Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Frustrating Start, Frustrating Finish

The Broncos found another way to lose against the Brandon Wheat Kings in the sixth head-to-head loss of the season.

Lazy penalties in the first period and all-around flat performance out of the gate spotted the Wheat Kings a three-goal lead after 20 minutes. Brayden Schenn, Matt Calvert and Jordan Hale all scored in the opening frame.

The Broncos played considerably better the rest of the way, that is until a rally-killing 5-on-3 man advantage for 1:28 late in the 3rd period.

The Broncos were served-up a fantastic opportunity to finally get some points against the Wheat Kings in the season series until the two-man advantage went horribly wrong.

Not a single quality scoring chance was generated as the Broncos looked out of sync, confused and generally disorganized.

Matt Calvert would get out of the penalty box and find a loose puck in neutral ice to put the game away with 2:10 to play.

All the talk post-game was the unacceptable poor start and a the 5-on-3 gone bad late in the third.

"Our starts have been slow and it's unacceptable, especially against teams like Brandon. When you get down two or three goals it's tough to come back in this league. So, it starts in the dressing room and getting mentally prepared before the game," a frustrated John Negrin said in our post-game show.

He addressed the late powerplay problem:

"It's a point of the game with about four minutes left...there's no excuses. That's an opportunity you have to bury on. I don't think we were communicating and not seeing eye-to-eye. It was very disappointing. "

Forward Justin Dowling was on the ice for most on the 5-on-3 and felt similar.

"It was a lack of communication. I think everyone wanted to be the guy to score the goal. On a 5-on-3 you have to moving the puck around fast and today it was a lot of skating with it and not a lot of movement. We have to get pucks to the net and moving it around, opening lanes. When we find that line we have to shoot it or find a man open."

Assistant Coach Tim Kehler brought some good insight in the post-game Coaches Show. A disappointed Kehler shared his thoughts:

"It was disappointing to see the decisions that were made in a critical situation. Obviously it's a high pressure environment for those five guys to go out and are asked to execute. They know it's a key part in the game and our chance to tie things up.

But, you have to take the creativity out of it. Particularly on the 5-on-3, there's a very, very disciplined structure that you need to play with that's going to be effective. It works like Novocaine, it takes a little bit of time but it's going to work...everytime. If you share the puck around, if you have crisp puck movement and you play within the structure that was drawn up you're going to get those golden opportunities."

The powerplay follies took away somewhat of another lacklustre start to a game. Brandon came out and jumped on some lazy penalties to take a 2-0 lead on goals from Brayden Schenn and Matt Calvert just 7:53 into the period.

Before the end of the opening frame Jordan Hale scored his 3rd on the season to give Brandon a 3-0 lead after one.

The Broncos fought back on a Michael Stickland 2nd period tally and Geordie Wudrick's 27th of the year just 1:17 into the third.

A solid Tuesday crowd of 2554 took in the contest. They watched as the Broncos fell to a dismal 1-8 on Tuesday night's this season.

Kootenay is here Friday night.


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