Saturday, November 5, 2011

Searching for Puck Luck.

Last night was a weird night.

It was another one of those nagging reminders of how cruel the sport of hockey and sports in general can be sometimes. It would be easy to look at the box score and see a 5-1 Kamloops final and assume that the BC Division leading Blazers took it to the fifth place Cougars rather easily.


Let me preface these thoughts by first saying that I'm not taking anything away from the Kamloops Blazers. They earned their breaks, they took advantage on their opportunities, and ultimately earned the two points against Prince George. They're a first place team for a reason and this piece is not going to cry foul on their part whatsoever.

That being said, sooner or later the Prince George Cougars players, coaches, and fans (don't forget broadcasters) have to wonder out loud, "When is the other shoe going to drop." When are things going to start going our way?

The Prince George Cougars were awesome in the first period. They took it to Kamloops and out-chanced, out-hit and out-performed the BC Division's top statistical team.

Early in the second period the Blazers strike on a two-on-one where Tim Bozon essentially passed the puck to himself after his attempted pass goes off Jesse Forsberg's stick and right back to him. Bozon was awesome for Kamloops, but surely even he'd admit that luck was on his side when his pass found it's way directly back to him.

Even with the 1-1 score, the Cougars respond well, continue to push hard, and unfortunately can't bury on their opportunities in Period Two. Fast forward to the end of the second when an innocent shoot-in by Marek Hrbas turns into disaster for Prince George.

The puck bounces off the glass and hits the Cougars goal-post and right to the stick of Brendan Ranford who knocks it in to make it 2-1.

If you're the Prince George Cougars, how could you not be demoralized by such poor misfortune. You've carried the play. You've been peppering Cole Cheveldave with quality shots all night, and then you head into the intermission down 2-1 after 40 minutes ultimately becauase of a freak-bounce off the glass.

Shortly after the 2-1 goal, the Cougars got into penalty-trouble, which greatly contributed to their demise in the third period when the penalties continued. A couple more power play goals and ultimately the game is over at 5-1.

The beautiful thing about this situation is that there's another chance. Fortunately for the Cougars they have a chance to put last night's bad luck behind them and get things going again tonight against Kamloops.

Last weekend after a 4-2 loss, Dean Clark's team responded very well on Saturday and defeated Don Hay's Vancouver Giants. There is no reason why the same can't be done tonight.

If the Cougars continue their strong work-ethic, puck-luck is certain to come their way. Sooner or later the shots are going to start going in, and I've always maintained that once this team has a big offensive night, the goals are going to start coming in bunches. A little bit of confidence can go a long way in this league.

This team deserves your support, and they deserve better than what their record indicates. Tonight for the first time they'll have a full-lineup going for them, and an opportunity to showcase their true potential against a rival opponent.

I've been fired up for this game since the second I woke up this morning and I anticipate an enjoyable night tonight at CN Centre between two BC Division Rivals with no love loss for one another. Here's hoping you can make Cougars hockey a part of your Saturday night in one way shape or form.

See you at the rink.

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