Home > Chiefs Hockey > A Couple Three Things: Vernon Rallies, Chiefs Drop Sixth Straight

A Couple Three Things: Vernon Rallies, Chiefs Drop Sixth Straight

I said to Soupy Campbell after the second period:

“I’m curious to see this team play with a big lead in the third period.”

For 14 minutes in the third period, playing with that lead looked pretty good. Then the final five minutes happened. Here’s a couple three things to take away from Saturday night at Prospera Centre:

1. The Chiefs were in control for two periods in this one. They got some contributions from the power play (finishing 2 for 5, giving the league-worst percentage a nice bump) found some life with a re-juggled lineup (Jaret Babych and Ben Butcher lined up on the top line with Austin Plevy tonight. Butcher scored, and Babych had a couple assists.) Plevy was real good in the second period especially, driving to the net with no regard for…anything really. Took the net out a couple times too. Fearless. That’s when he’s most effective.

Lyndon Stanwood was great again, too. His best save came off a 2 on 1, coming across with the left pad to rob Tyler Pofelofskie to keep it 4-1 at the time. Chilliwack also had a couple good penalty kills at 2-1 in the second period, and Stanwood was a big part of that – It led to two more goals from TJ Roche and Kurt Black, padding a lead that seemed insurmountable after 40.

2. The Chiefs let off the gas a touch in the third period, which is human nature when you’ve got a three goal lead at home. Credit to Vernon for not going away. It’s apparent that this Chiefs team is fragile right now, and you could see it start to fray after Mason Blacklock’s first goal to cut the lead to 4-2. At 4-2, it was ‘All good.’

Liam Coughlin’s marker moments later (on a chance that also started from behind Chilliwack’s net) followed, and it was ‘Uh-oh’.

I don’t want to say the tying goal (also from Blacklock) was a matter of time, but when you’ve got a fragile group that’s a little desperate for a win, it starts to creep into the back of your mind. It’s also why Harvey Smyl called timeout after the third goal to settle the boys down a little bit. No matter. Mason Blacklock converted yet another centering pass in the slot, beating Stanwood high to the glove, and everyone in the building was left to wonder what happened.

3. As you can imagine, the Chiefs were a little rattled after that. You can’t blame them. As a result, they looked tenative in the overtime, more concerned with not making mistakes. Jason Byrd’s winner came off a big rebound on a partial 2 on 1 that Shay Laurent lost in his feet, and that was that.

As I tweeted earlier in the night, learning sucks sometimes. It’s one of those things that a struggling team has to go through, and it’s certainly something they won’t forget when they find themselves with a lead in the third period. Can’t sit back and go into HOLD ON mode while the other team dictates the tempo. That’ll hurt you once every twenty times up 4-1 late.

And unfortunatley, for the Chiefs, that once in 20 hurt was Saturday night when they could have really used the full two points. Langley Wednesday. Take the positives. On to the next one.

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Categories: Chiefs Hockey
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