GDB 69.0 WRAP UP: FLIP THE SCRIPT
Oh the difference a day can make. Perhaps it was the looming time change or the upcoming Pi day on Monday, but these two teams pulled a full reversal from Friday night’s game in Lethbridge. Maybe it was a higher power, the hockey gods if you will, but some unknown force in the universe determined that script was going to be the same with the characters assuming diametrically different roles a mere 24 hours after puck drop in Lethbridge.
It was the same but it was different. It was different but it was the same. It almost makes my brain hurt.
We wrap below.
There was a definitive physical tone to this game right from the opening faceoff. Both teams were looking to take the body and there were plenty of extra-curricular activities after the whistle in the game’s opening minutes. A familiar narrative began to appear for the Canes in the opening stanza. It was one of missed opportunities. The Canes were handed their first power play 2:15 into the game. While Lethbridge managed to generate some pressure over the 2 minutes they were unable to capitalize and go up on the scoreboard.
The Rebels would opening the scoring not long after the Canes PP ended when Colton Bobyk would put a wrister on net, from the point, which would find its way to the twine past a heavily screened Sittler. From there, the rest of the period was all about not being able to capitalize for the Canes. Lethbridge would see a further 4 power play opportunities before the opening 20 came to close; however, they were unable to generate any offence and would hit the dressing room down 1-0 after 1.Oh what could have been…
The second got off to an abysmal start for the Hurricanes. Jake DeBrusk would make 2-0 for the Rebels on as greasy a goal as you will ever see. He fired a seemingly harmless shot deep into the Canes zone that would ultimately carom off the boards, off Sittler’s back, and into the Canes net. That was just the beginning for the Rebels in the middle period. Kayle Doetzel would make it 3-0 Red Deer on delayed penalty call to Lethbridge. While Sittler was able to make the initial save on the Musil shot, Doetzel was able to corral the rebound and put it into the open cage on the rebound.
The Rebels would strike again at 7:58 of the second on the power play. Adam Helewka was allowed to walk in unchallenged from the point and would rifle one up and over Sittler’s glove. Stuart Skinner would come in at that point to relieve Sittler; however, on the very next shift Haydn Fleury would make it 5-0 for the home team.
The Rebels weren’t done there as Haegel would put them up by 6 on another PP. It was a similar play to the Doetzel goal, as Skinner was able to make the initial save, but Haegel was able to get to the rebound unchallenged and fire the puck to an open cage. Tyler Wong would get the Canes on the board with a bullet of a wrister at 11:03 of the 2nd, but it was far too little, far too late. 6-1 is how the period would end.
Oh the 3rd period. There’s not much to say about it. The Rebels were content to go into full defensive mode (as they should be) and the Canes were unable to generate much offence.
The lone interesting point of the period was a scrap between Andrew Nielsen and Connor Bleackley. Nielsen gets the decision in the fight for feeding Bleackley a multitude of uppercuts in the clinch. However, the real entertainment came once the two players were in the box. They did not stop yapping at each other for the entire 5 minutes and change that they spent in the sin bin. Oh to have been a fly on the wall. I’m not sure what was said, but I do know it was NSFW. The game would unceremoniously end, for Canes and their fans at least, in a 6-1 Rebels victory.
- Congratulations to Josh Tarzwell on his regular season debut, too bad it didn’t go better.
- Credit to Carter Folk tonight. He was arguably the lone Cane that was really noticeable tonight. He worked hard to get pucks deep and tried to get the cycle going. He was engaged physically and made is presence felt. It was bright spot on an otherwise dark evening.
- Really, there’s not a lot else to say here.
- Missed opportunities. This could have been a COMPLETELY different game if the Canes had been able to score even one goal on their 5 PP’s in the first.
- The D was far more passive tonight than they were last night. They weren’t challenging the Rebels on the breakout, nor were they getting involved in the rush.
- The passing. Last night the Canes were incredibly crisp with their passing. Tonight was a different story. Instead of being tape to tape, the passes were often into the skates or off the heel. It really prevented Lethbridge from getting their speed game going.
- The Canes seem to be forcing the issue tonight instead of letting the game come to them. They continually attempted cross seam passes in the offensive zone instead of trying to get the cycle going, especially on the PP. The problem was that Red Deer was ready and would often anticipate the pass and force the play up ice.
- There seemed to be a general lack of fire from the Canes bench. Perhaps they were tired or perhaps it was something else, but the body language wasn’t positive in this one. Aside from the Folk, along with the Nielsen and Davis fights, the fire was just not there.
Call it what you will, but this game was a complete reversal of fortunes for these two clubs. It is almost eerie how complete and opposite the change was. Not only was the score the replicated with a different winner, but many of the same problems that plagued the Rebels last night appeared for the Canes tonight.
Thankfully, the Canes and their fans can take solace in still having a 3 point lead in the Central. It’s small consolation, but it’s something I guess. What I do know is that win versus the Oil Kings tomorrow night in Lethbridge cane make everything feel a little bit better.
There will be no pre-game article for the Sunday game vs. Edmonton. The triple header has condensed our writing schedule and this post game was posted late (Brock’s fault). Instead, we will update any information prior to the game via Twitter and proceed with our usual post game wrap up afterwards.