Thursday, March 25, 2010

Tying Things Up

The Kingston Frontenacs had not been in the playoffs for a couple of years and while Doug Gilmour experienced the playoffs as an NHL player; he is still a rookie as a coach.

Having to face Stan Butler and his Brampton Battalion as their first round opposition has made this a "learn on the fly" experience for Ethan Werek and his Frontenacs. It appears that they are quick learners as the Frontenacs after dropping the first 2 games of their series have roared back to tie it up.

Werek with a goal and a +2 as the Frontenacs pulled away from the Battalion 7-4 and now turn their series into a best of 3. Werek has been productive as he is 2-2-4 in his first OHL playoff appearance.

It was Werek who got the Frontenacs going when he scored his 2nd goal of the playoffs at 1:23 of the first period. The Fronts scored 3 goals in the first 4:58 of the period but Brampton scored 3 straight in the second to tie the game.

The Fronts were able to break the tie and then pulled away for the eventual win.

In Red Deer, Sam Klassen and his Saskatoon Blades finished off the Red Deer Rebels with a 5-2 win to earn the 4 game sweep. The Blades though tried their best to keep Red Deer alive in the series as gave the game Rebels 8 power plays in the game.

Klassen played a big part of making sure the Rebels were not able to get more than just 1 goal off their power plays. Klassen also deserves an assist on the Blade's 4th goal but was not given it.

Klassen though deserves a lot of credit for shutting down Red Deer's leading scorer Willie Coetzee as Coetzee only scored 1 goal in this series (with the one goal coming when Klassen was not covering him. The Rangers need a shut down defender and here is a solid candidate as Klassen was a +6 in this series.

Sadly we also have to see another prospect's season come to an end as Mitch Gaulton and his Erie Otters were swept out by the Windsor Spitfires with a 5-1 loss. The Otters simply were no match for the defending Memorial Cup Champions as injuries just took away Erie's best players making a long shot into an impossible one.

Gaulton failed to score in the 4 games and wound up a -3 for the series. Now the question is will Gaulton be invited by the Rangers for an ATO with the Hartford Wolfpack.

Gaulton who the Rangers used their 6th round pick in the 2008 NHL draft just simply has not been able to restart his development after injuries kept showing up every time Gaulton appeared to be ready to get going.

Gaulton finishes the season 5-26-31 in 50 games with a -9 and 45 PIMs.

(Werek courtesy of Aaron Bell/OHL Images)

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