Monday, March 24, 2008

Very Much More than Just a Fighter

We have to admit that Justin Soryal really did not attract much of our attention until he was signed by the Rangers. What we knew of him was that he was one of the top enforcers in the OHL but we also knew that the days of the Rangers signing players who could only do one thing were over.

The more we looked the more we saw people who were standing up for Soryal, whether it was a OHL coaching legend like Dick Todd who said Soryal can become more than a fighter or the scouts who tell us that the Rangers got themselves a steal.

Monday night we saw a side of Soryal that we had not seen before which was scoring the desperation goal to keep his team alive. That was exactly what happened as Soryal scored with 32 seconds remaining in regulation to give his Peterborough Petes life and a shot at overtime against the Belleville Bulls.

It was a great goal as Soryal pulled a chip shot past Belleville goalie Mike Murphy to tie the score and send the game into overtime. That the Belleville Bulls scored in overtime to win the game and gain a commanding 3-1 series lead over Soryal's Petes is almost secondary.

What is showing up in this series is all the reasons why the Rangers see something in Soryal. The Petes very much have fed off Soryal's play as this series could just as easily been 3-1 in favor of the Petes. They are not playing like an eighth seed as the Bulls will be very happy to get as far away from the Peterborough Petes as possible.

Game 5 will be Tuesday evening and in all honesty there is a major part of us who are hoping that the Bulls will end the Petes and that the Rangers get Soryal on a flight to Hartford ASAP.

Tomas Zaborsky and his Saginaw Spirit have been forced to wait to play game 2 of their series with the Saute Ste Marie Greyhounds. Due to poor ice conditions that caused the series to be rescheduled game 2 did not take place until Monday evening.

Zaborsky had an assist on the Spirit's only goal as his Spirit lost 2-1 as they could only muster 20 shots against the Greyhounds and now also trail in the series 2-0. With game's 3 and 4 now scheduled for Saginaw's home ice, the Spirit have their only chance to get back in this series.

To do so they are going to need Zaborsky to step up his game big time as we have seen when Zaborsky is scoring goals the Spirit are a winning team.

The NCAA Field is Set

It is sad that the NCAA admits that when they set the brackets for this year's Division One Men's Hockey Tournament that they "protected" the field's number one seed the Michigan Wolverines. We have a problem with that but then again we think it is a smokescreen for how the field was set to begin with.

So who here would not think something is kind of fishy when Wisconsin is given a berth on it's home ice, Colorado College in Colorado Springs, Niagara in Albany NY, and Boston College in Worcester Mass? The NCAA committee wants people to believe that they did Michigan a favor by sending them to Albany New York.

Sorry but the cynic here has to wonder just how much getting increased attendance by having local teams in the field is doing Michigan a favor? Not to mention that Wisconsin is even in this field over a Minnesota State team that had a better overall record than Wisconsin and an WINNING head to head record against Wisconsin. They are using the excuse of using "Pairwise" a very complicated system of rules the NCAA claims insures fairness.

Not in our eyes is any of this fair.

CHL Playoff Leaders

1- Ryan Hillier Halifax 3-3-6
2- Bobby Sanguinetti Brampton 1-2-3
3- Justin Soryal Peterborough 2-0-2
4- Tomas Zaborsky Saginaw 0-1-1
5- David Skokan Rimouski 0-1-1

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