Sunday, November 23, 2008

Season High 4 Game Winning Streak

  • The Rockets ran their winning streak to four games with a 6-2 win in Prince George Saturday night. Colin Long led the way with a goal and three assists, and now shares the team lead in points with Jamie Benn. Long was named the games first star, and saw duty with several line combinations including being reunited with Benn and Lucas Bloodoff.
  • The Rockets have won four straight, the teams longest winning streak of the season. The victory Saturday night was also the Rockets 6th straight at the CN Centre in Prince George.
  • Mitchell Callahan benefited from playing alongside Long. Callahan was able to score twice in the win while chipping in with a third period scrap. It was the 17 year-olds best game of his young WHL career. Callahan came within inches of recording the hat trick, but his wrist shot hit the post and stayed out.
  • Long can also be credited for helping both Lukas Matejka and Spencer Main earn their first WHL points. Long's pass from behind the net saw Matejka snap home his first goal of the season while Main earned an assist on the passing play.
  • Rockets defenseman Collin Bowman sat this one out after being hit in the head with a puck on a point shot in Friday's 7-3 win. Bowman received 5 stitches to his right ear and was unable to play because of ringing in his ear.
  • After the Rockets 6th goal, even the time keeper in Prince George became a fan of the visitors. Instead of putting a 6 up on the scoreboard, a 7 appeared. After about 30 seconds he/she realized the mistake and quickly changed to score to 6-2.
  • Rookie forward Curt Gogol's willingness to get involved in fighting majors in back-to-back games did not go unnoticed. Over the weekend the 17 year-old age group provided the bulk of the muscle, with Gogol fighting twice, while Callahan and Lukas Matejka each dropping the mitts once. Eighteen year-old Tyler Myers also dropped the gloves once in a fight with Brian Matte.
  • Benn and Long now find themselves tied for the WHL scoring lead with Calgary's Brent Sonne. All three players have 39 points.
  • Long should be considered for the WHL Player of the Week honors. Long had 8 points in three games.
  • Again I liked Adam Brown's play between the pipes. You can see him gaining more confidence with each start. The 17 year-old rookie outplayed both 20 year-old Kevin Armstrong and 19 year-old Joe Calijiuri on the weekend.
  • When was the last time the Rockets had a dependable 17 year-old goaltender? Never...until now!
  • You have to love Cougar forward Dana Tyrell's worth ethic, but his -20 rating this season over shadows the 17 goals he's scored. If he wants to make the World Junior team, he's going to have to prove to the scouting staff that he's not a defensive liability.
  • What happened to Justin Maylan? The key in the Ty Wishart deal with Moose Jaw last season, Maylan is playing on the Cougars 4th line and has just 3 goals in 27 games. After being acquired from the Warriors, Maylan impressed, giving Cougar fans the impression that the trade was a win-win for both teams. Now Cougar fans are again questioning the trade of the marquee 19 year-old defenseman.
  • Saturday's game between the Rockets and Cougars saw 8 American born players suiting up. The Rockets had five, while the Cougars had 3. The Rockets would have dressed a 6th had Collin Bowman been able to play.

1 comment:

hocus_lopez said...

It was great to see the team win so convincingly in PG. I know the Cougs have become perennial doormats in the BC division (albeit their home record indicated they would play tough against the Rockets), but the wins are still nice. Moreover, dominate wins are what a good hockey club should deliver against a team like the Cougs. Hopefully, the Rockets can build on these dominate wins and challenge the top tier teams in the conference /league.

I was very happy to see the secondary and tertiary forwards step up and contribute offensively in these two games. As has been said several times on this blog, in order for this team to be successful, they have to get scoring from others than Benn and Long. It looks like the team just might be turning the corner in this regard.

I thought Long had a stellar weekend in PG. I know Huska has mixed the lines trying to find a recipe for offensive success, and it looks like Long was the main ingredient in both games. He skates with McMil and Hood and they are dominate on Friday night; and the next night he gets Callahan going, and gets Metejka and Main their first points. IMO, that's what a good captain is suppose to do, get all of the team to believe in themselves and to contribute. It's good to see he is filling the role of an effective captain.

What's the deal with the schedule this year? Two weeks ago they had eight days off, and now they have seven days off in between games. Personally I would have liked to see the team be able to immediately build on the momentum of the four game winning streak. Notwithstanding the layoff, I'm still optimistic they'll be able to build on the winning streak and keep the wins coming.