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Hockey Challenge 2014

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Old Habits Die Hard

A 2-0 loss Friday night to Prince George and a 3-2 overtime loss in Kamloops left the Tbirds with only 1 point out of 2 games this weekend. Seattle is falling back into some of the habits that got them into trouble last season and the results don't lie.

Last season, Seattle leaned heavily on Calvin Pickard and at different times struggled with effort and sharp focus.

Friday night was about lack of focus. The play was sloppy and though Seattle was able to generate some chances and hit two posts the breakdowns in the defensive end eventually led to their demise. While it is true that they ran into a beautiful goaltending performance by new Prince George goaltender Ty Rimmer (no wonder he's good, just check the name) they got the result they likely deserved in the 2-0 loss.

The game wasn't a complete loss as Travis Toomey had a nice shorthanded chance that clanged off the crossbar and over the goal and Seattle did manage 36 shots on goal. They just weren't able to finish the way they had been able to finish up to this point in the season.

Some other notes… Jacob Doty and Mitch Elliot each got themselves a scrap on Friday. Elliot gets the win over Brock Hirsche in short order landing about 3 or 4 hard punches before both went down to the ice. Hirsche went down awkwardly and had to be helped off the ice. I hope he isn't hurt too badly. Doty spent warm-ups and a lot of the game "talking" to Cougar players trying to get a dance partner and finally got one with Greg Fraser. The fight ended rather quickly when Doty dropped Fraser with a solid right hand. I'm still shocked that neither Sena Acolatse nor Charles Inglis stepped up to challenge Doty.

Anyone else remember Daniel Gibb? Gibb, if you recall, was a 8th round bantam choice of the Tbirds out of Prince George in 2007 and was released (I believe) after training camp last year before catching on with the Cougars. Did that kid grow or what?? I don't remember exactly how tall he was in training camp last year but he now stands 6'3" and 205 lbs according to the WHL website and it wouldn't shock me if he was actually taller than that now. Wow he grew.

Saturday night in Kamloops was substantially worse even though Seattle managed to "earn" a point, thanks almost entirely to another strong performance from Pickard. When Seattle tied the game at 1-1 late in the 2nd period on a PP goal by Travis Bobbee the shot totals were 35-8 in favor of Kamloops. The final total saw Pickard make 49 saves on 52 shots with the Blazers winning it just 32 seconds into overtime with a PP goal from Jordan DePape. Pickard battled his butt off to earn Seattle a point they really didn't deserve. Maybe the team was tired? Maybe they don't sleep well when they take the bus trip the night before? I don't know… but the effort wasn't very good.

Seattle did have another really pretty PP goal by Marcel Noebels who was on the receiving end of a tic-tac-toe setup courtesy of Burke Gallimore and Luke Lockhart. Lockhart added a 2nd assist on the Bobbee goal and now has 8 points in 12 games this season.

Doty had another scrap, his 9th in 12 games, against Brandon Underwood that was mostly a draw. It looked to me like Underwood might have landed one decent shot and got Doty's helmet off before both went tumbling to the ice. In case you were wondering… Doty is on pace for 54 fights. Seattle had a grand total of 51 fights last season.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for your insight and update. It is always good to hear from you Tyler!

Anonymous said...

I thought they deserved the win over PG. They outplayed the Cougars in stretches but hit 3 posts/crossbars and Rimmer (pronounced Ry-mer) played outstanding. They also made Connolly and Acolatse non-factors for the majority of that game. And if you give Pickard credit for "stealing" a point in Kamloops, you have to credit Rimmer for stealing a win too.

Thunnex said...

oh definitely, Rimmer played outstanding. I just thought the Tbirds were a little too sloppy in their own end.

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