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Hockey Challenge 2014

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Game 4 vs. Kelowna

Tbirds lose tonight in a shootout (shocking huh? aren't we all sick of this) to Kelowna 4-3 tonight. Here is a running tally of my notes as they happened tonight followed by my thoughts on the game tomorrow.

Starting lineups... Jacob Deserres is in net tonight on the second night of a back to back. Jackson, Olsen, Schappert, Scott and Nielsen are your starting 5.

- Tbirds are sloppy early but earn a PP at the 16:06 mark on the first. Kelowna has come out with a much more focused effort and the Tbirds haven't quite responded yet. First line PP is Eberle, O'Brien, Holloway with Hickey and Rai to start but don't produce any real dangerous chances.

-12:42 left in the 1st, Deserres can't quit get his pads sealed on a sharp angle shot and it sneaks through. Hood with the goal, assists go to Leavold and St. Denis.

-Tbirds get another PP and Hickey is leading the energy level back to where Kelowna is... two strong rushes by Eberle earn the Tbirds another penalty and a 5-3 PP chance.

-Hickey gets on the board scoring through a screen on the 5-3 with Prab Rai getting the assist. The goal comes before the second penalty is out and the PP continues.

-Few minutes later Hickey is caught in the mouth with a High Stick from Evan Bloodoff (the older one) and 30 seconds later the Tbirds cash in with a goal from Jim O'Brien (1st career WHL goal) on a nice feed from Eberle.

-Scott Jackson seems to be pressing a little bit.. perhaps trying to do too much. I think he needs to just settle down and play his usual solid game.

-McKenzie with a slashing penalty and Kelowna goes on the PP.

-Olsen and Leavold engage in a little verbal "conversation"... no doubt making an appointment for an engagement later in the game. Referee Thompson skates over to the Kelowna bench to tell Leavold to "shut up".

-Seconds late Olsen takes an interference penalty and the Tbirds are killing a 5-3... not a really smart penalty there with 3:04 left.

-Deserres makes the initial save but St. Denis is there to bang home the rebound from a tough angle. Not a lot Jake could do about that one... and again you can't put yourself in 5-3 situations or you are bound to give up goals.

-1st period ends tied 2-2, SOG: Sea- 7 Kel- 10

-Much better energy from the Tbirds to start the second but cannot take the lead. Kelowna generates some chances and Deserres is up to the challenge. Jake looked uncomfortable to me in the 1st period but seemed to settle in nicely in the 2nd.

-Holding penalty to Isak Quakenbush, he REALLY needs to work on staying out of the box. Not a penalty that needed to be taken.

-Another nice save on a drive from the point by Deserres who is keeping the Tbirds in the game on these penalty kills.

-Nice rush by Hickey nearly sneaks in a backhand past Westblom.

-Cross Checking penalty to Dillon... this again was another penalty I thought was undisciplined by the Tbirds with 7:50 to play in the 2nd.

-The Dillon penalty is over for 9 seconds and O'Brien picks up a silly Interference penalty. I thought the call was weak, but still... you can't put yourself in those situations to allow the referee to make a silly call. Deserres again is solid killing the penalty.

-Just 15 seconds after killing the penalty St. Denis scores for Kelowna by bouncing the puck off Deserres from a negative angle behind the net. Puck barely trickles over and Kelowna leads 3-2. Even though 2 of the Kelowna goals haven't been pretty... I think they have earned the lead up to this point.

-Little scrum by the benches results in 2 penalties to Bernhardt and only 1 to Chaffin and the Tbirds get another PP.

-1 minute into the PP O'Brien is tagged with his second Interference call (is the officiating different in the NCAA's??).

-2nd period ends with Kelowna leading 3-2 and outshooting the Tbirds 24-10. Only 3 shots on goal in the period for the Tbirds... That will happen when you are penalty killing the entire period.

-Tbirds really need to get it going here to protect home ice in the 3rd.

-Almond goes off for Interference that feels a little like a makeup call for the one on O'Brien but the Tbirds cannot score. They have picked up the energy and are looking good for the tie.

-Leavold and Jackson fight with 12:42 left. You can look at this two ways... either Leavold is smart for baiting Jackson into a fight and the trade off is worse for Seattle having Jackson off... OR Leavold's been looking for a fight the last two nights, takes on a guy who doesn't normal fight... LOSES the fight (in my opinion) and maybe just gave Seattle a lift. Maybe you should actually take Olsen up on that fight next time?

-Sure enough... the Tbirds look energized by Jackson's effort and O'Brien makes a beautiful feed to Eberle in the slot and we are tied at 3-3. I would say on the whole that was a bad fight by Leavold.

-Olsen picks up a Cross Check with 10:05 to play, but Jamie Benn cancels that out :40 later with a Holding call.

-Seattle nearly scores to take the lead but settles for another PP as Bloodoff is sent off for a Cross Check.

-Schappert with a big hit in the offensive zone and has played well again tonight despite no points thus far. Schappert and Boyer hustle all over the place and its nice to see... hopefully it will pay off in more point for both down the road.

-Both teams hold on for the tie and we head to OT tied at 3-3. Shots are in favor of Kelowna 35-17.

-Great pass by O'Brien in the 1st minute of OT to Holloway but the angle is shut down nicely by Westblom and he covers up.

-No other great chances in the OT and we head to the shootout where the Tbirds were 0-11 last year.

Seattle shoots first...

Eberle - No Goal on a shot
Almond - No Goal on a shot
O'Brien - No Goal on a deke backhand (the puck rolled for a while and had trouble getting flat)
Benn - No Goal shot wide
Holloway - No Goal deke to the backhand
Long - No Goal deke to the forehand
Rai - No Goal shot to the 5-hole
Hood - Goal forehand deke

Kelowna wins 4-3 in SO

Seattle drops to 2-0-2 with 6 out of 8 possible points.

Let's Go Birds Three Stars of the Game:

1st Star - Kyle St. Denis... 3 points in the winning effort
2nd Star - Jan Eberle... strong overall game and had the tying goal.
3rd Star - Jim O'Brien... another nice game, another 2 points for OB.

Honorable mention to Jake Deserres, Dylan Hood, Bud Holloway

Scoresheet three stars were a little different...

1. St. Denis
2. DeSerres
3. Holloway

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