A-Team Stumbles Into Playoffs
Posted March 15, 2016
It's often said that the playoffs begin a brand new season, and this is now what the A team must hope for as it lost its third consecutive game, this time 4-2 to Oakridge, to close out the regular season.
The Bandits again failed to seize the opportunity of a goalie who clearly was struggling, mustering only 18 shots in 3 periods against an Oakridge goalie whose first goal against came on a shot from outside the blue line (albeit, a rocket shot from Cal); whose second goal against he literally scored himself, sweeping the puck through his own legs as he tried to cover an uncontested rebound; and who otherwise had little-to-no rebound control. A post or two and several missed nets aided his cause.
At the other end, another excellent showing by Kyle was wasted as he stopped 27 of 31 shots, and was twice beaten by shots deflecting in off his own players.
The main positive I saw was the steady defensive play of Caanan and Patrick, who continued to be very efficient at getting the puck out of their own end and otherwise providing good defence for Kyle. both also had an assist and were plus 1 on a night of few pluses. Nathan also played hard and made several excellent defensive plays.
(1) Canaan (0 G, 1 A, +1; very sure and steady getting the puck out of our zone)
(2) Patrick (0 G, 1 A, +1; also very effiecient getting the puck out of our zone, and whose speed helped to both take away scoring chances for Oakridge and create scoring chances for the Bandits)
(3) Nathan (0 G, 0 A, +0; his hard skating helped to break up several rushes)
Honorable mention: Has there been a game all year when Kyle hasn't stood on his head to keep his team in the game?
Next come the playoffs; schedule pending. Despite the recent slide, there is little dividing the top 5 teams, so any team could come out as city champion. AND we have by far the best goalie.
Secrets to playoff success:
(1) Less risk-taking on defense
(2) Harder back-checking by the forwards
(3) ALL our top forwards showing up. Add their speed and skill to those of Kasey, Dylan and Spencer up front, and the goals WILL come.