Georgian Bay Sports Fan

commentary & opinions on the sports and political scene

MIDLAND FLYERS LOOKING TO REPEAT 2010…Unfortunately

The Midland Flyers Jr C hockey team is off to a start we’re sure they would rather forget, dropping the first two games of the season to the Penatang Kings 7-1 and 5-2.

Sunday night in Midland the Kings jumped out to 4-0 lead after the first period with some nifty playmaking and some hard work in the offensive zone. They controlled the puck time 5-1 over the somewhat confused Flyers. The second and third periods turned into more of a scrimmage than a hockey game, to the chagrin of the 300 plus fans in attendance that started for the exits a few minutes into the third.

The Midland coaching staff inherited a struggling team last season so they have an excuse to last year’s dismal results under their guidance…but they’ve had the entire summer along with GM Gerry Asselin to regroup and put something on the ice that’s competitive, so there is no excuse for the team’s poor effort all around. With the exception of big d man Jason Leigh and the occasional burst from C Tyler Shibley the team as a whole seemed lead footed and at times, out of shape or tired. Former Jr A player Braiden Burnett physically controlled things but didn’t seem to have the stamina to play a whole game. Coaches Chris and Andrew Alarie had little control over a bench that racked up 9 penalties with undisciplined play most of the night. The team lacked any real semblance of a forecheck and was consistently soft getting back into their own end on the backcheck. Their PP breakout looked especially confused, failing to clear their zone several times under a light one man forecheck. If not for the acrobatics of goaltender Jacob Schandlen this could have been a lot worse.

Penatang on the other hand was very strong in the first period, controlling play and having their way with Midland the majority of the period. They dominated in speed, passing, discipline and toughness all over the ice to build their 4-0 lead. The second and third however Coach Logan let them fall into a game of shinny where they looked uninterested and at times overly cocky. The third period saw Midland have several scoring opportunities off bad line changes and extremely soft defensive zone coverage. Vet Jacob Robitaille was dominant on the ice and clearly the best player from both sides. Haydon Cole on defence was solid, with Sammy Gagnon and Jonathan O’Hare playing the most intense hockey on the Kings side. While a nice win for Penatang, Logan and staff will have to find a way to keep players motivated for 60 minutes if they hope to challenge in the long run.

More game info and stats found at http://www.pointstreak.com/prostats/boxscore.html?gameid=1668264

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