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Hockey Challenge 2014

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Sunday, Sunday, Sunday (said in a monster truck announcers deep voice)

After this game, only 96 more wins to finish with the perfect record of 99-0.
This also means they will be hosting the Memorial Cup.
Yeah, I like the sounds of that.

Another strong start by Seattle, followed by a loss of composure, and barely holding on for the win.

Seattle's 1st goal turned into a 2 on 0 when Connor Honey made a strong move around defender with the puck, and passed it over and got the pass back.
This is exactly the type of play that Seattle is going to need.  Very hard work, and this time it pays off.

It also goes with attacking the net.
Two of Seattle's goal came with players driving the net.
Kolesar's goal was tipped by defender up over the goalie, no chance for goalie.  But it was his strong move down the side that made it all happen.
The Volcan goal - so much time and space in front of net.  But it was because he went to the net that made it happen.

It was also that effort and hard work that lead to Seattle's second goal.  I thought it was icing.  Spokane thought it was icing, but the linesmen didn't.  Seattle attacked, got the puck out front, and it ends up in the back of the net.

Special teams

Elliot was once again in from of net on the PP.
It is great to watch guys try to move him out of the way.
Also, I find it so funny to watch Elliot's face after the whistle.
There are so many times when guys will come shove him to move him, push him, etc.
If you watch him, half the time he just kind of looks at them and smiles, almost saying "Go ahead start something you can't end".

I am simply loving this penalty kill.
It is what I have been asking for the last couple seasons.
In simple terms, it is everyone attacking the puck at full speed, and making the other team beat you.
It is very aggressive, I am sure very tiring, but also very effective.
Scott Easnor is really good doing this.  He brings a ton of energy, and also knows how to do the little things like drag his stick, turn at the right time, return to the correct position.
Even Barzal was getting pk time.

On one PK, Sheen was very unlucky, otherwise he would have a breakaway from his own blueline, except called offside just as he picked off pass at blue line.  It was at the other end of the ice, so I have no idea if it was a good call or not.  But based on the reaction of Seattle players, it was the correct one.


Wardly played a lot calmer today.
Instead it was Griffin Foulk that took over that department.
But in general, the defense was still not in good working order.
Far too many close in shots.
Two or three of the goals were redirections in front of the net by players who shouldn't have been able to touch the puck.


In what I think was his first game action in something like 47 years, Justin Myles played well.
Yes he left some juicy rebounds, but he also made a couple really nice saves.
As I mentioned above, a couple of the goals were redirections right in front of him.
Plays he has very little chance on.
While he did not face the 56 shots Fordyce got Saturday, he did get 40.
For this being his first action in a while, I thought he did very well.

Giving up the body

All weekend long, we saw Seattle diving to block shots.
I didn't really like the way they were doing this, more less throwing themselves in front of shots, instead of positioning themselves.
The biggest block today went to Michael Holub with a huge shot block to end first.
It was a point blank slapshot, straight into his shin pads.  It had to hurt.  A scrum followed the final whistle, and he making a "bee-line" to get involved.
Kind of strange to see players doing this early in the season, but also great to see.

The pinball player

Two training camps ago, when Michael Holub was 15, we called him "Pinball".
When he was on the ice, all he did was hit players.
He went 100% speed, nailed a player, bounched off, then went to the next one.
It was so fun to watch.
Last season Holub was only 16, so his ice time was limited, and talking to his father, he was ready to step up and prove everything he has to offer this season.
And that is what he has done so far.
His hustle, forecheck, and hard work was really rewarded today when he got to play with Barzal and I think Delnov.  Although he only came away with one assist on the scoresheet, he was making play after play.
He to me is one of the great stories of training camp.

Misc Notes

  • Wardly got a breakaway coming out of the box.  He should have just shot it from the blue line like game three of the playoffs last year.  He almost looked scared, and showed he is not a guy you will see in the shoot out.
  • Spokane goalie bring own pucks for warm up at switch.  Saved a bunch of time, and I have not seen that before.  Of course, the Chiefs didn't know to send them back to the bench, and it took extra time to pick them up.  Elliot was skating around, and appeared to be making fun of them for it.
  • Speaking of Elliot, he had a knee on knee hit given to him, and wanted revenge right away, but the linesmen kept him back
  • Theodore leaves Wednesday for camp
  • Weird seeing the team on Everett's home bench
  • Nachbaur is still the best dressed coach in the WHL

1 comment :

Unknown said...

Great write ups, Jon, I'm so disappointed I wasn't able to make it to any of the games this weekend.

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