It seems a little silly to post my game 3 report after game 4 is finished, but damn that was a great game, so I need to post something about it.
The biggest surprise of this game was the announcement of the scratches for the Chiefs. Stephen Keogh? Really? Who the hell are they bringing in that’s so damn good they decided to sit Keogh?! Oh, Cody Jamieson? OK, well, I guess that’s acceptable. Still, there are a bunch of other people I’d have sat before Keogh.
After being pulled early in the third period of game 2, Dillon Ward looked sharp early in game 3, but Frankie Scigliano also looked good. The goals alternated almost all night – Six Nations scored, then Maple Ridge, then Six Nations, then Maple Ridge, … until the Burrards scored with less than four minutes left, giving them the lead. They held the lead for all of 2:11 before the Chiefs tied it. The game was tied at 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7.
The Chiefs took a lot of shots (they led the game 55-29 including outshooting the Burrards 20-9 in the second period and 19-9 in the third. But they didn’t really test Scigliano much in the first two periods; an awful lot of those shots hit him square in the chest. The Burrards did the opposite – they didn’t hit Dillon Ward much at all, they kept shooting high and wide and a lot of their shots hit the boards instead. Their shooting got better in the third quarter but so did Ward.
I didn’t take any pictures at this game, so this is a picture of Dillon Ward a couple of years ago as a Hamilton National, signing an autograph for my son (green hat). I’m wearing the red hat. I believe the woman in blue on the right is Mrs. Jeremy Thompson.
Like I said, this was just an excellent game. End-to-end action in both directions and not a lot of play stoppages. At one point in the second, I’m sure play went on for five minutes with not a single whistle. Part of this was due to a non-NLL rule I’m really starting to like – the shot clock does not run when a shorthanded team has possession. This means that if you’re good enough, you can grab the ball early in the penalty you’re trying to kill, and just run around for two minutes. Maple Ridge did this twice, and it was awesome.
In one case, the Burrards were killing a penalty and early in the penalty, the Chiefs got called for one, but the call was delayed because Maple Ridge had possession. Frankie Scigliano left the net and headed to the Burrards bench, but didn’t leave the floor. He stopped just short of the white line-change box, even pointing out to the ref that he was not in the box. The Burrards did not send an extra attacker out, presumably because the shot clock would have started. Instead, Frankie stood next to the bench for the full two minutes while the team killed the penalty (though he did grab a drink of water). With only a few seconds left in the penalty, the Burrards scored to negate the Chiefs delayed penalty. It seems weird that while killing a penalty, the Burrards seemed to have the advantage.
Game four just ended a short while ago, with the Chiefs winning by the same 9-7 score, though not in OT. That one was also tied five times. Clearly Maple Ridge is not the pushover many thought they’d be.
Other game notes:
- I much preferred the Burrards white jerseys to the dark blue ones they wore in Game 2.
- In overtime, Dan Dawson was being covered by two defenders when someone sent him a pass. It appeared that he didn’t even see the pass coming until it was halfway there, and then nonchalantly caught it with one hand on the stick.
- Travis Irving took a tripping penalty in overtime which didn’t look like tripping to me. He and whoever he “tripped” just got their feet tangled up together and they both fell. Then Kevin Reid took a holding penalty that was pretty cheap as well. (“cheap” meaning it might have been technically holding since he grabbed Cody Jamieson’s jersey, but just for a second and it didn’t slow Jamieson down one iota.) IMHO, neither of these should have been called penalties, especially in overtime of a game where they weren’t calling much. Putting the Burrards on the PK for half of overtime for these kind of penalties was kind of unfair.
- I sat across from the Maple Ridge bench rather than down in the end like game 2, and actually had phone and internet service… at least sometimes. For most of the game, the internet didn’t work while the phone was in my hand but once I put it in my pocket, it updated.