Saturday, September 08, 2007

Broncos / Warriors, More Thoughts....

- The Broncos looked good in the 4-1 victory in Moose Jaw. Granted 9 players were away at NHL camps combined for both teams. Moose Jaw's entire top line of Calla/Reese/Holzapfel were all away.

- The Broncos played hard and were tenacious, out shooting and out chancing the Warriors by a large margin. It was exciting to see that kind of effort on the road.

- Dale Wiese looked great in his first pre-season game after sitting out the pre-season tournament. He scored twice and had numerous other chances. He absolutely blew-up Moose Jaw Euro Martin Filo in a mid-ice hit.

- 16 year-old rookie Cody Eakin and 17 year-old Justin Dowling showed flashes of brilliance. Eakin shelved a snap shot over Kurt Jory for the Broncos 3rd goal. A quick release and heavy shot rang the back crossbar over Jory's glove. Get excited about this youngster Bronco fans.

Dowling had some opportunities but couldn't finish. He danced in and out of traffic with confidence and looked like a veteran.

- Spencer McAcoy looked like a seasoned blue liner. The forward turned defenseman played well in his own zone and was tough to beat one-on-one. He looks like he'll be fine back there.

- Geordie Wudrick finished the night with one assist on a nice set-up on Dale Wiese's 2nd goal of the night.

- Great half a game for goaltender Travis Yonkman. In 30 minutes of action he made all 17 saves and was on top of his game. He made it look easy and relaxed. That's when he's at his best. Rebounds neatly tucked away, he knew where the puck was after it hit him and was out challenging shooters. Nice performance. It looks like he's ready to be the #1 man after waiting in the wings for two seasons.

- Ian Curtis looked good but only had to face six shots. One back-hand got through his five-hole off the rush courtesy Brad Reige. Limited action for Curtis though who was pretty much a spectator for his half a game.

- 16 year-old defenseman Joel Rogers can play. Expect him to stick. He made some smart plays in his own zone and isn't afraid to wheel the puck out of his own zone. He will be a nice addition.

As for the Warriors I was unimpressed. They put forth a lacklustre effort and looked lost at times - something Head Coach Dave Hunchak agreed with post-game in a make shift media scrum outside his office. Hunchak says they spent the week learning new systems all over the ice and it may have been too much to comprehend in just a week.

-Only 16 year-old Justin Maylan stood out on the Warriors side. Last year's first rounder had the most opportunities but failed to capitalize.

-I also didn't see anything out of Moose Jaw's two European players to write home about. Forward Martin Filo looked slow and choppy. I didn't even notice Tomas Karpov. Moose Jaw has a lot of talented forwards and will have a log jam to start the season. I just can't see these two being impact guys. Why not give another western Canadian player a shot instead of flying over a Slovak and a Czech to simply blend into the scenery? As it stands both Swift Current and Moose Jaw don't get the high end Euros like a Calgary or Vancouver. I'm sure the Broncos or Warriors feelings wouldn't be hurt if the import rule was dropped to one player instead of two. That's not my fight and I'll leave it at that. Hockey Canada and the CHL continue to talk about the European import situation. We'll see if there is any movement on the rules in the coming years.

-Moose Jaw is also going to need a veteran defenseman they can lean on. Apparently GM Chad Lang is out west trying to land one. Their blueline as it stands is just too young and inexperienced. In a couple years it will be a strong group but for the time being they need to get one or two veterans back there.

The Broncos are in Brandon tonight, I'll have a small recap post-game from the information I gather from the coaching staff.


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