After the shock of seeing a 4-1 lead disappear in the final 10 minutes of a 5-4 overtime loss to Vernon wore off, it wasn’t difficult to find some positives for the Chilliwack Chiefs.
For 50 minutes this was the best game the Chiefs had played this season. Several players, including guys who had been healthy scratches in previous games, played their best game of the season.
It was also the first time this season the Chiefs had held a lead after two periods.
The final 10 minutes of the game make it easy to forget these things. Mistakes were made, things snowballed and the game got away from Chilliwack.
But lessons were learned, and the first 50 minutes gives them something to build on. I thought Chiefs captain Austin Plevy and Vernon’s Mason Blacklock were the two best players in this game. Blacklock scored two of the late Vernon goals, including the tying goal.
Interestingly, Blacklock and Plevy were both brought into the BCHL together three years ago, as 16 year olds, by Chiefs head coach Harvey Smyl when he was in Langley.
Saturday’s game reminded me of an early season game last season in Chilliwack against Langley. Oct. 10 to be exact.
Langley was up 3-0 with seven minutes to go in the third period. The Chiefs scored four straight to win 4-3 in regulation.
These things happen.
Langley’s season didn’t end that night and Chilliwack’s did not end on Saturday.
Off the ice the Chiefs continue to do some great things in the community.
The Book Man ‘Read with the Chiefs’ program is in full swing, with Chiefs players visiting local elementary schools to read to and play floor hockey with students. If your class would like to be a part of this check the Chiefs website for details.
Last week the Chiefs took part in the first annual Harvest For Health event that was held to promote healthy eating.
Chiefs players were victors in both the scarecrow building contest and the corn shucking event (check the Chiefs website or Facebook page for pictures).
Back on the ice, it’s three straight on the road now for the Chiefs including last night’s contest in Langley.
The Rivermen, coached by former Chiefs Bobby Henderson are off to a strong start this season. They entered last night’s game having won six straight games and held a three point lead on top of the Mainland division.
Saturday night the Chiefs are in Cowichan to face the Capitals before playing a mid-afternoon game Sunday in Victoria against the Grizzlies.
The Capitals, under new ownership this year, have six wins in their first 13 games. Last season they won just 13 of 56. The Grizzlies, always tough to play on home ice, enter the weekend with a record of 6-5-1-0.