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Hockey Challenge 2014

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Sloppy Shootout Loss

Seattle gave up a lead 4 different times last night and lost in the shootout 5-4 to the Tri-City Americans. It was a lost opportunity for Seattle who could have and probably should have won that game going away. Give the Americans credit for taking advantage of the defensive breakdowns by the Tbirds and earning the two points. Yesterday, I wrote about how Seattle had managed to eliminate a vast majority of the big mistakes this season and the results were starting to show on the scoreboard and in the standings. Of course as soon as I had published that, the mistake prone Tbirds from last season made an ugly appearance at the ShoWare Center last night. The mistakes were glaring and goaltender Calvin Pickard really didn't have a chance on any of the 4 American goals.

This team has a chance to be really good this season and the only thing holding them back is the elimination of this big mistakes.

Bullet points are fun and simple…

  • How about the night for Marcel Noebels. One of the cool aspects of following and cheering for a Junior Hockey team is the reminder that they are still just kids. The Noebels family has been in town for the past several days, taking in the game down in Portland and the game last night. They watched the young German put together a "Gordie" getting a goal, 2 assists and a fight. His Mother covered her eyes as he dropped the gloves and came to the defense of Charles Wells who had taken a checking from behind penalty from Spencer Humphries. She tried to avert her eyes again as he raced towards Drew Owsley in the shootout… I believe she looked just in time to see him juke and score. Whether he meant to make that move or not… I have no idea. It looked to me like he lost the puck and was fortunate that it went in... But if he meant to do that? What a move and what a night for him and his family.
  • Brenden Dillon has made so much progress from just a season ago. His 9 assists this season put him on pace for 64, just a hair below point per game pace. His rush and drop pass to Noebels for the 1st goal of the game was an excellent effort and he made several other athletic rushes over the course of the game. He is still making a few mental errors and coverage issues here and there (as evidenced by the -1 last night) but his speed and handle for a defensemen is as good as I have seen lately and you just can't teach the natural first step that he has with the puck. I've said it before and I will say it again… shore up those mistakes in your own end and Dillon has the makings of a real impact player.
  • Burke Gallimore had a bit of an interesting night. He sniped a Power Play goal into the top corner to give Seattle the 4-3 lead midway through the 3rd period and he assisted one of the Power Play goals by Luke Lockhart. He was also on the ice for all 4 Americans goals and finished the night as a -3. His shootout attempt was the exact same shot that flew over the bar down in Portland on Friday, this attempt clanging off the crossbar instead. Hockey is a game of inches and I would bet the next attempt gets under the bar for a goal.
  • Luke Lockhart has been working very hard on those one-timers in practice and it paid off in spades as he slammed home a beautiful threaded pass by Noebels through the American PK early in the 2nd period.
  • I'm going to cringe typing this… but I think we saw a hockey game last night officiated by Pat Smith and um, I actually thought he did a pretty good job. Whoa. You could make an argument that Noebels didn't "deserve" an instigator penalty (which btw comes with an automatic 10 min. misconduct) and I thought the Too Many Men penalty on Seattle was a bit soft considering that all of the players in question were around the bench area… but for the most part I really didn't notice the officiating and that is a sign of a well called game.
  • Loser points aren't really very fun and they aren't sexy but they are still very important. With the point, Seattle has 13 points in 10 games that puts them on pace for 93.6 points. They also haven't lost in regulation in 7 games, which consequently means that have earned points in 7 straight games. Missed opportunities are never easy to swallow but points are points.

Prince George comes into town Friday night and Seattle had better not take them lightly. The new look Cougars have a healthy Brett Connolly and have added several quality players in Sena Acolatse, Taylor Stefishen, Martin Marincin and Charles Inglis. The Cougs are 7-5-1 and are averaging 4.6 goals a game.


Anonymous said...

I really thought and have been thinking for awhile now, of the tbirds had a legit 30 to 40 goal scored on this team, they would be burrying teams. Especially last night. A lot of missed opportunities. I would love to see this team go out and try and land someone who will scare teams every night. I think this team is on the cusp of being a threat each night, they might already be, but look at prince george, a few moves made them a scary team. Imagine what the birds can do.

Anonymous said...

Looked to me like we played with 4 defensemen for most of the night, and that was part of the reason the Ams were able to tie it up on that last goal. The D was worn out. Sure hope Ramsay can get back soon, and Fleming as well. Those are two bodies that will bring some relief to the D. I was hoping to see Sanvido in the SO. He seemed to handle it well early on. It's pretty much a crap shoot anyway. I'd like to see some more production out of the JET line,(Jacobs, Elliot & Tyler). Just need to find that extra click that seems to be missing right now. The games sure are entertaining though!


Anonymous said...

I just hope they learn from a loss like last night, you can't give up the lead 4 times in your own arena and too a team that has been on the road for awhile like Tri has.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for explaining the game misconduct penalty for Marcel. I couldn't figure that one out since he didn't seem to do anything outrageously bad.

Chase and Jessica said...

Listened to the game last night on Ams radio. When i heard Pat Smith with officiating, I too cringed. Didnt seem too bad. I Give the Birds credit for going 3-4 on the PP.


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