Well I did have wireless connectivity last night (thank you DP) but I wasn’t really prepared to blog during the game.... I will keep a live blog tonight during the Pats/Hitmen game; that should be fun.
Comments on the game....
Matt Hewitt probably had his strongest game in the Pats net. Despite bowled over and hacked numerous times. He totally held his composure and the Pats seemed to build confidence with each save he made. The only goal he let in was on a ridiculous bounce that just seemed to elude the Pats defenders and Hewitt. He totally deserved the first star.
Jamie Tucker the Raiders’ starter seemed to have a chip on his shoulder the whole game. It looked like he was being beaked the whole game and was beaking back. Neigum looked as though he got under Tuckers’ skin bad. I loved when he came out to challenge Mitchell along the boards and body checked him. It was funny to see a goalie throw a hit like that. He made some pretty impressive saves but his head wasn’t in it at all.
Props to the Pats defence, especially Davidson and Bell. Both guys played north of 30 minutes. When the Raiders decided to press they went with 2 lines and Hunt matched his lines and it worked. I hope I’m not getting my hopes up too high but I think that the Pats are starting to come together and will make a playoff run. That would be HUGE.
I was happy to see Dane Muench back in the line-up. Although he was on a line with Ouellette and Stevenson (4th line).... he had two quality scoring chances.... One on a breakaway where he had Tucker beat but shot it wide. Shortly after that shift he was wide open in front of the net, had the goalie down and redirected the puck just wide. He could have sealed the game for the Pats. If he keeps getting opportunities he will put the points up.
The officiating was yet again questionable at best. Led by #23 Byblow... I thought that the more experience you get the better you are at something. He isn’t getting any better at all. The five minute major for the Raiders was a bad call.... I don’t think that he meant to bowl over Hewitt. I only saw the replay on the big board and it definitely looked as though the Raider player was looking for a pass and lost where he was on the ice. If it was a genuine running I’m sure that Dyson Stevenson would have done more than push him along the wall. I think that the call was to get the Raider out of the game so that there wasn’t any more shenanigans. The goalie interference call on Mitchell felt like a total make up call for the five minute major. I don’t get how the Raider didn’t get a instigator penalty when he flew in after Mitchell. Mitchell won that scrap. I hopefully covered all of that.... end of my rambling.
Garrett Mitchell was sure on fire.... crunching hits (one that even winded himself), scoring opportunities, getting hit by the goalie and scrapping it up. He had a really good game.
Jordan Weal is an exciting player to watch and I’m glad he’s a Pat. I hope he’s a Pat once January 11th rolls around.
I really like Shayne Neigum and what he brings to the Pats. He had a nice goal beating Tucker five hole. He chirped at whoever would listen and I think he got under a few Raiders’ skin. Especially Tucker. He seemed to be somewhat focused on Parker and if I’m not mistaken Parker was held off the score sheet (after having 9 points in the three previous games).
Tanner Olstad seems like a little chirper that isn`t afraid to get involved even though he`s barley 5`7. He netted his first goal as a Pat on a nice drive to the net beating Tucker low glove side (far side) along the ice just inside post. He looked like he was talking and talking a lot on the ice.
Curtis Hunt looked a lot looser on the bench. He didn`t look like he wanted to pull his hair out last night. The Pats kept the turnovers down.... although there were a few the players seemed like they were held accountable and totally played as a team. Hunt is going to have a choice as to who will start tonight. I think Hewitt deserves to get the nod but It wouldn`t surprise me that Ketlo gets the start.
I myself feel more confident with Hewitt in net, but after seeing how Olivier Roy played for Canada against Sweden I am getting a bit more confidence in Ketlo.... But that’s me.
That`s all for now.
Like I said I`ll be blogging live at the game! Puck drop is at 6!