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Rangers Prospect Review No. 17

by Staff Writer / New York Rangers
Prospect Watch: 2007 Playoff Results

Daily Prospect Updates

Week of March 19-25

Ryan
Billy Ryan -- Ryan's University of Maine team had an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament last week and went in as the third seed in the East Region. Their first game pitted them against No. 7 St. Cloud State. After falling behind 1-0 early, Maine scored four unanswered goals for a 4-1 victory. Ryan scored the Black Bears' second goal, which stood up as the game-winner. The regional final took place the next night, as Maine faced off against their Hockey East rivals, the University of Massachusetts. The schools had played each other five times during the season, with UMass winning the last four, including two games in the Hockey East Tournament. The Black Bears, however, had the last laugh as they skated past the Minutemen 3-1 to earn a spot in the Frozen Four for the second straight year, and the sixth time in the last eight years. Ryan had another productive game, with two assists, including one on the game-winner. The Frozen Four will start next Thursday, with Maine facing off against Michigan State.

Staal
Marc Staal -- The Sudbury Wolves entered their first-round playoff series as underdogs against the Mississauga Icedogs. The series kicked off on Friday in Mississauga. Immediately, Staal made quite a difference in how the series will be played out. He assisted on the first goal of the game to give the Wolves a 1-0 lead. He then scored a goal in the second period to put Sudbury up 2-1. These were both very important contributions, as Sudbury held on for a 5-4 upset win in Game 1 and Staal was named the game's No. 1 star. Game 2 was on Sunday, and Staal again found himself on the score sheet with an assist on Sudbury's first goal. Mississauga got a late, third period goal, however, to tie the series at 1-1. The series now shifts to Sudbury for Game 3 on Tuesday.

Russell
Ryan Russell -- Things were not looking good for the Kootenay Ice on Saturday night. They had lost Game 1 of their firs- round series at home to the Calgary Hitmen. In Game 2, they were trailing 2-0 late in the second period. It was at this point that Ryan Russell took over, and possibly saved the Ice's season. He scored a goal at 18:32 of the second period, to cut the Calgary lead to 2-1. Russell then tied the game with his second goal of the game at 5:55 of the third period. Kootenay took the lead in the third period, and Russell was then able to complete his hat trick with an empty-netter at 18:42 of the third period. Russell finished the game with a plus-3 rating and was the game's No. 1 star in a moment that could possibly be a turning point in the series.

Brodie Dupont -- Before the series between the Kootenay Ice and the Calgary Hitmen began, it was clear that Kootenay's home ice advantage was going to be key. Kootenay was one of the better home teams in the WHL, and had won all four meetings with Calgary at home. The Hitmen knew that they had to make an early statement, and did so with the help of Dupont. In Game 1, Dupont scored the game's first goal, giving Calgary a 1-0 lead. Calgary would go on to win the game 2-1, taking the series opener. On Saturday, in Game 2, Dupont played even better. Once again, he scored the game's first goal. He then added an assist to help give the Hitmen a 2-0 lead. Calgary looked like they were about to take the first two games on the road, before the Ice made a dramatic comeback, thanks to Russell's hat trick. Despite the loss, Calgary was able to win at least one game on the road, and will now look to hold up on their home ice as the series shifts back to the Saddledome on Wednesday.
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Tom Pyatt -- Pyatt had a tremendous regular season for the Saginaw Spirit. His 43 goals were not only a personal best, but a franchise record as well. He added his share of assists, with 38, and accomplished all of this in just 58 games. Pyatt continued to be productive this past weekend ,as the Spirit kicked off their playoff run against the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds. In Game 1 on Friday, he recorded an assist on two Ryan O'Marra goals, including the game-winner with 6:26 left in the third period, as Saginaw squeaked by the Greyhounds 4-3. The next night, Pyatt tallied another assist in the second period, helping to tie the game at 1-1. Sault Ste. Marie went on to score four unanswered goals, however, to take Game 2 by a score of 5-1. It is looking like this series will not be easy for the Spirit, but if Pyatt can remain productive, Saginaw will be right in it.

Eric Hunter -- Before the post-season started, it looked like the series between the Prince George Cougars and the Kamloops Blazers would be very close. After the first two games, the Cougars find themselves in a commanding position. They were down 2-1 in the third period in Game 1 at Kamloops, but were able to come back and win in overtime. Game 2, the following night, went to overtime as well. Prince George again scored the winner to take the first two games on the road. Prince George's captain Hunter scored the Cougars' first two goals in Game 2. The series will now go to Prince George, with the Cougars hoping that home ice can help bring a quick end to the series.
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