It seem like a pretty normal hockey game.
Fighting to get out of the basement, the Spokane Chiefs jumped out to a quick 4-1 lead over Kamloops Wednesday night at the Arena. The scored stayed that way until early in the third period when the flood gates opened. The Chiefs scored six goals for a 10-1 lead, highlighted by captain Jared Cowen’s three goals - a rare hat trick for a defenseman.
In fact, it’s just the fourth three-goal game by a Chiefs D-man. Mitch Cornett did it in 1986, also against Kamloops, and Bryan McCabe, who is still skating in the NHL, did it twice in the 1993-94 season, buring Victoria and Tri-City.
The story is here, but because of early deadlines, I had to file before going for interview’s. Cowen’s take on his offenisve outburst and the coach’s thoughts are below.
Cowen’s outsburst was the result of practice. Although only one goal was on the power player, another came while the teams were skating four-on-four. Overall the Chiefs scored on their first three power plays and finished 3-4.
“We were pretty good on the power play tonight,” Cowen said. “It’s nice to see the power play work. It’s working on it a lot in practice. We have a lot of options now.”
As for the offenisve outburst, he said: “Lots of openings. Every goal was almost in the same spot. I’ve practiced that same shot a lot. It’s nice to see it pay off. … I’ve been kind of unlucky in the past. It’s nice to see it pay off all in one game.”
Coach Don Nachbaur had one of those coach’s moments. There was so much to like, but the team didn’t play the proverbial perfect game. Then he realized he was complaining a little bit and stopped to enjoy the win.
“There are two different things I liked,” he started. “I liked the first period and I liked the third period. I didn’t like the second period. There were just some things creeping into our game. I had a speech about what we’re about. And we came back in the thrd and showed what we were about. I think the first period we looked like what we were about.
“For me, you develop a style and an idenity and you play that way every period of every game. You can’t change that.”
The Chiefs didn’t score in the second period after opening a 4-1 lead. They were a little sloppy, true, and gave the Blazers some opportunities. Fortunatley they hustled back and didn’t allow the Blazers any chance to finish them - they had three shots.
“It didn’t look to me like we had the same energy and passion we showed in Portland (Sunday), that we showed in Seattle (Friday). We were just out there. I’m not saying the whole team. It could have been one guy on each line, one guyin each five-man block. You don’t want that to happen.”
Which means he was thrilled the team responded in the third period.
“I can’t complain about a 10-1 victory. Tehre were some phases of the game that were really good. There are no negatives in that game. As selfish as a coach wants to be, our guys played well. We scored 10 goals and gave up less than 20 shots. We did a lot of good.”