Coaches generally don't expect-or want- their defencemen to attempt to deke an onrushing forward when they're standing alone on the blue line with no backup.
So if you're going to make the move, you better make it work.
Midway through the first period of Saturday's exhibition game against the Surrey Eagles, Chiefs rookie defenceman Carter Cochrane did just that, headfaking an Eagles skater, sliding the puck through his feet and walking into the slot for a prime scoring chance.
He didn't score, but the move was a perfect illustration both of the potential of this year's Chiefs' squad and their relative youth and inexperience. It also likely had Chiefs head coach Harvey Smyl thanking the heavens Saturday's game at Prospera Centre was still a pre-season tune-up.
With a couple spots still open on the roster, the Chiefs already have nearly a dozen players entering the season with three years of British Columbia Hockey League eligibility left. Last year's veteran team featured just six such players.
That youth will likely mean more all-or- nothing moves like that of the 16-year-old Cochrane. And if the results might be unpredictable, they should at least be entertaining.
The Chiefs showed flashes of such brilliance this weekend in a pair of exhibition
On Friday in Surrey, Jake Hand, Jordan Kawaguchi and Carter Cochrane staked the Chiefs to a 3-1 lead after the first period. Hand added his second of the game in the second period, but Surrey rallied to take a 5-4 lead en route to a 7-4 victory.
On Saturday night, the Chiefs again got out of the gate early as the teams renewed acquaintances at Prospera Centre.
Mathieu Tibbet capped a dominating shift by picking up a rebound and shoving it past Eagles netminder Scott Lapp to open the scoring.
Brandon Volpe tipped in a point shot less than a minute later to extend the lead. And Kurt Black got the Chiefs' third goal nine minutes later when he leapt on a loose puck and blasted it over Lapp's glove.
The Eagles drew to within two goals with 1:35 left in the period. The Eagles tied the game in the second period, and, with no overtime in the pre-season, a scoreless third period sent the two teams home knotted at three.
On Tuesday, the Chiefs are in Hope to take on the Coquitlam Express at the Hope & District Recreation Centre. They play their final pre-season game Thursday night at Prospera Centre, again against the Surrey Eagles.
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