Experience counts against youth

Experience counts against youth

Joined: September 29th, 2009, 2:01 am

December 15th, 2010, 11:08 pm #1

Hitmen crunch Regals 4-1 in return match
by Glen Gibbs | Peak Sports
Published: Wednesday, December 15, 2010 11:41 AM CST

It’s not often, in senior men’s hockey, that the bench for the visitors is as long as that of the home team.

That was the case on Saturday night, however, when Sechelt Hitmen came into Powell River to avenge their 6-4 defeat in Gibsons the week before.

Powell River Regals and Hitmen each had just 13 skaters at their disposal, which seemed like a fair fight, but the scales of experience were generously tipped in favour of Sechelt.

In the short season, Hitmen have become known for their early jump and they struck first in this game when ex-Powell River Kings Mitch Labreche slipped the puck by Regals’ Rene Holmgren at 3:59 of the first period.

Regals had a couple of good chances to bounce back, the best one when Randall Smisko broke in alone on Powell River native Taylor Dollevoet, who started in the Hitmen’s net.

Smisko managed to fight off a check on the way to the goal but his shot narrowly missed the net to Dollevoet’s right.

At the other end Holmgren stood his ground when he found himself in the centre of a pile of players whacking away at a loose puck that somehow stayed out of the net.

Stayed out, that is, until 14:14 when Sechelt had a two-on-one break that ended with Mike Cote putting a couple of moves on Holmgren before sliding the puck five-hole.

Regals bounced back from the 2-0 deficit early in the second period when they popped in their first goal at 0:39 on the powerplay.

Erik Albertson did the damage down low with assists going to Smisko and Drew St. Laurent and the goal seemed to energize the Regals.

Hitmen regrouped however, and restored the two-goal lead at 9:48 on a wrister by Aaron Portman from the point that hit a couple of bodies and eventually trickled in by a screened Holmgren.

Minutes after that, the moderate physicality of the game reached a new level when Hitmen’s Brad Wingfield challenged Brett Budgell at centre ice.

Young Budgell wanted no part of the 35-year-old ex pro who is six foot two inches tall and weighs roughly 240 pounds.

Wingfield was led to the penalty box and assessed a 10-minute misconduct in addition to his cross-checking penalty. He continued to lay a verbal assault on the officials from the penalty box and in a scene reminiscent of the movie Slapshot, subsequently capped off his evening with a game misconduct and a boisterous exit from the ice.

Things quieted down for the remainder of the middle period and in the third the Regals had a couple of excellent scoring chances but were shut down by some great saves by Dollevoet.

He robbed Smisko with a terrific glove save from the right circle and then stopped him on the next sequence from the face off to further frustrate the Regals.

The final nail in the coffin came in the dying minutes when Holmgren attempted to get to the bench for an extra attacker before the puck cleared the zone. Regals turned it over and the netminder scrambled to recover but couldn’t get back to the net to save the shot from Hitmen’s Danny Baker for the final 4-1.

“We came out a little slow in the first period,” said coach Don Simonetta. “I thought everybody was kind of mixed up and not playing their positions. Take away the first period and it wasn’t a bad hockey game.”

In addition to a short bench he said, “We had a bit of a depleted lineup and when you’re missing guys like Ricky McLaren, Andy Welsh and a few of the other boys it makes a big difference.”

The win puts all three teams in a tie for first place and the next game between Regals and Mid Island Blazers on Saturday, December 18 in Courtenay will determine a leader heading into Christmas break.


Joined: October 6th, 2008, 4:08 am

December 16th, 2010, 12:50 am #2

What's going on in Powell River? did the AA experiment peak with hosting the Coy last year? it seems every article I read they have a short bench and are missing the majority of their key guys. Have the players lost interest with the big dance elsewhere? You got any ideas malaspina?
Go Stamps Go!

Joined: November 4th, 2008, 6:40 pm

December 16th, 2010, 4:42 pm #3

I do not think it is where the 'big dance' is located.As far as interest ...
During the Hitmen vs Regals game I noted one player from a key forward line was missing.His father was at the game and he noted his son may have finally retired from Sr AAA/AA hockey at around 30 years old.Also certain players that have shown interest in playing just never play!

1.There was no ad in the local paper about the game.
2.Game outdoor boards around town had the game time as 7:30 PM.Actual game time was 8:00PM.
3.No line up sheets.Who the heck are those Sechelt players?
4.50/50 was $36.
5.No heat in the building.

I am hoping the Regals will ice a decent squad after the holidays.