Thursday, July 21, 2011

LLB Live Whitby at Six Nations- Game Notes "The Half Second Miracle"

Thanks to all our fans who followed our sorta live blog. Unfortunately we couldn't get our posts onto the blog for the last 30 minutes of the game due to a weak network signal....which is too bad because what looked like an Arrows victory turned into one of the more memorable comebacks of the past few years.

Here are some of my thoughts from the game:
1- Alex Kedoh Hill is the best player I have seen in Jr. A this year. His work and effort when he doesn't have the ball is what stands out. He is always moving and the ball isn't in his stick for very long unless he is attacking the net. He danced between 3 Whitby players late in the third period tonight and it was a thing of beauty.
2- Whitby's big guns are always a threat but they don't work hard enough all the time and it's holding them back. I thought Whitby's best offensive players were Knight and Lintner because they played hard every time they were on the floor. Both got 2 goals and had plenty of other chances. Mark Matthews played hard for the most part but took a few shifts off and it showed...especially in the second when he got outworked on a couple of looseballs including one that ended up in a short handed goal against.
3- The battle of the 92's! For the last half of the game it was longtime goalie rivals Warren Hill and Alexis Buque going save for save in a great display of goaltending. These two have faced each other many times before and it seemed to inspire them to play great. Buque in particular came in with a 4 goal deficit and slammed the door shut to earn a big W for the Warriors.
4- Six Nations stopped playing on Offence. They got their 9th goal on a great hidden ball trick that totally fooled the Whitby team. The problem? Six Nations tried to run it 3-4 more times and it seemed to me that they stopped playing hard (it was 9-6 after that goal but Whitby scored shortly afterwards) thinking that the goal was "icing on the cake". Defensively they played well and deserved a better result but they got no real scoring chances and Whitby eventually scored to tie it. It also seemed to coincide with the departure of Josh Ruys who left in the third with an undisclosed injury. Ruys isn't putting up nig numbers but his presence clears a lot of space for Kedoh Hill and the rest of the offence and without him they seemed out of sorts.
5- The ending was shocking. I am sure there are hometown fans still wondering what happened. Whitby had been pulling the goalie for the final 2 minutes with no real scoring chances. Mark Matthews gets the ball and cuts across the top late and then fires a bullet past Hill who was handcuffed by the shot. 8 seconds to go and it's 9-8! Whitby needs to win the draw clean and push it ahead for the tie....they hadn't won a draw clean all night but Kyle Lindsay did just that. Lafontaine pushed the ball ahead to Mark Cockerton who rifled it over Hill's shoulder with half a second to go. The crowd and home team never recovered and Whitby put the finish on the game with an OT goal. The power of "Never say never" was in full force and one of the more unlikely endings in quite some time.

Game 4 is Saturday night in Whitby. This was a huge victory for the Warriors but they need to play better at home so they don't waste the big win tonight. Six Nations needs to play a full game on the front door.

No shenanigans at all which is not unexpected after the overhyped anticipation of retribution after game 2. Dan Lintner has his knee tapped but looked no worse for the wear during the game

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