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Hockey Challenge 2014

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More season ending thoughts...

- Fans can talk all they want about the officiating in the series and the entire playoffs (and believe me I have some of the same thoughts) but you must be able to kill those penalties, whether they are legitimate calls or not you simply cannot give up Power Play goals at a rate of 50% and expect to win games, much less a series against the team with the #1 overall record in the league. Give Tri-City a lot of credit for having a very good Power Play and creating chances and goals when they got those opportunities.

-For Ian McKenzie, Benn Olson and Scott Jackson it is the end of the road. I know Benn Olson and Scott Jackson are likely headed somewhere and my guess is after the outstanding playoffs McKenzie had, he will be headed somewhere as well. Without a doubt the hardest part about being a Junior Hockey fan is watching the growth of these kids into young men and watching them leave after their 20 year old year. Best of luck to all three... I think I speak for all Tbird fans when I saw they will be missed.

-Was Riku Helenius hurt? I wasn't really shocked to see Jake DeSerres in net last night for Game 5, but I was a little surprised and now I hear from one devoted fan that Riku might have been banged up in Game 3. We saw the return of Thomas Hickey last night and saw a few guys take what I thought were some high hits on him early in the game. For good or for bad, it is part of the game and I'm sure Hickey was expecting it to happen. Prab Rai did not play and that was to be expected after suffering concussion like symptoms after Game 4.

-Seattle lost only 6 games in regulation at Key Arena in the regular season and wound up 2-4 at home in the playoffs. Not exactly what the Tbirds were looking for, but the Key does not provide the type of playoff intense atmosphere that most buildings can and I would bet we see that intense crowd feeling next year in the new Kent Events Center.

-Let the speculation begin on what this team might look like next year. We know from previous seasons that things tend to change a lot more than we ever expect. We know the 20's won't be back. My gut tells me that both Holloway and Hickey will be back, Riku Helenius almost certainly will not and Seattle will have one 20 year old spot to fill. I wouldn't be surprised to see some deals made on some guys that didn't really develop enough this year to expect that they will be back.

-Last but not least I wasn't to thank everyone who has read and (hopefully) enjoyed the blog this year. It was an exciting first year blogging about the team, I had a lot of fun doing it and I hope that I can continue to get better as a writer/blogger as we move into a new era of Thunderbirds hockey next season. Thanks to everyone who helped click on my ads.... I almost raised enough money to buy a beer at the Key next season haha. Keep checking in on the blog as I will still be doing as many Tbird stories and news items as I can over the summer.

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