Thursday, November 10, 2011

Strome With A Field Goal

With 2 New York Islander prospects in the lineup for Team OHL and Team Russia then it was pond hockey at it's very best as Team OHL took on Team Russia in Game 3 of the Subway Super Series on Thursday evening.

Ryan Strome (2011 1st) of the Niagara Ice Dogs dressed for Team OHL while Andrey Pedan (2011 3rd) suited up for Russia. To say this was a wild wide open game would be a major understatement after Team OHL came back to earn a 10-7 win.

17 goals between the 2 teams, 8 goals alone in the 3rd period and Team OHL at one point scoring 6 unanswered goals made this one entertaining for the fans and a nightmare for the coaches of both teams.

This may have been just an exhibition but Ryan Strome had 2 goals and an assist to extend his personal scoring streak to 12 games (10-8-18) but more importantly for Team OHL when they needed it the most; it was Strome who delivered.

In the 3rd period after Team OHL had rallied from down 6-4 to tie the game at 4:13; it was Strome just 1:01 later who broke the tie at 5:14 with a shot which beat Russian goalie Pavel Suchkov over his glove for a 7-6 lead that Team OHL would not give up.

6:05 later at 11:19, Strome scored again to make the score 8-6 and this one proved to be the game winner as his OHL teammates tacked on 2 more goals with Russia adding 1 to make the final 10-7.

For Strome who also had a primary assist on Team OHL's 4th goal; this was in our eyes locking up a roster spot for Hockey Canada in the upcoming Under-20 championships. It was the kind of performance you want to see out of your star players as Strome scored his goals in crunch time and helped cut the Russian lead in the series to 2-1.

Strome's final line for this game was 2-1-3 +4 with 4 PIMs while fellow prospect Andrey Pedan was scoreless for Russia with a -2 and 4 PIMs. Ironically Pedan and Strome wound up taking penalties at 19:43 when Pedan was called for highsticking Strome and Strome who was not happy about it went off for roughing.

Now the OHL players will return to their regular teams for the weekend and then Team OHL with Strome and NYR prospect Christian Thomas (2010 2nd) will play game 4 in this series on Monday. Pedan is not listed as playing in Monday's game but is expected to be a part of Russia's roster when they play in the Under-20 Championships starting next month in Edmonton/Calgary.

In Regina, Dylan McIlrath (2010 1st) missed his 5th game out of the last 6 his Moose Jaw Warriors have played with what the Warriors are calling an "Upper Body Injury." We on the other hand can not go with the "upper body injury" listing anymore based on some conclusions we have drawed based upon other reliable people's accounts and personal history.

We have no other choice but to say that we believe this to be a concussion injury as we have 3 different and objective accounts that point back to the game the Warriors played against the Kootenay Ice on October 22nd.  Those accounts all say that during that game McIlrath took a hard elbow to the head and has not been the same since.

The WHL at the beginning of the season make a big show about how they were looking to cut down on hits to the head. It was  (and still is) an idea that we fully support but the problem we are seeing is nobody wants to report a player as suffering a concussion.

For us that puts the player at risk, it opens the door for questions about the credibility of the Moose Jaw Warriors and the WHL and even worse defeats the entire purpose of the 7 point plan.

If a player is not the victim of a blow to the head then how can the WHL punish a player? If the victim's team is not willing to say that their player suffered a blow to the head then how exactly can the WHL suspend anyone for a blow to the head?

But more frustrating is why after all that happened during the off-season would WHL teams or the WHL be so unwilling to acknowledge that a player suffered a concussion? There is not a single logical reason as to why a team would refuse to acknowledge a playing suffering such an injury.

Even worse is while Coaches and General Managers can avoid talking to the media, the folks who handle media relations for said teams are being placed into awkward positions by their employers. We do not blame the media relations folks as we fully understand they have to obey the instructions given to them.

But in the end the losers are the team as if they are not forthcoming about one kind of injury then how can we believe them about other types of injuries? How can we believe the WHL is working to remove head shots when they will not acknowledge when someone is suffering from a concussion?

In the end we hope the WHL and it's teams are not taking a risk with the health and well-being of a player because that is the kind of publicity that there is no damage control.

For the record, McIlrath is listed as "day to day" due to his upper body injury.

(Strome- Aaron Bell-OHL Images)

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