Wow, do we have a couple doozys today! Today you get your choice of a pair of struggling WHL teams. Let's now make case for them both . . . you decide.
They just finished the road-trip from hell. They played six game through the East division only to grab one win (in Moose Jaw, but who isn't beating Moose Jaw these days?) They were blanked in Saskatoon,Regina and last night in Swift Current 3-0 - Travis Yonkman made 24 saves for his 2nd shutout of the season. They blew a two-goal lead in Prince Albert to lose in a shootout 3-2. They've won once in their last 9 games.
That's just some of the on-ice woes they have had as they head back to Oregon as I piece this together. RCMP report a fast moving bus heading West on the Transcanada.
Perhaps the biggest blows have come off the ice. In talking with Winterhawks' Head Coach Mike Williamson, it's the old saying "what can go wrong, will go wrong"
Bus and Bus Driver problems - the opening game of their swing in Regina, their bus driver slipped on the ice in the parking lot and banged his head. It required an ambulance pick-up and a visit to Regina General. Their bus also broke down along the swing - never fun when in the middle of the prairies.
Team related issues - Captain Kyle Bailey and leading scorer Rob Klinkhammer were both healthy scratches in Prince Albert for what Williamson referred to as "team issues that had to be dealt with". That's never good when it's two of your 20 year-olds in the stands.
Hotel and post-game meal issues - apparently they've had their share of booking issues along their trails. It always makes for extra headaches when things aren't going well.
Voice problems - Oh, man I feel terrible for Dean "Scooter" Vrooman. He's the voice of the Portland Winterhawks and has been for years and years. Well Scoot came down with what he calls the "Saskatchewan cold" and he didn't have a voice last night. He took our Eagle 94.1 feed and broadcasted it on winterhawks.com. Feel better Scoot. See you next year back in the Rose City.
Alright, moving on now . . .
The Regina Pats
All the lights are off in Patsville. They have hit the skids big time. They haven't scored since early in the 1st period against Chilliwack in their first game of their B.C. roadswing.
The span between goals now sits at a whopping 242 minutes and 18 seconds! That has to be approaching some sort of a record for the underachieving hockey club. They have been blanked in three straight games in Vancouver, Prince George in Kamloops.
Here is a few quotes from the Regina Pats Coaches Show. (courtesy of Regina Pats play-by-play host Rod Pedersen's blog at rodpedersen.blogspot.com)
That was a speechless game and I'm absolutely uninspired by how we played," fumed coach Curtis Hunt on CKRM's postgame show, "We played with absolute indifference toward each other and what we're trying to accomplish as a team. It's such a far cry from the team we've been at home and before this trip. It starts at the top and our captains weren't prepared to play tonight. We had some gutless plays tonight, some selfish plays. As much as it's gone, we've gotta learn and the time is now. We've gotta maybe have some wholesale changes because we played like a team that wants changes at the top. But we're not done fighting, I know that.""I take responsibility. It's my club and I take responsibility. It's our club, no question, but I'm the guy that pulls the strings. We've gotta figure this out and if there's a fire I deserve to be in it. I'll take the heat. We're a bunch of individuals playing for the name on the back of the jersey, not the front. We're not even playing for the guy beside ya and we've got it all wrong here."
Ok now you decide. Let's hear from ya.