Baby Buds on the ropes

By Stephen J. Holodinsky

Your Toronto Maple Leafs aren’t the only team in Blue and White playing tonight. The Baby Buds are down to a fifth and deciding game against the Lowell Loch Monsters (Carolina Hurricanes) in Lowell tonight to find out who goes on to face the Bridgeport Sound Tigers (New York Islanders). Lowell won the first two contests 3-2 and 4-1 but the boys from St. John’s came back to take the last two 6-4 and 2-0 to deadlock everything. Now comes the get it done or go home game.

Imperative for the St.John’s Leafs here is going to be the ability for them to establish their heavy forechecking game early and often on the Lowell defense. It has been the motor of all things good offensive for the Blue and White this series. They are also going to have to pick it up defensively as the team has become too dependant on goaltender Sebastien Centomo to bail them out. Of particular interest here are Jeff Heerema and Teddy Drury, Lowell’s main threats up front.

Lowell, on the other hand, need to contain Donald Maclean but especially Bobby House, who has been on fire as of late. It was he who did all the scoring necessary in the 2-0 game four St. John’s victory. They’ll also need to find a way to neutralize the blueline pairing of Anders Eriksson and Francois Bouchard who have been playing great defensive hockey lately. Finally, Lowell has to somehow derail the Buds powerplay, which they haven’t been able to do as of yet.

Kevin Kelly contributed to this article.