Entries in Ryan Strome (10)


Niagara IceDogs v Mississuaga Steelheads - Nov 30th

by Brandon Sudeyko (@intheoradio)

The Niagara IceDogs have become a powerhouse under Marty Williamson as they head into the Hershey Centre and take on a Mississauga Steelheads team that has survived and remain highly competitive when the majority of people said they would fall down the standings. Entering the game the IceDogs are one point ahead of the Steelheads in the Central division standings and the two teams sit 3rd and 4th in the conference.

Niagara quickly got on the offensive, peppering shots on Spencer Martin and scoring early. A point shot by Jesse Graham gets tipped and slows down allowing Carter Verharghe to take the puck and score to make it 1 nothing, 70 seconds into the game. Niagara would continue to pin the Steelheads in their zone and make it impossible for puck possession or even a chance for Mississauga to clear the puck. Half way through the first period Mitchell Theoret would make it a 2-0 lead on a pass from Ryan Strome. A minute later Brett Ritchie would bank a puck in off of Martin to increase the lead to 3. Niagara would continue pressing and before the period ended Steven Shipley would make it 4-0.

In the second, Niagara would continue to pressure but not as effective as they were in the 1st period. After Strome got called for a holding penalty, the Steelheads power play struck as Dylan Smoskowitz scored his 19th of the season and get Mississauga on the board. The sloppy second period play would continue and the Steelheads would continue to struggle with puck possession. At the end of the second Niagara put 43 shots on Martin while Brent Moran only faced 15 shots.

The third would be where the Steelheads would come alive, firing 16 shots on net. Trevor Carrick would cut the Niagara lead in half as a deflection would beat the Niagara net minder. Six minutes later Kristoff Kontos would shoot on net and another deflection would find the back of the net., making it a 1 goal game. Niagara would strike again on the power play as Theoret would score his second of the game and make it 5-3. Not even 30 seconds later, Smoskowtiz would get his second of the game and make it a one goal game yet again. The IceDogs would hold off and add an empty net goal to make it a 6-4 final. Spencer Martin would make 50 saves in the loss.


Niagara IceDogs

Anthony DiFruscia

The first year forward is a winger is strong on the boards and speedy on the wing. He doesn’t freely cross into the middle of the ice, he prefers to play off the boards but will go into crash the net when the puck is down low. Good speed and strength and knows how to use his outside speed to gain position.


Brent Moran

A goalie who plays as big as his size. Rarely backs into his crease as he plays a the top of the crease. Moran is always up right and as square to the shooter as possible. He shows very little panic and shows mental toughness after ‘garbage’ goals that frustrate goaltenders. Can really hold his posts and controls his rebounds and pads down low. Moving side to side he may need some more strength as he does open up his five hole briefly that skilled forwards can capitalize on.


Mississauga Steelheads

Thomas Welsh

Really keeps his position in tact, seldom chasing the puck, good lateral mobility and an active stick. Likes to be aggressive and physical. Can really throw a big hit in open ice and along the boards. Good at trapping the opposition or removing them from the puck. His general footspeed is lacking but compensates with his defensive awareness and not playing outside his ‘limitations’.


Ottawa 67's - Weekend in Review

by Alex Quevillon(@A_Quevillon)

The Ottawa 67's were finally able to pick up their first win during their Scotiabank Place stay this weekend, albeit against an extremely tired Erie Otters team and coming on the heels of a tough loss in a re-match of last year's Conference Finals to Niagara.

After Friday's loss to the Ice Dogs, head coach Chris Byrne knew that despite blowing a lead and losing the game, his team was still giving reason for optimism. "We had a lot more positives than negatives tonight," Byrne said after the 4-2 loss. "If we continue on this path, the wins will come." Sure enough, one win did come, an 8-1 blowout of the Otters on Saturday.

Ottawa got out to a great start to their weekend's first game, opening up a 2-0 lead on Niagara on Friday night -- their first lead of the season. Dante Salituro scored his first career goal and Tyler Graovac scored the first of many on the weekend.

Before Graovac's goal, however, Keegan Wilson had to be pulled in favour of Jacob Blair after tweaking his groin. Blair was still impressive, given that he was coming in cold off the bench and it was his first experience in an OHL regular season game, but Niagara's attack was just too much for him and the 67's defence.

Ryan Strome got Niagara on the board and Shane Rover added a shorthanded goal before the end of the second period to totally deflate the 67's. Brett Ritchie scored on a broken play in Ottawa's end late in the third, and Strome finished off the night's scoring with an empty netter to give the visitors a 4-2 win and drop the 67's to 0-3-0.

