Well the Warriors and Vees just seem incapable of playing a boring game. Even in the pre-season.
Sunday’s exhibition opener at RLP was actually a darn good hockey game, even though a lot of the vets for both teams were sitting in the stands.
On the one hand, the Warriors never can seem to close out those pesky Vees (in this one they led 2-0 inside the final five minutes, and retook a 3-2 lead with a minute left – only to have the game end in a 3-3 tie). On the other hand, you had young players carrying the load with the game on the line, and learning valuable lessons all night.
*Cody Porter for example, may not like the result. But he sure looked good as the Vees began to press. The kid hasn’t even turned 16 yet, but he has some serious moxie back there. Steven Myland was dynamite in his first half-shutout, too. We’ll see what happens when Andy Desautels arrives, but goaltending is looking like a strength on this team, and could be for a few years still.
*Liam Blackburn is a gem. I’m not sure how this young man wasn’t a more sought-after recruit. He will put up some serious points as a rookie, and he will be counted on to play in key situations with the big dogs. And he’s also a guy who could probably play with anyone, though I betcha Hesler and Anholt would be happy to stay together.
The systems also seem like they’re coming together. There were periods last night when both teams were pressing. The Vees did outshoot WK by a good margin (40-25 if my memory serves). But it wasn’t chaotic. I think the players equipped themselves pretty well, for game number one.
Now, I understand Coach Ferster was making some cuts right after the game, so a bunch of these youngsters will now head back to their midget teams, etc. But they did a great job while in camp.
And it sounds like we’ll have a more seasoned lineup on Monday in Pen.
Myself and Wayne Moore caught up with Captain Matt Anholt after the game. Take a listen to that conversation here (runs 3:30)