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Duco Does It Again

by Staff Writer / Florida Panthers
Mike Duco
It’s pretty safe to say that Panthers prospect Mike Duco is having the year of his career.

Coming off a regular season which saw him record 54 points (32 goals, 22 assists) for Kitchener, Duco has stepped up his game in the playoffs, tallying 20 points (15 goals, 5 assists) in just 16 games.

Two of those playoff goals came in Sunday night’s game against the Belleville Bulls in what turned out to be a 5-3 Rangers victory. The win gives Kitchener a commanding 3-0 lead in the OHL Championship Series.

Duco got the game kick started with a goal just 4:18 in as he converted on a power play opportunity. Belleville would tie the game 9:55 after the first intermission as Stephen Johnston netted his fifth of the post season.

The Rangers then used a three goal run to put the game away as Matt Halischuk scored his 15th of the playoffs with a power play goal at 12:48 and Nick Spaling recorded his 12th at 16:22 of the second, also on the power play. Scott Tregunna then scored the eventual game winner, making it 4-1 8:55 into the third period.

Belleville would mount a comeback, scoring the next two as Jan Mursak scored at 10:17 while Eric Tangradi scored with 2:43 left in the contest, but Duco closed the door on that comeback attempt as he added the insurance goal 40 seconds after Tangradi’s goal.

Duco was all over the ice Sunday night. Besides lighting up the scoreboard, he picked up eight penalty minutes. A matching charging and roughing call 17:04 into the first, a hooking call 6:04 into the second, and a matching boarding call 7:06 into the third. He also finished a +1.

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And it continues.

The streak for the Waterloo Black Hawks that is, as they won the first game of the Clark Cup finals. With their 4-3 overtime victory in Omaha, the Black Hawks have won seven straight playoff games and 14 in-a-row overall.

Omaha would score first in the game as Andrew Conboy scored 3:54 into the contest. Then after more than 20 minutes of scoreless play, Waterloo would take their first lead of the game with two goals in a 26 second span. Eddie Olczyk scored the first Waterloo goal 8:40 in while Paul Weisgarber gave the Hawks the lead at 9:06. Omaha’s Dakota Eveland tied the score at two heading into the second intermission with a goal with 7:41 remaining in the period.

A Waterloo power play goal by Chad Billins 48 seconds into the third period and a Joe Diamond Omaha goal 5:06 brought the game to overtime tied at three.

And 11:02 into the extra session, Blake Olson would end it as Waterloo recorded their second power play goal of the night.

Panthers prospect John Lee finished with a shot and matching roughing penalty 10:59 into the second and a tripping call 7:58 into the third.

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