Sunday, March 30, 2008

Lucas Lifts Rockets to Game Seven

  • Lucas Bloodoff proved one thing Saturday night in the Rockets 4-3 overtime win over Seattle. Never give up on the play. Bloodoff scored from what appeared to be an impossible angle in the extra session leading the Rockets to the win, and a game seven match-up with the T-Birds Tuesday night at the Key Arena. Bloodoff's goal came after he got up-ended by defenseman Thomas Hickey while taking a shot on goal. Instead of giving up on the weak shot, Bloodoff got the rebound from behind the red end line and shot the puck towards goaltender Riku Helenius. It managed to go off Helenius' left skate and into the net for the game winning goal.
  • It was ironic that the game winning goal by Bloodoff came in or near the same area that Seattle's Greg Scott scored from to send the game into overtime in the first place. Scott's seeing eye shot went off of Rockets goaltender Kristofer Westblom with the T-Birds on the power play and the goaltender pulled for the extra attacker.
  • The T-Birds were granted the late third period power play after a call on Brady Leavold for elbowing. The fact is, on video replay, it clearly shows Leavold not even getting his elbow in the chest of Seattle's Scott Jackson. For that matter Leavold is 5'10 and Jackson is 6 foot 3, so the so-called penalty on video showed Leavold's fists get into Jackson's chest, not his elbow. For a questionable call to be made that late in the game, which could have ended the Rockets season, is inexcusable.
  • In my opinion the Rockets should have never been in a situation where they needed overtime to force a game seven in this series. The Rockets hit two posts, both by Luke Schenn, and had several glorious scoring chances but were unable to convert. Seattle must have felt fortunate to be in a situation to end this series in the extra session.
  • How good was Luke Schenn? In his best game as a Rocket, Schenn was sensational logging a ton of ice time and again keeping the T-Birds top line at bay. It appeared as the game went on Schenn got better. The 18 year-old will need the two days off before game seven on Tuesday to recover from a game that saw him earn the first star. He had a goal and two assists, but it was his play in the defensive zone that caught my attention.
  • One mans misfortune is another mans gain. Tysen Dowzak was to blame on the T-Birds second goal when Ian McKenzie skated past the 19 year-old and scored late in the second period to tie the game at two. Instead of applying his entire body on McKenzie, Dowzak got just a piece of him allowing McKenzie to get a backhand shot away that slid past Westblom. Had solid body contact been made the goal would have never occurred. After that miscue, Dowzak never saw the ice in the third period or overtime. That meant Colin Joe was pressed into action, and he delivered. Joe was great in the third period and in overtime. Rockets head coach Ryan Huska called it Joe's best game in a Rockets uniform.
  • After a shaky performance in game five, Kristofer Westblom was again at the top of his game Saturday night. Westblom made two nice glove hand saves off of Jim O'Brien and Greg Scott as the two attempted to go top shelf on the veteran goaltender.
  • The Rockets are now 8-2 in game six playoff series dating back to the 2002 playoffs. Those two game six playoff losses both came against the Everett Silvertips in 2004 and 2006.

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