Long-awaited Lake Cowichan Kraken opener ends with shootout thriller – Lake Cowichan Gazette
As the Lake Cowichan Kraken and Comox Valley Glacier Kings warmed up for the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League game last Friday at Cowichan Lake Sports Arena, an appropriate song played over the sound system.
The Black Keys’ “Lonely Boy”, which features the phrase “I have a love that keeps me waiting”, sounded on the ice.
These words fit perfectly at the moment. Not only was it the first Junior B hockey game in decades in Lake Cowichan – a town that definitely loves its hockey – but the Kraken’s first three games of the season had been postponed, and then this contest was delayed by one hour after the game of the visiting team. the bus broke down.
The next song, however, was “Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting,” covered by Nickelback, and it was Friday night. You can’t win them all.
The Kraken came close to winning their home debut, tying the Glacier Kings in regulation time, then playing a scoreless overtime before ultimately falling into a shootout by a final score of 4-3.
After team introductions and a showdown ceremony that included members of the Ts’uubaa-asatx First Nation, Mayor Bob Day, Lady of Lake Mariah Segee and former professional hockey players Steve Lindgren and Brian Lundberg, it didn’t take long for the Kraken to score their first home goal as Kellan Brienan’s shot cheated Comox goaltender Ryder Lally just 95 seconds after the official puck’s first official pitch.
The Glacier Kings scored twice in the second period before the Kraken moved on in the third. The hosts tied the score on a KC Cosgrove goal just 56 minutes into the game, then took the lead when Ryland Semaniuk scored at 3:49. The Glacier Kings called extra time on Liam Schreiber’s second of the night with four and a half minutes left in regulation.
Neither team scored in overtime, sending the game to a scream. Jake Hebert, who won the first star by stopping 34 of 37 shots in regulation, was beaten in two of three shootout attempts, while the two Lake Cowichan shooters were stopped by Lally.
Dan Whiteford was hired as the Kraken’s head coach less than a week before their first game, replacing Ray Tremblay, who stepped down earlier this month. While he didn’t wait as long as the players, he certainly recognized how important it was to finally get into action.
“It’s been a bit of a long and drawn-out process, for sure,” he said. “The boys were pretty excited Thursday in Victoria; they were amplified, ready to go.
The Kraken played their opener the day before, losing another close game to powerful Victoria Cougars by a final score of 2-1. The Cougars scored in the first and second periods, and Lake Cowichan defenseman Suhilpreet Deol finally resolved Victoria goaltender Jonah Chambers with 16 seconds left, making history as the Kraken’s first scorer. The Kraken continued to fight until the final buzzer sounded, hitting the post with about 10 seconds remaining. Josh Robins made 32 saves for Lake Cowichan, while Chambers made 19 saves on 20 shots in the net for Victoria.
“Even with an experienced team it’s a tough place to get through,” Whiteford said of the Cougars’ lair at Archie Browning Arena. “They won a lot of games there for a reason.
“I loved our work ethic. Obviously it was not a positive result in terms of winning, but it was a good result to compete with them.
The Kraken closed a busy streak with a 4-2 loss to the Oceanside Generals on Saturday night. The Generals had already scored three goals before Richard Bergman of Lake Cowichan got the Kraken on the board with just a second left in the middle of the period. Kraken captain Donovan Griffin scored on the power play at 6:59 of the third to bring his team down to one point, but the Generals added an insurance scorer in the final period. Hebert once again stood out for the Kraken with 28 saves on 32 shots, while Aaron Kaner made 23 saves for the Generals.
Although they only scored once on the power play, the Kraken had 11 power play opportunities, while they were only shorthanded three times.
“I thought we had every chance in the world to beat this team,” Whiteford said of the Generals. “We just couldn’t pull the trigger. “
The Kraken visit the Campbell River Storm this Friday, then return home to welcome the Saanich Predators on Sunday at 5:30 p.m.