Kyle Beach Interview

https://od.lk/f/ODVfMjQ0ODY0NV8

Friday, November 30, 2007

Rockets Game Notes vs. Blazers

Tonight’s Preview: This is the fourth meeting of the season between the Rockets and the Blazers. The Rockets have beaten, lost in regulation and have suffered a setback in a shootout against the Blazers this season (1-1-0-1). These two teams last met November 14th in a Blazers 2-1 shootout win. Following tonight’s game the two teams won’t hook up again until December 28th when the Blazers make a return visit. The Rockets are playing game three of four straight on home ice. The Rockets host Portland tomorrow night. The Rockets were a 4-3 loser to the Prince George Cougars last Saturday night. Ty Wishart scored a power play goal at the 8:35 mark of the third period, which stood up as the game winner. The Rockets enter tonight’s game having recorded a point in 12 of their last 14 games (9-2-1-2), having out-scored the opposition 50-35 over that period. The Rockets enter tonight’s game having won 4 of their last 5 home games, with points in 6 of their last 7 (4-1-1-1).

Blazer Seasonal Series Breakdown: The Rockets are 1-1-0-1 in three games against the Blazers this season. The Rockets have out-scored the Blazers 10-8 in the three games. The Rockets are 2/17 or 11.8% on the power play in the seasonal series while the Blazers are 2/15 or 13.3% with the extra man. The Rockets have out-shot the Blazers 84-72 in the three games, including 32-13 in a 6-1 Rockets victory October 30th in Kelowna.

Period: 1 2 3 OT SO Total
Rockets: 3 4 3 0 0 10
Blazers: 2 4 1 0 1 8

Westy’s Success vs. Blazers: Rockets goaltender Kristofer Westblom has started in all three games against the Blazers this season. Westblom is 7-5-1-1 with 3 ties in 17 career games against Kamloops dating back to the start of the 2004 season. Westblom has two career shutouts against the Blazers with a career goals against average of 2.61 and a save percentage of .910.
Dare to Compare: While many feel the Rockets power play is light years ahead of where it was one year ago, the numbers say otherwise. This season the Rockets have scored 29 power play goals after 27 games, just 4 more than they scored with the man advantage after 27 games last season. But the Rockets have had 45 fewer chances with the man advantage this season, than they did after 27 games a year ago. The Rockets had 197 power play chances after 27 games last season as compared to 152 opportunities this season.
A Year Ago: The Rockets have scored 91 goals after 27 games this season (3.4 per game), 33 more goals than a year ago. The Rockets have also allowed 81 goals against this season, 15 fewer goals than the 96 they gave up one season ago after the same amount of games. The Rockets are +10 (91 goals for – 81 against = +10) compared to being -38 (58 goals for – 96 against = - 38) a year ago.

Red Hot Rockets:
*The Rockets are 9 for 43 on the power play in their last 9 games or 20.9%.
Brady Leavold: Leavold has points in six of his last 8.
Tyson Barrie: 1+7=8 in last 9 games Colin Long: points in 11 of last 13 (5+12=17)
Jamie Benn: 7+5=12 in last 12 games Kyle St. Denis: 6+5=11 in last 13 games
Lucas Bloodoff: Goals in 8 of last 14 games (10 goals over that period)
Evan Bloodoff: Has twice as many goals as a year ago. Bloodoff has 8 goals after scoring four the previous season. Bloodoff has 3 goals in his last two games.
Tyler Myers: Has scored goals in back-to-back games. Brandon McMillan: Goal-less in 12 straight games McMillan’s last goal was against the Blazers October 30th. McMillan had 1+3=4 in that game.
Rockets Milestones:
Colin Joe played in his 200th WHL game Sunday November 18th in Vancouver.
James McEwan is 6 games shy of 200 for his career.
Lucas Bloodoff is playing in his 97th career game tonight.
Lucas Bloodoff has 10 goals this season, the same number he scored in 69 games in his rookie season.
Colin Long has surpassed his point total of 28 set last season. Long has 34 points this season.
Only four Rockets have played in all 27 games this season. Lucas Bloodoff, Brandon McMillan, Colin Long and Kyle St. Denis have dressed in every game this season.
Brandon McMillan has 5 more points than he did all of last season.

Broadcasters Bits: Rockets goaltender Kristofer Westblom has started eleven of the team’s last thirteen games, posting a record of 7-2-1-1. It stands to reason that Westblom has been in goal in 12 of the Rockets 14 wins this season…Colin Long has been held off the score-sheet in just six of the teams first 27 games this season…Rockets defenseman Luke Schenn was named the player of the game in Canada’s 5-1 loss to Russia in Wednesday’s ADT Canada-Russia Challenge in Cranbrook.… The Rockets have points in seven of their last 8 road games (5-1-1-1)…The Rockets have given up a power play goal in 21 of the 27 games they’ve played this season…The Rockets have been involved in a one goal game in 10 of their first 13 home games. The Rockets are 4-4-1-1 in those one goal contests…The Rockets have been involved in fifteen – one goal games this season, including twelve of their last 18 games overall…The Rockets all-time are 8 and 9 in the shootout.
Rockets Schedule - Next 5 Games: Rockets Results - Last 5 Games:
Dec 1 vs. Portland Rockets 4 Hawks 1 W
Dec 2 @ Chilliwack Rockets 5 Giants 3 W
Dec 5 vs. Med Hat Rockets 1 Americans 6 L
Dec 7 @ Lethbridge Rockets 7 Kootenay 6 OTW
Dec Dec 9 @ Regina Rockets 3 Cougars 4 L

Rockets Players by Province: BC=13 US=4 ALB=3 SASK=2 MAN=1 EURO=1 Total=24

Rockets Season Highs and Lows:

Most Goals Scored: 7 vs. Kootenay November 23/07 (7-6 OTW)
Most Goals Allowed: 6 vs. Kootenay Nov 23/07 (7-6 OTW), @ Tri City November 21/07 (6-1 L)
Most Power Play Chances: 9 @ PG Nov 10/07 (6-1 W – 4/9) vs. Warriors Oct 27/07. Rockets were 0/9 losing 4-3 in shootout.
Most Power Play Goals Scored: 4 @ PG Nov 10/07 (6-1 W)
Most Power Play Goals Allowed: 4 @ Everett Sept 29/07
Most Shots Taken: 38 @ Portland Nov 17/07 (Rockets 4 Hawks 1)
Fewest Shots Taken: 9 @ Vancouver Sept 29/07 (5-0L)
Most Shot Allowed: 48 @ Vancouver Sept 30/07
Fewest Shots Allowed: 13 vs. Blazers Oct 30/07 (6-1 W)
Last Shutout: - Kristofer Westblom 28 saves vs. Calgary (5-0 W)
Last Time Shutout: - @ Vancouver Sept 29/07 – Sexsmith 9 saves (5-0 L)
Penalty Shots: Torrie Jung stops Hawks forward Luke Walker Nov 17/07 in a 4-1 win in Portland. Kristofer Westblom stops Everett’s Shane Harper in a 3-2 overtime loss Nov 16/07 in Everett. Torrie Jung stopped Michal Repik in the 3rd period of a 5-0 loss Sept 29/07.
Overtime Winning Goal: Colin Long scored at :44 of overtime Nov 23/07 in a 7-6 win over Kootenay. Jamie Benn scored at 1:07 of overtime Nov 2/07 in a 3-2 win over Chilliwack.
Shootout Game Winning Goals: Dylan Hood scores in a 4-3 win in Seattle October 6/07. Colin Long scored the game winner in a 2-1 win over Vancouver October 24th.

