4/5 Recap: Kassian struggles as Spits advance

Zack Kassian finished -3 Tuesday as Windsor advanced to the second round of the OHL playoffs with 5-4 win over Erie. Kassian, who generated a few shots on goal early on, was somewhat of a disappointment in the deciding game seven, showing signs of perhaps wear and fatigue as the deciding minutes approached. After a nice set of mid-series games in which he upped the physical ante, Kassian's feet slowed while the Otters used their speed and forechecking ability to create offense and ultimately keep the home team on their heels until the final minutes. The third Erie goal in particular stood out to me, as Greg McKegg walked in and swatted home a Shawn Szydlowski rebound right in front of a flat-footed Kassian.

With Windsor moving on, the wait continues on the farm with Kassian, Marcus Foligno, and Brayden McNabb all advancing to the CHL's second round.

Szydlowski meanwhile posted a top notch effort for the Otters in his final junior game. An undrafted 20-year old, the 6'0, 210-pounder had his strong hands and smarts on display throughout the series after completing a 41-goal regular season. In Tuesday's finale, he contributed with a solid takeout of Ryan Ellis on the second Otters goal, and later used good bursts and strength on the puck to create two other Erie tallies. Given the Sabres need for forwards and their missing of top-flight college UFAs, it may be worth keeping an eye on where the Michigan native lands for his next gig.
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