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Road warriors happy to be home
The Bruins return to home ice this week a happy bunch after winning two of three on an eastern road swing.
After losing 7-1 to the Calgary Hitmen last Wednesday, the Bruins rebounded to surprise the Red Deer Rebels 4-3 in a shootout Friday night. The capper came Saturday night when Chilliwack recorded a 5-4 overtime win over the Kootenay Ice an epic upset based on the records of the two teams.
The Bruins came into the game with 16 wins and 37 points, fifth in the B.C. division standings. The Ice came into the game with 38 wins and 82 points, second in the Central division and third overall in the Western Hockey League.
But as the old saying goes, on any given day any team can beat any other team. The Bruins pushed the Ice to overtime, where anything can happen, and won the game when Colby Kulhanek and Ken Petkau combined to set up defenceman Nick Holden for the decisive marker.
Beating those guys is definitely good, Holden. We did what we do with most teams. We stick around, stick around, stick around and somehow we find ourselves in overtime with a chance to win. You can sense the other team getting frustrated. They think they should be winning and theyre not and they get tense.
Holden, a native of St. Albert, Alta., clearly enjoys road trips to his old stomping grounds.
The 19-year-old blueliner scored the shootout winner Dec. 12 as the Bruins downed Red Deer 6-5. Friday night he scored in the shootout again as Chilliwack downed the Rebels 4-3. He followed that with his overtime heroics versus Kootenay Saturday.
Id like to tell you it was pretty, but actually it was just a shot that went in off my toe, Holden admitted. I think most of the Alberta boys like coming home to play in front of friends and family and I know I like playing well.
Perhaps the most impressive aspect of Chilliwacks weekend outings was the presence of balanced scoring. The Bruins won twice without getting a single goal from their two best forwards, Mark Santorelli and Oscar Moller.
Captain Josh Aspenlind had two goals. Ken Petkau, Dillon Johnstone, Holden, Dylan Chapman, Craig Lineker and Matt McCue also hit the scoresheet.
It was Chapmans first goal this season.
Chilliwacks recent offensive exploits mean they are no longer threatening to break the WHL all-time record for fewest goals in a season.
The 2004-05 Swift Current Broncos set that dubious record by scoring a dismal 135 goals, an average of 1.875 per game. The Bruins were sniffing around that record earlier this season, but at their current pace they would now finish the season with 156 goals, or an average of 2.172 goals per game.
Though they insist they dont often pay attention to such statistics, its a relief to the Bruins to know they wont be entering the record books as the WHLs most offensively futile squad.
Its definitely nice to know, Holden said. No one wants to be the lowest scoring team in league history. To us, it doesnt matter if we win 1-0 or 5-4, but its nice to get some goals.
Chilliwack hosts Seattle Wednesday night at 7 p.m. at Prospera Centre.