It's been awhile since I have been on here and not even sure I know if this will post correctly.
In 15 years I have never seen a team with so few players take 5 out of 6 points on a weekend. 13 skaters took to the ice on Friday. Two of those guys had missed the two previous weekends due to injury and a couple others were not 100%. One of those 13 was affiliate Carl Main (thanks to Vernon midget coach Keith) making his first appearance in a ki regular season game
The Storm headed into Summerland against a very good team. Wilson Northey had a great offensive game, while the rest skated their hearts out to come away with a double overtime win with seconds remaining. 13 skaters almost 70 minutes of playing time! And on the road. Back to Kamloops and home at 3 am. Up the next day off to Revelstoke same 13 guys but in the second period a dman gets hit in the face with a puck. Off to the hospital he goes. Down to 12 skaters, only 2 of which are regular defence men. Another overtime granted less than 2 minutes but now we are at about 132 minutes of playing time. A wait at the hospital and home again after 3am.
You would expect no gas for the third game BUT not to be the case. Byl is out but great character from captain Brett Watkinson, who comes off injury to lead his team to a 3-1 home win over a good Revelstoke Grizzly team. We could only pick one star of the game but there were 14 different guys who showed leadership, integrity and heart. Way to go guys #neversoproud. #kijhl #kamloopsstorm teaching character. So why so short 3 guys leave for BCHL, two to Surrey Eagles for the remainder of the year (Hunter Kero and Rob Johnson) and Sol Siebel as an affiliate to Wes Kelowna. Sol will be back for next weekend. Several out with injuries think we counted 8 at one point in time.
You would think that without 3 of your better players, add in the injuries that if you got two points you would accept it, but this is such a balanced well coached teams that it just allowed other players to step up.
If we get to the finals this year, we can look back to this weekend as a turning point.
Saturday, February 14, 2015
Sicamous is in playoffs Revelstoke is out. BUT. Still don't know who we play. If 100 mile house loses. They will open against the Storm Friday in Kamloops. If they win they will play Chase and the Storm will play Sicamous.
Nothing more to say. What a fantastic season.
Wednesday, February 11, 2015
Still 1-2 games to go for the teams in Doug Birks race. Three teams have ensured a place in the playoffs, Kamloops are first. Chase is second. Three more separated by a total of 2 points. Wow!
100 mile are guaranteed a playoff spot. They could be third or fourth. Their last game of the year is Sunday against the Storm in Kamloops. Could be a first round matchup. Sicamous play Princeton in Sicamous. They need one point to beat out Revelstoke. A win and they could finish third if 100 Mile lose their last game.
Revelstoke plays Chase and need a win with Sicamous losing to get the final spot. Revelstoke have had the best record in the division over the last ten games with scoring from Chavez-Leetch, Roberts and Fuist
The Storm lead the division in goals scored and fewest goals against. Chase are second in team scoring and fourth in goals against. Revelstoke is third in scoring and third in goals against. Chase and the Storm are the only two teams in the division that have scored more goals than they have given up. Sicamous has the largest difference in goals for and against having given up 17 more goals than they scored.
Sicamous may have the hardest game to finish the year. Princeton is tied with Kelowna for third place in the Okanagan and need to win to avoid a first round match up against Osoyoos. They also need Summerland to beat Kelowna. It is questionable if Chase will take a full lineup to Revelstoke so no idea what will happen in that game.
In our division I have never seen a race like this. Don't go anywhere the fat lady hasn't even started to sing
Storm play Saturday 7 pm vs Spokane and Sunday at 5 against 100 Mile House. Playoffs will start in Kamloops Friday February 20 at 7 pm and Saturday February 21 also a 7 pm start. The Saturday game will also be a fundraiser for former Storm/Blazer/Venom trainer Peter Friedel. Pete has been fighting diabetes and kidney problems. A portion of every ticket sold at the game will go to Peter. Come out make some noise and help support Peter. This is a joint fundraiser for the Storm, kamloops Venom and Kamloops Blazers. Pete has given tirelessly to the Kamloops sporting community it is our chance to give back. Tell everyone you know to come to the game. Cheer on the boys and cheer on Pete
Friday, February 6, 2015
Definitely not a defensive battle and the animosity shows through as the grizzlies come away with a 9-7. Victory. Seemed the last shot was going to win as neither team could stop the goals. Mark O'Shaugnessy had a good game for the Storm while Michael Roberts was the best player for Revelstoke. Rematch next Friday as the Storm will once again be on the road to Revelstoke. In the meantime the Storm play Saturday at 7 against Nelson Leafs. Then Monday it is Chase Heat in a 5 pm family day start. The family day game will have a skate before the game from 1-3 pm with several Storm players. Come out meet your favourite players and enjoy a free skate. Then stay for an exciting game.
