Sunday, November 20, 2011
A Turkey Shoot
Quite often in the WHL, when one team is struggling...especially offensively...an oppenent will use that opportunity to get their #2 goalie into a game. Seattle has been the lowest scoring team so far this season in the league so both Friday night and Saturday night their opponents started their young back up goalie. Both teams may think twice about that the next time they play the 'Birds.
Now Friday Eric Comrie actually played well in net for Tri-City, allowing just two goals. Still, the T-Birds won the game, 3-0. Saturday night it was a different story as the T-Birds lit up young Brendan Burke of the Portland Winterhawks to the tune of six goals in less then two periods of play before he was finally pulled. By then it was too late; the damage had been done and Seattle skated away with a 6-3 victory. I was a bit shocked that Portland waited until the 6th goal to pull Burke. I would have thought the 4th goal; the long range bomb from center ice by Dave Sutter would have spelled the end of Burke's night. Burke really struggled with the high shots. Not sure if it was an issue seeing the puck in his first start ever at the ShoWare Center or if he just had a bad night but those were some soft goals.
Hard to fathom, before the weekend started, that low scoring Seattle would beat the high flying offenses of these top two Western Conference teams. Not only did the T-Birds win both games but they outscored the Ams and Winterhawks by a combined 9-3 score.
Any win is a good win but these two this weekend might be just a little more meaningful. First, Seattle had struggled through their first seven home games, going just 2-5. So it was important to right the ship. Now with a pair of home games this coming week they have a chance to get to .500 at the ShoWare Center. It's important to make your home ice a tough place for the opposition.
Secondly, the T-Birds have a the vast majority of their remaining games against the U.S. Division. They need to believe they can win against their rivals.
Finally, when you beat quality teams you gain confidence you can beat anyone. I think the win against Tri gave them the moxy to beat Portland.
Congrats to Shea Theodore on his first WHL goal and to all the ladies who put one in the back of the net after the game and won a free Turkey courtesy of Fred Meyer at the annual Thanksgiving Turkey Shoot. Some of those women could help the T-birds power play!