Tuesday, December 27, 2011
Going the Extra Mile
The T-birds came out of the week long Christmas break with a 2-1 shootout win over the Everett Silvertips at a sold out ShoWare Center Tuesday night. There were some missed opportunities to put this game away in regulation but in the end they got the "W."
It was quite the goaltending battle between the T-birds Calvin Pickard and Everett's Kent Simpson. There is a lot of pressure put on both these goalies because neither team has an explosive offense. Both are second round NHL draft picks and because of the lack of scoring both are probably the key player on their respective teams. On this night Pickard got the better of it by stopping all three Everett shots in the shootout while Simpson was beaten by Colin Jacobs.
Pickard was clearly upset on a couple of occasions when Everett players slashed him after a save. I found it interesting that on the first such occasion no slashing penalty was going to be called. Then, when Tyler Alos came to his goalie's defense the referee gave Alos a roughing minor then decided to issue the minor for slashing to even things up. I'm not a fan of that kind of officiating.
Congratulations to Evan Wardley on his first WHL point as he assisted on Burke Gallimore's second period goal. There was nothing cheap about the assist either as Wardley did a terrific job from keeping a puck from escaping the attacking zone, wheeled and fired a hard shot into Simpson's pads.
Gallimore was there to snap in the rebound. After playing a lot of forward in his first few games in the league, Wardley got to play the game as a defenseman (his natural position) in the absence of Dave Sutter, who's away at World Juniors, and Kyle Verdino, who is out with an injury. I thought he did a solid job.
I counted just one shot on goal on the Thunderbirds four power plays (approximately six and a half minutes worth of 5-on-4) and that shot came in the waning seconds of the final man advantage. That's not good. Stop thinking and start shooting.
Great to see the building filled to capacity and the crowd was hungry for something to cheer about. Nice that they got that with the shootout win.
Jacobs has now won two shootouts since coming off his long layoff due to offseason surgery. He used the same move twice and it worked. Don't fix what ain't broken!