Thursday, March 28, 2013

Moving on or moving out

Mitchell Theoret (OHL Images)
Wednesday was a day of sweeps for the New York Ranger and New York Islander prospects as we had some solid performances but sadly an embarrassing one too. Still seeing a young man rise to the occasion with a 4 point performance is a "feel good" moment to enjoy.

How many ways to like first star of the game Mitchell Theoret's (NYI 2011 7th) 4 point performance against the Kingston Frontenacs? 4 works for me as Theoret and his Barrie Colts ended the season for the Kingston Frontenacs eliminating them in 4 games after a 8-2 win. Theoret with a 2nd straight strong effort in replacing the suspended Anthony Camara helps the Colts advance to the 2nd round of OHL Eastern Conference playoffs.

Theoret got going needing all of 10 seconds after the game got underway to score his 1st of 2 goals as the puck found it's way to his stick off a blocked shot. Theoret caught Frontenac goalie Mike Morrison totally off guard with the shot giving the Colts a 1-0 lead.

Theoret would earned a secondary assist on Barrie's 3rd goal, an even strength goal at 18:12 that wound up being the game winner. Theoret scored an unassisted goal at 9:16 of the 3rd for Barrie's 6th goal then registered another secondary assist 41 seconds later on a power play goal.

Theoret's 2-2-4 performance gives him a 5-3-8 mark which is good for 3rd in the OHL in playoff scoring as Theoret is tied for the league lead in goals. By sweeping the Frontenacs, the Colts get to have at least a week off while the other 3 series in the OHL's Eastern Conference keep playing.

Then there is the embarrassing exit from the WHL's Eastern Conference playoffs by the Saskatoon Blades as they became the first 2nd seeded team to be swept in 4 games since the WHL switched to the playoff format they use today. A truly terrible effort from the Blades got the result they deserved as the Medicine Hat Tigers swept them for the 2nd straight year after a 3-1 win.

Shane McColgan (NYR 2011 5th)
had 1 goal in the 4 games as if he was looking for a Ranger contract this wasn't the way to earn it. Josh Nicholls (NYR 2013 UFA) had just 1 assist in the series after scoring 47 goals during the WHL regular season.

Nicholls who caught a break when he wasn't suspended for a 5 minute major in game 3 finished his series by being 1 of 7 players who were called for 10 minute misconducts with 20 seconds remaining in the series. Sorry not going to accept that Nicholls was frustrated over the outcome of the series because it was his job to score goals and he didn't score a single one.

Now McColgan and Nicholls get to sit and watch for the next 52 days before the start of the 2013 Memorial Cup. Hopefully the embarrassment of this series will do something to motivate the Blades because in the Memorial Cup they won't be facing a 7th seeded team.

In Kootenay, Griffin Reinhart (NYI 2012 1st) led his Edmonton Oil Kings to a 4-0 win over the Kootenay Ice in game 4 of their WHL Eastern Conference series. The captain of the Oil Kings led a clamp down of the Ice holding them to just 20 shots (12-2-6) as the Oil Kings took a 3-1 lead in the series.

Reinhart and the defense kept the Ice off the scoreboard and a 0 for 5 on their power plays. Michael St. Croix (NYR 2011 4th) was held scoreless for the first time in the series as he picked up 2 of the minors that led to Ice power plays.

The Oil Kings will look to finish off the Ice on Friday in Edmonton.

Samuel Noreau (NYR 2011 5th) missed the 1st round of his Baie-Comeau Drakkar's playoff series against the Sherbrooke Phoenix but the Drakkar have advanced to the 2nd round of the QMJHL playoffs. No timetable has been given for Noreau's return but hope he gets a chance to sign a contract at least.

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