Friday, March 29, 2013

To the brink

Brenden Kichton (Spokane Chiefs)
Just 3 games on the Thursday playoff schedule and all involving New York Islander prospects which resulted in 2 losses and 1 escape. Depending on your point of view then the 2 losses mean that the Islanders are this much closer to adding 2 talented prospects to their system.

One who nobody is really sure what is going to happen when Brenden Kichton's (NYI 2011 5th) season with the Spokane Chiefs ends but his season looks like it will last a bit longer. Kichton's Chiefs escaped game 4 of their series with the Tri-City Americans with a 4-3 overtime win.

I call it an escape because the Chiefs blew a 3-1 3rd period lead and one has to wonder what the outcome might have been if Tri-City's starting goalie Luke Lee-Knight doesn't have to leave the game in the overtime period with an injured arm. Lee-Knight was injured in a collision with a Chief player in front of the American's net.

Imagine being the American's backup goalie Troy Trombley having to come in ice cold and giving up the game winning goal on the 3rd shot you faced? Sorry I am not going to feel bad for the Chiefs listening to complaints about not getting a single power play during the game.

Not having a power play doesn't explain why the Chiefs let the Americans get back into the game after Kichton scored his 1st goal of the playoffs at 6:35 of the 3rd which gave the Chiefs their 3-1 lead. It was also Kichton's 1st points since game 1 so like I said the Chiefs escaped with the win.

Game 5 will be in Tri-City on Saturday evening because Spokane's arena isn't available because of NCAA women's basketball.

Ryan Strome (NYI 2011 1st)
and his Niagara IceDogs find themselves down in their OHL Eastern Conference playoff series 3-1 after the Oshawa Generals earned a 4-1 win in game 4. Strome was held scoreless and was a -2 for the game as the Generals have made him a non-factor for the most part.

Niagara was 0 for 7 on their power plays (2 for 28 overall) so they can't complain about not having chances especially considering how the only team in the OHL playoffs with a worse power play are the Oshawa Generals (0 for 20). When your leading scorer and his linemates aren't producing then it is going to be hard to win games.

Jesse Graham (NYI 2012 6th) was also scoreless with a -1 and a minor for goaltender interference. Game 5 will be Friday night in Oshawa so wonder how fast the Islanders will want Strome in Bridgeport when the IceDogs are eliminated?

Then there is Andrey Pedan (NYI 2011 3rd) who's Guelph Storm are now on the brink of elimination after losing their game 4 to the Kitchener Rangers 2-1. Compared to the first 3 games this game was almost "choir boy quiet" as the 2 teams only had a combined 8 power plays.

Honestly Guelph didn't play badly, it was more that Kitchener goalie John Gibson was so very good stopping 40 out of 41 shots. Pedan played a solid game even if he was scoreless but unless he gets some support offensively then he too might be on his way to Bridgeport.

The Storm have only managed 6 goals in the 4 games with Pedan scoring 3 of them.

Game 5 is Friday in Kitchener.

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