Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Slacker Not

Tonight's Star Evgeny Grachev

The joke was that Evgeny Grachev was goofing off after scoring just one goal in Brampton's 4-2 game 3 win over the Peterborough Petes. After all he had 7 points in the first 2 games so why the sudden scoring slump?

Seriously Grachev's 4th goal of the playoffs was a game changer as it was a power play goal just 28 seconds into the 2nd period and gave the Battalion a 2-1 lead that they never gave up.

The Petes outplayed the Battalion in the first period and were feeling good about ending the first period tied at 1-1. Grachev's blast from the right faceoff circle wiped away any good feeling and sent the Battalion to a very commanding 3 games to none series lead.

Grachev is now 4-4-8 in the 3 games which is good for 4th overall in the OHL playoff scoring race.

Grachev also earned the first of what will be a bunch of OHL honors as he was named as the OHL Coaches in their annual poll named Grachev as Most Dangerous in the Goal Area (tied with Brett Parnham) in the OHL Eastern Conference.

Grachev was voted second in Best Skater and Best Shot by the same OHL Coaches. It is a good day for Grachev as his supposed weakness was his skating when he first joined Brampton. And folks when you are enjoying the play of Grachev in the years to come please remember to say thank you to Stan Butler and the Brampton Battalion for helping Grachev become one of your favorite prospects.


Tomas Kundratek and his Medicine Hat Tigers returned back home for game 3 of their WHL playoff series with Swift Current having earned a split in the first 2 games but gave their home ice advantage right back. The Tigers were dominated by Swift Current and lost 5-2 to fall behind 2-1 in their series.

Kundratek was scoreless and very quiet other than taking a penalty for interference in this game. When Kundratek plays well the Tigers have a chance but if he remains quiet as he was in this game then the results are losses like this one.

Tysen Dowzak and his Kelowna Rockets spotted the Kamloops Blaxers a 2-0 game lead but tied the game with just 3 seconds remaining in regulation and then most likely broke the backs and hopes of the Blazers with a goal at 12:21 of the first overtime to win 3-2 and earn a commanding 3-0 series lead.

It was a very quiet night for Dowzak but defensive minded players almost rarely get mentioned except when they make mistakes. Kelowna goes to finish off the Blazers on Wednesday night.

Chris Doyle and his Prince Edward Island Rocket had their hearts broken in Game 3 of their QMJHL series with the Moncton Wildcats after dropping a 3-2 overtime decision. The Rocket had appeared to have gotten back into this series by scoring 2 very late goals just 11 seconds apart (new team record) to tie the game and force overtime.

However the Wildcats scored at the 5:27 mark of the first overtime period and can eliminate the Rocket in a sweep on Wednesday.

We have confirmation now that Antoine Lafleur suffered a fractured finger on his left hand (glove hand) and is done for the season. If you want to feel bad for the kid then do so because it was a fluke injury that happened during a warmup excerise with a soccer ball.

If not for this injury then Lafleur would have gotten the start in the playoffs. Now the Rangers really have a tough decision to make as they must decide whether or not to offer Lafleur a contract or allow him to walk.

We believe the Rangers will offer Lafleur a AHL level deal in part to save face since he was a second round pick.

(Grachev picture courtesy of Brampton)

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