Twisted twigs apparently got their start in the 1830’s. From 1850 to the 1930’s the Mi’kmaq from Nova Scotia were the experts. The most expensive stick out there currently is an 1850 “Mic Mac” worth $4.2 million, that would kill a team’s stick budget! From maple, willow, yellow birch, ash which were extremely heavy, durable and unforgiving, we now see very light snap happy carbon fibre products killing team budgets. So, as you guessed this isn’t an article on an old dance craze, it’s about modern-day ballet on ice and what helps win the contest.
A twist of the wrist, a shaft snapping slapper, a toe drag, a deflection or a back hander are a few of the ways to put the biscuit in the basket for a game winning goal. The HEAT of late have discovered that all the above have been means to 5 straight victories. Added to the twig tricks the duo of Vince Bennedetto and Dylan Barton have torqued, twisted, dove, snatched, batted, pounced and squeezed the vulcanized disk while standing guard between the pipes. At weekend’s end the team had scored at a rate of 3.8/game (95 goals), while allowing 2.84 against (71).
The Creston Valley THUNDER CATS dropped into the local Chaos Castle Friday the 29th. The track meet that ensued was entertaining for the fans with the action fast paced, skilled and with very little mayhem. Rookie power forward Trevor Kennedy got the party started, helped by his line mates Breckin Erichuk and Hayden Wiebe. The trio struck again with less then 2 minutes left in the 1st period, Erichuk aided and abetted by Kennedy and Wiebe. In the 2nd both teams raced, rattled and rolled but the tenders between the pipes shut the doors. In the final 20 minutes Colton Nikiforuk shone in the spotlight with a pair of counters 43 seconds apart. The first “Nifty Niko” was assisted by Cam Watson and Caleb Biensch, the second by Evan Hughes and Bennedetto. Those goals involved all 5 of the 20-year olds on the hot product roster. Kennedy, Erichuk, Wiebe and Nikiforuk all enjoyed 2-point nights but the star of the show was Bennedetto with a 30-shot denied shutout! The fans were higher than kites enthusiastic about the 60 minutes of action.
Saturday the 30th the HEAT rode to 100 Mile House to face off versus the WRANGLERS. Cam “Captain Crunch” Watson got Chase off to an early lead with help from Erichuk. Local phenom Tyson “Lamps” Lampreau added to the lead with a helper from Hughes. Brandon “Grimmer” Gremaud popped in a man advantage tally from Matthew Poole and Evan Vinterlik, after 20 minutes 3-0 for the visitors. In the 2nd the Cariboo crew got one back, it’s now 3-1. The 3rd period saw Century City get 2 more and tie the contest at 3-3. However, Captain Watson with 50 seconds left, fired a fierce and focused slapper from the point assisted by Erichuk and Kennedy. The end score 4-3, with tender Barton stopping 34 of 37 to star in this battle.
Four available and earned points to give the HEAT 7 points of breathing room from the 3rd place WRANGLERS in the Doug Birks Division standings.
Next up at the Art Holding Memorial Arena a Chase Country Christmas main event on Saturday December 7th versus the KIJHL leading “Ka Boom Boys”, the Kimberley DYNAMITERS. Please bring a nonperishable food item for the Food Bank and an unwrapped gift for under the tree. It’s puck toss night and your contributions earn a sponge puck to be thrown after the 1st HEAT goal. A night of giving and fun, while watching great Junior hockey action. We look forward to a packed and rumbling and rocking rink!