Tuesday, March 25, 2008

A Terrible Tuesday

Did you ever have one of those days when you knew you was watching a train wreck about to happen and there was nothing you could do about it? That would be the way to describe the kind of Tuesday that the Ranger prospects had and it was one very bad evening.

We have to start with Bobby Sanguinetti and his Brampton Battalion as they tried to tie up their OHL playoff series with the Barrie Colts. The game got off to a good start for the Battalion as Sanguinetti teamed with team mate Jason Dale to set up Cody Hodgson for a goal just 3 minutes into the game.

That was the only goal that the Battalion would score as the Barrie Colts would tie the game at 1-1 and send the game into overtime. With 9 seconds remaining in the first overtime the Colts scored the game winning goal to win game 4 2-1 and take a commanding 3-1 lead in the series.

There will be a lot of Battalion players who should lose sleep after this performance. The Battalion fired 63 shots on goal and only one made it past the Colt's goalie Michael Hutchinson. People can say all they about the "Hot Goalie" but the Battalion have to blame themselves when they failed to score on 9 different power plays.

Now the 2nd seeded Battalion can pull all the cute cliches, the slogans or whatever but here is the reality as the series shifts back to Brampton for Game 5 on Thursday, lose and the Rangers can add a defenseman to the Hartford roster on Friday.

We shift gears to Belleville where Justin Soryal was facing the dreaded "elimination" game and the end of his OHL career as a member of the Peterborough Petes. Until Tuesday's Game 5, the last 3 games of this series had been close games that could gone either way.

The huge underdog Petes gave the Eastern Conference Champions fits but Game 5 was the night the wheels came off as the Bulls eliminated Peterborough 7-1. The Bulls win the series 4-1 and end Soryal's OHL career.

For Soryal it was a sad ending to his career with the Petes but he gets to move on and start his path towards what he hopes is a career with the Rangers. However the signs we have been getting so far from the Rangers does not indicate that they will use an ATO on Soryal this season.

We hope they change their mind as we do not think it would hurt for Soryal to get some practice time with the Wolfpack.

Switching to the QMJHL where Antoine Lafleur was given the start by the Prince Edward Island Rocket for Game 3 in their series against the Saint Johns Sea Dogs. In the series first 2 games this has been a huge mismatch as the Sea Dogs have out scored the Rocket 17-7.

Game 3 started off as just like the first 2 games as the Sea Dogs jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the first 2 periods only this time the Rocket made it look like a game. The Rocket scored 4 goals in the third period but they gave up 2 more goals and lost 6-4 to give the Sea Dogs a commanding 3-0 series lead.

Lafleur was a combination of lack of support from his teammates, a lack of confidence in himself and a prospect who's game is suffering from messed up fundamentals. It is not a pretty sight to see and we hope that Lafleur spends his off-season deciding whether or not he wants to be an NHL goalie.

Finally David Skokan was not in the Rimouski Oceanic lineup due to what we believe was a virus (flu) as they faced the Baie-Comeau Drakkar in game 3. The Oceanic though were the only prospect team to win as they held home ice with a 2-1 overtime win.

Game 4 will be on Thursday as the Oceanic now own a 2-1 lead in the series.

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