Game Review - Giants 4 - Whalers 3 OT/Final
I will have to admit, I did not see the goal but Kendall McArdle notched the winnner in the early stages of overtime to boos the Vancouver Giants to a 4-3 victory over the Plymouth Whalers.
While watching the first period I was some what baffled at how the Whalers carried themselves. The seemed to want to try to intimidate the host and did not look anything like the team that was advertised in the previews. Jared Boll was simply a loose-canon taking penalties on two rather dangerous hits. The early offensive threat from the Whalers was non-exsistent. Not everything was bad, Michal Neuvirth was rather amazing between the pipes allowing just one goal on the Giants 14 first period shots.
The Giants led 1 - 0 after the first period on a power-play goal by Spencer Machcek set up by Mario Bliznak and Brett Mikkleson.
Something had to be said to the Whalers, something was said to the Whalers. Whatever is was that Coach Michael Vellucci said during the first intermission worked. The Whalers came out in the second period and looked more like the team that everyone had been talking about. Dallas Stars prospect James Neal netted two powerplay markers in the second and Ryan McGinnis netted an even strength goal before the period was out. Giants power forward rose to the challenge of the Memorial Cup by netting two goals in the second period, both goals coming off excellent feed from 2007 Draft eligable Michal Repik.
The third period seemed to be rather conservated, everyone understands the importance of a good start to a short tournament like this. Both teams seemed really tentative to take the single point and head into overtime. As I said earlier, I did not catch much of the overtime, I happened to walk into the room just as local boy Kenndal McArdle popped in the winner. Giant win!, Giants win!
# Team GP W L T OTL PTS
1 Vancouver 1 1 0 0 0 2
2 Plymouth 1 0 0 0 1 1
3 Medicine Hat 0 0 0 0 0 0
3 Lewiston 0 0 0 0 0 0
Game Preview - Tigers vs Maineiacs
Rogers Sportsnet (or catch the game live stream in on the CHL website at www.chl.ca
The Medicine Hat Tigers bring their game of high flying and heavy hitting in to the 'rink of renfrew' this afternoon as they take on the the Maineiacs from Lewiston. The fleet-of-foot Tigers carry a line-up of speedsters including Kris Russell, Darren Helm, and Tyler Ennis. The Tigers, just like the name indicates, will use their speed to force the opposition into turnovers and pounce on any opportunity that comes about.
Its hard to pick out where the Tigers strength is because they are so good in so many areas. Their biggest strength may be in goal with Calgary prospect Matt Keetley. Standing at 6' 2" this guy takes up a lot of the net and can come up with a big save when needed.
The Tigers may boast the best player in the entire tournament in defenseman Kris Russel. Do yourself a favour and watch everything that this kid does with or without the puck. Columbus Blue Jackets have a dandy, Russell can skate like the wind, handle the puck and makes the right decision almost everytime.
If there is a team that the Tigers may not match-up that well against it may be the Lewiston Maineiacs. Most of the reviews that I have read about the QMJHL champions seem to indicate that this hockey club from Lewiston is suffering a personality disorder and they seem to think they are a WHL team.
You see the QMJHL is known for bringing along goaltening prospects such as Roberto Luongo, Patrick Roy, Martin Broduer and offensive threats such as Sidney Crosby, Brad Richards, Vincent Lecavalier, and Mario Lemieux. This Lewiston club appears to not want to out score their oppenents but would rather dare you to beat their all-star goaltender Jonathan Bernier.
As weakness the Maineiacs appear to have trouble scoring goals when the game is on the line. As the Giants and Whalers proved last night you have to be able to answer back with each and very goal that you let up. The missing ingredient in Lewiston maybe the sniper.
Expect the Tigers to have a entourage of Tiger fans in the building, this club has history. From the reviews that I have read, it seems we are in for another glorious match-up as the Tigers will try to attack hard and attack often, you will have the patience Lewiston offence looking for their moment. Look for the Maineiacs to seek an early lead which is going to be very difficult with Matt Keetley in goal for the Tigers. The Tigers seem to get better as a game gets into the later stages if the Maineiacs get that early lead, they'd best watch out for the Tigers.
Luongo07 predicts: Tigers 3 - Maineiacs 1