Sunday, April 6, 2014

Surprise Surprise

McKenzie Skapski (Kootenay Ice)
Three games on the schedule for Saturday night as the second round of playoffs is spread out all over the calendar so 2 New York Ranger and 2 New York Islander prospects saw action. The biggest surprise of the night was former Hartford Wolfpack coach and current Kootenay Ice coach Ryan McGill going back to Mackenzie Skapski (NYR 2013 6th) as his starting goalie for game 1 against the Medicine Hat Tigers.

Skapski struggled badly in the Ice's first round series against the Calgary Hitmen going 1-1-1 with a 5.25 goals against and a 0.832 save percentage as his backup Wyatt Hoflin wound up winning game's 5 and 6 to clinch that series. McGill picked the right goalie as Skapski stopped 28 out of 30 shots to help the Ice steal game 1 and home ice advantage from Medicine Hat 4-2.

Skapski was named the game's 2nd star got a lot more support from his teammates in this one as the Ice held the Tigers to 13 shots in the 1st period, 12 in the 2nd and only 5 in the 3rd. That 3rd period was key as Kootenay had trailed during most of the 2nd period 2-1 before the Ice would score the last 3 goals of the game to earn the win.

Game 2 though will be Sunday also in Medicine Hat and it will be interesting to see which goalie that McGill uses.

In Val-d'Or, Ryan Graves (NYR 2013 4th) and his Foreurs were looking to recover from Friday night's overtime loss in game 1 against the Drummondville Voltigeurs as they looked to tie the series at 1-1. Graves was scoreless on 1 shot with 2 hits but he was also a -2 for the game as the Foreurs escaped with a 4-3 overtime win and a 1-1 series. Graves and company let a 2-0 lead slip away and gave up the tying goal with 41 seconds remaining in regulation.

Not a great effort by Graves and CO. but a win is a win and they will take it as the series heads to Drummondville for games 3 and 4 on Tuesday evening. They had best play much better than this.

Round 2 of the battle of the New York Islander 1st round draft picks went to Griffin Reinhart (NYI 2012 1st) and his Edmonton Oil Kings as they defeated Ryan Pulock's (NYI 2013 1st) Brandon Wheat Kings 3-0 to take a 2-0 series lead. While neither prospect scored that hurt Brandon more than it does Edmonton since Pulock was Brandon's 2nd leading scorer during the regular season.

If this was an MMA fight then the Tigers would have been choked out in the 2nd period as Edmonton just swarmed all over them defensively. The Oil Kings out shot the Tigers 40-17 in just the 2nd and 3rd periods (overall Edmonton out shot them 57-29)

It sets up a huge game 3 back in Brandon on Tuesday evening.

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