Sunday, March 1, 2009

Beating The Best In Their Barn!

  • Did we expect anything less from the Rockets Saturday night in a match up against the best team in the WHL? This team again proved that they are a threat to make some noise in this years playoffs...when they put their mind to it! A third period power play goal from defensive defenseman Collin Bowman stood up to be the game winner in the Rockets 2-1 win over the Calgary Hitmen.
  • It was Bowman's first goal in 25 games. Ironic I suppose considering all the hype leading up to the game was the Hitmen's ability to generate offense from the back end.
  • Despite generating just 4 shots on goal in the first period, the Rockets had their chances. Ian Duval missed the net on a 2 on 1 while Jamie Benn missed a tremendous chance with time ticking down in the period with the Rockets enjoying a rare power play.
  • The Hitmen can argue that they were not at their best, but could the Rockets not feel the same way? The visitors were playing their 7th game in 10 nights, with 6 of those 7 games on the road. This was all about finding a way to win a hockey game in a place where only two other teams have had any success. It was a gutsy effort for a team that earned its 40th win of the season.
  • The penalty kill for the Rockets came up huge, shutting out the best power play unit in the league on 6 chances. The Hitmen enjoyed a brief second period 5 on 3, yet the Rockets killed it off.
  • You should cut some slack for Jamie Benn and Colin Long, who were both under the weather during the trip. Benn played Saturday night after missing Friday's game with sickness. Long played Friday in Red Deer, but a bad cold appeared to zap him of his energy. Give props to both players for doing what they could for the betterment of the team.
  • If you mess with the bull, you get the horns. Hitmen enforcer Rigby Burgart found that out after squaring off with Rockets forward Ryley Grantham. Grantham clearly won the tilt, yet Burgart proved he can take a punch. The Hitmen rookie was sent to the dressing room for repairs after Grantham cut him above the eye. It was Grantham's 17th fighting major of the season. It was Burgart's 19th.
  • Much like the Rockets performance of late, goaltender Mark Guggenberger was at his solid best Saturday night. 'Gugg's' rebound control was solid, he was quick to make a second save, and you could just tell that he was in a zone. After a 34 save performance, he could have been named the first star. Instead he was given third star status.
  • The loss kept the Hitmen from entering the WHL record books. A win would have tied them for the most victories in one season (33), held by both the Kamloops Blazers and Swift Current Broncos.
  • The loss also snapped the Hitmen's 12 game winning streak.
  • The Rockets concluded the month of February playing 14 games in 25 days. Over that period the hockey club lost just twice in regulation time. Impressive to say the least. The puzzling fact is the Rockets lost in regulation time to Portland and Red Deer. Both games were decided by a single goal.
  • What's the best record the Rockets have recorded during the month of February? In 2002-2003 the Rockets played 13 games in February, and ended up going 12-1-0-0.
  • The Rockets open the month of March hosting the Spokane Chiefs Wednesday night. With just 7 games left in the regular season (4 at home - 3 on road) the Rockets trail the Chiefs by just one point.
  • The 40 wins is the 5th time that the franchise has hit that mark since re-locating to Kelowna in 1995.


g.k said...

Regan you sure made that an exciting game to listen too last night, I wouldn't want to see you leave Kelowna but your alot more fun to listen to than most announcers out there so I'm sure you'll be moving on to bigger & better thing's real soon. By the way I see Spokane has one more game left before they place us on Wednesday night, & the way Seattle has been playing of late, the Chief's are going to have there hands full for sure. So the Rockets & Chiefs will have played the same number of games come Wednesday. Should be a hum-dinger!!! said...

Congratulations on your accomplishment in Calgary! Gave you a 'shout out' here:
Has The VOice...On and Off the Ice: Hockey History Being Made in Calgary

J.S. said...

Kelowna can thank the GMC line for sparking the team and putting Calgary on their heels.....but they don't get out a lot ....why?