Calgary Hitmen vs Kamloops Blazers October 14, 2012
Jordan Thomson (Kam 5) – 2014 eligible – Offensive, puckmoving defenseman was struggling to harness the puck today. Good point shot.
Brady Gaudet (Kam 7) – passed over in 2012. – Showing more physicality than last season.
[sociallocker]While generally Gaudet is a pretty smart player, his positioning wasn’t very good today as he was often on the wrong side of his man/puck. Size is a concern for him at the next level as well. Passes were off the mark today.
Colin Smith (Kam 9) – Colorado 2012. – Smith and JC Lipon were Kamloops’ most dangerous players all night. Very quick skater that is able to wheel around other players. Strength looks to have improved considerably as he won nearly every puck battle he had against the very large Hitmen defenders. Scored a nice goal by winning a puck battle in the corner circling through the slot and roofing a wrist shot off the crossbar and in the net while in full flight. Excellent blind pass to JC Lipon for Kamloops’ fourth goal.
Chase Souto (Kam 12) – 2013 eligible – A late ’94 birthday. Stong power move to the outside and drive to the net early on. Competed hard. Looks to lack the size needed to play his game professionally.
Matt Needham (Kam 14) – 2013 eligible – Quiet game despite centering a line with high-scoring Brendan Ranford and Dylan Willick. Hands and skill were just alright and he wasn’t able to use his skill at a high tempo. Steady, but far from spectacular. Didn’t see the powerplay time that his regular linemates did.
Tim Bozon (Kam 15) – Montreal 2012 – Was able to find his way through traffic in front of the net and had some good chances as a result. Showed good vision and patience in the offensive zone by finding where his teammates were when cycling the puck. Needs to improve his strength as he was knocked around today. Very good shot. Was able to spin off defenders with the puck. Made a few nifty dekes that kept Calgary guessing what he’d do. Not much to show for his effort, but he was one of the best players on the ice today.
Cole Ully (Kam 21) – 2013 eligible – Used his very good speed to break up a developing odd-man rush by diving to break up a pass and, instead directed the puck to his defenseman. Worked hard without the puck and was really noticable at both ends. Always gave a good effort. Created some chances and was rewarded with a 2nd period assist. Looks to have some offensive upside.
Brayden Geisinger (Kam 22) – 2013 eligible – limited ice time
Aaron Macklin (Kam 32) – 2013 eligible – Good speed, worked hard. His line always seemed to be chasing the puck as they rarely seemed to have possession of the puck let alone pressure Calgary’s defense.
Josh Thrower (Cal 2) – 2014 eligible – Wasn’t a factor today. Was exposed to the outside early on and didn’t establish the physical presence he is capable of. Took a bad penalty right after Calgary scored a go-ahead goal in the 2nd period. Kamloops scored on the man advantage leading to a momentum shift towards the Blazers.
Colby Harmsworth (Cal 6) – 2013-eligible- did not play
Chase Lang (Cal 10) – Sept. 13, 1996 – 2014-eligible – did not play
Jake Virtanen (Cal 18) – 2014-eligible – Started the game on the Hitmen’s top line with Brassart and Macek. Used his body to protect the puck well and actively engaged his contact, often challenging players to hit him while he had the puck. He needs to focus less on that aspect of his game when he has the puck as he isn’t moving his feet enough to create lane openings and his passes aren’t getting through traffic. The skill and skating ability are there to make the plays, he just isn’t completely focused on doing it all at the same time. Can dangle at high speed and used his skill to evade checks from Kamloops’ best players.
Greg Chase (Cal 25) – 2013-eligible – Tremendous vision and as his confidence has risen he is more patient with the puck. Fed Brassart with a tap in goal on the powerplay as he saw him open on the far side of the net. Quickly becoming the best set up man for the Hitmen this season. Displaying excellent leadership qualities as he takes charge at both ends of the rink and is very vocal especially in his own end directing players where to be and where the play should go.
Elliot Petersson (Cal 28) – 2013-eligible -Was very good on the penalty kill in the 2nd period where he was able to break up a play and lead a rush with good speed.
Mack Shields (Cal 31) – 2013-eligible – did not play
Game Notes: This game featured two very different teams in a matchup of the two remaining WHL teams that have yet to lose in regulation this season. Kamloops is a small, quick team that loves to push the pace in a run and gun type fashion while Calgary’s strength is their backend and size. Calgary attempted to impose their will on the Blazers but in the end, it was a combination of Kamloops’ skill and Calgary’s poor discipline that sealed a Blazers win.