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Midseason Review - "A" Div

SURREY GIANTS

First Half Summary: The Giants showed their domination during the 12/13 season when they cruised through the year at 13-3-2, and they look like they may just improve on that gaudy record this season with a first half that saw them post an 8-1-0 record. Since his arrival, Harp Kalkat has left little doubt that he is the best player in the league and he once again sits atop the scoring race with numbers of 8-10-8-18. His combination of size, strength, and powerful shot are just too much to handle. When he gets up a full head of steam racing out of the zone he is basically unstoppable. Of course this team has a lot more going for it than just one player. The offensive depth on the Giants is quite impressive. Vish Singh is having a strong year with 7 goals and 7 assists in 8 games to sit third in league scoring. Simran Bhatti has also been heating up as of late and sits third on the club with 13 points. Justin Matai has also chipped in regularly as has Bobby Grewal, albeit with just a few games played. Not surprisingly, the team is excellent on the powerplay, firing on over 46% of their chances, though interestingly they've had the fewest attempts in the division. The Giants are running away with the league lead in both goals for and particularly goals against, where they have a 16 goal edge on the next closest team. In total they have surrendered just 18 goals in 9 games, for a tidy 2.00 GAA. Both of their regular goalies have been impressive, with Dave Lewis, in particular, posting astounding numbers of 1.25 GAA and .940 Save % to go along with his 4-0 record. Jas Basra sits second in the div in both categories. This club has a bit of everything going for it and they will have a target on their backs the rest of the year as the team to beat. Of course, that's easier said than done!


Vish Singh

Dave Lewis

Team Record: 8-1-0, 44 GF, 18 GA, +26 GD (1st Place, "A" Div) 
Rookie To Watch:  None
Season High Point: Tough to pick as this team is so consistently good, but perhaps the early season showdown with the Jags that the Giants turned into an 8-2 rout.

Season Low Point: Not much doubt here. The team's only blemish came at the hands of the Jaguars to ruin what was a perfect season to that point.

PACIFIC JAGUARS

First Half Summary: The team had a bit of a rough start to the season, losing their second and third games, both by lopsided scores. Having said that, the Jaguars have come together nicely since then, and are now putting some pressure on the Giants for top spot in the division. The club is 6-3 overall and just four points behind the front runners. The offense is starting to gel for the team, which has now scored a minimum of six goals in each of their last three contests, including a huge 6-4 win over the aforementioned Giants to close out the first half schedule. Brenden Ham leads the club in scoring with 5-7-12 in 7 games. He is a deadly stickhandler, and has found some real chemistry playing alongside the league's all-time points leader, Stan McClellan. Stan is having another impressive offensive season with 11 points in 6 games. He is a premier finisher with one of the hardest shots you will ever see. Mannu Padda sits third on the team scoring chart in a tight points race with numbers of 7-6-4-10. He is really developing as an "A" division player and currently lays claim to the goal of the year . Four forwards are tied with 7 points on the Jags, most notably Marcel Lafortune, who recently collected his 500th point in the NWBHL. The team also has several good offensive defensemen in the fold, such as Craig Houle and Mitch Miller, but they have actually got some decent production out of Gurinder Dhillon and Nameet Kumar who are bonuses when they chip in points. The goaltending duties have been split amongst three keepers, but Dean Salsnek has been the go-to guy in the big games and he has posted a 3-1 record against some tough shooters. Young Harvy Takhar has also posted some very impressive numbers in a pair of starts for the Jaguars (2-0, 2.50, .878). This team has served notice that they will be a force in this season and for years to come.


Brenden Ham

Mannu Padda

Team Record: 6-3-0, 32 GF, 34 GA, -2 GD (2nd Place, "A" Div)
Rookie To Watch: Harvy Takhar (2-0-0, 2.50 GAA, .878 SV%)
Season High Point: Their big win over the Giants proved to many people, including the team itself, that they could play with the best of the best.

Season Low Point: An early season swoon including back-to-back losses where the team was outscored 15-4.

SURREY THRASHERS

First Half Summary: The first half of the year has been a bit of a roller coaster ride for the Thrashers. Though they still find themselves in decent position in the middle of the pack, they have been having troubles stringing together good results, having won consecutive games only once this season. Their last loss to the Giants to end the first half was a bit of a write-off as the Thrashers only had a single sub out for the game. For the most part the turnouts have been good, and the Slovakian invasion this year has really breathed new life into the Thrashers franchise. At the top of the team scoring list, there are some pretty familiar names, and I don't think anybody was surprised to see Dave Fisher sitting second in division scoring, just three points behind Harp Kalkat. Fisher actually has the "A" div lead in goal scoring at the moment with 11. His tireless work ethic combined with impressive finishing capability truly make him one of the all-time legends of the Ndub. Roy Cabrita is having an excellent year with 14 points in 8 games, and leads by example with an unmatched intensity out on the floor. Jeff Heer has put up some big numbers in the first half as well with a div best 11 assists. Roy and Jeff come in 4th and 5th overall in scoring, respectively. Zach Kelm is a real wild card on this team as he has been putting up crazy numbers, but missed the bulk of the first half, only getting into a couple of recent games. If he is there for the balance of the season, it will take this Thrashers offence to the next level. Peter Gajdos, the biggest of the Slovakian imports, is another tower of power on the back end for a team that already boasts Jeff Heer and Jay Dove. He can handle the ball and gives the team another booming point shot. There are numerous other offensive weapons on this team as well, but the biggest recent addition to the lineup is all about stopping goals rather than scoring them. The team made a huge signing last month when they brought in former Wolfpac standout goalkeeper, Rick Baker. Rick already earned first star honors in one of his three games with the club and will be a focal point for the Thrashers in the second half of the year.  


