Game 2- Oceanic de Rimouski vs Oshawa Generals
Final Score: Rimouski 3 – Oshawa 4
We are two games into this tournament, and they have both been thrillers. Oshawa came out strong and seemed to be in a position to run away with it early on, but two quick goals from Rimouski late in the first put them back in contention. Both teams traded goals late in the second period and early in the first. Hunter Smith eventually scored the winner for Oshawa on a strong individual effort. Rimouski played with desperation late in the game, but eventually fell short.
Ken Appleby played well for Oshawa, without necessarily stealing the game. Many goalies would have fallen apart after giving up two quick goals early, but the experienced goalie remained focused and made some key saves for the Generals. His biggest save came with under seven seconds left to the game, to secure the win.
Oshawa posted the best puck possession numbers in the OHL this season, and they displayed their ability to control the puck. They did a great job of maintaining the puck, moving it, avoiding turnovers, and regrouping when unable to make a play. While this made it difficult for Rimouski to generate offence, the Oceanic were efficient offensively, and were able to obtain quality chances in their limited time with the puck. In the end, the Generals were too strong for Rimouski, and I believe the better team won.
Jan Kostalek: Impressive showing, was efficient in breaking out of his zone, and displayed patience, vision, and smart decision making playing the point. A solid offensive threat, he did however struggle in a few one-on-one puck battles.
Samuel Morin: One of the more hyped prospects on the Rimouski squad, he did not necessarily stand out. His defensive decision-making is sound, but his execution speed will need to improve throughout his professional development.
Mitch Vande Sompel: The draft eligible defenceman certainly drew attention to himself, getting involved in all aspects of the game. He was very involved offensively, jumped into the rush at the right time, and generated chances from the point, while being responsible defensively. He has impressed scouts for most of the season, and I would not be shocked to see him go late in the first round.
Hunter Smith: The Calgary Flames prospect was impressive. The giant forward uses his size intelligently, and is an intimidating presence on the forecheck. Displayed intelligence and self-awareness on a great push to score the game-winning goal. He showed he understands his strengths and limitations, maximizing the tools at his disposal.
Chris Carlisle: Showed a lot of maturity on defence, making small plays that make a difference. Did a good job of taking away space for the forwards. Displayed good patience with the puck, and was efficient on his breakouts, making sure to draw in an opposing forwards in order to take him out of the play.