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Hockey Challenge 2014

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3.02.2014

An apology, a fish, and something about a record

Stay tuned for the nightly news at 11, where Jon actually admits he was wrong, a near riot in Kent, weather and sports.  And now back to the last half an hour of our feature documentary, "The story of the 1967-68 Estevan Bruins"



In our lead story, I owe a HUGE apology to Evan WARDLEY and his family.  It was pointed out to me last night that I misspelled his last name numerous times in my writing.  I looked back, and sure enough, I have always forgotten the "E" in the last name.  So I have created a sesame street saying so I can remember it.  "E is for Evan, and if I forget it, he will kick my a**".

And now over to Jon for a story being reported as a potential riot breaking out at the Thunderbird game last night.

According to security, late in the 3rd period, with Seattle up by the score of 4-1, a very unruly fan tossed a stuffed fish onto the ice.  Security and two armed police officers from Kent tracked him down and escorted him out of the building.  When asked for a comment a representative for the Showare center security stated that the criminal is known around these parts, should have known better then to do such an irresponsible feat, and totally endangered the health of fellow fans, players, and officials.  I was told this is a tradition for Seattle hockey, so I had to dig up some past news stories to learn about this strange feat.

http://community.seattletimes.nwsource.com/archive/?date=19920226&slug=1477862
http://collections.lopolis.com/archives/2006/02/12/was-that-a-hockey-game/
http://seattletimes.com/html/stevekelley/2015040388_kelley13.html

According to these stories, the tradition dates back to the early 60's, continued regularly until the mid 2000's, when the Thunderbird's vacated the Key Arena for Kent.  A couple fish appeared shortly after the relocation, but none in recent memory.  Maybe this will start the tradition back up.

Now lets send it over to Jon for the weather.

The weather in Kent is around freezing temperature, with the possibility of snow.  Unless you are inside the Showare Center after the Birds win, where the weather will be warm and sunny.  In interviewing a Thunderbird players mother, the weather in Nipawin, SK calls for an overnight low of -26F, or just plain cold for all of us Seattle people.  That is 58 degrees below freezing.

And now back to Jon for sports.

The Portland Winterhawks brought in a 21 game winning streak in Kent.  Hundreds of Portland fans made the 3 hour trek north to watch their team win #22, tying the league record for most consecutive wins in a single season, a feat that has stood since 1967-68.  As the final whistle blew, the Thunderbird team said "No soup for you."  Amazing that after the game, all the Portland fans that were cheering, talking trash, showing off their wears, and declaring that their team was the greatest ever were very quite leaving the arena.

Now, to be serious on the game.

That game was the best disciplined game Seattle has played all season.  And by disciplined, I don't just mean not engaging in bad penalties.  Every player seemed to take the game to a very simple level, making the safe smart play, fighting for every inch on the ice, every loose puck, blocking shots, etc, etc.  Oh yeah, and for basically the entire game, they stayed out of EVERY scrum, smack talk, and anything else that in the past would have resulted in penalties.

This tweet by Tyler Alos fits it perfect "Real proud of the boys tonight. Great team effort & focus by every guy for 60 minutes. Best W I've had since being on the coaching side !".

The one play that I thought fit every description above came on Branden Troock's goal.  Starting out at about the same speed as excellent defender Derrick Pouliot, Troock fought for the puck and space, sped past him, fought him off the entire way to the net, and still fought hard enough to put the puck in.  You do not do that against Pouliot unless you are determined, focus, and have the will power to do it.

You know who else had a great game, Evan WardlEy.  He laid out huge check after huge check, but also picked the right times for those checks.  He did not lose his temper at all, and even challenged Leipsic to a fight, and held out long enough to realize the little chicken that runs and hides would never go with him, and not to get a penalty called.  And really, the entire defensive crew did a great job of that.  Picking their places perfectly not to giving up odd man rushes.

Super power goalie Taran Kozun was on fire, and you could see it from the start.  He was seeing the puck very well, and showed confidence from the first stop to the last.  I had the opportunity to sit next to his mother at the game for a period, and she apologized from the start that she might hit me.  I learned very quickly that the warning was correct.  But this is why Kozun is so good.  He has his mother making the stops for him from the stands.  Every hard shot, picking a corner, her arms were in position to make the saves. This goes to show that he is really a robot.

Another thing that stuck out to me during the game.  Mid-way through the 2nd period, both Petan and Leipsic were in the box overlapping.  Any time you can get those two off the ice at the same time is a win.

One last thing that stuck out was the fact that Seattle got the start they wanted, controlling play for the first 3 minutes, but then gave up a goal.  I think in the past (and I have been critical of this), the team would have almost given up saying here we go again.  But instead, they rebounded, and I thought continued to control play.

And in conclusion, I do want to give Portland credit.  That is a really good team, and winning 21 straight games is an incredible feat, as apparent by the fact it has been since 1967 since it has been done.  But that is also what makes the win that much better for Seattle.  To those Portland fans that made the drive up, I hope the drive home was nice and quiet and sad.  God knows I have made that exact same drive after a loss many times.







photo's credited to Frank Pray

4 comments :

Anonymous said...

Hickman stated after the Portland victory when we play our game nobody can beat us. We'll tonight the birds did not play their game. Let Everett play Victoria in the first round.

Marc S said...

I didn't think the T-birds played badly. They were physical at the start of the game. Shots in the first were in Everett's favor but they also spend a lot of time on the PP. They really need to figure out how to play against Everett and their gum it up in the neutral zone and if you get it into their zone then they will pack the crease.

Everett's first goal was on a PP that ended up being 5-3 when it shouldn't have even been a PP to start with. How does Pufahl not get a instigator? Isn't that pretty much the text book example of what the instigator penalty is?

The most frustrating thing about this team, aside from the GM needing to be fired, Coach not doing anything write and the players (read this with sarcasm) is they have a habit of playing to their opponents perceived level. If they play a good team they bring their A game, if they play a bad or so-so team they try to show up and get awarded 2 points. Once they get to the playoffs, they need to think of all the teams as good teams and play accordingly.

Anonymous said...

Everett plays defense, and they make plays skating into the offensive zone (as opposed to dumping the puck in the corner and chasing). Looks like the Tbirds may be facing them in the 1st round. Everett is a well coached team.

Anonymous said...

Everett is playing great defense but they've only scored 3 more goals then they've allowed. So, I doubt they are "making plays skating into the offensive zone" as opposed to the dump and chase system of Seattle that has led to nearly 30 more goals. And I will stipulate that Seattle's defense is much worse then Everett's yet Seattle is only giving up 2.7 goals a game to Everett. The two teams have pretty much scored the same number of goals against each other.

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