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Quick Hits: OHL Playoffs, Gordon, Phantoms and More

April 21, 2019, 10:37 AM ET [137 Comments]
Bill Meltzer
Philadelphia Flyers Blogger •NHL.com • RSSArchiveCONTACT
Quick Hits: April 21, 2019

1) OHL Playoffs: Flyers prospect Isaac Ratcliffe scored a goal and added an assist but his Guelph Storm club fell on Saturday in overtime, 4-3, to trail the Saginaw Spirit, two games to zero in their Western Conference Final series. The game was scoreless at the first intermission but Guelph fell into a 2-1 deficit during the second period despite a 16-4 shot advantage. Guelph scored closely spaced back-to-back goals in the third period to take a short-lived lead before Bode Wilde re-tied the game with 1:17 left and Ryan McLeod won it in OT for Saginaw.

Ratcliffe, who tends to be a streak scorer who scores in bunches when he gets hot, has five goals and nine points in his last five games. Overall, he has seven goals and 16 points in 13 games during his team's run to the conference final.

2) Chuck Fletcher said after Thursday's press conference to introduce Alain Vigneault as the new Flyers head coach that he planned to speak to Scott Gordon over the next week or so to get his thoughts on returning to the AHL's Lehigh Valley Phantoms as head coach after serving as the Flyers' interim head coach from Dec. 17 until the end of the 2018-19 season following the dismissal of Dave Hakstol.

Gordon has a season remaining on the contract extension he agreed to in March 2018. Fletcher has said that the Phantoms job is Gordon's if he wants it. If Gordon declines a return to the Phantoms, the reason would likely be that he wants to see if any interview opportunities as an NHL head coaching candidate develop for him this offseason.

Presuming that Gordon elects to return to Allentown, he will be tasked with bringing along the development of an impressive group of incoming forwards that could include (assuming they do not make the Flyers' opening night NHL roster) the likes of Joel Farabee, Morgan Frost and Ratcliffe. Also incoming for 2019-20 is Swedish goaltender Felix Sandström and forward Matthew Strome.

Second-year Phantoms next season include German Rubtsov (who was off to a very strong start to his first pro season before being lost for the rest of the campaign following a shoulder injury that required surgery), David Kase (who missed much of the 2018-19 season due to a suspected concussion but returned and had some good games late in the season after a strong start as well), Connor Bunnaman (19 goals in 62 games as a rookie), Pascal Laberge (limited to 15 games by pre-season surgery and a late-season injury), and Carsen Twarynski (10 goals, 24 points in 69 games as a rookie).

Third-year Phantoms on the periphery of the Flyers' NHL roster include center Mikhail Vorobyev (15 NHL games in 2018-19, and defenseman Mark Friedman (NHL debut in Flyers season finale).

3) April 21 Flyers Alumni birthdays: Reg "the Ruffian" Fleming (1936-2009), Vincent Lecavalier, Roman Vopat and Stew Malgunas.

4) Happy Easter and Happy Passover to all HockeyBuzz readers who celebrate.
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