Wednesday, January 9, 2008

St. Denis the Menace

  • Kyle St. Denis was a worthy recipient of the games first star, and would have still picked up the honor had he not scored twice in the 3-1 win over the Chilliwack Bruins. St. Denis had a solid work ethic playing on a line with Cody Almond and Brandon McMillan. The trio created havoc in the offensive zone with a relentless forecheck, which had the Bruins pinned in their own zone the majority of the night.
  • The Rockets out-shot the Bruins 15-1 in the second period alone, and while the territorial play heavily favored the home team, the guy running the shot clock appeared to miss several shots towards Rockets goaltender Kristofer Westblom which simply weren't counted.
  • Again the Rockets showed great discipline, allowing the Bruins just three power play opportunities on the night. Sure the Rockets were 0/6 with the extra man, which included a full two minute 5 on 3 power play with the Rockets holding a 2-0 lead, but the penalty killing unit has really improved in the early stages of the second half of the season.
  • At one point in the third period with the Rockets holding a 3-0 lead, I had to look into my record books for the last time a Rockets goaltender had back-to-back shutouts. Kelly Guard had back-to-back shutouts in the 2003-2004 season against Prince George and Spokane. That season Guard recorded shutouts in 3 straight starts.
  • Matt Esposito got the start in goal for the Bruins, yet was replaced by Mark Friesen at the start of the 3rd period. Esposito was solid over the first 40 minutes, and Friesen was great in the final frame. Chilliwack goaltending was the least of the problems for the visitors on this night.
  • The Rockets have now won 5 in a row, one off the teams 6 game winning streak set from October 30th to November 10th. During the five game winning streak the Rockets have allowed just 4 goals against.
  • Luke Schenn played in this game. Despite returning to Kelowna Sunday from the World Juniors, Schenn was honored for his efforts before the game and then promptly chipped in with an assist in the Rockets 25th win of the season. While Schenn was honored before the game, Chilliwack's Oscar Moller was also given recognition for his involvement with Sweden at the WJC. Moller wasn't in attendance at the game, but was given a gift by Rockets GM Bruce Hamilton, which Bruins captain Nick Holden accepted on Mollers behalf.
  • Dean Clark was in attendance at Wednesday's game. The former GM/Head Coach of the Kamloops Blazers told me it was the first time he's stepped into a WHL rink since he was let go by the Blazers in October. Clark says he wants to remain in the game of hockey at the junior or pro level. Clark told me he has put his name in for a coaching position with Canada's Under 18 entry this spring. It's hard to understand what a smart hockey man like Clark is doing out of hockey. Clark is a class act, and I wish him the best.
  • The Rockets made a minor deal with the Prince Albert Raiders Wednesday acquiring 19 year-old forward Brent Ottmann. Ottmann is playing this season in the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League with the Nipawin Hawks. The Martensville Saskatchewan product played 42 games with the Raiders last season picking up 19 points. The 6'1 202 pound forward is expected to provide some depth for the Rockets down the stretch. The Rockets gave up a 10th round pick for Ottmann. This season in the SJHL, Ottmann is second in team scoring with 16 goals, 25 assists for 41 points in 37 games.


original6 said...

Best game for Kyle with the Rockets yet. He was on fire before the concussion injury and now seems to be completely back. Great hard working,intelligent and unselfish game

g.k said...

If he can get a bit stronger he's going to be another Tyler Mo but with more offensive skill!!

Regan Bartel said...

St. Denis has the skills to compete at this level no question. He still gets moved off the puck fairly easily, but as he matures and puts on some muscle (weight) he's going to win more puck battles. St-D is still more of a passer than a shooter, but I think he is getting the idea of shooting first and passing second.