Thursday, May 26, 2011

Attack Get Iced: Kootenay still alive

Where to begin with tonight's tie breaker game at the Mastercard Memorial Cup? Injuries to Owen Sound? Matt Fraser does it again? A surprise starter in net? No matter where you start, the end result was a 7-3 win for Kootenay and a date with Mississauga in Friday night's semi final.

Of course you have to start with Owen Sound Head Coach Mark Reeds decision to make Jordan Binnington his back up for the most important game of the season. Binnington had started every game at the Memorial Cup including a 5-0 shut out over the same Kootenay Ice in both team's tournament openers. He also shut down Mississauga in the last 2 games of the OHL final to earn his team it's first ever OHL title. So why was the decision made? This from David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail.

"Reeds did not have a convincing explanation for his decision to start Stajcer. He questioned his players’ response to the change and said it was made so “our players were focused at the beginning of the game and ready to play.” Presumably this was to take their minds off the loss of Wilson and Hishon."

Scott Stajcer got the start instead of Binnington and gave up 6 goals on 31 shots before being pulled in the 3rd period. I'm sorry, but this decision for me ranks up there with Marc Crawford's brilliant move of not picking a certain Great One for the shoot out in an Olympic game. It didn't help that Owen Sound was missing their two biggest offensive weapons in Joey Hishon and Garrett Wilson, but you have to give your team the best chance to win, and Binnington would have. He leads all goalies in goals against and save percentage by a mile.

As for Kootenay, well they were sleep walking to start things and trailed 2-0 at one point before righting the ship and methodically taking apart the Attack much like they did to Moose Jaw, Saskatoon, Medicine Hat and Portland in the WHL post season. Matt Fraser scored twice and set up another, he now has 4 goals in the tournament tying him with Saint John's Tomas Jurco for the lead and giving him 21 goals in his last 23 games. Cody Eakin also had 3 points giving him 5 so far and a tie for third. Kootenay after recovering scored 6 straight and that type of explosive outing should give Mississauga some concern on Friday night.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

I still think not having Hishon and Wilson out there was the bigger loss.