Jason Wilson (2010 5th) and his Niagara IceDogs eliminated the Oshawa Generals in 5 games after Niagara defeated Oshawa 7-3. Wilson continued his strong play adding 2 more assists to run his playoff totals to 4-7-11.
This game was over in the first period after Niagara jumped all over Oshawa for 5 goals that was just too much for Oshawa to overcome. Wilson got his first assist on Niagara's 4th goal which turned out to be the eventual game winning goal at 14:36 of the first.
Wilson and the IceDogs advanced to the OHL Eastern Conference Finals against the Mississauga St. Michaels Majors and already being labeled as heavy underdogs due to the Majors going 6-1-0-1 during the regular season. As much as we like the IceDogs, there remains a monster residing in Mississauga that we think will rule.
As for Oshawa, it is in it's own way really sad to see their season come to such an end but at the same time, this team was a full year ahead of schedule so we just might see them again. Or how sad would we be if Christian Thomas and Dan Maggio were on Broadway while Calvin de Haan and Tony DeHart were out on the Island?
Why the last Ranger prospect to put up numbers like that was this right winger of the Guelph Storm who everybody (but us we add ever so modestly) swore up and down was way too small to play in the NHL. All that guy did in his best season was put up 59 total goals before he turned pro and once he turned pro Ranger fans fell in love with him.
Isn't that right Ryan Callahan?
Maggio finished his season 2-12-14 +5 97 PIMs 6 Fighting Majors, 1-2-3 Even in the playoffs.
Tony DeHart (2010 5th) was a good pick for the Islanders as we believe that he has earned an Islander contract because of his ability to fill any role asked of him. 4-26-30 +9 82 PIMs with 6 fighting majors, 2-10-12 in the playoffs he will be playing as a pro someplace next season.
In Portland, Nino Niederreiter (2010 1st) and his Portland Winterhawks are discovering the hard way that the 4th win in a series is very hard to get. Niederreiter scored his 7th goal of the playoffs in the 2nd period but that was the only goal the Winterhawks could manage to score as the Kelowna Rockets defeated Portland in overtime 2-1.
The Winterhawks still lead the series 3-2 but now face a long bus ride up to Kelowna for a game 6 on Sunday afternoon. Friendly advice to Portland win up there because you do not want to go to a game 7 against a Ryan Huska coached team; we have seen his teams win game 7's.
Kabanaov continued his hot streak with a 1-2-3 +2 8 shot effort against the Junior. How many ways can we sing the praises of Kabanov? Start with a 5-9-14 that has leapfrogged him up to 11th in QMJHL playoff scoring.
Add a scoring streak of 7 games in which Lewiston has gone 5-2 in as well as 4 straight multi-point games. Whatever Lewiston did to turn Kabanov around then one hopes they share that secret with the Islanders as if Kabanov keeps playing like this then the 3rd round pick Garth Snow gambled on Kabanov will be the best bargain in years.
As with Portland, Quebec now has to go on the road in order to play game 6 and in this case we just do not have the confidence in Quebec's Patrick Roy's ability to coach a game 7 win against the Cataractes but it is because the Cataractes as a team scare us.
They have a much better playoff record on the road than they do at home so if the Remparts do not get the job done then beware the underdog in game 7.
OK let me put this quite simply; if you have followed the Rangers all season then why are you abandoning ship after just 2 games? Have the Rangers been blown out in either game?
Sorry but I am not sure which is more embarrassing that nobody sees that the Capitals are playing not to lose or that too many Ranger fans are acting like the Rangers lost Game 2 in worse fashion than Custer got his tail kicked at Little Big Horn.
Now I will be the first to say that I did not think this team would even make it to the playoffs. I was wrong but you know since they are in then what the hell I have not gotten to seen a Ranger playoff game on my birthday in years.
I want one this year after all I have been through.
(Images Wilson/Aaron Bell-OHL Images, Thomas, de Haan, DeHart, Maggio/Oshawa Generals Kabanov/QMJHL, Bourque/Quebec Remparts)