Saturday, April 27, 2013

This was fun

OK I won't deny it, I love the "game after something happened" in large part because you don't know what will happen as was the case on Friday night for the New York Ranger and New York Islander prospects. One thing was for sure and that was the paying customer got their money's worth (well depending on which team you were rooting for).

In Baie-Comeau, the biggest question was who was left to play in game 5 after the game 4 post-game brawl between Samuel Noreau's (NYR 2011 5th) Baie-Comeau Drakkar and the Blainville-Boisbriand, Armada? 12 players (including all 4 goalies) and both coaches were suspended because of what happened leaving both teams depending on players who under most circumstances would never have played in such a key playoff game.

Noreau's Drakkar were able to earn a 2-1 overtime win in what was a very tame (only 8 total penalty minutes) affair. Noreau was scoreless, a -1 on 1 shot as both teams were playing under the threat of a 25,000 dollar fine if anything close to what happened in game 4 happened.

The stars of this game were the kid goalies for both teams as the Drakkar's Simon Lemieux and the Armada's combo of Storm Phaneuf and Marc-Antoine Turcotte. Turcotte a 16 year old made his QMJHL debut when Phaneuf went down with an injury in the 3rd period with the score tied 1-1.

All 3 goalies put on a pretty good accounting for themselves given the circumstances as Lemieux stopped 29 of 30, Phaneuf 20 of 21 and Turcotte 6 of 7. The Drakkar with the win take a 3-2 lead in the series as it shifts to Blainville-Boisbriand for game 6.

In London it was 20 seconds into overtime that Max Domi scored the series ending goal for his London Knights as the Knights eliminated the Plymouth Whalers 5-4 in 5 games. Down the road all people will remember that this was the night that young Domi either scored or set up all 5 London goals.

That is the funny thing about hockey as unless you paid attention then you were not aware that London blew a 4-0 lead that they had built up over the first 37:26 of the game. Even stranger was that despite the stats was that Tommy Hughes (NYR UFA 2013) and his fellow defenders saved the game for London in the last 4:33 of regulation.

Hughes is fast showing that he is the kind of defender that John Tortorella dreams of, the shot blocking, lane clogging physical player who eats up minutes. Pretty sure Tortorella will adopt Hughes when he sees him play.

The Knights have the chance now to defend their OHL title in the finals but they will have to wait to see who they face because Mitchell Theoret's (NYI 2011 7th) Barrie Colts could not finish off the Belleville Bulls in game 5 of their series losing 3-1.

The fans of the Colts might have a beef over Mitchell Theoret's disallowed goal was good or not because it would have sent the game into the 2nd intermission tied at 2-2. It doesn't matter as the Colts will have home ice for game 6 still leading in the series 3-2.

Michael St. Croix (NYR 2011 4th) scored his 8th goal of the playoffs as his Edmonton Oil Kings got goals from 5 different players to earn a 5-1 win over the Calgary Hitmen in game 5 of their series. The Oil Kings who were playing without team captain Griffin Reinhart who is finished for the season after undergoing surgery for a torn tendon in his foot.

St. Croix scored his goal on a nice one-timer from the slot while being covered pretty well. The goal was the 4th of the game for the Oil Kings as St. Croix matched his playoff totals of last year with his 19th point (8-11-19).

The series shifts to Calgary for game 6 with Edmonton looking to advance to the WHL Finals for the 2nd straight year.

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