With 2013 in the rear view mirror, I’d thought it’d be a good time to look at some of the best, not so best, strangest, most disappointing and most unexpected moments for the Chilliwack Chiefs over the last twelve months.
Let’s get the not so best out of the way first.
Prior to thumping the Trail Smoke Eaters 13-5 on Dec. 21 the Chiefs had lost a franchise record 11 straight games. The previous high was eight during the 1996-97 season.
The most unexpected moment had to be that record-setting win over Trail. You never expect a team to score 13 goals, something the Chiefs had only done once previously over 23 and a half seasons. Even more unexpected than that was the seven goal first period outburst. Never before had a Chiefs team scored that many goals in one period.
That leads us directly to the “I’ve never seen that before” moment of the year.
With the Chiefs leading that game 7-1 after one period I wondered at the time what the message would be to each team from their respective coaching staffs.
Whatever was said in the Trail dressing room certainly worked as the Smoke Eaters quickly scored to make it 7-2 and spent the next few minutes dominating the Chiefs. That led to the strangest moment of the year when Chiefs head coach Harvey Smyl called a time out. Has that ever happened before? It made perfect sense. The Chiefs had lost 11 straight and had to be a fragile group. Smyl needed to settle his team down and that’s what he did.
The most disappointing and best moments both occurred during last spring’s first round playoff series versus Prince George. The Chiefs were a much better team than PG.
Winning the best of five series quickly was very important and not doing so really hurt the Chiefs in their second round series versus Surrey. They lost to the Eagles in three straight.
As disappointing as that PG series was, it did set up the best moment of the year, a win in game five to give Chilliwack hockey fans their first hockey playoff series win in seven years.
There is nothing like the feeling of that final and deciding game in a playoff series and Chiefs fans were ready for that one and played a big part in the Chiefs moving on to round two.
Happy New Year everyone.