Game 12: Thunderbirds come out of the gate flat and lose to the Giants in Kent

Nov 1, 2011, 9:47 PM | Updated: Nov 2, 2011, 12:15 am

(9-7-0-1) Vancouver Giants 4, (5-7) Seattle Thunderbirds 2

“We certainly played a bad game and we didn’t have the effort we needed but especially in that first period it was deer in headlights. We showed the other team too much respect and didn’t have enough confidence in ourselves.”…Head Coach Steve Konowalchuk

KENT- In their last home game before a six game road trip that will take them through the very tough Central Division, the Thunderbirds look lifeless and flat for long stretches and are outshot 50-23 en route to a 4-2 loss to Vancouver.

The Birds came out very flat and the Giants had the first eight shots of the game which led to the first goal of the game (Brendan Gallagher/12) at 8:19. It was just hard work in front of the Birds net by the Giants that helped them take a 1-0 lead.

Seattle was unable to generate any offense in the first period as they had no jump at all. They were outshot 16-2 and were lucky to go into the intermission only down by one goal.

It took the Birds 25 minutes of play to have their first good offensive flurry and while they didn’t score it got them going and in their next flurry some hard work led to the game tying goal. Justin Hickman (2) got one past Adam Morrison (8-3-0-1) at 4:51 of the second period. Jared Hauf and Tyler Alos got the assists.

The Birds had a golden opportunity to take the lead when Burke Gallimore had a breakaway chance but he hit the crossbar. The Giants capitalized by taking it the other way and scoring to go up 2-1. Gallagher scored his second of the night and 13th of the season at 12:15.

Cason Machacek was called for Delay of Game and the Giants scored on the power play to go up 3-1 (Gallagher/14..Hat Trick) at 14:04.

The Birds were outshot 20-12 in the period and 36-14 overall.

Seattle gets to within a goal at 3-2 off a five on three advantage (Kyle Verdino/2) at 13:42. Chance Lund and Shea Theodore had the assists.

With 1:25 left the Birds were called for Too Many Men when a sixth skater came on before Calvin Pickard (5-6) left the ice.

The Birds lose 4-2 as the Giants put one in the empty net (Marek Tvrdon/8) with less than one second left.

Quotes of the game:

Head Coach Steve Konowalchuk on the effort tonight..

“I don’t think it’s an effort thing. It looked more to me like a ‘deer in the headlights thing’. I know everybody in that locker room wants to win. We certainly played a bad game and we didn’t have the effort we needed but especially in that first period it was deer in headlights. We showed the other team too much respect and didn’t have enough confidence in ourselves. “

On taking some avoidable penalties…

“We shoot two over the bleachers, that’s not good. We have to get away from that. When you are on your heels you take penalties. It’s a confidence thing.”

On the team maybe looking forward to the road trip instead of the game at hand…

“You know…maybe individually but I think we just kind of picked up where we left off in Victoria a little bit. We have to get back to believing in ourselves and not worry about making mistakes. I’ve told them it’s a game of mistakes, you will make your mistakes. Today we were definitely afraid of making a mistake. We were tentative and we have to get back to playing on our toes.”

On Calvin Pickard almost stealing a point or two..

“This was probably the best game he’s played (this season). It was a game where he gave us a real chance to win. There have been other games where Calvin has been fine but this was the level that he can play at and will play at this season for us.”

On the cross up at the end that cost the Birds a chance to have the extra attacker…

“It was a miscommunication on our part.. it’s too bad (that it happened) but it certainly wasn’t the story of the game.”

On the long road trip ahead..

“I think the road is going to be good for us. Let’s get away, we seem to play more simple on the road. I’m excited to get the guys together for a bit.They really haven’t had much time together. We have to get back to playing hockey and not over thinking too much.”

On if he can put his finger on why the team struggles at home…

“No. We definitely have to correct it but we have some things to correct on the road first.”

Plus side:

Calvin Pickard makes 46 saves on 49 shots, and keeps his team in a game they had no right being in scoreboard wise.

Minus side:

The Birds look out of it in the first period and only marginally better in the second period.

-Too many avoidable penalties (Delay of Game twice, Unsportsmanlike Conduct, Too Many Men).

– Some guys are trying to do it all themselves instead of playing a team game. The word “pressing” comes to mind.

-The Birds are outshot 50-23 including 16-2 in the first period.

– Seattle has now lost three of their last four games heading into a six game Central Division trip that could be disastrous if they play the way they have in the last couple of games.

Game Notes:

– F Jacob Doty did not play and is a bit banged up.

D Braeden Laroque did not play because of an upper body injury.

– Seattle drops to 2-5 at home.

– The Birds have been outshot in all but two games and have given up the first goal in all but three. three stars:

First star: Brendan Gallagher (Hat Trick and an assist)

Second star: Calvin Pickard (46 of 49 saves)

Third star: Keifer McNaughton (+2)

The Thunderbirds play Friday night at 6:30 pm in Red Deer against the Rebels. The game can be heard live at

The game summary can be seen at the WHL website.


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Game 12: Thunderbirds come out of the gate flat and lose to the Giants in Kent