GDB 49.0 WRAP UP: ALL GOOD THINGS
(Photo courtesy of Kevin Light)
All good things come to an end eventually. It’s hard to maintain a streak, and as it grows, so does it’s personality. Sometimes the streak becomes a burden and starts to add an unnecessary weight to the team or individual.
That may or may not have been the case tonight for Lethbridge.
Either way, the Victoria Royals put a stop to the Hurricanes’ 10 game winning streak with a resounding 3 – 1 win.
The Royals were the team with the jump in the early going of this one. Victoria stormed out of the gates, and despite not scoring, outshot Lethbridge 9 – 2 in the opening 6 minutes of play. Things tilted further in the favor of the home side when two sloppy penalties landed the Hurricanes in a lengthy 5 on 3 shorthanded situation. Some great work by the PK (particularly Skinner) kept the game scoreless after the opening ten minutes. Victoria continued to push the pace and carried the period as a whole. With 6 seconds left in the opening twenty, Vladimir Bobylev banged home a rebound off a glove pass from Soy. The goal was immediately waved off, and despite the boos from the Victoria faithful, it was the right call.
Victoria would open the scoring in the 2nd period when Jack Walker juuuuust squeezed one through the air-tight Stuart Skinner. It was a redirected shot that Skinner got most of before it slid between his legs and over the line. On a more broad level, the second period wasn’t unlike the first. The Hurricanes were shut down aggressively by the Royals, didn’t generate many great chances, and were generally outplayed. Stuart Skinner was sensational and Victoria only managed the one goal before the end of forty.
Early in the third, Ryley Lindgren would draw the Hurricanes even on the PP. It was a big goal, but minutes later the Royals’ Forsberg would answer back with a PP goal of his own. Forsberg’s goal restored Victoria’s one goal lead. It ended up being the winning goal, though Walker would get his second of the night into an open net in the dying moments. All good things come to an end, including the Canes 10 game winning streak. Final score, 3 – 1 Victoria.
- Although Victoria’s game winning goal was scored on the PP, the Canes PK was solid in this one. One stand out moment was a perfect 5 on 3 kill midway through the 1st period.
- Skinner was once again sensational. Lethbridge was out played for virtually the entire game, and Skinner was a big reason, nay, THE reason the Canes hung around until the 3rd period.
- Ryley Lindgren had a nice return to the lineup. By the end of the game he was back into the flow and scored the Hurricanes only goal.
- It wasn’t a pretty opening frame for the visitors. Victoria had all sorts of jump in their step and the Canes were forced to play catch-up. They took simultaneous sloppy penalties (Burke for high sticking in the offensive zone and Nielsen for cross checking) and had to kill of a lengthy 5 on 3 which evaporated the little flow they had been able to find in the first place. Victoria played a great period, and as average as Lethbridge looked, a big part of it was the impressive play of the home team.
- Anytime a huge winning streak comes to an end it’s a little sad 🙁
- I really do wonder how good some of the teams in the West really are. Lethbridge is good, but they’ve had a more difficult time with some of the top teams in the West. Kelowna, Victoria, and PG have found ways to give the Canes troubles that teams out East haven’t.
THIS AND THAT
- Victoria does a great job with their video production. The camera position is nice and high, they have lots of angles, and there’s good lighting. I also enjoy Marlon Marten’s game call. Always great to hear Marten’s once again.
- It took a few minutes for it to sink in, but we saw the rare dark home jersey tonight for the Royals tonight. Usually the home team wears white in the second half of the season, but tonight Victoria wore their black thirds.
All things being equal, the was not a game the Hurricanes deserved to win, and they didn’t. On their 10 game streak, it would be hard to argue the Canes didn’t deserve to win on most nights. Sure they got a few bounces and managed to get three of the wins in extra time, but overall, they were usually fully deserving of the two points. The just wasn’t the case tonight.
Victoria really impressed me with this victory. They completely shut Lethbridge down. Very few teams have managed to cope with the Canes depth, but tonight it didn’t phase the home side. Their defense was outstanding, keeping the Hurricanes to the perimetre and totally eliminating passing lanes for a good portion of the game.
There’s no shame in a loss like tonight’s and the good news is Lethbridge is right back at it Saturday.
NOTE: There will be no pre game blog entry Saturday but we will have post game coverage!