Thursday, March 31, 2005


A Giants OT loss with a side of Hame Zlin

The Vancouver Giants set another club attendance record last night as 13,722 denizens shuffled their way into the Pacific Coliseum to watch Game 4 versus the Kelowna Rockets.

Unfortunately for us Vancouverites, Rockets forward Lauris Darzins scored just 2 minutes into overtime to give the Rockets a 2-1 win and tie the series at two. The Giants have lost both OT games in this exciting series, which has rarely had a dull moment.

For the Giants, Marek Schwarz was great for the Giants and was named the game’s second star. Schwarz made 29 saves and had a few adventures in the 3rd period, but he was the main reason why the Rockets didn’t win the game sooner.

The Rockets managed to play almost perfect defence for the entire game this time around, as they limited the Giants to just 17 shots and killed all 4 Giants’ Power Plays. Offensive stars Gilbert Brule, Mitch Bartley, and Andrej Meszaros were not at all effective generating offence last night as they were bottled up like a miniature ship.
Adam Courchaine had the only goal for the Giants, but he was pretty quiet otherwise.

Big Dan, a professed Hitmen bandwagoner, over at The Face Off Circle had a great post about WHL Playoff fever hitting Western Canada.

Still, it was pretty cruel of him to compare the Vancouver Giants to the Edmonton Oilers...blecch!
An even bigger shocker is the Kelowna Rockets and Vancouver Giants. This is like the Dallas Stars and Edmonton Oilers. The Rockets ALWAYS beat the Giants. They are a veteran squad who are just like Dallas used to be- deadly on the power play and like to get the lead and then play boring hockey. Kelowna has a couple Oiler prospects (Tyler Spurgeon and Troy Bodie) and are led by defenseman Shea Weber and goalie Derek Yeomans.

This is pretty much a spot on observation, but I wouldn’t say the Rockets are really led by Derek Yeomans. Like Kelly Guard last season (who has not done well in the ECHL this year), Yeomans has it pretty easy most nights (like last night) and just has to stay awake long enough to make the required 15-20 saves as long as the Rockets play their system to a ‘T’. When the Rockets have broken down defensively in this series, Yeomans has not done much to bail out his forwards and defence.

- - -

Hame Zlin has now tied up their series with HC Vitkovice at 3 thanks to a 4-3 shootout victory yesterday. Slovak forward Peter Barinka scored the winning goal and I really hope no games in the league finals are settled via the shootout. Frankly, there seems to be no need to decide important playoff games with a gimmicky shootout.

Hame Zlin almost handed the game away in the 3rd period when Petr Mokrejs (see below picture) gave a vicious high-stick to the face of Vaclav Varada. Mokrejs was assessed a 5+game misconduct penalty and Vitkovice could only score one goal to tie the game at 3.

"Don’t cry, I’m sure Santa will give you an X-Box next Christmas!"

My boy Jaroslav Balastik had 2 assists and stayed out of the penalty box, while Marek Malik was scratched in favour of 19 year-old Jiri Mocek.

there is a mistake in game sheet, Jiri Mocek did not play, Malik was sent off by Pavel Mojzis, not Jiri Mocek. anyway, Malik sucks...

Oh forget it--I'm not going to get in yet another fight with yet another f*ckhead.
Sorry, but...YAY for Lauris Darzins!!!
Who names their boy Lauris?
Oh yeah, Finns and Latvians ;)

Mojzis makes more sense than Mocek, thanks for noticing's error :)

As for Malik, he's obviously been hurt by the big ice and everyone in Czechia seems to notice this. I just hope he doesn't pick up bad habits that hurt him when he returns to Vancouver.
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