6-0 Canucks

Sunday’s game saw the Hawks back on their heels early on and they did not get back on their toes for the duration.

The Canucks are a well-balanced team and play a very organized style. They are not flashy but they are relentless and they seemingly beat the Hawks at their own game Sunday afternoon.

One of the keys to the winning dynamic the Hawks displayed during Friday night’s victory over the Vics was their constant forechecking and finishing of checks. The checks do not have to be earth-shattering...merely a reminder to the opponent that one more stride closer next time will result in a puck battle or a puck steal. I counted 55 Hawks’ checks that were finished with body contact on Friday night. Sunday afternoon I counted 15.

Once the Canucks established an early 2-0 lead, 7:48 into the 1st, the Hawks seemed reluctant to take that extra stride and finish their checks, for fear of getting caught up ice. That gave the Canucks a relatively easy time of it for the remainder of the afternoon and their breakouts were confident, their passes crisp and their chances abundant. They are a very good skating team but the wind that was taken out of the Hawks’ sails seemed to be the element which decided the contest. Each Hawk was a tad reticent in his execution and the Canucks sensed it and victory was theirs.

Elliot Lewis (#8) had another hard-working game and Riley Dudych (#11) and Logan Danis (#21) showed most of the speed they regularly play with but when an entire team is chasing the play from a big deficit, the errors are magnified and the chances to score drop dramatically.

Easton Lewicki (#27) showed some good jump on his shifts but, again, it seemed like the little sparks of effort were unfortunately isolated to one player at a time rather than to an entire shift of five.

From what I’ve seen over the past few weeks, the Hawks can certainly skate with the Canucks and the final score was not emblematic of their abilities...some games simply get out of hand and the path to recovery seems more daunting the longer the game goes on.

A good gut-check for the Hawks and a reason to reflect on what they were doing toward their recent victories.

I’m excited to see the next match between the Canucks and the Hawks, I am sure the Hawks will file this loss away and return with a bang.

Finish those checks, grind it out and you’ll see the Canucks start to lose their poise and unravel.

Don’t despair...there’s going to be a game or two like this every from which to learn and rekindle the fire that has burned brightly in past contests.

- Fish

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