Thursday, October 25, 2007

I Love the Shootout When it Results in a Win

  • Without question it was the Rockets best first period of the season. The Rockets out-shot the Giants 7-2 in the opening session and had several quality chances. Had Giants goaltender Tyson Sexsmith been average, the Rockets could have had a 2-0 lead after the opening 20 minutes.
  • Who was the better goaltender? Kristofer Westblom wasn't tested in the first period, but made some solid saves as the game wore on. Tyson Sexsmith was great all game long, making some sensational saves. Sexsmith made many look easy, when they weren't.
  • Westblom was great in the shootout. Evander Kane and Michal Repik were stymied by Westblom. The best save came against Repik, who made several moves before going to the forehand and shooting the puck into the left pad of Westblom, who kept it flush to the ice.
  • He has little to show for it, but I thought 17 year-old Brandon McMillan was very good in the first period. How can you not love this guy? Great speed, decent size and soft hands make him a beauty to watch as he matures into a top line player.
  • Out-shooting the Giants - no small feat!
  • It's funny how a less than stellar start by an individual, doesn't mean they can't play a hero's role as the game wears on. I thought Jamie Benn was a non-factor, yet scored a beautiful goal that went post-and-in to give the Rockets a 1-0 lead in the shootout. Colin Joe struggled a bit early in the game, but found his game and got better as the contest went on.
  • Colin Long was the best Rockets forward. Sure he scored the game winner in the shootout, but was so composed with the puck, looking to set up anyone who wanted to go to the net. It looks like he is having so much fun out there, controlling the play and passing the puck with pin point accuracy. He's a joy to watch.
  • The Rockets took a page out of the Giants penalty killing playbook by playing a pressure game. The Rockets didn't allow the Giants to properly set up in the offensive zone, the reason why they failed to convert on the man advantage.
  • Simply it was nice to see the Rockets on the winning end of a one goal game.
  • Moose Jaw Warriors GM Chad Lang took in Wednesday's game. Lang's team visits Prospera Place on Saturday night.
  • I had to chuckle when the Giants scored to make it a 1-1 tie. After Spencer Machacek tied the game, the horn that sounds when the Rockets score went off. It has never happened before, and after a slip of the finger, it will likely never happen again.
  • Both the start of the 2nd and 3rd periods saw slight delays as the referee's allowed puddles on the ice to freeze.
  • The win snapped the Rockets three game losing streak. For a team that lost as many times as it did a year ago, stopping losing streaks quickly is a must.
  • Overage forward Brady Leavold didn't play against the Giants, after sitting out with the flu. How many other players will come down with the ailment is now the concern.

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