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Hockey Challenge 2014

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Seattle Thunderbirds at Portland Recap

Few general thoughts on the game last night.

-A good number of people from the booster club and otherwise were in attendance at the game rooting for Seattle.

-Seattle raced to a 2-0 lead in the 1st period on two goals that really showed Portland's lack of quality defense. The first goal scored by Ian McKenzie showed some really nice skating and speed by Imac skating through the 2 Portland D-men and snapped a nice shot top shelf over the shoulder of Mucha who looked slightly out of position. The second goal was banged in by Jan Eberle as Portland's defense failed to clear the rebound of a Prab Rai shot. This was a classic situation where both D-men chased Rai and left the rebound to Eberle who banged it in all alone.

-Portland answered with a Power Play goal at 15:11 by Valchar, I was getting a beer and have no idea how this goal happened but I heard it was a good shot from the slot.

-Nice to see Scott Jackson with another very solid game as he logged a goal on a wicked slapper after Lindsey Nielsen had won the faceoff. Jackson was also +4 on the night.

-Ian McKenzie had a very nice game for Seattle delivering a few big hits and chipping in a goal and assist.

-Portland showed some fight coming back to within 2-1, 3-2 and 4-3 but Portland really needs to improve their consistent play along the blueline or they will continue to struggle into future years.

-Bud Holloway netted the empty net goal to finish the scoring at 6-3, it was his second of the night and runs his goal total to 17 and point total to 37. Holloway is slightly ahead of his point pace from last season and is on target to get to 35 goals and 41 assists which would both be career highs.

-Surprising to see Nick Dietrich engage Prab Rai in a fight... and even though the fight was mostly filled with pushing and a few missed shots it was nice to see that Rai was not afraid at all to drop the gloves. For Prab it was only his 2nd WHL fight with the other coming two years ago while playing for P.G. against Ryan Bryce. For Nick Dietrich it was his first WHL fight.

-Another surprising fight was Jeremy Boyer taking on Tristan King who was also in his first fight and boy did that become clearly obvious. This was only Boyer's 4th fight and he rocked King on numerous occasions and bloodied the 17 year old King. Boyer at 5'10" and 148 was decidedly smaller than King at 6'0" and 170 but it didn't seem to matter at all.

Let's Go Birds Three Stars of the Game:

1. Ian McKenzie
2. Jan Eberle
3. Radim Valchar

Honorable Mention: Jackson +4, Schappert +3, Olsen another +2, Kevin Undershute

1 comment :

Mike said...

I'm glad you post the +/- of players as I don't think that there is enough emphasis put on that stat. In fact if you look at the game 5 of our 6 goals were a + shift while only 1 of the 3 goals against was a - shift. I also think you simply cannot ignore the fact that we are now 11-5(I'm not counting OT games) in the division and IF you take out Spokane it's 11-1. We are also 3-1 against the B.C. Division. This all bodes well come the post-season.

I think that Tri-City is the most vulnerable "top" team because their defense but they seem to have Spokane's number. We shall see.


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