Sunday, December 14, 2008

One Bounce Away From Possible Upset?

  • If it wasn’t for a bad bounce at the side of the Calgary Hitmen net with under a minute left in regulation time, the Rockets would have certainly be headed to overtime against the top team in the WHL. Instead forward Cody Almond – who was situated at the right side of the net untouched - saw the puck hit his stick and go awkwardly into the corner. In the end the Hitmen held on for a 4-3 home ice win. The Hitmen have lost just once in 19 home games.
  • The Rockets out-shot the Hitmen 16-3 in the third period and out-shot them 25-21 in the game. It was only the 6th time this season the Hitmen have been out-shot and snapped a streak of 17 straight games where the Hitmen have out-shot the opponent.
  • Two key face-off wins inside the Hitmen’s zone by forward Colin Long with the goaltender pulled gave his team a chance at the tie.
  • Colin Long led the Rockets with 4 shots on goal. Jason MacDonald led the Hitmen against his old team also with 4 shots on net.
  • The Rockets played this one without defenseman Tyson Barrie. Barrie is out with a concussion and is questionable for Tuesday’s game in Red Deer.
  • While the coaching staff would have preferred to see a sense of urgency for a full 60 minutes, realistically could that have been attainable with just 16 skaters? The fact that the Rockets erased two – two goal deficits and had a chance to tie the game despite a depleted lineup shows the character of this team. Had the coaches been offered that deal before the start of the game they would have surely taken it.
  • The third period is a good indication that if you are willing to compete and outwork the opposition, you can beat a team with superior skill.
  • The loss snapped the Rockets road winning streak at three games. The Hitmen have now won 12 straight on home ice.
  • The Rockets went with five defenseman to start the game. The coaching staff elected to make a change after rookie Curt Gogol was on the ice for both of the Hitmen’s first period goals. Forward Brandon McMillan was relegated to defense while Gogol was moved up front. The change benefited both players.
  • Of the five defenseman the Rockets used in the game, four were just 17. The elder statesman was 20 year-old Tysen Dowzak. The Hitmen countered with a 20 year-old, two 19 year-olds, an 18 year-old and a 17 and 16 year-old.
  • You have to excuse Collin Bowman for feeling a little like Luke Schenn. Bowman had to wear Schenn’s old number 5 after his home jersey was left in the Rockets dressing room back in Kelowna.
  • The Rockets will pick up Shane McColgan from the airport in Edmonton Sunday night. The 15 year-old will make his WHL debut Tuesday in Red Deer. McColgan will wear sweater #18. The last Rocket to wear that number was Jason MacDonald, who scored the game winner Sunday in the Hitmen victory.
  • We should learn Monday on whether Jamie Benn and Tyler Myers will be apart of Team Canada for the upcoming world junior team.
  • Rockets rookie defenseman Curt Gogol played in front of family in his hometown of Calgary. Curt and mom and dad are getting away from the cold weather at Christmas as they head out on vacation to Costa Rica.


eecliff said...

I was in Calgary for the game and also noticed Collin Bowman was wearing # 5. I also noticed Kris Lazaruk with # 31 and Adam Brown on the bench with # 27 all with no name bars on the back. Did the Rockets forget more than one jersey?

Regan Bartel said...

Ya they forgot 30, which is Lazaruk's #. The reason why Laz was wearing Brown's jersey is because its a bigger fit for a goalender. If Brown would have been forced into duty, he would have looked like a penguin with his tight #27 jersey on, which is a smaller fit.

caley said...

Benn and Myers both made the team.

hocus_lopez said...

I watched the game on the webcast. What I was most impressed with was Long's play the entire 60 mins. I'll admit that the team took a while to get going in this one, but Long's effort was there from the start.

Also of note was that although Long had 4 shots in the game, I witnessed that he created 8 legitimate scoring chances for other players in the final period. If the Rockets had a couple of other vet players that could finish you might have seen a different outcome in that one.

I loved the effort by the guys in the final period. Hopefully they'll be able to channel that desire/intensity for the next two games and they can come home with a two game win streak.

Finally, congrats to Benn and Meyers. They are truly worthy of the honour to represent their country at the World Juniors. Best of luck to them and team Canada at the upcoming event.