Rockets vs. Divisions:
vs. BC: 8-4-0-1 vs. US: 3-5-2-0
vs. Central: 3-0-0-0 vs. East: 0-0-0-1

Roster Stats:
Player total: 24
Year by Year Breakdown:
20’s – 3 Westblom, McEwan, Leavold
19’s – 3 Dowzak, MacRae, Joe
18’s – 8 Long, Kytnar, Brusciano, L. Bloodoff, Jung, Schenn, Almond, Benn
17’s – 6 St. Denis, E. Bloodoff, McIntosh, Myers, McMillan, Hood
16’s – 4 Bowman, Barrie, Paradis, Verdino
Average Age: 17.8
Rookies – 7

Record by Month:

Month Games Record Home Road
September: 4 1-2-1-0 0-1-1-0 1-1-0-0
October: 11 5-5-0-1 3-3-0-1 2-2-0-0
November: 13 8-2-1-1 3-1-0-0 5-1-1-1
December: 12 0-0-0-0 0-0-0-0 0-0-0-0
January: 13 0-0-0-0 0-0-0-0 0-0-0-0
February: 11 0-0-0-0 0-0-0-0 0-0-0-0

NHL Draft Picks-Training Camp Attendees: Jamie Benn (Dallas 07), Torrie Jung (Tampa Bay 07), Cody Almond (Minnesota 07), Milan Kytnar (Oilers 07), Tysen Dowzak (Tryout Philadelphia).

Game Notes Compiled by Regan Bartel (AM 1150)

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Bring Back the All-Star Game!

  • Nothing against the ADT Canada-Russia Challenge, but am I the only one who would like to see the WHL All-Star game resurrected? I'd love to see the best that the league has to offer hook up in a East vs. West showdown. The ADT Challenge features the top players vying for a spot on the Canadian World Junior team, but wouldn't it be neat to see the veterans of this league face-off against the rising stars? I'd love to see 16 year-old Brandon Wheat Kings forward Brayden Schenn in an all-star game against fellow 16 year-old Jared Cowan of the Spokane Chiefs. Or how about Tri City Americans rookie Johnny Lazo facing 20 year-old's like Kootenay's Steve DaSilva. The WHL has so many interesting players in various age groups, it would be nice to see them showcased with the re-birth of the league's all-star game.
  • It was nice to see Luke Schenn being named the WHL player of the game despite the WHL's 5-1 loss to the Russians last night in Cranbrook. Schenn had the only goal for Canada in the lopsided win which had a nasty finish with a few fights breaking out. Schenn's effort will surely garner him a invite to Team Canada's main camp next month in Calgary. For the moment Schenn will return to Kelowna in time for the Rockets home game with the Kamloops Blazers. Schenn won't play in tonight's rematch with the Russians in Medicine Hat.
  • Collin Bowman may be a quick healer. Rockets head coach Ryan Huska says the rookie defenseman could play this weekend against Kamloops, Portland and the Chilliwack Bruins. With the Rockets playing three games in three night's, the rookie d-man may be pressed into action. Bowman sat out Saturday's loss to Prince George with a broken nose suffered one night earlier against the Kootenay Ice.
  • After sharing the goaltending duties last weekend, look for Kristofer Westblom and Torrie Jung between the pipes at some time this weekend. If I was a betting man, I'd expect to see Westblom Friday against the Blazers considering he has started all three games against Kamloops this season. Jung will likely get the start Saturday against the Hawks after recording the 4-1 win against them earlier this month in Portland.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

10 Reasons Why The Eastern Trip is Good Times

Here are the 10 reasons why I am looking forward to the Kelowna Rockets 6 game in 9 night Eastern Conference road trip next month.

10) The first game is in Lethbridge, the home of the Hurricanes. I am intrigued by the earlier suggestion that Hurricane fans may taunt us in the broadcast booth. I think I can handle myself, but my 260 pound body guard...or should I say Color Analyst David Michaud is a pretty good back up. I don't anticipate any trouble, and I never have in that building, but after hearing from Everett Silvertips broadcaster Jon Rosen about his experiences there this season,I'll be aware of the potential trouble at the bottom of the booth.
9) A stop in Regina. It will be great to see former Rockets Kirt Hill and Troy Ofukany again, but my main objective is to purchase a Saskatchewan Roughrider Grey Cup Champions 2007 t-shirt. Do you think they will have any in the Queen City? Guaranteed! I may stop by the Saskatchewan Legislature and see Premier Brad Wall. How many times can you say a friend of yours is the Premier? I could be Wall's Minister of Athletics? Maybe he's such a big deal now that he will deny he even knows me? I can hear it now "Security get this man out of here"!
8) A visit to the Moose Jaw Civic Centre. I played many games of hockey in that building, and it's always funny to see the expression on the BC born players faces as they admire the structure with the weird roof. Yes the 'crush can' brings back great memories including the Swift Current Broncos skating onto the ice in that building for their first game following a tragic bus accident in 1986. I can still see it now, the fans standing on their feet as Lonnie Spink, Joe Sakic and others come out onto the ice with those long blue cooperalls.
7) Our next stop is in the building I know as the Keystone Centre in Brandon. I've had a bad nasal congestion problem this season, and one whiff of the buildings cattle-like odor should cure me instantly. All joking aside, the arena brings back thoughts of the Rockets winning a WHL title in that building in 2005. Seeing Wheat Kings Braydon Schenn for the first time will be a treat.
6) I want to see the expression on David Michaud's face when he has to sit on my knee when the Rockets face the Raiders in Prince Albert. The broadcast booth in PA is a disaster. The wooden structure overlooking the ice is extremely small, with little to no room for two visiting radio broadcasters. The only cool part of the location of the broadcast booth is you can literally here the f-bombs from the penalty boxes below. If reno's have been completed on the broadcast location since my last visit, I beg for your forgiveness.
5) The final stop is in Saskatoon. The only reason I don't like this stop is because the players want to go home soooooo bad for Christmas that the game often has little to no flow. I will admit it will be neat to see Rockets General Manager Bruce Hamilton in a different light, as he becomes a hockey parent for the evening as he watches his son Curtis.
4) The Rockets Christmas party. This is an evening set aside where the players have a traditional Christmas meal and exchange gag gifts. The best gag gift I've received from the players was a voice changer. It's a plastic microphone that you speak into, and has three different settings to make your voice lower, higher or robotic. Come to think of it, maybe the players think my voice stinks? If I ever get a similar gift from my employer, I'm screwed.
3) Prairie sunshine. Sure it's cold out there in December, but the sunshine is like a breath of fresh air. The thing I don't like about BC in the winter is the lack of sunshine. The general theme in the Okanagan in the winter is usually grey, cloudy skies. I'll admit I'm a pussy when it comes to the cold temperatures though.
2) Driving through Swift Current. Unfortunately we don't play the Broncos on this road trip,but passing through my hometown is always a treat. While little has changed from the number one highway as you pass through, getting a glimpse at the Comp High School and the Elmwood Golf Course brings back great memories. OK the great memories are limited in my time at the Comp (Leon Koldingness it's your fault I turned out the way I did), but mastering the 7th hole at the Elmwood Golf and Country Club was sweet.
1) If the Rockets Christmas road trip follows a similar theme, success is sure to follow. Trust me it won't be easy playing 6 games in 9 night's, but if the Rockets can come even close to what they accomplish in 2002-2003 when the team went 5-0, we will all have a Merry Christmas.

My Nose Hurts!


Rockets rookie defenseman Collin Bowman has no time to stop and smell the roses in his rookie season in the Western Hockey League. Even if he had the time, it would be a tough thing to do after his nose was broken in a fight Friday night against the Kootenay Ice. Bowman elected to dance with Penticton resident Jordan Wilkins, and found himself not only leaving the ice after the scrap with a bloody nose, but a broken one too boot. Bowman missed Saturday’s game against Prince George and isn’t likely to see action in back-to-back home games against Kamloops and Portland this weekend. When he does return, he’ll be fitted with a full facial shield, something he should be used to after playing with one just last season.
  • The Kelowna Rockets could be minus two players on their Eastern division road trip next month. Defenseman Luke Schenn will certainly get an invited to the Canadian World Junior training camp in Calgary, while forward Milan Kitnar is expected to play for team Slovakia. Rockets defenseman Tyson Barrie will be unavailable to the team after the Christmas break as he plays for team Pacific at the Under 17’s.
  • The only bad news with Luke Schenn potentially not playing for the Rockets on their Eastern division road swing is we won’t see him play against his younger brother Brayden. Sixteen year-old Brayden Schenn is having a great season with the Brandon Wheat Kings, and is the early favorite for Eastern Conference rookie of the year. The Rockets meet the Wheat Kings in Brandon December 12th.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

The Sky is Anything but Grey after a Rider Win!



