Tuesday, April 19, 2011


Tuesday night prospect hockey for New York Ranger and New York Islander prospects was about making some dramatic statements. For 2 New York Ranger prospects their teams sent out what we used to call M.O.A.B. (Mother of All Bombs or Buttkicking) with their efforts.

For Ryan Bourque and his Quebec Remparts, they were playing a game 7 against the Shawinigan Cataractes because they forgot to show up for Games 5 and 6. They showed up for Game 7 and made sure of it with a 9-2 win that advances the Remparts to the QMJHL semifinals.

For Bourque it was a much better effort out as he set up the Rempart's 1st goal of the game and then repeated the setup on the Rempart's 9th goal. It was an innocent looking 1-0 lead after 1 period for the Remparts and we would just love to know what Quebec coach Patrick Roy said to his team during the intermission.

Quebec came out for the 2nd period needing just 16 seconds to score their 2nd goal of the game, just 1:20 later to make it 3-0 and then 3:52 later to add their 4th goal and this one was over. The Remparts would add another goal to lead 5-0 after 2 periods.

In the 3rd, Shawinigan got on the board just 32 seconds into the period but Quebec responded with 3 more goals to make it 8-1. Shawinigan added 1 more goal before Bourque set up the final goal of the game and series.

Quebec moves on to face the Gatineau Olympiques who were the 5th seed in this year's QMJHL playoffs. As for Bourque, he finished this series 3-4-7 to improve to 4-9-13 but while we said Kirill Kabanov needed to turn up his scoring for Lewiston; in Bourque's case we want to see him amp up his defense.

Gatineau is led by Jean-Gabriel Pageau who is 8-11-19 in this year's playoffs and if Bourque can shut him down then Quebec will be headed to the QMJHL finals.

OK we have to really ask what in the world does Scott Stajcer need to do in order to get some love from the Canadian media? Not pointing a finger at anyone but really 5 starts for Stajcer and he has only given up 5 goals.

You do not win playoff games, series or championships without getting solid goaltending. Stajcer in 6 games played is 5-0, 1.07 goals against and a 0.966 save percentage is giving the Attack exactly that.

Stopping 38 of 39 shots in game 1 of the OHL Western Conference finals helped his Owen Sound Attack to an 8-1 win. Stajcer, yes we are biased since he is a Ranger draft pick but when a team knows they have a good goalie who is going to cover for their mistakes can take an extra chance here and there.

A team that believes in their goalie will support their goalie and unlike last season when the Attack were offensively challenged, this season is not the case. Stajcer is a goalie who we believe plays better the more shots he faces in a game and at this rate is going to give the Rangers the kind of happy problem a team wants.

For a change it will be real nice to say that there is depth in goal throughout the system. That is something we have not seen in a very long time.

Casey Cizikas and his Mississauga St. Michael's Majors opened their OHL Eastern Conference Finals series against Jason Wilson and his Niagara IceDogs with a 3-0 shut out win.

One has to seriously wonder just how psyched out the IceDogs are by the Majors. The Majors now have won 8 out of 9 meetings between the teams and while we are not saying this is a slam dunk for the Majors, the IceDogs need to show themselves that they beat them.

Otherwise this series will be over in 4 games and Niagara will have a long off-season wondering why they could not beat the Majos.

In the game, Cizikas had an assist on the Major's 2nd goal of the game to give him 6 points for the playoffs. Game 2 for the OHL conference finals will be on Thursday.

(Images: Bourque/Katherine Ep, Stajcer and Cizikas/Aaron Bell-OHL Images)

No comments: