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Answering Back: Chiefs Edge Cents


It’s not eight in a row, but seven out of eight works just fine right now for the Chilliwack Chiefs.

Jaret Babych scored the winning goal with less than five minutes on the clock in the third period, and the Chiefs knocked off a very game, gritty (as always) Centennial squad.


– Too many penalties in this one. Seven power plays for Chilliwack. Ten for Merritt. Ten. Tough for either team to get any flow going. The first period didn’t see any goals, a lack of quality scoring chances, and the only thing worth noting was a full-scale fracas in the Merritt zone, culminating with a John Saunders/Spencer Graboski fight. Tanner Cochrane left the game in the first period after taking a hitting-from-behind penalty. This was after he was speared by Centennial goaltender Tyler Steele during that fracas, and knocked into the boards while his helmet was off.

– It takes a tremendous effort to kill off nine of ten penalties successfully. Luke Esposito, Austin Plevy, Josh Hansen, Trevor Hills, David Thompson, Shay Laurent, Cooper Rush, Ben Masella, Eric Roberts, and Ben Israel all saw plenty of time on the PK. The forwards played the shooting lanes well, and the D had plenty of work down low with Merritt’s tough, skilled forwards. It’s the reason why Chilliwack’s penalty kill is the best in the league.

– And Mitch Gillam. He does a lot to kill penalties, too.

– Ben Israel had an up-and-down sequence in the second period to say the least. Luke Esposito opened the scoring in the second period five minutes in on a power play. Four minutes after that, Israel picked up the puck in his own zone behind the net, and carried it right out in front – the cardinal sin. Sebatian Pare cashed in off the turnover to tie the game at one. Instead of sitting Israel after the turnover, the coaching staff kept him out there. Israel picked up an assist on Austin Plevy’s go-ahead goal on the power play just thirty eight seconds later. He looked as happy during the celebration as anybody. Give him credit there.

– Plevy’s pass from behind the net, and Esposito’s finish on his power play goal to open the scoring. Nice.

– Chiefs Captain David Thompson was the first star tonight. He made a nice play at the line to keep the puck onside, leading to Babych’s winner, and was constantly out to kill penalties, aside from battling with Merritt’s top line for most of the night. He was the definition of ‘Workhorse’. The rest of the D core certainly followed his lead.

– I liked the sequence on the game winning goal. Thompson made a play in tight to keep in onside. Garrett Forster showed good vision to work the puck across from the left circle to Jaret Babych. Babych kicked the puck to his stick and quickly fired all in one motion. It snuck under the pad of Tyler Steel for the winner.

– Finally, 2,779 were in attendance at Prospera Centre tonight. A great crowd, and it doesn’t go unnoticed.


JB’s Recap

Categories: Chiefs Hockey
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