The 2007 Grey Cup Champions reside in Saskatchewan.

Feeling Green and Feeling Good!!!

Sorry no post or recap from last night's Rockets/Cougars game. I'm stretching in preparation for the kickoff of the Grey Cup between the mighty Riders and the Bombers.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

From Goat to Glory

  • Ok Colin Long wasn't exactly the goat in Wednesday's loss to the Tri City Americans, but his early goal scoring chance in the second period of a scoreless game may have turned the tide in the Rockets direction on that night? So it was great to see Long respond with such a big goal against the Ice last night in a game the Rockets should have had in the bag when it was 4-1. Long's goal just 44 seconds into overtime left the majority of the 61 hundred in attendance with a smile on their face.
  • Kyle St. Denis and Tyson Barrie deserve credit on the game winner. St. Denis won the puck against the near board, fired it behind the net where Barrie located Long at the side of the net. A 17 year-old started the play, a 16 year-old set it up and an 18 year-old finished it. Isn't youth wonderful?
  • The Rockets built up a 3-0 lead before the game was 11 minutes old. Yet had it not been for the fine goaltending of Kristofer Westblom, the score could have been reversed. Westblom was simply better than Kootenay starter Kris Lazaruk, who was pulled after giving up three goals on 10 shots.
  • The Kootenay Ice were great offensively in this one. The line of Andrew Bailey, Steve DaSilva and Kevin King were tremendous. That three-some created several great scoring chances, with DaSilva scoring once and adding three assists while Bailey had two goals. King had to leave the game in the third period after Rockets forward Cody Almond was ejected for a kneeing major.
  • I have never seen Ice backup goaltender Thomas Heemskerk play, but he left a lasting impression on me. The 17 year-old came into the game with 9 minutes left in the first period and was solid. His best save came off of Rockets forward Brandon McMillan when the Rockets had a 4-1 lead. McMillan appeared to have a wide open goal, yet Heemskerk dove across and appeared to get the paddle of his stick on the McMillan shot, knocking it aside. How big was that save? Had McMillan scored, it would have made the score 5-1 for the Rockets, and likely lights out for the Ice. Instead Kootenay regrouped and scored three unanswered goals to tie the game at 4.
  • I had a great conversation with Ice GM Jeff Chynoweth before the game. Chynoweth is simply one of the good guys in hockey, and a pleasure to chat with. I won't go into detail on the subjects we covered because many of them are simply private, and were shared between two people that should have the confidence to speak candidly with one another. If Chynoweth is as good as a GM as he is as a person, no wonder the Ice have been the most successful team in the WHL in the last 10 years.
  • I had to chuckle at a non-call by referee Saad Al-Jadir in last night's game. Kootenay defenseman Chad Greenan really laid into Rockets forward Evan Bloodoff with a huge hit which in my opinion was illegal. It warranted a penalty. Al-Jadir attempted to lift his arm up to signal a penalty, only to quickly pull it down. The non-call created a series of boos from the Prospera faithful.
  • Thirteen of the Rockets 18 players picked up points in the game. The exception were Luke Schenn, Milan Kytnar, Collin Bowman and Colin Joe.

Rockets Game Notes vs. Cougars

Tonight’s Preview: This is the third meeting of the season between the Rockets and the Cougars. The Rockets won back-to-back games in Prince George November 9th and 10th with 5-1 and 6-1 victories. Following tonight’s game these two teams won’t see each other until January 4th when the Cougars again make a visit to Prospera Place. The Rockets make their final visit up in Prince George with back-to-back games January 11th and 12th. In total the Rockets and Cougars meet eight times this season. Last season the Rockets were 4-1-0-0 against the Cougars on home ice, out-scoring their BC division rivals 18-14. In the Cougars last 20 regular season appearances in Kelowna, they’ve managed just five wins. The Rockets are 13-5-0-1 with one tie in 20 games against the Cougars dating back to the start of the 2003-2004 season. The Rockets are playing game two of four straight games on home ice. The Rockets were a 7-6 overtime winner against the Kootenay Ice last night. Colin Long scored the game winner just 44 seconds into the extra frame for the team’s 14th win of the season. The Rockets enter tonight’s game having recorded a point in 12 of their last 13 games (9-1-1-2), having out-scored the opposition 47-31 over that period. The Rockets enter tonight’s game having won 4 straight on home ice, with points in 6 straight (4-0-1-1). The Rockets host Kamloops next Friday before closing out the home stand against Portland one night later.

7th Heaven: The Rockets scored 7 goals in last night’s overtime win over the Ice. When was the last time the Rockets scored 7 goals at home? The last time was December 7, 2005 in a 7-4 win over the Tri City Americans. That season (2005-2006) the Rockets scored 7 goals at home on three separate occasions, against Moose Jaw (7-6), Prince George (7-1) and the Tri Cities. So when asked the question when was the last time the Rockets won a game at home by giving up 6 goals, the answer is Oct 19, 2005 in a 7-6 win over the Moose Jaw Warriors. That game was also won in overtime. The most goals the Rockets have scored at home were 11, in an 11-2 win over Vancouver January 5, 2002. When was the last time the Rockets have up 12 goals combined in back-to-back games? The Rockets gave up 13 goals in back-to-back home losses to Portland (7-5) and to Lethbridge (6-4) on October 12th and 13th of 2001.

A Night of Firsts: Matt Brusciano scored his first career WHL goal in last night’s 7-6 overtime win over Kootenay. Brusciano was playing in just his second game of the season after missing the first 24 games with a concussion. Tyler Myers also recorded his first goal of the season in last night’s win. Myers has just 3 career goals in 88 career WHL games. The only Rockets player without a point this season is rookie defenseman Kyle Verdino.

Red Hot Rockets:

*The Rockets are 8 for 38 on the power play in their last 7 games or 21.1%.
Brady Leavold: Leavold has points in six of his last 7.
Tyson Barrie: 1+7=8 in last 8 games Colin Long: points in 10 of last 12 (5+11=16)
Cody Almond: points in 8 of last 12 (4+11=15) Jamie Benn: 7+5=12 in last 10 games
Kyle St. Denis: 6+4=10 in last 12 games Lucas Bloodoff: Goals in 8 of last 13 games (10 goals over that period)
*The Rockets penalty kill has given up 8 goals in their last 35 kills.

Rockets Milestones:
Colin Joe played in his 200th WHL game Sunday November 18th in Vancouver.
James McEwan is 6 games shy of 200 for his career.
Lucas Bloodoff is 3 games shy of 100 for his career.
Lucas Bloodoff has 10 goals this season, the same number he scored in 69 games in his rookie season.
Colin Long has surpassed his point total of 28 set last season. Long has 33 points this season.
Only four Rockets have played in all 26 games this season. Lucas Bloodoff, Brandon McMillan, Colin Long and Kyle St. Denis have dressed in every game this season.
Brandon McMillan has 5 more points than he did all of last season.
Evan Bloodoff’s goal last night gave him 9 points on the season – one more than in 59 games last season.

Broadcasters Bits: The Rockets have out-shot the opposition in 10 of their last 15 games…Rockets goaltender Kristofer Westblom has started ten of the team’s last twelve games, posting a record of 7-1-1-1. It stands to reason that Westblom has been in goal in 12 of the Rockets 14 wins this season…Colin Long has been held off the score-sheet in just six of the teams first 26 games this season…Rockets defenseman Luke Schenn will represent the WHL against a touring team from Russia during the ADT Canada-Russia Challenge later this month in Medicine Hat and Cranbrook… The Rockets have points in 6 straight home games (5-0-0-1), having outscored the opposition 24-16 over that period…The Rockets have points in seven of their last 8 road games (5-1-1-1)…The Rockets have given up a power play goal in 20 of the 26 games they’ve played this season…The Rockets have been involved in a one goal game in 9 of their first 12 home games. The Rockets are 4-3-1-1 in those one goal contests…The Rockets have been involved in fourteen – one goal games this season, including eleven of their last 17 games overall…The Rockets all-time are 8 and 9 in the shootout.

Rockets Schedule - Next 5 Games: Rockets Results - Last 5 Games:

Nov 30 vs. Kamloops Rockets 2 Everett 3 OTL
Dec 1 vs. Portland Rockets 4 Hawks 1 W
Dec 2 @ Chilliwack Rockets 5 Giants 3 W
Dec 5 vs. Med Hat Rockets 1 Americans 6 L
Dec 7 @ Lethbridge Rockets 7 Kootenay 6 OTW

Rockets Players by Province: BC=13 US=4 ALB=3 SASK=2 MAN=1 EURO=1 Total=24

Rockets Season Highs and Lows:

Most Goals Scored: 7 vs. Kootenay November 23/07 (7-6 OTW)
Most Goals Allowed: 6 vs. Kootenay Nov 23/07 (7-6 OTW), @ Tri City November 21/07 (6-1 L)
Most Power Play Chances: 9 @ PG Nov 10/07 (6-1 W – 4/9) vs. Warriors Oct 27/07. Rockets were 0/9 losing 4-3 in shootout.
Most Power Play Goals Scored: 4 @ PG Nov 10/07 (6-1 W)
Most Power Play Goals Allowed: 4 @ Everett Sept 29/07
Most Shots Taken: 38 @ Portland Nov 17/07 (Rockets 4 Hawks 1)
Fewest Shots Taken: 9 @ Vancouver Sept 29/07 (5-0L)
Most Shot Allowed: 48 @ Vancouver Sept 30/07
Fewest Shots Allowed: 13 vs. Blazers Oct 30/07 (6-1 W)
Last Shutout: - Kristofer Westblom 28 saves vs. Calgary (5-0 W)
Last Time Shutout: - @ Vancouver Sept 29/07 – Sexsmith 9 saves (5-0 L)
Penalty Shots: Torrie Jung stops Hawks forward Luke Walker Nov 17/07 in a 4-1 win in Portland. Kristofer Westblom stops Everett’s Shane Harper in a 3-2 overtime loss Nov 16/07 in Everett. Torrie Jung stopped Michal Repik in the 3rd period of a 5-0 loss Sept 29/07.
Overtime Winning Goal: Colin Long scored at :44 of overtime Nov 23/07 in a 7-6 win over Kootenay. Jamie Benn scored at 1:07 of overtime Nov 2/07 in a 3-2 win over Chilliwack.
Shootout Game Winning Goals: Dylan Hood scores in a 4-3 win in Seattle October 6/07. Colin Long scored the game winner in a 2-1 win over Vancouver October 24th.

Rockets vs. Divisions:
vs. BC: 8-3-0-1 vs. US: 3-5-2-0
vs. Central: 3-0-0-0 vs. East: 0-0-0-1

Roster Stats:
Player total: 24
Year by Year Breakdown:
20’s – 3 Westblom, McEwan, Leavold
19’s – 3 Dowzak, MacRae, Joe
18’s – 8 Long, Kytnar, Brusciano, L. Bloodoff, Jung, Schenn, Almond, Benn
17’s – 6 St. Denis, E. Bloodoff, McIntosh, Myers, McMillan, Hood
16’s – 4 Bowman, Barrie, Paradis, Verdino
Average Age: 17.8
Rookies – 7

Record by Month:

Month Games Record Home Road
September: 4 1-2-1-0 0-1-1-0 1-1-0-0
October: 11 5-5-0-1 3-3-0-1 2-2-0-0
November: 13 8-1-1-1 3-0-0-0 5-1-1-1
December: 12 0-0-0-0 0-0-0-0 0-0-0-0
January: 13 0-0-0-0 0-0-0-0 0-0-0-0
February: 11 0-0-0-0 0-0-0-0 0-0-0-0

NHL Draft Picks-Training Camp Attendees: Jamie Benn (Dallas 07), Torrie Jung (Tampa Bay 07), Cody Almond (Minnesota 07), Milan Kytnar (Oilers 07), Tysen Dowzak (Tryout Philadelphia).

Game Notes Compiled by Regan Bartel (AM 1150)

Friday, November 23, 2007

Rockets Game Notes vs. Ice

Tonight’s Preview: This is the one and only meeting between these two teams this season. Yes, the Rockets won’t play in Cranbrook this year. The Ice haven’t played at Prospera Place since March 15, 2006 in a 1-0 road win. Kootenay should visit more often considering they have had success in this building. Since the start of the 2000-2001 campaign the Rockets are just 4-7-0-0 with one tie in the last 12 games against the Ice at Skyreach Place/Prospera Place. The Rockets open a portion of their schedule tonight playing four straight games on home ice. That includes a game tomorrow night against the Prince George Cougars before visits with Kamloops and Portland next weekend. The Rockets enter tonight’s game having recorded a point in 11 of their last 12 games (8-1-1-2), having out-scored the opposition 40-25 over that period. The Rockets are coming off a 6-1 loss in Tri City Wednesday night. The Americans erupted for 6 straight goals in the second period in the win. Kyle St. Denis scored the lone goal for the Rockets, who were 0/5 on the power play. The Rockets enter tonight’s game having won 3 straight on home ice, with points in 5 straight (3-0-1-1).

A November to Remember? The Rockets are 7-1-1-1=16pts in 10 games during the month of November. How does that compare with other years? Note the Rockets have two more games remaining in the month.
2006-2007: 4-5-1-0=9pts 2005-2006: 5-3-1-0= 11pts
2004-2005: 8-1-0-0 and 4 ties=20pts 2003-2004: 11-3-0-0 and one tie=23pts
2002-2003: 5-4-0-0 and two ties=12pts

Giving Up 6: The Rockets gave up 6 goals in Wednesday’s loss in Tri City. The Rockets gave up 6 or more goals on the road 4 times last season. In all four games the Rockets allowed 7 goals against, in losses to Medicine Hat, Vancouver, Chilliwack and Prince George.

Red Hot Rockets:
*The Rockets are 7 for 35 on the power play in their last 6 games or 20%.
Brady Leavold: Leavold has points in five of his last 6 games.
Tyson Barrie: 1+5=6 in last 7 games Colin Long: points in 9 of last 11 (5+11=16)
Cody Almond: points in 7 of last 11 games (4+10=14) Jamie Benn: 6+4=10 in last 9 games Kyle St. Denis: 5+3=8 in last 11 games
Lucas Bloodoff: Goals in 7 of last 12 games (9 goals over that period)
*The Rockets penalty kill has given up 6 goals in their last 30 kills.

Rockets Milestones:
Colin Joe played in his 200th WHL game Sunday November 18th in Vancouver.
James McEwan is 6 games shy of 200 for his career.
Lucas Bloodoff is 4 games shy of 100 for his career.
Lucas Bloodoff is one goal shy of the 10 he scored in his rookie season.
Colin Long has surpassed his point total of 28 set last season. Long has 31 points this season.
Only four Rockets have played in all 25 games this season. Lucas Bloodoff, Brandon McMillan, Colin Long and Kyle St. Denis have dressed in every game this season.
Brandon McMillan has 5 more points than he did all of last season.

Broadcasters Bits: The Rockets have out-shot the opposition in 10 of their last 14 games. For the first time this season the Rockets tied the opposition in shots, when the Americans and Rockets had 31 shots apiece in Wednesday’s 6-1 road loss…Rockets goaltender Kristofer Westblom has started nine of the team’s last eleven games, posting a record of 6-1-1-1. Oddly enough Westblom has been in goal in 10 of the Rockets 13 wins this season…Colin Long has been held off the score-sheet in just six of the teams first 25 games this season…Rockets defenseman Luke Schenn will represent the WHL against a touring team from Russia during the ADT Canada-Russia Challenge later this month in Medicine Hat and Cranbrook… The Rockets have points in 5 straight home games (4-0-0-1), having outscored the opposition 17-10 over that period…The Rockets have points in seven of their last 8 road games (5-1-1-1)…The Rockets have given up a power play goal in 19 of the 25 games they’ve played this season…The Rockets have been involved in a one goal game in 8 of their first 11 home games. The Rockets are 3-3-1-1 in those one goal contests…The Rockets have been involved in thirteen – one goal games this season, including ten of their last 16 games overall…The Rockets all-time are 8 and 9 in the shootout.
Rockets Schedule - Next 5 Games: Rockets Results - Last 5 Games:

Nov 24 vs. PG Rockets 1 Kamloops 2 SOL
Nov 30 vs. Kamloops Rockets 2 Everett 3 OTL
Dec 1 vs. Portland Rockets 4 Hawks 1 W
Dec 2 @ Chilliwack Rockets 5 Giants 3 W
Dec 5 vs. Med Hat Rockets 1 Americans 6 L

Rockets Players by Province: BC=13 US=4 ALB=3 SASK=2 MAN=1 EURO=1 Total=24

Rockets Season Highs and Lows:

Most Goals Scored: 6 @ PG Nov 10/07 (6-1 W), vs. Blazers Oct 30th (6-1 W)
Most Goals Allowed: 6 @ Tri City November 21/07 (6-1 L)
Most Power Play Chances: 9 @ PG Nov 10/07 (6-1 W – 4/9) vs. Warriors Oct 27/07. Rockets were 0/9 losing 4-3 in shootout.
Most Power Play Goals Scored: 4 @ PG Nov 10/07 (6-1 W)
Most Power Play Goals Allowed: 4 @ Everett Sept 29/07
Most Shots Taken: 38 @ Portland Nov 17/07 (Rockets 4 Hawks 1)
Fewest Shots Taken: 9 @ Vancouver Sept 29/07 (5-0L)
Most Shot Allowed: 48 @ Vancouver Sept 30/07
Fewest Shots Allowed: 13 vs. Blazers Oct 30/07 (6-1 W)
Last Shutout: - Kristofer Westblom 28 saves vs. Calgary (5-0 W)
Last Time Shutout: - @ Vancouver Sept 29/07 – Sexsmith 9 saves (5-0 L)
Penalty Shots: Torrie Jung stops Hawks forward Luke Walker Nov 17/07 in a 4-1 win in Portland. Kristofer Westblom stops Everett’s Shane Harper in a 3-2 overtime loss Nov 16/07 in Everett. Torrie Jung stopped Michal Repik in the 3rd period of a 5-0 loss Sept 29/07.
Overtime Winning Goal: Jamie Benn scored at 1:07 of overtime Nov 2/07 in a 3-2 win over Chilliwack.
Shootout Game Winning Goals: Dylan Hood scores in a 4-3 win in Seattle October 6/07. Colin Long scored the game winner in a 2-1 win over Vancouver October 24th.

Rockets vs. Divisions:
vs. BC: 8-3-0-1 vs. US: 3-5-2-0
vs. Central: 2-0-0-0 vs. East: 0-0-0-1

Roster Stats:
Player total: 24
Year by Year Breakdown:
20’s – 3 Westblom, McEwan, Leavold
19’s – 3 Dowzak, MacRae, Joe
18’s – 8 Long, Kytnar, Brusciano, L. Bloodoff, Jung, Schenn, Almond, Benn
17’s – 6 St. Denis, E. Bloodoff, McIntosh, Myers, McMillan, Hood
16’s – 4 Bowman, Barrie, Paradis, Verdino
Average Age: 17.8
Rookies – 7

Record by Month:

Month Games Record Home Road
September: 4 1-2-1-0 0-1-1-0 1-1-0-0
October: 11 5-5-0-1 3-3-0-1 2-2-0-0
November: 13 7-1-1-1 2-0-0-0 5-1-1-1
December: 12 0-0-0-0 0-0-0-0 0-0-0-0
January: 13 0-0-0-0 0-0-0-0 0-0-0-0
February: 11 0-0-0-0 0-0-0-0 0-0-0-0

NHL Draft Picks-Training Camp Attendees: Jamie Benn (Dallas 07), Torrie Jung (Tampa Bay 07), Cody Almond (Minnesota 07), Milan Kytnar (Oilers 07), Tysen Dowzak (Tryout Philadelphia).

Game Notes Compiled by Regan Bartel (AM 1150)

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Rockets Audio

Here is the audio on the Kelowna Rockets player perspective on this Sunday's Grey Cup:

http://www.am1150.ca/player/player?mediapath=&type=mp3&fi=files%2Fam1150%2Fsrimedia%2FGrey%20Cup%20Feature.MP3&nid=625663&

Rockets Experience Road Rash

  • It’s tough to accept, but sometimes a sever beating is the best way to get back down to reality. The Rockets learned that lesson in a 6-1 loss to the Tri City Americans Wednesday night. The Americans, with the leagues best home record, made the Rockets pay on every mistake they made in their 18th win of the season. The Am’s exploded for 6 goals in the second period to put the game out of reach. When was the last time the Rockets gave up 6 goals in a period? My guess is never!
  • The loss snapped the Rockets roll of collecting a point in 11 straight games.
  • Despite the lopsided score, the Rockets actually looked pretty good in the early stages of this one. The two teams traded chances in a fast first period, which saw few whistles. Both Rockets goaltender Kristofer Westblom and Americans goaltender Chet Pickard were on their ‘A’ game in the opening frame.
  • An early missed opportunity may have changed the fortunes of the Rockets on this night. Rockets leading point getter Colin Long missed a wide open net by working the puck wide on the backhand less than a minute into the second period. Long’s missed chance then saw the Americans score the opening goal just over a minute later. Had Long scored that goal, maybe the complexion of the game would have been different?
  • The Americans have great team speed and solid goaltender. Outside of T.J Fast, the Am’s may not have a big name defenseman but use the ‘kiss’ principle to perfection. A miscue in the defensive zone has goaltender Chet Pickard bailing his team out.
  • Rockets head coach Ryan Huska benched three players in the third period for their lackluster play. Cody Almond, Brady Leavold and Brandon McMillan sat and watched after exuding little in the first 40 minutes. While those three were singled out, make no mistake, this was a team loss. No one player stood out.
  • It was obviously the team’s worst performance on the seven game road trip. Giving up three power play goals was hard enough to take, but giving up a shorthanded goal to Colton Yellow Horn, the games first star, just showed where the Rockets mindset was in this hockey game.
  • Goaltender Kristofer Westblom had a great start, yet it was his error in being indecisive with the puck behind his own net that resulted in the Americans taking a 2-0 lead. Westblom attempted to fire the puck behind his net where it was intercepted, fired into the slot and deposited behind him with a quick shot to the glove hand side. That goal was followed by two more including a power play goal from Colton Yellow Horn that beat Westblom to the glove hand side, hitting the far post and going in. It was a bad goal. Westblom was yanked after giving up 4 goals on 22 shots.
  • The game featured four fights with 7 seconds left in the game. It started when two players not often involved in the fisticuffs starting pushing in the corner. Rockets defenseman Colin Joe began throwing punches with Americans forward Cruise Reddick. Rockets d-man Tysen Dowzak then got involved with Eric Mystery while Lucas Bloodoff dropped the gloves with Tyler Schmidt. On top of that Rockets 17 year-old forward Dylan Hood danced with Taylor Procyshen. I wish the Rockets would have shown that kind of spark earlier, and we would have had an interesting game. At the buzzer, Americans forward Adam Hughesman asked Evan Bloodoff to fight, and wished he didn’t. The younger Bloodoff was a clear winner in the lopsided tilt.
  • Before we get too critical about the loss, let’s put things into perspective. The Rockets suffered just one regulation loss on the seven game road trip. The Rockets were 5-1-1-0 during the trip. Impressive to say the least!
  • The Rockets have been outscored 15-1 in their last three appearances at the Toyota Center including back-to-back shutout losses in that building last season.
  • Matt Brusciano made his 2007-2008 debut last night against the Americans. Brusciano sat out the first 24 games with a concussion. I thought Brusciano played well, considering he was seeing his first game action in well over two months.
  • The Rockets were without captain James McEwan and Tyler Myers in this one. McEwan is still out with a concussion while Myers is sidelined with a shoulder injury. Both were missed. McEwan’s leadership is more valuable than many people think, and is extremely valuable when going to war on the road.
  • Class act = Don Nachbaur. The Americans coach came over and talk to me after concluding his coaches show commitments on the Americans radio broadcast. Nachbaur could have simply walked down the stairs as I was packing up my gear, but stopped into my booth to shake a hand and say hello. Nachbaur was a nasty man in his days as a player, but is nothing short of a class act as a coach.
  • I was amazed at the 50/50 draw at last night’s game. The winner took home 640 bucks. Wow.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Programming Note


Just a quick note to let you know of a special feature I'll be running in the first intermission of tonight's game in the Tri Cities.
I took a unofficial poll from the Rockets players on the upcoming Grey Cup game Sunday between the Saskatchewan Roughriders and Winnipeg Blue Bombers. You'll hear from Kristofer Westblom and Luke Schenn, both born and raised in Saskatchewan. Rookie Jesse Paradis is on an island all by himself, as the only Manitoba born player on the roster. We'll hear from him. And what does an American born player think about the Grey Cup? Tysen Dowzak will speak about it during the feature in the first intermission. If you miss it tonight, I'll make sure to post it on Friday.
I want to thank Jon Keen for the idea. If you have any interview or topic you would like to hear on our broadcasts, just drop me a message below. One more thing....go Riders go!!!
** Rockets defenseman Luke Schenn is featured in an article on NHL.COM. Here is the link. http://www.nhl.com/nhl/app/?service=page&page=NewsPage&articleid=343879 . Funny thing is the article talks about Schenn playing X-Box 360, which was taken from an interview featured on this blog when David and I spoke with Luke last month. It was great to see the writer use that portion of the interview to write the story, but where's the love? No mention of where those quotes were taken from is wrong. Come on! It's like me taking quotes from a Gregg Drinnan exclusive interview and posting them as my own. Will I lose sleep over it? No. But it just isn't right!

Rockets Game Notes vs. Americans

Tonight’s Preview: The Rockets and Americans are meeting for the second time this season. The Americans beat the Rockets opening night in Kelowna by a 6-5 score in overtime. Tonight’s game is one of just two stops the Rockets will make in the Tri Cities this season. The Rockets make a visit March 14th. The Americans and Rockets close out the seasonal series in Kelowna March 8th. Last season the Rockets were 0-3-1-0 against the Am’s and were out-scored 16-4. The Rockets failed to score a goal in Kennewick, losing by scores of 4-0 and 5-0. The last time the Rockets beat the Americans at the Toyota Center was February 25/06 in a 4-3 win. The Rockets enter tonight’s game having recorded a point in 11 straight games (8-0-1-2), having out-scored the opposition 39-19 over that period. The Rockets last regulation loss was against the Kamloops Blazers, in a 5-3 setback October 26th. The Rockets are playing the 7th game of seven straight on opposition ice. The Rockets are coming off a 5-3 win in Vancouver Sunday. Lucas Bloodoff scored the game winner with a power play goal with just over two minutes left in regulation time. Milan Kytnar scored 34 seconds later to give the Rockets a two goal cushion and their 13th win of the season. After tonight’s game the Rockets return home to play four straight games including Friday night against Kootenay and Saturday against the Prince George Cougars. The Rockets enter tonight’s action with 8 road wins, two more than the team accomplished all of last season.
More Against the Am’s: The Rockets are 2-6-1-0 with one tie in their last 10 regular season games in Tri City. The last time the Rockets managed to win both games in the seasonal series at the Toyota Center came during the 2002-2003 season. At one time the Rockets and Americans met 8 times in a season. In 2000-2001 the Rockets were 2-1-0-0 and one tie in four road games that season. The highest number of goals these two teams have ever combined for were 18. The Rockets and Americans skated to a 9-9 tie back on October 11, 1997. The Rockets most convincing win in Kennewick came March 8, 2000 in a 6-1 victory.

Red Hot Rockets:
Brady Leavold: Leavold is riding a five game point streak and is a +9 over that period.
Tyson Barrie: 1+5=6 in last 6 games Colin Long: points in 9 of last 10 (5+11=16)
Cody Almond: points in 7 of last 10 games (4+10=14) Brandon McMillan: 1+6=7 in his last 11 games
Jamie Benn: 6+4=10 in last 9 games Kyle St. Denis: 4+3=7 in last 10 games
Lucas Bloodoff: Goals in 7 of last 11 games (9 goals over that period)
Luke Schenn: Has goals in back-to-back games.

Rockets Milestones:
Colin Joe played in his 200th WHL game Sunday November 18th in Vancouver.
James McEwan is 6 games shy of 200 for his career.
Lucas Bloodoff is 6 games shy of 100 for his career.
Lucas Bloodoff is one goal shy of the 10 he scored in his rookie season.
Colin Long has surpassed his point total of 28 set last season. Long has 31 points this season.
Only four Rockets have played in all 24 games this season. Lucas Bloodoff, Brandon McMillan, Colin Long and Kyle St. Denis have dressed in every game this season.

Broadcasters Bits: Rockets captain James McEwan won’t play tonight after being sidelined with a concussion. McEwan suffered the concussion Sunday in Vancouver…Rockets defenseman Tyler Myers won’t play tonight. Myers is missing his third straight game with a shoulder injury suffered last Friday in Everett…The Rockets have out-shot the opposition in 10 of their last 13 games. The Rockets have also out-shot their opponent in eight of their last 10 games…Rockets goaltender Kristofer Westblom has started eight of the team’s last ten games, posting a record of 6-0-1-1. Oddly enough Westblom has been in goal in 10 of the Rockets 13 wins this season…Colin Long has been held off the score-sheet in just five of the teams first 24 games this season…Rockets defenseman Luke Schenn will represent the WHL against a touring team from Russia during the ADT Canada-Russia Challenge later this month in Medicine Hat and Cranbrook… The Rockets have points in 5 straight home games (4-0-0-1), having outscored the opposition 17-10 over that period…The Rockets have points in seven straight road games (5-0-1-1)…The Rockets have given up a power play goal in 18 of the 24 games they’ve played this season…The Rockets have been involved in a one goal game in 8 of their first 11 home games. The Rockets are 3-3-1-1 in those one goal contests…The Rockets have been involved in thirteen – one goal games this season, including ten of their last 15 games overall…The Rockets all-time are 8 and 9 in the shootout.
Rockets Schedule - Next 5 Games: Rockets Results - Last 5 Games:

Nov 23 vs. Kootenay Rockets 6 Prince George 1 W
Nov 24 vs. PG Rockets 1 Kamloops 2 SOL
Nov 30 vs. Kamloops Rockets 2 Everett 3 OTL
Dec 1 vs. Portland Rockets 4 Hawks 1 W
Rockets 5 Giants 3 W

Rockets Players by Province: BC=13 US=4 ALB=3 SASK=2 MAN=1 EURO=1 Total=24

Rockets Season Highs and Lows:

Most Goals Scored: 6 @ PG Nov 10/07 (6-1 W), vs. Blazers Oct 30th (6-1 W)
Most Goals Allowed: 6
Most Power Play Chances: 9 @ PG Nov 10/07 (6-1 W – 4/9) vs. Warriors Oct 27/07. Rockets were 0/9 losing 4-3 in shootout.
Most Power Play Goals Scored: 4 @ PG Nov 10/07 (6-1 W)
Most Power Play Goals Allowed: 4 @ Everett Sept 29/07
Most Shots Taken: 38 @ Portland Nov 17/07 (Rockets 4 Hawks 1)
Fewest Shots Taken: 9 @ Vancouver Sept 29/07 (5-0L)
Most Shot Allowed: 48 @ Vancouver Sept 30/07
Fewest Shots Allowed: 13 vs. Blazers Oct 30/07 (6-1 W)
Last Shutout: - Kristofer Westblom 28 saves vs. Calgary (5-0 W)
Last Time Shutout: - @ Vancouver Sept 29/07 – Sexsmith 9 saves (5-0 L)
Penalty Shots: Torrie Jung stops Hawks forward Luke Walker Nov 17/07 in a 4-1 win in Portland. Kristofer Westblom stops Everett’s Shane Harper in a 3-2 overtime loss Nov 16/07 in Everett. Torrie Jung stopped Michal Repik in the 3rd period of a 5-0 loss Sept 29/07.
Overtime Winning Goal: Jamie Benn scored at 1:07 of overtime Nov 2/07 in a 3-2 win over Chilliwack.
Shootout Game Winning Goals: Dylan Hood scores in a 4-3 win in Seattle October 6/07. Colin Long scored the game winner in a 2-1 win over Vancouver October 24th.

Rockets vs. Divisions:
vs. BC: 8-3-0-1 vs. US: 3-4-2-0
vs. Central: 2-0-0-0 vs. East: 0-0-0-1

Roster Stats:
Player total: 24
Year by Year Breakdown:
20’s – 3 Westblom, McEwan, Leavold
19’s – 3 Dowzak, MacRae, Joe
18’s – 8 Long, Kytnar, Brusciano, L. Bloodoff, Jung, Schenn, Almond, Benn
17’s – 6 St. Denis, E. Bloodoff, McIntosh, Myers, McMillan, Hood
16’s – 4 Bowman, Barrie, Paradis, Verdino
Average Age: 17.8
Rookies – 7

Record by Month:

Month Games Record Home Road
September: 4 1-2-1-0 0-1-1-0 1-1-0-0
October: 11 5-5-0-1 3-3-0-1 2-2-0-0
November: 13 7-0-1-1 2-0-0-0 5-0-1-1
December: 12 0-0-0-0 0-0-0-0 0-0-0-0
January: 13 0-0-0-0 0-0-0-0 0-0-0-0
February: 11 0-0-0-0 0-0-0-0 0-0-0-0

NHL Draft Picks-Training Camp Attendees: Jamie Benn (Dallas 07), Torrie Jung (Tampa Bay 07), Cody Almond (Minnesota 07), Milan Kytnar (Oilers 07), Tysen Dowzak (Tryout Philadelphia).

Game Notes Compiled by Regan Bartel (AM 1150)

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Things That Make Me Go Hmm...

  • Rockets captain James McEwan will sit out Wednesday's game with a concussion. McEwan was hit hard in the late stages of Sunday's 5-3 win in Vancouver. McEwan won't be making the trip to Tri City along with defenseman Tyler Myers. Myers is still nursing a sore shoulder that he hurt Friday night in Everett.
  • Rockets forward Matt Brusciano will make the trip with the team, meaning he is close to returning to the lineup. Brusciano could play Wednesday after missing the first 24 games with a concussion.
  • If you missed it, here is the interview David and I had with Rockets assistant coach Jeff Finley Saturday night when Finley returned to Portland for the first time in over 20 years. Finley played with the Hawks for three seasons in the early 80's. http://www.am1150.ca/player/player?mediapath=&type=mp3&fi=files%2Fam1150%2Fsrimedia%2FFinley%20in%20Portland.MP3&nid=623777&
  • Speaking of Portland, it's been a tradition in that building for as long as I've known, that when the Hawks coming out of their dresssing room and hit the ice, you hear the public address announcer yell this from the top of his lungs. I love it:http://www.am1150.ca/player/player?mediapath=&type=mp3&fi=files%2Fam1150%2Fsrimedia%2FHere%20Come%20the%20Hawks.MP3&nid=623774&
  • The Rockets face a huge test Wednesday night. The Tri City Americans are dominant on home ice. The Americans have just one loss in their last 26 homes games dating back to last season. The only team to beat the Americans in those 26 games are the Everett Silvertips. The Tips beat the Americans earlier this season by a 2-1 score.
  • The Rockets 11 games with at least a point is impressive, but it doesn't hold a candle to the Rockets 24 game unbeaten streak the team set in the 2002-2003 season. The Rockets went 24 straight games without a loss before falling to the Kootenay Ice by a 6-4 score.
  • Why do I like the Everett Events Centre so much? Listen to the fans in the background when the Tips score in overtime. http://www.am1150.ca/player/player?mediapath=&type=mp3&fi=files%2Fam1150%2Fsrimedia%2FOvertime%20Loss%20in%20Everett.MP3&nid=623775&.
  • I haven't learned much in my 14 years of broadcasting hockey, but why don't more radio announcers let the crowd noise tell the story? Radio is the theatre of the mind, yet I find far too many announcers want to jump in and talk immediately after a goal is scored. Let the home town crowd carry the excitement that is in the building. That in my opinion makes the game come alive! Maybe I'm just old school?
  • One more piece of audio for you on a day when the Rockets board the bus for the trip to Tri City. This is Sunday's game winner against the Giants, with Lucas Bloodoff scoring on the power play. http://www.am1150.ca/player/player?mediapath=&type=mp3&fi=files%2Fam1150%2Fsrimedia%2FOvertime%20Loss%20in%20Everett.MP3&nid=623775&

Monday, November 19, 2007

Guard Finds a Home

Former Kelowna Rockets goaltender Kelly Guard is back playing hockey. After searching for a place to play, Guard has signed with the China Sharks of the Asian Hockey League for the rest of the season. Guard joins former Rocket Kevin Korol along with fellow WHL alumni Jason Beeman and Keegan McAvoy. Thanks to my American correspondent Craig West for that piece of information. I'm sounding like Gregg Drinnan here? Now if I could only write as good as him!!

Rockets Road Trip in Pictures



The man behind the wheel. Roger Van Dach is the Rockets Director of Transportation. Van Dach always has a joke for me before heading on the bus.


Before you get carried away and think I am taking pictures on the bus of unsuspecting players, this picture of Rockets leading scorer Colin Long is a demonstration of how he gets some shut-eye on the bus. Long positions himself between the seats to get his best sleep.
My favorite rink to visit. The Everett Events Centre is an amazing junior rink, and the atmosphere thanks to the fans is outstanding.
After the game against the Tips, I run into Silvertips forward Clayton Bauer. Bauer is a former Rocket, who helped the team win a league title in 2005.
Our next stop is Saturday night in Portland. Before the game David and I walk around Memorial Coliseum and notice an interesting banner hanging in the concourse. The banner to the left is a young Rockets assistant coach Jeff Finley.
This is the home of the Hawks. Memorial Coliseum was built in 1961, and little has changed in the building. It's a blast from the past when you play in that facility.
Rockets Athletic Therapist Jeff Thorburn sharpens skates before a game in Vancouver Sunday afternoon.


One of the hardest buildings to win in...Pacific Coliseum in Vancouver. The Giants have lost at home only three times this season, make that four after a Rockets 5-3 win.

Road Weary Yet Feeling Wonderful

  • Exhausted, tired, road weary. Those three words best describe the Kelowna Rockets following a sensational weekend, playing three games in three nights. The Rockets picked up 5 out of a possible 6 points with wins in Vancouver and Portland and a overtime loss in Everett. On the weekend the Rockets out-scored the opposition 11-7, and now have points in 11 straight games.
  • Sunday's 5-3 win in Vancouver saw the Rockets build up a 3-0 lead, only to see it evaporate as the Giants scored three unanswered goals to tie the score at 3. Yet the Rockets again showed little panic, and with Giants captain Spencer Machacek in the penalty box, struck with a power play goal with just over two minutes left in regulation time.
  • Lucas Bloodoff continues to impressive after getting off to a slow start. Bloodoff's power play goal on a tremendous feed from Cody Almond from the near boards proved to be the game winner. The 18 year-old is one goal shy of the ten he scored in 69 games as a WHL rookie a season ago. Bloodoff now has goals in four of his last 6 games, and goals in 7 of his last 11 games. Remember Lucus Bloodoff started the season with no goals in his first 13 games.
  • How good was Colin Long, Jamie Benn and Brady Leavold this weekend? The Rockets number one line combined for 15 points in three games. Long had 7 points, Benn had 5 and Leavold had 3. Leavold has a 5 game point streak (2+4=6) and is a +9 over that stretch. Benn, Long and Leavold were all +3 in Sundays road win.
  • James McEwan showed exactly why he is the leader of this team. McEwan paid the price when he was hit heavily at the Giants blue line late in the 3rd period while chipping the puck inside the offensive zone for line-mate Milan Kytnar. While McEwan was sent flying, Kytnar retrieved the puck, skated in on goal and beat Tyson Sexsmith to make it a 5-3 game. McEwan's team first concept and throwing caution to the wind approach enabled the Rockets to seal the game, yet had him headed to the dressing room with what could be a mild concussion.
  • The game started with a bang, as Giants tough guy Garet Hunt danced with Rockets captain James McEwan just 35 seconds in. McEwan again recorded the win, yet Hunt again deserves a pat on the back for instigating and taking his fair share of punches. What I don't understand is why Hunt attempts to fight McEwan. Clearly he doesn't win fights against McEwan, so the attempt of getting momentum for his team is never gained. Give him marks for trying though. Hunt now has 9 fighting majors compared to McEwan's 6.
  • The Rockets now trail the Giants by 7 points for first place in the BC division, and have two games in hand.
  • Rockets goaltender Kristofer Westblom was again sharp in this one. Westblom made several quality glove hand saves, including two off of Giants forward Michal Repik when the game was tied at 3. Westblom continues to show the coaching staff that the more he plays, the more consistent he becomes.
  • Tyler Myers again sat out Sunday's game with a shoulder injury. Despite the loss of Myers, the defensive core again played strong thanks to the play of Schenn, Dowzak, Barrie and Joe. Riley McIntosh saw spot duty.
  • Schenn, the games first star, appeared to pick up his physical game in the third period. Schenn's hit on Mario Bliznak in the right corner inside the Rockets zone was one of beauty. The hit that dazed McEwan late in the third period was all thunderous, but the Rockets are suggesting it may have been a dirty hit. Until I see it on replay, I won't pass judgement on it.
  • What team is hotter than the Kelowna Rockets right now? The Lethbridge Hurricanes are an impressive 13-0-0-1 in their last 14 games. The Rockets are 8-0-1-2 in their last 11.
  • Check back later today when I will share some pictures with you that I took on the road trip this weekend.
  • What a great Sunday. The Rockets win, and so do the Riders!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Ugly Yet Effective

  • You could notice a sense of relief on the faces of the players and coaches after a 4-1 win in Portland Saturday night. Anytime you face a team that has won just three games this season, the chances of a letdown and an upset is always there. The Rockets avoided becoming the 4th team this season to lose to the Portland Winter Hawks.
  • The game was choppy, as expected against a Hawks team that struggles to create quality offensive chances. The tendency is to play to the level of the opposition, and the Rockets did their best to avoid that from happening.
  • Give the Hawks credit for working hard all night long. For a team with just 3 wins this season they did their best to disturb the Rockets young defensive core which was without Tyler Myers. Myers sat out this one with a sore shoulder after getting banged up the night before in Everett. The Hawks lone goal came on a solid forecheck that saw Rockets defenseman Luke Schenn and Tyson Barrie get crossed up behind the net. Torrie Jung was unaware that the puck was centered on the stick of Hawks leading scorer Tyler Swystun, who promptly beat the Rockets goaltender low to the blocker side.
  • The real bright spot for the Hawks was the play of Jordon White. White made several acrobatic saves to hold his team in the game when the Rockets fired 20 shots in his direction in the second period alone.
  • The Rockets got back on track with two power play goals, after going 0 for 6 the previous night in Everett. The power play was marginally better, but didn’t show the authoritative puck movement we are accustomed too when the unit is working to full capacity.
  • Colin Long and linemate Jamie Benn provided the bulk of the offense, picking up 3 points apiece. Long’s goal was a reversal of roles as Benn provided a cross crease pass that Long knifed into the back of the Hawks goal to give the visitors a 2-1 lead after 20 minutes. The goal was not only scored with 12 seconds left in the period, but stood up as the game winner.
  • The Rockets now have points in 10 straight games, equaling a mark set by the team during the 2004-2005 season. That year the streak ended with a 2-1 loss to the Portland Winter Hawks.
  • The Rockets directed 38 shots at the Hawks net, a new season high.
  • Assistant coach Jeff Finley returned to the place it all began Saturday night. After over 20 years Finley returned to Portland for the first time since joining the Hawks organization as a 17 year-old defenseman during the 1984-85 campaign. It’s interesting to note that a banner with Finley’s mug is hanging in the concourse of the Memorial Arena. His banner is hanging beside that of former Hawk Glen Wesley, his defensive partner during his time in junior.
  • Did you know that Finley was taken in the 1985 NHL draft before Gretzky? Keith Gretzky that is. Finley was taken in the 3rd round, 55th overall by the New York Islanders, one slot ahead of Wayne’s younger brother. The number one pick that year? Wendel Clark.
  • Some things just never change at Hawks home games. ACDC’s Thunder Struck was heard booming through the sound system as the Hawks took to the ice for the opening face-off, followed by the public address announcer yelling out “Here comes the Hawks” at the top of his lungs. Sticking with what works. It’s those two components of the game night experience that I hope the Hawks organization always maintains.
  • The Rockets elected to drive in for the game before returning to Everett following the contest with the Hawks. The 3 and a half hour bus ride wasn’t grueling, but it gives you a sense of just how deep South the Hawks are located. Who has a worst travel schedule, the Hawks, the Prince George Cougars or Brandon? It has to play a factor over a long schedule.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Smallest Guy On The Ice Comes Up Big

  • The Rockets downfall in Friday's 3-2 overtime loss in Everett was the power play. The Rockets were 0 for 6 with the man advantage which is painful enough in itself, but what really hurts is the Rockets had four power play chances in the final 9 minutes of the game but couldn't score the winner.
  • The Rockets power play struggled so much that it was the victim of the game winning goal. Tips forward Zack Dailey (the smallest guy on the ice at 5'6 156) won a race for the puck with defenseman Tyson Barrie at the Rockets blueline and beat Westblom with a shorthanded goal that had the fans at the Everett Events Centre in a frenzy.
  • The Rockets looked sharp in the first period, and despite the shot totals reading 10 apiece, the visiting team was full marks for a 2-0 lead. The Rockets again looked sharp early in the second period, but the Rockets were unable to make it a 3 goal margin.
  • How did the Silvertips bounce back from a 2-0 deficit? Two words. Kyle Beach! Beach literally picked up his teammates and said "ride on my shoulders boys and I'll get you back in the game". Beach scored twice in the second period with his second goal described as one of beauty. Beach worked away from Rockets defenseman Tysen Dowzak - who was draped all over him - and snapped the puck over the shoulder of goaltender Kristofer Westblom, off the cross bar and in. Color analyst David Michaud promptly replied on our radio broadcast "I've seen that goal before - on the video game NHL 98". Even though it was scored by the enemy, this broadcaster has to admit it was one of beauty.
  • Beach's inspired play seemed to affect, and wake up his teammates, who got better as the game went on. Goaltender Leland Irving allowed a goal on the first shot he faced when Colin Long snapped a squeaker past him 40 seconds into the game. Despite the soft goal, Irving regained his composure and was especially sharp in the third period when the Tips got into penalty trouble.
  • Three fights were featured in this one. The most surprising came when European Milan Kytnar dropped the gloves with Tips defenseman Jonathan Hardy. In what appeared to be a mismatch, Kytnar threw some good punches and got the take down.
  • The fans in Everett - outstanding. Name another building louder in the WHL than Everett? You can't. They whined and complained when Kyle Beach was given a late third period penalty for goaltender interference. Clearly it was a penalty, but Tips fans responded appropriately by booing the referee for what they thought was a bad call.
  • If you want to bash Tips forward Kyle Beach....shut your trap. Beach was at his best in this one scoring a spectacular goal, drawing Rockets forward Brady Leavold into a penalty and fighting Rockets defenseman Luke Schenn. If I was an NHL scout, I left the game impressed. I spoke to Beach after the game, and he's a class act.
  • WHL Director of Officiating Kevin Muench was at last night's game. Muench told me that fighting is actually down in the WHL this season, but only by 4 fighting majors from the same time a year ago.
  • The Rockets have points in 9 straight games (6-0-2-1). The Rockets were unbeaten in 10 games during the 2004-2005 season when they went 6-0-0-0 with 4 ties from November 7th to November 27th. The unbeaten streak came to an end against the Portland Winter Hawks in a 2-1 loss December 1st of that season.
  • We had our problems up in the broadcast booth Friday night, and it was out of our control. Our phone line was dropped 3 times over last night's broadcast, resulting in us officially going off the air. This happened twice to us in our first visit to Everett, as the arena obviously has phone line issues. I understand the same thing happened on the Tips broadcast last night, which makes me feel marginally better.