THE BATTLESHIP PAINT THEORY OF THE GRIZZLYS FRIDAY NIGHT LOSS TO THE CANUCKS
copyright TG Storey
If you have to lose a hockey game, what better team to lose to than one named the Canucks? Slang for “Canadians.” Why it's not really a loss at all, is it? More of a patriotic duty is the way I see it.
Hence the Grizzlys Friday night 3 – 1 loss to the Calgary Canucks is not really a loss. More an act of patriotism is how I see it.
And in recognition of that act of patriotism, I am writing this piece of high caliber hockey analysis standing up, out of respect. One hand over my heart. Having a bit of difficulty, though, manipulating the shift button on the keyboard, with just one hand. But for the cause of national pride, it's worth the effort.
Period 1 wasn't the most active period of hockey I've seen. A surprise goal early on by the Canucks, at 2:20 was the only scoring action.
But it was as neat of a goal as you'd ever want to see. It started out with the puck against the boards in the Grizzlys end, behind and off to the left of the net. Just by the Ramada sign, if you have an eye for advertising.
The puck was dug out and centered to Canuck Forward, # 13, Cooper Johnson, midway up the slot. He wristed a low shot that beat Grizzlys goal tender, Andrew Henderson, on his stick side.
Henderson had been tight over against the left goal post and just couldn't make it to center crease in time to make the stop. Goal # 1 against. It was the first shot on net of the night. Not a good sign.
That oddity of the goal being the firstt shot on net may have worked on the minds of players on both teams and prevented further goals, in an otherwise unremarkable First Period, and limited shots on net to a paltry, 14. The Canucks led in those shots on goal, 9 -5.
And while play was going on in front of me, I got to wondering what ever happened to Alex Karras, a twelve season Defensive Linebacker for the Detroit Lions. If memory serves correctly one his motivations for playing football was to hit opposing players so hard as to pop snot bubbles out of them.
Though that shouldn't be a motivator for ALHL hockey players, play of that nature does make for exciting hockey. Ironically, it was how a relatively unexciting First Period ended. Olds Forward, # 15, Jack Berger pasted a Canucks player into the boards in the opposition end with sufficient force that an official checked the protective glass to make sure it was still in its frame.
“Could be an exciting Second Period,” is what I was thinking.
Indeed, play did pick up in the Second Period. And the Grizzlys made it to the scoreboard. Although the official Score Card for the game does not support me on this, I remember the Olds effort as a power play goal.
I remember the Grizzlys passing the puck around so much, and for so long, in the Canucks end that I figured I was going to need a manicure before they were done. Mercifully the puck was passed to Olds Defenceman, # 8, Aiden MUCENSKI, who unloaded a blistering slap shot on the Canucks goal from just inside the blue line.
How the puck didn't turn to molten rubber with the speed it was traveling is something for a physicist to work out. I figured it was going to burn a fiery path through the back of the Canucks net and stick to the boards out behind. But no, it dropped to the ice, maybe smoking just a bit till it cooled off.
Assisting on the goal were # 9 Forward, Parker Ward, and # 4, Defenceman, Jared Bowman.
With that sonic boom of a goal, the score was tied 1 – 1. And that's how it remained for the balance of the period.
Shots on goal were 21 – 8 in favor of the Canucks.
The period ended with a nose smear kind of check administered on a Canucks player by Olds Forward # 21, Jeremy KLESSENS. It had the Canucks player inspecting the safety glass atop the boards, from close up.
“There may be hope for the Grizzlys in this game,” is what I was thinking.
Unfortunately, that was not to be. Olds Net Minder, Andrew Henderson was beaten at 6:30 by a slap shot delivered from about the center of the face off circle on his right. Canucks Forward # 9, Cooper Page, took the honors on that one.
The Canucks were now ahead 2 – 1.
Olds put up a good effort, beating the Canucks in shots on goal during the period, 11 – 7. But the Grizzlys couldn't get the puck in the next.
I have my own theory on why that was. Has to do with the helmet, the Canucks goalie was wearing. Just as World War 1 battleships were painted in confusing geometric designs known as “dazzle camouflage” to confuse enemy gunners, the Canucks goalie's helmet seemed decorated for maximum distraction.
It looked part chrome finish and part fake snow Christmas decoration. I imagined Olds players seeing their reflection in it as they approached the Canucks net, and getting confused as to whether they should shoot the puck or drop to the ice and block an anticipated shot from their reflected image.
Me, I was hoping the Canucks goalie would make a pass by the corner of the rink where I was photographing so I could check his mirror helmet to see if I had popcorn in my teeth.
Late in the Third Period, the Grizzlys pulled their goal tender in a last ditch effort to tie the game. But, the Canucks scored an empty net, break away goal. Calgary Canucks Forward, # 19, Zach RUSSEL, got the honors for that.
And so, the Olds Grizzlys departed the ice surface 3 – 1 game losers. But, as mentioned earlier, there are no losers playing a team named Canucks. Just patriots. Therefore, stand proud Olds Grizzlys.