GDB R1G5 WRAP UP: THE END

  • Brock Boot

The-End-Cover

 

I often find myself resenting a good movie for ending too soon. I’m hunkered down with popcorn and some Sprite in the theater all ready for the adventure to continue when it suddenly ends. It always makes me a little sad. I want to know what happens to the characters from that point on! Unfortunately, the filmmakers and writers decide to end the tale – and in turn – leave you guessing.

The flipside of course, is being in a theater watching an awful film that never. seems. to. end. It’s the WORST. You squirm, look around angrily, start to resent the characters and the actors bringing them to life, look at your watch, and hope that every fade to black is the last.

Tonight’s game was both of those two experiences rolled into one. On the broad level, this season was exceptional! I didn’t, and still don’t, want it to end! I’m curious about what comes next?! What sort of great stories and plot lines are we missing out on now that it’s ended? I’m hungry for more adventures with the 2015-2016 Hurricanes.

On the other, tonight was a poorly written horror film with B-list actors. It was a nightmare I couldn’t wait to see the final credits roll. By the time the Pats had rubbed enough salt in the wound to preserve a thousand hams, I was ready for the buzzer to sound, and mercifully, it did.

We wrap.     

 

Post-12

This game did not start the way the Hurricanes were hoping. The crowd was intense, there was passion, everyone was amped… and less than two minutes in, Andrew Nielsen took an ill-advised delayed penalty. Before they could touch the puck, Sam Steel took a pass and wired it passed Skinner. The goal went under review for the net being knocked off but eventually was ruled as a “fair”. 1 – 0 Regina.

It got worse.

A giveaway in the corner just minutes later gave Lane Zablocki a tap in and it was 2 – 0. By the halfway mark Steel had added another (this time shorthanded) and it was a three goal lead. Once again, it was trouble in the Canes corner and Steel needed only to shoot the puck into the yawning cage. A building that had been raucous and excited just minutes earlier was suddenly reserved and shocked.  

The Pats would score again but I honestly don’t remember the goal. I think I was talking to someone. How’s that for honesty?! This is a blog so we can defy convention.

 

Post-122

Long story short, the Canes got crucified in the 1st period. Sittler came in for Skinner before the end of the frame but the damage was done (none of it was done by Skinner to be clear. He was fine). They were just flat out bad. As much as it pains me to say, if there was a word for the 1st period it was “crumble”.

There was a glimmer of hope midway through the second when Tyler Wong deflected a point shot past Brown on the powerplay. It was a smart shot by Burke and (obviously) a massive goal for the captain and his team. Unfortunately for the home team, they couldn’t seem to get another before the period ended.  

Overall, the second period saw the Hurricanes score a goal but all things being equal, they were lucky to not surrender more. Actually, I take that back. There was no luck involved. Jayden Sitter is the reason they didn’t surrender more goals in the second frame. He was outstanding. He stopped numerous breakaways and odd man rushes. It was a period of titanic proportions for the veteran netminder.

You could feel a tension in the air to start the 3rd. Fans were down but still clinging on to something. When Giorgio Estephan scored off the rush five minutes in, things changed. The goal fanned the spark of hope into a flame. It was 4 – 2! They could still pull it off?!

 

Post-1232

Unfortunately the Estephan goal made it hurt more when Wagner planted the dagger on a 4 on 4 rush. It was an emotional goal and the weight of it got the better of Wong. Seconds after the goal, Tyler left his feet to deliver a high, late hit on Wagner (I confess I haven’t seen replay so either the hit was bad or Wagner embellished. Either way, a bad play). He was assessed five and a game.

The wheels had officially fallen off.

Brooks would score early on the five minute major to put Regina up 6 – 2. In response, the Hurricanes would pull Sittler early (with around 8 minutes let) to try generate something – anything – but the Pats would add another into the open cage. There was little to no mercy shown by the road team. No love lost. It was a beat down and everyone knew it.

When the dust finally settled, the Regina Pats emerged victorious with a 7 – 2 win and a 4 – 1 series win. The two teams shook hands, the Hurricanes received an ovation from what was left of the crowd, and overagers Cory Millette and Arvin Atwal emotionally soaked in every second they could before leaving the ice. It was an impassioned end to a passionate season but that’s what is was – the end. Final score, 7 – 2 Pats.

