The concern after Tuesday night's game in Kennewick was whether or not the team would be able to safely travel back west to Kent through the impending snow storm. Well, the bus pulled into the ShoWare Center lot at about 3:30 in the morning after encountering zero storm related issues. In fact it just began snowing about 20 minutes out from the rink. Snoqualmie Pass was in great shape and other than having to dial it back to about 45 MPH it was just a typical return trip.
Now the question is can I get out of my neighborhood and make it back up to Kent for Friday night's game? The storm eventually dumped about seven inches of snow at my home down south of Tacoma, but once the snow stopped, temperatures warmed up just enough to create slush...and then the temperatures dropped overnight Wednesday and into Thursday to turn everything to ice. I mean it looked like someone had put a glaze over my pickup truck. Then things got worse as the snow stopped and it began to sleet, hail and rain. Sadly I must report that the heavy snow/ice combination once again attacked my Magnolia tree and I lost a few more branches, which has become a semi-annual occurrences when it does snow here. This happened despite my best efforts to save the tree. Wednesday afternoon I braved the elements and sent my 11 year old son, Conner, out and had him knock as much of the snow off the branches as possible. Unfortunately being 11 years old and on the small size he couldn't reach the higher branches, no matter how much encouraging I gave him when he jumped. Eventually Conner gave up and decided it would be more fun to use the shovel to find the dog poop buried in the snow. Mind you, when it isn't snowing this is a kid who wants nothing to do with the dog poop. Of course, by next week at this time all the snow will be gone and forgotten, until July when my kids are still in school making up the snow days.
As for the two road games to start the week? Well, there was no fluke about the win in Spokane Monday afternoon that snapped the T-birds six game winning streak and provided them with their first win of 2012. For the most past I thought the team outworked the Chiefs. Penalties were a problem but they did a good job on the penalty kill, highlighted by Justin Hickman's shorthanded, game winning goal.
The win over Spokane was the way this team must play to win games. It's why most of their wins this season have been low scoring, one goal affairs. Unfortunately they couldn't duplicate the effort Wednesday in Kennewick and they were shut out by the Americans, 4-0. Calvin Pickard was brilliant in goal but was just under siege too often and Tri-City must have had 20 good scoring chances among the 40 shots they took.
More troubling is the lack of offense from the T-birds since coming back from Christmas. They have been shutout now three times since the break, twice in the last three games. They barely averaging a goal per game in the 11 they have played seem resuming action on December 27th.