Sunday, May 29, 2011

Well Played Sir

In the end it was a story of redemption as well as one of things not meant to be. But it was also a very good way for the CHL to end it's season on because if you like hockey then you enjoyed the finals of the 2011 Memorial Cup.

A classic game it was not but it was the kind of game that told stories as the game played it's way out from start to finish. On one hand you are happy that a goalie like Jacob DeSerres got a chance to redeem himself after the 12 months he had to endure.

Unfairly blamed for Brandon's 9-1 loss to Windsor in last year's Memorial Cup to being waived by Brandon because he was one 20 year old too many on their roster. DeSerres was the reason why Saint John won Sunday night because for most of the game Mississauga was outplaying Saint John.

This game was Mississauga's to have if not for rightfully the first star of the game making the kinds of saves that DeSerres did. Mississauga wins this game if they find a way to score on their power play but DeSerres held them at bay (0 for 5).

In the end it was Saint John the supposed offensive machine that outplayed Mississauga at their own defensive game, forcing mistakes and scoring on their forced errors. It was Saint John who scored shorthanded and it was Saint John who put the dagger in Mississauga's heart with a beauty of a finish on a 2 on 1.

This was a game that really you knew what the outcome was going to be once Saint John got that 1-0 lead. You felt bad for Mississauga because for the second time in less than a month someone else got to raise a trophy on their ice.

And if you have any heart at all it goes out for Mississauga coach Dave Cameron and his captain Casey Cizikas for earning the most devasting of hat tricks this season. Nobody else came in second as these two did first at the World Under-20, then the OHL Final and now the Memorial Cup.

You feel bad because Mississauga lost not because they played a bad game; in fact quite the opposite as they as their coach said left everything on the ice and gave a great effort. It as people like to say just not meant to be.

Still as Saint John gets to bring home a Memorial Cup for their league the QMJHL and now get to watch as many as 9 of their roster get the call from the NHL on draft weekend. The QMJHL gets to send a message to all of those prospects who turning them down in favor of the NCAA that yes they can compete with anyone.

But before we forget a message needs to be sent to the New York Islanders that Casey Cizikas has earned his entry level contract and get the deal done. Cizikas despite being on the wrong end of scores did more to show that he has what it takes to play at the next level.

Cizikas if it is any consolation was the only Islander (or Ranger) prospect who got to play in 3 championship games. Cizikas finishes the year 29-35-64 +43 in the regular season, 5-14-19 +11 in the OHL playoffs, 2-1-3 in the Memorial Cup and 2-1-3 in the World Under-20 for a 38-51-89 season.

Now the planning begins toward trying to plot out the 2011 NHL Entry Draft.


Kmp said...

Most Ranger fans bristle about taking a Dman in the draft, but if Beaulieu dropped you have to consider him he is impressive.

Jess Rubenstein said...

Sather won't take a player from the QMJHL in the first round as he has only taken 2 out of 34 picks