GDB 35.0 WRAP UP: SCRUMTRULESCENT

  • Jeremy Sakamoto

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“That show was delightful. No, no it was brilliant. No, no, no, no. There is no word to describe its perfection, so I am forced to make one up. And I’m going to do so right now. Scrumtrulescent.”

Not only is this one of the funniest scenes in SNL history, it seems to be a pretty apt analogy for the play of the Hurricanes tonight as they capped off a long road trip with a dominant and scrumtrulescent performance over the Red Deer Rebels. What a way to enter the Christmas break for this hockey club and its fans. For the record, I’m aware that the cover image isn’t actually from the skit in question, but what are you going to do? Instead I went with one where Mr. Ferrell is shocked to hear that the Canes are first place in the Eastern Conference 35 games into the season. I think all Canes fans have made this exact face a few times this season. Onto the post-game wrap:

 

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It was a prototypical road start to this game for the Hurricanes. The hometown Rebels came out fast and furious in the game’s opening minutes. They had a couple of chances to go ahead early, but Sittler was able to shut the door including pulling a puck right off the goal line after it hit the post. The Canes would slowly gather themselves and start to get some zone time in the Rebels’ end. The Hurricanes were expertly using their defencemen in the first period to pace the offensive attack. Point shots were the name of the game as Lethbridge would either fire it on net, or get it to the corner, throughout the period from the blue line. This plan of attack would lead to the game’s first goal when Barrett Sheen tipped in a point shot from Arvin Atwal to put the Canes up by a goal. That makes it back-to-back games that young Barrett Sheen has opened the scoring for the good guys. The Rebels would respond just over a 1:30 later when Wyatt Johnson would put a perfect shot far side to cap off a wonderfully executed 3 on 2 to tie this game at one apiece. Things would stay knotted at 1 for a while until a Red Deer turnover at the blue line would see Giorgio Estephan in alone on the break. He beat Rebels’ netminder Rylan Toth on a beautiful backhand, forehand, fivehole move to put the Canes up 2-1. That’s how the period would end thanks to an UNREAL save by Jayden Sittler in the closing seconds. The Rebels came in 2 on 1 and it looked like Presten Kopeck had a sure goal; however, Sittler would flash the leather and commit an act of larceny that might have the RCMP on his tail moving forward. Look for that one on the upcoming edition of the WHL plays of the week. Shots at the end of the first would favour Lethbridge 14-12.

The 2nd would start much the same way as the first with the Rebels pressing hard and often in the opening minutes. However, as has been the case throughout much of this road trip, a shift by the Canes’ 3rd line would right the ship. Folk, Millette, and Lindgren would control the play deep for an extended period allowing the Canes to get some momentum back. From there it was pretty much all Lethbridge for the rest of the period. The Canes would go up by a pair on a goal by Carter Folk. He came in with speed off a fantastic neutral zone touch pass from Cory Millette and rifled a wrist shot by Toth. Just over a minute later the league’s top power play would go to work following a cross checking call on the Rebels’ Colton Bobyk. Just 8 seconds into the man advantage Kord Pankewicz would have a lane to the net the size of the QE2. He would take the gift and roof one past a screened Rebels goaltender. That would be it for Rylan Toth in this one as Trevor Martin would come in to replace him. The Canes weren’t done there in the 2nd as Babenko would further extend the lead when he would get the lumber on seemingly harmless Nielsen point shot putting the Canes up 5-1. The period would end with a little drama when Giorgio Estephan lost an edge chasing a loose puck, He slid hard into the Rebels’ goaltender behind the net leading to an intense scrum. The play appeared accidental but Martin was visibly shaken up on the play. There was no penalty on the play. The 2nd period would end with Lethbridge up 5-1. The Canes would be ahead on the shot clock 24-20.

There’s not much to say about the 3rd period. The Canes did what they needed to do. They channeled their inner Jacques Lemaire and locked down the middle of the ice to keep the Rebels at bay. In the offensive zone it was all about simplifying, just get pucks to the open space and don’t commit any turnovers. Cory Millette would extend the Canes’ lead to 5 when he broke in all alone on the PP and beat Martin far side with a perfectly placed shot. From there it was just a matter of keeping the puck to the outside and waiting for the clock to expire and usher in the Christmas break. That’s exactly what the Canes did, skating away with 2 points and bringing their record on this road trip to 5-1-0-0. Final shots tonight were 33-26 Lethbridge.

 

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THE GOOD

  • Depth, depth, depth. We here at Canes Domain have been touting this like a broken record, but when you get 6 goals from 6 different players what else can you say?
  • I thought the Hurricanes pace was fantastic tonight. Outside of the opening minutes of the first they skated great. There was no evidence of a long road trip in the Canes’ legs tonight.
  • Carter Folk was a beast tonight, especially short-handed. On the first PK of the game Folk was a one-man kill machine. On an epic he shift he single-handily hemmed the Rebels in their own end for 25-30 seconds. He was later rewarded with a goal to cap off what’s been a fantastic road trip for this fan favourite.
  • The Jayden Sittler save to end the first might have been a game changer. It was spectacular and will assuredly be in the upcoming plays of the week; however, it may have also changed the complexion of the entire game as the Canes took a lead into the 2nd instead of being tied.
  • The point play for the Hurricanes was excellent tonight. Much of the offence was run through the blue line and it worked to perfection. The Canes got 2 tip in goals and were able to sustain pressure through great heads up play the Canes d-men in the offensive zone.
  • How about everything at this point in the season! The Canes sit alone at the top of the Eastern Conference standings heading into the Christmas break. They’re 2nd overall in the Dub. Their record on this road trip was 5-1-0-0. Their only loss saw the Canes fight back from a 6-1 deficit and make it a 6-5 game. It’s been a llllooonnnngggg time since things have been this positive in Canes land. Merry Christmas and happy holidays indeed!

 

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THE BAD

  • Umm, pretty much nothing except that now we have to wait a full 7 days before the Hurricanes are back in action.

CONCLUSIONS

Wow! Who would have thunk it? Entering into the Christmas break the Hurricanes sit all alone in first place in the Eastern Conference and 2nd overall in the league. The team has the most potent offence in the Dub and the number one power play. All of that was on display tonight versus a very tough Rebels team. This was a complete effort by the Hurricanes that is sure to leave everyone associated with this team grinning from ear to ear. It’s well deserved for a franchise that’s been kicked around pretty hard the last couple of seasons. It will be well-deserved break for the team, and considering the recent results it’s one that can be fully enjoyed, at least for a few days. I for one cannot wait for December 27th to roll around when the Canes get back in action in Medicine Hat versus the Tigers. Hopefully, this momentum will continue on the other side of the break. Regardless, what a ride it’s been so far. Scrumtrulescent!


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Professional student, prospective teacher. Red Wings/Blue Jays/49ers super-fan. Proud general manager of Team Mono and the Slumlords in a pair of fantasy hockey keeper leagues. Is there anything better than soup and sandwich? Twitter: @jsvsakamoto.

 


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