Less than 24 hours later, the 67's, and Graovac in particular, weren't going to take losing so kindly. The Minnesota prospect scored three goals in the first nine minutes against the Otters on Saturday, opening up a quick 3-0 lead.

"It was a great start for sure," added Graovac. "I wanted to come into this game and bring some momentum for the boys and I thought I did that. I'm just sick of losing, we have a winning team here and we're very competitive."

After the first period outburst, the Barberpoles walked all over the Otters. Long stretches of the game were spent in Erie's zone, Oscar Dansk was left helpless on several plays and Ottawa sent 17 shots at Dansk before Erie was credited with a single shot on Ottawa's net in the period.

Otters forward Connor Brown had the lone goal for Erie in what turned into an 8-1 thumping, although he wasn't to be outdone by his namesake. Ottawa's Connor Brown also had a goal. Remy Giftopoulos (x2), Sean Monahan and Brett Gustavsen also tallied for the 67's on the afternoon.

Jacob Blair wasn't called upon much in his first OHL start, but was solid in making 21 saves. "I thought the guys played well in front of him, too," said Byrne about his netminder. "There were stretches where he didn't have too much action but when he was called upon I thought he made some pretty good stops."

Ottawa is now 0-2 in re-matches from last year's playoffs after losing to Niagara and Barrie already this year. They have the chance to break that streak when they head to Belleville to play their first road game of the year on Saturday night against the Bulls. They return home to play Sudbury on Saturday afternoon.



Kingston Frontenacs Week in Review

by John Duncan (@FrontsFocus)

The Kingston Frontenacs remained the only undefeated team in the OHL after two home ice victories, over the Erie Otters, 6-5, in overtime on Friday night, and the previously undefeated Niagara Ice Dogs, 4-3, on Sunday afternoon.

The Otters were coming off a 5-1 victory over the Peterborough Petes on Thursday night. Import goalie, Oscar Dansk, stopped 47 of 48 shots and all of the goal scorers, for Erie, were born in 1995, so the young guns lead the way.

Kingston hadn’t played since their Opening Night victory over the Barrie Colts, last Friday night, by the score of 3-1.

Kingston came out flying, and drew an early penalty. Nathan Cull then finished off a pretty 3 way passing play at 4:18 of the first. Rookies, Henri Ikonen, and Sam Bennett drew assists. The Fronts outshot the Otters 11-1 in the first 11 minutes of the game. Erie got a break on a ricochet shot from the point at 9:53 of the first to tie it up atone. Just prior to the end of the first period, Billy Jenkins restored Kingston’s one goal lead, on a pass from linemate Ryan Kujawinski. Marc Beckstead got the second assist. Kingston outshot Erie 15-9 in the first.

“Run & gun hockey” returned in the second period, as the young Otters, and Frontenacs traded opportunities. Kingston took a 3-1 lead on a shot from the point by the Fronts’ first round Import Pick, big Mikko Vainonen, his first in the OHL. The loan assist went to Kujawinski, his second of three assists on the night.

Momentum in the game shifted dramatically, when the Fronts took 3 consecutive penalties. The Otters capitalized on all 3, to turn a 3-1 deficit into a 4-3 lead. Connor Crisp, overager, J.P. Labardo, and Luke Cairns tallied for the visitors.

Connor Brown scored early in the third period on a pretty redirection of a point shot, to the right of goaltender Mike Morrison. This happened during a stretch where the Fronts got running around in their own zone, and the Otters controlled the puck for a lengthy period of time. The Otters had a two goal lead.

Coach Gill chose to replace Morrison with rookie, Colin Furlong, right after this goal. He was immediately tested on a breakaway by Nick Betz, and made a great glove stop. This seemed to spark the Fronts’ comeback. Cue Billy Jenkins.

Jenkins developed immediate “chemistry” with line mate Ryan Kujawinski when both arrived in trades at the trade deadline in January. This has continued, in a big way, this season. Jenkins scored off an odd man rush at 9:43 of the 3rd to cut Erie’s lead to 4-3. Less than 3 minutes later, Jenkins finished off his first OHL hat trick, as he was left open in the slot, and was fed a beautiful pass by Warren Steele (his 3rd assist of the night). This tied the game at 5, and sent it to overtime.

33 seconds into the extra frame, Darcy Greenaway, last year’s leading scorer, poked a puck under Devin Williams in the Erie net. The Fronts spilled onto the ice to mob Greenaway, as they had won in overtime!

Mike Morrison, after being pulled on Friday night, came up huge in Sunday afternoon’s game. He stopped 42 of 46 shots en route to a victory, over the heavily favoured Niagara Ice Dogs. The Hamilton native frustrated the Dogs time and again with great pad saves. He seemed to always be in great position to make saves.

