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Game Two – Edmonton Oil Kings vs.
2014 MasterCard Memorial Cup Round Robin
The OHL Champion Guelph Storm coming off of their win vs. North Bay in just five games opened up against the Edmonton Oil Kings who overcame a 2-0 series deficit to defeat Portland in 7 games. Although neither team have ever faced each other, they both came out hard physically right off the bat. Both teams exchanged some thundering hits and each tried to intimidate their opposition. Both teams exchanged offensive opportunities, first Guelph set up in the offensive zone and got a few dangerous opportunities, then the Oil Kings maintained zone pressure. Then late in the first period a questionable call was made against the Oil Kings putting Guelph on the Power Play which lead to Zac Leslie (Los Angeles) putting the put on net then Kerby Rychel (Columbus) picked up the rebound and made no mistake to give Guelph Storm their first lead of the game with just 4.2 seconds left in the first period.
The second period was a tale of two stories. To open the period the Oil Kings came out flying but it was a soft goal that beat Justin Nichols (2014 NHL Re-Entry) as Henrik Samuelsson (Phoenix) protected the puck, drove the net and roofed a backhand shot, over the crouched Nichols to tie the game. Then just 27 seconds later, Curtis Lazar (Ottawa) made an outstanding cross ice pass through two Guelph defenders to feed Ashton Sautner (2014 NHL Re-Entry) who finished in the open net to give the Oil Kings their first lead of the game. After that, Guelph was able to weather the Storm and get back on track. Then with what seemed like a simple dump in on the Storm power play by Kerby Rychel followed by a strong forecheck, caused Mads Eller (2014 NHL Re-Entry) to rush the clearing attempt which banked off of Rychel, off the Tristan Jarry (Pittsburgh) and into the back of the net to tie the game. Late in the second period Guelph would regain the lead when Brock McGinn (Carolina) walked in using Cody Corbett (Colorado) as a screen and roofed a picture perfect shot top shelf glove hand. The period would end with the Storm leading 3-2. Edmonton came out strong to open the period looking for the tying goal but on the second straight night it would be a Detroit Red Wings’ prospect who would seal the deal for his team as Tyler Bertuzzi (Detroit) would score two goals, top shelf glove hand, very reminiscent of McGinn’s earlier goal to give the Storm a 5-2 lead which would be the final of the game.
HOCKEYPROSPECT.COM THREE STARS OF THE GAME
First Star, Kerby Rychel, Left Wing, Guelph Storm
Rychel was the first round pick at the 2013 NHL Entry Draft of the Columbus Blue Jackets going 19th Overall. Much like he was all playoff for the Guelph Storm, Kerby Rychel was an impact player in this game. He made a great play jumping on a rebound to score the first goal, then his dump in, followed by forecheck pressure resulted in a defensive miscue that lead to Guelph’s second goal of the game. While he had two goals on the stat sheet, his effort went well beyond the goals. Rychel was a physical presense for the Storm tonight, taking the body numerous times and asserting himself against the Oil Kings and standing up for teammates. He provided a good backcheck and the improvements in his skating over the last few months have really allowed him to be more of an impact defensively. Rychel’s strong performances have been steady and will be looked upon the rest of the MasterCard Memorial Cup as a key player for the Storm.
Second Star, Tyler Bertuzzi, Left Wing, Guelph Storm
Bertuzzi was selected 58th Overall by the Detroit Red Wings at the 2013 NHL Entry Draft. While his role is to bring tough physical play and assert himself along the wall, he went above and beyond that tonight. Bertuzzi was easily one of the most physical players on the ice in this game, but came up big in the goal column with the Storm leading by only one goal he quickly roofed one past Jarry early in the third, then did the exact same thing later in the third to seal the victory for the Storm. Bertuzzi will play a much bigger role on this team next season, but is making the most of his opportunities now and is off to an excellent start at the 2014 MasterCard Memorial Cup.
Third Star, Brock McGinn, Left Wing, Guelph Storm
McGinn was selected 47th Overall by the Carolina Hurricanes at the 2012 NHL Entry Draft. McGinn’s lack of size was a bit of a concern at draft time but he has proven his doubters wrong getting bigger and stronger, continuing to play the agitating game that made him successful. He did very well in this role today for the Storm getting under the skin of the opposition and following up with a goal to regain the lead for the Storm late in the second in what would turn out to be the winning goal. McGinn can be a bit of an underrated player in junior hockey at times and has a chance on the big stage to show how good he is. The game vs. the Edmonton Oil Kings was certainly a good start.
Underrated Performance of the Game
Dysin Mayo, Defenseman, Edmonton Oil Kings
If you just look at the stat sheet, you would wonder why Dysin’s name would be under this column. Fact is, the 17 year old defenseman played top four minutes for the Oil Kings and utilized his strong skating ability to consistently acquire the offensive zone and was an important part of the Oil Kings keeping pressure in the offensive zone. He controls the puck well and made a strong first pass up ice when he didn’t have room to skate with the puck. Although strength isn’t one of his best areas, he was able to keep the physical game going as well and landed possibly the biggest hit of the game sending a Guelph player head over heels. Mayo needs to be a little more consistent in the defensive zone than he was tonight but was an otherwise positively impactful player for the Edmonton Oil Kings.