Tuesday, May 3, 2011

And Then There Was Just One

There was a Game 7 and a Game 1 played on Tuesday evening; both wound up with identical 5-2 scores but sadly for the New York Ranger prospects they were also both losses.

First up was opening game of the OHL finals as New York Islander prospect Casey Cizikas led his Mississauga St. Michaels Majors against Scott Stajcer and his Owen Sound Attack.

Give round 1 to Cizikas and his Majors as they earned a 5-2 win over the Attack. Cizikas led the way for the Majors with the game winning goal and 2 assists to earn the game's first star.

Do not let the score fool you this was a game that was a lot closer than the scores says it was. And despite the loss Stajcer was just outstanding in goal for the Attack despite giving up 4 goals on 27 shots.

Stajcer kept this game close and was more the victim of defensive breakdowns in the 2nd period which was the only period where the Majors were dominate. Take away a 3 goal 21 shot 2nd period and this game is practically dead even.

Cizikas was the difference maker for the Majors as the captain of the Majors earned his points on the Major's first 3 goals setting up linemate Devante Smith-Pelly for goals in the 1st and 2nd period then adding his 4th goal of the playoffs to give the Majors a 3-1 lead.

The only thing Cizikas did not score on was a penalty shot awarded in the 2nd period that Stajcer stopped. Still Cizikas reminded us why he was the Islander's best 2 way forward prospect this season.

Game 2 will be in Owen Sound on Thursday and while it is still early in the series; call it must win for Owen Sound as they need to to hold their home ice in order to have any chance in this series.

We would like to bid Ryan Bourque a fond farewell from the prospect ranks but sadly for the Ranger's 2009 3rd round pick it ended in a stinker.

Quebec finished off their collapse from a 3-1 series lead with a 5-2 loss that eliminates them from the QMJHL. The Remparts really played with first in 2 straight series blowing 3-1 series leads but this time it cost them a chance at the QMJHL championship.

For Coach Patrick Roy, he has to consider himself lucky that the Remparts are owned by Patrick Roy otherwise he would rightfully deserve a pink slip for the team's performance in the playoffs.

Bourque we hope this loss leaves a bad taste in him and it fuels his off-season workouts. Bourque was scoreless, a -3 on 4 shots as he finished his playoff run 5-11-16 +1 in 16 games.

Bourque is headed to the CT Whale next season as despite how much we like him as a player he needs to improve his body. We do believe that Bourque has an NHL future despite the concerns of his size but because of that size, Bourque is going to have to overcome a lot of doubters.

So if you are keeping score there are 2 New York Islander prospects and just 1 New York Ranger. Cizikas is joined by Portland's Nino Niederreiter who start their WHL finals against Kootenay.

For the Rangers that it is Scott Stajcer has to be a surprise to every one but at the same time it also says a lot about his heart. A goalie who comes bad from mid-season hip surgery has a lot of fire in him.

Hope the Rangers are smart enough to see that and give him a contract.

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


Kmp said...

Know you like Portland, any predictions for the finals? Ice have won 11 straight.

Jess Rubenstein said...

Actually I happen to like both teams as Kootenay has been one of the first teams I got to work with when I started this.

But to me the difference in this series is going to be Craig Cunningham. Not only does he center Bartschi and Rattie but he is the only player who has been down this road for either team.

It will be this line that determines who wins this series.

The Ice are better defensively but they can not match Portland in shootouts. They just do not have the firepower.

Portland defeated Spokane despite only getting one goal from Nino Niederreiter.

One last thing, Portlsnd held Spokane to just 2 for 31 on the power play.

Everyone looks at Portland's firepower but they can play defense too

I will get to see Portland look at the WHL title on May 13th. That is Game 5

They will not pick it up because the one they want is in Mississauga.