Social Icons

twitterfacebookgoogle pluslinkedinrss feedemail


Hockey Challenge 2014

Recent Articles


Game 1 Recap

For 50 minutes the Thunderbirds seemed to beat back the doubters, rolling on energy and emotion to a 4-0 lead over the Silvertips on Friday night. For the final 10 they may have given them something to bark about... but the Tbirds held on for a well earned 4-3 victory over their norther rivals on opening night in front of a crowd listed as 4010. That number seems low to me and the crowd looked closer to 4500-5000 but what do I know.

Calvin Pickard was the star of this game stuffing Everett on numerous attempts throughout the game but his 24 saves in the 3rd period were the difference. Tbirds came out with fire and emotion to start the game and carried that over into the 2nd period building their 4 goal lead but they appeared to tire in the final 10 minutes and sloppy turnovers lead to a couple of Silvertip goals to pull them to within one before Pickard shut the door over the final 7 minutes.

Some highlights outside of Pickard's night....

Colin Jacobs had a fine game scoring a goal and helping on two others. It is becoming quite easy to expect too much from this kid. At times he looks far beyond his 16 years and at times he plays exactly like a rookie in this league should play. This bodes incredibly well for his future this season and beyond and he was paired on the top line with Nielsen and Wells.

Easy to get spoiled watching Prab Rai and though his numbers ended up looking somewhat bad at -2 he is a real game-breaker with the puck on his stick. I think his goal ended up hitting all three posts in going past Simpson.

Silvester had a nice game... I think he is a strong candidate for a breakout year and though I try not to always link the two together I think Wells can probably fall into the same category.

Defense played well for most of the game keeping most of the shots to the outside where Pickard could easily see them but we have got to more effectively move the puck out of the defensive zone.

This will be a story line to follow for the entire season... but again I liked the new look of the power play and even though neither of the goals came on "set plays" they generated chances and wound up cashing in on 2 of 6 chances. If the Tbirds can dramatically improve their PP rate over the past couple of seasons I don't think they will have as tough of a time scoring as people might think.

Game 2 is tonight against Portland and this one might be even more interesting for several reasons. Jacob DeSerres will get the start in net and whether he stays in Seattle all season or gets traded it will be very important for him to prove that he is over last season, healthy and ready to go. I personally think there is a really good chance he bounces back and has an excellent season. Also... should be really interesting to see what Portland looks like. The Winterhawks have scored a lot of goals in the preseason and many think this is the year Portland makes the leap back from the bottom of the league standings and back into the playoffs. It should be an interesting night to measure where Seattle is compared to Portland.


Anonymous said...

You can put me in that "doubters" category and nothing changed... The team played exactly the way they should have, when it's your home opener against a rival pure emotion will carry you.... I am more concerned about this team going on the road into say an Everett and trying to win..... But you are right in one aspect if the defense plays the way it did the first two periods and keeps the puck moving we have a chance to stay in some of these games.... I liked Warg's emotion, and I thought Dillon was solid.... Chaffin and Haber looked shakey to me but I guess we will see how this team comes together again tonight.

Anonymous said...

By the way, did that out of no where horn we put in after we score catch anyone else off guard.

MarcS74 said...

After watching game two the team played the entire game like they played the 3rd period of game 1. Going to have to find a way to get the team pumped up and the half empty arena isn't going to do it.

I see a Deserres trade coming soon and hopefully that will bring us some offensive help. Can the T-birds still trade Boyer? The young guys can develop but they really need to replace some of the scoring they lost from last year.

I gotta give props to the Portland fans they might have outnumbered the T-bird fans. I didn't really notice a lot of Everett fans at game 1, maybe they all forgot their cowbells.

The fans in the Seattle region should be ashamed that only 7k people showed up the the opening weekend of hockey. That is just sad. The place should have been packed for both games.

Anyway it is a long season and it is just two games, but not encouraging to see the way they have played 4 of the periods of hockey so far.


Anonymous said...

I don't fault the fans for not showing up, I fault the WHL. The new fighting rules are brutal for long time hockey fans and I've had enough.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, because that's what junior hockey is all about, watching 16-17 yr old kids beat each other up. Do you encourage the kids on the high school football team, or baseball team to fight too?

Thunnex said...

I really hope that isn't the argument you are going with. Comparing Junior Hockey to High School Football or Baseball is a really poor argument.

They have very little in common outside of the age of the players.

Anonymous said...

The T-birds also had about 10 high profile events going on in the Seattle area to go against this weekend.... It was 80 degrees on Friday it's not exactly hockey weather..... The T-birds attendence will go up even despite the lack of producton ice this year. It always does as the season goes on......We talk about the same thing every year. Seems people always want to go after the T-birds for attendance.... Maybe we forgot that half the league is doing worse than us...... Winning cures everything, Look at the Tri-Cities couldn't even put 1500 people in that stands 3 years ago. Even the Tips saw a sharp decline last year. I saw a Friday night game in Portland with 1800 last year..... This is the same Portland team that used to put 7000 every night....... People need to relax, the WHL is not the NHL. We have the hardest media market to crack and still put in 3000-5000 every night, you want that to go up then the team needs to win... That's it win.....And they will come.... Portland struggled to put 3000 on any given night the past 3 years, you watch this year they will be putting 6-7 every weekend. ..... It will be a tough year but worth it in the long run when we put a division contending team on the ice.

Anonymous said...

well put.... but i think the T- birds should be alarmed at least with the crowd, or lack their of. Hey guys, this is still a new arena too, and a weekend, and 2 rivalry games!

brian in sherwood

WHL Scoreboard