Sunday, February 15, 2009

Skills Challenge Today / Broncos & Blades Thoughts

Make sure to come down to the i-plex today for the Broncos Skills Challenge.  It begins at 3:30pm hosted by myself and Chance "The Breakfast Boys" on the Eagle 94.1 FM.

Team Chance battles Team Jon as we host the event from ice level.    Hardest Shot, Shooting Accuracy, Breakaway Relay and Fastest Skater.

Admission is only $5 for adults and free for kids when accompanied by an adult

Now... where did I put my skates?


Last night was a recipe for disaster for the Broncos heading in.  The Broncos were coming off their most lopsided win of the season while the Blades where coming off their biggest loss on the year.

It showed.

Just 67 seconds in it was already 2-0 Blades.  You could say the game was decided at that point.

Walker Wintoneak added his 2nd of the period at 17:29 to make it 3-0 Blades after one.

The Blades appeared to be the more sharper team.  More aware of the play and the first to locate pucks and win battles.  It didn't look good for the Broncos.

The Broncos would fight back with a 5-on-3 goal in the 2nd from Geordie Wudrick to make it 3-1. 

Blades Goaltender Brayden Holtby was outstanding making some big saves and was focused in on the puck.    A rebound performance after getting pulled in Medicine Hat the night before.  

One thing I notice about Holtby is a bit of a "show" factor which has crept into his game the last couple years.  He's a good goaltender and doesn't have to do the extra things to make a routine save look difficult or showy.

Elite goaltenders just make saves look easy. They don't flash the glove and turn the leather over on a long, unscreened wrist shot from behind the circle.   I thought Holtby made a meal out of a long Vause wristshot in the third.   

I used to act that way too.  But it was midget "A" hockey... and the score was probably 7-6... in the 2nd period.  

My thought is that he was challenged to be better by Coach/GM Lorne Molleken ( a former goaltender) who said as much in our pre-game show last night.

Holtby has an NHL contract already and will be moving on next season.  We will see if it's a trait that sticks or eventually gets away from with maturity.

Is he the Blades MVP?  Yes.

The Broncos fought back to make it 3-2 just six minutes into the 3rd period on Derek Claffey's shot from the left point.   A few minutes later Milan Kytnar added an insurance marker scoring off the rush just after the radio time-out.

Kytnar is turning out to be a steal from the Rockets in the off-season.  Who wouldn't want a hard-working, defensive specialist who is one of the best in the face-off circle?  Any championship calibre team needs a player like Kytnar. 

The Broncos would pull the goaltender in the final minute and heavy pressure would result in a 3rd Broncos goal from Jordan Peddle with 1.2 seconds to play.  

4-3 Blades the final.  The season series chopped in half - four wins apiece.

On the injury front, Matt Tassone never returned after re-aggravating a shoulder injury in the 2nd period.   The Broncos leading goal scorer could be out of the line-up for another stretch. We will wait and see.

Brayden Holtby apparently required some medical attention following the game.  He appeared to be hurt on the final Broncos goal with a second to play.  

The Broncos host the Brandon Wheat Kings Tuesday in the 6th meeting of the season.


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