The Chase Heat had a big win 4-1 over Nelson. The win kept them 7 points ahead of 100 mile and Revelstoke there magic number to clinch second place is now 2 with four games remaining. To clinch a playoff spot and ensure they can't be caught by Revelstoke or Sicamous the magic number is one. It could go to the wire
The new feature on the kijhl.com website with previews makes it easy to figure out how teams have done at a glance.
Sicamous has two games left. Princeton and Spokane. Both of the teams are playoff bound. Do they rest players which might help the Eagles. Sicamous has won the previous games 5-2 over Princeton and 3-2 over Spokane. Neither Spokane or Princeton can move up in the standings but both are only four points up on the fourth place team in their division. The race could be settled by the time they play as they play on the last weekend. Do Princeton and Spokane rest players from the long road trip if the standings are set OR do they bring full guns to prepare for the first round of playoffs. Sicamous maximum points 56 enough to get second.
Revelstoke. Not a fan of the organization but Michael Roberts is fun to watch. They play kamloops 2 times at home. Revelstoke are 2-4 against the Storm scoring 12 and allowing 23. They beat North ok 5-2 in the one time they have met. They also have a winning record against 100mile 4-2 out scoring the Wranglers 27-21. Chase holds a slight advantage at 2-3-1-1 but both team have scored 17 goals and allowed17. The addition of Roberts makes me think Revelstoke has a chance to catch second place. Depends on the Storm with a big game tonight. Revelstoke maximum points 57
Chase play Nelson who beat them 4-3. Nelson can catch Spokane and will be looking for a strong showing this weekend after all the Leafs controversy. Against 100 Mile they are 4-2-1 scoring 31 while giving up 30 goals. They need this win to have a run at second place. They also play Revelstoke and Kamloops. Strong rivalry with the Storm on family day game in Kamloops 5 pm start. A win Monday and at least one over Nelson or 100 Mile will be huge. Chase maximum points 64. Kamloops have more wins so have clinched first place.
100 Mile also play North ok who the lost to 4-2. They need to sweep all three games this weekend to stay in the race. Wranglers maximum points 59
Predictions I can see Chase second as they have had good success against the teams they play. Hodges and Boyle have been good all season. Solid defence with Okino and good goaltending Byer can win games for his team.
The rest is up for grabs. Sicamous has good goaltending duo but is one hurt? Hasn't dressed in a bit! Grieve and Jepson can control a game. Revy goalie we haven't really seen Doak so he is an unknown. Fiust and Leech are good young players and Roberts can be dynamic. They need to win most or all of their games avoid injuries and suspensions to make a run. If they get into playoffs they will be hard to beat. Chase hold their own destiny and should prevail. 100 Mile have great goaltending and if they play like they can are very good. Coach Dale has allowed players to play in BCHL, so could be why they have the worst record in division at 3-6-0-1 in last ten games. Assume they will all be back. They are big and fast.
This might be the best playoff race in last ten years that I can remember. And any team in playoffs can be a surprise. No one to take lightly in the Birks Division
Thursday, February 5, 2015
Tuesday, March 11, 2014
The Storm are playing 100 mile house wranglers. The first two games in Kamloops were won by the Storm. 8-3 and 3-0. The first game was a Dominos pizza night. The Storm threw shot after shot at Kristian Stead who played well despite allowing 8 goals. In the first period he stopped 25 shots which gave his team a lot of confidence. The Storm offence took over in the second period lead by Max James.
Game 2 saw Liam McLeod earn the shutout, with Mitch Friesen scoring the game winning goal on a beauty feed from Max James.
Game 3 goes tonight in 100 Mile House with game 4 tomorrow also I'm 100 Mile. Not a lot of lineup changes expected from the Storm who have been rolling 4 lines. The Wranglers are a little beat up and will be without Santerno who is suspended for a hit from behind. Santernonhas been one of the best players for 100 mile all season so he will be missed.
Couple of issues and would love to hear your thoughts on the subjects.
League awards. The Storm won the league during regular season, and had the largest margin over the nex closest team yet got 2 awards. In the other conferences the dominant team received the bulk of the awards. No slight to the guys who won but why wasn't Max James rookie of the year. Similar points to the guy who won but played less games. How about Bobby Kashuba for most sportsmanlike. 17 pims and over 60 points. And the coaching staff? I know we all make nominations and team awards are more important than individual but why is this? Jealousy in our division? Maybe the way the guys were slighted will give us more determination in playoffs.
The other issue is league/hockey wide. I am not a proponent of fighting or dirty play, but is it fair to suspend a player 5 games in playoffs for a check from behind and accumulated fighting penalties. I don't know all the details but Brandon Formosa who is one of the best players in the league will miss the rest of the series against Kimberley and if they advance maybe part of the next for just that reason. Formosa is an aggressive player and we don't see him a lot but he has never been a goon against our team. This suspension could cost Creston a division title. Surely there has to be a better solution. Let us know your thoughts