Saturday, December 15, 2007

Kootenay takes two from conference leaders....

THE SCORE
Kootenay 4 – Lethbridge 3

WHAT HAPPENED
Game two of the home-and-home was the super sequel save for the Lethbridge leads the night prior, Kootenay was the opportunistic team through the first two periods and for the second straight night the Hurricanes played just the third period. The ‘Canes played two periods all weekend long and went into the Christmas break losing two straight.

THE SPECIAL TEAMS
Through the first period the Ice was deadly on the power play, going 2-4 and accumulating a lot more shots that the eight they were credited for. For the second straight night the Ice also exposed some weaknesses on the ‘Canes power play by notching a short-handed goal. If you’re keeping track that’s three straight games in which the team has a short-handed goal.

THE SEEING EYES
With just over a minute left on the power play in a scoreless game Dustin Sylvester threw a puck into the middle of the neutral zone where a streaking Chad Greenan picked up the puck and stepped into a wrist shot that beat Hurricane starter Mike Maniago.

THE SEEING EYES II
Kootenay’s second goal four minutes later was a sweet back-hand pass through traffic by Steve Da Silva that found a streaking Andrew Bailey headed to the net. Bailey roofed his 15th of the season past Maniago

THE KOOTENAY CONNECTION
The Hurricanes former Ice players all factored into the game but in different ways. Former tough guy Luke Wiens started the game and established a physical presence early but was used sparingly when the Canes went down 2-0. Former list player Cam Stevens found himself in the box most of the night, taking three minor penalties while former D Paul MacDonald was strong all night playing over 28 minutes, time it would take two, maybe three games to get while he was in Cranbrook.

TAKE IT TO THE BANCK
Marysville product Carter Bancks was Lethbridge’s best player on this night. How this kid escaped the draft and wasn’t listed until late in 2005 while he was a 16-year-old with the Kimberley Dynamiters Junior B club escapes me. Mitch Fadden might've been the sniper but it was Bancks who charged the comeback.

THE ALUMNI
Former teammates Jarrett Stoll and Jason Jaffray faced-off against each other for the first time since Jaffray was traded to the Broncos prior to the Ice winning the WHL title and Memorial Cup in 2002 Saturday night on Hockey Night in Canada. Jaffray, the best Canuck debut in recent memory Wednesday against Anaheim with a goal and an assist, finished the game with a scrap in overtime against Oiler d-man Steve Staios. Stoll’s Oilers had the last laugh though, winning in a shootout, again, 2-1.

THE CROWD
Average at 3021, though there were a lot of Christmas party no-shows.

THE REC PLEX THREE STARS
1. C Steve Da Silva – A goal and two helpers, has really found a groove.
2. G Thomas Heemskerk – Pressed into action after Kris Lazaruk came down with the flu. Was great and added an assist.
3. C Mitch Fadden – Sweet hands.

UP NEXT
Kootenay improves to 21-12-3, 45 points at the mid-point of the season, good for third place in the Central and fifth in the Eastern Conference, just three points behind the first-place Hurricanes. Hands up everyone who thought this was possible after the 3-8-3 start, thought so. The club now enters the 11-day Christmas break on a three-game winning streak and will face the Western Conference leading Spokane Chiefs December 28.

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