Hard work pays off

Bruins radio colour man Jacob Bestebroer writes a weekly column during the Western Hockey League season.

  • Jan. 13, 2011 12:00 p.m.

Chilliwack Bruins radio colour man Jacob Bestebroer saw some very good signs during a 5-2 midweek win over the Prince George Cougars.

In this week’s column, he highlights the benefits of a lunch-pail philosophy.

A solid effort from every player was the key to the Bruins defeating the Prince George Cougars 5-2 at Prospera Centre Wednesday night. Here are a few things from that game that stood out to me.

Ryan Howse scored one goal and created at least a half dozen other quality chances for himself and his linemates. But his most important play in the game was a defensive effort early in the third period.

With the Bruins on the power play, the Cougars broke up the play and were off to the races on a two on one. Howse, playing the point and about 30 feet behind the play, was able to catch up and break up the play just inside the Bruins blueline.

Plays like that lead to wins.

Blair Wentworth’s second period goal was another example of good things happening to hard workers. Tim Traber and Mike Forsyth did the dirty work on the play, getting in quickly on the forecheck and creating a turnover.

Wentworth took advantage of that hard work by getting in the open lane with his stick on the ice.

Result: goal.

This trio will never score a lot, but if they play like that they are a very important part of this Bruins team.

T.C. Cratsenberg’s verbal prowess had several members of the Cougars off their game. Whatever he was saying to Charles Inglis and Jesse Forsberg was hitting the mark.

With the Cougars trailing by three with just over six minutes left in the third he goaded Forsberg into taking a penalty that eliminated any chance the Cougars had of coming back.

The Bruins were at their best blocking shots in this game. Blocked shots are a key part of today’s game and it’s something the Bruins work on in practice.

Blocking shots in a close game is one thing, but seeing guys like Brandon Magee, Wentworth and Cratsenberg sacrifice their bodies late in the game with the Bruins up by four goals is another.

First star Jamie Crooks had maybe his best game of the season. His play to set up Kevin Sundher for the game’s first goal was another example of how never giving up on a play can pay off. With the puck drifting into the Cougars corner, it seemed like a good scoring chance had disappeared.

Crooks did not think so, got to the loose puck and simply put it towards the front of the net.

Kevin Sundher had also not given up on the play and was driving to the net with his stick on the ice. From what seemed to be an impossible angle the puck bounced off Sundher’s stick and into the back of the Cougars net.

The win didn’t move the Bruins out of fifth spot in the B.C. division, but it did put them four points back of the Cougars who are tied with Vancouver in first.

The Bruins and Cougars play each other Friday and Saturday night. Both games are in Prince George.

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