The Force is Strong with Young Kubic
Giants Storm Ice
Vancouver 4 Kootenay 0
197mins 3 seconds is Ryan Kubic’s current shutout streak. Only three wins on the season and all of them are shutouts. One wonders if he can run the table. He looked good last night and was seeing the puck very well as the boys skated around in their “Stormtrooper” sweaters, white pants and white socks. I have to admit they were not as ugly as I originally thought, but they did show every stain a player could acquire from a dirty bench. The game itself had energy and if the team gained a few more bums in seats, the Star Wars promo did not exactly pack ‘em in. Kubic was good and a bit lucky, as you have to be to continue this kind of a streak. The Ice did not really bring much pressure until the Giants backed off a bit in the second before scoring their fourth goal. May the fourth goal be with you. The Gs did have energy and focus in the first period and scored some nice goals off of some even better set-up plays. The boys helped their goalie hang on for the goose-egg when the Ice brought some pressure and more shots in the third.
Mid-first on the PP, Ty Ronning found the back of the net off of a rocket of a cross-crease pass by Carter Popoff. Radovan Bondra got the other helper. Chase Lang added to that lead about 5 minutes later, as he was set-up Tyler Benson and Trevor Cox. Late in the period, some hustle by Dakota Odgers got the puck out to Bondra cutting down the slot. The Slovakian made no mistake wiring it top shelf to give his team a 3-goal lead heading into first intermission. Alec Baer found the net in the second cutting across the crease. The goal came at time when it felt like the Giants were sitting back a bit and the Ice beginning to move the puck better than they had previously in the game. The marker helped quell some of that push-back surge. Benson and Lang got the assists.
New Guys: I liked what I saw from Owen Hardy who seems to have some size and potential for a 16 yr old we pulled up from Junior. The coach really liked Jack Flaman’s effort and his sacrifice taking a penalty to save a goal and stop his goalie from bumping his impressive streak. Other than that I found him to be more average than not. Carter Cochrane has done something to his shoulder, which could put him out for the rest of the season. The poor kid played a grand total of seven seconds as a Giant before being injured.
Fight Night: Josh Thrower v. Mario Grman. I did not see what started it. It was quick fight.
The Giants outshot the struggling Ice 36-25. The hometown boys went 1 for 5 on the PP, while holding the Ice to 0 for 6. Despite scoring only one out of 5 on the man-advantage, the PP itself looked dangerous. The Giants kept pressure in the zone and were passing quickly and sharply.
It was nice to see a good hungry game from Josh Thrower, especially after his recent benching for breaking team rules. Dawson Holt looked good playing with Ronning and Cox and Benson found himself matched with Lang and Baer. Popoff has been shifted to third line centre, plus special teams play and considering he is one of our best face-off guys and a very solid two-way forward it seems to fit with his game. I do think we sacrifice a bit of pure offense playing him there though, but we are winning right now so don’t change anything. Bondra and Odgers were playing with Popoff. Dmitry Osipov paid the price, locking down his zone. The kid had more than a few bruises by the end of this one and has been regularly sacrificing his body as of late. Brennan Menell also had a good ranging game with some smart pinches. I really don’t think the new bodies have made that much difference, but at least the boys don’t seem to be suffering the same crisis of confidence they were feeling earlier. That is not until they get scored upon.
Kubic’s streak doesn’t get any easier as the Giants face the Silvertips in Everett on Saturday. Everett is a dangerous skilled team who play more of a complete game than their recent opponents (with the possible exception of Portland). Kubic and the team will need to be at their best and lady luck will have to continue to be present, just to get the win let alone extend the streak. The Giants next home game will be versus the Cougars on Sunday. The puck drops in Everett on Saturday night at 7:05pm PST.
Three Stars* ( *reverse the order in the box score, as Bill Wilms said there was a misinterpretation of his notes and third should be first and vice versa.) I am putting in the original intended order.
- Ryan Kubic
- Chase Lang
- Tyler Benson