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Hockey Challenge 2014

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I'd call that a "stubborn" win for the Tbirds

Maybe I should start taking a little credit for my predictions... That makes me 3/3 on the road trip now as the Tbirds win tonight 5-3 in Regina and now have 3 points in the first 3 games of the Eastern Swing (excluding the Chilliwack game). I should probably go back and read the post from before but I believe I said they would lose the first, get a point or two in the second game and get a point or two in the second for a total of three points after the first three games.... so that has worked out well so far.

Unfortunately... that would mean that the Tbirds will lose tomorrow in Brandon, which is what I have predicted. In reality, that wouldn't be much of a surprise to lose to a talented Brandon team on the road in the team's 4th game in 5 nights, so I will stick to that prediction. In my opinion if they get even a single point tomorrow night in Brandon that is a nice gain in the standings. I know there has been a lot of discussion lately on Alan Caldwell and Gregg Drinnan's blogs (the best in the WHL) about the merits of the current point system... where teams get a point just for getting the game to overtime, but the fact is that you might as well deal with the system you currently have. Any points tomorrow night will be huge.

Another 42 shots tonight for the Tbirds, but unlike the previous games, tonight the Birds cash in 5 times on their way to the 5-3 victory. Thomas Hickey scored twice in the win... when was the last time Thomas Hickey scored twice you might ask? You'l have to go back to February 16th of 2007 to find the last time Captain Hickey scored twice. With the 2 goal effort, Hickey earned the 1st star of the game for his effort but was also aided by a goal and an assist from Charles Wells who picked up his first goal of the season. Luke Lockhart and Prab Rai also scored in the win for the Tbirds... for Lockhart his 2nd and for Rai his team leading 13th.

Special added honorable mention to goaltender Jacob DeSerres. If you were to compare this game to some of the games of past seasons, his 27 saves seem somewhat ordinary in relation... but his 27 saves tonight were huge for the Tbirds and especially the 11 for 11 in the 3rd period when the game started tied going into the period. Jake has struggled this season but he appears to be gaining confidence and starting to look like the goaltender we have seen in the past 2 seasons. We all know that the talent Jake has shown did not disappear over night and it was simply a matter of confidence. I have said this before and I will say it again... I think Calvin Pickard is also a very talented goaltender but this team cannot rely upon a 16 year old goaltender to carry them for the entire season. They need Jake to become goaltender #1 with Pickard becoming a very good #2 and perhaps tonight is another step in that direction.

Tbirds improve to 8-11-3 good for 19 points in 22 games good for a .432 point percentage which is now tied for 7th in the Western Conference with Prince George.


Anonymous said...

T-birds actually led, 4-3, going into the 3rd period.

Thunnex said...

You're right, sorry. I forgot that goal came on the Power Play before the end of the period. You would think since I could have just looked at the box score!

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