Christian Propp was one key member of the North Bay Battalion squad not on the ice Sunday when the Niagara IceDogs handed the Troops an 8-3 setback.
While sitting down in his seat on the bench with Christian Purboo between the pipes, Propp was watching closely at the IceDogs already preparing for game one of their series which begins tonight in St. Catharines.
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“I did not get the start on Sunday but I did watch for tendencies, seeing what their top guys are doing, how their team plays overall as a group and I think towards the end of the game and it was getting a bit heated some chirps were flying so that kind of just set the tone for the series,” said Propp.
The Troops did win twice in the six-game regular season series between the two foes, including one win in St. Catharines.
Christian Propp is eager to be a difference maker in this series. In his last playoff appearance, he made a whopping 71 saves in a heartbreaking 6-5 triple overtime game five loss in Kingston last year that sent the Troops home for the spring.
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“I think definitely from last year’s playoffs series against Kingston I definitely got some comfort and experience with playoff hockey,” said Propp.
“That was my first time playing playoff hockey at the seven-game series level. I think going into the series against Niagara it is a similar setup to last year series. I have a lot more experience and a comfort level going in and I am excited for the challenge.”
Propp knows he will have to be at his best up against an IceDogs team that boasts three 100-point scorers in Ben Jones and Akil Thomas, who finished with 102, while top sniper Jason Robertson led everyone in the OHL with 117 points.
Propp knows how deadly Robertson can be, as he was on that Kingston team that eliminated the Troops last spring.
“I think for a guy like Robertson, he is such a dynamic scorer,” noted Propp about the Dallas Stars prospect.
“He can score from all over the ice so know from last year he was a difference maker so we just have to be aware as a group of when he is on the ice and be ready when he gets chances for shots on goal.”
Game two of the series will take place in St. Catharines on Saturday night and then the Troops will travel home for game three set for Tuesday night at Memorial Gardens.