Just when you think you know a team, they surprise you.
Kootenay pulled off a 5-4 win last night over the Edmonton Oil Kings, in regulation, to notch two points following Friday's 4-3 loss in a shootout to the Oil. The win put the Ice at 22-20-0-2 and 48 points, good for 7th in the Eastern Conference.
1. Opening the scoring early, Zach Franko got his 13th of the season to give the Ice a 1-0 lead. The Oil Kings tied it on a goal Skapski would want back but then Edmonton went up 3-1 in the second before the start of a wild 3rd period. Skapski could only be faulted on the first goal. The other three were deflected.
2. The Lines - Franko - Reinhart - Descheneau
Bozon - Philp - Vetterl
Martin - MacPhee - Chynoweth
Alfaro - O'Connor - Cable
Dirk - Valiev
King - Peel
Cross - Murray
Cable was inserted on the 3rd unit for a couple of shifts in the third while Bozon joined Reinhart and Descheneau late in the 3rd when the Ice had the lead. Not sure why Franko missed a shift or two late.
Zborosky and Steenburgen along with Faith (out for season) were the scratches.
3. The legend of the Fish? - For those who complain about the entertainment last night I saw perhaps the funniest competition when Save-On-Foods sponsored two guys throwing a large Salmon back and forth and moving farther away every catch. First guy to drop the fish loses and the other one gets the prize pack. The guy to drop it gets the fish. That fish appeared on the ice after Reinhart's 2nd goal of the night to tie the game at 4. Not exactly the Octopus in Detroit but hey, must've done something.
4. Been a long time since I've seen a period like the third last night. Down 3-1 in game to the Oil Kings usually means no points. Reinhart scored 1:12 into the period but Edmonton made it 4-2 two minutes later. 48 seconds later Bozon made it 4-3 and then Reinhart tied it 31 seconds later. Franko instantly endeared himself to the Ice faithful with the game-winner on the power play at 11:06.
5. Toe-Drags - 2 of the 4 Ice 3rd-period goals (goals 2 and 3) were Toe-Drags. Pity I never learned to do that. Coulda been somebody.
6. Not going to buy the 3 games in 3 nights excuse for the Oil Kings. They went from Cranbrook to Lethbridge to Cranbrook over the weekend after coming down Thursday from Edmonton. That's not much travel wise.
7. Highlites are up and here. I thought I heard the crowd squawk pretty good in sections Z, A and B on the Oil Kings 3rd goal in the second. Turns out they were onto something. Check out the highlites at 1:01. That puck comes out. Should've been off-side.
8. NHL Central Scouting Bureau has their Mid-Term rankings out and they have Sam Reinhart listed at #4. Ahead of him, in order, are: Sam Bennett - Kingston Frontenacs OHL; F Leon Draisaitl- P.A. Raiders WHL; D Aaron Ekblad. I guess the scouts didn't get to see the third period we seen last night. Not to be a homer but I'll let you discuss that one. International Scouting Services still has Reinhart ranked number 1. NHL CSB does not include European skaters and goaltenders in this group. Reinhart at number 4 would still be the highest ever Ice player to be selected. (Dan Blackburn - 10th overall 2001).
9. 5 Kootenay players are listed on the CSB rankings. If memory serves, that is unprecedented for the franchise, even back to the 1999-2000, 03-05 years. Reinhart - #4; Valiev - #106; Descheneau - #122; Philp - #125 and D Tanner Faith, who is out for the season with a shoulder injury, is under the Limited Viewing list. Which means scouts liked what they saw but haven't seen it enough yet.
10. Did we see what this team is capable of Sunday night in the third period? Or was it just another episode of up and down that's been the case all season? Time will tell. The club heads out on the road Friday and Saturday for dates in Regina and Swift Current, both teams they're chasing in the standings.
Sam Reinhart will captain Team Cherry Wednesday night in the Top Prospects game in Calgary. He'll also get to go up against Bennett, Draisaitl and Ekblad (Team Orr).