 

 

 The-Good

GOOD

  • Jayden Sittler came into the game cold and was spectacular. On a night where I struggled to muster “good points”, Jayden was the bright and shining star. He made countless crucial stops in the 2nd period when the game was still on the line. Were it not for him, things would have gotten out of hand far earlier than they did.
  • Arvin Atwal’s playoff beard is so so so good. It’s a shame we won’t see it grow to it’s full glory.
  • Many left, but for those true-blue fans that stuck it out and saluted the team, I salute YOU. Thank you for staying to recognize the efforts of a team that did great things. I know it was hard to celebrate them after a 7 – 2 beatdown… hell, I struggled with it, but in the end, I know the emotion will subside and all fans will realize what this team really did accomplish. It was hard, but I’m so happy the for the fans that stayed and put their hands together.
  • This game did eventually end.   

 

 

 

Not-So-Good

NOT SO GOOD

  • The season is over and that makes me sad.
  • We never get to see Atwal, Gutierrez or Millette suit up as Hurricanes again. Gonna miss those guys. Happy they were part of the ride.
  • Starting the game with a foolish delayed penalty… I mean… it just evaporated everything. All the hope, all the build up, and all the energy instantly disappeared and frankly, the team crumbled. It was a nightmare start to a nightmare game.  
  • I will have to see it again, but the whole Wong ejection was bad. Either on him or on the officials… I don’t know until I rewatch it. One way or another it was bad and I hated to see Tyler’s season end like that. He should have been on the ice at the end to salute and be saluted – but instead had to hit the showers early.
  • Anytime you surrender a shorthanded goal it’s bad… when you surrender an early back-breaking short-handed goal the way the Canes did tonight, it hurts all the more. It was a godawful powerplay so the shorty wasn’t a shock. The Pats were winning every race and puck battle.  
  • Oh man… this is hard. I’m trying to keep my emotions in check but it’s difficult when you have so much to say. What I WILL say is tonight there was a select few Hurricane players who dearly cost their team. I don’t need to name names because if you’re the kind of fan who’s reading this, you probably already know. It was just disappointing. There are a few “high-risk high-reward” players on the roster and unfortunately in this series, we saw more of the former and less of the latter. Tonight was no exception.    
  • I could go on and on after this loss but is there really anything to be gained from it? At the end of it all, the Regina Pats were the better team both  tonight and in the series. It pains me to say, but from top to bottom – front to back – the Pats deserved this win.

 

 

THE OTHER SIDE

  • Congrats to the Pats for playing an impressive series. They came in the technical underdogs and were the better team. I see no reason they can’t give the Hitmen or Rebels big trouble.
  • Connor Hobbs was one of the MVP’s in my eyes. Hobbs was a beast on the Pats blueline. He got in on the offense yes, but mostly I was impressed with his play in the Pats zone. Hobbs was physically intimidating and he used it to dictate how the Hurricane attack faced him. By tonight, it was clear to me that the Hurricanes were afraid to try carry the puck around him wide. They didn’t want to suffer the big hits he was delivering. That’s the kind of intimidation and effective defense that wins game in the playoffs.  
  • The Pats were incredible in “the house” all series long. What I mean by that is they were marvelous and blocking shots and clearing pucks down in the prime scoring areas. The Canes simply could not overcome.
  • Tyler Brown didn’t get enough respect heading into this series – from myself included. I had said confidently in my pre-series preview that the Canes held the goaltending advantage. I still believe they do! But Brown was all he needed to be and more! He got better as the series progressed. He grew in confidence and backed up his prediction that the Canes would crumble. He was right.
  • Adam Brooks was elite this series. I know it’s beating a dead horse, but it would be a travesty to neglect to mention it. Brooks found a whole new gear in this series, and when Steel started to capitalize on his chances too, it was a KO.  

 

CONCLUSIONS

Cut! That’s a wrap! Roll credits!

Whether it was a movie you were excited to see end or you are devastated at the loss – it’s over. There is no tomorrow – at least not a Hurricanes tomorrow – and I admit I’m disappointed about it.

The sun will, however, rise bright and early in the morning. Life will move on and the Canes and their fans will start the process of, well… processing everything that just happened. That’s where I’m at right now.

