Home > Chiefs Hockey > Process: Part 6 – (A loss, but positives)

Process: Part 6 – (A loss, but positives)

*For those wondering about the title of this post, the word ‘process’ has been floating around since the start of the year. I get a kick out of it.

Now:

Jokes aside, it is a process with this group, and there were some things to like in a 5-2 loss Sunday to Salmon Arm. Cam and I were impressed with the team’s first period. The energy was clearly there, and I want to use the word energy, because I don’t think ‘desperation’ fits the description. the seaon’s 22 days old. Not time for desperation yet.

Anyway, at the forefront of that energy was the line of Kyle Westeringh, Andrew Sillard, who drew back in after sitting for a couple games, and Brandon Volpe, playing in his first two games of the season. Some good work on the forecheck to set some kind of a tone. It was refreshing, given that the opponent has set the tone for the Chiefs too often this year already.

The sequence on Ben Butcher’s goal early in the third period: Jaret Babych makes a nice touch pass to Cooper Rush, Cooper takes off down the wing to force the issue, and slides a nice pass over to Butcher, who makes no mistake for his first of the year. It was pretty. Rush also had an assist on the Kurt Black tip-in, keeping the shot low, which was key – a few times tonight on powerplays, Chief defencemen, including Cooper and Carter Cochrane, let go some head high slapshots. Babych got tagged in front of the net a couple times, and Austin Plevy took a puck in the back as well. If it stays low, the percentages improve, as Rush showed on the second goal.

Austin Plevy was named Captain Sunday. (Assistants: Shay Laurent, Eric Roberts, and Jaret Babych) I thought he had a pretty good weekend in terms of his compete level. He’s overdue for a six-goal-in-three-game type tear, because he probably could have had at least four in these two games. He’ll bust out eventually.

It’s not just him in terms of finish, it’s the whole group. Now Cam and I don’t wear uniforms, and as a guy who scored maybe six goals in a stellar house league career in Port Coquitlam, I should probably just shut up, BUT…..you do feel for the guys sometimes when they’re just not getting those bounces. If it’s wearing on Cam and I just watching, it starts to wear on the players a little too.

Josh Halpenny got the call in goal after 22 days of not getting the call in goal. Tough spot for the kid to come in, given that Stanwood had been great his last two times out.  Halpenny’s  first period was fine. That second goal from Andrew Farney in the second period to put SA up by two was……well….deflating. The two SA goals in 23 seconds in the third didn’t help either.

Credit to Salmon Arm for finishing off their trip in style. They lost in Nanaimo Friday, beat Victoria Saturday night, got on a ferry, and picked up the win here. Alex Gillies scored again on a goalmouth scramble – his ninth of the season – Chilliwack has eight goals as a team, by comparison – and was named first star. Their head coach Troy Mick singled Gillies out as a guy that stuck through a phase with the ‘Backs where he knew it was going to be a rebuilding project, and a – wait for it – PROCESS – and now he’s scoring at an alarming rate.

Kudos to their goaltender as well. Adam Clark looked pretty relaxed in making 32 saves, but then again, the Chiefs have made a habit of making goaltenders look relaxed this season.

There were more chances tonight. Some quality, and some positives to take away, but I hope this team starts to see some results soon. They’ll give it a go at practice this week and get ready for the Coquitlam Express in a home and home beginning Friday on the road.

Categories: Chiefs Hockey
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