Watched the March 5th game Kootenay vs TIgers, and the March 12th game, Kootenay vs Red Deer.
If your a fan who likes to get a little bit in depth of what the other team looks like here it is. Updates Bolded
1. Kevin King,Dustin Sylvester(center),Steele Boomer
2. Jesse Ismond,Max Reinhart(center), Matt Frazer
3. Joe Antilla, Drew Czerwonka, Dominik Pacovsky
4. Christian Magnus, Brock Montgomery, Brendan Hurley
Their 3rd and 4th lines seem to switch a little every game. The only constant seems to be Czerwonka on the third line.
Brayden McNabb | Rintoul/Martin
Joey Leach | Ryan Molle
Luke Paulson seems to be used sparingly
Dirk, Jagger is also used sparingly
The one game I watched Brayden Mcnabb's defense partner was rotated with Hayden Rintoul, and James Martin every shift. They play Rintoul on the Powerplay, and Martin on the penalty Kill. It should be noted that the Leach/Molle pairing were a +30 and +33 during the season. Mcnabb was a -5 but is used often.
It seems like they often have Dustin Sylvester out on the first PK Unit. **If Kootenay doesn't put Sylvester on the Ice with their penalty kill, look for Sylvester to play a shift after on the 4th line.
One thing I noticed. Dustin Sylvester is one of their key players for the Ice on their powerplay. In the game I watched every single opportunity Dustin Sylvester would set up on the left side of Tyler Bunz. Sylvester is a left-hand shot and on his forehand on the left-side
The Tigers on the PK sometimes play in a weird diamondish formation and when they did that Kootenay often handed the puck over to Sylvester near the top of the face off circle to the left of Bunz, who had clear shots at the net.
Kootenay has quite a few weapons on their powerplay. Mcnabb has a powerful shot from the point, and Sylvester often looks for Rintoul sneaking in off the point. Mcnabb, Rintoul, and Sylvester are really good at moving the puck around quickly. Every once in a while Kootenay will put Dominik Pacovsky a forward on the point.
Kootenay's Penalty Kill
Kootenay's forwards play where the puck goes, and they are fairly aggressive. When the puck is down low they shrink their box, when the puck goes to the Tigers D-men both forwards usually rush the point. During the season series Kootenay generated a handful of short-handed opportunities doing this.
The Ice Centerman are really good at shadowing the Tigers third guy high. The Ice will use Max Reinhart, or Dustin Sylvester for Key Face offs.
The Ice use a 1-2-2 sort of system. The first forward flushes out the puck carrier to one side, with 2 forwards at the top of the circles. They react to whatever side the puck goes to, and The third forward stays high to the middle to prevent the pass. Done right its a highly effective attacking trap. However if the opposition team breaks free it sometimes is vulnerable to a defensman jumping in off the rush, although that can also backfire from a late turnover.
When the Ice have the puck on offense they almost always have a triangle formation. They support each other real well. The Ice are real good at taking the puck from a scrum and passing it out front as soon as the guy up high gets some space.
Todd Mathews is their go-to guy. He is a bit of a hot-head and hates players who make life difficult for him in the crease. He will talk trash and when he does that he seems to play better. The Tigers will have to crash the net and get in his face, yet not be stupid and take a dumb penalty.
When Kootenay Sets up behind the Net Mathews will frequently skate to the top of his crease to distract or block the swooping Tigers path. Todd Mathews will also Embellish things if need be. The good refs seem to be aware of this.
Kootenay seems to rely on Todd Mathews a bit more than they should. The game I watched against the Rebels, it appeared he had trouble handling pucks up high in close to his body.
Kootenay tends to pounce on mistakes made. They rely on their top 2 lines for scoring. Their 3rd and 4th lines are similar to that of the Tigers 4th line. They dont score often but work hard and can keep the play in the oppositions end.
Jeff Holick collected some stats about the two teams over at his blog.
A lot of people are calling this series to be to close to call. Kootenay fans seem confident that they will win. Tigers fans the same. I think the Tigers have a more talented team but they're also more prone in making mistakes. Kootenay never seems to be completely out of a game and they always seems to get goals at extremely key points in the game.
I dont really want to make a prediction, because Im a little superstitious and last time I thought the Tigers won Kootenay Ice'd em in 4 straight. So For my prediction I'm going to generate 2 random numbers, and get my cat to press "enter".................Tigers in 5????