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Hockey Challenge 2014

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Game 8 vs. Vancouver Giants

11pm hockey games on Thursday night have a way of sapping the energy out of a blogger on a Friday morning.

Seattle comes into tonight's game with a record of 4-1-1 (.714) having their unbeaten (in regulation) record snapped in a big way Wednesday night in Chilliwack. The Tbirds are 3-0-1 at home this season.

The Giants come into tonight's contest with a record of 7-1-2 (.800) which is good for 1st in the WHL on a Point Percentage basis. The Giants are 4-0-1 on the road this season.

Special Teams Report:

Seattle is now 8/53 on the PP good for 14.5% and 17th in the WHL. They have scored at least 1 PP goal in each of their first 7 games. They are averaging 7.57 PP chances per game.

Vancouver is 12/64 on the PP good for 18.8%. They are averaging 6.4 PP chances per game.

Seattle has slipped to 5th in the WHL with their PK unit and have killed 38/44 Power Plays which is good for 86.4% kill rate. They are giving up 6.28 PP chances per game.

Vancouver takes over the #1 spot in the WHL on the PK and have killed 58/64 Power Plays good for a 90.6% kill rate. Vancouver is surrendering 6.4 PP's per game.


Obviously no game early in the season is a "must win" game but there is no doubt that this is a big game for the Thunderbirds. Not only are they playing a team that is ranked #1 in the WHL but they will also have to rebound from the debacle in Chilliwack on Wednesday and need to be able to defend their home ice tonight.

I expect a much better effort from Seattle tonight, but a much better effort might still not be enough against a solid opponent like Vancouver. The Giants owned Seattle at Key Arena in last years playoff series outscoring the Tbirds 12-3 in the 2 games played. They clearly feel comfortable playing in the "Key" and should be able to match Seattle's team speed.

Keys to the game:

1. Crack the Giants PK unit and score at least 1 PP goal.
2. Limit shots on goal to under 35 (since 30 didn't work last time).
3. Punch the Giants in the teeth... meaning Seattle must establish a physical presence early in the game.
4. Continue earning more PP chances than opponent.

I think the effort will be much better tonight for Seattle but I will call for a close Shootout Loss. Last game I predicted a Win and that did not turn out well... we'll try the other way around tonight.

Prediction... Seattle 3 Vancouver 4 F(SO)

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