Thursday, January 29, 2009

Ho-Hum 4-1

  • It wasn't the Kelowna Rockets territorial play that impressed me Wednesday night, but it was the teams commitment to defense. I am not saying they were flawless, but the Rockets allowed just 15 shots on goal in a 4-1 home ice win over the Prince George Cougars. The Rockets allowed just three shots on goal in the first period, and 7 in the second frame. Not bad for a team that many people believe will struggle in their own end of the rink.
  • That said, the majority of the night was spent in the offensive zone making for a relatively quiet night for starting goaltender Mark Guggenberger.
  • The Rockets received goals from four different scorers, with Jamie Benn, Cody Almond, Stepan Novotny and Colin Long beating Cougars netminder Kevin Armstrong. Armstrong was again solid, facing 33 shots in the loss. Had Armstrong struggled, this game would have been ugly.
  • Jamie Benn ended the game with a goal and an assist, but was also physical in this one. Benn's clean hit on Cougars forward Marek Viedensky in the first period was one of the best we've seen all season.
  • Again I liked the play of Tyler Myers. Myers had two assists, but it was his defensive play really stood out. I can't say one defenseman struggled in his own zone, with Collin Bowman, Tyson Barrie and Tysen Dowzak doing a good job of limiting the Cougars to few chances. What I liked most about the defensive core was their ability to get their sticks in the way to direct shots wide or out of play in their own zone.
  • The only goal the Cougars could score against Mark Guggenberger was a 5 on 3 situation with 7 minutes left in the first period.
  • I liked the line of Spencer Main, Curt Gogol and Mitch Callahan. Those three were a pain to play against, with Callahan getting into a first period fight with Cougars defenseman Matt Cumming. Gogol was also seen trying to entice a Cougar into a fight on several occasions, but never found a dance partner.
  • Gogol's dad took in Wednesday's game. No wonder the rookie forward played to impress.
  • The Rockets were 2 for 5 on the power play Wednesday night, and are now 5 or 8 with the extra man in their last two games. That's an efficient rate of 63%.
  • A video with Rockets defenseman Kyle Verdino on who he believes will win the Super Bowl Sunday between the Arizona Cardinals and Pittsburgh Steelers.


entropyyy said...

verdino seems like a funny personality,and i mean damn,he looks pretty big on the ice,i had no idea you were so tall regan! the only thing i really enjoy about football are the huge hits and sick catches,i cant really get into it. (except on xbox!) I took this game in and that hit was a beast by benn,fight was decent. to be honest though the game didnt really hold my attention,but 2 points we can't complain right? maybe we'll see sombody with a football jersey like fluery from the pens did in the 3 star presentation??

Regan Bartel said...

I was standing on a chair! (:

Rocketwatcher said...

Someone pointed out Brent Gogol last night at the game. He is not a small guy.....if his kid grows to be as big as him the Rockets will have a sizeable player ahead...How big is Tyler Myers dad? Is he as big as Tyler? Just really would need a chair for that interview..... said...

Hi Regan,
Thought you would like to know your favorite announcer, Curt Keilback, called the Sabres' games in Edmonton (10-2 Buffalo!) and Calgary this week. I'm looking forward to seeing Tyler Myers on the Sabres' blueline down the road and tomorrow night another high Sabres' draft pick, Tyler Ennis, will be in town with Medicine Hat.
Say hi to your partner, Gord McGarva - a fellow OKM grad...I am three years "wiser."

Ralph Hass
- MSG-TV imaging voice for the NHL's Buffalo Sabres -

Regan Bartel said...

Great to hear. He's still tops in my books. As for Gord...he reads this blog, so he will see your posting. He's been great to work with this season, and he works for cheap!!!

David said...

Regan, I totally agree. Commitment to team defense was the difference. Plus D kept it simple and the forwards gave them options. Hope they keep it going and then the stretch drive will be fun!