Congratulations to Justin Myles on earning his first WHL win. And I do mean earn it as he turned aside 27 Silvertips shots, including many quality chances in the waning seconds of the game as he preserved the T-birds 3-2 road win before a packed house at Comcast Arena in Everett.
Myles could just as easily be 3-0 as 1-2 (his current record). he played well in his previous two starts only to lose by a goal, 4-3, in Prince George and then 2-1 in Spokane. All three of his starts have been on the road before a hostile environment and that's a tough task for a seasoned WHL goalie let alone a rookie. Myles even alluded to the fact, in a postgame inteview, that nerves may have gotten the best of him early in Everett as he gave up an early goal before settling down.
I'm guessing he's never played before a crowd of that size before last night. His early numbers though show he can handle whatever the WHL throws his way. As I said, he's had three starts but also played in parts of two other games. His stat line reads: 5G, 1W 2L 2.74 GAA and a .907 SV %. Last year's backup, Daniel Cotton got only 8 starts all season. I think it is safe to say Myles should at the least double that, playing behind the 20 year old, Brandon Glover.
Right winger Conner Honey was rightfully dumbfounded when he received one of the three stars in Friday night's home win over Tri-City. He played well against the Americans but had no points and his +/- was zero.
Just call it a clerical error! There was no shock when he was awarded the first star Saturday up in Everett as the Edmonton native scored twice, including the game winner agains the 'Tips. He came dangerously close to attaining a hat trick. His two goals were both things of beauty, of the proverbial highlight reel variety. He now has nine points (5g,4a) and is on pace for 54 pts.
A lot has been made of the tall Seattle defensive corps, which averages 6'3". But it was the two shortest players on the roster who made a big difference in last night's win. Center Conner Sanvido, listed at 5'10", made a nifty chip pass off the boards to set up Seattle's second period shorthanded goal from Alexander Delnov. Meanwhile 5'11" right winger Riley Sheen may have been the hardest working T-bird all night and by jumping up in the third he helped keep 'Tips goalie Austin Lotz honest, opening up just enough space for Honey to score the game winner.
Speaking of size, the T-birds get a tall task tonight at home as they face the red-hot Kamloops Blazers. The Blazers have yet to lose in regulation, sporting a 14-0-0-1 record and boasting the top three scorers in the league. They score in bunches. Seattle can attest to that having lost to the Blazer, 7-2, up in Kamloops back on October 5th. They average just under five goals a game (4.93). But they are pretty stingy too, giving up just 2.2 goals against per game.
In memory of Bruce McDonald, 1971-2012