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Hockey Challenge 2014

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Seattle vs. Tri-City Recap

Thunderbirds fall tonight to the Americans 3-1.

Seattle started the game on fire and put 13 shots on net before the Americans were able to log their first (although it seemed like a few dump in shots were missed). Despite the early effort Seattle was unable to cash in and Chet Pickard played very well in net.

Early in the 2nd period Kruise Reddick poked home the games first goal. Not sure whether Lindsey Nielsen got a piece of the puck as well but the diving Reddick poke it past Helenius, who looked as though he never saw the puck as he tried to play it as well.

Late in the 2nd the Americans were able to convert the game's only Power Play goal on a nice pass by Reddick across the crease to Colton Yellow Horn who steered it in for the 2-0.

Seattle just could not solve Chet Pickard through nearly the entire game before Ian McKenzie beat him high to the glove side with just over two minutes left in the game. Seattle had pulled Helenius for the extra attacker when McKenzie converted for his 10th of the year.

Unfortunately... McKenzie was also involved in icing the game for the Americans. Seattle pulled Helenius again at about the 1:20 mark. The Tbirds controlled the puck momentarily inside the American zone but they were able to throw it out of the zone and down the ice. McKenzie, hustling back to play the puck had Yellow Horn on his heels chasing him.... as McKenzie went to play the puck it slipped either over or past his stick just slightly and into the open Seattle net. Yellow Horn gets credit for the gimme and a hard luck end to the night for McKenzie who had just pulled Seattle to within one.

Seattle still earns 4 out of 6 possible points on the weekend and played very hard in all three contests. The effort tonight for Seattle was very good... but the complete lack of a Power Play (credit the Ams for having the leagues best PK) and ability to finish doomed Seattle in the end.

I don't know what it is about this team, but they seem to generate plenty of chances and just cannot convert enough to win these games against the top teams. Obviously credit to the opponent for keeping them out of the net, but if Seattle can find a way to improve their dreadful Power Play they should be considered as dangerous as anyone in the Western Conference.

One final note... I was surprised and maybe shocked is the word to see Jacob DeSerres get NO starts this weekend. I don't know if something was wrong with him or he was benched or if they just decided to give Riku all three games. Don't get me wrong... Riku is a fantastic goaltender, but so is Jake and its unusual to have 2 very solid goaltenders and not use both over a stretch in which you have 3 games in 3 nights. I'm going to go out on a limb and say that DeSerres is probably a very unhappy camper tonight unless he was hurt.

Let's Go Birds Three Stars of the Game:

1. Chet Pickard, without question won the game for Tri-City especially early on.
2. Kruise Reddick, hustle goal and set up one of Yellow Horn's.
3. Colton Yellow Horn, 2 goals including the GWG even if the second was a gift.

Honorable Mention: Ian McKenzie, tough luck finish but had the goal. Scott Jackson, assist on Imac's goal and delivered several big hits. Riku Helenius, solid but not enough in the win.

In the arena.

1. Pickard
2. Reddick
3. Jim O'Brien


Mike said...

Yes- very winnable game- same old song- not finishing and no power play. I agree that if they got the pp together they would be dangerous but they have practiced it all season to no avail.

Kodi said...

The problem with the pp is a complete mental breakdown. I heard Turner interviewd a couple of weeks back and he understood the frustration but it was his last thought that made me want to cry. He said just like anything pp goals come in cycles so we are just waiting for it. The problem is that Seattle's power play cycle is running seasons and not within a season.

I do agree though that if we could do something about our pp we would be one of the top teams. I just hope that having a younger team will help us down the road and not turn us into a team that keep these problems for 5 more years.

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