Home > Chiefs Hockey > Halpenny Solid In Chilliwack Victory

Halpenny Solid In Chilliwack Victory

The fellas ended their weekend on a positive note, taking care of business in a 2-1 victory over the Capitals in Duncan. The win is their 24thof the season, and still sit two points back of Surrey for top spot in the Mainland division. Prince George isn’t far behind either – just five back, which sets the stage nicely for a Friday/Saturday double header in P.G. between the two teams.

Anyway, here’s what stood out on Sunday afternoon against the ‘Caps:

Josh Halpenny was very good on the way to his fourth win in his sixth start. Halpenny’s in a bit of a tough spot, as Mitch Gillam is the game’s best goaltender, and doesn’t get to see game action all that much. It’s a situation he clearly understood going into the year, and continues to handle it pretty well. Imagine going more than a month without a start, and then when you DO go in, it’s ‘Alright, you’re going in. Go out there and be somebody!’ – That’s difficult.

With his parents in the stands, Halpenny was calm out there. Particularly in the first period when the Chiefs took four straight penalties. Your best penalty killer has to be your goaltender – and the local kid certainly was that – setting the tone for his performance the rest of the night. Rebound control was very good, too.

Speaking of local kids, Josh Hansen played for the first time since the fifth of December. On his first shift of the game, he collided with Cowichan defenseman Rylan Bechtel – also from Chilliwack – and looked a bit shaken up as he skated back to the bench. Hansen continued though, playing a few minutes in the first and second – providing a lift for his teammates. Good to see him back.

Chilliwack’s lineup was different for a couple reasons. No Hills and Laurent due to suspensions, but the forward combinations were juggled. Esposito, Plevy, and Zielonka were broken up to start the game…..but they’d combine for the game’s first goal in the second period.

Phil Zielonka’s second as a Chief was a well placed shot from a sharp angle, and after a conference from the officials, counted as the first goal. Two goals in three games is a pretty solid debut weekend. He had a couple sequences where his skill shone through. If those three can keep it going…..

Cowichan’s pretty feisty for a team with nine wins.

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Sunday marked my first experience calling a game in Cowichan. The broadcast location is situated two rows up from the benches. It’s similar to Powell River, and I like it because I see things that I wouldn’t otherwise being farther from the ice surface. You can catch the look on a frustrated player’s face after his team has iced the puck for the second time in a row, and he has to stay out for one more faceoff. Little things.

Also, those Cowichan fans directly behind Soupy and I that would yell at just about everything. The location is pretty much in the seats, so you get to hear all kinds of things. Particularly when the officials miss something that would have benefitted the ‘Caps. They’ll yell things. They don’t care that you, or your….um….live microphones are there. Little things.

Now…If the fracas that broke out in Victoria on Saturday had happened in Cowichan instead? Right in front of the benches, with loud fans of a team that just lost it’s fourth in a row, and sits dead last in the league standings who yell at officials while sitting right behind Soupy and I?

Maybe I don’t think of Cowichan the same way.

Then again – that probably would have been awesome.

Categories: Chiefs Hockey
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