Worth The Wait…

To be honest…I had my doubts that the game last night would be played.  There were just too many players, and officials, that had trouble making it to the Rose Garden.  But…every one persevered and made it to the arena and while it was nearly two hours late starting, the game itself proved to be worth the wait.

Oliver Gabriel stepped onto the line with Brad Ross and Ryan Johansen for a second consecutive game and they proved once again that the Spokane Chiefs just don’t have a line that can shut them down when they are rolling.

Gabriel notched the first of his injury-shortened season in the first and then Ross and Johansen took over scoring the final three goals, including the winner with just over two minutes remaining on just a determined play.  Ross threw it to the net from a bad angle and Johansen jammed home the rebound to send the 1,000 or so faithful that actually made it to the game home happy.

Once again the game ended with some nasty play as Kyle Beach took a five minute major for slashing at the buzzer and will probably earn himself a suspension for the action.   Ross and his nemesis Mitch Wahl once again exchanged pleasantries after the final horn and those two combined for 1 goal, 6 assists and 10 penalty minutes between them.  It was the second consecutive Gordie Howe Hat Trick for Ross who has now taken over the team lead in points with 43.

I know it would be hard for one team to have four players at the NHL/CHL Prospect Game in January, but the omission of Ross from that game is nearly unjustifiable.

The win snapped a six game losing streak on home ice for the Hawks against the Chiefs, with the last win being the 3-2 shootout win (the Matt Schmermund behind the back special) in the final game of the 2007-08 season at the Memorial Coliseum.

Lastly, the win improves the Hawks home record on games played on December 29th to 5-0-0-0 in their history…(on the road on December 29th, the Hawks are 1-7-0-0).

The Winterhawks will be well represented at the upcoming 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver in February.

Brenden Morrow was named today to the Canadian squad and he will go up against Marian and Marcel Hossa as well as Richard Zednik who will all play for Team Slovakia.

We will find out soon if Paul Gaustad is named to the U.S. roster, although recent injuries may hurt his chances.

In tournament news…

Luke Walker and Team USA are now 3-0 in pool play at the World U20 Champsionships and they will face off against Team Canada to see who will be the top seed from their pool on Thursday afternoon.

Walker hasn’t hit the scoresheet yet, but had a few good chances in the 12-1 win over Latvia yesterday.

Nino Niederreiter and the Swiss will look to get their first win of the tournament later today against the Latvians.

Ty Rattie scored one for Team Pacific, but a five goal explosion by the Russians in the third period knock off Pacific 6-2 despite being outshot 48-28.   Tyler Wotherspoon didn’t hear the scoresheet for Team Pacific.

That’s it for now…

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2 Comments

  1. Walker may not have scored at the WJC but deserves a lot of praise for his unselfish play in accepting his current role as an energy player for Team USA.
    Walker and his linemates have repeatedly been out there after a goal was scored either to kept the USA going or kill off any hope the other team has.
    Winterhawk fans should be very proud of the hard work that Walker has done because it takes a lot to ask a top line player to be willing to do the dirty jobs needed to help a team win.

  2. I WAS HOPING TO SEE HIM MORE ON THE PENALTY KILL, SEEMS LIKE THE US IS PUTTING OUT THE SAME LINES OVER AND OVER AND OVER. EVEN WHEN THE GAME IS IN HAND…??? STUPID GOAL DIFFERENTIAL TIE BREAKER…


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