That might be the toughest two game swing in the WHL aside from doing an Everett/Vancouver back-to-backer.
First of all, I apologize for the delay in posts. Two games, 1500 kms, over two days doesn't leave a lot ot time for "blogging". I appreciate your patience.
The Medicine Hat Tigers and the Kootenay Ice are more than just two good teams who play their best at home. I swear they have a higher power guiding them in their own barns. Similar to the "Ghosts of Yankee Stadium", there is something that is out of the norm in those two buildings. It takes an enormous effort to win in those rinks - especially for the Broncos who have won only once combined in Cranbrook and Medicine Hat in the last three years!
Take nothing away from this team's effort. They outshoot the 'Hat 33-27 and outplay them through two periods. In Kootenay, they get out to a great start but find themselves down 2-0 after the 1st.
They played physical both nights, didn't back down and played hard. It's just wasn't enough.
7-3 for the Ice in no way reflects how the game was played. The Ice played in spurts - scoring goals #1 and #2 just :37 seconds apart. Goals #3 and #4 came :20 seconds apart and goals #6 and #7 just :22 seconds apart.
Assistant coach Dave Hunchak said in the post-game show that they outchanced the Ice but the difference is their top-end players finish chances off while the Broncos continue to be denied. He also commented that Wednesday's game vs Portland is a game they "can and should win". They host the 'Hawks Wedneday night at 7:30pm
Here's some quick weekend tidbits . . .
- Levi Nelson's goading of Derek Dorsett was certainly a nice change. We've seen enough of Dorsett's antics (effective as they are) used against the Broncos. Nelson drew Dorsett into taking an unsportsmanlike penalty in the 2nd period. Nelson then went on to score the PP goal. I asked Nelson what it's like to be booed by 4006 Tiger fans everytime he touched the puck, "Awesome!" replied Levi.
- Who heard me say "Whoa!" just before going into commercial during the Broncos/Kootenay broadcast as we headed to the 2nd intermission? Here's why. Big Karl Benke sat in the booth with me during the game. He's a big guy with big feet! I had my mixer board power source, mini disc recorder cable, phone line chord, lap-top power chord, internet cable, cell phone charger, and PSP charger all on the counter with all the dangling chords underneath. Well, when Karl stood up to leave he managed to wrap those big size 14's around them all . . . and you guessed it. EVERYTHING came crashing to the floor. He knocked us off the air but no harm done to the gear.
- Derek Claffey and Matt Tassone didn't make the trip. Claffey is suffering from a sore groin, Tassone was sick. Their return to the line-up is uncertain, especially Tassone.
-Dane Crowley and Medicine Hat tough guy Jordan Bendfeld scrapped 3 seconds into the game Friday night. Crowley told me afterwards "I asked him to go". Bendfeld takes the decision landing three body shots to Dane's two. Can't say I've seen that before. 18 year old Bendfeld is 6'3 and ripped from head to toe at 230 pounds. He's the heir to the heaveyweight throne presently occupied by Kamloops' Matt Kassian.