Above the Glass
by Samantha on 05/23/13 at 02:00 PM ET
By now, you’ve seen and heard about the hit heard around the major junior hockey world last night and the resulting punishment rendered this morning. To recap: Saskatoon Blade Dalton Thrower left his feet to level Portland Winterhawks’ forward and Saskatoon native Taylor Leier with a clearly targeted head hit that was not called at all by the referee. Who, by the way, was standing within clear sight of the hit. TV video coverage clearly shows Thrower smiling after the hit. Taylor was unable to walk off the ice or down the tunnel without help. There is no place for that kind of hit in this game, and there is most certainly no place for referees who stand idly by and don’t call it. Thrower has been suspended for the remainder of the Memorial Cup, and we are hearing that Taylor is likley not going to play in any more tournament games in front of his hometown crowd. Tonight, the London Knights have the opportunity to oust the Saskatoon Blades in a tiebreaker and advance to play the Winterhawks on Friday in the Memorial Cup semifinal. The Blades will be done if London prevails. So for one night only, my motto is “Go Knights Go!”
* For the record, I would be just as disgusted with this incident if not more so, if a Winterhawk was the perpetrator and the opponent was the victim.
Dear Hockey Gods,
We know you are very busy with NHL playoffs and finding the Canucks a new coaching staff, but some of us here in the CHL hope you have a moment to turn your attention to the London Knights. The little team that could is playing in a Memorial Cup tiebreaker game tonight, at which time they can oust the Saskatoon Blades from the tournament. The Saskagoons must go, having recently demonstrated their total disrespect for playing this game the right way.
I look forward to seeing the Winterhawks and London Knights face off on Friday. The Knights are a tough, talented and worthy opponent who deserve some good luck. After early victory over Saskatoon, they suffered two consecutive losses in this tournament; none so awful as a 9-2 loss to the Halifax Mooseheads on Tuesday night. It’s important to note that in the face of nearly guaranteed defeat, they never gave up and tried to come back with those two goals late in the second period. Couple this with their loss in last year’s Memorial Cup final and getting into this year’s tournament by scoring in the final minute of their final game, and you can see they are due for a well deserved /victory/comeback in this rematch with the Blades.
It’s also important to note that the London Knights had to win three straight games to win the OHL Championship, so they have already demonstrated their skill and resilience in these types of high pressure, "win or go home" circumstances. Blessing the London Knights as they make one last push to the semfinal will be spiritual energy well spent. Think of the joy you will bring them and the gratitude and worship you will receive in return.
And finally, the London Knights were recently named as the host team for the 2014 Memorial Cup, where I believe the third time will be a charm for them. In the meantime, I hope you will consider sending some good fortune their way tonight. It is time and energy well spent on a noble, hard working and resilient team that Portland fans look forward to seeing again on Friday.
Yours very truly,
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About Above the Glass
Welcome to Above the Glass, a definitive anti-expert’s guide to hockey. I started blogging in 2009 as part of an effort to learn all 87 rules in the NHL Rulebook in 107 days before the 2010 Olympics, 30 years after I discovered the sport. You can peruse the archival results here. Growing up in Arizona, I didn’t even know hockey existed until February 22, 1980, when the USA played Russia in the Olympics. And just like that, the game of the century changed my life. I still don’t quite understand the icing rule or which faceoff circle goes with what offense, but I do know that every aspect of hockey has something to teach us about life. That’s what you’ll find here, along with my unadulterated passion for the game.
I live in Portland, Oregon, home of the WHL’s Portland Winterhawks. I invite anyone who wants to know more about hockey in the Rose City to visit here, where I blog exclusively about the Winterhawks. I’ll post an occasional musing about the Hawks, the WHL and junior hockey here as well.
Follow me on Twitter: @AbovetheGlass