It wasn't the most exciting of games at the Brandt Centre on Wednesday night as the Kootenay Ice smothered the Pats taking a 3-2 overtime win in what frankly was something I haven't seen at the BC in a while---that being a very lackadaiscal hockey game as it was tough to watch thanks to the defensive first style of the defending WHL champs.
The Ice got their goal in overtime on a power play. After the game, Pats Head Coach Pat Conacher took some time to evaluate the performance of referees Chris Crich and Cole Hamm by saying this...
"Those guys don't work hard enough to get down the ice and they're definitely not together. They are lazy in getting up the ice."
I was sitting at the far end of the ice under the big screen, but I did see the penalty on Brandon Davidson that resulted in the winning goal on the CTV late night news and with all apologies to Conacher, it was a penalty. However, Conacher had every right to be upset with the officiating in this one and so could have Kootenay Head Coach Kris Knoblauch.
Early in the hockey game, the Pats had the puck in their own end when the referees arm went up. Goalie Matt Hewitt went racing to the bench. The only thing is the Ice picked up possession of the puck and started coming out of their own zone with it. The Ice player not realizing what was going on dumped the puck into the Regina end and when the Pats blueliner touched it, Regina's Andrew Rieder was charged for interference. Hewitt was ticked at the referee and he should have been since he blew the call by allowing Regina to originally skate out of the zone when they had the penalty. This happened again later on in the game as the Pats wondered why they were getting penalized after they had controlled the puck for a good time until the whistle had blown. I also thought there were a couple of hits along the boards that were a little questionable in my mind, but the refs turned the other way.
Medicine Hat and Moose Jaw are here Friday and Saturday and I'm guessing both games will be better than the one last nite simply because the Tigers and Warriors don't stress defence first the way the Ice do. That style of hockey won't win anyone over but it will generate wins and that my friends is just one of many problems with the game today.
Before I forget, two things for my good bud Cliff Mapes who is the VP of Operations.
1) On nights called Wiener Wednesdays, don't have an all-male hot tub
2) Go upstairs into the sound booth and yank "Cotton Eye Joe" out of the system so that patrons of the game never ever have to hear that song again. It is without a doubt one of the worst songs ever created and why it continues to get played is beyond me. There is plenty of other good music you can play. Thanks Cliffy!