He had many questions upon its conclusion
When we concluded part one of our journey through the NHL 20 Twitch stream between the Moose Jaw Warriors and the Prince Albert Raiders, the hometown Warriors had a comfortable 15-9 cushion over the defending WHL champions.
“It’s simply too much to not enough at this point,” virtual play-by-play man James Cybulski said as the third period got underway.
“Moose Jaw’s focus now is to lock it down,” virtual Ray Ferraro added from between the benches. “You don’t want to give it (the game) away now.”
Like many statements in these strange times, those thoughts aged poorly.
Before we go over the conclusion of this contest, however, we need to discuss the player models for both sides.
Granted, I’m not expecting EA Sports to have every single player in every single league to look exactly like their real-life counterpart, but some of the choices were bizarre.
For example, rookie Tyson Laventure appears to be entering his 10th season in the pro ranks, Spencer Moe and Kaiden Guhle could both pass off as Parker Kelly’s long-lost twin brother and Warriors bench boss Marc O’Leary is apparently a splitting image for Raiders general manager Curtis Hunt.
Perhaps the game will prove to be a bit more realistic, especially since Nolan Allan and Moe both scored in a 10-second span to cut the Warriors lead to 16-11.
It was around this point where the wonderful world of ref puck began to take over though, as Justin Nachbaur more or less clotheslined Boston Bilous, but play continued on.
Moments later, Eric Pearce kicked in a shot from Landon Kosior while in the crease, which wouldn’t count if this was a real-life contest.
However, the no-goal call was reversed to a call itself after a video review and an apparent call to the league office.
Upon hearing this development, I considered calling WHL communications director Taylor Rocca to discuss this bizarre situation, but then remembered that he has far more important issues on his plate.
Following that situation, the Warriors had a 17-12 lead near the halfway point of the third period when Pearce and Recce Vitelli both lit the lamp in a 40-second span.
Then things went horribly wrong.
In the equivalent of an air raid college football game, both teams combined to score five goals in a little over three minutes to put the score at 18-18.
Matthew Culling seemed to have completed the comeback for the Raiders with 1:19 left on the clock, but Ryder Korczak responded 20 seconds later to force overtime.
It was at this point that I wandered around the office in a complete daze and contemplated my life choices.
As was par for the course for this stream, the starting lines for the three-on-three overtime were truly bizarre,
The Warriors brought out Calder Anderson, Carson Sass and Cole Jordan to start things off and the Raiders countered with Vitelli, Kosior and Jeremy Masella, which clearly showed that O’Leary and Marc Habscheid had both lost the plot.
Korzack probably should have won the game about 90 seconds into the extra frame, but his shot went wide and Kosior pounced on a rebound from a Remy Aquilon shot to give the Raiders a 20-19 win.
The final stat totals were beyond description as Vitelli, Culling, Pearce, Evan Herman, Logan Doust, Tate Popple and Jagger Firkus all had hat tricks.
Vitelli also dished out five helpers to earn first star honours, while Kosior had a goal and six assists to fall one point off of Ty Smith’s real-life eight-point showing for the Spokane Chiefs earlier this season.
Both teams also combined for 224 shots, so hopefully virtual Max Paddock, Carter Serhyenko and Bilous are given a lot of time off after this one.
When the Warriors posted the final score of the Twitch stream on Twitter Saturday night, Raiders announcer Trevor Redden couldn’t help but have some fun with what took place.
“‘It wasn’t a Picasso, but a win’s a win.’ – virtual Marc Habscheid,” Redden said.
At times like this, a distraction from real-world madness is what’s best and this certainly did the job.