Despite being outshot 15-8 in the 1st period, it was the Fronts who came out with a 2-0 lead. Ryan Kujawinski continued his inspired play with a breakaway goal on Niagara’s goalie, Festarini. Kujawinski was sprung by an excellent pass by line mate, Billy Jenkins. Mike Moffat picked up one of his 3 assists on the play. Friday night’s overtime hero, Darcy Greenaway banged in a rebound at close range at 16:11 of the 1stto give the home team a two goal lead.

Captain Cody Alcock gave the home team a 3-0 lead at 3:30 of the 2nd, as he broke down the left side of the ice and beat Festarini with a wrist shot. Steven Shipley knocked in a rebound past goaltender Morrison to get Niagara on the board at 13:14. Kujawinski restored Kingston’s three goal lead on the power play at 17:52 from Roland McKeown (his first OHL point) and Mikko Vainonen. As a result of some sloppy defensive zone coverage, Niagara’s Ryan Strome scored are bound goal at 19:55 of the 2nd. The second period ended 4-2 Kingston.

Dougie Hamilton set up Strome alone in the slot at 3:09 of the 3rd. Niagara was within 1. Just 30 seconds later, Kingston’s captain, Cody Alcock, spotted a wide-open Spencer Watson in the slot. Watson ripped the shot past Brent Moran, who had replaced Festarini in the Dogs’ goal to start the 3rd. Watson had his first OHL goal. Dougie Hamilton made it interesting, as he beat goaltender Morrison on his second attempt, just 5seconds past the mid-way mark in the final period, an unassisted goal. Morrison foiled the Niagara attack the rest of the way to preserve the 5-4 victory.

The 3-0 start is Kingston’s fastest since they started the1997-98 season with four straight wins. That team, lead by Colin Chaulk, and Robert Mailloux, was the last Frontenac team to advance to the 2nd Round of the playoffs. They finished the year with 35 regular season wins, good enough for third in the East, behind Ottawa, and Belleville. They went on to beat Oshawa in 7 games, with 3 of those games decided in overtime, and were then matched up against London, who beat them 4 games to 1.

What’s very impressive about the start to this season is the contribution from everyone. Ryan Kujawinski was named the OHL’s player of the week, after recording 2 goals and 3assists and a plus-minus rating of plus-2. Billy Jenkins is playing exceptionally well with 3 goals and 1 assist in the three games. Defensemen Michael Moffat and Warren Steele have been great on the back end. The players are all buying into coach Gill’s system of relentless puck pressure in the offensive zone. When players don’t have a play to the net, they are dumping it in, and with their speed, winning many of the puck battles along the boards. Consistency is what the coaching staff is preaching to the players now, and with a very young team, this will be the most difficult thing to maintain.

The Fronts play their first road games of the season this week, in Brampton on Thursday night, and in Oshawa on Friday night. Kingston will play host to the Sudbury Wolves on a rare Saturday night contest at K-Rock Centre in Kingston, October 6th.

The only disappointment for the Fronts so far has been the fact that the fans have taken a “wait and see” approach to this year’s team. Just over 2,000 was the announced crowd at the game on Sunday afternoon, and those that were there knew fewer were there. Perhaps those who purchased season tickets can give them away, if they aren’t able to attend, so that more of the city can watch this great young team develop!



Ottawa 67's vs Niagara IceDogs - Game 2 Review

by Susan Tromanhauser (@TromanSue)

The Ottawa 67s have evened up the series by soundly defeating the Niagara Ice Dogs 7-4.


Niagara coach Marty Williamson knew immediately what looked outwardly as a good start for the Ice Dogs was nothing but. Within the first few minutes the Ice Dogs outshot the visiting 67s 9-0. “We were way too pretty, over passing pucks but we weren’t fundamentally sound.” And he was right because at the 10:00 mark of the first period the onslaught began.


Nicholas Foglia opened up the scoring for Ottawa. This was his second goal of the series as Foglia scored the only Ottawa goal in the opening game of the conference finals on Friday evening. Then began a flurry of scoring with goals by Cody Ceci, Dalton Smith, Shane Prince making it 4-0. Alex Friesen finally got a shot past Ottawa goal tender Petr Mrazek.


The second period opened with a Brett Ritchie power play goal for the Ice Dogs and for a brief moment a Dougie Hamilton goal from the point brought the Ice Dogs within one goal. However the momentum was quickly lost as Mike Cazzola scored a fifth goal for Ottawa a minute later.


A sixth Ottawa goal from Sean Monahan finally chased Niagara goalie Mark Visentin from the net. He has had an outstanding season since returning from the World Juniors in January but Sunday was definitely not his night. Chris Festarini took his place in net and did an admirable job keeping the Ottawa blitz of goals down to just one more from Jake Cardwell.


