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It's Not Tense for the Ice Dogs

The past, the future and the present came into the arena and things got tense!

Things have been anything but tense for Ice Dog fans these past few days as the past, future and present are all positive.

The Past:

Andrew Agozzino was recognized for his hard work this past season as he was selected as the OHL over age player of the year. With 40 goals and 48 assists during the regular season, Agozzino’s numbers are impressive. However it is not the stats which stand out for Agozzino, it is his work ethic and leadership which are noted by coaches, players and fans.

Agozzino won the award by one vote over Owen Sound Attack Mike Halmo. Both undrafted, the pair of over-agers have definitely been impact players on their respective teams this year. While Agozzino takes home the hardware, Halmo was rewarded with a NHL entry level contract with the New York Islanders. Being undrafted had its advantages as Halmo was able to field many offers and make the decision where to sign. Perhaps an NHL contract is in Agozzino’s future?

Speaking of the future…….

Ice Dog coach Marty Williamson was very busy recently in his dual role as coach and general manager. During Saturday’s OHL Priority draft Williamson was straddling positions while he led a team practice in between selecting draft picks for the future. At Tuesday’s home game three of the fourteen draft picks were introduced to the fans pre-game. (pictured above) Given a loud welcome was centre-man Brook Hiddink, a second-round choice, left winger Matt Gillard, taken in the fourth round, and right winger Brendan Dunning, a 10th-round pick.

It was also announced Anthony DiFruscia, selected in the 2011 draft, was signed by the Ice Dogs. A Thorold native, DiFruscia played this past season at Salisbury School in Connecticut where he averaged a point a game on the varsity team.

But thoughts of the future need to be set aside as the Ice Dogs right now must concentrate on the present – a solid play-off run.

The Present:

The Niagara Ice Dogs have swept the Brampton Battalion in the second series of the play-offs. Highlights have been a Dave Pacan over time goal in game one, a Freddie Hamilton hat trick in game three and a goal and six assists through-out the series from Ryan Strome. Mark Visentin in goal was incredible through out the series as uncharacteristic for the Ice Dogs they allowed Brampton to outshoot them in all but one game with the series shots 133-110 in Brampton’s favour.

The Ice Dogs now rest while they wait to see who wins the Barrie-Ottawa series to determine their opponent for the Eastern Conference finals.

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