Saturday, April 4, 2009

Different Day Same Result

Game two of the Brampton Battalion's series against the Mississauga St. Michael's Majors was what you expect from playoff hockey. It was back and forth heavyweights throwing bombs trying to land that knockout punch and the last save of the game decided the outcome.

Evgeny Grachev's Battalion earned a very hard fought 2-1 win on the road over the Majors and lead the series 2-0. Grachev actually had a very quiet game which given his play this season is news in itself.

Grachev did not score and even took a high sticking penalty in the third period that could have cost his Battalion the game. The Troop killed of the penalty as they did all 4 Major power plays.

In this game the star was both goalies as the Battalion's Thomas McCollum (Re Wings 2008 1st) and the Major's rookie J.P. Anderson put on a show and a half. The corny story was that this was a game that neither goalie deserved to lose fits here as both made spectacular saves that kept this to a 2-1 game.

The two teams have Saturday off before Game 3 in Brampton on Sunday.

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Tysen Dowzak and his Kelowna Rockets opened their WHL second round series with the Tri-City Americans with a 4-3 loss that they can blame themselves for this loss.

The Rockets fell behind 3-1 into the 3rd period rallied to tie the score but fell on a power play goal with under 2 minutes to go in regulation. The difference in this game was special teams as the Americans scored 2 power play goals that proved to be the difference.

Dowzak did not play badly and actually wound up a +1 but Dowzak is going to need to become even more active than he has been. To beat a strong team like the Americans, the Rockets need to use their huge size advantage on defense against them.

Already in game 1, the Americans suffered injuries to key players Jason Reese and Mitch Fadden and as cold as this sounds; the Rockets have to keep pounding the Americans into submission and that has to be what Dowzak must do.

Dowzak is one of the strongest prospects we have seen in years and the Rocket staff has been wanting him to become more aggressive physically and we have to agree after watching Game 1. If Dowzak at 6'5 220 starts punishing the Americans then the Rockets will have a better chance at winning this series.

And before anyone thinks otherwise, we are talking about hard CLEAN hits as the last thing that Dowzak has done was be a cheap shot hitter.

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This is Corey Cowick of the Ottawa 67's of the OHL and as of Friday, a member of the Hartford Wolfpack who added the 6'2 200 left wing on a ATO (Amateur Tryout). Cowick is a undrafted 20 year old who had his "breakout" season with a 34-26-60 +21 mark (7-2-9 +3 in playoffs).

We know him from his times with the Oshawa Generals and on the surface, Cowick is the classic late bloomer. Prior to joining the 67's, Cowick was better known as a fighter than scorer but that changed with he was placed on the 67's top line.

A popular player who earned team awards from the 67's in leadership, as a student and for his off ice appearances. As a person this is the kind of person you want to have on your roster.

The Good is that Cowick is an "in your face" player who is not afraid to get his hands dirty. Cowick will go into the corners, will attack the net and will take the beating if it helps his team. The thing that is a concern is how Cowick had a great first half but struggled down the stretch (4 goals from Feb-Mar 19 games)

The Good is that Cowick had 11 power play goals on the season which always is a need on the Rangers. The concern is that Cowick only put up 4 game winners and none after January 2nd.

From a potential standpoint we do not see Cowick as more than a 3rd line player who will add grit while chipping in the occasion goal. We want to see him work on his body improving his lower half to help increase his balance.

Cowick is a smart kid and we doubt that he will be outworked but at the same time he does have a long way to go to make it to the NHL. We will not be shocked if he eventually make it but we seem him more as a role player than a Top 6.

Cowick is also an interesting case as he is still eligible to be drafted in the next draft which is a very rare case given his age and status so the Rangers may have him now but could still potential lose him to another team.

(Grachev: Brampton, Dowzak: Hartford, Cowick: OHL)







3 comments:

Lee said...

cowick or corwick?
no need to post, just advising you of the inconsistent spelling

Jess Rubenstein said...

Thanks for catching that Lee, it is Cowick

Jess Rubenstein said...

Strike 2 for me Thanks Amos for catching that mistake as well. Goes to show that a smartphone is not so smart when the dumbuser is operating it.