GDB 11.0 WRAP UP: PARALLELS
Seven in a row!? What sort of twisted parallel universe did I wake up in where the Lethbridge Hurricanes mow down opposition one by one? It’s strange. I almost feel the need to suspend belief and wait for the inevitable collapse. But it hasn’t come and may not come at all.
The Hurricanes once again found a way to pull out a win. This time it came via the shootout in Victoria. It was a good game! An entertaining game. There were lots of rushes both ways, a good scrap, and goals a-plenty.
Tonights game was great. It had a little bit of everything. The first two periods were generally even. It seemed to me to indicate that these are two pretty evenly matched teams. Both sides had some really nice chances through the first two periods and both the shots, and score indicated as much. I would give a slight edge to the Royals through the first half as they used their speed to generate a plethora of odd man rushes, but Lethbridge had their own chances too.
Both teams used their neutral zone play to try and generate speedy attacks and, for the most part, both teams did a good job of defending 5 on 5. It was special teams that ultimately decided tonight’s contest. The Hurricanes went 2 for 3 on the night, while the Royals couldn’t score on their own three power play opportunities. While I felt the Royals didn’t crash the net hard enough, credit the Lethbridge penalty kill. They pressured the Royal’s point men and forced them to retreat or to cough up the puck. It resulted in some short handed rushes for Lethbridge. The Royal’s Tyler Soy had his own short handed breakaway in the third, but was denied by Skinner when the puck rolled on his stick at the last minute.
It looked to be that with under ten minutes remaining, there was a decision by Lethbridge to try and eke out a point. Whether it was intentional or not, they collapsed and held on for dear life as the game progressed to a crescendo.The Royals looked dangerous but just couldn’t seem to find a goal. They were making fantastic use of finding the high forward in the slot all night and it looked on a few occasions that it would work late, but Skinner had other ideas. The end result was a 3 on 3 overtime that looked dramatically different than the one we witnessed against Swift Current last week. It was much more calculated and pedestrian in pace. I’m not sure the Canes had enough in the tank to press for a goal as Kisio had shortened the bench in the third.
OT didn’t solve anything and so it came down to the Hurricanes and Royals first shootouts of the year. Skinner stood tall, denying both Royals shooters via some aggressive stickwork which Babenko and Wong bettered Volrath on their two shots. Game over. 4 -3 Lethbridge in the shootout. The win was Lethbridge’s 7th in a row and second victory to start a ruthless road trip.
- The Canes got off to a perfect start, with Brayden Burke scoring less than 30 seconds in. They could never hold onto a lead, but it allowed Lethbridge to play their game and avoid pressing.
- Hurricanes caught a bit of a break on their second goal. The goal went under review. Wong frantically swiped it into the net on the powerplay, but it only crossed the net for a fraction of a second before popping back out. The ref called it a goal on the play, but I didn’t see any conclusive evidence it crossed the line. I could have seen the call going either way, but it turned out good for Lethbridge.
- The Canes PP looked elite again for the first time in a week or two. Moved the puck with confidence and speed. It was wreaking havoc on the Royals penalty kill.
- Arvin Atwal went off on the Royals in the third. He had one shift where he leveled a number of Victoria players before dropping the gloves in a spirited tilt with Forsberg (who walked away with a big ole’ shiner on the cheek).
- Tonight’s game was entertaining. Unlike a few of the Hurricanes recent games, this one was fast and wholly entertaining. There were odd man rushes, goals, odd man rushes, and fights.
- Burke looked right at home rejoining Estephan and Wong on the top line.
- Egor Babenko has some filthy filthy hands. His shootout goal was a thing of beauty.
- Skinner did fantastic work coming in cold and saving the day for Lethbridge when they started to watch the Royals in the third.
- Arvin Atwal once again looked fantastic tonight. I think he is getting better as the games go by. Maybe it was a comfort thing with being back on the West coast. I don’t know. But he was an impact guy tonight.
- Kord Pankewicz always blocks shots. It’s a fearless quality and should be recognized. Great work Kord.
- First goal was a direct result of a bad turnover by Kennedy. He passed it right to an attacking Royals player who set up a beautiful passing play. White also unable to apply an effective check on his man.
- Lindgren and Kennedy got mixed up on which man to cover in front of the next on the second Royals goal. Like the first goal, it was an unforced error. Both were just bad defensive plays.
- Kennedy wasn’t able to stop the third Victoria goal late in the second when he was standing right in position to make a play. The good news is he was in the right place. The bad news is he got knocked down easily and looked up harmlessly from his stomach as the Royal tied it for the third time. Overall, very rough game for number 24. I’m not sure he played more than a shift or two in the third period. Both a message and a reality for coaches. Was a liability and they needed the win.
- Somewhat high hit on Nielsen midway through the second seemed to shake him up. It wasn’t inherently dirty, but Andrew took the brunt of the check in the chin area. He is a crucial part of the Canes back end so we can only hope he isn’t feeling any adverse effects tomorrow. The bright side is that he played the rest of the game, but if it’s a head injury, who knows.
- Hurricanes gave the Royals a few too many odd man rushes tonight. The first was particularly bad. Luckily for them, the Royals weren’t very good at converting on the golden opportunities.
- Skinner needed to come in for Sittler in the second intermission. I am assuming it was either a case of injury or illness. I can’t recall seeing Sittler look hurt or get run-into, so we will have to wait to hear more. Maybe it was as simple as changing things up… but it would be very strange decision at 3-3.
- Canes were guilty of watching the puck and playing for the point in the third. The final ten minutes was all Royals. Skinner made some really key saves to get the game into overtime.
THIS AND THAT
- Shout out to the Royals play by play team. They were one of the best I have heard in the league. Very neutral and un-bias. It was really refreshing and appreciated. There was a funny moment in the third when neither the play by play or colour commentator had noticed Skinner replaced Sittler in goal. It took almost 15 minutes of play time before they caught on but they did eventually! It was worth a good laugh to hear them process it and an even bigger one when Marlon looked at his phone and saw the tweets. It happens! Don’t sweat it Marlon.
@CanesDomain much appreciated, thanks for your understanding!
— Marlon Martens (@VoiceVicRoyals) October 28, 2015
- The 8 pm starts are going to kill me like slow hemlock. Please send coffee.
Once again we are discussing a Hurricanes win. It’s been a dream beginning to the year for a team and fanbase that have seen some rough years. I feel confident the team will pull out at least one more win on this trip, making it a wild success. It’s a fantastic place to be in.
Tomorrow they face the Giants at 8pm. Vancouver has fallen back after a really hot start. It’s the first time Arvin Atwal returns to the Giants after being traded this summer. It will also be a first chance to see the new-look Giants after their big move with Calgary today.
Can’t wait. Should be fun.
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