When it comes to hockey, there’s almost nothing like drama, and the sheer willpower to own it in the last minute of regulation.
Cole MacDonald owned that tonight like Ari Gold overtaking a boardroom in a scene from “Entourage.”
- Carter Hart set the table (23 saves). He had to be good, again. He provided every reason for the Tips to be mentally perseverant with Adin Hill appearing to not give an inch, again. One diving save in the first period, and another nifty stop on Paul Bittner’s forceful move to the net were among the highlights. Despite a 2-2-1 record in four games, Hart’s got a 1.20 GAA and .956 save percentage. Goodness. Hill’s numbers were similar in a staggering manner. The last nine days, including three matchups with these guys, provided authentic, keeping-it-real, “knockdown/drag-out” style goaltending duels. NHL teams, take note. What a spectacle.
- When it rains, it pours. The offense is coming. It’s one thing to say you can’t score goals, but it’s another thing to not score goals and exert any effort. The Tips have pumped 68 shots on net in the last two games, but have just 3 goals to show against a guy who only took CHL Goaltender of the Week honors and has three shutouts this year. Oh, and he’s 6-foot-4, playing with a semi-truck load of confidence. The Adin Hill workout is done with until Dec. 9. Should the effort continue, the offense will turn the corner.
- Turning point of the season? For teams struggling or treading water to begin the season, along come wins that define a “new beginning.” Consider tonight: up 1-0 after two periods (like Friday). Allowing a 1-1 in the third period (like Friday). Drawing a late penalty kill (like Friday). This time, the puck goes in for them in the time of high drama (53.1 seconds left, unlike Friday). Tonight, the tables were turned, and the Tips deserved a jovial bus ride home, up I-5.
LASTING IMAGE: Everyone helps take care of the job.