Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Six Nations Chiefs win Game 4 8-3, even Mann Cup series at 2-2

Cody Jamieson had a hat trick to help the Chiefs win
Game 4 by an 8-3 score. (Photo: Kevin Light)

Brandon Miller made 47 saves and Cody Jamieson scored 3 goals to lead the Six Nations Chiefs to an 8-3 win over the Victoria Shamrocks, tying the best of seven Mann Cup championship at 2-2 and setting the stage for an exciting best of three close to the series. Miller came into Game 3 late in the first period and allowed just 3 goals as the Chiefs fell to the Shamrocks. He was even better in Game 4.

The Chiefs took advantage of the opportunity he gave them by outscoring Victoria 6-1 in the final 40 minutes of the game to earn the win. Miller said he's just on one of those rolls goalies sometimes get on where he's seeing the ball well. “Sometimes a goalie gets into that kind of streak and it's definitely happening right now,” Miller said. “I felt good coming out here, too. Every time in practice I've been working on my game and just hope to maybe get the call. Everyone's here for a reason. It's not a vacation. It's just nice to get in there and contribute a little bit.”

Miller said he was a little surprised to get the call to start Game 4 and will leave the decision about who goes in Game 5 up to the coaches. “I actually thought they'd go back to [Evan Kirk] tonight. He's the guy that got us here. He went 8-0 in Ontario and he had two great games out here as well. Kirky and I are roommates, we're really good buddies, and either one of us is going to go in there and do a good job, I'm sure.”

Chiefs' Head Coach Rich Kilgour said after the game that the decision wasn't made yet about Game 5's starter, but he did suggest which way he was leaning. “[Miller] probably earned another start. We'll discuss it as a coaching staff and go from there. In five periods he's given up 6 goals. That ain't too bad as a goalie in a Mann Cup. I believe in riding the hot guy and right now he seems to be on a little bit of a roll, so ride him till he drops.”

Six Nations had a couple of changes to their lineup for Game 4 and both seemed to make a positive difference for them. Billy Dee Smith drew back in after sitting out with a re-aggravated hamstring injury. “Billy scares the hell out of me so I can't imagine playing against him. He comes back and he's an intimidating guy,” Kilgour said. “We wanted to get him back as soon as he felt ready and he felt like he was good to go and he didn't look too bad out there. He's a big part of our defence and why we're here.”

Transition player Tom Montour dressed for the first time since cutting a tendon in his wrist in June and made a noticeable difference as well. “Even if he didn't get a goal, he stretched their D, we got the ball up the floor a lot quicker,” Kilgour said. “The O was getting the ball with 22/23 [seconds left on the shot clock] instead of 17. Six seconds is a lot to work with at this level. It was good to have him back, too.”

Now, Kilgour says, his and his coaching staff's job is to get his club ready for what the Shamrocks are going to come up with for Game 5. “I'm sure they're preparing something,” he said. “I've got to go and try to think like Bob Heyes and see what he's going to pull out of his bag for tomorrow. It's a good series, a best of three now. Glad we won tonight.”

For his part, Victoria Head Coach Heyes was clearly displeased with the effort his offence produced, especially in not seeming willing to pay the price to create scoring opportunities. “It's part of the game and they need to want to get to the dirty areas in front of the net,” Heyes said. “Everybody has to be able to get in front of the net, or certain guys have to get there to create opportunities for us. We can't hold onto the ball, we can't run single man plays up there. We have to work as a unit. Our defence works as a unit and that's what's been successful for us. Our offensive guys have to work as five man units. We have to come out and have a great game tomorrow. I've challenged them, I've talked to them, and they know where they've got to go.”

For more coverage of Game 4 and the Mann Cup as a whole, go to IL Indoor and the 2013 Mann Cup web site.

Game 5 goes Wednesday night at 7 pm and can be seen via live pay per view webcast.