Monday, 11 May 2015

RBC Cup - One Game And More...

It's a rather quiet day out in Portage la Prairie today where the 2015 RBC Cup is being played! Normally, we see two games per day, but this Monday has us down to one game on the schedule. The Melfort Mustangs and Soo Thunderbirds are the two teams in action as the other three teams - Carleton Place Canadians, Portage Terriers, and Penticton Vees - have the day off. Because it's a slow news day from the RBC Cup, I want to take a look at something I found pretty incredible. We'll do that at the bottom of the article. Let's roll into the RBC Cup news!

HBIC correspondent Jeremie Gauvin has filed another report, and I'll post it in yellow once more. I just want to remind everyone that Jeremie is also working out at the RBC Cup as a linesman for Hockey Canada, so don't expect him to dive into systems and breakdowns in his report. He has to remain neutral, and will just give an overview of what happened out on the ice from his first-hand perspective. Got it? Alrighty then.


The two winless teams met at the PCU Centre knowing that one team will move to 1-1 while the other would fall to 0-2 and have a difficult time in getting back into the thick of the tournament. Melfort was shutout by the Penticton Vees to open the tournament while the Soo Thunderbirds were shutout by the Carelton Place Canadians, so both teams were looking for their first goals as well!

On Monday evening, the lone game of the day featured the Sault Ste Marie Thunderbirds (Central) and the Melfort Mustangs (West 2). Both teams were looking for their first wins of the tournament. Melfort opened the scoring 6:39 into the first period. Melfort would keep rolling when they would add their second goal of the period at the 6:55 mark. Before the period would be over, Melfort would add another goal to take a 3-0 lead after the first period. The second saw a lot of the same from the Mustangs when they would take a 4-0 lead 1:57 into the second period. The Thunderbirds would finally strike at the 4:39 mark of the second, but at 13:28, Melfort would restore the 4-goal lead. In the third period, the Mustangs sat back and the Thunderbirds were able to strike at the 5:07 mark to make it 5-2. The Thunderbirds would strike again at the 12:41 mark to make it 5-3. The Thunderbirds comeback came up short as they fell to 0-2. As for the Mustangs, they improved their record to 1-1 and find themselves in a three way tie with Penticton and Portage.

Melfort certainly didn't appear happy about being shutout as they opened the scoring 6:39 in and had a 3-0 lead just 1:54 later. Adam Fauchoux at 6:39, Regan Wilton at 6:55, and Eric Young at 8:33 built the 3-0 lead on even-strength goals as Soo goalie Brian Kment was replaced after making seven saves on ten shots. Mario Culina took to the blue paint for the Thunderbirds, and he stopped the remaining six shots in the period fired his way.

Things didn't get much better for the Thunderbirds as Travis Mayan's goal just 1:57 into the period put Melfort up by a commanding 4-0 lead. However, the Soo got their first goal of the tournament from Owen Headrick at the 4:39 mark, and the deficit was down to three goals with lots of time to play. The two teams would trade chances, but the Thunderbirds found themselves down four once again when Melfort's Dexter Bricker potted his first goal ot make it a 5-1 game. After 40 minutes, the score would stand with Melfort outshooting the Soo Thunderbirds by a 26-15 margin.

Melfort played a little prevent defence in the third period, and you could see the Soo respond with more pressure. They would chip away on that lead when Matt Caruso scored at 5:07 of the third to make it 5-2, but Melfort simply shut down the neutral zone and kept everyything to the outside in the defensive zone. Owen Headrick would make it a 5-3 game at the 12:41 mark on the Thunderbirds' third shot of the period, but Melfort's suffocating defence held the rest of the way as they skated to the 5-3 win. Richard Palmer stopped 16 of 19 shots in the victory while Mario Culina stopped 20 of 22 shots in relief of Brian Kment as he takes the loss despite his solid play.

The 0-2 Thunderbirds will play the host 1-1 Portage Terriers on Tuesday night while Melfort gets the day off. The 2-0 Carleton Place Canadians and the 1-1 Penticton Vees meet in the afternoon game. Tickets are still available for both games at the PCU Centre, and both of those games will be broadcast via the FASTHockey webcast if you want to watch.

When Ads Own Teams

I know there's a lot of concern from some parties over advertisements on NHL jerseys. I'm never going to suggest that the NHL will go the way of European hockey, but I was searching for some information on a player yesterday, and I happened across the following image.
At first glance, that doesn't look too bad, right? But there are a vast number of things that you may not notice right off the bat. I'm going to point these out in succession as I work through the image. They don't seem incredulous until we start looking deeper. After some research and trial-and-error, the team in white is Les Ducs d'Angers while the team in red is Les Diables Rouges de Briançon of a minor French league, but you'd never know that looking at their uniforms. The image above comes from March 2015, so it's not like these uniforms are historical for any reason than some of their quirks.
  1. Angers has jersey numbers on players' knees. Seriously.
  2. You may notice the red helmet worn by the Angers player. He's their leading scorer, so he gets a special helmet. Complete with its own set of ads.
  3. There are five ads on the pants of the Angers players: one on the front of each thigh, one on the back of each thigh, and the Mini ad on the outside of the leg.
  4. In their defence, Briançon only has four ads.
  5. Briançon decided that a sponsor was more important than player names.
  6. In one of the most egregious advertising moves, Briançon has arrows running from the helmet number on the back to the sponsor on the front. Do we need to point out this sponsor even more than it already is?
  7. Find the Ducs' logo amongst the sponsor logos. I'll wait. Hint: it's on the left shoulder. Great place to promote the team, right?
  8. Briançon's logo is a little more visible on the right shoulder. Their chest is occupied by Géant Casino's logo, so I guess the shoulder is acceptable?
  9. Just on the helmet and jersey of Angers, there are 13 different ads facing you in that picture. If we add in the legs, there are 16. And we haven't accounted for ads on the sides of pants or backs of pants or jerseys. In total, Angers has 19 different ads on their uniforms. My lord!
I know that these European teams use these advertisements to help fund the cost of the team, but there has to a point where one says, "Enough!" Apparently, that word isn't said in France, though.

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

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