by Matthew Tanner (Resident Bruins Expert)
Not everyone knows the “Three R’s,” but hockey fans in Chilliwack sure do. The “Three R’s” in Bear Country are Ryan, Robin and Roman, as in Chilliwack Bruins forwards Ryan Howse, Robin Soudek, and Roman Horak. The “Three R’s” are tearing up the league and leading the charge to Chilliwack Bruins victory.
This past Saturday night, the Bruins hosted the Kamloops Blazers in the home opener for the 2010-11 WHL season. The Bruins sported their new alternate third jerseys for the first time. The new, predominately burgundy, jerseys featured the Sto:l? Bear and hockey sticks shoulder logo prominently displayed as the crest with “Chilliwack” emblazoned across the top paired with gold and black trim and the Bruins “Spoke-C” on the shoulder.
The Bruins put on a show offensively and embarrassed the Blazers 6-1. Roman Horak led the way with two goals and an assist. This brings Roman’s point total to seven in just two games played. Ryan Howse scored two goals and Robin Soudek added two assists as well. Ryan Howse continues to lead the league in goals with seven in just three games. Bruins captain and star defenseman Brandon Manning returned to the line-up after being reassigned to the team by the New York Rangers earlier in the week. He also had a strong night, contributing a goal and two assists, along with his usual strong defensive play.
In net, Lucas Gore looks like he is already in mid-season form, making some massive saves throughout the game for the Bruins. Gore shined the brightest early on in the contest when he was called upon to stand his ground through a one-minute-and-40-second five-on-three penalty kill just five minutes into the game. The single blemish in the game came when Gore’s shutout bid was spoiled with just 3:16 left in the third period on a weird goal by Bronson Maschmeyer. Gore made 30 saves on 31 shots in the game. At the other end of the ice, Kamloops netminder Jeff Bosch went the distance, playing the full 60 minutes for the Blazers. Bosch made 35 saves on 41 shots and more than a couple were of the spectacular variety. If it was not for Bosch, the score could have been much worse for the Blazers.
It has become evident very early on in this WHL season that the Chilliwack Bruins and the Kamloops Blazers really don’t like each other. In the two head-to-head games so far, the two teams have combined for 239 penalty minutes. 13 penalties have been five minute major penalties for fighting. The hits were hard, the benches were vocal and the blood was bad. The teams play six more times this season, so expect more of the same.
The Bruins, now 2-1 on the season, next host the Spokane Chiefs on Tuesday, October 5. Then on Saturday, October 9 they will host the Seattle Thunderbirds.