Saturday, December 08, 2007

Day Three, Chiefs Down Broncos 3-1

Two goals just 29 seconds apart in the 2nd period led to a Spokane 3-1 win over the visiting Broncos. Mike Reddington's first of the year sent the teddy bears on the ice 3:20 into the 2nd period. Judd Blackwater added a 2nd marker seconds later.

Dale Wiese would score the games first goal in the 1st period on a two on one rush up the ice with Levi Nelson. There is some discrepancy as to who got the goal. The puck went off a Chief defenseman in front and behind Kevin Armstrong.

The game got physical in the third with a couple of scraps. Zack Smith toiled with David Rutherford and Erik Felde renewed acquaintances with Chris Bruton.
I was impressed with the Chiefs but by no means did they blow me away. For being ranked 2nd in the CHL and the WHL's top team, the Chiefs are certainly beatable, although not on this night.

Their defense is suspect. But when you can play in the other teams end for most of the night it takes a lot of pressure of your defensive corps. There isn't a big name defenseman on the Chiefs team except for the star on the rise that is 16 year-old Jared Cowen. The rest are just ok. The Broncos wheeled around pretty good inside their zone a couple of times but couldn't put the puck home. Their goaltending and offensive abilities are fantastic. The top line of Drayson Bowman, Mitch Wall and Chris Bruton has put up some big numbers this season.

So day three is in the books. It didn't start well. The bus had some problems with the transmission and the crew was forced to bundle up in the -14 weather and hoof it over to the rink (about a 10 minute jaunt).

(left to right) Mike Brown, Derek Claffey, Spencer McAvoy and Joel Rogers get ready for the chilly walk to the Cranbrook Rec Plex.

The Red Deer Rebels occupied the hotel across the street from the Broncos. They made the overnight trip to Cranbrook from home after beating the Regina Pats 4-1. Thanks Rebs!

The team hit the road for Spokane shortly after 1:30pm and crossed into the U.S. at Kings Gate portal in Idaho. It provided us with a lighter moment. A border patrol officer from the Department of Homeland security entered our bus to have a look at all our passports. He finally reached Czech import Jan Dalecky just a seat behind me. Here's how the conversation went.
Officer: What's this... where's your passport? Where are you from?
Jan: I from Czech Republic
Officer: So are you here visiting?
Jan: (blank expression)
Officer: Are you a landed immigrant?
Jan: (mouth open but no words coming out)
Officer: What's your deal, what's your story young man, c'mon!
The bus went silent.....
Officer: Oh I'm just messin' with ya....
The whole bus erupted with laughter. The border patrol officer had me going. I think Jan might have had an accident in the process.

Spokane Arena perspective from the Broncos bench

10 minutes away from face-off. 8000 fans would file their way in for the Saturday night contest.

View from the broadcast booth. The Broncos huddle around goaltender Travis Yonkman as they go through their opening face-off routine

Finally, the teddy bears. After blanking Kootenay on their Teddy Bear Toss Night, the Broncos couldn't keep the Chiefs off the scoreboard. Mike Reddington's goal 3:20 into the 2nd period brought the onslaught of bears onto the ice.

The Broncos will take tomorrow off from game action but will practice in the morning before some afternoon free time. I have a lengthy shopping list and won't have much time to do it when I get back home so I may take care of a few Christmas gifts.

Included on the shopping list will be a new pair of swimming trunks. We booked our Christmas trip to the Domincan today. Nine days and counting to the warm sunshine and sandy beaches.

More tomorrow,

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