David Pacan scored a goal for the Ice Dogs in the dying seconds of the game. However there was no celebration of the goal as the Dogs knew the game was ending with a 7-4 loss.


Following the game both teams got on their respective buses and headed north to prepare for game three of the Eastern Conference finals in Ottawa. When asked if Visentin will be back in the net for game three tomorrow night, Williamson’s quick reply was “Absolutely!”


Dog Bytes:

  • Six is the most goals Mark Visentin has given up all season.
  • The Ice Dogs out shot Ottawa 48-35
  • Ottawa went 3-for-5 on the power play with one short-handed goal
  • Niagara’s power play was 2-for-6
  • Ottawa captain Marc Zanetti has been suspended indefinitely until a decision is made on discipline following a kick to the head of Niagara’s Tom Kuhnhackl during Friday’s series opening game.
  • It was another sell out at “the Jack” with 3145 in attendance
  • The 50-50 draw was once again over $3000.00

Ottawa 67's vs Niagara IceDogs Series Preview

by Alex Quevillon (@A_Quevillon)

The Ottawa 67’s will meet the Niagara Ice Dogs in the Eastern Conference Finals, and while these two teams finished right next to each other in the standings, their paths to get to the third round couldn’t be any more different.

Niagara made quick work of the Bramtpon Battalion in a four-game sweep, while the 67’s allowed the Barrie Colts to tie the seventh and deciding game of their series with eight seconds left in regulation, before Brett Gustavsen put the series away for good with an overtime winner.

The struggles that Ottawa faced playing lower seeds (although Barrie wasn’t far behind), mixed with their poor record against the Ice Dogs this year, make OHL fans believe that this will be a very short series in Niagara’s favour.

For Ottawa to win:

As tired as the 67’s may be, they have to try and catch the well-rested Ice Dogs flat-footed and get to Mark Visentin early on – something they’ve had no trouble doing this season.

In the Ice Dogs’ two visits to the Nation’s Capital this season, Visentin allowed goals on four of the first nine shots he faced. He was pulled in November in a 5-2 loss, while he recovered nicely in the second game and helped hand Ottawa a 5-1 loss.

(See: Is Mark Visentin Ready to Fall? - Brandon Sudeyko)

The 67’s are going to have to flex their physical muscles in this series. In their lone win on the year, they played their most physical game of the season and that, combined with Visentin’s poor performance at the time, the then-visiting Ice Dogs were out of the game early.

For Niagara to win:

Niagara needs to pepper Petr Mrazek, keep the 67’s to the perimeter and get under their skin. With the Ice Dogs’ offencive ability, a stacked defence with guys like Jamie Oleksiak, Dougie Hamilton and Brock Beukeboom, and the styles of play employed by the likes of Andrew Agozzino and Alex Friesen, none of those should be any problem for the one-seed.

Mrazek was highly criticized for the number of goals he has allowed from long-range so far in the postseason but when he was called upon in high pressure situations, he did somewhat step up to the plate. We’ll see how well he does against a team that sends shots his way all game, not to mention get in his face on numerous occasions. Ottawa’s netminder doesn’t shy away from scrums, but Niagara could use that to get him off his game.

Much like the 67's had to try to avoid in the first two rounds, Niagara can't get into any bad habits early in the series. They were pretty dominant in their first two series wins against Oshawa and Brampton, and won the season series 3-1 with 18 goals for and 10 against, so the Ice Dogs should be set.

Bad Blood:

Niagara has been a hated team in Ottawa since a game last March where Thomas Nesbitt and Shane Prince were knocked out of the 67’s lineup via unnecessary cheapshots from Myles Doan and Tim Billingsley respectively. The first re-match between these two teams here in Ottawa this season was a heated one, but not as nasty as last year’s event.

With this history and the aformentioned antagonizing skills of a pair of Ice Dogs, mixed with the boatloads of toughness these two teams possess, we may be in for a physical and perhaps even nasty third round. Am I predicting that this series will re-enact the Flyers and Penguins? Not quite. But it should be more hostile than the second round for these two squads.

Another Makeshift Asylum:

Well, Barrie’s attempt to mock our asylum was laughable to say the least. Now, the 67’s get to put up with another group of wannabe hooligans. The drummer in Niagara doesn't even bother with a real drum, electing instead to bang straight on the glass (an infraction that would have you escorted out of the J. Benson Cartage Centre). Even still, you won't see Chris Byrne ask the refs for them to stop (See: Hawerchuk, Dale)

Prediction: Niagara in Six