The Chilliwack Bruins returned from their four game Alberta road trip with six of a possible eight points and some new faces. Unfortunately for them, the homecoming was not a successful one, as they lost to the Everett Silvertips, 4-3.
The Bruins had a hugely successful road trip through Alberta and into South-Eastern B.C. They outlasted the Edmonton Oil Kings 2-1 in the first game, with the game winning goal coming from Bruins Rookie forward Brendan Persley. The Bruins then continued on to Calgary where they beat down the Hitmen, 7-2. Brandon Manning secured the first star nod with a one-goal, three-assist performance.
The one hiccup in the road trip came in an extremely intense game in Medicine Hat versus the Tigers. In front of the sold-out crowd of 4,006 onlookers, the Bruins fell 5-4, giving up the winning goal to Linden Vey with just 4:37 remaining in the third period. With that the Bruins left Alberta and headed for Cranbrook. The Kootenay Ice, who make their home in Cranbrook, came into the game on a seven game winning streak and as one of the top teams in the league. The Bruins skated into the Cranbrook Rec. Centre and proceeded to annihilate the Ice 6-2.
The Bruins really were outstanding on this road trip: going 3-1-0-0, beating some very tough competition and competing extremely hard. Chilliwack outscored its competition 19-10 in the four games. The truly impressive part is that, while the Bruins were receiving scoring early in the season primarily from their top line of Howse, Horak and Soudek, on this trip it was an exercise in scoring by committee. For example, in the game against Calgary, the Bruins received goals from six different players. Similarly, in Cranbrook, the Bruins again got goals from six different skaters.
The Bruins returned home with an incredible streak of opening the scoring first 14 straight games to open the season. The home game against Everett marked game 15 on the season, and the end of the streak. It was a back and forth battle of strike-counter-strike that led to a close finish. Although the Bruins equalled the ‘Tips with 30 shots each, Everett came out on top in the game, earning the 4-3 decision.
The Bruins welcomed some new faces to the roster on the road trip, and said goodbye to another. The Bruins picked up forward T.C. Cratsenberg from the Spokane Chiefs for an eighth-round conditional draft pick in the 2012 Bantam draft. So far, in five games with the Bruins, Cratsenberg has one goal, one assist, 23 penalty minutes and is plus one. Cratsenberg should add some size, grit and defensive prowess to the Bruins forward ranks. The Bruins also traded forward Chris Collins to Saskatoon for forward Curt Gogol and an eighth-round Bantam pick in 2011. Gogol is expected to add some grit and sandpaper to a forward-ranks that is bursting with finesse and talent. In his rookie year in 2009-10, Collins collected nine goals and 23 assists. So far this season he had only one goal and four assists in 13 games for the Bruins. Gogol has a goal and an assist so far in the 2010-11 WHL season.