We just saw allot of things play out in very dramatic fashion. It’s going to take some time to digest it all. Maybe that’s why I still feel conflicted as I write this. Time will bring clarity. It always does.

What I CAN say with certainty is this was a great season! I know you don’t want to hear that right now and I feel hollow saying it, but it’s the truth. This group of players blazed a new trail for the franchise and while we may be reeling now, I believe we have allot to thank them for. Tonight’s loss hurts because of its nature. It wasn’t a graceful fall… but it was a fall none-the-less.

I believe we bore witness to something special this season, even if it isn’t what we wanted it to be. Canes Domain still has lots to say and this is not end for us. We will have full coverage of the season ending in the coming days.

For tonight though, I want to say a few thank yous.

Thank you to GM Peter Anholt for authoring all this madness. It’s been sensational and you’re the architect. We (hockey fans in Lethbridge/the team) wouldn’t be here without you.

Thank you to coach Kisio for taking the pieces you were given and forming them into a cohesive unit. The special teams and overall body of work is highly praiseworthy, especially considering this is a first time thing.

Thank you to the overage players. Arvin, Cory, and Justin initially seemed like a cobbled together group of vets who no one knew much about. All three gave hockey fans in Lethbridge something to talk about this season.

To the rest of the team, their parents, and the billets, well done on a successful season. Tonight is the end, but tomorrow is the beginning.

Thanks to all the readers for for a great season of game-day coverage. We will see you in the coming days as we break down the series loss and try decipher the pieces.  

For Canes Domain, I wish you all a great night,

Brock

 

drop-a-comment

 

15 thoughts on “GDB R1G5 WRAP UP: THE END”

  1. Justin says:

    Will you be writing this summer about anything that’s going on with the hurricanes?

    1. Brock Boot says:

      Yes Justin. This isn’t the end for us. We will have lots more content in the next few days/weeks.

  2. dbourassa says:

    Well, that third period was tough to watch. I really hated to see it end that way and so early in the period too. It seemed like things were going to get very interesting, with the early goal on Tyler Brown being a completely soft one that cut the lead to two, a deficit the Hurricanes have closed easily on other nights. Then a few minutes later Wagner goes the other way and scores and yes, everything crumbled from there. It was a big goal for the Pats as it was, but it was the hit that followed it that really ended the game in my eyes. The Wong hit was late, he left his feet, caught Wagner high; it just checks off a lot of the boxes on a hit that is going to be called every single time and in a climate where they’re really trying to be strict about contact to the head, the call didn’t surprise me at all. It’s one of the (very few) things I dislike about Wong’s game, his tendency to jump nearly every time he goes for a hit. Make no mistake though, I’m not saying he’s trying to be dirty when he does this. I feel it’s almost like a reflex type thing. When you’re trying to lay a big hit on a guy who’s got your number in the size department, jumping into it just seems natural. It’s a very common thing among smaller players that play with a physical edge because it’s the easiest way to even that size difference out, but… it’s also against the rules for a good reason.

    Another thing I wasn’t so thrilled to see was the number of fans who emptied out of the arena after that goal. I understand the disappointment (I’ve felt it and expect to again at some point this year) and I know every team has their fairweather fans, but if there was one team in the league that deserved collective recognition for the year they’ve had, the Hurricanes are that team. The way this franchise was able to turn itself around this year is something every rebuilding team in the league can only hope to do next year and they did it through a ton of hard work, A.K.A. the right way. It’s easy to throw draft picks and prospects at any team that has a proven player up for grabs, but doing it the right way takes patience from the fans and hard work from the players to get to the level expected of them. You fans have waited a long time without a doubt and I feel the players far exceeded expectations. I know for a fact I didn’t see any pre-season predictions with the Hurricanes at #1 in the Central Division, let alone leading the Eastern Conference until the team that was actually built to win it finally shaped up or spending any time at all as #1 overall in the entire league. And so I was very glad to see the ones that stayed until the bitter end give them the standing ovation and applause they deserve. They had a great year.

    1. Brock Boot says:

      Derrick, if you missed it, I replied to your comment from yesterday’s preview. Just wanted to say thanks for all your input throughout the series. Hope the Pats make a deep drive now! Knock out them Rebels for us will you!

      1. dbourassa says:

        Always glad to contribute when I can and looking forward to seeing what else you come up with in the future, as well as any reflections on the season.

