Observations from The Peak Broadcast Booth for the weekend of Nov 27th - Burns Lake Braves @ Houston Luckies
Before this game, a lot of people were starting to entertain the idea that the Luckies were returning to form, after a pair of home wins, but I didn't buy it. Kenzle is still out, and those two wins were against Omineca. I predicted a big win for the Braves in this one, calling a 5-2 score when asked before the game. I was wrong, and happy for it.
The game started with the Braves looking to Tyler Sondergaard in net, spelling the usual starter, Wes Hart. There are definitely some fundamentals Sondergaard needs to work on, because after just one period, Burns Lake made the obvious decision to pull him out of the game. Sondergaard seemed out of position more often than not, and on two separate power plays, did not signal to his team that the penalty was winding down. The second time, it led to John Marren shooting off the bench, and grabbing a loose puck for a one on one showdown with the Braves tender. Not many will stop Marren on a breakaway, and it was a huge goal for Houston.
In the 2nd period, Hart came in for Burns Lake, who were trailing the Luckies 3-1, and the Luckies looked to be well in control of the game, when things took a turn. The Braves scored a quick goal, followed by two more that had no business going in the net. Colton Wardrop, who had looked solid to that point, was on the wrong end of puck luck as one puck skipped in off a trio of tips, and another took a once in a lifetime twist off the heel of a Luckies skate. Suddenly, it was a 4-3 hockey game.
The Luckies continued to press, and really did seem to dictate the pace of the game, even tying things up at one point, but the Braves got to a 6-5 lead, and held on through a last second Luckies storm, during which I thought they actually scored the tying goal, that's how close it was.
For Burns Lake, it did show a lot of character to stay in the game down 3-1 early, but it was a lot of luck that put them back in the hunt. For Houston, they showed great skills throughout the game, but got frustrated easily when things went in favor of the Braves.
The ref in this game also missed a lot of calls, most of which should have gone against the Braves. This resulted in some physicality on the ice, culminating with a fight between the Braves Chris Harder, and Cole Hasell from Houston. Hasell won a pretty decent tilt, but what followed earned Cole my Chump of the Week award. After knocking Harder to the ice, and a linesman had jumped on Harder to break it up, Hasell knelt down and started raining blows on the now defenseless Chris Harder. When he was done being a total goon, he got up, and started celebrating to the crowd, while Harder expressed his completely deserved rage to the referee about what just happened. Absolutely classless show by Hasell.
For The Weekend:
Biggest Chump: Cole Hasell
Best Play: John Marren's breakaway goal
Three Stars: Wes Hart (Saved the game for Burns Lake), John Marren (Best player on the ice), Dave Wiljeto (Strong defensive presence)
lot to be said for objective, independent reporting.
Biggest chump --- there's a designation most teams and players will try to avoid!
You'd fit in well in Pittsburgh!