4.20.2007

WHL Western Final - Game 1 Recap

As mentioned in previous posts, I'm fully pro-Prince George in this series. It's nothing against the Vancouver Giants, the city of Vancouver, or any of the team personnel ... I just prefer to cheer for the underdog. And there's no dog more under than the Cougars. During the regular season, the Giants finished with 26 more points than the Cougars ... so there's an obvious favourite here.

The Giants started the game with some heavy-duty forechecking, which led to a Lance Bouma goal just over 4 minute in. Vancouver continued the pressure throughout the opening frame, lodging 19 shots against Real Cyr, while Prince George managed only 7. Ouch.

It took until almost halfway through the 2nd period before Prince George managed to get on the board, and tie up the game. Ty Wishart took a pass from Nick Drazenovic, and fired a shot towards the net, which was deflected past Giant's goalie Tyson Sexsmith by Evan Fuller.
Sadly, this tie lasted a brief 55 seconds before Kenndal McArdle put the Giants back into the lead with a tip-in of his own. Then, about 6 minutes later, a wonderful display of passing by the Vancouver team resulted in a Michal Repik goal. 3-1 Giants lead. Shots in the 2nd period were 12-7 in the Giant's favour.

The third period didn't go much better for PG, though they did get a solid PPG with about 3.5 minutes left in the game. This was too little, too late, however. The Cougs did managed to keep Vancouver off the scoreboard in the 3rd period, and the Giants managed only 6 shots in the last 20 minutes (it should be noted that Prince George only fired 7 shots at Sexsmith).

Final score: VAN 3 - PG 2

Prince George really didn't come to play this game. When you're outshot 37-21, you really don't have a choice. Sexsmith is a decent enough goalie that PG has to fire a lot more rubber his way if they want to have any chance in this series. Hopefully we can just chalk this one up to experience, and hope for a Cougar's win tomorrow night at the rink on Renfrew.
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