        As for the Rebels, I’m kind of still holding out hope that the Hitmen defy the odds and take care of that because based on the last meeting with the Rebels I’m not sure I like that match-up too much. Then again, when certain players finally take that next step in playoffs it can change things greatly.

    2. Jeremy Sakamoto says:

      Wonderfully stated! After years of futility this year’s squad was a delight to watch. I wish the building had stayed a packed house to send the boys out in style as it is what they deserved.

      1. Brock Boot says:

        It’s tough to separate your emotions in those times. On one hand you’re pissed about a terrible game… But deep down you know it was a good year.

  3. cody gergely says:

    i do not agree with the wong call. in my opinon the ref missed a call right infront of him at the pats end. also when your skating as fast as wong was its hard to stop. from my angle it didnt look like wong touched him. i was in GG to give you an idea of the angle i had. i believe that their was a dive on waggners part. refs were abousolty trash.

    1. Jeremy Sakamoto says:

      I think your right about the missed call in the Pats’ end before the goal and hit. It probably was a major factor on Wong’s mindset leading up to the hit (pure speculation right there). I can’t speak to how much contact Wong made on the hit as it’s tough to tell on the replay, but it was definitely a dangerous hit where he left his feet before making contact. It’s a dangerous type hit that they are trying to eliminate from the game. The captain is a heart on his sleeve type player and it usually serves him well, in that moment not so much I think. His frustration was palpable, like at the end of the 2nd when he got away with an axe handle slash.

      All that being said he was excellent to watch this season and I look forward to his captaincy next season.

      1. Cody says:

        I also think a reason is Wong had taken an complete beating so I think he got frustrated. It’s nice to see that wing has that no die attitude. As you could see he has a whole city behind him. I’m looking very forward to next season.

  4. Peter says:

    Hey Brock have fun at the Border? Your car really isn’t worth enough to take it over eh? Hope you enjoyed the wait I know I did.

    1. Brock Boot says:

      No way!! Was that you in the service station?!? Either that or you’re a legit stalker…. both of which I appreciate. haha

  5. @TheransDad says:

    I felt every grain of those thousand salted hams as I watched our canes season wind down to the last few seconds. I felt bad for the guys. I felt the refs really limited any possible physicality that could have taken place to emotionally set the tones for games after a loss. The Wong hit seemed a bit heavy handed especially since Wagner was back out soon after. A double minor maybe but it was a penalty none the less. Key injuries to personnel mixed with untimely penalties and a suspension coupled with lack of adaptation to the changing style of the opponent all led to an unspectacular end to a great season. The hockey greats all acknowledge the lessons of losing as important in learning how to win and I think this series will be fresh in their minds all season and into next years playoffs. We have many key pieces returning and the future is bright! I hope canes fans will come out in full force next year and support the boys! Kudos to the non bandwagon all weather fans! As for the fair weather bandwagon fans I challenge you to invest in these fine young gentlemen and the team they play for! Kudos to canes domain on a stellar job all year long!

  6. Cody says:

    Is their a chance end could get suspended for that hit.

  7. Allen says:

    I have been reading your blog a lot this season, and typically I am a reader and not a poster, but I can’t help but put my two cents in on this playoff run. People are being mostly critical of the players (some more than others) for the playoff results, however, I believe a big part of the blame has to fall on the coach and his lineup decisions since game two. Seems to me that after they lost one game, he went into panic mode and didn’t trust the players to dig themselves out of the hole. The line juggling and combinations were questionable at best. Playing Skeoch on forward was one of those “eye brow raising” lineup decisions in my opinion. The Canes needed Skeoch’s presence to stand the opposition up on the blue line and bring a physical presence that was much needed. Instead, he was put in a position that was so obviously out of his element that he spent most of the minimal time he was on the ice just trying to figure out where he should be. Another questionable decision was resting the playoffs somewhat on the back of a 15 year old with 2 WHL games worth of experience. I have no doubt that Addison will be a great addition to this team next year, but there is no way he had the experience to help take this team to the next round. Nor did Thunder Chief who dressed in game four.

    The team did not seem to be the cohesive group that they were at the start of the season and if Kisio gets “coach of the year” credit for the teams’ turnaround, then the blame for the dismal last month and a half of the season as well as playoffs should rest on his shoulders too. Just a thought………

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *