
Unfortunately, while Devin Shore continues to do the same thing he's been doing, Alex Guptill seems to be continuing his recent play. He got an assist on Michigan's first goal of their first game against Michigan State on Thursday and fired two shots on net. That's a decent stat line, but you'd like to see him be more of a factor.
The next night, again against Michigan State, Guptill seems to have had a better game while still coming up empty handed. He put seven (seven!) shots on net and finished as a plus-3. This is somewhat comforting, since he's at least creating scoring chances even if he isn't burying them, and a plus-3 means that he wasn't hurting his team in any way. That being said, he's supposed to be one of the Stars most promising prospects, and he's losing his standing just as quickly as Devin Shore is gaining his because of his lackluster play.
The quiet season Alex Guptill is having might be negatively affecting his chances of getting a contract with the Stars, so hopefully he can get things back on track for the remainder of the season, but I feel like I've been saying that over and over for some time now.