Pro Update: Kessel Strikes Twice, Haula Makes AHL Debut

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Two goals from Phil Kessel last night were not enough for Toronto as the Maple Leafs fell 3-2 to the New York Rangers in a shootout at Madison Square Garden.

Kessel, who leads Toronto with 26 assists and is tied for the team lead with 40 points this season, gave the visitors a 1-0 lead just 1:42 into the second period with his 13th tally of the season. 

The former Gopher would strike again in the third period to tie the contest up at 2-2 after the Rangers scored a pair of unanswered goals. The two-goal night marks Kessel's second-consecutive game with multiple points while the forward has six points (four goals, two assists) in the last three games. 

Haula Makes Pro Debut with Houston

Less than a week after signing an entry-level contract with the Minnesota Wild and joining the team's AHL affiliate in Houston, former Gopher Erik Haula made his pro debut last night in a 4-1 loss to Oklahoma City. Minnesota's leading scorer in each of the last two seasons didn't wait long to find the score sheet, however, as Haula picked up an assist on Kyle Medvec's goal at 6:21 of the first period. 


- Haula is the fourth member of this year's Gophers squad to make their pro debut in the last week. In the AHL, Zach Budish has already played in three games with the Milwaukee Admirals while Nate Schmidt has two assists in two games for the Hershey Bears. Nick Bjugstad, meanwhile, has suited up twice for the Florida Panthers including his NHL debut last Saturday. 

- Check back later today for a feature on AHL leading scorer Jeff Taffe. 

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