Thursday, January 17, 2008

Six Pack 1st Period Carries Broncos to Victory

For all intensive purposes, last night's game vs the Red Deer Rebels was over after the 1st period.

The Broncos gave up the first goal just 2:07 in when Brandon Sutter's powerplay point shot rebounded of the back wall to a wide open Colby Kulhanek for the empty-netter. After that, the Broncos took over.

Six goals in a span of 12:16 put the Broncos up for good. Zack Smith got the parade started at 4:27, followed by Geordie Wudrick's 10th, Bretton Stamler's 1st as a Bronco at 8:18. Dale Wiese scored two pretty goals back-to-back at 10:00 and 14:48 His first picked up huge style points for his between the legs dangle on Rebels D Mike Scarborough. Mike Brown completed the flurry at 16:43 with his first of two on the evening.

It was a rough night for Rebels goaltender James Reimer. Coming in on a big-time roll as the WHL Player of the Week, Reimer had a let down game and was temporarily replaced for a couple minutes after the Broncos fourth goal. Morgan Clark played a couple of minutes before Reimer went back between the pipes.

The win was the Broncos 4th in a row on home ice as they prepare for a battle with the Vancouver Giants Saturday night.


- I talked to Rebels Coach Brian Sutter post-game. He had some interesting thoughts on the night. He told me he left Reimer for the whole game because they win and lose as a team. Reimer's been getting a lot of the glory around there for the last couple wins. The reigning WHL Player of the Week was shelled in the game in front of a young, inexperienced blueline. Was Sutter perhaps sending a bit of a message to his veteran goaltender? Not sure but it looked that way.

- Some late first period fireworks led to a couple of tilts. Levi Nelson hit Rebels D Juraj Valach pretty hard from behind as Valach touched up the puck on delayed penalty going to his team. Nelson didn't let up on the check in front of the Rebels bench and I don't blame them for reacting. The score is 6-1, you're about to take another penalty and an opposition player hits you late and from behind in front of you're own bench? That's a recipe for disaster.

Geordie Wudrick was on the wrong end with a bigger, stronger Cody Esposito while Matt Tassone wrestled with another Rebel player on the ice. Bretton Stamler had a tussle with Brennan Wray - it was deemed the 2nd fight of the melee and both players were handed game misconducts. Meanwhile Levi Nelson somehow escaped the entire incident with his gloves on and unscathed! I hope he thanked his teammates after that one. Levi actually played a pretty physical game and handed out a ton of hits.

- Brandon Sutter played a strong game and was in on all three Rebel goals. The 1st round pick of the Carolina Hurricanes still has some physical maturing to do before he makes the jump to pro hockey. Expect him back with the Rebels next season.

- Good to see Mike Brown up his goal total from one to three on the season after last night's game. The big, thick kid out of Calgary is a guy you can't help but cheer for. He has a great attitude and apparently has been busting it at practice big time lately.

That's all I can muster up this morning,

Have a good'er,


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