Dave Fisher

Peter Gajdos

Team Record: 4-5-1, 36 GF, 37 GA, -1 GD (3rd Place, "A" Div)
Rookie To Watch:  Peter Gajdos (6-1-3-4)
Season High Point: After a three game winless streak, the Thrashers came out with purpose and downed the Executioners 7-4 in a very complete team effort.

Season Low Point: A 6-3 loss to the Jaguars that cost them more than the game as one of their key players, Jay Dove, was also handed a lengthy suspension.

MAINLAND EXECUTIONERS

First Half Summary: There was a point this year when the Executioner's very status was in question. They had forfeited a pair of games (which already cost the team a pair of points) and many questions were being asked. The fact is the team has now gotten past the scheduling difficulties they faced, and they have been able to bring out a more solid lineup to their most recent games. Long time Executioner Lee Bryant made his season debut this past week with a three point effort and Sean Phair also appeared for his second game of the season. The team certainly hopes to have him in the lineup more often as he has lit up the opposition with an astounding 2-5-3-8 stat line. As for the regulars, Jesse Churchwell is leading the way with 13 points in 7 games on 6 goals and 7 assists, both team highs. Rookie Wes Grisdale has also made an immediate impact to this team with 9 points in 5 games. He hasn't been alone as a first year player on the club that has produced, as Shane Carey is also above the point-per-game mark. Shane Khan has been absent more often than the team would prefer but he has been effective when in the lineup with 7 points in 4 games. The same goes for Dylan Churchwell who played some games early on in the season but has been out of the picture for several games now. The Tung brothers, Rick and Steve, have the back end covered for the Executioners as has been the case for many years. The team's goaltending situation is intriguing. Through the 7 games the team actually played, they have dressed 5 different starters. Though it's nice to be able to have some flexibility, I think any team would rather have someone committed to the idea of showing up to play goal for your team on a regular basis. We'll have to keep an eye on whether or not a leader emerges as the main man in the Exec's crease over the next few months. Another rookie, Brad Anderson, has played a couple of games and been lit up a bit, while Rob Kahle, Adam Butler, and Alam Cheema are all 1-0, and played well in their wins. In general, the Executioners are a team that could go either way, but will most likely be battling the Thrashers for third much of the season.


Jesse Churchwell

Sean Phair

Team Record: 4-5-0, 31 GF, 33 GA, -2 GD (4th Place, "A" Div)
Rookie To Watch: Wes Grisdale (5-4-5-9)
Season High Point: Short benched and badly outshot, the Executioners still managed to beat the Jaguars 5-0 with opportunistic scoring, solid crease defense and great goaltending.

Season Low Point: The second of two forfeits had many people scratching their heads and wondering if this team was still alive.

WEST COAST BULLIES

First Half Summary: The Bullies have had something of a difficult first half of the 13/14 season. A year ago they were a .500 team in a division that was every bit as tough, but this year the team seems to be coming up just a bit short every game. They've already had four one goal losses and a tie, and that's possibly the most frustrating part about things. The offense has been the biggest culprit as the Bullies have averaged a league worst 2.00 goals per game. Multiple players on the team have been squeezing their sticks, though there have been some that have been contributing regularly. Larry Mey has definitely been carrying the load for this team and leads the club in both goals (5) and points (7), despite playing as a defensemen. His energy level is always an inspiration to the players around him, which is key as this team is at it's best when it plays on emotion. Matt Lisson has also been a consistent offensive contributor with 5 points in 7 games. His long time partner in crime, Brad Crawford, didn't start playing this year until well into the schedule, but has 3 points in 4 games. Nick McNicol comes in second on the team with his 4 goals, and the high powered duo of Rajan Boparai and Herman Sunner are each at a point-per-game. They will be counted on to really kick-start the offense as the players with the best scoring resumes on the team, but they must make sure they make it out on a more regular basis as each has only played in 4 of the team's first 9 games. Goaltending certainly hasn't been an issue, and whenever you have Cristian Campeanu between the pipes, you can bet he'll keep you in the game. Despite an 0-8-1 record, his numbers of 4.10 GAA and .859 Save % are pretty good. The difference in winning and losing is a fine line and so far the Bullies have been on the wrong side of it. Here's hoping some of their regulars can get a couple bounces and find their scoring touch in the second half of the year to help get the club over that hump.


Larry Mey

Matt Lisson

Team Record: 0-8-1, 18 GF, 39 GA, -21 GD (5th Place, "A" Div)
Rookie To Watch:  Ryan Rutley (3-0-0-0)
Season High Point: Scoring twice in the last minute against the Thrashers to salvage the tie and earn the team's first point of the season.

Season Low Point: Even in losses, the Bullies mostly manage to keep the games close, but the score got a bit ugly in a 7-2 loss to the Jaguars in early November.







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