Thursday, November 20, 2008

The Mid-Week Report

While the Rangers were getting spanked by the Canucks on Wednesday, one prospect was in action as Tysen Dowzak (2008 UFA) and his Kelowna Rockets were able to defeat the Tri-City Americans 3-1 in WHL action.

While we feel bad for Ranger fans given the current state of the Ranger blueline; we feel pretty good knowing that a prospect like Dowzak is out there actually putting defense first and doing it quite well.

It is hard not to like a 6'5 220 lb defender who goes out and clears creases, blocks shots and alters the other teams attack just with his presence.

Dowzak will never win any offensive awards but one of the things we like more and more is that Dowzak does not panic when the pressure is on. Used by the Rockets as their main defensive stopper, Dowzak is still a major work in progress in order to make it to the NHL level but in our eyes worth both the wait and the gamble.

Dowzak has a great mentor too if you have not been following this space; former Ranger defenseman Jeff Finley is an assistant coach with Kelowna and there is a direct connection to Dowzak's improvement and Finley joining the Rocket staff as an assistant coach.

It may take a while for Dowzak to make it to the NHL but if he does then it will be worth the wait.


When you win 14 straight games then people will start to notice your efforts as Evgeny Grachev (2008 3rd) and his Brampton Battalion continue to move up in the weekly CHL Mosaik MasterCard Top-10 Rankings.

For week 10, the Battalion jumped up 2 spots to 7th in this week's poll as they look to set a new team record on Friday evening as they travel to Ottawa for a game against the 67's. It was this same 67's team on Sunday that Grachev scored his 4 goals on.


Speaking of Grachev, on Thursday evening Grachev will be facing his future Ranger teammate Michael Del Zotto as Grachev joins the Russian Selects as they face the OHL All-Stars as part of the ADT Canada Russia Challenge.

The game will be televised on Roger's Sportsnet in Canada but sadly not in the US which is a shame since Ranger fans will miss the first of two matchups in this annual matchup.

(Dowzak courtesy of the Kelowna Rockets)

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