Thursday, April 25, 2013

Kamloops V Portland: Games 3 & 4



**** Game 3 ****

“It was a matter of, we weren’t generating what we thought we needed to generate,” Guy Charron, the Blazers’ head coach, explained. “You sometimes go back to what gave you success and early on they were the top line in the WHL. There was no reason to think they wouldn’t be able to put it together.”

“They’re a good line,” said Travis Green, Portland’s interim general manager and head coach, “one of the best lines in the league. But we made mistakes tonight that we don’t usually make.”

I was kind of worried all day leading up to Game 4, but then this happened:

**** Game 4 ****

The second period took on something of a different tone, with the Blazers pushing and the Winterhawks seeming to have lost the oomph from their game.
It started when Portland wasn’t able to muster even one shot on a power play that took up the first 1:44 of the period.
And it continued for the rest of the period, the result being a 16-5 edge in shots for the home boys, but they weren’t able to solve Carruth. On one occasion when Carruth was beaten, winger JC Lipon drilled a goalpost.
In the second half of period, Kamloops forwards Kale Kessy and Colin Smith both had Carruth dead to rights but couldn’t beat him.
“I thought our second period was very strong. We had 16 shots,” Charron said. “But, again, as we were having momentum we took another penalty in the offensive zone.”
Kessy was penalized for roughing at 13:21 after he separated Jones’ head from his helmet.
“It’s frustrating for everyone,” Charron continued, “because we’re a team that when things go well, yeah, we’re a happy group and we play well . . . we’re hard to play against. But adversity . . . all year we’ve had a difficult time dealing with it.”

I concur with Drinnan that the 'Hawks carried the play in the 1st, aided by an early 5-on-3 which they converted.  2-0 at the break.

However, that 2nd period was all Kamloops.  They didn't even need to run the zamboni in their end of the ice.  They threw the goddamned kitchen sink at Carruth, who was  named CHL goalie of the week,  and got nothing.  The 'Hawks fans in the chat room were just hoping to get to the break without giving up too many goals.

Starting out the 3rd with that early Petan goal just killed the Blazers - as it would anyone.  Took the life right out of the building.  Then, controversy:

Iverson was given a 5 min major + tossed from the game.

Watching that hit with my Rose Garden colored glasses on, it looks like clean shoulder-to-chest to me.  No charging, no leaving the feet, no targeting the head, not late.

That being said, I get it.  You and I have the benefit of watching it as many times as we like, and in slow motion.  In real time, at least on the webstream - this hit sounded gnarly.  Sounded like a shotgun blast, to be honest.  Then, you've got Ranford's cage flying - which is a terrible visual.

Now, you have heard a thunderous check, and there's a heart & soul 5 year Blazer laying there in a heap.  The natives are restless, booing with some empties littering the playing surface.  The Blazer trainer is on the ice.  The linesman made the call, which you almost have to do just to avoid a potential riot - Kamloops is known as "Little Montreal" after all.

**** Game 5 preview ****

Well, goddamned blogger won't load photos right now - which sucks.

Its a whiteout for game 5.  I'm pretty sure this was an organic thing between the players, and they just got behind it one by one.  I don't think I've ever seen that before:  generally the team handles the marketing.  These kids just got a wild hair, and we need to back them up.

Also cranking up the fun factor, Chase Souto said to Kamloops Weekly:

After the game, Blazer forward Chase Souto offered these words when asked about the daunting task of erasing the two-game deficit.
"We did it last year. I think we're going to go in their barn, cause a ruck and shut their fans up," he said. "Bunch of losers down there. Just gonna give it our all."

I love that kind of stuff.  Should be a party on Friday night.  The 'Hawks facebook page was all over that.

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