On the Rock

By Kevin Kelly

The Baby Leafs’ backs are to the wall right now, being down 3-0 in their series after a double OT loss 3-2 last night to Bridgeport. Sebastian Centomo was the 3rd star of the game making 51 saves, many of them of the spectacular variety, but his puckhandling abilities left much to be desired as compared to a much stronger Rick DiPietro. There was some disappointment in St. John’s that Donald Maclean didn’t play because he was in Toronto. He was the Baby Buds’ gamebreaker all year and they sure could have used him in Game 3 as the best offensive chances were created by the grinders like Morgan Warren, who had a chance in OT and Doug Doull, who are not noted for their finishing ability. Bob Wren and Nathan Dempsey have been sent up to Toronto for tonight’s game and hopefully will be back for Game 4 tomorrow night or this will be over real quick. Petr Svoboda had a lacklustre night on defence. He was guilty of numerous defensive giveaways throughout the night, and paired with young defenseman Jay Harrison, caused some anxious moments behind the Leafs blue line.

Luca Cereda, who has been great for the Baby Leafs as of late, looked tentative last night, especially on the powerplay, with his tentativeness to shoot and rather look for the perfect pass. He needs to step up. Chris Chartier was pretty strong and took advantage of the open ice for some chances. Allan Rourke got hit on his knee in the first and didn’t come back. Bobby House
was kept in check all game by an effective Bridgeport defensive squad. The call-ups to Toronto have hurt us, no question about that. This series would be much, much different if we had Healey, Maclean and Ponikarovsky back. That’s why some Baby Leaf fans are almost hoping the parent club loses (even though they’d never say it publicly) so we have a chance at least. Coach Crawford supposedly recounted his experience in the post game address being down 3-0 when he was a member of the Adirondack Red Wings in 1989 and coming back to win the series and later the Calder Cup. With the next two games here and the next two in Bridgeport, it will be tough to accomplish.