For as much as fans may complain about watching the Ottawa Senators play, let’s be honest: it’s much worse when they’re not playing. Still, in a year like this, you have to take the good with the bad. A lesson that the Sens’ University of North Dakota prospects learned all too well, this week.
That, and much more in your Monday, March 29th edition of Links, News, and Notes:
- Last night, the Senators were subjected to a COVID-related game postponement for the first time this season. Unfortunately, it wasn’t the last, as Ottawa has had two more games rescheduled as well.
Sunday’s game against the Montreal Canadiens moves to April 17th at 4pm. Tomorrow night’s contest against the Habs has been pushed to May 5th at 7pm, and that day’s previously scheduled game against the Toronto Maple Leafs is now scheduled for May 10th at 8pm, extending Ottawa’s season by two days.
Some updates to Sens schedule from the NHL:— Ian Mendes (@ian_mendes) March 28, 2021
Today’s game at Montreal: now scheduled for April 17 at 4 p.m.
Tuesday’s game vs Montreal: now scheduled for May 5 at 7 p.m.
Original May 5th game vs Toronto: now scheduled for May 10 at 8 p.m
The Sens are finally back in action Thursday night against Montreal. Hopefully these are the last changes.
- In what became the longest game in NCAA tournament history, the University of Dakota Fighting Hawks fell to the University of Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs in the fifth overtime, in the Midwest Regional Final.
RECAP— North Dakota MHockey (@UNDmhockey) March 28, 2021
Longest game in NCAA Tourney history goes to UMD as Bulldogs escape wild regulation finish, defeat UND in 5th OT https://t.co/rnEcabLC0k
Despite the loss, there are positives aplenty for Sens fans. Jake Sanderson in particular stole the show, as the hands-down best player on the ice. He was still making end-to-end rushes as late as the final overtime frame, and even hit the post right before UMD’s winner. Jacob Bernard-Docker was his usual steady self, while clearly playing through some pain, Shane Pinto seemed to be on for every second shift, and Tyler Kleven continued to exceed expectations.
It was a dazzling display for this group of Sens prospects.
- In keeping with the youngsters at UND, it appears that at least a couple of them will be transitioning from their college careers. Bernard-Docker and Pinto are expected to be signed soon, and logic would dictate that they will begin playing games with Belleville after the league-mandated seven-day quarantine.
Would expect talks with Shane Pinto and Jacob Bernard-Docker to take place in the next couple of days. No. 5 pick Jake Sanderson will be offered the opportunity to turn pro. #Sens https://t.co/SIuwFh70yR— Bruce Garrioch (@SunGarrioch) March 28, 2021
The lone question mark appears to be Sanderson. It seems that the plan was initially for him to return to school next year, but given his dominance down the stretch this season, Sanderson looks ready to at least play some meaningful minutes with the B-Sens.
It will ultimately be the 18 year-old’s decision, but the fact that Senators are offering him an opportunity speaks volumes.
- In some seriously brutal news, Florida Panthers star defenceman Aaron Ekblad suffered a gruesome lower-body injury against the Dallas Stars, yesterday.
DO NOT WATCH THIS IF YOU HAVE A WEAK STOMACH. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.
This was horrible to see. You never want to see anyone suffer such a nasty injury, but Ekblad has been having a fantastic season, and losing him is a devastating blow for the Panthers.
Wishing Aaron a speedy recovery.
- Let’s finish off with a feel-good story. In the Michigan State high school hockey championships, powerhouse Detroit Catholic Central’s season appeared primed for an unceremonious end, after COVID protocols forced their varsity team into isolation.
However, in a story fit for a Disney movie, their junior varsity team jumped up to play in their place, leading them through the first two rounds, before the varsity squad returned to claim the state title.
What a run for Detroit Catholic Central. They clinched the state championship with a 5-1 win over Rockford tonight. Varsity ran off three straight wins after JV kept the season alive.— Craig Custance (@CraigCustance) March 28, 2021
Original story if you missed: https://t.co/m5gU2Z9PNT
: Ben Szilagy pic.twitter.com/Cun5P4QMSn
The Mighty Ducks have got nothing on Catholic Central.