December 1/12 – The Langley Bantam A1 Eagles tried to ride a hot goaltender, but even an outstanding 35 save performance from Naythan Lange was not enough as the NSWC Winterhawks downed the Eagles 2-1.
The Winterhawks controlled the flow of play for much of the game. They managed to keep the Eagles contained in their own end for long stretches of the third period, but were stymied repeatedly by Lange. Dante Hannoun finally bounced a cross-crease deflection around Lange to a wide open Keyvan Mokhtari for the game winner with only four minutes to play.
Despite a heavy shot advantage, the Winterhawks trailed until the closing minute of the second period. Jordy Bellerive cracked Lange’s shutout bid with a blast from the blueline, a spot that Coach Jim Dinwoodie often assigns to Bellerive on the powerplay. It was a much needed goal, and one that would prove pivotal in the game’s final outcome.
In the first period, Christian Bosa put the Langley Eagles in front with a laser from the top of the circles that sailed over the shoulder of Winterhawks goalie Cole Demers, off the post and in. It was the kind of shot that players often execute over and over again in the warmup but seem to always elude them in game action.
Bosa and Lange could have benefitted from some more offensive help from their teammates. Despite holding a 1-0 lead halfway through the game, the Eagles were being outshot at that point 30-12. NSWC kept the pressure on shift after shift, holding the offensive blueline with their defenceman and not letting Langley move the puck out of their own end. Even after falling behind in the third, the Eagles could not make any headway against the Winterhawks tight checking, finishing with only 17 shots and the one goal.
Even in victory, Winterhawks Coach Jim Dinwoodie expressed his displeasure with his team’s execution. “The detail matter; the little thing matter,” said Dinwoodie. “Tonight was a good example of where I think we didn’t pay good enough attention to the details. The middle of the ice was an issue all night for us. I thought our second and third effort was not there.”
Harsh words perhaps from a winning coach, but ones that show the culture of professionalism and performance needed to win championships. The full post game interview with Coach Dinwoodie, selected highlights and photos are posted below: