I admit to being a little distracted during the first period of tonight's hockey game...apparently so were the Broncos.
With the game streaming on my laptop in the broadcast booth, I attempted to call the game in between plays in the 4th quarter of the West Semi Final. Ryan saw how distracted I was coming and took over between whistles. We were trying to keep Bronco fans in the building and on the radio kept up to date. The ending of the Riders game was a relief on a couple levels. Relief for the Riders win and relief that I could focus on the Broncos game.
About that game... The Broncos came out flat in the first period and went down a couple goals after the Raiders crashed the net and banged home a couple. Goals the Broncos have been famous for the last couple years.
Dale Wiese's shorthanded marker (Broncos first shorty of the year) with just over a minute to go in the 1st gave them some life going into the 2nd.
After killing off a double minor assessed to Levi Nelson, (two for tripping, two for some words for referee Devin Klein) the Broncos got a boost as Nelson was set up in front on a great effort from Dale Wiese to center the pass in front. We were tied at two.
The Raiders would take the lead late in the 2nd on a powerplay rebound goal. Another undisciplined penalty led to the go-ahead goal. Devin Klein called a good game tonight. He was fair, called what he saw and put the whistle away in the final minutes to let the teams decide it.
The third period featured a Raiders team bottling things up and chipping pucks out of their zone to hold on for the win. Dustin Butler made 13 third period saves and 31 in the hockey game. The Broncos are waiting for him to have an off-night. It hasn't happened in the first three meetings.
Like last year, the trend of teams beating the Broncos that are lower in the standings is continuing. It seems certain teams just give the Broncos problems. This year it looks like the Raiders.
The Broncos have most of the week off before hosting Kelly Macrimmon and the Brandon Wheat Kings. The Wheaties edged the Pats 2-1 in regulation earlier in the day.
Ok, this has been a long time coming and I think I speak on behalf of most of the teams and coaches in this league.
What's the deal with linseman Kelly Balaberda? This veteran WHL linseman seems to always try to be the star of the show.
The non-stop power tripping to both team benches and kicking out centerman after centerman in the face-off circle.... I'm getting overly annoyed with it. He holds a lecture to each center in the draw before dropping the puck...which...takes...forrr...evvv......er.
It had me openly saying "just drop the puck already Kelly " several times on tonight's broadcast. He's causing more problems than he's solving. Players start jawing at each other from sheer restlessness.
The league wants the games to be quicker and quicker yet this human rain delay is just focused on getting some facetime from those in attendance.
I'm friends with a few of the linies around the league. They're great guys and do a great job. They know their role out there and do nothing more, nothing less than what's asked from the league. To Ian Schafer, Chad Marshall, Brad Davie, Nathan Weiler...keep up the great work. The teams also appreciate your effort.
The league must think he's doing a fantastic job. He's been sent to all sorts of IIHF tournaments around the world. I think he's shared a few overseas flights with referee Chris Savage. Take that for what it's worth.
Just drop the puck. It's simple.
Monday Night Best Western Meet the Broncos as me along with Dean Chynoweth and Zack Smith at Kabos. We will be there from 5-7pm. Stop on by if you'd like.