GDB 66.0 WRAP UP: ONE OF THOSE…
(Photos courtesy Steve Hiscock/Saskatoon Blades)
Sometime you just have to concede that the opposing team got the saves they needed. You can break down the video, dissect plays to the 9th degree, reflect on mistakes, and mull over the ‘what ifs’ all you want – but there comes a point – a point at which you need to respect the display on the other side of the ice.
Tonight the Hurricanes played a pretty good game. Sure, it wasn’t perfect, but on most nights, it was enough for a win. On most nights that is.
Tonight, Raiders netminder Rylan Parenteau had other ideas.
It didn’t take long for things to go sideway for the Hurricanes in this one. A seeing eye shot from the point by Brendan Guhle put the homeside up 1 – 0 on the game’s first shot. On the very next shift, Sittler couldn’t corral a rebound and the puck wound up in the centre of the ice for Parker Kelly to smash home. The end result of the quick goals was that Lethbridge trailed 2 – 0 less than five minutes into the game.
The Canes would get a big PP goal from Cory Millette at the 9:42 mark of the 1st period. The goal came on a rebound off a Pankewicz shot which, in turn, was the direct result of a shot by Bellerive. The puck ended up laying still in the blue paint on a rebound off Parenteau’s pad and Millette was ‘Johnny on the spot.’ It pulled the Canes within one, and were is not for a massive 3 on 1 save by the Raiders’ netminder, the game probably would have been tied after 20.
Rylan Parenteau asserted himself as the difference maker in the second period. The Hurricanes arguably generated the better chances but time and time again they were denied by the Raiders netminder. It was the Raiders that would score the only goal in the middle frame. Gardiner struck on the man advantage, a shot from the slot that beat Sittler, and just like that, the Raiders had restored their two goal cushion.
The third period saw the Hurricanes push to find an equalizer. At the 8:52 mark Ryley Lindgren would score in the PP to pull the road-team within one. From there it was a cat-and-mouse game. Lethbridge opened things up but continued to be brushed aside by the stellar play of Rylan Parenteau. They would go on to pull Sittler quite early, but the tying goal never came. Credit the Raiders for their puck pressure as Lethbridge struggled to establish zone-time in the dying minutes.
Final score, 3 – 2 Raiders.
It’s a somewhat shorter post-game tonight but that won’t stop me from breaking things down as best I can. This was not a poor effort by the Hurricanes. In fact, I had very little issue with their game tonight.
I really feel that this is just “one of those games”.
As they have in almost all of their meetings this season, the Raiders got the better goaltending tonight. I don’t want to make it sound like Sittler struggled, because outside of maybe the Raiders second goal, he was fine.
The story is less about Sittler and more about how good Parenteau was. Time and time again he came up with the big saves his team needed to get the win. Both the goals Lethbridge did score came on the man-advantage and Parenteau was there to make the initial save on both. He was the difference-maker.
It’s always frustrating when the turning point of the game is in the first few minutes, but in many ways that’s exactly what it turned out the be. Sure the Hurricanes had opportunities as the game progressed, but the quick two goals the Raiders scored in the first five minutes really set the tone.
It forced the Canes into a style of game I don’t believe they wanted to play. By-in-large I actually feel the Hurricanes were the better team tonight. Unfortunately they weren’t the better team for a full 60 minutes and that’s pretty much the story.
Overall, it would have been great to find a way to get at least one point tonight but, in the grand scheme of things, the road trip was a success. Lethbridge took 4/6 possible points and more importantly, looked pretty strong in doing it. At no point on this trip did the team really get outplayed by their opposition. The team appears to be rounding itself into form nicely and, while I’m sure they will be disappointed with the loss, I like the direction they are trending.
The team is back in action Tuesday in Cranbrook for a date with the lowly ICE. I can already tell you that a repeat performance of their shutout loss to Kootenay would be a massive hit to team moral and I expect Lethbridge will be playing with a chip on their shoulder.
We will wait and see.