Friday, May 25, 2012

5/24 Recap: Pysyk bows out

Mark Pysyk saw his excellent junior career come to an end Thursday as the Edmonton Oil Kings were hammered by the Shawinigan Cataractes 6-1 in the Memorial Cup 3rd place tiebreaker. The Oil Kings runs ends the most successful season in franchise history, while for the 20-year old Pysyk, the sting of defeat will soon pass with his NHL deal inked last June and the start of his pro career just a few short months away.

After falling in a 2-0 hole at the end of the opening frame, the Oil Kings quickly allowed two more goals within the first three minutes of the second to seal their fate. The steady leader helped create the Oil Kings lone goal of the night when his long pass out of the zone was corralled and fed to Henrik Samuelsson ('12) at 16:28 of the middle frame.

The Oil Kings competed admirably in the third, but the host team held their ground to storm their way into Friday's semifinal match-up with bitter QMJHL rival, Saint John.

Pysyk finished the tournament with three assists, and -3 rating, and 12 penalty minutes.

With the Sabres having eight defenseman (Myers, Ehrhoff, Sekera, Regehr, Leopold, Sulzer, Weber, McNabb) ready to compete for top club duty, Pysyk can comfortably enter the AHL next season and hone his all-around craft in quality minutes. He'll want to get bigger up top to gain more leverage, but overall his skating and two-way skills are close to ready. There's no rush to have him in Buffalo, though, so for now pencil him in for depth and figure he'll give the team some nice flexibility once his development spikes.