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Hockey Challenge 2014

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Hot first period leads Tbirds to 5-2 victory

Seattle starts hot and fast tonight on their way to the 5-2 victory over the Cougars of Prince George.

A lot of positive notes from the game tonight.

-Seattle started the game as well as they have in any game all season as they out shot the Cougars 21-4 in the first period and scored three times on their way to the 3-0 lead after 20 minutes.

-Lindsay Nielsen scored twice, including a short handed goal that essentially put the game away almost exactly a minute into the second period. Nielsen, who has 10 goals, has now scored 6 of them in his past 7 games played.

-Stefan Warg again played a really solid game for the Tbirds and ended the night +3.

-Special night for Erik "mahogany" Fleming who notched his first WHL goal on a seeing eye wrist shot from the point that finished the Seattle scoring on the night. I could not agree more with Coach Rob Sumner who stated after the game that the increased playing time that Fleming saw while Hickey was away at the WJC has helped his game dramatically. Fleming ended the night with a +2 as well.

-Jeremy Boyer had a goal and an assist to go along with his +2 and is really starting to come on strong as well.

-I thought Jeremy Schappert had a nice game tonight as well and spent an entire shift deftly quarterbacking a power play that had several dangerous chances.

-I heard one fan around talk about how uncomfortable Sena Acolatse looks playing forward... but I would have to disagree with that. While Acolatse did not have his best game skating up front tonight, I still like his instincts up there a lot and having a big physical forward who WANTS to hit people is something this team has been mostly lacking this season. LeBlanc and Lockhart are the only other forwards who regularly like to throw their weight around and LeBlanc unfortunately misses about 50% of the time and Lockhart (who skates his butt off) isn't exactly striking fear in the hearts of opposing players at 160 lbs. I like him up there... and I'm excited to see what he can do up there for another 6 weeks as Richard has been confirmed to have had surgery on his hand and will be out at least for 6 weeks.

-Chris Cloud had another nice game as well chipping in two assists and leading by example by his work ethic. Cloud is a classic Sumner player and I'm sure he loves having him around.

Ok.... on to the negative side.

This game drives me absolutely crazy. Look, I know it's only Prince George who will probably be lucky to even make the playoffs... but where has this been all season? or for the last month? If Seattle played with this kind of intensity and determination each and every game they are probably capable of getting themselves into the 5th seed and perhaps even the 4th seed in the Western Conference. It's about time for this team to figure out how to get this kind of effort game in and game out and take this season from mediocre to a shot at potential. General Manager Russ Farwell has given them the green light. Despite my feelings on the issue... Farwell has sent a message to the team that this is who we have and they are expected to contend and that management has not given up on the season. It's time for the team to decide that it wants to play each night like tonight... and make sure that the faith Farwell has shown in his club gets rewarded in the standings and to the "new" fans of Kent.


4thebirds said...

IMO for the team, this season didn't start until we were in the Sho. So from here on out it's no excuses! No lousy Key arena, no over abundance of road games, no more tourneys, no excuses!

Anonymous said...

You and I are going to have to differ on Schappert. He looked inept at points last night with one pass leading directly to PG's first goal and several other give away's. I am dreading him as a 20 year old option next year.

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