Thursday, March 27, 2014

Kootenay drives Calgary to the brink......

You can't say you're not getting your money's worth watching this series. It is, and has been, one for the ages..... Unless you're a goalie.

1. Okay, right off the top, some how you knew that controversial goal was going to factor into the final score with the Ice holding on by the slimmest - and really, you cannot get any closer than they did - of margins. Watching the replay I thought what the rest of the viewing audience and Saddledome faithful thought, it wasn't a goal as the puck - on that replay - went in clearly after the clock read double zeros. But alas nothing is certain in this world and lo and behold, it counted. The official release coming from the WHL reading that the clock on the Jumbotron wasn't quite in sync with the official time. You'll have to admit that usually those breaks don't go the Ice' way.

2. Easy to call the turning point the last millisecond goal in the second by Descheneau but I'll beg to differ.... The stopped penalty-shot on Helgesen by Wyatt Hoflin in the third. He's scores the tide turns much quicker than it did when the Hitmen scored with 7:13 left. Calgary ran out of time in this one.

3. Calgary started to play like the second best club in the conference in the third period and the Ice didn't have an answer. Call it fatigue or whatever but it's a problem for Saturday.

4. Of the 22 goals Kootenay has scored in this series, only 3 have come from anyone other than the top unit or power play. If Calgary figures out how to shut down the top unit of Reinhart - Descheneau - Philp/Franko, the scoring will stop.

5. That being said, even with last change and the match-up he wants, Hitmen Coach Mike Williamson still isn't able to stop the Ice top unit as Reinhart notched another 5 points on the night and Descheneau with 3. He won't get last change Saturday night.

6. On the flip side, Greg Chase notched a goal and two assists Thursday night and was named the game's 3rd Star. Oh, and he was minus-3. It's not as though the Hitmen have been getting a lot of depth scoring. And Jake Virtanen, he of the 45 goals this season and expected to challenge Reinhart on the ice and at the NHL Draft this June, hasn't been much of a factor. At least not yet. Could it be that hand he injured in an ill-advised fight with Ice D-man Rinat Valiev in the last game of the season is bothering him more than he's letting on?

7. Ice coach Ryan McGill with the quote of the night, series and even the season on the bench at the period break on Shaw. "No lead is safe in hockey," said McGill with a 5-2 lead. How prophetic, almost.

8. For the record, F Jaedon Descheneau was drafted in the 3rd round of the 2010 Bantam Draft, 62nd overall with a pick acquired from the Everett Silvertips in the Thomas Heemskerk trade in late 2008. In hindsite, a pretty good deal. Shaw keeps referring to Descheneau as undrafted as a Bantam. He was overlooked last year for the NHL Draft but is eligible this June.

9. For both teams the goaltending carousel is turning as Williamson's patience finally ran out with Chris Driedger after the 4th goal and in came Mack Shields. Question is now, who starts Saturday?

10. Lastly, announced via Twitter Thursday night, Ice F Tim Bozon is spending his last night in Saskatoon Hospital tonight and will be in Cranbrook to drop the puck Saturday night for Game 6. In what's turned out to be a very emotional and inspirational story for the Ice, let's hope they can feed off of that and a large home crowd at WFP.


ELL said...

Amazing stuff, what a ride. Is Hoflin the go to guy for Saturday?

Jeff said...

I don't know how you don't go back to him. He's won the last two games.