Vancouver Province article (Return to action all too brief for Giants' Anthony Ast)March 29 2012 at 6:56 AM
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|N. W. Bruin (Login NW_Bruin_GM)|
Return to action all too brief for Giants' Anthony Ast
By Steve Ewen, The Province
March 29, 2012 3:06 AM
Anthony Ast rehabbed a high-ankle sprain and returned to the Giants' lineup for Game 3 - only to limp off the ice.
Photograph by: Jason Payne, PNG Files, The Province
Reports of Anthony Ast's return were somewhat exaggerated.
The Vancouver Giants rookie centre, who was thought to be gone for the season with a high-ankle sprain suffered with seven regular-season games to go, rehabbed in time to get into the lineup here for Game 3 of the WHL Western Conference quarter-finals Tuesday against the Spokane Chiefs. He didn't last long.
Ast collided with a Spokane player near the Vancouver blueline in the second period, limped off the ice and went to the dressing room. He did come back and sit on the bench for a time, but he never took another shift. He was limping noticeably when he went to the dressing room later in the night.
He wasn't in Vancouver's lineup for Game 4 Wednesday at the Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena.
Winger Alex Kuvaev, 18, who played the first two games of the set but sat Tuesday, was back in.
Ast, who turned 17 in February and was Vancouver's first-round pick, 19th overall in the 2010 bantam draft, had five goals, 15 points, a minus-13 rating and 19 penalty minutes in 42 regular-season games as a WHL rookie.
GOALIE HAS PEN PAL
Mac Engel, a sports columnist for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, is apparently a bit of a fan of Mac Engel, the 18-year-old from Red Deer who tends goal for the Chiefs.
So when the columnist got word that his namesake was heading to the bench for Game 3 in favour of Eric Williams, he couldn't resist tweeting about it.
"WHAT?! Fire the coach!" he wrote.
NET GAIN FOR CHIEFS
Engel struggled the first two games against the Giants, giving up 11 goals on only 56 shots. Williams, mean-while, was the first star in Game 3, making 26 saves in the 3-2 triumph.
"He gave us a chance," Spokane coach Don Nachbaur told the Spokane Spokesman-Review of Williams. "Maybe it's the first game in the series that we've made the saves that we need and it gave us the belief - and you need that in playoff hockey, for sure."
The Chiefs were one of the few teams in the second half of the sea-son that didn't have a consistent No. 1 goalie.
Over their final eight regular-sea-son games, Engel and Williams started four each.
Engel was 28-19-1-3 with a 2.69 goals against and an .893 save percentage, while Williams, a 17-year-old from Langley picked up by the Chiefs in late-December trade with the Prince Albert Raiders, was 8-6-3-0, with a 3.66 goals against and a .868 save percentage in Spokane.
(Giants lead first-round series 2-1)
Wednesday - Vancouver at Spokane, 7: 05 p.m.
Friday - Spokane at Vancouver, 7: 30 p.m.
* Sunday, April 1 - Vancouver at Spokane, 6 p.m.
* Wednesday, April 4 - Spokane at Van., 7 p.m.
* - if necessary
Game 1 - Vancouver 7 Spokane 5
Game 2 - Vancouver 7 Spokane 3
Game 3 - Spokane 3 Vancouver 2
© Copyright (c) The Province
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