'He's been phenomenal'

CHRIS STEVENSON -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 7:41 AM ET

The scout could only shake his head, a grin on his face. We were talking about 67's winger Jamie McGinn before last night's Game 4 of the Eastern Conference final, how far the 16-year-old has come this year, how far he could go.

"He's already a player," marveled the scout.

And that was before McGinn beat two Petes on the 67's first goal, creating the space for Chris Hulit to break open in front ... before McGinn popped the winner on a hellbent drive to the net to end the game 11 minutes into the first overtime.

"He's just been digging pucks out for me and Chris Hulit," said centreman Julian Talbot. "Tonight, it was his turn.

"Every since he came back from the Canadian team, the under-17 team, he's been phenomenal."

McGinn is another of those wonderful developments that have brought the 67's to the brink of another trip to the Memorial Cup.

He was a third-round choice, 50th overall last summer, but has played like a blue chipper.

"A great young hockey player in this league was able to find (the puck) and put it in," was the way Peterborough Petes coach Dick Todd described McGinn's winner.

Another win, another emerging hero. Another wonderful story in a wonderful spring.

HEAR AND THERE: Juiciest rumour of the night: Senators owner Eugene Melnyk is biding his time, but will be interested in owning the Renegades when the time is right (like when the league is on the verge of having to take over the team). That is, of course, rampant speculation and that's why we like it ... Our informant smugly said, "Mark down the day I said it."... It was kind of fitting the 67's first goal came 67 seconds into the game ... It'll go into the books as a sweep for the 67's. A nice, tidy description. It was a sweep in the way Adscam is a small public relations problem for the Liberal government ... Heading into overtime last night, the Petes had won three of the last four periods the two clubs had played. They were looking out of a 3-0 series hole and were down 2-0 in Game 4 ... and still didn't quit.

REVELATIONS: The first "Sweep the Petes" chant went up at 5:55 p.m. ... After years of questionable drafts, the Montreal Canadiens have got some prospects, particularly on the blue line. Petes defenceman/captain Mark Flood was the Habs' sixth pick last year. He makes a great first pass ... A nice sight in the 67's dressing room after the game: Winger Mark Mancari fitting another puck, to go with pucks from all their other playoff wins, onto the goalstick they keep on top of their big-screen TV ... Something I did not know, but probably should have: The Bobby Orr Trophy is awarded to the OHL's Eastern Conference champions ... Nice touch to show the London-Kitchener Western final on the scoreboard screen during the intermission before the overtime, but don't know why the fans cheered the Rangers' goal to tie it. You'd think the fans would want London to win and clear the path to the MemCup for the 67's.

SPECULATIONS: Lukas Kaspar had used up his allotment of soft backhand passes before the first period was half over ... One of these times, 67's defenceman Nick Van Herpt is going to fully catch the guy he's trying to hit. His name will then become "Van Hurt" ... With 8:32 to go in the first, Peterborough's Justin Caruana was called for charging Ottawa's Derek Joslin, when he didn't. Guess that made up for the two hooking and one holding penalties committed on Joslin in the 10 seconds before the hit.

THE BUZZ: You can't say enough about the job the 67's fourth line (Jamie VanderVeeken-Pat Ouellette-Arron Alphonso) has done in the post-season. When nothing happens, it's a good shift for the fourth liners, but they generated a great chance in the second ... Don't know about you, but I get glazed eyes listening to coaches complain about the officiating when a series is over. It's for both sides, get over it.

JUST WONDERING: Petes pest Patrick Kaleta got called for the rare clipping penalty when he submarined Joslin. Could have also been roughing the passer ... Kaspar gave the puck away and then skated away from the guy with the puck on the Petes' goal in the second period. Lukas, next time you get lost in your own end, it's mapquest.com.

LEMME SAY THIS ABOUT THAT: The Sun's Don Brennan had a shot at $20,000 for charity in the second intermission last night. From centre ice, he had to put the puck through one of those boards with a slot a millimetre bigger than the puck. He only missed by about a foot ... Nice of him to get dressed up for the occasion, huh?

PARTING SHOT: With no NHL and the 67's on a roll, the club is getting the media attention it justly deserves. The little press box at the Civic Centre is packed, bringing to mind a line from Buffalo sportswriter Jim Kelley. After wedging himself into a seat in the back row during the Senators days, he said: "You don't so much come into this press box as you put it on."


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