Monday, October 6, 2014

Winterhawks Give Kompon His First Win: 3-2 in OT Over Everett

Jamie Kompon got his long overdue first WHL win on Saturday night; a 3-2 thrilling Over Time win over the host Everett Silvertips. The Over Time loss was the 2nd straight OT loss for Everett as they lost the previous night to Kelowna in their home opener: 5-4.


Alex Schoenborn was the OT hero in this game. It was his 5th career game winning goal and first career WHL OT winner. The winner came 2:40 into the extra session and was the direct product of his and linemate Miles Koules' hard work fore-checking in the Everett zone. They were both buzzing around the Tip's net for their entire shift and this caused Everett D-men Noah Juulsen and Ben Betker to turn the puck over multiple times, before Schoenborn was able to backhand the puck on net, defelecting off Betker's skate and past Goalie Carter Hart to end the game.

The two teams got into Over Time by trading goals the first of which was notched off an insane behind the back deflection for Chase De Leo on a Layne Viveiros point shot for Portland. Then recent acquisition Nikita Scherbak walked in and sniped it past Goalie Brendan Burke on the power play to tie the score 3:10 into the 2nd period. Tyson Predinchuk, who was skating on the 4th line with Evan Weinger and Alex Overhardt, took a drop pass from the onrushing Viveiros and filed it past Hart for the league. Everett again tied the score, this time after a centering pass from behind the net, deflected into the air and was batted out of the air with a blind swing by Remi Laurencelle with under 4 minutes to play in the 2nd.

Brendan Burke and Carter Hart then traded huge saves in the 3rd, to force the extra session. Oliver Bjorkstrand and Miles Koules both struck iron in the 3rd. Schoenborn's goal was not just because of the effort they made, but the work of the 2 previous forward units, as Portland got all 3 shots in OT and controlled most of the play.

Burke stopped 26 of 28 shots for his first win and Hart saved 28 of 31 for the loss. The Hawks were 0/1 on the power play and is now 0/6 on their last 6 power plays and 5/29 (17.2%). Everett was 1/1 on the night and is now 6/25 (24%) on the season. Portland's PK takes a hit going down to 78.9% and Everett's improves to 75%.

Game Notes:
-I really like what I am seeing from Portland's second line. Paul Bittner, Dominic Turgeon and Keegan Iverson are an everage of 6'2" and 202 lbs and all play really well with and without the puck. They consistently wore down Everett's Defensemen and though they didn't get any points on the night, they created a lotof chances. Even with Nic Petan returning as soon as Monday night in Victoria, I hope they keep these 3 large bodies together.
-The 4th line got a goal for the 2nd night in a row with Predinchuk notching his 2nd of the year. Weinger scored on Friday night. Alex Overhardt, Weinger and Predinchuk seem to work well together and Coach Jamie Kompon had no problem with them matching up vs Everett's top line of Kohl Bauml, Brayden Low and Nikita Scherbak.
-Miles Koules was even better in his second game in a Portland sweater, looking for outlets and getting sent on one breakawy and coming inches from catching another. He fits really well in Kompon's system with his hard work on the boards and plays at a quick pace which will benefit him even more when Petan returns.
-Koules also is really sollid 1 on 1, setting up an open shot even with a D-man all over him. At one point in the 3rd period, he made a nifty behind the back play, setting up an open shot.
-Portland's defense is improving at keeping driving opponents to the outside, but still has a long way to go.
-Joshua Smith continues to be a penalty minute machine with another minor, which directly led to Scherbak's goal. Smith's penalty came from him not mioving his feet enough on the play. He really needs to do a better job of using his size in a legal way.
-Jack Flaman, Travis McEvoy (O/A), Colton Veloso, Brendan De Jong and Nick Heid were all healthy scratched for the Hawks on the night, as Blake Heinrich is the only Winterhawk remaining out of the lineup for health reasons (concussion). You would think that some changes will be made soon to the roster.
-Portland went with a #1 power play unit of De Leo, Koules and Bittner up front and Layne Viveiros and Oliver Bjorkstrand on the points. If Petan returns Monday, he will likely take Bjorkstrand's spot on the point, oving him up to where he is comfortable in the middle.
-Former Winterhawk Tyler Sandu, really has been a disappointment for Everett, after a 33 point 16 year old campaign, he had 30 points last season in an injury plagued season. This season he is already playing down on the 3rd line RW with Laurenecelle and Patrick Bajkov.
-Cole MacDonald is being counted on to play a shut down role for Everett this season and he was matched up vs. Portland's top line, doing a mostly solid job of keeping this line in check.

3 Stars:
#3: Remi Laurencelle- I am getting more and more impressed with his play this season. Last year he was more of a 4th line after-thought, scoring only 4 points after being acquired from Lethbridge. This season he is one of Everett's more energetic players and is a good 2 way player.

#2: Alex Schoenborn: The OT hero on the night is responding well to his demotion to the 3rd line. In my opinion, he works best in an energy/checking line role and not when he is being counted on to provide a lot of offense. He made a couple great plays and seems to live by the mantra of "just get the puck on net," which exactly what you want from a 3rd line winger.

#1: Layne Viveiros: Not just for his 2 assists on the night but for his very impressive 1 on 1 plays. By my count he shut down both Ivan Nikolishin and Scherbak 5 times in 1 on 1 match ups in the neutral zone and at his own blue line. Whether this is the anomally or a sign of improving play, we will not know for some time, but regardless he is working his way out of my doghouse.

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