Sunday, May 22, 2022

Just Four Prospects Left In The CHL Playoffs

Matt Rempe (Seattle Thunderbirds)
As play began in the conference finals of the three CHL leagues, there are four New York Ranger prospects still active in the playoffs. Brennan Othmann and his Flint Firebirds are facing Will Cuylle's Windsor Spitfires in the OHL's Western Conference finals.

Out west in the WHL Dylan Garand and his Kamloops Blazers are taking on Matthew Rempe's Seattle Thunderbirds in the WHL's Western Conference finals. Both matchups will lead to two of them playing for their respective league championship.

Windsor vs Flint Game One

First period- Brennan Othmann gets everyone's attention when a one-timer of a shot shatters the skate blade of a Windsor defender who has to crawl to his bench to get off the ice. Wish there was a video of this as Othmann took the defender off his feet like he was shot. 

Both teams exchanged goals as the period ended in a 1-1 tie. Othmann and Cuylle faced each other when their teams had power plays but barely when at even strength.

Second Period- Cuylle helps Windsor take a 2-1 lead just 25 seconds into the period when he sets up linemate Wyatt Johnston for a power-play goal. Cuylle finds Johnston to the left of the right faceoff circle with a touch pass that Johnston one-times for a goal.

That was pretty much the highlight for the Spitfires as Flint would score three unanswered goals to take a 4-1 lead. Othmann did not figure in any of the scorings as Windsor coach former Ranger Marc Savard put Windsor defenseman Andrew Perrott as a shadow on Othmann.

Perrott is the same height as Othmann but has a 32 lb. advantage over him. Every time Othmann touched the puck, Perrott hit him, sometimes hard but most times just to let Othmann know he was there.

Give Savard credit as Perrott limited Othmann to just one shot for the entire game. It was so effective that Flint coach Ted Dent took Othmann off his top line to free his other linemates and it worked.

Windsor scored in the last minute of the period to make it a 4-3 game.

Third Period- Cuylle had five shots on goal as Windsor tried to score the game-tying goal but with no success. Nobody scored in the third and Flint steals home ice with a 4-3 win and a 1-0 series lead.

Cuylle 0-1-1 eight shots with a -2 and 2-5 on his faceoffs while Othmann was scoreless on just one shot. Game two will be on Monday in Windsor.

Seattle Vs Kamloops Game 2

First period: Kamloops was looking to take a 2-0 series lead on the Seattle Thunderbirds as this game began. And it did not hurt that Kamloops would score first at 1:39 of the first period. That would be it for Kamloops offense as even though Kamloops would out shoot 15-7 in the period, it would end as a 1-1 tie.

Garand would have 6 saves while Rempe was scoreless and was pretty much used as a third line center. Could not blame Garand for Seattle's goal as it came off a rebound and Kamloops defense was no where to be found.

Second period- Kamloops was dominated play and scoring chances but it was Seattle who cashed in with what proved to be a game-winning goal. Garand  stopped eight of nine shots in the period but it was a "2-on-1" that did the damage.

Rempe saw his ice time increased in the second as he was doing a strong job with his faceoffs especially those in the defensive end.

Third period- It was the center who was supposed to be the defensive stopper who provided the dagger. Rempe took an offensive zone face-off and it directly led to Seattle's third goal.

The assist was Rempe's first point since game one of the previous series against Portland (seven games) but it came at the right time 5:25 of the period and gave Seattle a two-goal lead. Garand would stop nine of ten shots but it wasn't enough. 

Seattle added an empty-net goal for a final score of 4-1 as they evened the series at 1-1 and steal away Kamloops home ice advantage. Garand suffers his second loss of the playoffs as he falls to 9-2.

The Kamloops goalie saw his numbers fall to a goals against of 1.67 and a save percentage of 0.937. Rempe's assist was part of a 0-1-1 +1 on two shots and 12-5 on his faceoffs. 

Overall Rempe is 4-2-6 with a 54% faceoff win percentage. The series shifts to Seattle for game three on Tuesday evening. 

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