Friday, February 29, 2008

Why Wait for the Playoffs?

Two Ranger prospects are going to give Ranger fans a head start on the post-season as Eric Hunter and Greg Beller will lead their respective teams into their league playoffs. As they help launch our much-extended post-season Jordan Foote will also be saying good-bye to his own home ice after 4 seasons.

We start with Hunter and his second ranked University of Alberta Golden Bears as they host the Manitoba Bisons in a best of three Canada West semi-final playoff series. On paper this looks like a huge mismatch as the Golden Bears have not lost a game to the Bisons on their home ice since October of 1995 (28-0-1).

The Golden Bears are treating the Bison as if they are the ones with the losing streak since the winner of this playoff series will also earn a spot in the University Cup (Canada's College Championships) due to Canada West having two berths in this year's Cup. The Golden Bears though want to go into the University Cup as the Canada West Champions.

Recently relocated Greg Beller and his Vernon Vipers are also in action, as they will host the Trail Smoke Eaters in the BCHL elimination round of the Fred Page Cup Playoffs. This series will be the best of five as the Vipers were the 4th place finishers in the Interior Conference and the Smoke Eaters the 5th place.

We made a couple of attempts to get more information from the Vipers but they did not respond so other than what we can gather from other sources we will not be able to tell you much. Should Beller's Vipers advance we will contact the BCHL and we hope they will offer more assistance in telling Beller's story.

Time to say Good Bye

For Jordan Foote, this weekend will be his final regular season games of his Michigan Tech career as they host Denver in a critical two game series. While Foote never has put up the superstar numbers, he has been one of our favorites because of his work ethic and dedication to helping Michigan Tech as they try to rebuild their hockey program.

In a day and age where student athletes leave school at the first chance, we believe that sometimes it is best to have stayed. The disappointment of Al Montoya's inability to realize his full potential is a prime example; his coach at Michigan Red Berenson said at the time when Montoya left school that he was not ready, for professional hockey turned out to be ever so true.

The worse that can happen when someone stays in school is that they get their education as too often we have watched those not make it to the NHL.

Prospect Action

A very quiet Thursday evening as just Bobby Sanguinetti and his Brampton Battalion were in action. Sanguinetti was scoreless as the Battalion defeated the Niagara IceDogs 4-2. The Battalion and Ice Dogs have been battling it out for first place in the OHL's Central Division and thanks to the win; the Battalion have opened up a 7-point lead over the 2nd place Ice Dogs.

The Battalion has seven regular season games left and while trying to hold off the IceDogs are battling the Oshawa Generals for the second overall seed in the OHL's Eastern Conference. The Battalion trails the Generals by one point with Generals also holding a game in hand.

(Hunter Picture courtesy of the University of Alberta)

No comments: