Saturday, November 22, 2008

McMillan's Moment

  • It sure was nice to see Brandon McMillan pick up the hat trick Friday night in a 7-3 win in Prince George. Coach Huska tells me I shouldn't expect big offensive numbers from the 18 year-old forward, but it was nice to see him rewarded for his hard work. McMillan had one of his better games by using his speed, but he appeared to be more determined than ever to win puck battles which resulted in quality chances on goal.
  • McMillan joins Jamie Benn and Cody Almond on the list of Rockets that have registered hat tricks this season.
  • Dylan Hood was equally as good as McMillan Friday night. Hoody ended the game (1+4=5)with a +6 rating. Hood's ability to outwork the Cougars down low resulted in several scoring chances for his line mates, and it was McMillan who was the beneficiary of Hood's solid work ethic.
  • Adam Brown is a keeper. While he allowed a softy on the Cougars 2nd goal, I am really starting to like his steady play. Brown is extremely quick down low, and visually covers a good portion of the net causing opposition shooters headaches. It would be nice see the Rockets ride the 17 year-old goaltender. The Vancouver Giants did with Tyson Sexsmith, and now look what they have.
  • Veteran goaltender Kris Lazaruk sat this one out after suffering a leg injury in the early morning skate. A Prince George Cougars midget goaltender was used as a back up to Brown as Lazaruk watched from the stands.
  • I was surprised that the Cougars pulled overage goaltender Kevin Armstrong after the first period. Sure he gave up 4 goals on 11 shots, but I thought he deserved to start the second period to work his way out of the dilemma he caused. Backup Joe Caligiuri didn't fair much better allowing 2 goals on 8 shots in the second period. The Cougars can thank their lucky stars that Rockets forward Jamie Benn had a quiet game. Had Benn been 'on' his game, it would have been ugly.
  • Speaking of Armstrong, he made his WHL debut against the Rockets when he played with the Saskatoon Blades. Armstrong made a relief appearance in a 6-3 loss to the Rockets Oct 11/05. Armstrong allowed just one goal in a third period appearance.
  • Why the Cougars didn't take the body in the first two periods proved to be their downfall. The Rockets were allowed to used their speed freely without any form of physical contact. It was only in the third period that the Cougars played physical that they out-scored the Rockets 2-1 and out-shot them 12-8.
  • Cougars forward Brett Connolly is the real deal. While the goal he scored hit his shin pad and in, the 16 year-old had no less than four quality offensive chances. Connelly is getting big minutes playing alongside 19 year-old winger Dana Tyrell.
  • The Rockets have scored 6 or more goals seven times this season. The Rockets biggest offensive outburst of the season came against the Cougars in a 8-1 win in October.
  • The loss was the Cougars 3rd of the season on home ice. The only team to beat the Cougars at the CN Centre prior to Friday's setback were the Vancouver Giants.


MG said...

Funny how many of us critized McMillan for his play in the Ams game and then he lights it up in Prince George. Good for him.

However, to be a top team guys like McMillam and Hood need to play that well consistantly and whne the Rockets face a top team like Van or Tri-Cities or Calgary every player needs to step it up. I hope this is the begining of consistant solid play for both players as there efforts will elevate the Rockets to a level of the other top teams.

hocus_lopez said...

I agree it was good to see both McMil and Hood have a breakout game (I hope they can continue to contribute in future games). I thought Huska's line combos were interesting, but effective, to say the least. If having Long play with those two guys brings that type of result, then Huska may have solved the riddle of how facilitate secondary scoring.

Rocketwatcher said...

Regan what did you do? Put a postcard of Prince Albert in January on Mac's locker with a list of negative blog comments? Because he came to play last night. Prince George looked like the Spruce Kings, however. Nice to see the offence, tho. And Gogol took on another tough guy. Isn't he a little young for that? Dowzak, now you should be ashamed......And why is Myers falling down every game now? Is the air too thin up there?

Regan Bartel said...

I have no influence in how these guys preform, nor do I want too. Leave that to the coaches, who are more qualified. Last night's game was an easy one to play - as it was essentially a no-hitter through 40 minutes. It is always interesting to watch when games get physical, who shuts it down and who ramps it up. Myers did fall on Dana Tyrell's good speed to the outside on the Connelly goal to make it 7-3, but Myers was matched up against Tyrell all night long and limited him to some quality scoring chances.