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Old 03-31-2017, 10:07 AM
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Well, I thought they would lose in 5, but didn't get around to voicing that opinion, so I'm kinda surprised by the sweep,
Really, game 3 was theirs for the taking, they were pumped, the Vault was jacked, they had a lot of chances,and yet, they lost to a bigger, more experienced team, on a kinda ping pong goal in OT, although I have to say the Petes player showed some nice hands to knock in a quick rebound like that. Game three was ours, up 3-1, but stupid penalties and our inability to work the PK beat us in that game.

It looked to me like the Dogs were gassed. Not much jump in those legs. Didn't win many (any) battles in front of the Petes net, our small and pesky, inexperienced forwards against their much bigger D and centremen.
As good as Dhillon has been all season, I thought he looked weak in game 4. Not knocking the kid, without him, our streak would not have reached ten games. He was probably out of gas too. Looking forward to seeing how good he will be NEXT He's by far our MVP this year.

As for the Petes, really liked Jonathan Ang's game, as well as the Russian Korolotsev. Dylan Wells also had a great couple of games here, he really has a great blocker hand, which isn't something that I hear myself saying about a goalie very much. We could see him in the NHL one day a long time down the road.

Was it just me, or did Ben Jones look hurt? He was really struggling out there skating wise, not moving his feet much, he didn't have any explosiveness, and also couldn't give that extra effort to get to loose pucks or win battles. Does anyone know if he was battling an injury? I would be shocked if he was 100% healthy.

Now time to discuss the past, and the future.

Aaron Haydon, thanks for the five years, perhaps a bit of a disappointing OHL first round pick, in that he didn't turn out to be a future NHL superstar, BUT, he turned out to be a pretty decent OHL first round pick, in that he played five years in the league and was for the most part a very solid player from year 2 on. I have an appreciation for guys who play physical and defense oriented, as they don't get the glory. However, I will remember last night, it reminded me of that one playoffs game in the Jack where an Icedog (forget who now) smoked a 67's player with a hit right in front of the Dogs bench, then proceeded to pummel said player in a fight, and that player ended up breaking his leg in the fight. The Jack was ear-splitting loud after that. Same as last night. Very clean check on the Petes' player. A thunderous check. Haydon was immediately challenged and did not disappoint, with the knockout punch delivered. Once again, the arena was rocking, Haydon was amped as he went to the sin bin, and I thought, geez, this could be a game turning point. But it was for not. Haydon looked awkward last night a few times on D, but, overall, he always delivered big effort, and I wish him all the best in the future.

Akil Thomas. It's easy to knock him for making great plays and then not finishing, at least in the last two playoff games, however, real estate in the playoffs is much harder to acquire (kind of like the Niagara housing market circa 2017). However, its also easy to forget that this kid is only 16 years old. I remember the beginning of the year, he reminded me of a young doe on ice, kinda weak legged, not the best skater, small, timid. He has improved by leaps and bounds this year, and I would say, IMHO, he was the most improved icedog this year. Just wait, training camp five months away, he will be training properly for the next five months, never mind simply growing and maturing. He has all the makings to be the first true OHL All Star forward drafted by the IceDogs since they moved to Niagara. He has got great hands, great passing skills and vision, really reminds me of JHS a lot, although he still needs to improve his skating, which should really come next year.

All in all, an enjoyable season, I love seeing the development of players over the year, especially the young ones. And, thankfully a short playoff run this year, as last year's run depleted my bank account!

Logging on online to send this message, which I rarely do...and I see there are 70 people currently online, a few years ago, after a playoff game, there would be 10-13. Judging by the crowds we had this season for a mediocre team who was picked to finish 20th overall, and two very good first round game crowds, it is obvious that the OHL is thriving in Niagara....who knew, eh David Branch !????????????????

See you in September IceDogs!
Thanks for a truly fun season.

Last edited by strohs; 03-31-2017 at 10:09 AM. Reason: comments re petes players
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